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Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-02-26
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of South Africa 3, Animals from my garden [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-03-04 8:14
Viewed: 5960
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 96
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
African Harrier Hawk / Polyboroides typus

Today's photograph I promised to show and follow my previous posting Surprise Visitor for Niek Bowen, where I told the story on how it came about that I captured this beautiful hawk. If it was not for the whistling sound I heard, I might never have had the opportunity to photograph this lovely birds of prey, in our own back garden.

Because I already described these birds in a general overview, I thought it would be interesting to gather some information about how birds communicate with one another. The day I heard the whistling sound of these hawks I learnt a new piece of nature, and that special sound will always stay with me. I am sure I should be able to recognise it in the future should I have the privilege to hear or see these birds again. It was indeed a thrill and an amazing experience to see these gorgeous birds so close to me.

The bird in this image is one of the parents of the juvenile hawk I posted prior to this one. At first I thought this was the youngster, but upon downloading, Loot showed me the differences in our bird book, and I am really privileged and thankful to have somebody with such great knowledge at my side, although he is a silent partner at the moment.

General Overview
In addition to singing, birds use a variety of sounds to communicate. Calls are used for interacting with family members, alerting one another to the presence of predators, keeping in touch while flying, or sharing information about food.

Birds use contact calls to keep in touch with as they fly, feed, or go about their day. Contact notes are often short and high-pitched. The contact call of some species is sometimes its most conspicuous vocalization. Mates can match each other's calls, helping them to identify their partners, even at a distance or in a large flock.

Many birds use contact calls to keep in touch while migrating. For example, geese honk as they fly. Birds that migrate at night may use nocturnal flight calls. Some very experienced birders can tell which species are flying overhead by listening to their sounds.

Many birds utter alarm calls in response to a nearby predator. Jays, domestic chickens, and many other birds even use different calls for warning about ground and aerial predators. For example, Florida Scrub-Jays use a thin, high-pitched call for a hawk or falcon, prompting nearby jays to dive for cover. They use a lower pitched, scolding sound when warning of a snake, cat, or other terrestrial predator. These calls incite other jays to join in mobbing the intruder--swooping down at the predator to drive it away.

By using alarm calls, birds let the predator know it has been sighted. Having lost the advantage of surprise, the predator may decide to give up the attack. Alarm calls also warn other birds that the predator is there. This may help because birds will often mob predators that are near their nests or young. When birds of many species join in, they have a better chance of chasing the predator away. Alarm calls also help by warning the caller's young, mates, or relatives to take cover.

Some birds use calls to announce that they have found food. In Nebraska, Cliff Swallows forage for aerial insects in groups of 2 to more than 1,000 birds. When birds find food in bad weather, they use a squeak call that attracts other swallows. Keeping track of a moving swarm of insects may be difficult for a single swallow. Attracting other swallows may improve its chances of continuing to find food. Baby birds use begging calls to let their parents know they're hungry. Many songbirds continue to use begging calls even several weeks after they leave the nest, and their parents oblige. Juvenile Cliff Swallows beg distinctively enough for their own parents to recognize them individually. Source

I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I enjoyed photographing it.

PeterZ, Heaven, haraprasan, Morigann, Luis52, nglen, sranjan, techranger, siggi, red45, eng55, Noisette, ramthakur, gannu, anel, bikefifty, Argus, valy67, JORAPAVI, rcrick, Mikolaj, Aaltjie, boreocypriensis, CeltickRanger, Alex99, maurydv, zulfu, xTauruSx, Tamrock, oscarromulus, brunorsantana has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Argus: Identity crisisMiss_Piggy 1 03-10 05:08
To anel: FavouriteMiss_Piggy 1 03-06 01:46
To gannu: HalloMiss_Piggy 1 03-05 06:40
To ellis49: I was luckyMiss_Piggy 1 03-05 04:52
To ramthakur: Loot's silenceMiss_Piggy 1 03-05 04:48
To Macroleo: ThanksMiss_Piggy 1 03-05 03:45
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-03-04 8:24]

Hello Anna,
One of my African favourites, photographed on a splendid way. These colours are amazing. Excellent sharp details, composition, pose, POV and blue sky. High quality!

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2009-03-04 8:28]

Hi Anna,

Thanks for sharing mum as well,this is how I remember the African Harrier Hawk,although it did not pose that well for us but who knows we will get an opportunity in the future,thanks for sharing this colorfull and well composed upload,


Hi Anna!

Now, we almost have seen the whole family! And this picture is as beautiful as the former one, although for me it's not as powerful and dynamic. I like the bird's position and the the open beak. The perfect sharpness reveals rich details and the uniform blue of the sky helps to highlight them.

I have read your notes and learned a lot of new and interesting things. Many thanks for this!

