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Family Happiness

Family Happiness
Photo Information
Copyright: Alexei Alyokhin (Alex99) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-06-28
Categories: Birds
Camera: Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D, Minolta AF 100-400 F4.5-6.7 Zoom APO, Hoya HMC Super UV(0) 72 mm
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Peace and Love [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-05-03 9:34
Viewed: 6068
Points: 136
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I hope "Family Happiness" is a key point of our life and life of every living thing. Personally, I love to watch happy families, their members radiate sincere affection, calmness, sympathy (by the way, TN family proofs this every day). I also like to watch such creatures in a wild. I think this cute couple is happy. They like wonderful weather, calmness of nature, even I with my camera do not disturb them. Owing to what I have had an opportunity to take a series of similar pictures.

I would be happy if everybody around us would have such safe appearance always.

However, now talk is about these charming species.
I think this is Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor.

The Lesser Grey Shrike can only really be confused with the Great Grey Shrike. If you see a grey shrike which has a black forehead it is definitely a Lesser Grey, but if it just has a black mask through its eye you have to look more carefully. The Lesser Grey is smaller but has relatively longer wings, reaching at least a third of the way down the tail. It also has a larger white panel in the primaries and lacks the white line over the black mask which is visible on Great Grey Shrikes, at least of the north European race. Adults also look distinctively pinker on the breast.

Breeds in open heathy areas with scattered trees

A rare vagrant to Britain, usually on the east or south coast in autumn. 152 records from Britain and Ireland up to the end of 1995

Widespread in south and east Europe and especially numerous in parts of Greece and Greece where they are common roadside birds. A few pairs also breed in southern France and Catalonia (Los Monegros and the Aiguamolls de Empordia)

66-107,000 breeding pairs mainly in eastern Europe

Lesser Grey Shrike
Lanius minor

Add shot info
– Shot is taken near my countryside house at someone's neglected garden.
– Full frame picture.

nglen, Argus, iris, jaycee, uleko, rousettus, cloud, Amadeo, Silvio2006, goldyrs, schnoopie, Hil, oscarromulus, gerbilratz, eng55, Art_R, gracious, NinaM, mlines, CeltickRanger, eqshannon, Adanac, izler, meyerd, gannu, RP1, SelenE, maurydv, ramthakur, anel, Royaldevon, marhowie, Heaven, jmp, Ken52, Maite, sayat, takos1, PaulH, Luis52, dB_grafix, hester, haraprasan, jusninasirun, vanderschelden, smitha, peter_stoeckl, NellyD has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To dB_grafix: Other head :)Alex99 1 05-08 01:17
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-05-03 9:52]

Hi Alexei. I do like the pose you have captured of the two Shrike. We are lucky to be able to see both sides . good detail and natural colours. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-05-03 10:04]

Hello Alexei,
A pair of Lesser Grey Shrikes in one shot! Wow!
Excellent pose, POV and sharpness as they sit on the bit of old iron. The garden is clearly negelected and that is why they were there and it was great that you took this shot of them!
Thanks for sharing it from your archives!
Have a good weekend,

  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-05-03 10:10]

Yes Alexei,
families matter a lot and the earlier we realise the trunth in this busy world the better.a very good shot of the shrike family- i love the contrats in the environmnet with the green foliages and rustic brown perch and pillar on the right.The birdies are caught very well and fgood details showing on one of them.
Very well done.
TFS & Cheers

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-05-03 10:14]

Hello Alexei,
Excellent capture of this pair of Shrikes in a beautiful composition. I like the way they're posing and showing their plumage. Great focus on the keen eye of the nearest!Fine sharp details and lovely colours too.
TFS and kind regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-05-03 10:16]

Hi Alexei,

Your posts are always something special and this is no exception. How wonderful to capture this loving couple. They are truly beautiful. I love the blowing feathers on one while the other has every feather in place. Beautiful colors, fine details, and a lovely, lovely setting.


hello Alexei,
after your perfect butterfly posts, nice to see also these beautiful Shrikes. They look very lovely and their position, across each other very nice. Your capture always very sharp with perfect focus. BG colors also great. Thanks for sharing and have a nice weekedn my dear friend

