Roadrunner and Green Heron


Right now, as a wildlife photographer, I am having a hard time finding subject material for my posts.  At well over 100 degrees each day, not only the birds and animals are staying hidden, I myself, don’t exactly have a dying urge to get to get out either.  Well, I do have the urge, but I am having a hard time satisfying it.

But after a hearty meal of a sausage McMuffin this morning at the Golden Arches, I decided to do something about.  I have this great fear of losing readers.  After all, it took me a couple of years to get the ones that I have, and they are very loyal to me.

Ann decided to join me and we took of for the parks around here.  It was early for us, around 7:30, to avoid the heat.  But already, it had reached well into the 80s.  As far as numbers we did manage to see about 21 species in the space of two and a half hours, and a bottle of Gatoraid. :-)

With water in the parks around Lake Nasworthy down about two feet, there was a lot of ‘mud’ showing in places.  We saw in one those areas, a couple of Green Herons.  I liked the pose of this one.  Using my Canon EOS 7D, I attached my 500mm lens and 1.4 converter.  Exposure, if you’re interested was 1/3200 sec. @ f5.6.  ISO was 500 and I adjusted the AV minus 1/3.

Green Heron

I forgot to mention, even thought we saw twenty-one species most of them were nearly invisible, no chance of any decent photos through the branches of the trees.  They, too, try to avoid the hot sun.

After leaving the Lake Nasworthy area, we decided to make a quick stop at San Angelo State Park.  It was time to renew our annual pass, so we thought we’d check out a new pond while we were there.  Nothing at the pond to speak of, just a lot of swallows, some unidentified sparrows.  However, upon leaving we did spot this Greater Roadrunner in a tree about 10 feet off the ground.  He was just sitting, cooling off and preening his feathers.  I managed to work around the branches and got these shots.

Great Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

The Roadrunner was in the shade, so I had some difficulty with the exposure.  But I was able to get it at 1/500 sec. @ f10.  I wanted a bit more depth of field.  ISO was 800.  I hand-held my 100-400mm lens for this one.  Click on any image to see glorious enlargements.

By the way, if you look at the right side of the page, under “Books by Bob Zeller”, you will see a link to preview my book, “Birds, Beasts and Buttes”.  Also there is a link to preview my brand new 2013 Calendar.  Check them out.  I am getting good reviews.

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42 thoughts on “Roadrunner and Green Heron

  1. Great detail shot of the Green Heron, Bob. And I’ve never seen a roadrunner in a tree before either, they are always shown in a photograph on the ground standing or running. But I imagine his response would be, “Hey lady, don’t you know it’s hot down here in Texas, of course, I’m in a shaded tree!” :-)

    • Hi, Donna, (again). :-)
      I think the roadrunner has been sterotyped to be running around with that wily coyote. HaHa! But they do spend most of their time on the ground.

  2. I took several pictures of bird butts in the tall trees last week….just so I could later identify what I was seeing. Now that I’m home for a few days before taking off again the birds aren’t around either… no one has been luring them in with food.
    I think that roadrunner is such a cool looking bird. Glad you hit the Gatorade in the heat! xoxo

    • So I guess you could say that you can now identify bird butts. :-) Where are you off to next time?? That Gatorade goes down so smooooth. I love my big ‘orange drank’. :-) Stay cool. :-)

      • I take off Tuesday for a girlfriend plus kids trip to North Carolina. Its going to be a a 15 hour drive and there’s sure to be many adventures. A friend of our moved there last year and there are about 15 of us traveling down to visit (:

        I am a booty professional- ha!

  3. Hello Bob, I think we are all in a bit of the summer time slump. Here in NY the temps are also sweltering. People trying to stay cool in water, on vacation and perhaps give the computer some needed rest time as well. I typically find my readership drops along at this time along with the flow of ideas of things for me to write. In short, it’s a common occurrence. It however and the readers come back in the fall! Interesting, I’ve never seen a real Roadrunner & only have the one from Looney Toons to refer to in my mind — so thanks for the real deal and have a great day!

    • Yeah, I know what you mean. My ‘writership’ drops a bit along with my readership. But I know that I have a lot of loyal readers, so I try to come up with something as often as I can. I appreciate your comments, Karen.

    • Hey, thanks, Rob. So you’re the guy that bought one of my books. :-) Seriously, I have sold several and I appreciate everyone that decided that they would like to have one.

  4. I especially like the Green Heron Bob – as you say, it’s a nice pose and I like the light also.. The roadrunner in a tree surprised me too but then we occasionally geg RN Pheasants in trees, which most people don’t expect either. It’s also very slow around here because of the heat. Yesterday we’d have been skunked if it hadn’t been for a single, very cooperative Red-tailed Hawk. Sometimes a single bird can make your day…

    • I agree, a single bird can definitely make it worth the while. I think that is why I go out most of these days, to get one that is decent to post. Also, I think that 50% of my roadrunner images are in trees. Of course, our trees here are pretty small. :-)

  5. Love the shots..As usual, they are very descript and look wonderful. Both species are fabulous birds. Today we got the last of our wood in and I saw 3 dusky grouse..they really remind me of Banty Chickens. I did not get a chance at a photo as they are very shy and stay hidden in the grass and brush. Have a great evening..I still would like to see a Green Heron..

  6. When we were at Brazos Bend last month, the photographers and officials commented on how many green herons there were there, though I didn’t see a single one. At home, though we see them in our creek quite a bit. The adult plumage is striking! They are a bit too skiddish for me to take photos of them; just as with the great blues, the moment I pull out my camera and zoom in, they fly off. No posers like yours there. I’ve not photo-captured a single one. Frustrating.

    You’ll not lose this follower, Bob. I’m here to stay, unless you take an about face on your blog and start critiquing music, movie stars, or debating politics. And even then, I’d be interested to read your version!

    • Hi Shannon. The best way to photograph birds of any species is from the car. I have great success that way, but as soon as I get out and try to get a shot, even if I am very stealthy, the get skittish and fly off. Keep trying. :-)

      I really appreciate your loyalty, Shannon. I think that now there’s three of you. (Chuckle). Seriously, you won’t catch me writing about politics, religion, movie stars, etc. However, sometimes I do get off subject and write some utter nonsense. It seems that I have a weird sense of humor. So stay with me. Who knows what I might be coming up with…….. :-)

  7. Great shots Mr. Bob.

    I know I don’t always comment on your photos, but I do always look and read.
    If I know I’m going to be out hiking/taking photos on a hot day, I will freeze a 2 liter bottle of water and carry with me.

  8. Yep – I know this hot weather has you itching to get out. Glad you and Ann were able to sneak some time in before the day was unbearable. The Green Heron is striking and the Roadrunner is comfy in the shade-both great photos! Thanks for sharing.

  9. I have never seen a photo of a roadrunner in a tree before… They always show them running across some arid space.

    By the way, are you expecting a hurricane soon? I see a Tstorm heading for the Gulf … I guess you guys could use some rain… but hope it’s only a Tstorm when and if it hits.

    • Thanks, Merrill. I see them in trees quite frequently. They fly like a chicken does, just short sprints then they climb the trees that way. The one on the cover of my book, is about 35 feet off the ground in the top of a dead tree.

      I don’t think we are expecting any rain soon, but it sure would be nice. We are about 500 miles away from the gulf. Texas is a huge state. :-)

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