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African Long-tailed Shrike

African Long-tailed Shrike
Photo Information
Copyright: Mike Rolfe (fiftysomething) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 45 W: 3 N: 141] (657)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-01-07
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 30D, Canon EF100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS USM, 77mm UV
Exposure: f/6.7, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-02-27 2:14
Viewed: 3668
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Longtailed Shrike (Corvinella melanoleuca): A large shrike with very long tail; black with white rump, wingpatch and V on back. Savanna, bushveld. Mostly subtropical to tropical N. Common resident.

Identification: Size large; tail very long (about two-thirds length of body); whole plumage black except for bold white V on lower back, grey rump, white patch on primaries (conspicuous in flight) and white tips to innermost remiges; & also has white patches on flanks. Albinos occur. Immature: Browner than adult.

Voice: Sonorous piping tlee-teeooo, often by several birds in chorus; harsh scolding alarm notes.

Distribution: S Africa to Kenya; in s Africa mainly in wooded areas from n KwaZulu-Natal to Zimbabwe and s Mozambique, and from n Karoo to w Transvaal, Botswana and n Namibia.

Status: Locally common to very common resident.

Habitat: Acacia savanna, bushveld.

Habits: Usually in small groups of 3-12 birds; rarely solitary. Perches on top of bush or tree, or on outer branch, dropping to ground for prey. Flight fast, somewhat dipping, ending in upward swoop to perch. Long tail jerked while calling.

Food: Insects, small reptiles.

Breeding: Season: October to March in n KwaZulu-Natal, August to February (mainly October-November) in Transvaal and Zimbabwe. Nest: Bulky cup of twigs, grass stems and roots, lined with finer rootlets and stems of creepers. Clutch: (55) 2-3,3-6 eggs (usually 3-5). Eggs : Buff or yellowish stone, speckled and spotted with reddish brown, dark brown and grey mainly at thick end; measure (166) 26,8 x 19,7 (23,1-29,9 x 18,3-20,7). Incubation: Unrecorded. Nestling: Unrecorded; fed by up to 4 adults (2 parents and 2 helpers).

uleko, kebapci, Royaldevon, albert, vanderschelden has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3423 W: 173 N: 3309] (10940)
  • [2008-02-27 2:38]

Hello Mike,
Superb shot of this long-tailed Shrike in a fine pose and very nicely in focus. Great sharpness and fine colours and a pleasant natural background.
TFS and regards, Ulla

Needs not much to say! A superb pose and an elegant Africain bird. TFS

Hello Mike,

This bird is new to me but I find your photograph and notes very informative! His rfeathers look very shaggy on his upper breast! Good detailed image with a lovely glint in his eye! That incredibly long tail very much dictates the composition of your shot - which is fine!

kind regards,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • fthsm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 172 W: 56 N: 512] (3689)
  • [2008-02-27 4:35]

A beautiful species, it must be difficult to fit in a frame. TFS.

Hello Mike,
A great photo well composed and focused
Well done

Congrats, Mike
Very good quality!!!
Yes, really superb and so close..and at a spot you would not expect it immediately.
Well done

Tough thing to get this one into frame, huh? You managed very well - good detail in the blacks! Bravo! Cheers, Klaus

nice pic, great tail! TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • waylim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 8 N: 489] (1765)
  • [2008-03-04 23:21]

I find it very difficult to take picture of black color bird. You did an excellent job here. Excellent quality and good composition.

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