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Photo Information
Copyright: Carl Landsberg (Jakkals) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 187 W: 3 N: 587] (2813)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-08-24
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 40D, Canon EF 300 f/4L IS USM
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-11-05 13:25
Viewed: 5616
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This was taken at the Charl Marais Dam in Etosha National Park at about 15:30. An Ostridge to me, is one of the most difficult birds to focus upon due to their small head, long neck and long legs. I tried my best and hope you enjoy the sweat and heat I had to cope with. When scrutinizing this photo, also consider the heat waves on the exposure. About the note, I agree it might be a bit long, but be glad that I did not post the full 16 pages.
Enjoy and comments are welcome.

The Ostrich is one or two species of large flightless birds native to Africa, the only living member(s) of the genus Struthio. Some analyses indicate that the Somali Ostrich may be better considered a full species apart from the Common Ostrich, but most taxonomists consider it to be a subspecies.

Ostriches share the order Struthioniformes with the kiwis, emus, and other ratites. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs and the ability to run at maximum speeds of about 97.5 kilometres per hour (60.6 mph), the top land speed of any bird.[3][4] The Ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest egg of any living bird (extinct elephant birds of Madagascar and the giant moa of New Zealand did lay larger eggs).

The diet of Ostriches mainly consists of plant matter, though it also eats invertebrates. It lives in nomadic groups which contain between five and fifty birds. When threatened, the Ostrich will either hide itself by lying flat against the ground, or will run away. If cornered, it can attack with a kick from its powerful legs. Mating patterns differ by geographical region, but territorial males fight for a harem of two to seven females. These fights usually last just minutes, but they can easily cause death through slamming their heads into opponents.

The Ostrich is farmed around the world, particularly for its feathers, which are decorative and are also used as feather dusters. Its skin is used for leather products and its meat marketed commercially.
Ostriches usually weigh from 63 to 130 kilograms (140–290 lb), with exceptional male Ostriches weighing up to 156.8 kilograms (346 lb). The feathers of adult males are mostly black, with white primaries and a white tail. However, the tail of one subspecies is buff. Females and young males are greyish-brown and white. The head and neck of both male and female Ostriches is nearly bare, with a thin layer of down. The skin of the females neck and thighs is pinkish gray, while the male's is blue-gray, gray or pink dependent on subspecies.
The long neck and legs keep their head 1.8 to 2.75 metres (6 to 9 ft) above the ground, and their eyes are said to be the largest of any land vertebrate – 50 millimetres (2.0 in) in diameter; they can therefore perceive predators at a great distance. The eyes are shaded from sun light falling from above.
Their skin varies in colour depending on the sub-species. The strong legs of the Ostrich are unfeathered and show bare skin, with the tarsus (the lowest upright part of the leg) being covered in scales – red in the male, black in the female. The bird has just two toes on each foot (most birds have four), with the nail on the larger, inner toe resembling a hoof. The outer toe has no nail. The reduced number of toes is an adaptation that appears to aid in running. Ostriches can run at over 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph) for up to 30 minutes. The wings reach a span of about 2 metres (7 ft) and are used in mating displays and to shade chicks. The feathers lack the tiny hooks that lock together the smooth external feathers of flying birds, and so are soft and fluffy and serve as insulation. They have 50-60 tail feathers, and their wings have 16 primary, four alular and 20-23 secondary feathers The Ostrich's sternum is flat, lacking the keel to which wing muscles attach in flying birds. The beak is flat and broad, with a rounded tip. Like all ratites, the Ostrich has no crop, and it also lacks a gallbladder. They have three stomachs, and the caecum is 71 centimetres (28 in) long. Unlike all other living birds, the Ostrich secretes urine separately from faeces. Contrary to all other birds who store the urine and faeces combined in the coprodeum, they store the faeces in the terminal rectum.[18] They also have unique pubic bones that are fused to hold their gut. Unlike most birds the males have a copulatory organ, which is retractable and 8 inches (20 cm) long. Their palate differs from other ratites in that the sphenoid and palatal bones are unconnected.
At sexual maturity (two to four years), male Ostriches can be from 1.8 to 2.8 metres (5 ft 11 in to 9 ft 2 in) in height, while female Ostriches range from 1.7 to 2 metres (5 ft 7 in to 6 ft 7 in). During the first year of life, chicks grow about 25 centimetres (10 in) per month. At one year of age, Ostriches weigh around 45 kilograms (100 lb). Their lifespan is up to 40 or 45 years.
A female ostrich can determine her own eggs amongst others in a communal nest.

