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Rufous-naped Lark

Rufous-naped Lark
Photo Information
Copyright: Jan Hendrik van Rooyen (janhendrik) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 363 W: 58 N: 667] (2392)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-01-27
Categories: Birds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Open Up ...Part I [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-06-05 16:02
Viewed: 4416
Points: 38
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Rufous-naped Lark (Mirafra africana)

I took this picture very early one morning at Rietvlei nature reserve. I was quite nervous and flew off after just a couple of pictures. I hope you like it.
A reddish-brown bird of the open veld. Size 19cm - Larger than a Cape Sparrow, but smaller than a laughing dove. Afrikaans: Rooneklewerik

The bill is short strong and conical - although not as short as that of the seed-eaters. It is blackish-brown and pinkish at the base, the feet and legs are pinkish brown.

The Rufous-naped Lark is one of many plain coloured birds of the open veldt. This species has a heavy build, and shortish legs. The upperparts are brown, with black feather centres giving a streaked effect. The throat is off-white and the feathers on the crown and nape are more rufous than those lower down. It often shows a slight pointed crest. The underparts are buffy-brown, with dark blackish streaking on the breast.

This species is usually seen sitting on a post or other prominent perch in open grassland or grassland with scattered trees. Males spend a great deal of time calling. Although it spends most of the time on the ground, one doesn't see it there nearly as often as a calling post. It is found across the grasslands of most of the country, except for the karoo, western Cape and dry Kalahari regions.

It eats seeds, insects and spiders.

The call is a creaky, whistled tree-tree-loo, uttered repeatedly from a fence post, bush or other prominent perch. The call sounds a bit like a squeaky gate being opened.

The Rufous-naped Lark breeds mainly in the summer months. The nest is a shallow cup of grass and rootlets, with a wholly or partly closed dome, and a side entrance. The nest is set into the ground at the base of a grass tuft, which serves to hide the nest.
Source: Rufous-naped Lark


                Camera: Canon 20D
           Camera mode: Aperture priority
           Time of day: 06H03
                  Date: 27 January 2007
                  Lens: Canon 100-400mm IS USM
          Focal Length: 400mm
         Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec
                F-Stop: F/5.6
               Support: Hand Held
                   ISO: 100
    Original file type: Raw (CR2)

ciccio, marhowie, dew77, sandpiper2, SelenE, Janice, Debz, Proframe, jaycee, uleko, vanderschelden has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • marcin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 138 W: 0 N: 268] (2057)
  • [2007-06-05 16:18]

beautiful image, well done

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-06-05 17:14]

Hola Jan,
un hermoso cantor,
bellos detalles y pov magnífico,
un genial trabajo,

  • Great 
  • reina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 257 W: 1 N: 330] (2032)
  • [2007-06-05 17:59]

Mooie compositie, erg mooie compositie en goede timing. Complimenten Reina

Hi jan,
Wonderful pose you have here.
I think the vertical framing works well..
And together with the warm color & sharp detail, a sure winner :)

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-06-06 2:21]

Hello Jan,
Bueautiful capture of this singing bird.I liked warm lighting,moment you caught,BG,catch light in eyes and composition a lot.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-06-06 4:00]

Hi Jan,
Wonderful shot of this singing lark. Lovely colour tones and immaculate sharp details. I like your POV to portray it and the precise DOF. The BG is superb. Very nicely composed and presented. Kudos.

Good shot here Jan
Good warm tones
Sharp image on a good OOf background
Well composed

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-06-06 5:01]
  • [2]

Hi Jan-Hendrik,
The warm morning light looks beautiful on the bird. Composition, tones, colors and the plain BG is very nice. TFS

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-06-06 6:00]

Beautifully portrayed Jan. I love his singing pose, I can hear him from here. The early morning light is quite unusual, but I like it.

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-06-06 6:46]

Hi Jan, you photos are great I think I have missed a lot of them. This one is particularly fine with magnificent detail on the bird's head. I love the colour temprature, it has an african feel. Great POV and excellent DOF. Light and sharpness very good.

Great shot Jan Hendrik.
Wonderful warm color tones and details.
Excellent composition and lovely soft BG colors.
Perfect work. Thanks for sharing.
Best regards, Harry

  • Great 
  • ciccio Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 221 W: 50 N: 338] (2751)
  • [2007-06-06 11:02]

Una bella estampa del pájaro chillón. Me gusta mucho la nitidez y la luz, aunque lo veo un poco centradillo. Un saludo y TFS.

José Luis.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-06-06 11:12]

Hi Jan,

I love this capture of this singing lark. The pose on the top of the leaves is wonderful. Fantastic soft colors, wonderful details, and a superb bg.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-06-06 11:26]

Hello Jan,
Excellent capture of this singing Lark in beautiful morning light. Very sharp and good colours. I very much like the background too -the colours are wonderful and fitting.
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-06-06 11:47]

Hello Jan Hendrik,
beautiful composition, how lucky you are capturing this bird in front of such an nice BG.... nice neutral colors and not distractions.
Looks fabulous, the colors are wonderful and the sharpness are great.
Lovely details and the singing pose is lovely.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2007-06-06 22:48]

Excellente prise,l'action de l'oiseau le bec grand ouver est superbe et les cou,eurs chaudes sont extra.

Hi Jan Hendrik,
'Een leeuwerik' in Dutch.
Beautiful image for example through the background, beautiful light and sharpness.
Overall well done!

Excellent capture!! Subject is not too interesting to me, but the action and the matching berries make it very interesting!!


I do like the early morning light you captured in this shot. I love the muted colors. The sharpness of the subject against the out of focus background is really nice.

Evelynn : )

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