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Photo Information
Copyright: Jose Miguel Cisneros (JoseMiguel) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1419 W: 3 N: 1610] (5658)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-10-24
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/100 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-11-07 10:34
Viewed: 6462
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 126
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This picture was taken at the San Juan Botanical Garden, also known as the Botanical Garden of the University of Puerto Rico, is located in the Caribbean city of San Juan, capital of Puerto Rico. This lush 300 acre “urban garden” of native and exotic flora serves as a laboratory for the study, conservation and enrichment of plants, trees, flowers, grasses and many other plants.

At first glance I thought it was a type of duck, and its amazing bright red-orange-yellow beak immediately attracted my attention. That’s why I choose to let the aperture wide open and focus all the attention on its head and beak.

Handheld with IS, fill flash, crop, exposure adjustment, resized and sharpen for TN.
Focal lenght: 300mm
ISO: 250

Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Pollo de agua, Gallareta frentirroja en español

The most widely distributed member of the rail family, the Common Moorhen inhabits marshes and ponds from Canada to Chile, from northern Europe to southern Africa, and across Asia to the Pacific. Vocal and boldly marked, the species can be quite conspicuous, sometimes using its long toes to walk atop floating vegetation.

They have red bill and forehead, short, rounded wings and are weak fliers, although usually capable of covering long distances, the Common Moorhen in particular migrates up to 2,000 km from some of its breeding areas in the colder parts of Siberia. Those that migrate do so at night. The Gough Island Moorhen, on the other hand, is considered almost flightless - it can only flutter some meters.

Moorhens can walk very well on strong legs, and have long toes that are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces.
These birds are omnivorous, taking plant material, small animals and eggs. They are aggressively territorial during the breeding season, but are otherwise often found in sizeable flocks on the shallow vegetated lakes they prefer.

Cool Facts:

•The Common Moorhen has long toes that makes it possible to walk on soft mud and floating vegetation. The toes have no lobes or webbing to help in swimming, but the moorhen is a good swimmer anyway.

•The Common Moorhen sometimes lifts its feet out of the water in front of the body while swimming, perhaps to pass over vegetation.

•Newly hatched chicks of the Common Moorhen have spurs on their wings that help them climb into the nest or grab emergent vegetation.

•Twelve subspecies of Common Gallinule are recognized from around the world, most differing only in size or brightness of plumage. One subspecies is found only in the Hawaiian Islands and has been known as the Hawaiian Gallinule.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Gallinula
Species: Gallinula chloropus


horia, Alex99, martic, undoredo, nglen, wallhalla15, MMM, ridvan, gracious, mirceax, mvdisco, Luis52, eqshannon, ramthakur, Kathleen, fartash, ellis49, jaycee, jrobertop, writerscrawlz, bobair, nainnain, tiklod, hester, marhowie, SelenE, Necipp, Debz, Isu, jcoowanitwong, izler, smitha, Miss_Piggy, mesquens, jusninasirun, loot has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Argus: Hi IvanJoseMiguel 1 11-08 10:09
To ellis49: Thanks so much!JoseMiguel 1 11-08 08:49
To ridvan: WonderfulGaublys 1 11-07 14:16
To Alex99: Hi AlexeiJoseMiguel 1 11-07 12:00
To horia: Thanks so much!JoseMiguel 1 11-07 11:48
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-11-07 11:09]
  • [+]

Hi Jose

Another very nice shot from you and your new equipment.
You are right, ti's beak here really did deserve all the attention it could get...it's truely eye-catchy and you did great to focus your attention on it.
Also, you managed to close-up well on hte head of the bird, making it stand out very nicely and by the good use of flash, you enhanced it's beautiful colors.
Unfortunately, all this came with a little of noise for the rest of the bird, especially the plumage. It's no big deal really, and i must confess that i had similar problems the first few times i shot at 300mm. It's very difficult to keep perfectly still and expose a picture correctly at the same time; actually, i still have the same problem sometimes. I think this is where the transition from a compact to an SLR is the most challanging.
However, you handled admirably and produced a lovely portrait.