Kind regards


Hi Anna,
A nice capture of this beautiful hawk. Very well composed with sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Anna,
This is really a beautiful bird.
Vrey fine details, good DOF.
TFS this african harrier.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2009-03-04 9:40]

Hola Anna.
La foto de "Halcon" es una joya. Los colores de su plumaje lucen de sobremanera gracias a la exelente foto lograda aqui. La pose fina y señorial de este clase de aves le da un valor agregado.
La nota escrita es como siempre de gran informacion e interes para leer.
Saludos Anna.

  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2009-03-04 10:10]

Hello Anna,
What a beauty, amazing colours and a great POV with the blue sky. Thank you also for your kind words with my uploads. It was a pity that we did not meet you on the trip I made with Paul (pvs) I heard from Robin that you should meet him in the time we were overthere. But you never know in the future.
Thanks and greeting

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-03-04 10:13]

Hi Anna. This is a very unusual looking bird. Which you have taken so well against the clear blue sky. You have sharp focusing and fine detail. in the feathers.. All with interesting notes. well done TFS.

Hello Anna,
Magestic profile of this beautiful bird of prey. The sharpness, details & POV are superb against a clear blue sky. Thanks for sharing.

A really wonderful capture of this hawk, so detailed and colorful. Great composition and captured pose also. Excellent... TFS Anna...


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-03-04 10:49]

Hello Anna,
Excellent capture of Harrier hawk.Color, focus and exposure are excellent along with POV.Very well done

Best regards Siggi

hello Anne
SUPER picture
great sharpness
good light en beautiful colours
great sho'
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2009-03-04 11:40]

Hello Anna!

Fantastic, superb, lovely, African saturated colours!!! I envy you very much :-) [Look at my last photo to see Polish colours during this season]. Bird is nice, but colours are my favourities here :-)

Ciao Anna, fantastic hawk in great pose, splendid contrast against blue sky, fine details and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-03-04 13:10]

Hi Anna,
What an intersting bird.Well caught,framed and composed.I liked blue sky at BG,pose of bird,sharpness and details a lot.
Thanks for posting.

Hello Anna
this harrier hawk is very beautiful and you have taken it in a great pose with beak open
superb colors especially the blue sky
very well done

Hi Ann,
This is a wondfully sharp and detailed capture of the African Harrier.
It is so very different to the Ausralasian Harrier we have here,vividly maked on the breast,but otherwise grey.
Ours are patterned all over,but much browner than this.
A very interesting post.
TFS & Cheers,

Hello Anna,
this is the sequential excellent portrait of beautiful bird! Superb shot! I like composition, great details, vivid colors.

Best regards, Leonid

Beautiful shot, Anna. I marvel at the beautiful colours of the bird and how you managed to capture it in all its beauty
Well done!

Superb picture of this mama Hawk against the deep blue sky, Anna.
You are, indeed, blessed to be living in the middle of world's richest haven for wild life.
The image is pin sharp and the open beak of the bird gives me the sensation of hearing its whistling. There are some websites that actually provide the recorded sounds of wild creatures and I will try to look for the sound of this Hawk in particular.
Thanks for sharing this great image and best regards to you and Loot.
BTW, why is he silent???

Hallo miss Piggy,
This is a beautiful picture with very good composition,
you give the bird a lot of space to look into, really nice.
It's also well exposed with lovely colours and with sharp fine details. The bird stand out well from the blue sky.
Very fine work, mf.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2009-03-05 6:21]
  • [+]

Anna, Fantastic shot and what a majestic pose and standing. Beautiful shot and superb colors and lighting. One of a best pictures from you.Ganesh

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2009-03-05 11:57]

Merhaba Anna,
o kadar değişik ve güzel renkli kuşlar gönderiyorsunki, onları burada görmek mümkün değil.
Renkler çok canlı, netlik ve kadraj çok güzel olmuş.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-03-06 1:15]
  • [+]

hello Anna,
Now you got the mum too! And again in such a striking pose against the blue sky. In the last times we also have birds of prey in town, because they don't find food, the winter being too harsh for them. But I couldn't take pictures, not having the right lens for that.
I just saw that you added my name to your favourite list and would thanks so much for it.
Thanks also for the interesting note
Have a nice day


I love you hawk story and you got a good shot of mother. You focus, exposiur and lighting are very good. I like the POV and the fact that you got her with her mouth open sure helps.

TFS - Bob

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-03-07 6:55]
  • [+]

Hello Anna,
This is a superb capture of a calling male Harrier Hawk. The frontal POV was optimised in the best way from below and the pose with the turned head allows a fine view of its features woth excellent sharpness against a great blue sky in a pleasing composition on the horizontal palm frond.
A great portrait of this species and thanks for sharing it.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2009-03-07 11:55]

Hello Anna !
What a beauty ! I had never seen such a hawk before, he's wonderful with this yellow face and beak. I also like his pose, he looks so proud. The composition, the vivid colors, the blue sky, everything makes this an outstanding post - one more in your already outstanding collection. Very well done !

