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Mother and child

Mother and child
Photo Information
Copyright: Steve Coetzee (SteveCoetzee) Silver Note Writer [C: 9 W: 0 N: 66] (863)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-12-11
Categories: Birds
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ150
Exposure: f/5.2, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Animals feeding, part one [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2013-02-07 10:50
Viewed: 2855
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Red-knobbed Coot - This was such a peacefull scene when I saw this hen teaching her chick to hunt for food.
Information obtained with thanks from:
The Red-knobbed Coot or Crested Coot, (Fulica cristata), is a member of the rail and crake bird family, the Rallidae.
It is a resident breeder across much of Africa and in southernmost Spain on freshwater lakes and ponds. It builds a nest of dead reeds near the water's edge or more commonly afloat, laying about 8 eggs (or more in good conditions). However, its behaviour towards its own young is so aggressive that only a few are likely to survive to adulthood.
The Red-knobbed Coot is largely black except for the white facial shield. It is 3845 cm (1518 in) long, spans 7585 cm (3033 in) across the wings and weighs 5851,085 g (1.292.39 lb). As a swimming species, it has partial webbing on its long strong toes. The juvenile is paler than the adult, has a whitish breast, and lacks the facial shield; the adult's black plumage develops when about 34 months old, but the white shield is only fully developed at about one year old, some time later.
A good view is necessary to separate this species from the Eurasian Coot, with which its range overlaps. There are two tiny red knobs at the top of the facial shield, which are not visible at any great distance and are only present in the breeding season; the black feathering between the shield and the bill is rounded, whereas in Eurasian it comes to a point; and the bill has a bluish grey tinge.
Adult and chick
The habits of the Red-knobbed Coot are practically identical to those of the Eurasian coot. It is much less secretive than most of the rail family. Where it is undisturbed it is likely to bully any intruder, even large birds such as Egyptian geese, if they do not defy its challenges. It can be seen swimming on open water or walking across waterside grasslands. It is an aggressive species, and strongly territorial during the breeding season.
The Red-knobbed Coot is reluctant to fly and when taking off runs across the water surface with much splashing. It does the same, but without actually flying, when travelling a short distance at speed (to escape a rival, for example, or to dispute possession of a choice morsel). It bobs its head as it swims, and makes short dives from a little jump.
The Red-knobbed Coot is an omnivore, and will take a variety of small live prey including the eggs of other water birds. Its main food in most waters however comprises various waterweeds such as species of Potamogeton for which it commonly dives.
This is a noisy bird during mating, but its vocalisations are quite different from the Eurasian Coot. It gives a fast kerrre like the Little Crake, a harsh ka-haa and a grunting hoot "oot oot" that suggests that the name "coot" might be onomatopoeia, but inspection of the etymology of "coot" fairly decisively negates any such suggestion.

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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Merlin: Thank youSteveCoetzee 2 02-09 09:45
To rapidshot: Thank youSteveCoetzee 1 02-09 07:52
To Miss_Piggy: Thank youSteveCoetzee 1 02-09 07:42
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Steve
lovely scene indeed with spectacular swollen red "horns"
may I suggest a slightly different compo, cutting away the boring foreground

Hi Steve. I like the looks of these. A splash of red is always welcome in photography. You've got wonderful focus on them and the colour and detail is all there. Shots like this make me want to visit Africa. LOL. Wonderful to atleast be able to see your picture. TFS Trevor

This is a nice portrait of the coot feeding its chick, and I appreciate that it is difficult to frame this scene within the TN 800px limit. On my monitor, the image as posted seems to have a distinct blue/cyan cast, so if you don't mind I have done a quick workshop to give a different interpretation.
Best wishes, Nigel.

Hallo Steve
I am a lover of any beautiful photograph being insects, birds, sunset, wildlife, flowers, waterfalls and what so ever. Nature is so stunning that one cannot but love the sight of any of it, and your image is a proof of it. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

Hallo Steve,
This is a absolute nature tutorial scene! Great composition with clarity and detail. The eye of the hen is clearly visible despite the natural light from the other side. Great work my friend and thanks for sharing.
Best regards,

  • Ingrid1 Gold Star Critiquer [C: 69 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2013-06-05 9:05]

The reflections are beautiful, and the pattern created by the gentle waves is superb.

Thanks so much for sharing, and I add your work to my theme "animals feeding"

greetings from South Africa, Ingrid

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