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Kookaburra (Kingfisher)

Kookaburra (Kingfisher)
Photo Information
Copyright: Heinz Koloska (wallhalla15) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1767 W: 58 N: 3350] (13829)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-08-03
Categories: Birds
Camera: Fujifilm Finepix S7000
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/50 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2005-08-09 4:56
Viewed: 4019
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

- pictured at birdpark, Heiligenkirchen, North-Rhine-Westfalia -

Kookaburras are very large terrestrial kingfishers native to Australia and New Guinea.

Kookaburras are best known for their unmistakable call which is uncannily like loud, echoing human laughter good-natured if rather hysterical merriment in the case of the well-known Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae), maniacial, almost insane cackling in the case of the slightly smaller Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii).

Kookaburras occupy woodland territories in loose family groups, and their laughter serves the same purpose as a great many other bird calls: to demarcate territorial borders. It can be heard at any time of day but most frequently shortly after dawn, and especially when the colour drains from the forest after sunset.

One bird starts with a low, hiccupping chuckle, then throws its head back in raucous laughter: often several others join in. If a rival tribe is within earshot and replies, the whole family soon gathers to fill the bush with ringing laughter. Hearing kookaburras in full voice is one of the more extraordinary experiences of the Australian bush; something even locals cannot ignore, and that visitors, unless forewarned, can be quite terrified by.

Kookaburras hunt much as other kingfishers (or indeed robins) do: by perching on a convenient branch or wire and waiting patiently for prey to pass by: mice and similar-sized small mammals, large insects, lizards, small birds and nestlings, and most famously, snakes. Small prey are preferred, but kookaburras not infrequently take surprisingly large creatures, including venomous snakes a good deal longer than the bird itself.

The Laughing Kookaburra is a handsome, stocky bird of about 45 cm in length, with a large head, a prominent brown eye, and a very large bill. It is found throughout eastern Australia, and has been introduced into the south-west corner of Western Australia, Tasmania, Flinders Island, Kangaroo Island, and New Zealand.

The Blue-winged Kookaburra is a little smaller at around 40 cm long, has a light-coloured eye, no dark eye-mask, and many more blue wing feathers. It is restricted to southern New Guinea and the moister parts of northern Australia, from southern Queensland across the Top End, and as far down the Western Australian coast as the Shark Bay area.

Unusually for close relatives, the Laughing and Blue-winged species are direct competitors in the area where their ranges overlap. This suggests that the two species, though having common stock, evolved in isolation (possibly during a period when Australia and New Guinea were more distant see Australia-New Guinea) and were only brought back into contact in relatively recent geological times.

halki, jagathcham, ddg, AdrianW, goldfinchtr, red45, marhowie, Comandante, carper, electra, Luc, coasties has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • halki Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 242 W: 9 N: 105] (471)
  • [2005-08-09 5:09]

Hello Heinz!
Excellent capture.Great colours,details and light.
Thanks for posting.

Hi Heinz,
A great portrait with amazing focus and details. Wonderful colours and POV.
You have given us a great note too.

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2005-08-09 5:22]

Hello Heinz , amazing shot. Colors and composition are good. The BG is a bit noisy. TFS Didier.

Nice shot! You've captured this Kookaburra well. DOF is well controlled, and focus seems good. There's a bit of noise in the background, which you could squash with NeatImage/NoiseNinja/Noiseware if you felt the urge. The colour balance seems a bit cyan biased too IMO, try running AutoColor - it's not perfect, but it's a little more natural - I'm guessing it might have been a cloudy day, and the white balance was set to auto. There's also some minor overexposure on the patch just below his beak, not much you can do about that except at this point unless you shot in RAW ;) Anyway, that said it's a good capture, and a useful note too :-)

Hi Heinz!
Amazing portrait!
I love eyes and "face". It looks incredibile!

Wonderful capture! Little blue spots on the wings are great!
TFS Emin

Excellent POV Heinz, I like it! Good exposure, details and sharpness..Interesting note also. Handsome bird, Well done.

  • Great 
  • Graal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 751 W: 31 N: 20] (5100)
  • [2005-08-09 8:28]

Hi Heinz!
Very nice portrait, good composition. I like the colours and sharpness, too. Well done.
Rgs, Aleksander

Hello Heinz!
Very nice capture.Clear eyes,POV and composition are excellent.Thanks for sharing.

  • Good 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2005-08-09 12:37]

I like the trying Heinz,
Personal I think this can be done a lot better,
I miss the good composing shot, the good pov and I see a lot of noise in the dof, yes I know your work a little bit and I think that you can be do this much better.
gr. Jaap

Hi Heinz,
wonderful portrait of this bird. Very sharp and clear. Well done.

  • Great 
  • zakiwi Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 154 W: 20 N: 274] (1309)
  • [2005-08-09 16:03]

Hey Heinz,

WOW !!! Great sharpness. You've really done very well with this shot. It's a bit of a pitty about the grainy background on the right hand side. Perhaps you could try and blur that a bit in PS

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-08-09 17:42]

Heinz, very nice portrait with a great composition.

Excellent pov and details. I like the reflection in the eye.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-08-10 4:09]

Sorry Heinz, I have no time to write a proper comment. I give to you the well deserved smily.

Lovely shot Heinz. Excellent POV. Nice catchlight and plumage detail. Some OE parts, but generally a very nice shot. Thanks.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-08-10 6:35]

Hi Heinz!
Really good portrait of this amazing bird. I like its pose and proud face. Nice reflection in its eye.

Beautiful and sharp - well presented and well exposed. Thanks

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