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Roadrunner on the Run

Roadrunner on the Run
Photo Information
Copyright: Jane Magen (jaycee) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-06-02
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon PowerShot S5 IS, 1.5 Teleconverter
Exposure: f/4, 1/1600 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-06-03 8:16
Viewed: 3070
Points: 68
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I had less than a second to get this shot of this juvenile Roadrunner. I spotted him as he was jumping on the wall, clicked the camera, and he jumped off into the brush. His mouth was wide opened but he wasn't making a sound. He was out hunting and must have seen a good meal and was ready to capture it. Sorry for the busy background but that's where he was - and directly into the sun.

Greater Roadrunner

The legendary roadrunner is famous for its distinctive appearance, its ability to eat rattlesnakes and its preference for scooting across the American deserts, as popularized in Warner Bros. cartoons.

The roadrunner is a large, black-and-white, mottled ground bird with a distinctive head crest. It has strong feet, a long, white-tipped tail and an oversized bill.

It ranges in length from 20 to 24 inches from the tip of its tail to the end of its beak. It is a member of the Cuckoo family (Cuculidae), characterized by feet with 2 forward toes and 2 behind.

When the roadrunner senses danger or is traveling downhill, it flies, revealing short, rounded wings with a white crescent. But it cannot keep its large body airborne for more than a few seconds, and so prefers walking or running (up to 17 miles per hour) usually with a clownish gait.

The roadrunner feeds almost exclusively on other animals, including insects, scorpions, lizards, snakes, rodents and other birds. Up to 10 % of its winter diet may consist of plant material due to the scarcity of desert animals at that time of the year.

Because of its lightening quickness, the roadrunner is one of the few animals that preys upon rattlesnakes. Using its wings like a matador's cape, it snaps up a coiled rattlesnake by the tail, cracks it like a whip and repeatedly slams its head against the ground till dead.

It then swallows its prey whole, but is often unable to swallow the entire length at one time. This does not stop the roadrunner from its normal routine. It will continue to meander about with the snake dangling from its mouth, consuming another inch or two as the snake slowly digests.

A roadrunner life does have its dangers. Roadrunners are occasionally preyed upon by hawks, house cats, raccoons, rat snakes, bullsnakes, skunks, and, coyotes eat nestlings and eggs. During the winter months, many succumb to freezing, icy weather.


eqshannon, Dis. Ac., boreocypriensis, loot, CeltickRanger, jusninasirun, nglen, uleko, goldyrs, Argus, Jamesp, maurydv, rcrick, eng55, marhowie, fartash, rousettus, gracious, Adanac, xTauruSx, yasemin has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To gracious: Teleconverterjaycee 1 06-04 22:31
To boreocypriensis: Snakesjaycee 2 06-03 15:02
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Critiques [Translate]

Your absolute best image of a roadrunner and perhaps the best image of one I have ever seen. Well captured..and such good quality . Congrats!

Hello Jane,

What a weird bird this young one.
Good dof and pov, i haven't not one young roadrunner be seeing till yet.

Hi Sister, what a wonderful posture of this foxy juvenile Roadrunner:) I have to find and watch a cartoon now:) I am sorry that my snakes feed on this foxy:D. Your capture is wonderful and perfect in all way and I especially love its posture! Cute:) TFS.


  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2008-06-03 9:47]
  • [2]

Hi Jane

When one have to make such hurried candid captures it is always difficult to predict or choose your BG. It is obviously much different when one has time on your side, but nature don't wait, it happens. You did great under trying circumstances.

The bright light could have spoiled the shot as you would not have the opportunity to readjust so congratulations on the perfect exposure. The DOF is also on the button, again without the benefit of a trial run, but the sharpness is evident of an ideal selection. Actually the residence in the BG worked for the good in this shot. The wall compliments the Road runner, the roof runs at the same diagonal line as the bird, and it also portrays something of the symbiosis many bird species benefit from living with or near human settlements.

Well done and TFS.

hello Jane

this is a wonderful image of the juvenile Roadrunner,
very fine POV, excellent luminosity, sharpness and details,
i love the way his body and head & beak having the same
shape as the background's house roof, TFS


Hello Jane. Super image of this roadrunner. Really lanky and looking fast in brilliant sharpness and clarity. Well framed and very well done. Regards. jusni

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-06-03 10:52]

Hi Jane. Your picture of the Roadrunner has made me laugh tonight. You had to move fast to get this one.which you captured with good detail and natural colours. well done TFs.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-06-03 11:09]

Hello Jane,
What a superb and well-timed capture of this young 'Wallrunner'. I don't think the background is disturbing at all as focus on the birds is perfect and details very sharp. Fine colours too and well composed. Lovely!!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hello Jane
I am laughing here purely from the point of this fantastic capture of Beep Beep juvenile looking a little clumsy and not yet quite the adult he wishes to be!!...Forget the sun and everything...This is a stunning capture of a Juvenile Beep Beep!!
I just love it Jane

Hi Jane, fantastic portrait of splendid roadrunner with wonderful details and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-06-03 12:36]

Hello Jane,
What a fine capture!
You caught this juvenile Roadrunner at a good moment with excellent sharpness and the BG is enough OOF to let him stand out, at the same time as telling us that Roadrunners frequent built-up areas.
Very nice diagonal composition too.
TFS this delight,

This one seems to be doing a hippity-hop, Jane....
very well done!

