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Purple-crested Turaco

Purple-crested Turaco
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-02-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Canon 55-200mm EF f/4.5-5.6 II USM, Digital ISO 400, UV 52mm Marumi
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of the World, Birds of South Africa 1, Animal Portraits II, A study in Ornithology (birds) 1, RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 2, Great Portraits Part Two, Intimate Portraits [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-02-13 15:05
Viewed: 19625
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 60
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Purple-crested turaco - Tauraco porphyreolophus

Another posting from my last visit to the Umgeni Bird Park in Durban. In South Africa turacos are better known as Louries. These birds have lovely coloured feathers which are held in high esteem by many African societies, although only the most important individuals (such as chiefs and kings) wear them in ceremonial dress. If you ever heard a turaco you would realise that turacos are No Nightingales! Few birds have such harsh and unattractive calls, with croaks and barks being an apt description for the vocal ability of most turacos.

The photo was taken directly after a shower of rain that had me pinned under a pent-roof to protect my camera equipment (and me self). The wet plumage of the bird caused havoc with all the highlights reflecting from it.


The 19 species of turaco are fowl-like, tree-dwelling birds of tropical Africa. Their flight is weak, but they run quickly through the tree canopy. Turacos are glossy and brightly coloured, with long, broad tails and short, rounded wings. They have hairy crests and bare skin around the eye area.

Purple-crested turacos have short, stout bills and males & females look alike. Dark purple crest above glossy green head; red eye ring; black bill. Neck and chest green in north, chestnut in south. Rest of body and wings glossy purple, with bright red flight feathers. The green colour comes from turacoverdin, the only true green pigment in birds. (Other "greens" in bird colours result from a yellow pigment such as lypochrome combined with the prismatic blue physical structure of the feather itself.) Their wings contain a red pigment turacin (a copper complex pigment). Both pigments are unique to this group. Length = 47 cm (19").

Turacos are medium sized arboreal birds endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, living in open woodland, thorn scrub riverine forest, humid forest, and towns with mature trees. South Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and north to east South Africa.

They feed mostly on fruits and to a lesser extent on leaves, buds, and flowers, occasionally taking small insects, snails, and slugs.

A series of up to 25 loud, barking crook notes that rise in intensity.

Lays 2-4 eggs in a flimsy stick nest well concealed in a tall tree. Source.

Camera settings
ISO setting – 400
Aperture – f/5.6
Shutter speed – 1/125
Focal length = 140mm

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0

liquidsunshine, chiliu, annagrace, thor68, anavazao, Janice, Nicolas, coasties, gelor, TAZ, marjan, Dyker, Miss_Piggy, Rehanna, betsie, mlines has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To jchemas: Incredible birdloot 1 02-18 12:17
To reina: Question about stripesloot 3 02-18 10:41
To chiliu: Taraco sharpnessloot 1 02-13 16:16
To mrcrow: Canon-ball runloot 2 02-13 16:02
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Critiques [Translate]

Wow... this is very sharp image, Loot!
Amazing colours and superb sharpness,
the framing is perfectly done,
Very good one and thanks for sharing!

couldnt get canon better with this
really canon sharp and good canon textures to the feathers
even the canon background is perfect
thanks for showing....erm i did notice you used a canon camera...they are everywhere just now..

Hi Loot!
Beautiful colors, composition, Excellent details. Great photo!
TFS ;-)

Fantastic capture Loot,
Good detail, colours and sharpness.
Composition and exposure are good. Good POV and framing.
Thanks for posting, have a great week.

Wonderfull shot. Sharpness and colours are great!.

  • Great 
  • reina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 257 W: 1 N: 330] (2032)
  • [2006-02-13 16:15]
  • [+]

Hi Loot, well done, now I see some stripes you did something with a workshop.. I still think its not far these beautifull creatures are there, suburb If you wake up and this is flying around, the colours are a special present. Thanks for sharing. Good for my preparation. Greetings Reina

Hello Loot
What an incredible shot and incredible bird.
Every time that I see something like this, I wonder Who created a creature that beautiful, and all other beautiful creatures that we have the pleasure to photograph.
Great POV and colors.