The Ostrich was originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th-century work, Systema Naturae under its current binomial name. Its scientific name is derived from Latin, struthio meaning "Ostrich" and camelus meaning "camel", alluding to its dry habitat.
The Ostrich belongs to the ratite order Struthioniformes. Other members include rheas, emus, cassowaries, moa, kiwi and the largest bird ever, the now-extinct Elephant Bird (Aepyornis). However, the classification of the ratites as a single order has always been questioned, with the alternative classification restricting the Struthioniformes to the Ostrich lineage and elevating the other groups. Presently, molecular evidence is equivocal[citation needed] while paleobiogeographical and paleontological considerations are slightly in favor of the multi-order arrangement.

Five subspecies are recognized:
• 'Common Ostrich (S. struthio) complex':
o S. c. australis, Southern Ostrich, southern Africa. It is found south of the Zambezi and Cunene rivers. It was once farmed for its feathers in the Little Karoo area of Cape Province.
o S. c. camelus, North African Ostrich, or Red-necked Ostrich, North Africa. Historically it was the most widespread subspecies, ranging from Ethiopia and Sudan in the east throughout the Sahel to Senegal and Mauritania in the west, and north to Egypt and southern Morocco, respectively. It has now disappeared from large parts of this range, and it only remains in 6 of the 18 countries where it originally occurred, leading some to consider it Critically Endangered. It is the largest subspecies, at 2.74 metres (9.0 ft) in height and up to 154 kilograms (340 lb) in weight. The neck is pinkish-red, the plumage of males is black and white, and the plumage of females is grey.
o S. c. massaicus, Masai Ostrich, East Africa. It has some small feathers on its head, and its neck and thighs are pink. During the mating season, the male's neck and thighs become brighter. Their range is essentially limited to southern Kenya and eastern Tanzania and Ethiopia and parts of Southern Somalia.
o S. c. syriacus, Arabian Ostrich or Middle Eastern Ostrich, Middle East. Was formerly very common in the Arabian Peninsula, Syria, and Iraq; it became extinct around 1966.
• S. c. molybdophanes, Somali Ostrich, southern Ethiopia, northeastern Kenya, and Somalia. The neck and thighs are grey-blue, and during the mating season, the male's neck and thighs become brighter and bluer. The females are more brown than those of other subspecies. It generally lives in pairs or alone, rather than in flocks. Its range overlaps with S. c. massaicus in northeastern Kenya.
Some analyses indicate that the Somali Ostrich may be better considered a full species, but there is no consensus among experts about this. The Tree of Life Project and IOC recognize it as a different species, but The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International do not. As of 2010 BirdLife International is reviewing the proposed split. Mitochondrial DNA haplotype comparisons suggest that it diverged from the other Ostriches not quite four mya due to formation of the Great Rift Valley. Hybridization with the subspecies that evolved southwestwards of its range, S. c. massaicus, has apparently been prevented from occurring on a significant scale by ecological separation, the Somali Ostrich preferring bushland where it browses middle-height vegetation for food while the Masai Ostrich is, like the other subspecies, a grazing bird of the open savanna and miombo habitat.
The population from Río de Oro was once separated as Struthio camelus spatzi because its eggshell pores were shaped like a teardrop and not round. However, as there is considerable variation of this character and there were no other differences between these birds and adjacent populations of S. c. camelus, the separation is no longer considered valid. This population disappeared in the latter half of the 20th century. There were 19th century reports of the existence of small Ostriches in North Africa; these are referred to as Levaillant's Ostrich (Struthio bidactylus) but remain a hypothetical form not supported by material evidence.

The earliest fossil of Ostrich-like birds is the Palaeotis living near the Asiatic steppes, from the Middle Eocene, a middle-sized flightless bird that was originally believed to be a bustard. Apart from this enigmatic bird, the fossil record of the Ostriches continues with several species of the modern genus Struthio which are known from the Early Miocene onwards. While the relationship of the African species is comparatively straightforward, a large number of Asian species of Ostrich have been described from fragmentary remains, and their interrelationships and how they relate to the African Ostriches is confusing. In China, Ostriches are known to have become extinct only around or even after the end of the last ice age; images of Ostriches have been found there on prehistoric pottery and petroglyphs. There are also records of Ostriches being sighted on islands of the Indian Ocean and when discovered on the island of Madagascar the sailors of the 18th century referred to them as Sea Ostriches, although this has never been confirmed.
Several of these fossil forms are ichnotaxa (that is, classified according to the organism's footprints or other trace rather than its body) and their association with those described from distinctive bones is contentious and in need of revision pending more good material.

maaciejka, Mamagolo2, Silvio2006, buscape, zetu, Pitoncle, pegos, Alex99, bungbing, uleko, Hormon_Manyer, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Hormon_Manyer: OstridgeJakkals 1 11-12 09:27
To PeterZ: NederlandsJakkals 1 11-06 09:02
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Carl,
very nice photo of this intriguing bird. AMazing colours and great point of view.
Thanks for sharing,