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-06-03 12:50]

Hi Jane
this is very interesting a bird
very nice image
well done.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-06-03 13:18]

Hi Jane

Amazing post - it looks prehistoric! Nice detail and lighting too.


Splendido ritratto di questo simpatico giovane roadrunner, ottimi POV e composizione con questa bellissima postura, ottima nitidezza, molto belli i colori. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

Hi Jane,

So they are real! Well I never the last time I saw one of these it was giving a coyote a real hard time, what an excellent capture, and even though its taken in a hurry {beep beep} you managed to do something that coyote could never do, stop it dead in it tracks, superb detail, wonderful colours, well framed and composed, just beautiful, all the best, P.s sorry for the bad joke,

Cheers Rick :)

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-06-03 21:12]

Hello Jane

A lovely capture of this roadrunner.
The plumage detail is wonderful.
Excellent visual of the bird's body shape.
Great colours.


  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-06-04 1:45]

Hi Jane,
Beautiful capture.I liked POV,cross framing,timing,clear details and expression on face a lot.Excellent work!
Thanks for posting.

Hi Jane,
Very interesting post of this roadrunner. It is unique to me. Although the under the strong sun, ou managed to control the exposure. Well done.
Best regards,

Hi Jane,
Very good detail/DOF, color, and you handled the sunny conditions well with great exposure..I imagine he's running along the top of the fence (it's hot) saying oh-eee-ouch ;-}}
Well done!

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-06-04 6:07]

Haha! I like this guy! You've done agreat job in capturing it that way, good pose and excellent technique, well done my friend, thanks!


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-06-04 7:18]

Hello Jane,
Another beauty from your gardenwall. Impressive birds you got there. Excellent sharpness, colours and POV. Good composition.

Dear Jane
Very intersting spieces to shoot,
Perfect pose,soft lighting and POV.Welldone my friend.


  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2008-06-04 9:56]

hello Jane
good capture of this cute bird with its nice pose
i like POV, colours and details

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-06-04 10:23]

Awesome capture!!!
The beak is so unusual!
It has wonderful plumage and you show it hear extremely well.
Very, very sharp and really detailed.
Ultra-quick reactions from you to capture this fleeting moment in time :-)

Very well done, Jane!!


Hi JANE.Another exellent work.Cartoon charakter road ruunner. You catch very beatifull pose.Very impressive.Thanks for shairing. kind regards, Leyla

Wow perfect capture of such a beatifull bird
I donīt get it taht often on front of my eyes to make such a foto my compliments
very well done

Hello Jane
this is great capture for famous Roadrunner. It is a bit funny but it gave very nice pose for you. Focus, POV, timing and composition great. thanks for sharing, best wishes

Hello Jane,
Superb image of the roadrunner with a side pose in a perfect moment, you are best on photographing roadrunnder, my compliment!
good sharpness, colour and details all there!
well done

p/s the 1.5 Teleconverter, is it just fitted on to the adaptor for using? as we both are using S5 thinking of buying one! thanks in advance!

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-06-05 4:27]

Hello Jane,
Outstanding image with great sharpness and lovely natural colors. Your fantastic capture sure shows how these birds are built for speed. Thanks My Friend.

Hi Jane another splendid shot. I like the roadrunners because we are wathing their cortoons:P TFS. Greetings,

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-06-06 4:27]

Hello Jane, WoW What a cute and nice picture. Excellent caption and superb composition. Well done. Ganesh

Great RR capture. Well framed with good lighting and the bird is interestingly aligned with the house roof in the BG.

  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-06-08 21:04]

Hi Jane,
Roadrunners are one of your favourite subjects , i know this by now.But i also like them whever you present them 'coz trhey seem to be caught in some very interesting poses.Further these are not birds seen around here, so it's all the more good.I like this pose , yeah this one aiming to just flee off the sceen with you in tow...just to get a nice shot frozen ...the details are superb here, i 'm always impresed by the patterns on their body and thier nice beautiful long tail.Good sharpness, clarity and focus despite this being a hurried shot.
Very well done.
TFS & cheers

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