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Photo Information
Copyright: Pieter van der Horst (sAner) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-11-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Fuji Finepix S602Zoom, Fujinon 6x zoom
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/350 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Travelogue: sAner's New Zealand Tour 2004
Theme(s): New Zealand native fauna & flora, Birds Of New Zealand [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-02-02 14:09
Viewed: 6001
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The bird(s) you can see on the photo are called Weka and they lived in the wild. I took this picture on the South Island at Cape Foulwind, near Westport.

My girlfriend and I really liked these birds as we had never seen them before (we hadn't seen them on the North Island) and because they look so prehistoric. Look at their strange feet, toes and beaks. When we walked back to our campervan after we had walked to Cape Foulwind, we saw these strange flightless birds. They ran away as soon as they saw us, but when we presented some bread, they came back quickly. I took some nice shots. I like this one especially as the second bird is standing almost exactly behind the first bird. It looks comical, I think.

Latin name: Gallirallus australis
Category: Endemic (only found in New Zealand)
Status: Threatened / Common - rare in the North Island
Size: 53cm
Weight:1000/700 g
Characteristics: flightless, rail, fast runner
Habitat: forest, scrub
Nests: on the ground in short burrows, hollow logs, under plants
Food: worms, snails, insects, seeds, fruit, eggs, small birds, lizards, rats, mice
Lifespan: 15 years

The inquisitive weka is a comical bird, often seen hanging around huts trying to bludge some food. They often have a bad reputation of stealing shinny objects as a building material for their nest.

Like the pigeon they have an incredible homing ability. Some weka's from Gisborne were released in the Waitakere Ranges, one of the birds was found at Taneatua (300 km away) and on course for Gisborne.

They were hunted by Maori and Europeans for food and oil. South Island Maori also used their skins to make cloaks.

Threats: cats, dogs, ferrets, eggs eaten by rats, habitat loss, competition for fruits with introduced species, caught in pest traps and baiting station.

Please hit me with your fierce criticism!

liquidsunshine, thistle, JeanMichel, willie, pompey, j_wyatt, azulu, Luc, Callie, TAZ, sway, cedryk has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Callie: Thanks a lot!sAner 3 02-06 17:40
To Jancie: They probably don't have Weka in the City of AucsAner 1 02-03 14:38
To j_wyatt: Great WS!sAner 1 02-02 15:28
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Critiques [Translate]

Nice shot Pieter,
Very unusual Birds, Interesting note
Thanks for posting

Very nice shot!
I didn't even now that this kind of bird exist.
Thanks for showing something new.
Photo is very good, though it is maybe crop to tight from above and it would be good clone out this bird in the left corner.
Anyway, I like it very much.
Well done!

You are right, they do look prehistoric. I did a little workshop where I cloned out the bird in the upper left corner and brightened it up a bit. Not sure it is better or not, just practicing. And thanks for the note about this interesting bird!

Another bird we don't know over here, and that's very interesting. I like the delicate texture and color of the feathers. If they don't fly, sure they can run if I judge from their feet size! No nits about exposure and sharpness, but IMO, the superposed second one is more distracting than a good addition. Also, I would have managed to get the front one without the one on the left. Thanks fro posting, Pieter.

  • Great 
  • pompey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 4 N: 746] (2774)
  • [2005-02-02 16:08]

Great shot Pieter, very interesting note too.
Agree with Monika that i may have cloned out the top left bird.
Well done!

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-02-02 16:56]
  • [+]

What, a 4-legged bird? Good shot of this 'mirror image' Pieter. I've not seen a Weka before. This is a very interesting shot. Well done.

  • Great 
  • azulu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 111 W: 0 N: 75] (374)
  • [2005-02-02 20:23]

Ops!!! What is this? Is a mutante? :o In my frist look I saw a bird with four legs. :) Well I'm going to hit you with my critique. :p

Very nice shot with good colors and sharpness. Great details and good note as usual.



Very nice shot Pieter.
Never seen or heard of this beautiful bird before.
Very good detials, colours and composition.
Well done.

I love this "mirroring" photo ;-)
Great shot. Very interesting note!

Excellent post Pieter. Good informative notes and excellent detail on the birds. Good work. TFS

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-02-04 4:53]

Great picture, Pieter.
Very sharp and well composed.
An excellent presentation: photo and note.

Not a bad shot, though as others have said, I would have cloned out the top left bird. Can't always get everything right though. An unusual species TFS.

  • Great 
  • Callie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
  • [2005-02-06 6:15]
  • [2] [+]

Hi Pieter.
Nice rails, these. They are also considered a bit of a pest in some areas, so I read. I will try and help you, as requested.
1 The cut-off bird in the left top is a no no, it distracts from the main subject, clone it out.
2 The second bird is fine for comical, but for impact, it also competes with the main subject.
3 The shutterspeed is a bit slow, hence the detail on the plumage is "soft & streaked" and the scales on the legs are also soft.
4 The pov is from the top down. You shot from above him - get down on the level of your subject, in this case, you must be lying on the ground to get the right POV and impact.
5 Use flash to add a high light in the eye.
6 Give him some space to "walk into", it enhances the overal impact of your picture when the subject is not place on the bull's eye.
Well Pieter, hope this help. I only do this because you asked, I will not normally comment like this, because photography is, after all, subjective.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-02-06 14:05]

Pieter, nice POV and composition to show us this bird. Excellent sharpness and DOF. Great pose.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-04-04 12:44]

Amusante photo pour ces étonnants oiseaux. Avant de réaliser qu'il ya deux oiseaux on est suppris de compter quatre pattes ;-)
Well done.

I didn't even notice the "clone" behind the first one - you are so observant! These do look like dodo birds (aren't those the extinct ones??). What strange looking birds. Great capture, Pieter!

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-08-06 13:09]

This is a very interesting bird, Pieter, one that I have never seen before either. It does look cute. The details are very sharp, and the light is fair. I find the second weka distracting, as it keeps me from seeing where the first bird stops. Being unfamiliar with this animal, it makes it all the harder for me to appreciate what it really looks like. A great post and note. TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2006-12-29 20:01]

Hello Pieter,
This time I decided to look deeper into your PF and I found this very interesting bird. Trully it looks like from ancient times. It looks funny with his companion behind. Very nice explanatory note!
Best greetings,

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