Wow, Loot, did you spray paint that bird? LOL!! Fabulous POV, lovely portrait but it appears a tiny bit oversharpened.

Well seen,


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-02-14 3:02]

Amazing colors on this bird, Loot.
The color scheme is so outrageous, only nature can pull it off. : )
I agree with Alli that the image looks a bit oversharpened.
A fantastic portrait nevertheless. TFS. : )

great photo nice colors and good crop
i like it so much
p.s nice birds

Funny hat! This image is so sharp Loot! The color of the feathers are wonderful! Excellent DOV & POV!

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-02-14 21:42]

Une belle présentation aux couleurs explosives et hallucinante.

Félicitations et merci pour l'envoie Loot!


wow! i see colors everywhere. :-)
this is so great!
wonderful portrait, loot.
superb job, thor.

amazing shot with great details, colours and composition!
Nice bird and note!

  • Great 
  • Aramok Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 101 N: 1501] (5166)
  • [2006-02-18 10:02]

The colours and detail are really stunning in this picture and the OOF BG colours works really well with the colours of the bird.

I'm much more a landscape person (as you know) but this one really caught my eye. It has a very strong composition.


  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-02-18 14:46]

A Purple-crested turaco! She doesn't look real Loot! What an amazing creation, such stunning colours and look.
Well shown, TFS

I realy like this picture Loot. I specialy apreciate the details and saturation. This is aan amazing bird.
Thank for notes.

Hi Loot

Lovely closeup showing excellent details. The colours are quite magnificent. Great POV. Well composed with good light. Well done. TFS.

  • Great 
  • gelor Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 124 W: 3 N: 12] (523)
  • [2006-02-28 8:58]

Une MAP impeccable et des couleurs sublimes. Trčs bon travail ! Merci.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-03-06 6:51]

Wooooooooow ! What a awesome and interesting portrait that you have very well done ! Sharpness and colors are impressive ! I also appreciate the complementary note... Congratulations Loot and thanks for sharing.

Hi Loot,
Strange and beautiful portrait, the bird feathers seem of metal. The colours are incredibles. I appreciate your note as well.
Have a nice day.

Hi Loot. for mdy appinion this is one of the best photos on TN. Look it the face, fantastic. Coloures and notice excelent . Shortly, BRAVO.

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-04-29 16:48]

Hi loot
Wow what a colourful shot. Beautiful bird whid beautiful colours. Great sharpnes, details, DOF, BG, composition and POV.
Well done my friend. ( how could I mis this one :( )


Beautifull colour & good capture

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2007-08-16 22:18]

unreal! unbeliveable focus and colors on his plumage! rare shot! tfs

Hello Loot

Oei, is eintlik al wat ek vir 'n geruime tyd kon uitkry nadat ek na die outjie gekyk het. Eersteklas beteken net dit wat die sę, eerste in die spesifieke klas, maar hier sou ek reken beteken dit rerig eerste, tweede en derde in die klas. Hierdie puik voęl met sy goue nek vere, rooi oog kraaltjies, groen oog vere, diep-blou kop vere en daardie pragtige groot swart oog is ietsie absoluut besonders.

Ek hou van die kristal agtige kwaliteit wat jy in die vere vasgevang het. Die kleure is iets besonders en so ook die skerp fokus.


Hi Loot
This Turaco gave you such a good pose for this photo. You made the colour come "alive" in this photo. Have a great day.

Hallo Loot
What a delightful and colourful image. I think all the details are just stunning and so clearly visible. This is indeed a WOW photo. A gorgeous bird which you presented in a very special portrait. The more I look at it, the more glamourous it becomes. Fantastic portrayal with excellent detail and great colours. Excellent framing and superb focus. I would love to photograph one of these in real. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2009-02-25 23:30]

Hi Loot, I have just seen your site for the first time. I like the effect created here, the immense details around the eye is particularly amazing. The DOF makes this colourful bird really stand out well. Very fine work. TFS. Murray.

Superb piece of work, Loot.
Hope, someday, am able to produce even half as good.
Mario from Canada.

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