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Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher
Photo Information
Copyright: Japie Venter (japie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-12-20
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Sigma 170-500mm APO, Digital ISO 400, Skylight
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/2000 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of Southern Africa, 40-49 Points (Chapter 2), Kingfishers, Birds in Flight [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-01-13 3:33
Viewed: 11417
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I have a lot of shots taken of Pied Kingfishers in flight, but with no birds in them! This was taken at the Mankwe Dam in the Pilaansberg Nature reserve. I managed to get these two shots as it was getting ready to dive and this can be seen in the way he is tilting his head down and starting the dive. The rest of the sequence is empty frames. At this stage the Kingfisher is hovering, frantically flapping his wings to remain in one place.

More about thePied Kingfisher (Roberts:428)

It is a large, black and white Kingfisher. Size 25-29cm A bit larger than a Laughing Dove. Afr: Bontvisvanger

As with other Kingfishers, the bill is long, straight and dagger like. It is blackish in colour - as are the eyes. The feet and legs are black.

The Pied Kingfisher is virtually all black and white. The upper-parts are blackish with a pattern of white markings, which give it a scaled and barred look.

The underparts are white, and the male has a double breast band , the upper one of which is much broader than the lower, narrow one. The female has just one broad band across the chest.

The Pied Kingfisher is a common and obvious bird of any waterside habitat. It is found on the seashore, on lagoons, lakes, dams, rivers and wetlands. It usually occurs in pairs, or small groups. It is either seen perched on a prominent spot, or hovering above the water. This is the only species of Kingfisher, which regularly hovers above water. It will hover until a target comes into sight and then suddenly plunge headlong into the water.

The Pied Kingfisher eats fish, insects and crabs.

This species makes a range of high-pitched twitters and squeaks. A common call is a sharp kwik-kwik-kwik-kwik

The Pied Kingfisher nests mainly from August to November. The nest is inside a tunnel, excavated in a vertical earthen bank. The tunnel is excavated by the birds, and is usually just longer than a metre.

The camera settings:

Program Setting: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 398mm
F Stop: F/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/2000sec
ISO: 400
Tripod: No
Flash: Diffused Off Camera ETTL.
Reflective Panel: No
Cable release: No
White Balance: AWB

I am very much in love with the sharpness my 170 – 500mm but found “her” focussing to be cumbersome and slow in shots like these. I have now purchased the 50-500mm Sigma which has HSM and “he” is focussing a lot faster.

Due to work pressures I have not been able to look at anyone’s work, but will most definitely view and comment on your work tomorrow and on the weekend.

mogens-j, red45, radz, milloup, carper, marhowie, Callie, rlortie, gerhardt, Luc, deud, gazo, touristdidi has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Callie: Never say DIE!!japie 2 01-14 16:33
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Critiques [Translate]

Fantastic Japie. Perfect pictures of a beautiful bird. Excellent dof, sharpness and colours in a great presentation. Great work here.

  • Great 
  • Okan Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 104 W: 57 N: 68] (518)
  • [2005-01-13 3:59]

I have nothing to say except SUPER!

Just perfect!
I called your photo "Beauty and Freedom in the sky"

(you know :-) on the left -it's Beauty and on the right it's Freedom) But... maybe inversely :-))))

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-01-13 5:09]

Black and white Kingfisher! But beautifull despite of it. Perfect capture Japie! I saw diving Kingfisher in one of documentary films by David Attenborough and they captured it by slow-motion camera. To favs.

Well I guess two shots are better than none:):), so we will just have to apraise these two.
This type of shot is really hard to get and you have done very, very well. Even though they are a moderately large bird, getting close enough to catch them fishing is a special moment. You have done really well here Japie, the flight/hover is perfectly captured, so sharp and uncluttered background. TFS.

Ha! Don't I know the feeling of unloading the day's haul from the camera and taking stock of a load of pics that contain just water and the tip of a tail or some feet disappearing out of the frame ;-))
I'd be happy with any kingfisher just *sitting* still long enough for me to get a shot in edgewise.. These are great!
Btw I can see from the photos that "he" also *delivers* a lot faster.. However, a fast aim and a quick finish may well be a good recommendation when we're talking of lenses, but if you choose to transfer those same characteristics to the he/she business, I'm afraid the scenario changes dramatically - LOL ;-))

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2005-01-13 6:55]

Kingfisher flying shot!!!Wow,Perfect shot.Really good details and great POV.

Great sequence Japie. Lovely shots of the pied kingfisher. very good work.

Composition: *****
Sharpness: ****
Color: ****
DOF: ***
POV: ****

Excellent composition, not a nit.
Well done

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2005-01-13 12:00]

Very good serie photo Japie,
I see it for my. click, click click, and it must be good. very good freesing. good pof, very nice details and a good storie. very good job

What a great capture! Under the circumstances the quality of the image is outstanding.

Japie, Excellent work. I'm jealous! The two shots showing the kingfisher preparing to dive are a great catch. To favorites!

Fantastic sequence Japie. And great action shot. I would love to get one those kingfisher, even standing still on a branch. Never coold get close enough so far.

Spectacular shot! or shots... :) The action is sharp and the moment what we all would like to capture. Nice going Japie. Exceptional post, well done.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-01-15 0:32]

Are you missing of paint, Japie? Only black and white on a blue BG for this Pied Kingfisher!
You managed very well these in-flight shots.
A great post: pictures and note.
Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2005-01-15 4:12]

amazing. great. fantastic action shots! the bird is so beautiful in those poses! i like your job here.

Ek bly agter, hierdie skop ook [email protected], wens dit was myne. As for being driven, this is a male in the picture, caught with the "her" lens, so what shall we say Japie? Just let Bente win, otherwise she wil drive us round the bend!

  • Great 
  • gazo Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 72 W: 0 N: 13] (91)
  • [2005-01-16 8:45]

Oh! Boy!
Very good action shots.
Good presentation.
This Kingfisher has located his prey. **

Great flight action shot Japie.
They "hangs" very nice,
Great sharpness, exposure and composition.
Good note as usual.
Excellent work.

Fantastic! To catch this wonderful bird in flight! wow!

Great shots! Kingfishers are very hard to photograph, and catching them on the wing takes a great deal of skill - and a bit of luck too, so I'll commend you on both :) You've done very well to capture them so sharply too, so good work from the technical side of things too. Of the two images I prefer the right hand one - why? Because the eye is visible. It may just a be a result of the size of the images, but I can't see the eye on the left hand one. Interesting note too! Excellent work :-D

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