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Just Follow Me

Just Follow Me
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-10-19
Categories: Birds, Bushveld
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Digital ISO 100, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger National Park - 2006
Theme(s): Birds of South Africa 1, 70-79 Puntos (chapter 2), Photos with titles of songs(2), Birds / Aves, Wildlife of Africa, Birds of Africa, Baby Animals 6, Different Birds, A study in Ornithology (birds) 1, Kruger National Park 1, Family Matters 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-05-11 8:33
Viewed: 10950
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 78
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
OstrichStruthio camelus

Dad taking junior for a stroll on the H1-6 main road, just north of Mopani camp, near Bowkerkop. Earlier the morning we departed from the idyllic Letaba rest camp, where we stayed overnight in a Safari tent. Gradually we were making our way towards the scenic Shingwedzi. We turned off at Mopani to stock up on some biltong and a fresh supply of fluids. Shortly after we rejoined the main road, ever stretching north in this fast expand of seemingly never-ending nature reserve, we met these ostriches.

Actually it was a family group consisting of a male, a hen, and 3 chicks. This was interesting since ostrich males normally have a harem of 2-5 hens, although he would form a pair bond with only one, the dominant or "alpha" female. The fact that there were only 3 chicks filled me with a bit of sadness though. Normally ostriches may lay 15-20 eggs at a time (a communal nest could even contain up to 60 eggs) which means that this group must have lost a considerable portion of their family, presumably to predators. Adults have very keen eyesight and hearing therefore they can sense predators from far away and they would simply run away from most dangers, but if need be they can also defend themselves with a kick from a clawed toe that could even kill a lion or a human. However, the youngsters are very vulnerable and at risk to fall prey to various prowlers such as jackals, hunting dogs, cheetahs, and even lions

Some cool facts about Ostriches.

Born to run

The ostrich is the largest and heaviest living bird. It is flightless and can never take to the skies, so instead it's built for running. Its long, thick, and powerful legs can cover great distances without much effort, and its feet have only two toes for greater speed. They can sprint in short bursts up to 70km/h. Just one of their strides can be 3-5m long.

What are the wings for?
They hold their wings out to help them balance when they run, especially if they suddenly change direction although their main use is for displays and courtship, along with the tail feathers. To show dominance, an ostrich holds its head up high and lifts its wings and tail feathers; to show submission, the head, wings, and tail droop down.

Birds of a feather
Unlike many birds, their feathers are loose, soft, and smooth. They don’t hook together the way feathers of other birds do, giving ostriches that "shaggy" look. They do not have the special gland many birds have to waterproof their feathers while preening so; it can get soaked in the rain. Source.

Kruger is absolutely tops and I can hardly wait to go back there again, as soon as possible. (This last sentence was really intended for Anna’s eyes, otherwise known as Shorty (thanks Aaltjie) or also affectionately recognised as Miss. Piggy.) I never underestimate the power of suggestion.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0

Fisher, ellis49, Argus, del7im, kessi, vanderschelden, ramthakur, wallhalla15, JoseMiguel, scottevers7, SkyF, Janice, dew77, horia, glazzaro, Aaltjie, Dyker, TAZ, peter_stoeckl, jeanpaul, thor68, betsie, Adam73, marhowie, Miss_Piggy, vmukherjee, Rehanna has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
Animal Behaviouringridshaul 1 04-28 23:34
To JoseMiguel: I apologizeJoseMiguel 2 12-02 12:58
To marhowie: To Neat or not to Neatloot 1 12-02 08:18
To manyee: Un-forgetfulnessloot 2 05-16 08:23
To pablominto: Yebo gogoloot 1 05-14 04:10
To Janice: You mean "Come on Sharks!!!"loot 4 05-12 17:04
To Fisher: Hi Mikeloot 2 05-12 08:37
To vanderschelden: Capricorn & Cassowariesloot 2 05-12 07:30
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Critiques [Translate]

Awwww...this is definitely an 'awww' photo!
Great on all the technical stuff but let's face it, it's the nature of the composition that makes it so pleasing.

