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A beautiful visitor

A beautiful visitor
Photo Information
Copyright: Japie Venter (japie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-10-22
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Sigma 170-500mm APO, Digital ISO 200, Skylight
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/60 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Predaceous birds - Aves predadoras, 40 points or more - 40 puntos o más [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-11-05 4:28
Viewed: 4606
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I took this - Polyborus plancus in the World of Birds . This is a new bird for me as it is not native to South Africa. This guy seems to hang out in the Americas, but what a beautiful bird!

Members of the genus Polyborus are large caracaras. They have large, compressed and strongly hooked bills. Their legs are long, the talons thin and blunt.
The genus is quite closely related to Phalcoboenus, of which the Striated Caracara is a member. In scientific classification, the caracaras are grouped with falcons, although they share few, if any, of their visible physical and behavioural characteristics.


The Crested Caracara, otherwise known as the Southern Caracara, Common Caracara and sometimes Mexican Eagle, can be found in central and southern Florida, southern Texas, southern Arizona south to Tierra del Fuego, Cuba, Isle of Pines and the Falkland Islands. It prefers open or semi-open country, either arid or well watered. Although it is usually seen at low elevations, in the Andes it has been seen at up to 8,000 or 9,000 feet.
In North America it is strictly tropical or sub-tropical, but frequents colder areas in the southern continent.


The caracara will eat all sorts of animal matter, all classes of vertebrates, insects and worms. It exists both as a scavenger and as a predator. It carries food in the bill, sometimes in the feet; and has been known to harry other birds up to the size of a buzzard until the latter drops its food.


Harsh grating calls of alarm or protest 'trak-trak-trak', sometimes a shriek. During the breeding season it takes a conspicuous perch and utters a `quick-quick-quick-quick-querrr'. The first syllables are uttered rapidly, but the last is drawn out and at the same time the head is tossed far back so that the crown nearly touches the shoulders. It is this call that gives the bird its name Caracara. Most other caracaras have a similar performance.

The camera settings:

Program Setting: Aperture priority
Focal Length: 453mm
F Stop: F/5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/60
ISO: 200
Tripod: Yes
Flash: Yes
Reflective Panel: No
Cable release: Yes

As you can see from the settings above I used 1/60 on a long lens which is not usually advisable but I did not have much of a choice. As one raises the ISO the chances of noise creeping in is more and the quality is better at lower ISO’s. Therefore the settings above. Photography is a tradeoff between settings. I used the cable release because sometimes a big heavy lens (without IS)takes a second or two to stabelize on the tripod.

Thanks for viewing

Signal-Womb, willie, ellis49, mrvdm1, red45, Crypton, marhowie, LordPotty, Kirsten, coasties, PDP, RAP, AndyB, Luc, Callie, radz has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To ellis49: Help please....gerhardt 3 11-06 01:29
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Critiques [Translate]

Magnificent shot and a stunning portrait of this beautiful bird. Very good colours, and nice composition. Excellent note as always. Well done Japie.

Beautifull Bird, Japie. I never seen one in real life. It must be a new addition too. Once again the eye contact you made astounded me. The focus is a bit soft on this one but it's a minor nit. Great shot, super note.

I hate this bird, it made my life miserable quite a few times, it knew how much I want it a shot and always hidding and laughing at me... the hardest to catch on film bird : the caracara. But so beautiful in color and imposing in stance. Well at least you were lucky, Japie ! That focus wish it was more on the eye so could I push to next level smilie...

Very nice portrait, great note very nice composition.
Well done

This is a very nice shot of an interesting looking bird.
Good Work

Very good Japie.
Nice colours and good composion and good details.
With your 300D you can use up to ISO 400 without any problem
with disturbing noise, I use 400 very often.
Good note.
Great work

SHOT!! You realy do love these shots, don't you. Good color, and compo. Well done.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2004-11-05 5:37]

As always very good picture. Maybe little too soft in my opinion?

tres bel animal,
on voit un leger flou, certainement du a la vitesse basse que tu a utilisée, la pdc est un peut courte, a mon avis vu les reglages la scene devait etre mal exposer...
c'est quand meme agreable a voir.

Japie, A great extreme close-up profile here! It may not be 100% tack-sharp but over-all it's a hit with me!! Well done!

A beautiful visitor indeed Japie.What a fine portrait, and excellent supporting notes.I'm not usually a fan of borders, but this one works well. Good job.

nice shot, good details on the feithers and the rest of the bird,good sharpness and colours,compo is good to!


You take the most stunning images! I always enjoy sharing your work. This one, is again, magnificent. Thank you!

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-11-05 14:12]

Is it a French hawk? It's beret is very attractive...or is it an vain old man...with his syrup on?

Great shot Japie, you could make a wondersous set of pictures with these Bird portraits. Very well done.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-11-05 14:30]

Sabes que esta especie fue la protagonista de mi foto Nº 26?... incluso alguien que ya no califica mis imágenes mencionó que podía verme reflejado en el ojo del animal.
Excelente imagen con un hermoso POV y colorido.
Algo existe en esta ave que no posibilita el enfoque perfecto... mi imagen también tenia un foco algo soft... pero la presentacion es espectacular.

Do you know that this species was the protagonist of my You know that this species was the protagonist of photo Nº 26?... somebody that no longer rates my images even mentioned that it could see me reflected in the eye of the animal.
Excellent image with a beautiful colorful and POV.
Something exists in this bird that does not make possible the perfect approach... my image also had a focus something soft... but the presentation is spectacular.

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2004-11-05 14:48]

Another great bird portrait.
I like its 'hairstyle'.......cool ;-)
Good vivid colours,nice detail and good DoF.
Excellent note too.
Well done.

Great capture Japie. Not much to say - you really got everything right here and what an angry expression on his face. Very educational note as usual.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2004-11-06 6:45]

A beautiful visitor indeed, Japie. Good job: picture and note. TFS.

he looks more French than S American with his beret! Are you sure you did not place it on his head? And he looks a bit haughty as well, staring down his nose at you. You must get Ricardo to speak to his grand dad about this unseeming behaviour of his grand child.
Oja, en hy is pragtig, en weereens dankie vir Gister.

  • Great 
  • Hisam Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 18 W: 1 N: 22] (215)
  • [2004-12-28 0:03]

indeed it is a beautiful bird! and a good shot

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2005-01-03 9:51]

Amazing shot,i never seen this bird,new to me too.Excellent in all aspects.

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