July 14, 2024

Roadrunner chick hatches at Lee Richardson Zoo

Lee Richardson Zoo

What do you get when you cross a Chevy and a Lexus?  When those are the names of the male and female greater roadrunners living at Lee Richardson Zoo, you get a roadrunner chick, the first for Lee Richardson Zoo.  The egg hatched on June 3, 2020.

The hatchling became mobile at a little over two weeks of age.  To protect the little one from getting into trouble, the Marie Osterbuhr Aviary flight is currently closed while the hatchling learns its way around and to stay out from under feet walking nearby.  In the near future a blood test will be done to determine the sex of the chick.  Although the flight is closed, many of the birds can be seen from the sidewalk outside the enclosure.

Keeper Brandon Carmichael says the little one is much like other tykes and is taking after both parents.  Like its mother, it’s timid with people and is always ready to eat, like its father.  It’s also very vocal, letting its mom and dad know its every need and want.

The successful pairing was in conjunction with a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Greater Roadrunner Species Survival Plan (SSP).  SSPs are cooperatively managed programs with goals of genetically and demographically healthy populations, the long-term sustainability of populations, and enhancing the conservation of the species in the wild. 

Greater roadrunners are native to shrubland and grasslands of the southwestern United States and Mexico. Their conservation status is listed as Least Concern by IUCN.   Roadrunners prefer walking or running to flying.  Their top speed is 20 miles per hour while running.