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2007-05-11 8:51]
  • [2] [+]

Hi Loot,

Nicely captured and well done on the composition.
Well, the post pro is abit weak, as seen by the young one.
I wish everyone would stop using neat on the background, sorry, I'm just tired of it.
Go natural, it is much more pleasing.
That's quiet the lens you have, do you like it? heavy?


Hi Loot,
the junior seems to ned a lot of food to be big as the daddy;-)
The exposure are spot on, the details in the black are well seen. Fine sharpness and details. Well composed and nice POV.
I like the DOF too, the birds standout well.
Well done, my friend.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-05-11 9:02]
  • [2]

Hello Loot,
Great capture showing paternal care. The way forward on the metalled road can evoke many symbolic thoughts. Striking how great the difference in size between father Ostrich and child.

Excellent detail, composition and lighting, together with the subject make this an appealing post.
Thanks for sharing this one,
Best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • del7im Silver Workshop Editor [C: 6 W: 11 N: 0] (20)
  • [2007-05-11 9:19]
  • [2]

So cute!!! :D I've never seen a baby Ostrich before! :)
Great composition too!

  • Great 
  • kessi Gold Star Critiquer [C: 80 W: 5 N: 74] (221)
  • [2007-05-11 9:35]
  • [3]

Great photo, Loot. The composition is excellent. The way daddy escorts junior across the road is well captured. Nice and clear picture with the claws and the rest beautifully focused. Bravo. Cheers, Irmgard

Hi Loot,
Took my printed Kruger map and followed you...
Photo must be taken right on the Tropic of Capricorn:-)
A funny image...but as you mentioned the little ones must be very vulnerable.
Didn't know the biggies could kill a human; thought the only killing bird was the Casuaris.

  • Great 
  • Dando Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 637 W: 32 N: 792] (3084)
  • [2007-05-11 11:30]
  • [2]

Hi Loot, great shot. I like the way the Ostrich is both looking at you out of the corner of his eye and also checking the road is safe to cross at the same time. Well positioned in the frame and with good control over the dof. Superb details and lighting and the little one finishes it off nicely. Well done my friend.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-05-11 12:28]
  • [2]

Hi Loot,
Excellent low pov of this ostrich and its chick. Impressive to see how strong legs are in this born to run bigest bird.
TFS and best regards, José M.

Great image of "dad" and "son" taking a stroll across the highway, Loot.
The difference in the sizes of the two is brought about very well in this grand capture.
Thanks for sharing it and best regards.

Hello Loot,
this is a very fine picture my friend. I like it very much. Great framing, POV and sharpness too. Naturual colours and very good exposure. As usual an excellent note. Thank you my friend. Have a ncie weekend.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-05-11 13:24]
  • [2]

Hola Loot,
Simpática captura,
buenos detalles y compo...
original momento.

Hi Loot,
Great to see you back also! This is a really striking composition with the chick next to his daddy. The size differance is so dramatic. Soft quality light and a spot on exposure. colors and detail in the plumage look excellent. Beautiful across the entire tonal range. I am afraid I would quit my job and just wander around Kruger all the time. It must be amazing!

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-05-11 20:19]
  • [2]

Hi Loot,
daddy looks gigantic besides junior, excellent POV you choose to get a great view of this odd couple. Great job on the sharpness as the plumage and othere body parts are well defined.
Your composition is very nice and has a lot of depth.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-05-12 4:19]
  • [2] [+]

"Be careful - just step where I step!"
Baby looks like a bantum hen Loot! So tiny compared to dad. Well captured, and I love the colouors of teh little one.
Interesting notes too, thank you. . .
Come on NZ - in both games!
But I don't think so:(((

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-05-12 4:20]
  • [2]

Hello Loot,
Very nice capture.Well seen and composed.POV,sharpness,lighting and colors are also excellent.Have a great weekend!

Hallo Loot,

Baie nice foto en nota. Goed gedoen.


  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-05-12 7:45]
  • [2]

Hi Loot and nice to see another lovely shot from you, my friend!

