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Don't worry, It's not hurt.

Don't worry, It's not hurt.
Photo Information
Copyright: Tim Kirby (rust01) Silver Note Writer [C: 1 W: 0 N: 20] (74)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006
Categories: Birds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-01-14 3:24
Viewed: 6596
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Don't worry, He's alright.
We were out sitting on a creek bank, when a group of Mickey Birds (Noisy Miners - Manorina melanocephala) flew over.
All except this one flew past and landed in a tree 50 meters away, ignoring us.
This one landed briefly on a branch near us, then fluttered to the ground and spread itsself out on the ground. It stayed like this, without so much as a twitch for a while, as we waited for it to do something.
After watching it for 5 minutes or so, we started to wonder what was wrong with it, so I picked up my camera and crept up behind it. The ONLY movement I could see from close up was a faint movement of it's chest as it breathed.
I took this pic and reached out and gently touched it's tail - the bird leapt into the air,screeched at me, flew to a nearby branch and after scolding me a bit it flew off into the distance, collecting the others on the way.
WHAT was it doing ?

A dust bath ? - after landing like this it never moved a muscle.

Some sort of submissive behavior ? - the rest of it's mates were nowhere near us.

Pretending to be injured to divert attention from a nest ? - the birds flew in from hundreds of meters away on one side of us, and dissappeared into the distance in the other direction.

Maybe it just thought it was a nice spot to catch some sun ...........
Not the worlds greatest photo, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless.

sarajofre, Argus, manyee, coasties, normanw has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To loot: Sunningrust01 1 01-17 15:53
To cuckooroller: Antsrust01 1 01-14 04:18
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Tim,
Did you see any Ants around the bird?

Hi Tim,
Great story..
And beautiful image; detail and sharpness are excellent.
Colouration bird is wonderful.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-01-14 10:03]
  • [2]

Hello Tim,
Though this not exactly a good portrait of Noisy Miner it does illustrate in a sharp and well composed shot a type of behaviour. My guess is that it was hoping for an 'ant bath'. Some birds do this to remove parasites the ants doing the job pretty effectively.
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-01-14 14:54]

What an amazing behaviour you have captured, Tim.
It reminds me of another post by Loot entitled Extraordinary Beggar.
What is it with these birds???

Anyway, great shot with excellent POV, good details, and fascinating story.
TFS. : )

Hi Tim

An interesting story. I wonder what it was playing at? Well done on the shot to. TFS.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2007-01-17 4:28]
  • [4] [+]

Hi Tim

This is a great shot to show a bird indulging in an activity or behaviour called 'sunning'. More than 200 species of birds have been observed to lie down on the ground and indulge in anting, dusting, or sunning behaviour.

Anting rids or reduces external parasites and can soothe skin irritations.
Dusting may reduce moisture, align feather barbs, and remove external parasites.
Sunning may help to increase body temperature.

Although you do not mention ambient temperature I do believe this to be 'sunning' and not dusting or anting. First I do not see any ants around on your photo which probably excludes that possibility. Secondly, if it was dusting then the bird would have wriggled around in the dust and it would be obvious to the observer that the bird were smearing the dust all over its feathers. Since the bird were lying still in this pose for 5 minutes as you pointed out I would definitively consider this to be a case of a sunning bird. I am sure it was so enjoying it until you nearly gave it a cardiac arrest by touching its tail. No wonder it screeched and scolded at you as you would probably have done the same under similar circumstances (chuckle).

Well seen and captured in this interesting composition. Colours, details, and exposure control is all spot-on.

Well done and TFS.

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