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A colorfull couple

A colorfull couple
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul van Slooten (pvs) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-24
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Alfa dSLR A700, Sony 300mm F2.8 G, Digital RAW 200, Sony SAL 14 TC
Exposure: f/8, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Krugerpark October 2008
Theme(s): My favourite naturescapes [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-02-04 6:01
Viewed: 4185
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Today a posting of a bird that is relative common in the Krugerpark,but actually this is the first time I saw 2 of them sitting so close and were lucky enough to make a few capture,the only thing was that they sat not in the best light (against the light),but I was actually quite happy with the result of this image of this couple of Lilac breasted rollers,hope you like it as well,thanks for your time.

Lilac Breasted Roller

The average size of the Lilac Breasted Roller is 14.5 inches. The washed green head is large, the neck is short, the greenish yellow legs are rather short and the feet are small. The beak is strong, arched and hooked-tipped. The tail is narrow and of medium length. The back and scapulars are brown. The shoulder of the wing, outer webs of the flight feathers and the rump are all violet. The bases of the primaries and their coverts are pale greenish blue and the outer tail feathers are elongated and blackish. The chin is whitish, shading to rich lilac of the breast. The underparts are greenish blue. The bill is black and the eyes are brown. It has large wings and strong flight.

The Lilac Breasted Roller feeds on grasshoppers, beetles, occasionally lizards, crabs, and small amphibians. They take prey from the ground.

They make unlined nests in natural tree holes or in termite hills. Sometimes they take over woodpecker's or kingfisher's nest holes. They lay 2-4 white eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for 22-24 days. At 19 days the chicks are fully feathered and grayish brown.

Rollers get their name from their impressive courtship flight, a fast, shallow dive from considerable elevation with a rolling or fast rocking motion, accompanied by loud raucous calls.

All rollers appear to be monogamous and highly territorial. The Lilac Breasted Roller will perch on a dead tree, surveying the area for prey. One typical aspect of its behavior is that it also preys on animals fleeing from bush fires. It is a swift flier, indulging in acrobatics during the breeding season. They actually breed 'on the wing'. They live in pairs or small groups, but are often seen alone.

Their call is a loud harsh squawk, 'zaaak'. They are partly migratory, but in some areas they are sedentary. To feed they swoop down from an elevated perch next to their prey and eat it on the ground or return to a perch where they batter it before swallowing it whole. They are territorial, also defending temporarily small feeding territories; hence individuals are regularly spaced along roads. They drive off many species from near their nest hole, even after breeding.

Grasslands, open woods and regions where palm trees grow singly.
Where they are found

The species ranges more or less continuously throughout eastern and southern Africa from the Red Sea coasts of Ethiopia and northwest Somalia to the Angola coast and northern South Africa. Lilac Breasted Rollers inhabit acacia country with well spaced trees, rolling bushy game lands, riverside areas and cultivated land, but they do not associate with human habitation.

robindb, uleko, Argus, Morigann, adilakbar, izler, nglen, CeltickRanger, matatur, goldyrs, thor68 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

hallo paul
dat is het ook net
zo mooi met die witte achtergrond
ik heb er geen woorden voor
groetjes lou

Hi Paul,

Usually these birds fly away when one is just ready to shoot them so you have been doubly fortunate here. Very good deatail and colours with the tricky light conditions. Well done.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-02-04 7:21]

Hello Paul,
A brilliant capture of these two beautiful Rollers posing so nicely together! Wonderful colours and great sharpness. I find the stark white background a bit disturbing though, just my taste!
TFS and cheers, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-02-04 7:39]

Hello Paul,
The pose, POV and technical qualities make this a superb capture of a pair of Lilac-breasted Rollers. You managed the difficult lighting well despite the resulting white BG.
TFS and best wishes,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-02-04 8:10]

Hallo Paul,
Wat zijn Vorkstaartscharrelaars toch schitterende vogels. Vooral wanneer ze in het zonlicht insekten vangen, komen de kleuren pas echt mooi tot uiting. Vaak gezien.
Jammer van het licht in deze foto, maar evenzogoed een mooie foto in uitstekende scherpte. Vooral de poses en de compositie vind ik prachtig.

Hallo Paul,
Superb capture with a superb colorfull couple of Lilac Breasted Roller. Great focus with very fine details.
Well done

groetjes lou ;)

Hi Paul, wonderful capture of couple. They have given you good pose. Nice sharp colorful image. Well done. Regards - Adil.

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2009-02-04 8:57]

merhaba Paul
good capture of these colourful and double rollers
i like pose, POV, colours and sharpness

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-02-04 10:55]

Hi Paul. What a fine close up of the Pair of colourful birds. I like the way they are perched on the branch. Good detail and colours. Well taken under difficult light condistions. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2009-02-04 12:09]

Hi Paul,
Prachtig kleurrijk stel heb je hier weten vast te leggen en dat tegen een witte achtergrond met tegenlicht.
Prachtige pose en compositie.
gr. Paula

hello Paul

beautiful photography of this colorfull couple, beautiful birds,
shot with fine POV, beautiful pose of the birds, superb focus on them,
and great sharpness and details of the birds and the tree branch,



  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-02-05 2:36]

Hi Paul
Wonderful capture. Well done.

A superb capture under most favourable lighting conditions Paul, a beautifully focused image with fine detail resulting in an excellent composition. Thanks indeed for this really nice image my friend.

Love this one!

what a wonderful and colorful couple! :-) excellent capture of these two pretty birds. although a darker bg would have been
better for the colors i like the white bg very much, makes it look like a painting out of a late 19th century bird book.
well done & best wishes, thor.

Bellissima e simmetrica composizione!

Ciao e grazie, Emanuele

Ja inderdaad...meestal zitten ze alleen. Je zou haast denken dat de foto gemanipuleerd is, wat niet het geval is natuurlijk.
En Robin heeft ook gelijk; 75% kans dat ze wegvliegen...:-)
Tja..er is het licht natuurlijk maar beter zo dan geen licht.
Verder vroeg ik me af of dit een mannetje en vrouwtje zou kunnen zijn. Ik merk niet veel verschil alleen de vleugel is merkelijk donkerder in kleur bij de achterste...

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