This is really fantastic!
What a HUGE difference of size! And what a perfect way to capture that! Your POV here is exceptional and the compo you creted is excellent.
All the details here are very sharp and all the natural colors are lovely, pointing at a spot-on exposure :)
All-in-all: a terrific work!

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2007-05-12 14:42]
  • [2]

Hallo Loot , Wat een mooie foto vooral dat kleintje die grote is zo statig , mooie scherpte en kleuren leuke compositie , heel mooi ,Groeten Teunie .

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2007-05-13 14:16]
  • [2]

ah it's so sweet Loot,
a fantastic shot here, great pov. I realy like the little one behind mother, well seen and great photojob here, Have a nice day Loot.
gr. jaap

Unbelievable the size difference from the chick to the mom. She could very easily step on the chick. Nice shot, love the side by side shot.


  • Great 
  • betsie Gold Star Critiquer [C: 180 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-05-14 3:08]
  • [2]

More Loot
Wie het gesê 'n pa het nie 'n hart nie? Hy lyk enige tyd net so trots soos 'n mamma! Die kuiken MOET 'n meisie wees want sy kan al van kleins af behoorlik poseer vir 'n foto!! Uitstekend!

Hello Loot,
Wow, that is a cute one!
They for sure grow fast... and a lot!
Situation is awesome, and captured with fine details, presented in an attractive composition!
Pablo -

:-) OK-


Now what else can I say than "Ag Moedertjie o so fraai" except this is Vadertjie with the baby chick.
This is a very cute moment you have captured here. Your presentation of photos is always a pleasant surprise. I must admit like "del7im" that it is also a first for me to see a baby ostrich. One cannot believe that a fluffy little bundle of feathers grows up to be one of the biggest birds on earth.
Thanks also for your very informative notes. I just wish EVERYBODY would read them properly. You take all the time in telling us the story about the papa and his son, and really then some people come and write about the mama??? Real nincompoops. And I am not worried about saying that because if they cannot read your notes, why will they bother to read my notes? Aren’t the notes supposed to educate us?

Anyway I include a poem I found in my granddaughters poetry book about an ostrich.

Ostrich - Meish Goldish

Do you know the world's largest bird?
Aw - it's the ostrich!
What bird is eight feet tall? My word!
Aw - it's the ostrich!
Who moves fifteen feet in a single step?
Who runs forty miles an hour with pep?
Who roars like a lion, hisses like a snake,
And weighs 300 pounds, for heaven's sake?
Aw - it's the ostrich!

Kind regards

Ps. Sorry I used nearly the whole page again. And what I could gather from your conversation with Janice is that your team the SHARKS have won. CONGRATULATIONS!I am sure by Monday we are going to see a posting of a shark???

  • Great 
  • Dyker Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
  • [2007-05-15 0:25]
  • [2]

Hello Loot
Ha, ha, this just shows that no one is too young to learn the 'rules of the road'; even chicks have to gain knowledge of it (otherwise they might look like a flatty from Nando's). Daddy seems to radiate the confidence that years of 'road running' has taught him. A lovely moment you have captured with excellent focus, composition, and exposure. I see you are using dirty tactics on Miss Piggy, but don't worry as I am sure your 'powers of suggestion' will have the positive results you so much seek.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2007-05-15 13:39]
  • [2]

Hello Loot,
I never see in real these big birds and never at all her babies. Great to discover in your original shot. Here on TN we see beauties and we learn with friends. I like also the title ;-)
Bravo my old friend and thanks for sharing.