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2008-05-03 10:29]

Hello Alexei,
I like to listen when these birds are calling and I don't see their. Great photo, so calm and charming.
Regards, Pawel

  • Great 
  • Amadeo Gold Star Critiquer [C: 168 W: 0 N: 755] (3323)
  • [2008-05-03 10:35]

Hola Alexei, has captado el lado romantico de esta pareja, tecnicamente la veo con muy buena luz, color y definición. Un saludo

A lovely shot, Alexei.The foliage is simply awesome, and is a lovely contrast to the rusting iron.
Very well seen and captured.

Hi Alaxei,
this shot is so beautiful. It looks very harmonic ^^
The blurred leaves in the foreground are perfect in this situation.
They give a natural framing to the birds.
The birds are captured very sharp.
Great compo!
TFS Tatjana

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2008-05-03 11:10]

Hi Alexei,

Lovely shot of the Lesser Grey Shrikes.
Nicely composed with a great POV and a wonderful pose by both birds.
Good details and a beautiful OOF BG.
Very nice colours and excellent light.


  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2008-05-03 11:19]

nice capture, great poses of the two pretty shrikes, hope we will
see more of them. well done & best wishes, thor.

ps. my wife´s girlfriend is just on a 1-week-visit to her home in
kiev, but i guess she will not be looking at birds there, which is too bad.

Dear FRIEND Alexei,
We have NEVER EVER seen this species though we've passed through Greece and your country.
A LOVELY bird; and, yes, you are right. THEY DO LOOK SOOOOO HAPPY.
In other words: You did not register 2 birds but "HAPPINESS".
Warm & friendly greetings of 'happines' to you and your dear family. Mario.

Hi Alexei, the catchlight is superb, the composition is excellent. The feather details is also excellent. You have captured these birds at a great moment, showing good timing and clarity. Fine work, regards h

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-05-03 11:46]

Hello Alexei,
Lovely scane.Eyes of the bird are crisp clear.Well caught and composed.Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • Art_R Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 20 N: 839] (3892)
  • [2008-05-03 11:58]

Hi Alexei , another wonderful photograph , the composition is great , as well the color and detail is very good too.




Hello my dear friend Alexei,
This is truly a beautiful and romantic composition of the Shrikes!
great pov with best dof in the shot to achieve perfect sharpness, good colour and superb details of the two!
many thanks for the sharing
take care and my best regards
from NZ, Tony

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-05-03 13:20]

Great notes as always Alexei, beautiful picture and nice reflexion. They look like they're sitting under a pergola, enjoying the end of the day and resting, shoulder to shoulder. Yes, they look happy and fulfilled and you are right, when we feel like that, we look like that and radiate. It is communicative. Thanks for this nice post and beautiful picture,


Gran sensibilidad para captar esta escena Alexei. Puro romanticismo :-)) Gran enfoque, profundidad y luz. Eres una artista con la luz en muchas ocasiones.
Abrazo: J. Ignasi

  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2008-05-03 16:44]

Hi Alex, I like to see bird photos and this is as you say a happy atmosphere. Cute attractive birds fliting around the garden is one of life's greatest pleaures. TFS. Murray.

hello Alexei

very beautiful image of these lovely birds, fine POV & DOF,
very beautiful luminosity of the image
(i love the excellent luminosity of your images Alexei)
superb sharpness and details of the foreground, TFS


Hello Alexei,
Anton Pavlovitsj Tsjechov. Could be the setting for one of his short stories...
Well done

You are always right on the spot A! Your work shows not only technical expertise..but emotion which sometimes us in the western US do thing we are so naive...Thanks for your kind words on my images as well.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-05-03 20:29]

Hello Alexei,
You continue to amaze me with the superior quality of your images. This is an outstanding composition Alexei, thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2008-05-04 0:39]

hello my friend
lucky day for you and successful result via your 100-400 lens
composition, POV, DOF, colours and sharpness are great

Ohh Alexei,
very nice and sweet scene perfectly photographied, wonderfull colours and great focus, splendid background too

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-05-04 2:13]

