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Common Birdwing

Common Birdwing
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: 2007-05-05
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L IS + EF 1.4X II Ex, Digital RAW 400, Hoya UV 77mm
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Australian Butterflies 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-05-13 3:27
Viewed: 6078
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The common birdwing is amongst the largest and most beautiful butterflies in Asia. The dramatic contrast of golden yellow hind-wings and glossy black forewings gives this species a striking appearance, and serves as a protection mechanism by warning potential predators that it is distasteful. The upper surface of the golden hind-wings features black boarders and veins, with females additionally possessing a row of large, triangular black spots. The colour of the male is brighter than that of the female, and the tip of the abdomen of the male is white. A prominent pink saddle distinguishes the caterpillar of this species, and the pupa has a leafy appearance that helps to camouflage it from predators.

Range: The common birdwing enjoys the widest distribution of all birdwings, stretching from India and Nepal in the west, to China in the north, and down through Southeast Asia to Indonesia in the south and east.

Biology: The female common birdwing lays single eggs, which she attaches to the surface of the Indian birthwort leaves. After hatching about four to five days later, the emerging caterpillar consumes the eggshell and then begins to eat the surrounding leaves, feeding both day and night.

After around three to four weeks the caterpillar begins its transformation into a pupa, which takes two days. The pupa remains in this state for the next two weeks as the metamorphosis into a butterfly progresses. After a total of 40 or more days from the moment the egg is laid, the adult common birdwing emerges from the pupa, allowing its wings to dry before attempting its first flight. The adult lives for around four to six weeks, feeding and mating before it dies.


Camera: Canon 20D
Time of day: 14:33 p.m.
Date: 5th May 2007
Weather conditions: Inside Butterfly House
Lens: Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM
Extender: Canon EF 1.4X II
Filter: Hoya 77mm UV
Shutter Speed: 1/125
F-Stop: F/5
Focal Length: 215mm
ISO: 400
Original file type: Digital Raw

phlr, JORAPAVI, Alex99, garyfudge, livios, TAZ, fiyo, jeanpaul, Tamrock has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hola Pam,
Una imagen de gran belleza por su POV y bellos colores, buena definición. Saludos
José Ramón

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-05-13 5:35]

Hi Pam,
this is a sharp and detailed shot of this beautiful butterfly.
Well done,

Hello Pam.

Excellent image, very good details and colors.

Jose Luis.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-05-13 8:51]

Hi Pam.
Very colourful, perfectly detailed and excellently composed picture of this amazing specimen of butterfly. I like natural soft lighting and very impressive shadows and BG. POV and DOF are selected very well too. Perfect done and my compliments.

that's an amazingly sharp shot. The detail is super. Such beautiful colours.


  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2007-05-13 21:00]

Pam, a beautiful and colorful shot.

Great blurred bg, saturation and contrast.

I like composition too, as well as your note.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-05-14 6:43]

Hi Pam

Another great macro shot from you!
The torn wings on this one really adda lot of drama to the compo here.
Other than that, the details are again razor-sharp and the colors are lovely. Terrific POV and DOF, too.

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2007-05-15 13:34]

Hello Pam,
Wow ! What a lovely species, I never see such butterfly in my mountains ;-) I notice that you used an extender...
The "+++" : composition & frame, subject, POV, colors, sharpness, DOF, exposure, useful note...
The "-" : nothing...
Bravo my friend and thanks for sharing so many beauty.

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2007-05-16 10:05]

Hello Pam,
Very nice close up.Details are amazing.I liked POV,exposure,colors,framing and composition also a lot.TFS

Hi Pam
Je trouves cette prise de vue en macro très pure dans sa composition, très belle couleurs et arrière plan comme toujours.
Merci et au revoir...JP

hi pam!
this is a very fine butterfly
and you shows it very well
with really good sharpness!
good work!

Hi Pam,

Dunno how I missed this one. It is a fantastic picture, so beautiful. Amazing macro work with a long lens. Wish it was my picture. TFS, Pam.


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