Dear Loot,
one of those rare and precious, creatively funny images that turn out to be a real surprise the moment you see them full size after looking at the thumbail! What a well hidden little being under an ample pair of very powerful legs.
I love to see all the fine details in the adult ostrich's dark featers, and the well determined pose.
Thank you! My best regards,

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-05-16 2:30]
  • [2] [+]

That is an impressive bird, Loot.
Your low perspective makes him look larger than life.
What did you do? Throw yourself down in the middle of the paved road?
(That is to get back at you for teasing me about groveling in the dirt for my shots *grin*)
The tiny chick provides a good reference for the stunning size difference between a baby and an adult ostrich.
I have never seen an ostrich from such close quarters. Amazing details on those frilly feathers.
TFS. ; )

Hi Lott
Très bonne photo prise en gros plan. La prise de vue est excellente. Les couleurs sont parfaites et la photo est nette ,et l'on peut y voir les détails des plumes et du duvet très bien.
C'est vraiment impressionnant de constater la différence entre la mère et son petit.
Merci et au revoir...JP
les sourires demain

Hi dear Loot ,
very nice shot with great composition.
colours and light are great and sharpness is excellet too.
well captured
best wishes

  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2007-05-20 10:01]

haha, terrific shot, loot! :-)
could be me going for a walk with my little daughter.*g*
looks like he is teaching junior how to cross a street.
amazing to see the difference in size and hard
to imagine that the little one will be as big as daddy in not too long time.
well seen & captured, thorsten.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-06-04 22:39]

Hello Loot

A superb shot.The composition is wonderful.You have captured a special moment.Very good focus with sharp details.The colours are well saturated.This photo is delightful,proven when my wife and children saw it and "oohed and Awed" over it.Great job.TFS

  • Great 
  • Adam73 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 5 N: 522] (2253)
  • [2007-07-24 11:01]

Now this shot is just to cute. Such a large Bird and its young. LOL A wonderful capture. The image itself is great but the processing maybe a little off. It may be that you used to much fill light or somthing. If you look at the moms toe nails and the babies legs you will see the artifacts or the line going around the baby. Great shot though.

I found another in your "cutest photo contest" Loot :)
I agree with much of the positive feedback you've received, bar one. I regularly use NR on BG's, It's a fact of digital life..Especially when shooting at higher ISO's under unfavorable conditions. Or on high s-speed action photo's.
Not using NR BG doesn't work in the real world of nature photography IMHO. Here I would've shot at a slightly higher film speed, to get a bit more DOF, and slightly faster s-speed.
Still a 9.5 on the cute scale :)

Hi Loot,
A very tender image!
I like very much your POV and close approach to this family crossing the street.
It's very good the moment of the dad caring for the tiny chick on the asphalt.
You managed pretty well the camera to make this vertical composition, I like the way the curve of the road follows the body of the ostrich and compensate the wheight visually.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards and take care,

Great shot! The little chick with the big dad looks funny. It would have been even more pleasing if the sky in the bg were not that bright white. But obviously nobody can controll that. Anyways, other than that the photo looks very impressive.

Excellent low pov of this ostrich and its chick. Impressive to see how strong legs are in this born to run bigest bird.

Hallo Loot
How beautiful and almost humanlike is this scene, and how awesome is the Creation, as it is almost unbelievable that such a small bird can grow into such a massive piece of meat, long neck and feathers in abandunce. It is lovely to see these two together, this way one can really see the actual size of this huge bird. This is a great image, which I can easily ooh and aah about. It is so natural, seeing the two together taking a stroll along the road. Great detail captured of senior's beak and ear, and junior's fluffy feathers on its backside. Thanks for sharing. Love.

Again on my backlegs after battling for 10 weeks some mysterious tropical disease,I now can look and admire your wonderful portfolio, dear Loot.

I decided to comment on this one, because many time I have pondered about the relationships within an ostrich family.

It is ALWAYS the male who looks after the young ones.A thunderstorm breaks - the male plops onto the ground - all babies run to him - when one is close, he lifts a wing just high enough to allow the little one to dive under - and hey presto the wing goes down again and no Baby Ostrich can be seen.

Baboon attack the flock, the male calls and gathers the babies around him leading them to safety - whereas the females spread into a straight line of attack, race towards the baboons, waving their wings and chase them away...

You caught a typical moment of fatherly responsibility, the little one quite close to this big, dangerous toe!

A good examplea of animal behaviour!
Have a nice day
Kind regards

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