Greater Roadrunner

Grand géocoucou – Pairi Daiza

Its striated beige-brown plumage is an excellent camouflage

The Greater Roadrunner is a bird that has been popularized by cartoons in which “Beep Beep” is seen running at high speed along the roads of the American South.

This is a rather large bird, of approximately 60 cm, with striated beige-brown plumage – which is excellent camouflage – and a crest of feathers and a long beak. Its legs are long and powerful, enabling it to run at 30 km/h over long distances, with its head, body and tail horizontal, parallel to the ground, preferably on flat land without any overly dense vegetation. It is a poor flyer which prefers to flee on foot.

One can say that it is an omnivore! It eats practically everything that it finds in the semi-arid areas of its habitat. It kills its prey by catching it with its beak and by vigorously striking it on to the ground: a Greater Roadrunner has even been observed killing a rattlesnake.

It builds its nest in bushes or small trees; it may sometimes parasite, as cuckoos do in Belgium, other nest’s species such as Common Raven and Northern Mockingbird. The couples are formed for life, after a highly elaborate courtship parade.

The species is not threatened.

In Pairi Daiza

Greater Roadrunner

In Pairi Daiza, the Greater Roadrunner is visible.

Grand géocoucou – Pairi Daiza
Identity card

A less threatened species

  • Name: Greater Roadrunner
  • Latin name: Geococcyx californianus
  • Origin: Southern States of America, Mexico
  • IUCN status: Least concerned
  • Cites: --

Sponsor the Greater Roadrunner

Sponsorship amounts are exclusively for the Pairi Daiza Foundation for projects for the conservation and protection of threatened species and for improving their living conditions in Pairi Daiza.

Je parraine le Grand Géocoucou