There is an association of wildlife photographers down here, much maligned among my Mexican birder friends for a variety of reasons, which has proposed a rule that governs which photos they will accept: No wildlife photography should contain any human elements. In other words, no fenceposts, buildings, or telephone wires are allowed.
When I had a wonderfully close encounter last week with a Lesser Roadrunner, it made me wonder about this rule. Is a human element still disallowed if it is the road on which a Roadrunner runs?
At any rate, this encounter was certainly worth sharing. So I will. The Lesser Roadrunner is not like the Greater Roadrunner of the southwestern U.S.; it is more likely to spend time in grassy brush than out in the open. Although I had seen these birds several times before, always in this same area, I had certainly never achieved “the” photo one desires for each species. That made it very sweet when I got this one:
Then my road-running friend gave me another one with a lot more sass:
Wanna see my road-running muscles?
Now check out my cool crest!
Finally this bird got tired of those human elements, and, joined by a friend, or lover, headed for some low trees. One gave me my first look at a Roadrunner undertail, proving that Roadrunners are basically just fast, ground-loving Cuckoos:
The other one wanted to make sure I got a good look at its featherless violet face patch…
…and then the stripes on its back.
One last look at the total package, and they were off.
I rarely dedicate an entire post to just one species, so I’ll throw in a few very colorful Tanagers as a bonus.
A pair of male Western Tanagers, colored up for courtship when it arrives up north… Unfortunately for me, they only get this colorful when they are about to leave central Mexico.
A female Hepatic Tanager
And a male Hepatic Tanager, also in his prenuptial finery. This species, however, sticks around to breed. How considerate of it.