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Secretary bird

Secretary bird
Photo Information
Copyright: Albert Herbigneaux (albert) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 421 W: 12 N: 670] (2971)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200 with MB-200, Nikon 80-400mm VR
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/2500 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-11-20 6:03
Viewed: 4539
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Secretarybird or Secretary Bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) is a large, mostly terrestrial bird of prey. Endemic to Africa, it is usually found in the open grasslands and savannah of the sub-Sahara. Although a member of the order Accipitriformes, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, buzzards, vultures, and harriers, it is given its own family, Sagittariidae.
The Secretary Bird is instantly recognizable as having an eagle-like body on crane-like legs which increases the bird’s height to around 1.3 m (4 ft) tall. This 140 cm (4.5 ft) long bird has an eagle-like head with a hooked bill, but has rounded wings. Body weight averages at about
(c) Wikipedia
3.3 kg (7.3 lbs) and the wingspan is over 2 m (6.6 ft). Due to its long legs and long tail, it is both longer and taller than any other diurnal raptor.
From a distance or in flight it resembles a crane more than a bird of prey. The tail has two elongated central feathers that extend beyond the feet during flight, as well as long flat plumage creating a posterior crest Secretary Bird flight feathers and thighs are black, while most of the coverts are grey with some being white. Sexes look similar to one another as the species exhibits very little sexual dimorphism, although the male has longer head plumes and tail feathers. Adults have a featherless red face as opposed to the yellow facial skin of the young.
Secretary Birds are endemic to Sub-Saharan Africa and are non-migratory, though they may follow food sources. Their range extends from Senegal to Somalia and south to the Cape of Good Hope. These birds are also found at a variety of elevations, from the coastal plains to the highlands. Secretary Birds prefer open grasslands and savannas rather than forests and dense shrubbery which may impede their cursorial existence. While the birds roost on the local Acacia trees at night, they spend much of the day on the ground, returning to roosting sites just before dark.
(c) Wikipedia

uleko, CeltickRanger, MMM, nasokoun, Argus, eng55, zulfu, marius-secan, bahadir, boreocypriensis, anel, Alex99, Miss_Piggy has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Miss_Piggy: Thanks Annaalbert 1 12-12 04:57
To PeterZ: Thanks for your commentalbert 1 11-22 03:49
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Critiques [Translate]

Verry good capture of this bird.
Great details and colours of photo.Well done.
Best regards.Alin.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3423 W: 173 N: 3309] (10940)
  • [2009-11-20 6:29]

Hello Albert,
A fantastic close-up of this fascinating bird! Excellent sharp details and wonderful colours. The eye is amazing with the fine long eye lashes! Very well done!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

salut Albert

une superbe photo portraît du serpentaire,
prise par un excellent POV en contre-plongé,
excellent cadrage en laissant une bonne petite
espace devant le regard de l'oiseau,
superbe focus netteté et détails,

la première fois que j'avai appris du serpentaire
j'avais 13 ans, dans un vieux dictionnaire Larousse
je cherchais des illustrations et définitions
de chiens de chasse et des oiseaux, c'était en 1981...

TFS et salutations


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5830 W: 89 N: 14938] (62666)
  • [2009-11-20 7:04]

Salut Albert,tu as abandone' mes fleurs preferees mais je ne pleure pas,ces oiseaux sont extraordinairs,un portrait prete a printer sur le National Geographic Magazine,lumiere,nettete' et couleurs simplement fantastiques! Mes plus gros compliments et bonne soiree',Luciano

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1129 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2009-11-20 7:26]

Hello Albert
Nice portrait.Razor sharp image with excellent detail.Beautiful colors that are comming out strong due to the dark BG
TFS Michel

hello Albert
top class close up photo,exceptional output!
keep photographing! TFS

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5077 W: 260 N: 15590] (50614)
  • [2009-11-20 7:56]

Hello Albert,
A superb sharp close portrait of the Secretary Bird taken with excellent lighting to show the head and neck from a fine low POV. The dark BG suggests the use of flash but it is not mentioned. The neck feathers the give reason for its name are well seen here, especially against the dark Bg.
If this is not a captive bird you did well to get so close and the quality of the picture is superb!
Thanks and have a good weekend,

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-11-20 8:24]

Hi Albert,
Very beautiful portrait.I liked contrast between bird and dark BG,clear details,sharpness and expression on face a lot.
Thanks for posting..

Hello Albert,
Superb portrait of this Secretary Bird. Beautiful clear colours against the dark BG. Did you flashed it? Great sharpness and details. Wonderful pose and composition.

  • Great 
  • Mello Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 143 W: 34 N: 480] (2419)
  • [2009-11-20 10:27]

Amazing close-up and beauty bird, and of course, very well captured in all aspects. Good job. TFS.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-11-20 10:50]

Hello Albert,
Superb shot of this secretary bird. i loved its English name:)
Colours, details and composition are wonderful.
TFS ang G's,

Hello Albert,
Amazing colours and focus. Excellent sharpness and blurred background.
First class portret.

a great picture wirh very good details of the head of this BEAUTIFUL bird
great colours and good BG.
a BEAUTY Albert
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-11-20 12:22]

Hi Albert . I must say i have never seen this bird before so thanks for posting this first class picture. You have take this Secretarybird with sharp focusing and fine detail. The white feathers stand out so well from the dark BG. Also the large brown eye. Well taken TFS.
Have a nice weekend.

Hello Albert, excellent portrait shot of this cute faced bird like a secretary:) with nice composition and details.
TFS and regards,

Hi and Good Morning MF Albert,

Incredible portrait capture of this pretty secretary:)
The focus, details, DOF and POV looks excellent.
The facial expression also very impressive too.
TFS and heve a nice day and WE MF!


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3043 W: 3 N: 8701] (40526)
  • [2009-11-21 5:10]

Bonjour Albert,
Tout simplement superbe cette image de ce Sagittarius serpentarius, un oiseau que je ne connaissais que par le nom. L'expression de l'oiseau est bien captée, et l'image parfaite à tout point de vue. Bravo encore!!
Bonne fin de semaine

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3090 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2009-11-22 11:17]

Wow, what a haughty look Mr. Secretary displays.
And check out those long eyelashes against that orange face.
Fantastic sharpness throughout the image.
Details are well-lit and well-shown against the black BG.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-12-01 7:10]

Hi Albert.
Simply outstanding portrait of a wonderful bird. All its features are reflected with great skill. Perfect use of flash, superb captured pose of the bird and terrific details. My compliments and FS. Excellent job.

Hallo Albert
Thanks for your frequent visits to my gallery, it is much appreciated.
You were very fortunate to capture this elegant bird from so close. Whenever we saw them and most of the times I can recall, they would walk further away from us making photographic opportunities so little. During our last trip we saw 2 of them very far in the distance in a tree, and that was it. Your portrait of this bird is just stunning. The details capture is clear, well focused and really sharp. The colours are brought across beautifully, especially the orange in the face. My compliments on great photography of the fine feathers and especially the eye lashes, as the detail are seen with great clarity. It was indeed a pleasure stopping by such a great image. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

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