Bravo, my friend and TFS

  • Great 
  • martic Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 179 W: 1 N: 159] (1327)
  • [2007-11-07 11:35]

Hi Jose Miguel,
Superb portrait, outstanding details and good exposure, congrat.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-11-07 11:38]
  • [+]

Hi Jose.
Our friend Horia is completely right. It is very good experience and you managed to take very impressive shot. Head and neck also as well as the water surface are reproduced perfectly. Sharpness (excluding BG), details and especially colours are excellent. Blurriness of the wings and body are not so attractive. I think the exposure time 1/100 is too long. You may use ISO up to 800 boldly, probably. I often use different ISO speed and take many photos of the same subject in such cases. My best wishes, compliments and TFS.
I like to see you study of new equipment.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-11-07 11:39]

Excellent shot from you!
Your new equipment works very well.
+++ Superb POV with an excellent composition aswell.
I love the vivid colours and nice lighting.
Sharp withg great detail.
--- Slightly noisy in places but the photo as a whole is still outstanding :D
Well done Jose Miguel,
Joe :D

Hi Jose Miguel,
splendid close-up of this galinule, outstanding focus on his head, great colors and excellent lighting, I like so much the light into his eye
well done, I like it very much,
cheer and thanks for sharing,

Hello Jose,
this is a very clear portrait shot. Great sharpness, details and colours. This is a very good composition. Thank you.

Hola Jose Miguel, great portrait of beautiful bird with splendid details, wonderful colors and excellent sharpness, lovely composition with good in bird's eye, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2007-11-07 12:42]

Hello Jose
Excellent Portrait .Good POV and very sharp image.Details in the plumage are fantastic.Nice colors and Nice catch light in the eye.
TFS Michel

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-11-07 12:50]

Hola amigo,
magnífico retrato,
original pico,color y forma,
textura del plumaje y buen contacto con el ojo del ave...

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-11-07 13:28]

Hello Jose,
Wonderful close up of this Moorhen. The focus on the eye is very good. Very beautiful strong colours. About the noise is been said. Good POV and composition.

selam ;
Nice composition.Good POV and sharp image whit nice details.Colors are beautiful.Excellent shot of this moorhen well done.
TFS ridvan

  • Great 
  • carmia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 231 W: 4 N: 144] (2240)
  • [2007-11-07 15:01]

Hola Jose Miguel, excelente retrato , los detalles son muy buenos y el color del pico es una maravilla y muy original. Saludos amigo !!

Hi Jose,
A great bird portrait from you and your new equipment. Beautiful colours and details,great composition too.Just a bit noise .
tfs and best wishes,


Hi Jose,
Lovely close up of this bird, very sharp and clair picture, excellent POV. and colours,great shot..Well done.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-11-07 17:50]

Hola Jose. Exelente la foto de esta "gallareta" muy hermosos los colores del pico. Nunca habia visto alguno. Buen trabajo amigo Jose Miguel. Saludos Luis52.

Very fine capture of the face of this cute Moorhen, JM.
The yellow beak is really the best feature of this bird's face.
Thanks for sharing and warm regards.

hello jose,
excellent capture, the image is sharp with good details, the eye contact is lovely, well saturated colours, precise dof,
well done,
tfs & regards

Hello Jose,
You bring here very unique and wonderful Moorhen, with excellent details and very nice composition!
Also, lovely colours and nice focusing, well presented!!
Just a bit noise I can see, but still very nice portrait shot from you.
Well captured and TFS,
Best wishes, Kevin

Hola Jose Miguel

Great portrait of the moorhen
Good sharpness and composition


Hi Jose.
The red really stands out, great shot going for the portrait to show the amazing red.
Lovely exposure showing detail and colour.


A nice close up. These gardens sound nice. Our national Refuge is way to large to get close in and it is also protected so humans are only allowed near at certain spots. I see many US official cars so I dare not try to get this close...although I don't think there are an of these aviary creatures. A very interesting head shot with markings and the Cornell University does do well for research.


