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Victoria's Riflebird

Victoria's Riflebird
Photo Information
Copyright: Chris Chafer (sandpiper2) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1906 W: 107 N: 4875] (16757)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-30
Categories: Birds
Camera: Pentax K100D Super, Sigma 70-300 DG Macro, Digital ISO-400, Matin 58mm UV
Exposure: f/8, 1/90 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Birds of Australia 2, Silpa's "Unforgettable" Favourites !!! [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-09-24 5:19
Viewed: 9360
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
My two previous posts illustrated a pair of honeyeaters that were attracted to a feeder at a small restaurant at Paluma. They were the entrée to the main course and the reason we had come to this fine establishment; to get face to face with a Victoria’s Riflebird (Ptilotis victoriae). Like the honeyeaters, they can’t resist fresh bananas, and to have this beautiful member of the family Paradisaeidae only two metres away is indeed a special treat.
There are 4 species of ‘Birds of Paradise’ in Australia, 3 riflebirds and a manucode. Like their relatives from New Guinea, they are restricted to mountain rainforests and are more often heard than seen. The males are gaudy in their appearance. Unfortunately Paluma was heavily clothed in clouds while we were there and the true beauty of his plumage was difficult to capture. But I think this profile and the full body picture in the WORKSHOP will give you some idea of his rich glossy blue-black plumage.
Although they like bananas and other fruits of the forest, Riflebirds are usually observed feeding like giant treecreepers. They climb up and down rotting tree limbs and stumps, ripping bark off and probing into cavities in search of beetle larvae.
They are not great fliers and the males wings sound like two pieces of silk rubbing together when he flies (Note the square wing tip in the WORKSHOP shot). Their gape is an unbelievably bright yellow which the male uses like a beacon during their bizarre courtship behaviour. Males have a favourite display stump, usually deep in the forest. They sit on top of the stump in the early morning, and thrust their arched wings over their head and open their mouths to catch the light and sway back and forth. The effect of the early sunlight reflecting off the glossy plumage coupled with the golden glow of his mouth and weird calls he emits is an incredible performance to watch. I’ve only seen it twice in the wild and I was stunned; it’s easy to see how female riflebirds are enticed by his performance. Males are of course polyandrous, mating with as many females as they can attract and taking no part in nest building or raising the chicks.
Victoria’s Riflebird (named after Queen Victoria) is the smallest of the Australian species at 23cm long and is found in the elevated rainforests between Cooktown and Paluma.

rousettus, MMM, cicindela, rcrick, Argus, Silvio2006, Dis. Ac., ramthakur, uleko, iris, meyerd has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Chris
a great capture for one of amazing beautiful Paradise Birds. Some week ago, I saw short clip of this species corthship dance. Interesting and very very beautiful dance. Your shot also great. Focus, POV, timing, plain BG and frame very nice. eyes contact also great. Thanks for sharing, best wishes

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-09-24 7:06]

Hi Christ.
Excellent closed up image.Nice POV and very sharp image with good plumage detail.I like the way light is showing on your subject head.Also nice OOF Bg
TFS Michel

Hi Chris,
Great capture of this guy.
Excellent POV sharpness and colors.
Cheers from the south f France.

amazing bird, TFS Ori

Hello Chris brilliant shot of beautiful bird. Lovely colors of the bird. Nice sharp image with nice BG. Well done. regards - Adil.

Hello Chris!
Great capture and wonderful portrait! This species looks really impressive. So colourful and so sharp that I can feel like watching alive specimen, not a picture :)
TFS and I'm waiting for your next photo!
Greetings from rainy Lodz,

Hi Chris,

Great capture of this stunning looking Riflebird, the colours are amazing, excellent detail in the plumage, wonderful eye contact, well framed and composed, all the best,

Cheers Rick :)

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-09-25 0:45]

Hi Chris,
magnificent shot of this Riflebird!
This is very sharp.
The iridescent feathers on its neck and crown are stunning!
Great pose, superb composition and a brilliant parallel POV.
Excellent BG.

Well done,

  • Great 
  • fthsm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 172 W: 56 N: 512] (3689)
  • [2008-09-25 5:50]

This must be a great experience. Nice photo of a dream bird. TFS Chris.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-09-25 6:44]

Hello Chris, beautiful and great shot. Excellent eye catch. Ganesh

Hi Chris,
A nice captured portrait of this beautiful rifle bird. Superb details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-09-25 22:04]

This is great Chris!
A superb portrait of the male taken with fine sharpness, great eye contact, BG and lighting.
I failed to get a good shot of it with my 2S IS, the iridescent parts being too much for it.
This is a great reminder of those attempts and I am taking it into my favourites to show me how it should have been taken!

Hi Chris,

what a very good portraitphoto of this Rifflebird.
Beaurifully done in dof, pov and colours.
This one I never been seen before.TFS.


Smashing portrait of this lovely bird native to your country, Chris.
Despite the backlight, you have captured a very sharp image with distinct details and rich colours.
The plain neutral BG does great justice to the subject here.
Well done and TFS.

Hi Chris, superb portrait of splendid bird with great colors, fine details and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-09-26 6:17]

Hello Chris,
Wow, what a terrific close-up of the male Riflebird!!! Beautiful sharpness and colours and I like its sharp profile agains the light background. I did manage to capture it displaying in Queensland but the result was not too good. There was a French film team there too at the time and they seemed to miss it!! The place you went to sounds brilliant!!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-09-26 23:12]

Hello Chris,
A portrait that demands more than two points....This is one of the best portrait shots i have come across in TN with a side profile.The sky blue metallic sheen is rich and shines through.Superb eye contact and texture details.

Thanks for adding the ws showing the bird again.Should find the nearest opportunity to see their courtship dance.
Very well done.
TFS & Cheers

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-09-27 0:29]

Hi Chris
very nice portraid
very good sharp and detail
well done.

Hi Chris,
Excellent close-up picture of this Victoria's Riflebird. Nice pose and composition, sharp details and natural bright colours.

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2008-09-28 22:12]

lOVELY CLOSEUP,its dazzling colours.TFS!

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