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Spring is in the air

Spring is in the air
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-03-06
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/640 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2013-03-12 7:30
Viewed: 2374
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Last week the weather was very nice and it looked a bit like Spring. Now the Winter is back with snow and temperatures below zero.
When the weather was good, I made a bicycle trip in my surroundings. And, as always, I carried my photo equipment in my bicycle pannier.
So I saw the impressive courtship of two Great Crested Grebes. Sadly they stopped when they saw me with my camera. A few kilometres further I saw the reproductive drive of these two Egyptian Geese.

The Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus) is a member of the duck, goose, and swan family Anatidae. It is native to Africa south of the Sahara and the Nile Valley, and has been introduced to parts of Western Europe.
Egyptian Geese were considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians, and appeared in much of their artwork.

It swims well, and in flight looks heavy, more like a goose than a duck, hence the English name. It is 63–73 cm long.
The sexes of this striking species are identical in plumage, though the males average slightly larger. There is a fair amount of variation in plumage tone, with some birds greyer and others browner, but this is not sex or age related. A large part of the wings of mature birds is white, but in repose the white is hidden by the wing coverts. When it is aroused, either in alarm or aggression, the white begins to show. In flight or when the wings are fully spread in aggression the white is conspicuous. The voices and vocalisations of the sexes differ, the male having a hoarse, subdued duck-like quack which seldom sounds unless it is aroused. The male Egyptian goose attracts its mate with an elaborate, noisy courtship display that includes honking, neck stretching and feather displays. The female has a far noisier raucous quack that frequently sounds in aggression and almost incessantly at the slightest disturbance when tending her young. Both sexes are aggressively territorial towards their own species when breeding and frequently pursue intruders into the air, attacking them in aerial "dogfights".

It is in the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae, and is the only extant member of the genus Alopochen. mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data suggest that the relationships of Alopochen to Tadorna need further investigation.
Its generic name looks like Greek ἀλώπηξ + χήν = "fox-goose", referring to the colour of its back, but with a Greek language error: the linguistically correct form would have been *Alopecchen or *Alopecochen.

This species breeds widely in Africa except in deserts and dense forests, and is locally abundant. They are found mostly in the Nile Valley and south of the Sahara. It has also been introduced elsewhere: Great Britain, the Netherlands and Germany have self-sustaining feral populations. The British population dates back to the 18th century, though only formally added to the British list in 1971. In Britain, it is found mainly in East Anglia, in parkland with lakes. It was officially declared a pest in the U.K. in 2009.
The Egyptian Goose is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

This is a largely terrestrial species, which will also perch readily on trees and buildings. Egyptian geese typically eat seeds, leaves, grasses, and plant stems. Occasionally, they will eat locusts, worms, or other small animals.
They are extremely territorial and often fight with other pairs for a breeding ground. Neighbouring pairs may even kill another's offspring for their own offsprings' survival as well as for more resources.
This species will nest in a large variety of situations, especially in holes in mature trees in parkland. The female builds the nest from reeds, leaves and grass, and both parents take turns incubating eggs. Egyptian Geese usually pair for life. Both the male and female care for the offspring until they are old enough to care for themselves.

Source: Wikipedia

Argus, oldferret, maaciejka, Pitoncle, Silvio2006, CeltickRanger, marhowie, buscape, jusninasirun, williewhistler, nagraj has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hallo peter
Mooie scherpe foto van de Nijlgans
super details and ook super kleuren
Leuke compositie
Wel een beetje koud vandaag met die wind erbij
gr lou

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2013-03-12 7:39]

Hello Peter,
I think the Nile Goose is beginning to establish itself in Sweden now.
A fine capture of this pair taken with excellent sharpness and natural colours in a nice pose that makes a fine composition against the green grass.
We still have snow on the ground and it it still below zero!
Thanks and best regards,

Hi Peter,

A very nice shot of these geese, very good details and colours show them off well. A nice low pov and background with a nice dof.
TFS regards Bill.

Hi Peter,

You have captured the pair beautifully...nice details & color of plumage...