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-11-08 7:03]

Hello Jose

A very impressive portrait of this moorhen.
The focus is tack sharp with excellent details.
The colours are rich and vivid.
Excellent POV and DOF.
The shot is well composed.


  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-11-08 7:23]

Hello Jose Miguel, good portrait of the Moorhen, very good exposure and colors. Well composed image, thanks.


Hello Jose Miguel,
Real nice to see your posting all the time!
This is a perfect composition in sharpness, awesome colour and so much details always!
the clarity of the shot is so excellent
my compliment!
all the best

Hello Jose
Very inetrsting spieces to shoot,
Great focusing,colors and DOF,Welldone.

Good Luck

Hi Jose,
a nice portrait of a moorhen, the colours are beautiful.
Well composed with a good POV. The sharpness is pretty good
but not pin sharp, Even with an IS lens a 1/100sec can be to long, you may hold the lens still but the subject as a moorhen
are almost never still. With a 40d you can use up to ISO800.
Your lens is a very good one, I have own one and you will take pin sharp pictures with it, when you get use to it.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-11-08 8:58]

Hi Jose,

A beautiful portrait of this Moorhen. The colors are superb. Excellent details of the face, eye, beak, and feathers. The lighting is wonderful.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-11-08 9:44]
  • [+]

Hello José Miguel,
This is a fine close portrait of a Moorhen, though I have to looks at from a distance of about a meter on my screen to really appreciate it. It is a little too closely cropped perhaps.
Nevertheles this is a fine capture with excellent colours and composition.
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

Hi José Miguel
Simply perfect!
Wonderful bird with magnicifent colors!
Excellent POV, sharpness and composition.
Impressive the wealth of details.
Thanks for sharing!
Best regards,
José Roberto

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-11-08 12:02]

Hi Jose.You Are making good use of the 40D. hope you are getting on ok with it a new camera takes time to get use to.a good close up on the head, good detail in the beak and eye. just a bit of noise in the feathers. good colours. well done TFS.
I will be back PT

Wow, what a close-up! I love the contrasting colors of the Common Moorhen. This is the first one I've ever seen and I feel as if it is coming right through my computer screen. A terrific sense of composition, lighting, and exposure. Excellent, just excellent.

Hi Jose,
very nicely detailed shot of this moorhen with good colour and focus.Here where I live the American Coot is a similar bird just not as colourful in the beak area.Thanks for sharing.Very good note as well. Bob

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-11-09 1:02]

Hi Jose,
Just appreciating this wonderful shot from you. I am on a tour and internet connection comes at a premium here, hence doing a short job. Sorry.

oh là là quelle merveille, de tres jolies couleurs pour cette macro, excellents détails
merci a toi

Hello Jose,
Very nice portrait of this Moorhen. Very Beautiful vivid and rich colours. Excellent DOF.


bonjour josé miguel
je trouve que vous avez du accentuer un peu trop mais ce que j'aime sur ce portrait c'est l'unique touche de couleur qui est le bec.
pas evident d'avoir une poule d'eau de cette maniere.

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-11-10 10:35]

Hi Jose Miguel

I love the colours on the bill. It is a wonderfully detailed portrait. The light in the eye is stunning. I also like the tight framing



Hello Jose Miguel.
A fine portrait of this colourful fellow!
Good point of view and the subject is well framed, DOF spot on...
A well balanced composition with a fine feeling of depth!
Pablo -

Well composed profile portrait Jose.
Great detail, color, and exposure here :)

Excellent close up, detail and exposure are on the money.

  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2007-11-11 22:45]

Voilà un oiseau qui ne passe pas inaperçu.
Bonne journée.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-11-11 23:52]

Hola Jose-Miguel,
Nice POV, good colors and composition. TFS

Nice capture of the animal, sharp image with good details. Very nice shot. Well captured.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-11-12 7:52]

Hola Jose Miguel
Pues sí que tiene un pico gracioso y llamativo esta gallareta. De no ser por él yo también habría pensado que era un pato. Aunque la foto se sale un poquitín de lo habitual en cuanto a la nitidez, se observan perfectamente los detalles, especialmente los más interesantes en el pico y en ese bonito ojo de diferentes tonos.
La composición es una maravilla, y muy interesante la nota sobre esta curiosa especie.
Un auténtico lujo.
Felicidades y un fuerte abrazo.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-11-12 8:33]

Hello Joe,
an excellent portrait, such a great composition and wonderful colours. Very well done as ever.

