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Magpie shrike

Magpie shrike
Photo Information
Copyright: Annick Vanderschelden (vanderschelden) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2553 W: 74 N: 7464] (30441)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-10-14
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon 400mm 2.8 IS
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger National Park
Theme(s): Birds of South Africa 1, Kruger National Park 1, Birds of Southern Africa II, Vanderschelden's Africa [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-11-25 4:27
Viewed: 5470
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 60
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Day 11 (11/20).
Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Probably taken next to the H1-7 road on my way to Punda Maria.
Warm weather conditions.
These shrikes are surfing on the savanna wind while perched on a tiny branch. A short shutter speed is a necessity. Here it was possible to take several images and only a few had the catch light in the eye; in only one of the latter, it turned its head to the right; the image I uploaded.

Photographed through open window car.
Post processing : cloned out a few distracting branches in the corner.
Otherwise: usual PP workflow..

A shrike is a passerine bird of the family Laniidae which is known for its habit of catching insects, small birds or mammals and impaling their bodies on thorns. This helps them to tear the flesh into smaller, more conveniently-sized fragments, and serves as a "larder" so that the shrike can return to the uneaten portions at a later time. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey, reflecting its predatory nature.

Most shrike species occur in Eurasia and Africa, but two breed in North America. There are no members of this family in South America or Australia.

Some shrikes are also known as "butcher birds" because of their habit of keeping corpses. Australasian butcherbirds are not shrikes, although they occupy a similar ecological niche. Several African species are known as fiscals, derived from the Afrikaans term for the hangman, fiskaal.

The Magpie Shrike (Urolestes melanoleucus) is a species of bird in the Laniidae family. It is monotypic within the genus Urolestes. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its natural habitats are dry savanna, moist savanna, and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.(wiki)

Camera Model Name
Canon EOS-1D Mark III
Shooting Date/Time
14/10/2007 08:09:20
Tv(Shutter Speed)
Av(Aperture Value)
Metering Modes
Evaluative metering
Exposure Compensation
ISO Speed
EF400mm f/2.8L IS USM +1.4x
Focal Length
560,0 mm
Image size
3888 x 2592
Image Quality
White Balance
AF mode
One-Shot AF
Picture Style

Argus, cataclysta, horia, MMM, dejo, Kathleen, SelenE, fiyo, undoredo, marhowie, uleko, smitha has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To claudine: Hello Claudine,vanderschelden 1 11-30 03:08
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-11-25 4:32]

Hello annick,
Beautiful technically excllent capture of a Magpie Shrike. Great composition against an OOF BG of sky and scrub and fantastic lighting.
Thanks for sharing another marvel from Kruger!

  • Great 
  • sela Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 47 W: 0 N: 39] (738)
  • [2007-11-25 4:56]

Perfect work.Excellently shown.
Regards Rose

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-11-25 5:08]

Hello Annick,
I can see why it's called a Magpie Shrike!
Fabulous photo of this impressive bird.
+++ The diagonal composition is top-class.
Excellent lighting and colours.
The simple BG is perfect and you've blurred it very well.
--- Nothing :)
Well done,

Hi Annick, superb bird in great pose with splendid colors, great details and excellent sharpness, lovely blurry BG, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-11-25 5:54]

Hallo Annick,
Vandaag ook nog foto-buren.
Super foto van deze Eksterklauwier. Fantastische diepte in de foto. Erg goede scherpte, mooie natuurlijke kleuren en compositie. En toch nog het lichtje in het oog.

very well framed, in focus and nice DOF effect, good light and colours, fine job


Great job,
LOve the BG,
The bird is crisp and clear,
It has a great posture and your captured it all well,


Hi Annick
Simple in composition and perfect in every detail. Great POV and composition. I like colors and great OOF blue/brown background.
Best wishes

wow, great-perfect pic, bravo, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-11-25 11:33]

Hi Annick

Another splendid shot from you my friend!
You did great to wait for this terrific pose and especialy for it turning its head - that small catchlight is a great bonus if you ask me!
Also, the long tail (beautiful as it is) is well emphasized by the bokeh in the two toned BG.
Composition-wise, this is an outstanding image and you did very good in cloning the branches you mention about - this way it's simpler, more aestetic...just right! :)

Bravo and TFS

Hi Annick,

Another stunning shot and a really interesting looking bird. You have aamazing kit and you use it amazingly well.

