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You won't get away with it!

You won't get away with it!
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-01-04
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): AnYtHiNg ExTrEmElY hUmOrOuS, Funny Faces, Birds of Africa, Different Birds, Birds of Southern Africa II, Alex99 favorite photos, Birds of South Africa 2, Animals from my garden [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-01-16 9:09
Viewed: 6296
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 106
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Bronze mannikin / Lonchura cucullata

Of all the photos I have taken thus far, this one is the most special to me. The other postings might be more in focus, more spectacular, more colourful, or the technical aspects better applied, but to date this one remains my personal favourite.

I saw this very humorous picture of a domestic fall out or dispute (these mannikins were kicking up a real royal commotion). In my mind's eye I related this scene to us humans, who lead our own lives, busy with our own affairs and that means that many times quarrels or disputes are rather unavoidable.

Before I tell you my interpretation of this scene, I want to mention that these bronze mannikins are tiny birds. Only about 9cm in height.

These four birds where sitting on a telephone cable about 10m away from me. Due to this distance constraint and the diminished size of the birds they came out very small on the original photo. This posting was cropped 82% with other words you are only seeing 18% of the original photo.

Being an enthusiastic beginner I did not really consider the outcome and because it was the first time I ever saw these birds in the garden I decided to take a chance and "TRY" to capture them. They just sat there peacefully singing their jumbled songs. I do not know what happened next to spark the argument, because suddenly they became very loud, chirping and chattering at each other. At this stage I really wished I had one of those cameras that can shoot continuously and had an extra long lens. Being so far away I could not see what all the commotion was about and looking at the photo after downloading I could not help to laugh at this rather hilarious family squabble that I just witnessed.

Loot just laughed and jokingly replied that he thought it represented Janice, ManYee, and I who were trying to gang up on him, but of course he claims to be oblivious and says he's a poor innocent victim. Shame, as if we would feel or reveal any pity on him (ha-ha).

I gave each bird a name and from left to right we have "Chirper", "Guilty", "Stirrer" and "Cheeky". I do not know what sex these birds are, but looking at their body language and their facial expressions I do believe it is three females and one male.

"Chirper" looks at the three birds on her right-hand side and is getting a stab in from behind: "He charmed me, the scoundrel. I never meant to fall for his flattering and sweet talking manners".

"Guilty" pretends to be unfazed, but look how ruffled is the feathers on his back compared to the other birds. He's thinking to himself: "I'll have to be very sneaky and create a crafty diversion to get out of this tight jam. Three females against one male are rather impossible to handle - not fair at all! I'll just turn on the sweet talk and soothe Cheeky as she looks ready to explode and get real physical with me!"

"Stirrer" also wants to get some baggage of her chest and at the top of her voice she's instigating Cheeky to an even higher emotional level. With her head resting on Cheeky she shrieks at the bewildered Guilty: "I have cautioned you on several occasions. You should not have become involved with other feathers – this is not the first time you cheated on Cheeky".

"Cheeky" feels she must have the last say and chirps out: "I’ve had enough of this! I am so glad this came out in the open. If my wing could only stretch so far that it could reach you, it would be the end of you. I'll thump you so hard you won't wake up before next Christmas. And remember I have all the proof, captured on Miss Piggy's camera, ready to reveal to the whole world"…

A little tongue in cheek, fun presentation but I trust I added a smile or two on somebody's face.

I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it, and I also want to thank Betsie for the fun we had while investigating this photo and debating each bird's body language and expressions. It was really comical.

haraprasan, earthtraveler, jaycee, nglen, marhowie, darwin, Argus, Alex99, K9madtex, Silvio2006, angybone, Patleboss, wuta, Adanac, jusninasirun, valy67, PaulH, loot, JoseMiguel, spalaxtr, Aaltjie, NinaM, hester, lovenature, mesquens, Debz, goldyrs, oscarromulus, ramthakur, stevkds, CeltickRanger, boreocypriensis, fyapici has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To boreocypriensis: My favouriteMiss_Piggy 1 06-02 05:48
To ramthakur: Hallo RamMiss_Piggy 1 04-11 07:28
To oscarromulus: Talking birds an other stuffMiss_Piggy 1 02-25 05:35
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Anna
I love the scene..They look like three young to me harassing a poor parent for food even though they should know better....Despite the crop the photography aspect is superb with all in the scene pinsharp and one with his wings wide open.
Great Shot and Thanks for Sharing this humorous bickering between these lovely Mannikins..The title and note is just right.
Best Regards

Hi Mrs.Eksteen,
A beautiful capture of this group of mannikin. Very well composed with excellent details and well framed. Good notes too. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Anna,
Fun moment to capture!
Super POV to take in the action.
Charming humerous note. TFS

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-01-16 10:35]

Hi Anna,

I love it! The Mannikin is a new bird to me. Looks like a family scene that could have been people as easily as birds. The pose of the one with the raised wings is hysterical - looks just like as exasperated parent. You caught a great moment.


