Roadrunners are birds from the cuckoo family. There are two species of roadrunners known as the greater roadrunner and the lesser roadrunner. Both species are found in Central America and in the southern parts of North America. The name comes from the fact that these birds prefer to run than fly. They have been known to reach speeds of 42 km/h (26 mph) while running. They often use this incredible speed to catch their food. Let’s take a look at the diet of these birds.
What do roadrunners eat?
Roadrunners are omnivores (eat plants and animals) and are opportunistic feeders. This means that they will eat almost anything that is available. Their standard diet usually consists of insects, (grasshoppers, beetles, crickets), small reptiles (lizards and snakes), small mammals, rodents (rats, mice, voles), spiders, scorpions, snails and even smaller birds! The roadrunner will also feed on dead animal carcasses, including roadkill. They will also eat many different types of fruit and seeds.
Roadrunners do not like to fly and instead forage on the ground. They are known for hiding in cover and then ambushing prey by chasing after it. They may leap or fly for a short burst to catch insects. When they catch a snake they will hold it in their beak and bash it on the ground to kill it. Although they usually kill small snakes roadrunners have been known to do this to larger snakes, including rattlesnakes!