Desert Duets: Greater Roadrunner Babies Web Page

Roadrunners live alone except with they are mating or caring for their babies. The male brings the female a gift of a twig or lizard and dances around her. After they mate, they gather materials for the nest together, but the female does the actual building. In the Sonoran Desert where there are two rainy seasons, the female lays eggs twice a year. This is because there's enough food for the babies in both the spring and at the end of the summer.

They locate the nest in a bush, cactus, or small tree. The female lays two to twelve eggs. Both the male and female sit on the eggs during the day. The male has more fat and more warmth and sits on the nest at night.

The baby birds peck out of their shells using a sharp egg tooth and arrive over a period of several weeks. When they hatch, they cannot see and are born without feathers. Their black skin keeps them warm, but they must stay out of the sun! The fledglings hang around the nest and are fed by the parents until they are about three weeks old.

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Launched: February 2008
Updated: 18 July 2008