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Over the years I have made hundreds of images of Greater Roadrunners. I find these big cousins of cuckoos to be endearing, with their seemingly bizarre mannerisms. Other, smaller species don’t find them to be cute, however. These opportunistic predators can be fierce. They’ll eat anything from dragonflies to rattlesnakes, whatever they can find, catch, and kill. The other morning I watched one of these fascinating birds go through a morning ritual that I’ve seen other roadrunners perform on many occasions. It found a place in bright sunlight and turned its back to the sun.
After a moment or two it spread out its wings, exposing the downy feathers on its back that lie underneath the wings.
The roadrunner stood in that position for several minutes, allowing the sun to warm its back. It was obviously enjoying itself.
Mornings can be chilly here this time of year and a lot of species like to bask in the early sun in order to burn off the chill. That said, I’ve never seen any species make such an art out of warming up as does the Greater Roadrunner.
Images made with a Canon 5Diii, 400 DO, aperture preferred setting. All photos shot at ISO 500, f6.3. The first and third images @ 1/5000. The second image @ 1/3200.