How Do Roadrunners Survive in the Desert?

According to The Nature Conservancy, roadrunners are able to survive in the desert because they have a gland near their eyes that secretes a salt-like substance that helps them retain water. Most roadrunners can survive without drinking any water by consuming prey that has a high water content.

Roadrunners eat fruit, mice, snakes, gophers, lizards, insects and other birds. Roadrunners find and hunt all of their prey on the ground, and a pair of roadrunners sometimes cooperate to attack a snake. Despite the fact that roadrunners spend most of their lives on the ground, they usually nest between 3 and 15 feet off the ground in trees, shrubs or clumps of cactus. On average, roadrunners live between 7 and 8 years.

Roadrunners are extremely well adapted to many different types of terrain and can be found living in deserts, grasslands and woodlands ranging from Missouri to Mexico. However, they are mostly found in the deserts of the American Southwest. The bird is able to fly, but it rarely does. Instead, the roadrunner runs along the ground at speeds of up to 18 mph, which makes it a good hunter. Roadrunners have to watch out for coyotes, which are their natural predators.