You stated in Europe, theres snow & over here in India, its already getting hot...

Thanks for sharing this lovely pair..

Nice Evening to you,


Hello Peter,
Majestic touch!
Very beautiful picture you have captured.Nice pose and colour on subject.Sharpness is also nice.Focus on the subject made it unique one.
Thanks for sharing,
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • hsn6a Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 160 W: 0 N: 435] (8652)
  • [2013-03-12 7:56]

Hello Peter,
very nice gooses,very nice capture,regards..

Hi Peter,
beautiful bird. Excellent composition and presentation. A lot of details.
Have a nice evening,

hello sir...
what a beautiful pic with great details and fine sharpness ....
you have captured a pair in very beautiful manner ....
Best Regards:-/ LOVISH GARLANI

Bonjour Peter,
Agréable valorisation des sujets dans leur environnement.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2013-03-12 9:42]

Hi Peter,i seen a lot of snow today on the northern Europe,the spring must to wait some day....eehe...the pic is really beautiful,i like the curious pose of the 3 geese,great quality of details and colors in an excellent exposure.Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2013-03-12 10:24]

Merhaba Peter,
Verdiğin bilgilerle birleşince çok başka anlam kazanan çok güzel bir fotoğraf..tebrik ederim, saygılarımla..

Ciao Peter, great capture of lovely couple in nice action, wonderful natural colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • Tina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 60 W: 0 N: 132] (1427)
  • [2013-03-12 12:21]

Hi Peter,
Lovely capture ! Eye contact, beautiful colours and details on the feathers are awesome ! TFS Tina

Hello Peter

Excellent close-up photo of these 2 Egyptian Goose
shot « sur le vif », very fine POV and framing,
their pose are adding dynamism to the image,
beautiful light, great focus, sharpness, details, TFS


I like the colorful plumage of this Goose, nice details & well composed Peter.
I especially like how the one goose is keepin' a sharp eye on ya :)
Well done!

Hello Peter,
great capture of these interesting Goose with good sharpness and wonderful colours. I also like your fine composition and thank you for your interesting note.
Best wishes,

Hello Peter.
Fine image celebrating the colorful spring. This is a colorful image of the Egyptian Goose. Lovely pair in close framing exposing the details of the colorful feather. Nicely focused and framed image.
Thanks and have a wonderful day.

Great photo Peter! Interesting subject, excellent composition, fantastic colours and very good sharpness!

Hello Peter,
I guess that we are lucky not to have this species in our area just yet as they can be a pest,however they do make good photographic subjects as you show here.
Nice detail and colouring in their environment,good work.

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2013-03-13 7:58]

Beautiful Egyptian Geese is very harmonious pose, lovely colors and composition.

Hello Peter,
Very nice image. I like this interesting scene with this beautiful birds. The colors and contrast of this image are amazing.....I never meet them in my region.....
Thanks for sharing!

lovely geese :) and good composition too.. thanks for sharing this, Peter. yes, it's Spring. but at my place, it's still snowing.. Winter :(

Hello Peter,
Nice capture of a couple in a nice pose,with an excellent sharp details of plumage.
Thanks and my regards.

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2013-03-13 13:26]

Hallo Peter,
A beautiful composition of geese ..
Lovely capture of these the geese with a very good focus, sharpness, colors, details, POV and composition.
Best wishes,

Hello Peter,
I was absent due heavy official assignment for that i was missed this superb picture.
you captured it in a perfect moment and from a good Pov.
sharpness, colour is always top class in your pic.
best wishes,

Hello Peter,
An excellent capture with beautiful colors, details & POV. Great work & TFS. Regards & best wishes!


  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2013-03-21 3:20]

Hello Peter
a very nice shot with the details of these beautiful geese. The lighting is splendid and the details are well rendered.
How nice to see these geese playing aroundon the field.
Nice nature view


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2013-03-23 12:37]

Hi Peter,
I really like the composition of this picture. Excellent eye contact from both birds.
The colors on these Egyptian geese are subtle, but beautiful.
Very sharp details as well. TFS. : )

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