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I Want My Mommy - TBN 2

I Want My Mommy - TBN 2
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: 2006-02-17
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Canon 60mm EF-S f/2.8 Macro USM, Digital ISO 400, UV 55mm Marumi
Exposure: f/4, 1/60 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Baby Animals 4, Birds of South Africa 1, A study in Ornithology (birds) 1, Touched by Nature [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-02-18 15:27
Viewed: 7685
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 56
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
White-bellied sunbird - Nectarinia talatala

The 2nd delivery in the "Touched by Nature" series.

Through the years we (my wife and I) had the honour of being the godparents of many young White-bellied Sunbirds without actually having the pleasure of seeing our godchildren. Friday evening this run of bad luck ended when we witnessed the mother coaxing one of the babies out of the nest and giving it, its first lesson in flying.

The little clumsy fledgling (±50mm) almost dropped like a stone and sat on the ground, wings trembling, and chirping for life and death. The mother kept on calling and jumping from branch to branch while every now and then she would fly away just to return with some morsel of food which she then gave to the baby. Eventually the young one built up enough strength and courage to start with some hop-flying sorties, each time a little further and a little higher. As evening approached he/she eventually made it safely back into the nest, but not before I quickly grasped the opportunity for this photo. The fledgling had no fear (a little brave heart) and came straight to me as I lied down on the ground to take the shot.

Please see the workshop for a view of the nest.


Males: Usually brightly coloured, with green or bluish metallic sheen on the head, mantle and breast while the under parts is white.
Females: Coloured in dull greys and browns and is whiter below then most other sunbird females.
They have long decurved bills used to probe open blossoms or to pierce the bases of deep tubular corollas to reach otherwise inaccessible nectars.

Superficially similar to the hummingbirds although, they are entirely unrelated to them. Sunbirds will briefly hover at flowers, but they don't fly backwards as do hummingbirds.

Found in southern Africa, Angola and Mozambique. It is a common resident inhabiting the eastern and northern parts of the region.

It is usually in pairs and is found in woodland, riverine bush and gardens.

It lives off nectar, insects and spiders.

A small bird (11 cm).

It has the habit of singing for long periods from the top of a bush. The song is ‘chu-ee, chu-ee, chu-ee-trrrr’ repeated frequently and with various intensities by both sexes.

July to December. They build oval, hanging nests with an entrance at one side near the top, often with a small canopy. The nest is constructed of grasses, fibres, dead leaves and other debris, and is plastered on the outside with spider webs and warmly lined with soft plant down. Both sexes tend the young.

2005 IUCN Red List Category: Least Concern, (Evaluated by BirdLife International - for IUCN).

Source: "Birds of Southern Africa" by Kenneth Newman, Macmillan Publishers.

Camera settings
ISO setting – 400
Aperture – f/4
Shutter speed – 1/60
Focal length – 60mm

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0

SkyF, eleana, hummingbird24, Janice, reina, coasties, wuta, Hoos, anavazao, Dyker, saeedabbasi, cicindela, jmp, oscarromulus, Argus, Miss_Piggy, Debz, Rehanna, betsie has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Aaltjie: Usefulnessloot 1 06-24 19:23
To wishnugaruda: I love this little babyloot 1 02-18 16:37
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Loot,
this is sooooo cute, I love this little baby so much. What a lovely pose and excellent sharpness, thanks for sharing
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-02-18 17:01]

Very nice, this is so adorable. Nice sharp details and good colors. Wonderful capture.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-02-18 17:13]

A cutie, Loot. What a pathetic look. I can almost hear his cries. Very sharp and well lit. TFS this touching scene and story. : )

  • Great 
  • eleana Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 206 W: 80 N: 75] (2247)
  • [2006-02-18 17:37]

Nice photo, Loot! I like expressive pose here, also colours and compo.
TFS and best wishes,

Oi, what a funky shot. I love it how "grumpy" the tiny bird looks. You've captured it very well, and the sharpness and clarity is excellent.

Hello Loot,

A heart warming tale that brings us to the event, sharing in its joy...

Excellent composition, details, colors, POV, exposure and notes.

Nicely captured, congratulations, and thank you for sharing this with us!


What a darling little baby! Great capture, Loot. Young ones of any species are often so innocently curious. It must give the parents fits to see them approaching potential danger.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-02-19 2:25]

Hi Loot, what a sweet little baby bird. And thank you for telling us his life-story - so far! I hope he manages to live through the next few years safely.
He has no fear of man yet, and most probably thought you would feed him, so he's singing to you. A lovely photo, TFS

Hi Loot,
a nice and cute picture. Good pose and POV.
Very good details and nice colours.
Very well done.

Poor baby! :-( Thanks for the lovely story that has a very happy ending. Love the low POV. Good detail, crystal clear and good sharpness. TFS.