Hello Jose a fine composition with strong colours and great pov tfs rgds Necip.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-11-13 4:00]

Hello Jose,
Brilliant close up portrait of this moorhen. Your excellent exposure and focus has brought out the contrast of the colorful beak against the black plummage. Very well done Jose.

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-11-13 5:35]

Hi Jose Miguel, this is a SPECTACULAR close up shot of this lovely Moorhen. I do like them. Fantastic close up with amazing detail and light on the eye and beak! We have Moorhens her but not quite as colourful in the beak. You made an excellent expsure and your focus is perfect. Great light and colour and all is sharp. Great composition. Great work.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-11-13 7:22]

Hello Jose,
Amazing close-up on this Moorhen in profile. Sharp focus on the eye and the beautiful beak and lovely colours. I like the soft green background too.
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • mishe Gold Star Critiquer [C: 110 W: 0 N: 3] (1076)
  • [2007-11-13 13:32]

Hola Jose!
Very beautiful bird.
Colors,light and sharpness are excellent.
With best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Isu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 313 W: 0 N: 21] (1663)
  • [2007-11-13 17:09]

Hola amigo, espectacular foto, los colores tan limpio y nitidos y vivos, es maravilloso que puedas compartir tan bella toma, gracias. Sira

  • Great 
  • zeca Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 373 W: 14 N: 539] (2887)
  • [2007-11-14 20:03]

Hola José Miguel!
Yo tengo una foto deste passaro, pero este close up és óptimo! Excellente captura!

hi jose miguel,

nice close up!i like your cropping really!
beautiful colors too!

Hi Jose,
Perfect close up to see this beautiful beaks. Good choice of aperture. Very well done and tfs.

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2007-11-18 10:48]

selam Jose Miguel
wonderful portrait photo of this beautiful and cute bird
especially i like colours and details of beak and eyes
composition, point of view, lighting, colours, sharpness and details are great
thanks for sharing

Hello jose,
The first reaction when I saw the thumbnail was WOW! Now having taken a closer look, it has changed to WOWWWW! Excellent shot.What superb details .
I think this is the first time I have seen the portrait of a Moorhen. I believe it is an extremely shy bird. focus is spot on with great details of the head , eye and the beak. It's eye is very eye catching. The use of flash and the perfect exposure has made the beak very attractive. I can see even the water droplets clinging to it. For a handheld shot with 300m at 1/100 speed you have done wonders. Looking forward to more from you,
I have added the picture to my favourites.

Hi Jose Miguel,
I realize that I have missed this one... This is an excellent composition with superb colors and details. We also have those birds here, I have photographed some this summer but not from that close. Well seen and TFS,

Hi jose,
excellent pic ,TFS

Hi Jose,
A beautiful capture of this lovely bird's portrait. Excellent details and lovely colors. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hallo Jose
An absolute stunning portrait! A very beautiful and colourful bird. The details of this photo are very good and the colours are fabulous. I just love that big eye and the yellow tip on its beak is really pretty and eye-catching. Congratulations. Thanks for sharing. It was lovely to look at.
Kind regards

Olá José Miguel.
Soberba foto e excelente Nota.
Vai para meus favoritos

Hi Jose Miguel,

Superb mugshot of this moorhen in such a good pose. The head slightly turned across the frame is so well focused with such good details. I like the shallow depth and good blurry background.


  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2010-01-20 15:18]

Hi Jose

This is a wonderful portrait of a Moorhen. Great definition and sharp details within the
facial region. The OOF body and the water surface created a lovely BG that actually
compliments the lovely facial features of this bird. I like the well saturated colours and
the composition is well balanced. Nice double catchlight in the eye.

Good work and TFS.

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