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Wetlands Habitat

Wetlands Habitat
Photo Information
Copyright: Pam Russell (coasties) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3749 W: 483 N: 8155] (28054)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-08-11
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM, Digital RAW 100, Hoya UV 77mm
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of New Zealand [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-04-25 3:42
Viewed: 3782
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Pukeko, Porphyrio porphyrio, also called the Purple Swamphen, Purple Gallinule, is a large bird in the family Rallidae.

Pukekos usually like to live near wetlands, but are also found living and nesting in any dense vegetation in damp environments such as lakes or rivers.

They eat a wide variety of swamp and pasture vegetation but also insects, frogs, small birds and eggs. They also particularly like the tender shoots of reeds.

It has huge feet, ideal for clambering through reeds, bright plumage and a red bill. They walk and run vigorously on strong legs, and have long toes, which are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. It has a very loud explosive call.

In places where there is plenty of cover, Pukeko prefer to run or swim to safety but in more open spaces they do fly for short distances. Their take off is labored and they are awkward flyers, flying with feet dangling and often crash landing into a tree or scrub.

Pukeko are protected nationally, but can be shot for sport during the shooting season because their population has grown to the extent that it is necessary to keep their numbers down. They often carry out marauding excursions at night to eat potatoes, kumara and other vegetables as well as considerable amount of grass and clover, so farmers consider them a pest.

They are also a major predator of Brown Teal ducklings, so the Department of Conservation has begun to cull their population in certain areas such as Great Barrier Island. Controlling one native species for the benefit of another is a very difficult decision to take, but sometimes it is the only way to maintain the numbers needed for a particular species to survive. Though Harrier hawks often attack Pukekos while rats and stoats plunder their nests. Harriers are dealt with by the Pukekos gathering together and driving them away with much shrieking and carrying on.


Camera: Canon 20D
Time of day: 15:59 p.m.
Date: 11th August 2006
Weather conditions: Clear
Lens: Canon 100-400mm L IS
Filter: Hoya 77mm UV
Shutter Speed: 1/400
F-Stop: F/5.6
Focal Length: 400mm
ISO: 100
Original file type: Digital Raw

joey, thor68, gypsygirl58, fiyo, ellis49, JoseMiguel, metcher, fartash, wallhalla15, Ken52 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-04-25 3:54]

Hi Pam,
this is a very sharp and detailed shot that has a great composition and DOF that isolates the subject.
Very well done,

Hi Pam
I like your presentation of this Pukeko guy!
Details and colours are really good.

WOW ! Super portrait , very detailed and sharp , TFS.

wow, now that´s what i would call a perfect portrait, pam! :-)
razorsharp with beautiful colors, terrific details, perfectly composed with
the head a little bit to the right and enough space on the left against a wonderful blurred green bg.
very well done & take care, thorsten.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-04-25 6:15]

Pam, he's a beauty. One of your Shakespear friends I see. Excellent clarity and colours,

Hi Pam,
I recognise this chap!! We have them here in Mt Barker in the wetlands area. Wonderful close-up capture of this Pukekos. Excellent sharpness and details and DOF. Great informative notes too! Well done for this fabulous image.
Cheers Tina :-)

Great swamphen portrait Pam
Excellent exposure and superb sharpness and details
Great contrast with greenish background
Love the battered bill, life isn't easy in the wetlands.

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2007-04-25 8:11]

Hello Pam,
Perfect shot!
Sharpness,details and colors are marvelous. Very well done.

amazing crystal clear pic, TFS Ori

Hi Pam,
a beautiful portrait with very good exposure, we can see
all the details in the lovely shimmering plumage.
Very good details and DOF, the bird is well seen against the BG.
Great work, mf.

Hi Pam,
A very good portrait of this pukeko!
I like your close approach and all the sharp and clear details got.
The beak structure is very impressive, with that vivid red and the prolongation over the head.
Magnificent the contrast with the green and soft background.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

Hi, Pam.
Very nice portrait. Light, exposure, details and sharpness are perfect. Beautiful BG too.

Hi Pam.
This to be standard for photographers. Excellent work. Technically perfect picture. Very well done. tfs. Stev

Hello Pam
What a great portrait of this Pukeko,
I've seen them here also.Excellent
sharpness and colors,Perfect BG
and POV, Superb shot.


Great control of exposure Pam...So refreshing to see good feather detail in the blacks and that green bg compliments the red beak just nicely. Best, Brat.

Hi Pam,
Well composed. Great colours. Excellent sharpness and detail.

very nice capture with great colours, lighting and sharpness/dof. Very good composition. Thank you for posting.

Wow! This is beautiful Pam, it is the perfect picture. I like everything about this capture. I am now very familiar with the Pukeko,, thanks to all the New Zealand TN's. :)

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-04-25 22:21]

Hello Pam

The colours are well saturated,and the focus is razor sharp.Excellent POV and DOF.Super detail in the plumage.The pukeko really stands out against that awesome BG.TFS


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-04-26 3:17]

I just love these guys, Pam.
A perfect portrait with sharp details and good exposure.
The colors are gorgeous.
I would love to see one of these birds in the flesh.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2007-04-27 21:30]

Outstanding portrait! Exposure and focus are both excellent. Very nice DOF with beautiful background. Colors are beautiful and the detail is stunning! Very nice!

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2007-04-28 6:48]

Superbe portrait,bravo pour les détails et l'arrière plan contrastant.
Merci Pam!

Hola Pam
Increíble retrato el que nos muestras, que nitidez y contraste. Preciosa y es que estos "gallos azules" me encantan
Un saludo

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