  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-01-16 11:42]

Ha ha! Very funny shot Anna, and the note is just hilarious! :D
Excellent image of these squabbling little Mannikins!
The poses are priceless!
Superb image quality considering the original had an 82% crop!
Great DOF and focusing.
Nice colours.
Well done! I am definately looking forward to your next post :)
Regards and TFS,

p.s I would add you as a favourite yet I have used all my favourites up! I have made a list filled with the rest of my fave members and have added you to that :) You can view it from my account intro.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-01-16 12:40]

Hi Anna. i can see why you like this one its made me laugh which is not easy according to my wife. !!! You have captured a good pose of the strange looking birds. good colours .well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • darwin Gold Star Critiquer [C: 259 W: 0 N: 403] (1401)
  • [2008-01-16 14:32]

Hi Anna
Very well presented
You have captured a marvelous image
for the eye to see and the mind to
imagine tfs jon

  • Great 
  • lizzie Gold Star Critiquer [C: 207 W: 0 N: 605] (2855)
  • [2008-01-16 20:07]

Hi Anna,

Like you said, even with a crop of 82%, this image worth to be shown. What a spectacular scene, these little birds are offering us. Incredible and almost surreal. thanks for sharing the image and also your story....


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  • betsie Gold Star Critiquer [C: 180 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-01-16 22:23]
  • [3]

Well done Anna - We females must stand together!! Judging the expression on "Guilty's" face, one can see that he does'nt know to get out of this one! I like your humour!!

Hi Anna,

I am so glad that see your nice photos here.
This shot is nice .interesting moment.
well exposed.

Thanks for sharing
my best wishes to you and my dear friend Loot.


Nice shot - birds can be so interesting.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-01-17 2:45]
  • [2]

Hello Anna,
Of course we must ignore the technical weaknesses of this shot to appreciate the content and that is really fantastic! The actual moment of capture provides the humour for a variety of interpretations and I like the one in your note.
It reminds me of primary school years ago: the eagerbeavers putting their hands up in class, shouting 'miss, miss...'
Well done, Anna: we need a laugh more often than we think!

What a great line-up of squabblers Anna!
Very good interest here, the interaction captured is great. Well focused and detailed, nice color and DOF with all the birds in..
Well done & TFS!

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-01-17 10:29]

Hi Anna.
What a great pictured scene. I cannot believe that these are not people. What a set of face expressions and poses. Fantastic timing, Bravo. Terrific shot. My congratulations.

Hello Anna,
Ahhh, that's a lovely quarrel well depicted!
Reminds me of politicians, but saying that is probably unfair to the birds...
Action well captured, presented in this well balanced composition!
Pablo -

This reminds me of a family of cartoon pigeons that used to air here in the states call the Goodfeathers, a spoof on the movie Goodfellas. While it may not be technically perfect, it is very humorous. TFS it with us.

Check out this wikipedia article.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-01-17 11:37]

Hello Anna,
Excellent funny action photo with great sharpness and good colours. Best of all I find the perfect timing.

Hello Anna
Beau et grand momment , félicitation pour ce reflex
mais trop de " contraste " quand même

Lol Anna,
I agree about the technical aspect of this picture but this action caught is priceless indeed. Yes, it putted a smile on my face this morning :) They really look like being in the middle of an intense and important discussion. I like the fact that you managed to capture a little light in the eye of each bird which is not something easy to do. This is an original picture with interesting notes :) Thanks,

I have to laugh...this looks like one of my family gatherings. ha ha
Great shot - wonderful moment, perfect moment to snap.

Hi Anna, I like a lot this scene with four bird in great pose, splendid colors and wonderful composition, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-01-18 21:14]

Hello Anna

A wonderful shot,you have personified it well with the title.
I really like Cheeky's pose,and Stirrer seems a bit downtrodden,perhaps Guilty has been heavy handed with her in the past,she recoils as if she knows a bit of abuse.
I think Chirper knows about this too,perhaps a confidante of Stirrer's and she says her piece but backs out of beaks way.Cheeky is definitely the advocate here.

Hello Anna,
lovely attitude on this scene,
excellent shot with very good timing,
well done,

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2008-01-19 13:09]

Hello Anna , This is a great shot from the birds , they ar in discussion very beautifull ,sharpnes details colours good job ,tfs ,Greetings Teunie .

