The Greater Roadrunner: A unique visitor!

Greater Roadrunner

This Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) has been a frequent visitor to my neighborhood this winter! They spend most of their time running on the ground, hunting prey such as lizards, small mammals, and birds! He can occasionally be found perching on fence posts, too! Like many desert wildlife species, roadrunners have physiologically adapted to tolerate high desert temperatures. They secrete a highly concentrated salt solution from nasal salt glands located near the front of their eyes, a mechanism similar to seabirds! This system uses less water than what would normally be lost through the urinary system- cool! Because water can be a scarce resource in the desert, prey items can supply the roadrunner with the fluids it needs. Roadrunners are truly unique desert residents!



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