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White-tailed Swallow

White-tailed Swallow
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: 2008-08-22
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/8, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-03-14 4:44
Viewed: 6943
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hello TN friends,
This is my second photo of this species, the White-tailed Swallow, hirundo megaensis. After my return from Ethiopia this was my first posting because it's a very unique Swallow. It's rarely been photographed.
There’s a drawing of this Swallow in flight in ‘Birds of Africa, South of the Sahara’ by Ian Sinclair and Peter Ryan.
I find a pair of this Swallows with my chauffeur two hours south of Yabello, 100 km North of the border of Kenia. It’s endemic to the surroundings of Yabello, South Ethiopia.

It’s similar to the Pearl-breasted Swallow but with a diagnostic white tail. So we recognised it easily. It lacks a red crown of the Wire-tailed Swallow. Female has less distinctive white tail. Juvenile is duller and browner above.

Habitat: Dry thornbush with large, tall, red-clay termite mound.

Status: Vulnerable. 2008 IUCN Red list of Threatened Species.
This species is believed to have a small population, and is suspected to be declining owing to the intensification of land-use across much of its small range. It is therefore treated as Vulnerable, although there is little information on its population status and the seriousness of threats.
Fairly common in its small range; usually seen in pairs.

Voice: Typical swallow-like twitterings and chirrups.

(Source: Birds of Africa, South of the Sahara. I. Sinclair and P. Ryan)

ramthakur, maurydv, Alex99, albert, siggi, eqshannon, xTauruSx, MMM, CeltickRanger, Luis52, nglen, haraprasan, Heaven, eng55, boreocypriensis, zulfu, JORAPAVI, bahadir, jusninasirun has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

What an exotic Swallow, Peter! Your trip to Ethiopia was worth its while in terms of nature photography.
This is a lovely capture with the bird perching on a curvy branch.
It looks like for showing the eye clearly, you played with the levels at PP stage and bargained for a bit of OE on the white breast of the bird. Not an issure really; the image is beautiful, all the same.

Hello Peter,
another beautiful picture of White-tailed Swallow taken with very good sharpness in a lovely composition, i like the wonderful pose of the cute bird against a splendid blurred BG
Best regards
Have a good weekend

Hello Peter,
White-tailed Swallow's second post also great. very beautiful species. focus, POV and composition very nice, with good informative notes. Thanks for sharing, have a nice weekend friend

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-03-14 5:19]

Hi Peter.
It is really wonderful species and too different with our common species. You have pictured it at very attractive scenery. Thin twigs with fresh buds create a nice pattern. Smooth BG is very attractive too. However, the key point of the shot is charming bird, which I reflected with great details, amazing exposure and rich fine colours. Bravo. Refine work of a wonderful scene.

Hello Peter
Whoo.. a superb photo, I like your composition with the little branches and this beautiful swallow well detached on the blurried BG
Well done
PS:Hope you have fully recovered now

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-03-14 5:27]

Hello Peter,
Very nice capture of White-tailed Swallow. Lighting is excellent, and the detail in the feathers is very good. Background works well, too. Best regards Siggi

My Peter you certainly were fortunate to capture this one then as you say in notes. It is always fun to capture a new species and then to have it as a rare one is another pleasant surprise! You have done well in such a natural setting and composition is just fine!

Ciao Peter, my today neighbour, lovely bird in great pose, good colors, perfect focus, fine details and splendid sharpness, wonderful capture, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hello Peter, lovely bird and wonderful shot.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2009-03-14 11:09]

Hi Peter
Nice composition.Good POV and sharp image.Nice plumage detail and great colors.I also liek the catch light in the eye.
TFS Michel

hello Peter

excellent photography of this beautiful Swallow,
fine POV and framing, excellent focus on the bird
and the branch with excellent sharpness and details,
i love the bird's peaceful look pose, TFS


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2009-03-14 11:17]

Hola Peter.
Never seen this White tiled Swallow before, and it nice to see it here with a great pose and sharpness. your note is also interesting to read.
Saludos and Many thanks for Your critiques in my last post.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-03-14 11:27]

Hi Peter. Once thanks again for showing us this Swallow. You were so lucky to have seen it. You have taken a fine close up with good detail and colours in the feathers. A nice POV/DOF. all with interesting notes. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2009-03-14 11:33]

Hi Peter,
Wonderful shot of this cute birdie with such amazing colours and details on its plumage. Great light and exposure handling and I like its fluffy plumage. Excellent POV, DOF and composition.

Hi Peter,
A nice capture of this beautiful Swallow. Very well composed with good details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2009-03-14 13:28]

Dear Peter!

Many thanks to offer us this rare picture and congratulations for the outstanding quality. The colours are superb and I like the composition with the branches very much. Your notes are very detailed, instructive and pleasant to read.

Kind regards


  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-03-14 13:35]

Hi Peter,
Lovely capture.POV,colors,BG and composition are wonderful.
Have a great weekend!
Thanks for posting.

hallo Peter
super foto
zo mooi van kleur
leuk zo op de tak
ik heb van die kleintjes ook in costa rica gezien ,iets anders van kleur
great shot
groetjes lou

Hi peter, an excellent and lovely capture of this pretty swallow species from nice POV with excellent details and nice composition.
TFS and have a nice Sunday!

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-03-14 16:46]

Hi Peter,this is really rare and have a perfect place in your fantastic bird's collection.Maybe not the best sharpness,but excellents colors and very nice background,thanks for share,have a nice Sunday,Luciano

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-03-15 3:54]

Hello Peter, wonderful shot of this beautiful swallow with nice details and lovely pose.
TFS and G's,

Hola Peter,
Preciosa captura de este bello pajarillo, buena nitidez con magníficos detalles, agradable luz, fondo y bellos colores, saludos
José Ramón

  • Great 
  • Marx44 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 172 W: 97 N: 926] (3891)
  • [2009-03-15 10:57]

Very nice, great composition and timing. Great shot, the detail and clarity is excellent. Like you DOF as well.


Hello peter, great shot of this lovely bird with nice pose and composition.
TFS and regards, Bahadır

Hello Peter.
This is beautiful and unique looking swallow. The plumage details are fabulous with sharpness of the bird in the focal plane. Nice work and thanks for sharing.

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