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Red-billed Firefinch

Red-billed Firefinch
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-30
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Dainty birds 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-10-02 9:01
Viewed: 9715
Points: 70
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Between the rain showers I photographed this beauty.

For the first time I used the Nikon Capture NX 4 program in stead of Photoshop CS.

The Red-billed Firefinch or Senegal Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala) is a very small passerine bird. This estrildid finch is a resident breeding bird in almost all parts of sub-Saharan Africa. It has an estimated global extent of occurrence of 10,000,000 km≤. This species has also been introduced to Egypt, however, it has since become extinct in Egypt.

The Red-billed Firefinch is a small gregarious bird which feeds mainly on grain and other seeds. It frequents open grassland and cultivation. The nest is a large domed grass structure with a side entrance, built low in a bush, wall or thatch into which 3-6 white eggs are laid. The nest of this species is parasitised by the Village Indigobird.

The Red-billed Firefinch is 10cm in length. The adult male has entirely scarlet plumage apart from brown wings. The bill is pink, and there is a yellow eye-ring. Females have uniformly brown upperparts and buff underparts. There is a small red patch in front of each eye, and the bill is pink.

This widespread and abundant species is often found around human habitation, often with other species such as the Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu, and its soft queet-queet call is a familiar African sound. The song is a rising chick-pea-pea-pea.

(Source: Wikipedia)

viv, MMM, uleko, jaycee, maurydv, siggi, techranger, boreocypriensis, eqshannon, Argus, nglen, Silvio2006, ramthakur, horia, jusninasirun, Maite, SelenE, pilonm has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Maite: ThanksPeterZ 1 10-10 12:29
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • eliz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 167 W: 20 N: 271] (1537)
  • [2008-10-02 9:05]

this bird have such fantastic colors and you surprise it in a very photographic position.

Hello Peter,

Absolutely beautiful capture of this Red-Billed Firefinch with magnificent colors & detail. TFS.



  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2008-10-02 9:10]

Hoi Peter,
Wat een geweldig plaatje van deze prachige vink, ik vind het geelomrandeoogje heel apart, heel mooie kleuren en heel veel details niet te vergeten de resten van zijn lunch.
Mooie compositie.

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2008-10-02 9:26]

Hi Peter
Very nice photo, fine colors, excellent sharpness and good background.
Regards Jiri

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-10-02 9:27]

Hi Peter
Excellent presentation.good POV and razor sharp image.Plumage detail are excellent.Colors and OOF BG are outstanding.
TFS Michel

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-10-02 9:31]

Hello Peter,
Excellent close-up of this Firefinch sharply in focus. Excellent details and colours and a fine composition.
Many thanks, Ulla

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-10-02 10:12]

Hi Peter,

This is one of the prettiest finches I have seen. I love the red beak and the yellow eye circle. This bird is perfectly groomed with every feather in place. Colors are beautiful and the details of the face, wings and plummage are superb. Lovely pose, setting, and composition.


Ciao Peter,
splendida cattura di questo bellissimo e colorato fringillide, eccellenti POV e composizione con la bella posa e lo stupendo OOF BG, molto buona la nitidezza e molto bello il particolare dell'occhio, magnifici i colori (uso spesso Nikon Capture NX 2), sei molto bravo e ottieni ottimi risultati anche con lo zoom a 300 mm.

  • Great 
  • mariki Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 838 W: 60 N: 2307] (9477)
  • [2008-10-02 10:47]

Hello Peter,

Very nice presentation of this colourful bird. Very good composition. Focus is good too. Good sharpness and lovely detail, especially around its beak.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-10-02 11:26]

Hello Peter,
greeting. very nice portrait of this very beautiful Red-billed Firefinch. Great coloration, POV and composition. Lighting, details, eye contact very nice. good notes.
Regards Siggi

Gorgeous capture of this beautiful bird. Great detail and color. TFS


Hi Peter

Great shot of this firefinch, a very beautiful species and a new one for me.
Great composition, good sharpness.


Hi My dear friend Peter,
An excellent shot of this beautiful bird with great details, composition, POV and DOF. TFS. Also a special thanks for your kind words to my Good-bye posting!


hello Peter,
excellent capture, superb colors and very beautiful and colorful bird. TFS, best wishes

You know...I think about this coloured bird so well saturated..and apply it to how a person might have felt if he/she had lost a good friend as I did with my Leica... Perhaps red is for anger, but in nature it is for beauty...shows well in a Cardinal in snow:-) Very nice image and thanks much for your kind words!

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-10-02 19:15]

Hello Peter,
Wonderful image of a very beautiful species I have not seen before. The bird is well captured with fantastic details and colors, giving me a great look. Thank you.

