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Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher
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: 2008-08-24
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-10-19 8:46
Viewed: 4689
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This photo is taken at Lake Zway, the last day of my holiday in Ethiopia. Lake Zway is one of the freshwater Rift Valley lakes, 96 km south of Addis Abeba.

The Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) is a kingfisher in the near passerine bird family Cerylidae, the water kingfishers. It is the only member of the genus Ceryle.
It is common throughout sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia from Turkey to India to China. It is resident, and most birds do not migrate, other than seasonal movements.

The Pied Kingfisher is estimated to be the world's third commonest kingfisher, and is a noisy bird, unmissable within its range.
It is mainly a specialist fish-eater, although it will take crustaceans and large aquatic insects. It usually hunts by hovering stationarily over the water and dives down bill first directly below to catch fish.
It has evolved two unique strategies, shared by no other kingfishers. The Pied Kingfisher can hunt in both salt and freshwater. It can also deal with prey without returning to a perch, and can, for example, catch a second fish, or eat small prey in flight. These adaptations mean that this kingfisher can hunt over the sea or in estuaries that lack the perches required by other kingfishers.

This approachable largish (25cm) bird is unmistakable, with its exclusively black-and-white plumage. Unlike some kingfishers, it is quite gregarious, and forms large roosts at night. It can be easily tamed.

Its nest is a hole in a bank, on its own or in a colony, where it lays 3-6 white eggs. The pied kingfisher sometimes reproduces co-operatively, with young non-breeding birds assisting the breeding pair. As with all kingfishers, the nest of a Pied soon becomes unsanitary.

This species was initially believed to be descended from an ancestral American green kingfisher which crossed the Atlantic Ocean about 1 million years ago (Fry & Fry, 2000). However, more recently, Moyle (2006) considered it more likely that the Pied Kingfisher and the American green kingfishers are derived from an Old World species, with the Pied Kingfisher or its ancestor losing the metallic coloration afterwards.

nglen, ellis49, Alex99, Argus, Dis. Ac., crs, jaycee, Adanac, albert, boreocypriensis, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-10-19 8:49]

Hi Peter. A good pov in this picture of the Kingfisher . So we can see all of the body with good detail . It has some nice marking which you show well. Interesting notes too. Very different in colour to the one we have in England. well done TFS.

Hi Peter,
this was a beautiful kingfisher almost in B/W, different from our more colorful one.
Well composed with fine details. Only nit is the green leafs
in the BG, but that's nature.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-10-19 9:53]

Hi Peters.
Amazing almost white and black shot of a beautiful bird. Exposure of the image and reproduction of the bird feathers are ultimate. DOF and sharpness of all image is great too. Well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-10-19 9:59]

Hello Peter,
A great capture of the Pied Kingfisher taken from a fine POV with good sharpness, light management and composition. A fine shot of this species and thanks for sharing it.
Best wishes,

Hallo Peter,

Goed van scherpte en mooie kijk hoek.
Jammer dat de achtergrond zo wit is.


  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-10-19 12:11]

Hello Peter,

You have made an interesting photo of this bird showing it sharply on a white background. Due to the good POV you got fine eye contact with the bird.

Thank you for sharing,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-10-19 15:39]

Hi Peter,

This black and white Pied Kingfisher is marvelous. A wonderful pose showing him off very well. Beautiful plummage, face with the crest, and wings with lovely intricate patterns. I love the composition with the touch of the green leaves.


Hello Peter

A lovely capture of this pied kingfisher.
The plumage detail shows well.
Very good focus and sharpness.
The close POV is well done.
Great eye contact.


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-10-19 18:47]

Hello Peter,
Great image of this splendid fellow, nice composition and pose. Thank you for sharing Peter.

An incredible moment you captured. Great sharpness and clear details.
Best wishes,

Ciao Peter,
splendida cattura, eccellenti POV e composizione con questo stupendo BG quasi bianco che esalta il contrasto e gli aspetti grafici del piumaggio, ottima nitidezza.

Hi Peter

You managed to make the kingfisher stand out very sharply on a very plae grey background; not an easy exposure.
Excellent sharpness and POV.


Hello Peter,
Very good results with this tricky exposure, this nice bird comes out very sharp
Well done

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-10-20 10:32]

Hello Peter! That's another fine captureof that Kingfisher, great sharpness and a perfect pose, well done!


Amazing almost white and black shot of a beautiful bird.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-10-20 15:17]

Hi Pet,another wonderful and unknown specie,as your last i like a lot the POV and your class to manage the time of exposure,excellent work,thanks for share,LUCIANO

Hi Peter,
Excellent capture of this Pied Kingfisher. Great POV, pose and composition, sharp details, good catch-light on eye.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-10-20 18:27]

Hi Peter,
Wonderful shot of This great looking Pied Kingfisher in a fine pose and expression on its eye. Very neat and sharp image with clear details on its plumage. Great handling of available lighting and I like your POV to portray it. Very nicely composed.

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-10-21 6:31]

Hi Peter
very good image
well done.

Hi Peter, what a wonderful kingfisher species, black & white, which i've ever seen before. Thought there was a bir noisy perfectly taken shot with nice composition.
Happy Easter MF!

Hello Peter

Excellent close-up shot of the Pied Kingfisher,
with fine POV, great focus, sharpness, and details
of its plumage, TFS


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