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Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner
Photo Information
Copyright: Billy C Banks (K9madtex) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 122 W: 67 N: 278] (1022)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-01-27
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 5D, Canon 70 - 200 f2.8L IS USM, Canon 72mm UV Haze
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-01-28 5:21
Viewed: 3438
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
As I was headed to the entrance of San Angelo State Park, off to my right I saw this Greater Roadrunner jump up into this tree. I immediately stopped and backed up to get a shot of him. I just knew he would run away before I could get my camera up. I got the camera out the bag, turned it on, pointed it at him, realized the lens cap was still on, got that off, and still managed to get several shots before he took off. All my life spottings of roadrunners has never been anything more than a flash of feathers across the road. This is the first time I have ever seen one sit still for even a moment. He must have really wanted his photo taken.

Greater Roadrunner

Geococcyx californianus
Subfamily Neomorphinae

The Greater Roadrunner can reach running speeds of 30 km/hr (18.6 mi/hr). It holds its head and tail flat and parallel to the ground when running at its top speed.

To warm up after a cold desert night, a roadrunner will turn its back to the sun, fluff its back feathers, and expose skin along its back. This skin is black in order to absorb more solar energy.

The Greater Roadrunner eats many venomous prey items, including scorpions, spiders, and rattlesnakes. Two birds may cooperate to kill a large snake.

The Greater Roadrunner is an opportunistic forager. It frequently captures small birds at bird feeders and nest boxes. One was observed to leap up from hiding in a dry riverbed and knock down a low-flying White-throated Swift.

The desert-dwelling roadrunner uses salt glands in front of its eyes to excrete excess salt from its blood. Such glands are common in ocean-going birds that can drink seawater. The roadrunner is able to get along without drinking water if it eats food with high enough water content, but it will drink readily if water is available.


uleko, eqshannon, Argus, rcrick, Adanac, NinaM, Jamesp, marhowie has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-01-28 5:37]

Hello Billy,
You were certainly lucky this time! This is a splendid capture of the Roadrunner up in a tree! I like its pose and profile. Nicely lit from behind although a bit dark. Good focus, sharp details and fine colours too. Well done!
Many thanks, Ulla

Hello Billy
You did good work by capturing this cool roadrunner on the tree :)
Well done and TFS

Excellent roadrunner Billy...This is a striking pose for it and not one i have seen..I usually see them on the ground...interesting..I had wondered a bit about the ability of its agile body..Very nice!
Walter Reed USAMC- along long time ago...

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-01-28 12:30]

Hello Billy,
Fine capture of a Road Runner, unusually up a tree! Technically this shot is of a high standard in all respects and the composition with the branches of the tree very pleasing.
Well done and thanks for sharing this,

Hey Billy,
Great shot of this Road Runner, excellent detail in the plumage, you've handled the back lighting well, love the POV and well framed, all the best Cheers Rick :)

Hello Billy,
Aand a grand photo of this elusive bird it is! I chased the same Roadrunner during elementary school in Las Vegas for a year, just close enough to begin to reach out and ten paces beyond he ran, and again for a year. Great fun!!!

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-01-28 23:17]

Hi Billy

The most striking thing about this great shot is the reflective symetry between the bird's body and the branch - excellent. Good detail and colour on the bird under what were obviously tricky conditions.


Hi Billy,
Difficult to expose the bird with this side away from the light, and a bright BG. You did very well to get this one under the circumstances, great catch & TFS!

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-01-29 3:35]

Hi Billy,
You have made great use of your opportunity Billy. This is an outstanding image, one you should be proud of. You have captured this beautiful species superbly, thanks.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-01-29 9:16]

Hello Billy

I love the silhouette this bird cuts.
A wonderful pose and diagonal composition.
The POV and DOF are excellent.
Very good focus and sharpness.


  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-01-29 10:21]

You're a man who knows how fast a roadrunner is! Thank you for this picture, I love those birds and I think the cartoons helped us know them! It is more beautiful than I thought it was and you sure managed to capture it. Thank you!


  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-01-29 14:22]

Ah I like this bird ! Thanks Billy for this great shot ! It reminds me of my late brother Richard who had a '68 Plymouth Road Runner, it was bright yellow ! Great memories for me ! Your shot is really good, very sharp and clear, well done my friend ! Thanks,


Good profile perspective and pose. Sharpness is perfect for the DOF.

It is harder to get a decent picture of a roadrunner than it is for Wile E. Coyote to catch one. :)

Nice capture!

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