Hello Peter

This is beautiful.
Excellent focus and sharpness.The details are wonderful,
Well saturated with rich colours.
The plumage detail is well done.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-10-03 6:47]

Hello Peter,
Great to see such a fine close-up of the Red-billed Firefinch, taken from a great POV with high technical standard. The perch and BG complete a fine image of a species that I have taken a slide of in Gambia, so it is a especially nice to see this.
Thanks for sharing this one,
Have a good weekend,

Hallo Peter,
Dit is pas een roodborstje:-)
Goed dichtbij genomen. Ik vind de kleuren heel verfijnd.
De nattigheid zit nog in je foto, net zoals,een tijdje terug, de mist in de kop van de aap.
Ik weet het niet maar als men moest 'gokken' van welke Afrikaans land ie komt, dan heeft men de neiging om te gaan voor EthiopiŽ. Ook het geval voor de meeste andere foto's van je reis..

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-10-03 11:50]

Hi Peter. You can see where it gets its name from. I should love to see this bird. What amazing colours with fine detail. I like the little yellow ring around the eye. a nice POV/DOF. well done TFS. good notes too.

Have a good weekend.

Hi Peter, great capture of lovely bird with fantastic colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-10-03 15:11]

Hello Peter! What a great bird and a lovely image you've done, so sharp and clear, great light and exposure! Well done again, thanks!


  • Great 
  • GaryT Gold Star Critiquer [C: 102 W: 7 N: 236] (160)
  • [2008-10-03 16:41]

Nice simple composition and great colors. You can't lose on this one. Must be great having such a large variety of truly colorful birds. Gary

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2008-10-03 21:36]

What a cute and colourful bird...TFS!

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-10-03 21:42]

Hello Peter, what a lovely color and what a cute looking bird. Excellent shot and superb focus. I love the lighting and the clarity. Ganesh

Going by your image of this beautiful bird, it looks like Nikon D300 has proved to be a major improvement on its 200D version, Peter.
Nevertheless, it is Peter behind it who makes that great picture with it.
The image is so life-like and colourful!
I too have Nikon editing software but do not use it. Your picture impels me to give it a try.
Thanks and regards.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-10-04 1:29]

Hi Peter

A very beautiful capture of this little beautiful Red-billed Firefinch!
I can clearly see why it is they call it that - the vibrant color of its plumage is indeed amazing and stands out from the thumbnail even to a partially color-blind person like me :)
I really like the excellent close-up level here and the good details that you managed to get. The focus on the bird is good and the exposure is also spot-on.
Thanks to that latter part, all the colors in the scene were very accurately rendered and as a result pop out well. I particularly like that yellow ring around its eye - it stand out so well among all that red.
All-in-all: a superb capture and presentation!

Bravo and TFS

great bird, never saw this one before, TFS Ori

Hello Peter. Excellent shot at this bird. Beautiful perch and captured in fine details and colors. You have framed this shot brilliantly and silenced the background really well. Top drawer image and TFS. Best regards. Jusni

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-10-11 8:52]
  • [+]

What a marvellous picture!!
I love the colors, the magnificent DOF and the beautiful composition.
Congratulations and TFS

P :)

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-10-11 10:59]

Hi Peter,
The plumage of this cute fellow is beautiful- great colors! Especially the yellow ring around the eye looks lovely. Very good details on the plumage, I like the pose you captured and the POV. TFS
Have a great weekend,

Hello Peter,

The colors here are wonderful and magic!!! This green and red are so complimentary! The name of this bird is so well deserved! The only thing maybe is that the beak seems a little bit out of focus.

Great job and TFS!


  • Great 
  • hibou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 217 W: 1 N: 331] (1629)
  • [2008-10-20 16:06]

Hello Peter,
Wonderfull suject and perfect shot, TFS

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2008-12-19 0:09]

beautiful one!
great focus on subject!
nice colors and details.


Hello Peter
Your capture of this Red-billed Firefinch is great and your timing was just right to photograph it at that moment it had the seed in its mouth. This is a lovely close-up, with wonderful colours and details displayed with great clarity. The detail captured around the eye area is excellent and it looks as if a yellow lining was painted around the eye by hand. This is indeed a beauty. Great close-up with great sharpness, displaying colours and detail very well. Thanks for sharing.
Best regards.
I also want to use this oppertunity to thank you for adding me to your list of favourites. It is indeed a great honour to be place amongst great photographers as James Parker, Gert Ellstrom and Alexei Alyokhin. I appreciate your kind gesture.

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