Roadrunner, Eyes of a Predator

The eyes of predators generally face forward, giving them better depth perception to aid in capturing prey, while the eyes of many prey species face to the side, giving them a wider visual field in order to see and avoid predators.

This Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus), a large, ground-dwelling cuckoo, has eyes that can focus quite a bit forward, even though their eyes are on the sides and not on the front of the head.

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)

Their forward-looking eyes reveal the predatory nature of these large, desert birds. I've seen Roadrunners capture and eat rodents, snakes, lizards, large insects, and birds. This particular male Roadrunner will sometimes crouch down on the wall above my bird feeder and wait for an opportunity to swoop down like a hawk on any small, unwary birds feeding on the ground below. This odd tactic actually works quite well, and he often captures House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) this way.