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Black Widow

Black Widow
Photo Information
Copyright: Willie Miles (willie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1023 W: 61 N: 648] (2083)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-02-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony PDX10
Exposure: f/3.4, 1/150 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2005-02-01 14:48
Viewed: 16771
Points: 44
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Steel Blue Widow Finch

Length 10 - 11 cm

A less common Southern African Widow finch

There are four different widow finches,

Purple Widow Finch - White bill and White legs
Steel Blue Widow Finch - Red bill and Red legs
Green Widow Finch - White bill and Red legs
Black Widow Finch - malso White bill and Red legs but plumage more black

These birds are also known as indigobirds. Males are totally black in breeding plumage.
They have short tails and are best identifies by leg and bill colours as above.
Females are small and brown streaked. Except for bill colour, non breeding males
resemble females.Widow finches mimic the songs of their hosts ( Mostly firefinches )
The presence of a particular widow finch in summer is a clear indication of the hosts presence.

Shooting details.
Original Photo 1152 x 864
Cropped and Resized for web ( No other pp work )
Camera - Sony DSR-PDX10P
No Flash
Tripod No - Handheld
F/Length 43mm
F Number F/3.4
Exposure Time 1/150sec

I got this shot this afternoon close to Polokwane by chance. I saw the bird
whilst driving and stopped about 15metres away from it. I took one shot and then to my
amazement, he came and sat on the ground about 8 feet from the car window.
As much as I begged, he remained for only one shot. The grass in front is
disturbing I know, but I felt I needed to post this guy as he is quite rare.

pompey, miqra, extramundi, liquidsunshine, rlortie, Signal-Womb, scottevers7, Janice, gerhardt, carper, PDP, red45, Luc, Callie, mogens-j has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • pompey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 4 N: 746] (2774)
  • [2005-02-01 15:09]

Nice shot Willie, a new bird to me.
You still managed to get some definition in the black feathers (hard in itself).
Good colour saturation and great note.
Well caught!

  • Great 
  • miqra Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 140 W: 3 N: 23] (151)
  • [2005-02-01 15:16]

Only a profesional photographer can get the wildlife bird shots you do with the equipment you have and with such excellent quality, this one is very, very good, I especially like the shimmer on the bird, well done!

He has a face of having a very bad sense of humour :-) What to say about the photo, you were quite lucky and got a very good shot in such a circumstances. Nice to see it.

Nice shot Willie,
Interesting bird. Good of him to come to pose for you.
great notes
Thanks for posting

Birds can sometime be cooperative. You were blessed this afternoon. Congratulations for this very good picture. And most of all, thanks for sharing your story.

Very nice capture Willie. Great looking bird I like the way its beak and feet are the same colour. Well done.

A nice photo of this little guy under difficult conditions. Great that he moved closer that you could get this good shot. Nice detail and color. excellent note

Hi Wille.
You handle your cam very good. Good exposure, the black plumage is very good. Nice POV , good details and note.
Very well done.

Why his bill is so red??? Is he liar?
Good and interesting photo ;-)

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-02-02 4:54]

Good shot of this Finch - I've never seen a black one before. Only finches in NZ are those in cages. Love his red beak and feet. Well done!

Good shot Willie, good details on the bird, but focus a bit soft. Good soft colours.
Well caught.

Rare indeed. I have not seen one. The grass is a part of nature and does not disturb me at all. Very nice capture Willie. Great shot!

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2005-02-02 13:49]

When I heard black widow,
I realy must think an the very famous spider, but even I like this good bird shot Willie, very good pof and a good dof, I like the details in the shot, good job Willie

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-02-02 16:02]

Nice shot Willie, the composition is veyr good and it's yet another SA bird that I haven't seen before. The quality isn't the best but it sure is good for a video camera. Well done.

Willie, Thanx for posting this rare finch. I think it's great to see a diverse offering here at TN..TFS!

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-02-03 4:53]

Very nice capture Willie! Never saw before this species but I like its orange beak and legs with black rest of the body. Good work!

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-02-03 16:08]

Willie, I have the feeling the bird has a serious pose. Nice shot with good contrasting colors.


Once again you surprise us with what you can achieve with your camcorder. A new species (group)for me and an interesting note.
The composition and POV is great, grass is nature and often gets in the way. At least here we can see all the identifying features, especially the serious look he is giving you. Well done.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-02-05 10:03]

Thanks for posting this one too, Willie. I like birds and it is a new one for me.
A great post.

Hi Willie
These guys are as scarce as chicken teeth, and I have seen them very seldom and could never yet nail any of them. This is a very good shot of this small, hyperactive bird. Coming just after the waydah, his nest was most probably used for the waydah's brood.

Great capture of this black beauty Willie - not quite sharp but enough to show the details and with the camcorder it is well done. Great composition with some of the surrounding.

Good shot :)

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