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NZ Dotterel - Parent & Chick

NZ Dotterel - Parent & Chick
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: 2009-01-02
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM, Digital RAW 200, Hoya UV 77mm
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite Bird photos -3- [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-01-12 2:16
Viewed: 9393
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
New Zealand Dotterel (Charadrius obscurus aquilonius)

Maori Name: Tuturiwhatu

This large squat tame dotterel has a large head, a heavy black bill with a slightly upturned tip and proportionately short olive-grey legs. The breeding adult has brown upperparts, finely streaked dark brown and whitish feather edges and pale orange-buff to rich rufous underparts. The non-breeding adult has pale grey-brown upperparts with broad whitish feather edges and the underparts are white with an obscure pale grey-brown breast band often restricted to just the shoulders. The call, often accompanied by head bobbing is a penetrating “chrp”, “trrt” or “prrp” and a high pitched “pweep” when disturbed.

The diet is mainly aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, small fish, crabs, sandhoppers, insects, spiders and earthworms. There are two subspecies, the larger more boldly coloured Southern NZ Dotterel (obscurus) which breeds on Stewart Island (under 100 left) and the smaller Northern NZ Dotterel (aquilonius) which breeds in Northland, Auckland, the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Northern Hawke’s Bay and some off shore islands (c 1400 birds).

Northern NZ Dotterel breed on sandspits, at stream mouths, on beaches, shellbanks, sandbanks and low dunes. The nest, a scrape in the sand, with little or no lining, is often near a marker such as a piece of driftwood, seaweed or a clump of vegetation. The clutch of 2- 3 pale, olive to buff brown eggs with dark brown blotches is laid from August onwards.

Both sexes incubate for 28-32 days, females mostly by day and males mostly at night. The fledgling period is 6-7 weeks and the juveniles wander for about 18 months. They usually breed in their second year.

Breeding birds are often disturbed by humans, their dogs, vehicles and stock which crush eggs and chicks. Stoats, feral cats, hedgehogs and Black-backed Gulls also predate both eggs and chicks. Changing habitat has also caused a decline in breeding sites. Northern NZ Dotterel in the past occasionally bred on the reef of Tiritiri Matangi but not in recent years. In the 2003/2004 breeding season there were regular sightings on a NZ Dotterel but no evidence of breeding.

Vital Statistics
Conservation Status: Uncommon Endemic
Mainland Status: Northern NZ from North Cape to Taharoa South Beach in the west and Mahia Peninsula in the east.
Size: 25cm, 145g
Life Span: Oldest bird lived over 31 yrs and one individual 'Wimble' may have lived 42 yrs if worn band numbers were read correctly.
Breeding: August - February
Diet: Aquatic & terrestrial invertebrates


Camera: Canon 1D Mklll
Time of day: 05:57 a.m.
Date: 2nd January 2009
Weather conditions: Cloudy
Lens: Canon 100-400mm L IS USM
Filter: Hoya 77mm UV
Shutter Speed: 1/300
F-Stop: F/7.1
Focal Length: 400mm
Support: Hand Held
ISO: 200
Original file type: Digital Raw

eng55, matatur, sandpiper2, ramthakur, iris, marhowie, ferranjlloret, haraprasan, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Evelynn: Mark III compared with the 20Dcoasties 2 01-14 08:56
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-01-12 2:46]

Hi Pam,
Very cute scane:)Well caught and composed.Details,lighting,exposure and pose of birds are excellent.
Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-01-12 3:05]

Hello Pam,
Excellent photo. Beautiful colours and very sharp details. Great low POV and OOF BG. Good composition.

A fine family scene captured with perfect focus and exposure from a good and low viewpoint Pam, the plumage details and the double eye contact are quite nice to observe.

Hi Pam

Great shot of mum and her little one. Good composition and sharpness.


Hi Pam,
Privileged to be your neighbour on gallery today.
This is a lovely picture of the little chick with its mother.
It looks so safe and secure in her presence.
Very attractive, well composed image.
Thanks and regards.

  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2009-01-12 4:10]

Hello Pam,
The mother and the chick looks wonderful. Despite the cloudy weather and early morning light at 5.57 am, you have done an excellent piece of work making the best use of flash..I like the catchlight in the mommy's eye.The chick looks barely ready to stand up...Very well done.
TFS & Cheers

Hi Pam,
Very good capture of NZ Dotterel and chick; good POV and composition, sharp fine details, good eye contact and natural blurred BG.

Very nice photo.

Ayyyy ay ay bu aynen annesine benziyor.Nasıl sevimli böyle,annesinin korumasında ayrılmayı istemeyen bir bebiş.Çok şirinler Pam,ellerine sağlık :)

nice baby, never saw this kind before, TFS Ori

Hi Pam,
Nice to see a post from you!
Love this one, very high on the cute scale..
Great color sat, DOF, and sharp details - good use of flash.
Excellent POV & well composed of course :)
Very well done.
PS - I sold my trusty 100-400mm this weekend, it was like losing an old friend.
But the dollars helped to soften the blow ;-}

Hello Pam,
Nice capture. Beautiful colours. Excellent POV and BG.
Regards, Ferran

Hi Pam,
I think I am seeing this Dotterel for the first time. A nice capture of this cute birds. Superb details and a very good composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hello Pam,
This is another lovely close up look at these beautiful shorebirds.
Good exposure in the bright light,and good detail.
Nice work.

The two together make a charming composition. I like how they overlap with each facing a different way. That little one looks so soft and sweet. Nice work.

How do you like the Mark III compared with the 20D?

Evelynn : )

hello Pam

i love this kind of photos what i call « tenderness »
the Mommy bird with her chick, beautiful photo
shot with fine low POV and also fine framing,
excellent sharpness and details, the catch-light
of Mommy's eye and the baby's eye-contact with you
render the photography more beautiful, TFS


  • Great 
  • marcin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 138 W: 0 N: 268] (2057)
  • [2009-01-13 10:16]

Hi Pam,
Very cute scane, excellent work

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