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-01-20 13:06]

HA!! Yes I agree - you me and Manyee and that husband of yours!!

Will have to come back in a few days - just off out the door on holiday and I'm being called - I must hurry and do what my master says!!

Kia ora and tell Loot to "Be good!"


As you say, Anna, the photograph is not perfect but what it lacks in technical expertise, it more than makes up for in composition, pov and sheer old fashioned fun!!! I, also, cannot help but relate this scene to humans! I've seen children fall out like this at the dining table on many occasions! The one who is the smallest, and usually has the most to say, is the one who stamps and waves his arms around in the air! Great fun! Thanks for the notes and the laugh!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)
Many thanks for your warm comments on the frog in his new home! Reviewing that shot has made ne realise how much I am looking forward to spring!

Hello Anna !
This picture is truly wonderful ! I think quality is not bad at all, as you seem to think, considering it is only an 18 % crop. The composition and PO are excelent, nice natural colors. And the most important here is the lovely moment you managed to capture. It is a funny picture, really. It made me smile on this grey and rainy day. Your notes are great, I loved to read them - by the way, I was compleely amzed when I read these birds were only 9cm. They look bigger on the picture. I can understand why this picture is your favourite and I'm happy you decided to post it. Very well done !

Hello Anna,
Another beautiful entry to your superb collection. I like the cheerfulness of this birds captured as if they are engaged in some kind of useful discussion. Superb shot with brilliant perspective and I like it.
Well done and best regards,

A very nice one

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-01-21 6:59]

Hello Anna,
This is hilarious Anna, what a scream. My take is Guilty is guilty of having bad gas as you can see the girls leaning away as they chastise him. Thanks for the smiles Anna.

Hello Anna,
Very good size posting to enjoy the closeness of these Bronze Mannikins!
superb sharpness, vivid colour and perfect details
They seems to have a family discussion, very cute captured!
many thanks for sharing and really thanks for the wonderful notes!
greeting to you!

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-01-21 10:09]

Hi Anna,
great timing here, i can see why this is your favourite so far! Lots of character in this one and i really like your interpretations of each one, i think my favourite being Gulty, the obvious trouble maker here ;o)
Lovely shot, thanks for sharing!

Hi Anna,
Superbe composition, magnifiques détails et couleurs.

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-01-22 2:57]

Hi Anna
This is a beautiful capture of this group of mannikin. very good compositon.
well done

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2008-01-22 5:52]
  • [3]

Hi Anna

Sorry, but I slipped with this one. I though I've already critiqued it.

I still remember how excited you were the 1st time you saw the result of the shot on the PC screen. I thought the birds were too small on the photo, but you insisted upon using this due to the very interesting story-line it potentially encompassed. You were right after all – as is evident from the response from the fellow TrekNature members. In fact, the story line and the photo is good (keeping in consideration the massive crop that was done to it). This really reflects well for the quality of the original (full size) photo and if you were fortunate enough to capture the shot from even half the distance then the slight shortfall in the technical aspects as mentioned in your notes would have been just perfect.

So, the bottom line is that you did very well with this shot. Keep up the good work and make sure you give all the lbj’s their daily dose of exercises as you chase them around the garden.

Well done and TFS.

Hi Anna,
This group seems to be having a serious discussion!
I enjoyed so much the lecture of your notes...that is what photography is mean to be, enjoy and having fun with it.
It's so great each new discover one makes, not only in the tech aspect of the camera, but also on the wonder mother nature, isn't it?
Receive a warm and belated welcome to this matchless site, hope you have a great time as much as we have had.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-01-22 7:35]

Hello Anna ! Great scene, well composed,great action and good technique, well done, thanks !


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  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-01-22 11:02]

Hi Anna

What a funny gathering here :))
The pose in which you captured these lovely Bronze manikins is really unique...your timing here was of the essence!
Even if the sharpness of the photo isn't at its best, the look on their face and the posture of their wings is, and that's definitely worth a green smiley :)
Well seen and captured!

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2008-01-22 15:51]

What a fun scene, Anna. : )
You could not have asked for a better composition.
The expression on each mannikin is priceless.
Your "story" greatly enhances our enjoyment of the picture.
I know how small those birds are, so it is amazing that you caught the details on their tiny faces with such sharpness and clarity, despite such a severe crop. What a great moment captured!
Oh, and "Guilty" Loot would NOT stand a chance.
Closed mouth and innocent look would serve him best. : P

I am sorry I have not spent much time on TN lately. I have been busy getting ready for my grandson's visit. He is coming from China next Saturday for 3 weeks. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. : )
Take care.