Hi Alex,what a nice situation to take,very wonderfull moment and great quality in sharpness and colour,thanks for the note too,have a nice Sunday,Luciano

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2008-05-04 2:33]

hi Alexei,
très jolie image de ces deux oiseaux, ils forment un intéresant duo. J'aime beacoup le pov intimisme avec les feuilles floues au premier plan.
well done my friend


Hello Alexei,
A lovely situation has been captured!
Wonderful fluffy details in the plumage, sharpness is first class as always...
I like the composition and fine colour reproduction, and they both pose nicely for the photograph!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-05-04 6:00]

Hi Alexei,
Outstanding shot of this cute birds on that interesting fence. Very neat and sharp image with lovely colours and perfect illumination. Nice poses you have captured and your captions is so apt. I like the surrounding and the thought behind the shutter. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

Hi Alexei,

I'm back from a trip and see that I missed some pictures of yours! This one is highly interesting, it shows a species really closeup that has rarely been presented. As usual, you did a good job with the light and focus. The type of fence is also interesting!
Best regards

Adorable shot! Watching these amazing creatures moves me. The other day I watched my male cardinal, Senor Rojo, literally feeding his wife under my bird feeder. It was an amazing thing to see.

A great shot - wonderfully clean and clear.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-05-04 6:32]

Hello Alexei, I like the pose of this bird and your caption. Excellent clarity and sharpness. Lovely presentation. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • RP1 Gold Star Critiquer [C: 154 W: 1 N: 6] (251)
  • [2008-05-04 9:48]

Hi Alexei,
What a beautiful photo! The colours and composition are superb.
I like the fence that gave a plus to the photo.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-05-04 9:56]

Hello Alexei,
I like the pose you captured a lot. Good focus, sharpness, lighting, POV, composition, colors and background.TFS

Hola Alexei, lovely couple with splendid pose, great sharpness and perfect focus, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-05-04 12:14]

Hi Alexei,
what a lovely shot of these two Shrikes!
They look very happy together :-)
Sharp and crisp with excellent detail.
Nice light and a great exposure.
Very nice composition too.
Well done!


Bellissima immagine, ottimo POV, molto belle la composizione per la posa e l'ambientazione, ottima nitidezza e magnifici i colori e BG. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

These lovely Grey Shrikes certainly exude a sense of peace, calm and joy in their lives, Alexei.
This is a very beautiful image taken from a distance. The two birds make a balanced appearance between an iron fence and a tree trunk.
The colours are beautiful in this picture and the image is sharp and crisp.
Thanks and best regards.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-05-05 0:24]

hello Alex,
Picture full of charm and lightness. I like the fine green as background to the cute duo on the fence. May be Madame hadn't finished her "toilette", the feathers are a little bit untidy:-).
Thanks a lot for it
Best regards

Hello Alexi,

This is a lovely pose. They do appear quite contented and secure!

You have captured excellent details of a bird that I have never seen! It was good to have two birds because now I know what it looks like at the front and the back!

Good, sharp images in a perfect setting!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

Most interesting image..Great title Alexei.
Perhaps not a perfect picture, but a picture of perfect happiness :)
Well done!

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-05-05 10:30]

Hi Alexei
very nice image
very good capture
well done.

  • Great 
  • mariki Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 838 W: 60 N: 2307] (9477)
  • [2008-05-05 10:48]

Hello Alexei,

Very beautiful composition. Sharp picture of this lovely couple. Great light and very nice colours.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2008-05-05 11:04]

Hi Alexei,
As always, a technically perfect photo: focus, light, exposure, details and composition.
I find the scenario the right one for your comment. Family proves to be specially important for harsh environments and the rusted, iron elements here give an artificial, man-made frame to this nice couple.
A suggestive photo for the current times.
TFS and best regards,
José M.

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2008-05-05 11:56]

The soft, perfect light is always amazing in your photos Alexei. Excellent composition, precise focus, nice natural colors, wonderful background.

