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Malachite Kingfisher

Malachite Kingfisher
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: 2007-04-14
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 20D
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Birds of Southern Africa, Birds of Southern Africa II [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-05-05 9:35
Viewed: 4486
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Malachite Kingfisher (Alcedo cristata)

I found this guy very early in the morning at Marievale. It was a young bird, and he was getting in some practise, beating the piece of wood in its mouth into submission against the branch it was sitting on. I hope you like it.

A small Kingfisher with brilliant Malachite-blue colouring and a bright orange-red bill. Size 14-15 cm - smaller than a sparrow. Afrikaans: Kuifkopvisvanger

As with other Kingfishers, the bill is long, straight and dagger like. It is bright red in colour - as are the feet and legs. The eyes are brown.

The Malachite Kingfisher has brilliant metallic blue upperparts. The top of the head is greenish-blue with fine black barring. Below the level of the eye, the face is a orange brown. There is a prominent white elongated patch from the ear to the back of the head. The underparts are orange-brown.

This species is associated with waterside reeds, which provide it with a perch from which to hunt. It is usually seen singly or in pairs on the edges of dams, vleis, wetlands, rivers and streams. They are normally observed sitting motionless on a reed or other perch, about a foot or more above the water. It often bobs it's head upright, in order to judge distance better.

It eats fish, frogs, aquatic insects, crabs and tadpoles, which are caught by plunging into the water.

The call is a thin, high pitched chichichichi.

The Malachite Kingfisher breeds from August to November. The nest is typical of kingfishers, being a tunnel in an earth bank not far from the water.
SOURCE: Malachite Kingfisher


Camera: Canon 20D
Camera mode: Aperture priority
Time of day: 09H23
Date: 14 April 2007
Lens: Canon 100-400mm IS USM
Shutter Speed: 1/640 sec
F-Stop: F/5.6
Focal Length: 400mm
Support: Hand Held
ISO: 100
Original file type: Raw (CR2)

nglen, Pentaxfriend, jaycee, vanderschelden, uleko, Evelynn, lgfoto, aido, deblink, marhowie, manyee, metcher, SkyF, horia 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)
  • [2007-05-05 9:42]

Hi Jan. This is a very good shot of the Kingfisher.Very good colour and sharo detail.nice DOF and compostion. I wondered why it had some wood in its mouth but then i read your notes,
TFS well done.

Hi Jan,

WoW What a shot
SUPERB compo, sharpness, details, colours, POV and BG
i like the drops on his/her feathers

TFS Thijs

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-05-05 10:24]

Hi Jan,

This is fantastic! The bird is beautiful - his plummage is magnificent and you couldn't have shown him off better. And what a catch with the wood in his beak! Wonderful colors and sharp details, beautiful comp and bg. I love it!


Hi Jan Hendrik,
Another good shot...
I like the decisive moment.
Well done

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-05-05 10:38]

Hello Jan Hendrik,
Beautiful shot of this Kingfisher. Very sharp, good colours and BG. On this photo it seems to be a big bird, but I know it's indeed a very small-one.

Hi Jan,
Beautiful picture of this gorgeous Kingfisher. The birds colouring is similar to the ones here in the UK.
Well captured and sharp. Good definition.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-05-05 10:50]

Hello Jan,
Lovely close shot of this Kingfisher in a nice pose with his beak full of wood! I wonder if this is some sort of mating behaviour. Great sharpness and lovely colours.
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2007-05-05 10:51]

Bel instantané, il est vrai qu'il lui faudra encore un peu d'expérience pour se nourrir.
Bonne journée.

I bet you are proud of this capture. It is really nice. I like the simplicity of the composition, the placement of the subject with its little treasure in its beak, and the immediacy of the shot... water drops etc. All technical aspects look good to me.

Evelynn : )

Hi Jan,
Great portrait shot of this malachite kingfisher, why they call it that I dont know, as malachite is more of a range of greenish hues which can be produced by aging copper.

The name's origin: Malachite derives its name from Greek word malakos - soft. According to another theory the word malachite comes from Greek malhe, which means grass.

Click on below paragraph for source.

Description: Cu2CO3(OH)2 , Malachite is a semi-precious stone and also a valuable copper ore, hydrous copper carbonate. It is responsible for the green color of tarnished copper and bronze. Because of its distinctive bright green color and its presence in the weathered.

Either way fantastic picture.
Paul :)

Hi Jan Hendrik,
that shot is excellent, a wonderful bird with brilliant colours, very well done, so sharp, so beautiful
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2007-05-05 14:58]

Hallo Jan Hendrik , Eem beeldschone foto prachtige scherpte kleuren details en compositie heel mooi ,Fijn Weekend ,Teunie .

  • Great 
  • BG07 Silver Star Critiquer [C: 14 W: 0 N: 1] (48)
  • [2007-05-05 16:06]

Една от двете най-добри снимки на птици за близо 24 часа.

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2007-05-05 16:32]

Hi Jan ,

A great capture of this small kingfisher,you must have been close for a portrait like this,great colors and details,well done and tfs


  • Great 
  • lgfoto Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 194 W: 13 N: 279] (1536)
  • [2007-05-05 17:10]

Wonderful DOF Jan,great visible details of structures, very good composition and colours.TFS

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2007-05-05 18:31]

Hello Jan Hendrik,
Lovely image of this Kingfisher. Good exposure and detail, although the white patch on his nect looks OE. Great colours. Good use of DOF too and good background. Just from an aesthetic point of view I might have cloned out the dark patch at the top of the image, a minor point though. A nice and clean composition, great work.

Hello Jan,
A fabulous image of this wonderful Kingfisher. When I lived on a property we used to have a pair of Kingfisher that would come back each year to breed (different to yours). They were glorious and we always looked forward to their arrival. The quality of your image is just superb, well done.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-05-05 21:24]

Hi Jan, he's a good catch - I haven't managed to get a good shot of any of them yet!
It's a very good close-up photo, the colours and feathers look really good,

Hi Jan,
Wow color, wonderful POV & pose. Sharp & detailed, excellent DOF. I might've removed that small ridge at the top in that great BG, but that's nit-pickin' :)
Very well done.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-05-06 2:02]

Wow, Jan Hendrik.
That is certainly a great close-up of that kingfisher.
What amazing details.
The colors are wonderful too.
I like the beads of water all over his body.
He must have just taken a dive!
TFS. : )

yes, brilliant shot and a lovely bird, was atthis spot for the first time a week ago, but did not spot this one. Well done

Hi, Jan.
Very nice one. I think it will be disappointment when (s)he tries to eat it. Sharpness and exposure are very good and also composition.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-05-11 20:01]

Hello Jan Hendrick,
this is a wonderful shot, there is so much detail... even the waterdropletts are showing in the birds chest. Superp work, the sharpness and composition is fabulous.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-05-12 6:53]

Hi Jan and very sorry for the delay

This is a splendid shot of this kingfisher and also a terrific moment! I had no idea they practiced on peaces of wood :)
The details and colors here are terrific and wery well managed and the pose of the little fellow is excellent.
The vertical compo also works great and the blurry BG does good to bring out the subject even better.

Very well done!
Bravo and TFS

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