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Canopy feeding

Canopy feeding
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: 2016-01-19
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/250 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2016-02-08 5:32
Viewed: 1441
Points: 19
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
In evening light this Black Heron was fishing with its wings like an umbrella. Another photo of the bird in the workshop photo.

The Black Heron (Egretta ardesiaca) also known as the Black Egret, is an African heron. It is a medium-sized (42.5–66 cm in height), black-plumaged heron with black legs and yellow feet. It is found south of the Sahara Desert, including Madagascar, and prefers shallow open waters, such as the edges of freshwater lakes and ponds. It may also be found in marshes, river edges, rice fields, and seasonally flooded grasslands. In coastal areas, it may be found feeding along tidal rivers and creeks, in alkaline lakes, and tidal flats. Its breeding range is between Senegal and Sudan and to the south. It is found mainly on the eastern half of the continent. It has also been observed in Greece.

The Black Heron has an interesting hunting method called canopy feeding—it uses its wings like an umbrella, and uses the shade it creates to attract fish. This technique was well documented on episode 5 of the BBC's The Life of Birds. Some Black Herons feed solitarily, while others feed in groups of up to 50 individuals, 200 being the highest number reported. The Black Heron feeds by day but especially prefers the time around sunset. It roosts communally at night, and coastal flocks roost at high tide. The primary food of the Black Heron is small fish, but it will also eat aquatic insects, crustaceans and amphibians.

The nest of the Black Heron is constructed of twigs placed over water in trees, bushes, and reed beds, forming a solid structure. The heron nests at the beginning of the rainy season, in single or mixed-species colonies that may number in the hundreds. The eggs are dark blue and the clutch is two to four eggs.

Source: Wikipedia

lovenature, marius-secan, Hotelcalifornia, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Hotelcalifornia: POVPeterZ 2 02-09 13:00
To euroblinkie: Reiger fotoPeterZ 1 02-09 08:59
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Critiques [Translate]

interessant gedrag, ik heb did in the USA ook wel eens gezien maar niet goed kunnen platen! Mooi

Hello Peter
It's interesting to watch birds hunt and the techniques they use. The light is perfect showing of the beautiful and intricate plumage on this Black Heron.
Details are tac sharp and lovely composition.
TFS Janice

  • Great 
  • Ishi Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 298 W: 21 N: 1943] (13387)
  • [2016-02-08 10:45]

Shalom Peter,

Thanks for this lovely example of "canopy fishing". Lovely WS, too, to show us the bird itself. Excellent quality, as usual!

Have a pleasant evening,


  • Great 
  • periko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 70 W: 2 N: 145] (1487)
  • [2016-02-08 21:59]

Hi Peter
I had never seen something like this before. Amazing technique.
The light was superb, sharpness and dof are quite good.


Hello Peter,
Lovely colorful composition with that nice water reflections. Excellent details. As usual a perfect image with amazing clarity and focus. I like the contrast against the green background.
The image in the workshop is also nice and interesting showing the method of fishing of this bird specie.

hallo peter
super mooie opname ,heel apart dat hij bleef staan kon je hem mooi nemen
Leuke compositie met de spiegeling in het water

kijk in je WORKSHOP van vroege vogels ik weet niet of je al gekeken had

gr lou

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2016-02-09 9:51]

Hi Peter,a very original way to take a grey heron,the pose is fantastic ,in effect looks like an umbrella,great timing and impressive sharpness too despite the distance,i like it! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

Hello Peter,
I have seen this Black Heron's exceptional catching technique in NatGeo Wild. I like their quick wing movement.
Excellent reflection with beautiful light. Details on feathers are well visible.
But to me POV is the main thing here which reduced the impact of this Photograph's beauty. Although, it's a nice example of story telling photograph, but the main part 'Head and Neck', to me. Your WS photograph where Bird is moving into the frame with such majestic open wing pose, looks better to me.
Yes, it's my personal opinion. Just ignore it if you don't like.
Thanks for showing such beautiful 'Fishing Technique' photograph with informative NOTE,

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2016-02-09 18:39]

Hello Peter,
What a neat shot of this Black Heron feeding in an umbrella-like pose. I have never seen this type of feeding behavior before, thanks for posting such an unusual image. Love it!!

Hello Peter

Great shot in a wonderful light, fine POV, beautiful reflections,
great focus, sharpness, details, and contrast, TFS


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