Greater Roadrunner Nest With Eggs and Young Photographs and Sound Recording

Photo by Greg Clark, May 8, 1999

Most Roadrunner nests are found in Cholla cactus, and thus, are nearly impossible to photograph from above so that the nest construction, shape and lining are visible. This nest was found in Mesquite approximately 1.5 meters above the ground and has four babies and one egg. Note that each individual baby is a different size, typical for Roadrunner young. Roadrunner nests are big, sometimes two feet (70 cm) in diameter, and usually somewhat oval-shaped. (Although the degree of oval shape varies). A used Roadrunner nest can be easily separated from the other birds that nest in the same habitats so it is a favorite of Atlasers. Frequently a used nest is found in a survey area but the bird remains undetected. The easiest way to find a Roadrunner is by sound. The sorrowful, decending song notes can be heard from hundreds of feet. The bird also makes a bill rattle that is very distinctive. Both of these can be heard on the sound recording.

The side view of the Roadrunner nest in a Mesquite tree.

Photo Greg Clark






A typical Roadrunner nest with young in a Cholla cactus. Note the parent is bringing a lizard for the babies. Lizards are a favorite food. One of the babies can be seen with a yellow "smile".

Photo Earle Robinson, May 1998



The original Roadrunner sound recording was made using a captive bird in 1998. The recording was produced using a Sennheiser MKH70 shotgun microphone and the audio was stored on a 48 ksps DAT using a Tascam DA-P1 digital audio recorder. The recording was down-sampled to 44.1 ksps and converted to MPEG3 to reduce the file size.

download mpeg3 recording (roadrun1.mp3)

download mpeg3 decoder home

Copyright Greg Clark, 1999

update 8/2012