New Mexico State Bird
One of the last to finish the race, New Mexico was the 47th U.S. state to gain state status.
This happened in January of 1912. Santa Fe is the capital city of New Mexico.
Quite appropriately, New Mexico is also called the “Land of Enchantment”. What do you
think could be the most enchanting state bird of New Mexico then?
What is the state bird of New Mexico?
The New Mexico state bird was decided to be the Greater Roadrunner as of 1949.
They are also known as el paisano, el correcaminos, and the Chaparral bird.
This bird species is most certainly capable of holding its own. However, it is much more
interested in running, doing so at 15 mph when it is after a prey.
What makes the state bird of New Mexico unusual?
The most unusual part of the Greater Roadrunner has to be the very reason it has been
named the Roadrunner. The bird species is born to run.
They can easily leave humans in the dust while running and catch up to a rattlesnake
and kill it in record time. The desert landscape only helps them survive further.
Roadrunners are about two feet in height. They have straight, sturdy bills and a tail with
white at the tip. The plumage is mottled and helps them blend in with the shrubbery
landscape. Their crest is black and bushy.
New Mexico state bird facts
A bird species like the Greater Roadrunner certainly has some tales to regale us with.
Let’s learn about this interesting species!
1. In the Native American and Mexican legends and beliefs, the Great Roadrunners have
a special place. People worshipped the birds for how courageous and resistant they were,
along with their strength and speed.
Roadrunners have a distinctive footprint. Two of their toes point forward while the
other two point backward. Pueblo tribes use them as symbols to fight evil. Apparently, the X shape of their toes helps hide the direction in which the bird will be going, holding
off evil spirits from following them.
2. As they are desert creatures, they have evolved over the years to suit the weather. Like
seabirds, they secrete solution from their eyes through a gland that is at the very front of
their eyes. This trait helps them use up less water than they would have with their
urinary tract and kidney.
Otherwise, they eat prey with lots of moisture, such as reptiles and mammals, to make
up for the lack of water.
3. The Great Roadrunner can eat poisonous species such as a venomous snake and
have no side effects from it.
The Greater Roadrunner is usually found in the desert and shrubby areas. So, these are
the areas of New Mexico you want to frequent when you wish to catch a glimpse of one.
The birds are essentially fast runners, so you will never be able to catch up to them. The
only thing you can do is wait from afar to catch a proper glimpse.