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-02-19 14:41]

Hay Loot , what a very lovely photo so cute ,
good sharpnes details colours pov ,beautiful ,
i like it thanks for sharing ,nice evening ,Teunie .

Hi Loot,
Very cute little fellow and very well captured,
excellent sharpness and details,
great POV and pose.
Thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-02-20 22:43]


Excellente prise,l'oisea est très mignon et les détails sont excellents.

Merci Loot!


  • Great 
  • deons Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 58 W: 0 N: 55] (595)
  • [2006-02-22 12:46]

Hi Loot
Very nice shot of the very youg sunbird. I never knew they were so cute when young. Sharp and good control of DOF.

what lovely baby bird sniff! Great shot!
Good colours, composition, details ....

Hi Loot,
Lovely baby bird picture. Good sharpness, colors, feathers details and capture.
Your note is excelent and complete.
Thanks for sharing.

Hi my dear friend Loot ,
lovely shot.
excellent details and great sharpness.
i like it so much.
thanks and best wishes.

Hello again! :)
Another very interesting composition! I like a lot a natural pose of this baby bird. Great DOF, interesting POV, informative note and nice colours - all these elements make here a very nice presentation :)
Greetings from Poland,

Dear Loot

This little note is on behalf of my granddaughter Maryke, whom I am baby sitting this afternoon. She asked me to tell you that it is a very special picture. I must tell you that this specific photo helped me to calm her down. She is not feeling too well and with her mom not around is feeling very sorry for herself. Crying was the next in line, and I had to hear “I want my mommy” a few times. I remembered seeing this photo of yours while going through your portfolio and called her to come and have a look at a picture of herself on the computer. She was not very keen but I think curiousness took over and I showed her this picture. She quickly forgot the crying and very sarcastic told me that we must go to Checkers tomorrow to buy me some new glasses, because the ones I have is not working anymore. I had to defend myself and tell her the story of this chic crying out “I want my mommy” Needless to say, she found it very fascinating and forgot about her tears. (Hopefully shopping at Checkers as well)

Regards and have a good weekend.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-07-01 8:55]

Hi Loot,
Really expressive pose and gesture, more than interesting note and a absolutely wonderful photo.
TFS, José M.

nice close up, TFS ori

My good friend, Loot,
An absolute DELIGHT to see BEAUTY in action.
Warm regards from Canada,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-09-01 9:47]

Hello Loot,
I look at this shot with a mixture of joy, sorrow and admiration. Joy because you captured a sight that softens the heart.
Sorrow because this fledgeling looks out of place: he seems too young to be out of the nest and may have fallen out.
Admiration for the quality of the shot: the sharpness, composition and lighting.
Thanks for sharing this one and have a good weekend,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-09-02 1:02]

Hello Loot,
How wonderful!!! Your sense of timing always amazes me and you don't waste your time on trivial subjects! You've caught this young fledgling in such a nice pose showing sharp details and fine colours. Very well composed too.
Many thanks and best wishes, Ulla

THis is a typical "awwww, cute" photo!
Love the pose!
well done

Hi loot. So mooi hartseer foto!! - dink net ons kinders is net so afhanklik van ons - maak nie saak hoe groot hulle word nie, hulle het altyd ietsie nodig wat hulle nie self kan bekom nie.

Hello Loot

Ek het toe so gemaak en 'n bietjie na jou "Touched by Nature" tema gaan kyk en wat 'n uitmuntende reeks. Elke een gaan gepaard met 'n pragtige storie oor hoe jy in die bevooregte posisie was om deur die natuur op 'n besonderse wyse aangeraak te word. Ek hou van jou uitdrukking en die natuurlik die hoek waaruit jy elke ondervinding beskryf.

Hierdie ou pragtige vogeltjie moes iets besonders gewees het om te aanskou. So klein, so fyn, so ongerep en absoluut afhanklik van: 1. Jou goedheid om niks te doen wat die saak kan belemmer sodat die ouers dit verwerp, 2. Daar nie 'n kat verbykom en dit verorber nie, en 3. Dat die ouers dit groot taak van beskerming, leiding en aansporing end uit sou voer om die outjie weer betyds in die nes te kry voor die son sak. Die ou dingetjie is tog te pragtig vir woorde, met daardie ou blou oggie en die skerp tongetjie. 'n Mooi skerp gefokusde foto met besondere kleur. Selfs die sement lyk veelkleurig.


What a beautiful little bird! I love how you captured the image while it was in the middle of chirping. The feather detail is terrific! Well done!


Hallo Loot
What a great image, so true and part of real nature. I really miss you around on the site, and with images as this last one of yours, it is no wonder why. You where a great photographer and without your images there is a definite void in the gallery. Please, please reconsider to return, even if it is only once in a while. It will be a great day not only for me, but for many others as well.
Lots of love.

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