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Another Hiding in the Fig

Another Hiding in the Fig
Photo Information
Copyright: John Plumb (JPlumb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-06-23
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, NIKKOR AF-S 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 ED DX VR
Exposure: f/6.7, 1/125 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-03-04 18:27
Viewed: 3780
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is a male Australasian (Yellow) Figbird (Sphecotheres “viridis or vieilloti” flaviventris). There is some contention with respect to the actual species of this bird based on the race, this is further confused with hybridization of this race with others. The book I use to identify birds in Australia was published in 2004 yet this debate still continues. What is known for sure on this one is the genus and race. Note: My book identifies this one as Sphecotheres vieilloti with S. viridis relegated to an Indonesian type.

This type of bird (Australasian (Green and Yellow) Figbirds) is found in coastal regions of Northern and Eastern Australia, New Guinea and the Kai Islands. They are found in rainforests, as well as urban parks and gardens, particularly those with figs and other fruit producing trees. They are said to feed in flocks, of up to 20 birds. When I saw this one, there were several in the same large tree. I would guess 3 or 4. They were all high in the tree. This is the one that gave me the clearest shot.

This one was in a park next to the Lucinda Bulk Sugar Terminal. He was hiding in the same tree as the Helmeted Friarbird I showed earlier. He didn’t make it easy. To get the shot I stood on a picnic table under the tree. He kept moving around. Focus was difficult due to all of the obstructing branches. I was actually happy it turned out as well as it did. It’s not the kind of shot I would normally want to post here, but even with the obstruction it was “definable” and the best I was able to get (in fact the only one I kept). Also, I don’t see another bird (of this type and race) in TN, so I decided to post this one, at least until I can get another.

Some of this from: http://www.birdforum.net/opus/index.php?title=Australasian_Figbird&diff=prev&oldid=71567&bird_birdforum_o__session=432ba854e9bc56d955545f2ae1c3fde4 and http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/finder/display.cfm?id=121
ID from: Simpson K. and Day N. (2004), Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Penguin Books, Camberwell

Workflow for this shot was as follows:
The shoot – shot in Raw with Jpeg reference (200 mm ISO 200 f6.7 1/125)
NEF file adjusted for exposure and shadow, and vignetting
Adjusted levels – black points and midpoint by eye
Adjusted curves by auto, then adjusted RGB for contrast
Dodged and Burned with overlay layer (5-10% opacity white and black)
Added saturation layer +20 to master
Saved as a tiff
for this post cropped for position, resized, created a new layer, selectively sharpened bird, framed and saved as a jpeg

mlines, jusninasirun, CeltickRanger, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2008-03-04 20:17]

Hi John, Good clear photo of the figbird eating berries in the tree. Standing on a picnic table was a risk for a good photo, i may not have been so brave! Good result. I especially like the yellow colour. TFS. Murray.

Hi John,
Yes, the taxonomy is still confused on this one. Some day they will figure it out.

Hello John. Thanks for deciding to share this with us here in TN. I wouldn't be as brave as you are standing on the picnic table with eyes through the viewfinder but you have managed the essential in excellent sharpness. You focusing must be excellent to pick out the sharpness of the head and leaving the busy foreground busy. This is actually rather unique rather than full body exposure as it depicts the natural habitat of this species. Well done and best regards. Jusni

hello John

excellent shot of the Figbird hided behind the branches,
you choosed the best moment to shot the image
when the bird was eating the fruit, excellent POV
and horizintal framing like the bird' pose,
excellent sharpness and details, TFS


Hi John,
he is hiding well, but yet you did a great job focusing in and get the best shot in this situation.
Very interesting seeing this bird up in the fig tree.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-03-06 9:31]

Hello John

A very interesting looking bird,I have never seen this bird before.The colours are very good .
The POV is very good,and the fact you have managed to capture it eating the figs makes this a good documantation shot.


  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-03-07 0:25]

Hi John,
Wonderful shot of this Figbird almost hidden behind the criss cross branches. Nice colours and sharpness with superb lighting and a great POV. I liked the way it has managed a mouthful. Excellent composition. Kudos.

Hi John,

10/10 for fetting through the branches to gget a clear shot of the bird's face as he eats his fig. It's an unusual shot, and one I think works really well.


Hello John,
You show the bird in the habitat well!
Seems like he's enjoying some fruit or berries, with his mouth full of delicate eating...
A well balanced composition!
Pablo -

Hi John,

Your note has a lot of information. The yellow figbird is well framed by the branches. The details and colors of the bird are clear and precise. There is a good contrast between the colors. Have a nice day.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-03-14 9:34]

A Figbird playing hard to get! Great capture John even in difficult conditions. Well done, thanks!


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