Kind regards,


  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2007-11-25 14:26]

Hello Annick
Excelelnt presentation.Good POV and sharp image .I like the pose of your subject.Also nice BG and catch light in the eye.
TFS Michel

Beautiful shot, would love to train my camera on one of these birds.


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-11-25 19:15]

Hello Annick

This bird appears to be posing for you.The composition is lovely.
The lighting is well done,and the colours are rich and well saturated.
Your usual spot on focus,the plumage detail is excellent.
Nicely done.


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-11-25 19:36]

A beautiful bird shown to its best advantage, Annick.
I love the POV, showing the whole long gorgeous tail,
and the turned head.
Excellent details and lovely BG.
TFS. : )

Hi Annick.
Wonderful image, wow. Superb exposure, colour, sharpness and detail. Great pose for you with the head turned and wow, what a beaut long tail they have. Awesome image,

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-11-25 21:58]

Hi Annick,
Just marking this wonderful post from you and will come back with a proper critique in a while.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2007-11-25 23:02]

Hi Annick

Great shot - excellent POV with wonderful detail.



  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-11-25 23:51]

Hi Annick,
Beautiful bird with a great looking tail. Light, color tones, background, POV and composition are very nice. TFS
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2007-11-26 1:32]

Hello Annick,
Great shot, very good POV and pose. Sharpness,details and colors are excellent.TFS..

  • Great 
  • dejo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 344 W: 51 N: 520] (2242)
  • [2007-11-26 2:44]

Hello Annick,
Very nice capture of this interesting looking bird!
Nice pose and composition
Regards, Dejan

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2007-11-26 5:30]

Another simple but great composition. Wonderful shot! Nice color and light, very good background.

Hello Annick,
This time you present here very beautiful and impressive shot of this charming friend, Magpie shrike.
This is technically perfect shot with very nice diagonal composition. Also, beautiful and suitable light and colours here.
Well presented!!
Thanks for sharing this marvel shot. :-)
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-11-26 6:52]

Hi Annick, I am very pleased to see this shot of of a 'Magpie Shrike'. I have not seen this bird before and, when first viewing it, I thought is was a Crow and a variation of our common Magpie. The black and white plumage is similar. The fact that they hunt both insects and mammels reminded me of our nearly extinct Shrike. Tis a sad story. You did manage a good exposure on this handsome bird, I very much like the pov and compositon showing that long and wonderful tail, One can see the hooked beak when looking closely. You have captured it in all its fineary, beautiful bird and great composition.

Hi Annick,
Really like the way you've composed this, and the Bg makes it very nice overall.
Excellent exposure, detail, sharpness, DOF..everything looks fine :)

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-11-28 1:05]

Hello Annick,
Excellent and well-timed shot of the Magpie Shrike. It is a beautfiul bird and you couldn't have caught it in a more perfect pose. Great focus and sharp details. It looks gorgeous against the beautiful background.
Many thanks, Ulla

  • Great 
  • lizzie Gold Star Critiquer [C: 207 W: 0 N: 605] (2855)
  • [2007-11-28 12:30]


Very nice composition and I love the background, the brown mixing with the blue sky makes a beautiful effect. Very sharp image, excellent details. Congratulations!


  • Great 
  • smitha Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 348 W: 73 N: 1165] (4409)
  • [2007-11-28 21:18]

Hello Annick,
Excellent shot. I am glad that it decided to turn its head and give you a good pose and a catch light in its eye.Good clarity and details . The background looks lovely.Beautiful composition. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-11-29 10:40]

Hello Annick, beautiful bird ! Your picture is a fine one, very zen composition, great pose of the bird, very sharp and you've done a great exposure !


Hey Annick,

This is a sophisticated capture, excellent, with this great contrast between black and white, composition and inspiring background. I like its tail a lot and the way you made it fits in the frame!

I have just bought the 40-D today, no Mark 1-2-3 were available. :)))

Let see what the 40-D can do and then I might adjust ;) Feeling like a kid anyway; I have a new toy!!!!  Greetings,

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