Dear Anna,
fascinating capture in intense colours, perfectly well composed. A great documentation of this mother hawk.
With thanks and all my best wishes to you and to our dear Loot - "a silent partner at the moment". He must be very proud of what you are doing here.

Hola Anna,
Magnífica captura de bella composición con gran nitidez, detalles, pose y preciosos colores, saludos
José Ramón

Dear Anna,

Apologies I've been very slack lately in my critiques, what with the changes were going though at work, I never seem to have any time these days (no excuses). This is a stunner; the detail is exceptional, superb colours, what an amazing looking bird, beautifully captured,

t.f.s Rick :)

Hello Anna! Excellent bird. Wonderful scene. Amazing background. Ideal light and colours. Good work. Well done!

Dear Anna
I wanted to write your postings when I have more time on hand, and decided to write a few quick ones for other members. While having that in mind I do the blond joke thing and end of one of my critiques to a fellow member as "Regards Anna" I realised it to late and could not edit my name. ha-ha-ha I am sure this guy is going to think I am a bit cookoos. Anyway this is a great posting and I can image your excitement in the whole photographing process. The colours is so beautiful. What I like here the most is the smooth head of this hawk and I can understand where the Afrikaans name of Kaalwangvalk come about. You have done yourself proud and I am also proud of you and I am sure Lootjie as well.
Keep it up girl.
Best regards
Aaltjie & Hettie

wow , superb capture with perfect sharp and very fine details , wonderful colours , well saturated and very good natural light,
well done !

Hi Anna, an excellent shot of this beautifully faced hawk from a relatively low POV with wonderful details and sharpness.
TFS and cheers,

hello Anna

excellent photo of the African Harrier Hawk,
shot with a fine POV, for this POV in french we say : « en contre-plongé »
also fine framing with the appropriate vertical framing
and leaving a good space where the bird is looking,
superb focus with great sharpness and details, excellent contrast,



hello anna,
fine capture of the african harrier hawk, the focus is spot on and the image is very sharp, the sky makes a fine bg here, nice lighting and pleasing composition,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-03-11 9:54]

Hi Anna.
Once more terrific picture of a wonderful bird. I think quality of the image deserves the beautifulness of the scene. And both they are the highest. Lights and colours are simply awesome. Colouration of the leaves, features and other parts of the bird and, of course, of the sky are reflected brilliantly as well as the all details of the subject. Timing is so fine and pictured moment is very impressive. My congratulations and TFS.

Hello Anna,
a really wonderful capture of African Harrier Hawk, i like the beautiful pose of this fierce bird of prey taken with super sharpness and lighting, the colours are well saturated in a very nice composition.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-03-11 16:11]

Hi Anna,no better light's situation to take a pic.....and your result is great,your south-african trip it's full of surprises....this is one..and it's fantastic! Have a nice day my Purple Lady,Luciano

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-03-12 9:00]

Hi Anna,
this is really a WOW shot for me, even this bird agrees to me...see its beak shouting out...wow
Wonderfully captured in excellent blus sky as background. You showed the clarity expertly with details of the fether as well as the perched leaves.
the pose too is very well given to you and you presented to us in an elegant way.
How beautiful this composition is.


NB: Thanks to your previous critique on Tepus, as it is really a nice one and I really appreciate those motivating words, and pray that i will discover more of those unseen or hidden flora and fauna of my place.

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2009-03-12 12:25]

Hello Anna ,Beautiful shot and hawk ,great sharpnes pose and the blue sky , Greetings Teunie .

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-03-13 10:41]

Hello Anna, very beautiful shot of this wonderful bird.
TFS and G's,

Hello Anna, Very good picture. Superb sharp details and a lovely composition.
Regards, Deniz

hello Anna
thank you for your good and important criticism,
you have marvellous work in your colection,
excellent Hawk with vivid colors,that I worship,
beautiful photo
best regards

hej anna!
this one i get in gambia!
a fine hawk and you show
it in a very nice way!
good work!

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2009-03-18 11:05]

Hello Anna,
Wonderful colors and very good exposure.

"TRUELY" thankful for the HIGHLY EDUCATIVE note.
The image .... what can I say besides:
O.U.T.S.T.A.N.D.I.N.G!!! by 1000???
Best regards to you both.
Much love from Canada from
Bernardete & Mario.

Perfect focus and framing.
Gorgeous colors and light.
Wonderful work here, Anna.
Congratulations and TFS.

Warm regards and Happy Easter.

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