Hi Boet,
Dit is nou regtig 'n fantastiese foto. Die hitte golwe in die agtergrond maak die foto net mooier en wys presies hoe warm jy moes gekry het. Die kleure is fantasties. Tien uit tien vir jou. Goeie notas. Geniet julle Sondag.

hello Carl
Great shot who not so many see on TN
super sharpness and beautiful colours
thanks greeting lou

Ciao Carl, beautiful Ostrich in nice pose, fine details, excellent sharpness, splendid light and colors, very well done my friend, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio

Hello Carl,
fine capture of this Ostridge with a lovely pose and good sharpness. I especially like the good management of the harsh light and the beautiful colours.
Best wishes,

WOW!! amazing photo Carl! Simply amazing.

Hello Carl,
A great image in outstanding definition, colours and composition. Very good DOF renedering the whole bird in sharp focus against the OOF background and very good exposure management in the harsh light. Well done my friend. Best wishes for a restful Sunday.

PS: The young of these robust desert birds are very sensitive to sudden changes in climate. Where farmed commercially as in our area, the chicks have to be brought under a roof very quickly when it gets cold and rainy.

amazing legs of this male ostrich, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2011-11-06 1:53]

superb! all is perfect! thanks for sharing

Hallo Carl,
Prachtige foto genomen vanuit een perfect laag standpunt en erg mooi met die kop van de struisvogel zo laag boven de grond. Uitstekende scherpte en een goede diepte in de foto.
Ik hoop dat je dit nederlands begrijpt. Ik vind afrikaans een prachtige taal.

Bonjour Carl,
La posture du sujet n'est pas à son avantage avait il est tout de même relativement bien valorisé.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Very nice composition of this male Ostrich with difficult conditions you managed well,

Well Done

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2011-11-06 8:27]

Hello Carl,
great capture of this beauty from a fantastic POV! Excellent sharpness, splendid lightness and natural colours.
Very well done!

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-11-06 9:25]

Hi Carl.
You have pictured this amazing bird superbly at a very difficult light conditions. Sunlight is strong enough, bird has contrast colouration. Exposure of the image is very good and features of the bird are reproduced perfectly. It is clear pose of the animal is wonderful. I also like pleasant smooth BG. Great job. My best regards.

Hi Carl,

Fantastic shot of this huge bird with good details & sharpness.
I like the pose. Taken from a good POV & light. Very well done & TFS.

Hello Carl,
Indeed a perfect focus and we can see excellent details in natural colours. Great POV and pose of the bird. Well done!

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2011-11-06 11:38]

Bonjour Carl, superbe cette autruche qui c'est fait peindre les jambes en rouge....on a presque envie de toucher à son plumage tellement il semble réel. Very well done, congratulations, best regards, Didier.

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2011-11-06 16:04]

Olá Carl,
Bela foto com cores atraentes e nitidez muito boa,composição muito boa, belo trabalho parabéns por esta bela foto.

nice photo performance with strong light, the pose of the bird create a very good compo!
regards Nasos

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2011-11-07 10:58]

Hi Carl,
very nice photo of this intriguing bird.Composition and light are very good.
Nice colours good composition and sharpness details.
Very useful and informative notes.
Regards Jiri.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-11-07 11:49]

Hello Carl.
Beautiful capture of this Ostrich, wonderful POV and the Colours are so rich. Very well composed, thank you for sharing.Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • ana974 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 477 W: 48 N: 968] (4857)
  • [2011-11-07 13:43]

Wow!!! This really a fantastic shot!Amazing POV , composition,sharpness,BG and nice control of this extremely bright light.
Oh yes, dear Carl! Your pic here is fabulous! Congrats!!!
Regards from,

PS: thanks for visiting my gallery! I appreciated it! I´m looking foward to see your Anthurium! Go on!!!

Hello Carl,
A very beautiful picture of the Ostrich, excellent sharpness details, very well exposure, lovely eye-contact and beautiful natural colours, very well captured,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice afternoon,
Best Regards,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2011-11-11 9:27]

Hello Carl,
This is a superb captue of an Ostrich that you obviously worked hard to get!! I love its pose and the fine eye contact. All sharply in focus too showing wonderful details and beautiful colours.
Many thanks and best regards, Ulla

Hi Carl,
You must be right in the issue how difficult to focus on this bird is... but you solved the problem very well. No sharpness problem at all, excellent exposure, many details, no over- nor underexposure + absolutely perfect and eye-pleasing composition. Bravo. Masterful job, one of the best photos I've ever seen about this species so far.
Best regards, László

Hello Carl

I think for me it is the first time i am seeing
a photo of a Ostridge on TN or i don't remember,
great close-up shot with a fine POV and framing,
great focus sharpness and details, with its pose
he is adding dynamism to the image, TFS


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