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-05-05 12:25]

How cuuuuuute!! And how beautiful this birds are! I am not very put at birds but I can't remember to have seen this kind before. I really love the way you captured this couple, they really look happy as you say. The framing and composition are gorgeous.
May you and all be happy too, dear Alexei.
Thank you very much for sharing.
My best regards

  • Great 
  • sayat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 280 W: 0 N: 258] (1457)
  • [2008-05-06 1:11]

Hi Alexei,

I like a lot the fantastic details but the mood of the shot is far better than the details. Warmth, family love, nice weather and just happiness. Which is so characteristic to birds. Amazing composition. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-05-06 5:33]

Hi Alexei

Sorry, but just a very short comment today :(
A very beautiful and emotional post here from you.
I really like the pose of these two cute lesser grey shrikes and the excvellent DOF you chose to keep them both in such great focus.
Very well done indeed!

Bravo and TFS

Excellent photo, great sharpness and colours. Very good shot of this beautiful pair. Well done.
Best wishes,

Ciao Alexei,
foto sempre all'altezza della tua bravura!
Bellissimi i dettagli ed i colori!


  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-05-07 8:48]

Hi Alexei,
a pleasure to see another offering from you as always. This time an ordinary and touching moment between this couple. I think your composition and setting here is the key factor in making this a great shot. Perfect DOF and beautiful colours, very well done as always....

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-05-07 16:30]

Hi Alex.
I took short vacations with My family, and as You said in Your Note we were very happy together, so I miss a lot of beautiful photos like this from all of You, but here I am again.
Great image Alex. Lovly pose and beautiful colors.

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2008-05-07 18:13]

Exelente foto muito boa em composição e qualidade parabéns.

Hello Alexei,
I am very impressed with this composition. The fence or what it is they sit on adds a nice touch.
You were fortunate to find them both together, and would have been even more so, if the other head was showing too.We cannot always get everything we want in nature.
The colours and clarity are excellent. TFS

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-05-08 7:22]

Hello Alexei! Another great composition from you, I love the colors and sharpness of this one, well done, thanks!


  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-05-09 9:22]

Hi Alexei

Lovely image of this pretty pair. Very sweet poses, excellent exposure on the pale feathers and great POV. I also like watching wildlife and seeing animals interact.



  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2008-05-09 12:21]

Замечательные птички!
Удачно пойман момент, фон приятный, но главное, что вся картинка - как будто они специально позировали

Bonjour Alexei.
Belle composition,superbe prise, la photo est trés jolie.Amitiés antonio.

  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2008-05-09 23:24]

Sympathique scène de famille.
Bonne journée.

Hi Alexei,
A nice capture of this beautiful couple of shrike birds. Excellent composition and sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Beautiful shot! The soft green and white colours, composition and framing, all make this a superb picture!

Hello Alexei,
I started to comment on your picture yesterday, but then my kids interfered saying it's time for their dinner and i had to leave this beautiful photo and postpone the comment or my family happiness would have got disrupted;)
Your notes was really thought provoking for me, Alexei. I guess if we had more happy families around us, may be people will stop fighting and world will be a much better place to live in.Who will want to create trouble when they are happy?
Now coming back to your picture, it is lovely.The green background looks so refreshing and provides a good contrast to the black and white birds. the birds have certainly given you a good pose.:)Excellent sharpness and details in the plumage. I just loved the way you have captured those tiny unruly feathers( may be the breeze?) on its abdomen. a beautiful composition indeed.
Thanks for the share of the picture and the notes,

Hi dear Alexei ,
Great work.
Excellent composition.
It is clear and has nice BG.
Very well cptured

Kind regards

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-05-16 21:45]

Hello Alexei

I am not familiar with this species of bird.Very well captured with lovely detail and colour.
The focus is sharp as usual.
Wonderful plumage detail and excellent colouration.


wondrefull shot;-) very nice deep sharpness color, nice photo

Dear Alexei,
very charming, clearly artistic image with a lovely and wise message.
You are a great master of telling emotionally touching simple stories in your pictures.
Thank you my dear friend.
With best wishes,

Hi Alexei,

What a lovely couple and they seem to be posing nicely for you :-) I like the surroundings these birds are in, beautiful colours, good sharpness, details and composition.

Greetings, Nel

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