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White-throated Kingfisher

White-throated Kingfisher
Photo Information
Copyright: Ram Thakur (ramthakur) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4316 W: 231 N: 14052] (56953)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-29
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, Sigma 70-300 4-5.6 APO DG MACRO, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/160 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-05-30 2:16
Viewed: 3126
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

Friends, I had to re-post this picture.
My apologies to Mana and Iris for losing their valuable critiques on the earlier image posted and then deleted yesterday. I noticed that I had inadvertently posted a picture I had shot in jpeg form. Since it was my first encounter with a Kingfisher, I wanted a good picture of it. So I went to the raw picture and then converted it into jpeg which is now posted for your viewing.
The shot was taken hand-held on my school grounds late morning yesterday from a distance of about 3 meters. The summer sun was a bit too harsh, but then you cannot be choosy about the time of a visitor. I had to hurry with the shooting since it could fly away out of range any moment. It gave me 4 clear shots from 3 meters while it perched on the frame of a slide for children. Then it suddenly pounced on its prey on the ground and flew up to another children’s play equipment. I captured it there once again hurriedly without bothering about the camera settings and ended up with a few mediocre shots before the bird flew away out of sight.
I will post its picture with the prey later on.

Here is a note on the bird taken from Wikipedia:

The White-throated Kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis, also known as the White-breasted Kingfisher or Smyrna Kingfisher, is a tree kingfisher which is widely distributed in south Asia from Turkey east to the Philippines. This kingfisher is essentially resident over much of its range, apart from seasonal movements.
The first of the alternative English names is to be preferred because the geographical name is too restrictive for this widespread bird, and the easternmost race lacks a white breast.
This is a large kingfisher, 28 cm in length. The adult has a bright blue back, wings and tail. Its head, shoulders, flanks and lower belly are chestnut, and the throat and breast are white.
There are four races differing mainly in plumage shades, but H. s. gularis of the Philippines has only the neck and throat white. The flight of the White-throated Kingfisher is rapid and direct, the short rounded wings whirring. The large bill and legs are bright red.
In flight, large white patches are visible on the blue and black wings. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are a duller version of the adult. The call of this noisy kingfisher is a chuckling chake-ake-ake-ake-ake.
White-throated Kingfisher is a common species of a variety of habitats with some trees, and its range is expanding. It perches conspicuously on wires or other exposed perches within its territory, and is a frequent sight in south Asia. This species mainly hunts large insects, rodents, snakes, fish and frogs. It is reputed to eat tired migratory passerine birds like Chiffchaffs where the opportunity arises.
White-throated Kingfisher has a striking display in which the wings are spread to show the white patches. The nest is a 50cm tunnel in an earth bank. A single clutch of 4-7 round white eggs is typical.


Miss_Piggy, mariki, jaycee, eng55, goldyrs, anel, marhowie, albert, Bass has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To eng55: Thanksramthakur 1 05-31 02:25
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Critiques [Translate]

Hallo Ram
This week time is critical; however...............................I cannot pass without telling you that this is a great image with stunning colours and clarity. I love the way your subject fills almost the entire frame. It just brings out the details so much clearer and closer. Kingfishers just remains one of the most beautiful and special birds. Kind regards and thanks for sharing.

bonjour ram
bien que le support gache un peu l'oiseau fait oublier ce leger details par sa beauté.
il est net et ses couleurs sont superbe.
attention a la surexposition sur le bec!

Hi Ram, Kingfishers have to be one of the more interesting birds out there, with their large heads and beaks, and this one seems to have more colour than most, at least most that I'm used to. This is an excellent shot of this one, I'd say your efforts at going back to the RAW file were worth it. Here we're looking at very excellent light, colour and detail on this bird, with very nice detail seen in that eye. Very nicely done.

Thanks, John

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-05-30 8:42]

Hi Ram,

I know just what you mean about the harsh sunshine. Summer has arrived here too and with it lighting problems. But you did a wonderful job with this shot of the colorful Kingfisher. Colors, details and pose are all excellent. I love that huge opened beak.


  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-05-30 8:50]
  • [+]

Hi Ram,
Excellent capture,amazing colors.I liked use of light,details on plumage and pose of bird also a lot.
Thanks for posting.

Hello Sir,
You have captured a nice sharp photo of the kingfisher. The light conditions were totally against you and you have braved it to come out with this winner. I read from your notes that you have used the raw image to get the best. I feel that you can tweak up the raw even to better level by adjusting the exposure and by selective adjustment of exposure. I cannot work on the jpeg and get good result so am not posting a workshop.
TFS, Regards

Dear Ram,

You must be quieter than a crouching cat. I am amazed at how this sensitive bird allowed you to within 3 meters ! The King must be happy that he is not wasting his beauty on a novice photographer. This is another excellent picture from your expert hands.

- Murali

An absolute stunner, ram Sir!
Very well done!

Wow, amazing bright colors and clarity. I've been trying to get some Kingfisher shot with no luck. I guess you were in the right place at the right time



Ram, this is ultra sharp and well composed, great DOF and it doesn't mat6ter about the background! outstanding well done!!!mark

Hello Ram,

Beautiful picture of this kingfisher. Excellent POV, DOF and sharpness. Good composition. Superb colours.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-05-31 4:24]

hello Ram,
This kingfisher really looks quite large, and what a beak! I like also the vivid attitude of the bird. Nice to see it so near. You cannot always choose place and light, but I would have hurried too to take a picture of it.
Have a nice weekend

These are beautiful birds Ram, great catch!
Nice POV, color, well composed, and I like that huge parted beak..
Very good detail/DOF, and you managed the hard light well.
Thanx very much for the info on how you got this one, and the bird itself..

Hello Ram,
Nice bird, due to light conditions it wasn't an easy task to get a very good photo,but with Photoshop on the RAW file it should be possible to reduce the over exposed part
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-06-02 9:28]

Hello Sir, One more shot which I missed. Lovely shot of this open beak kingfisher. Superb composition. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • Bass Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 173 W: 0 N: 233] (974)
  • [2008-07-10 19:50]

Hi Ram,
nice pic of this kingfisher! never saw one with those bright colours, the one i saw has less colours. Details over the feathers are great, it´s a shame that the light is too bright also the green BG. But above all, the details are great and the colours too. It´s great, a very nice picture to learn about this bird. Very interesting note also!
have a nice day

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