Persistence Pays Off


I know how difficult it can be to photograph roadrunners – I’ve tried for years – but I’m always not ready when they cross the road in front of my car! Seriously – when I have my camera/long lens in the passenger seat, ready, I never see one. But put the camera away, and I cross paths with about 2-3 a day when driving around the desert. Thankfully, this year, I was on foot with my Tamron 150-600mm lens, ‘stalking’ cactus wren building a nest, when I heard the call – no not that call – but the call of the male roadrunner. It was behind me, and I slowly and carefully backtracked to the dirt road to try and spot it. And there is was, running away from me, again – but it would stop and look back, and I played the game – walking when it walked, stopping when it stopped, and each time gaining a little on the space between us. Slowly, it felt I was no longer a threat, and it started to come back towards me, ironically, and then hopped up on this rock. It bowed it’s head in a courtship gesture, cooing to it’s partner hiding somewhere in the bushes. The plan was to offer her the gift of this lizard. But in the few moments it perched on the rock, I managed a series of images and I was so grateful! The whole process took about 40 minutes, but patience paid off, as it usually can, in capturing this moment.

Thanks for visiting, 


This entry was posted in Brenda Tharp's Photo Blog, nature photography, USA, wildlife photography and tagged , , , .


  1. David Peterson April 7, 2017 at 2:56 pm #

    There is one that hangs out near the visitor center at Sabino Canyon R7ecreation. Area. We see it frequently.

    • Brenda Tharp April 10, 2017 at 11:13 am #

      Thanks for that info, David! Good to know that it’s a regular, for when I get down there again.

  2. Jonathan Langsner April 7, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

    Glad you had your Tamron with you. You can never catch them with the ACME brand!

    • Brenda Tharp April 10, 2017 at 11:16 am #

      Point taken, Jonathan – yes, any lens would do, but I do promote that lens, because I love it. I promote only things that I love and use, and not very often. So I hope you’ll forgive the ‘sales’ pitch here! I had to buy mine, I’m not supported by Tamron nor B&H…

      • Jonathan Langsner April 10, 2017 at 1:04 pm #

        My bad for an unsuccessful attempt at humour. In the cartoons, Wily Coyote always attempted to catch the Roadrunner using gadgets made by the Acme Corporation. He never succeeded. That is what I had in mind and all that I had in mind with my ACME comment that you never would have “caught” your road runner with an ACME brand lens. I had no thought of criticizing your reference to a specific photo brand. I just thought you would be amused by the Roadrunner cartoon reference. Sorry for the unclear messaging. If you feel that a certain tool, be it a lens or software, can make a photographer’s life easier, by all means, continue to mention it.
        Best wishes,

        • Brenda Tharp April 11, 2017 at 8:41 am #

          oh my gosh I completely forgot about that cartoon – you’re right it was ACME products! Too funny – guess I am too serious lately, have to ‘chill out’ so I don’t miss funny things like this. And I remember now your sense of humor, so I should have known better!! 🙂