Hi Anna,
I liked this photo very much. They are as if talking. TFS,

Dear Anna
I ask the same question:
Beginners luck? No experience? Pure luck shots?
I give the same answer:
I’d be inclined to disagree. Looking at this amusing and entertaining photo, I can only say forget about all the technical aspects, the heck with perfection this is worth an A+ for originality. You are showing us a special moment of interaction between these birds. This is a image with lots of personality and character and you can do yourself proud, and worth every smiley it was awarded so far. Congratulations and well done!
Warmest regards

  • Great 
  • vral Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 65 W: 1 N: 218] (1049)
  • [2008-01-28 2:01]

Hello Anna,

nice dramatic capture of these Mannikins. POV and colors are too good.Very impressive image for interesting interpretations.
Surely You have brought the smile with your notes.



Great capture Anna, in the perfect moment!!!

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-01-29 10:54]

Hi Anna, you have captured a very funny picture here, look at those birds interacting about God knows what's in a bird's mind! Lovely picture, I really like the movement and life in this picture, the colours are so nice too. They are not the most colourful birds I have seen but they sure are the most colourful as for their mimics. Great picture, Anna, thank you!


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  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-01-30 10:30]

Hi Anna

I love it, you could almost write a dialogue for this scene....lol! I have just realised you did in your note...The middle one looks defiant and the others look quite shocked. Wonderful character shot with frozen action and a great POV



Hi Anna
It's great to see you hear on TN. Thanks for the kind critique. Your image reminds me of a short cartoon put out by Pixar called For The Birds. It's really cute. If you can access iTunes you can watch part of it or buy it for around $2.00 ..... It's really funny.

I love this action shot of your tiny Bronze mannikin, they look like they are full of mischief and creating quite a stir. Wonderful composition and rich colours. Great note too.
TFS Janice

Hello Anne,

another great bird portrait of yours. This might not be your best picture technically speaking. But what an expressive sight, this family arguing and gesticulating, just wonderful.

My best regards to you

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2008-02-12 0:24]

Hi Anna, this is indeed a very humourous shot, I very much like 'Guilty' who is looking indignant, he looks as though he could be thinking 'wow, calm down'. The others are really upset about something. I like the crop and the composition, the scene is sharp with good detail and wonderful pov. Well done.

I LOVE BIRDS. REALLY. I own a few that actually "speak" English & Portuguese, sing songs etc. But, the beauty of "our" birds is: They are FREE to go & return home to roost anytime they so wish. The neighbours who have cats have attached 'bells' around the necks of their pets ever since 4 years ago a black cat harmed an African Grey Congo
that was returning into the aviary.
" .... I'm not all that familiar with the various technical terms used by the experienced photographers, but I am sure I will pick up and learn in good time."
I, too, know NOTHING about photograpy; I've learnt a lot since I became member of TN and meeting people like "loot".
You are married to a GREAT man. So humble.
Who is "Betsie"???
This is a SUPERB image.
Love your writing style. Excellent, tactful, honest, touches the heart.
"Miss Piggy" most unusual.(???!!!???)
I too have a DSC H9. It does have a "continuous" mode shooting button to the right just below the trigger button. I use it quite often. Also use a tele lens often.
Welcome to TN.
Wish you the best of the best.
Mario with fond regards to you both.

hello anna you really were smart and on the ball to catch such a wonderful scene . it's so funny and so human...
thank you for sharing it with us

also thanks for stopping by my gallery

All your shots are great,.. it takes photographer of extraordinary calibre to get so many points with just 11 photots (till now). Great shot! The posture of the birds make this one special.

The expression of silent patience on the male's face speaks volumes about his character, Anna.
My, what a hilarious script you have worked out for this scenario! LOL :-)!!
Whatever the quality of the picture, it is perhaps the most entertaining post on TN thus far, made into such an interesting presentation through your ability to write so well in English. Have you tried your hand at fiction writing?
I also chose this image from your portfolio for a different reason. You were just short of your century, so my two bits would happily turn it into three figures.
Hope you had an enjoyable anniversary outing.

hello Anna

lovely image with funny scene, after reading your notes
woh you shoot this image in photo, in French to this kind
of photography we say « photo prise sur le vif »
anfortunatly i can not do a good English translation,

superb funny image with very fine POV and DOF,
and even if you did a great cropping, there is excellent
details on the birds plumage, TFS


Hi Anna what a cute and perfect shot of these Bronze mannikins:) Great compositon. TFS my friend!
Have a nice weekend!


Hello Anna,

I was looking at your photos and I saw this very interesting photo. You have captured it veeeery nicely. The bird wihich located at right posed for you a very interesting pose. Like a family discuss. Bravo and TFS.

Sincere greetings from Turkiye.

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