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Woodland Kingfisher

Woodland Kingfisher
Photo Information
Copyright: Mike Rolfe (fiftysomething) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 45 W: 3 N: 141] (657)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-01-05
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 30D, Canon EF100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS USM, 77mm UV
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/250 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-01-30 3:27
Viewed: 6371
Points: 23
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Woodland Kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis) is a tree kingfisher which is widely distributed in tropical Africa south of the Sahara and from Pretoria northwards . This kingfisher is essentially resident within 8° of the equator, but northern and southern populations are migratory, moving into the equatorial zone in the dry season.

This is a medium-sized kingfisher, 20-23 cm in length. The adult has a bright blue back, wing panel and tail. Its head, neck and underparts are white, and its shoulders are black. The flight of the Woodland Kingfisher is rapid and direct. The large bill has a red upper mandible and black lower mandible. The legs are bright red. Some birds may have greyish heads, causing confusion with Mangrove Kingfisher.

However, the lores are dark, creating a dark stripe through the eye (the stripe does not extend through the eye in Mangrove Kingfisher), and the underwing, primaries and secondaries are black with white underwing coverts (there is a black carpal patch on the white coverts in Manrgove Kingfisher). The inner webs of the base of the flight feathers are white, creating an indistinct white wingbar (white completely absent from wings in Mangrove Kingfisher). The breast is white (tends to be much greyer in Mangrove Kingfisher).

The sexes are similar, but juveniles are duller than adults and have a brown bill. The call of this noisy kingfisher is a loud trill.

Woodland Kingfisher is a common species of a variety of wooded habitats with some trees, especially Acacias, including around human habitation. Although it is a "kingfisher", it prefers drier habitats in more traditional woodland and can be far from water. It is often solitary but can occur in small groups. It hunts from an exposed perch, often on a dead branch of a tree, or perches quietly in semi-shade whilst seeking food. The prey is mainly a wide variety of large insects, but also arthropods, snakes, fish and frogs.

The Woodland Kingfisher is aggressively territorial, attacking intruders including humans.

The Woodland Kingfisher has a striking display in which the wings are spread to show the white linings. The nest is a tree hole excavated by a woodpecker or barbet. A single clutch of three round white eggs is typical.

This is my first attempt at using NeatImage (which I am trying hard to understand) to reduce the noise. Any comments are very welcome.

Miss_Piggy, kjpweb, crs, loot, rcrick has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To loot: Kingfisherfiftysomething 1 01-30 23:16
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Critiques [Translate]

Hallo Mike
I really like the sapphire blue of this Woodland Kingfisher. It is a pretty bright blue and not a dirty blue of the Brown-hooded kingfisher I have posted recently. This is an elegant looking bird and I especially like the black and red beak. I've got a thing about a bird’s eye and this one is no exception. The big round black eye with the hint of a sparkle surely is an attraction. The thorn bush as background creates a lovely atmosphere to this presentation. Thanks for sharing. It was lovely to look at.
Kind regards

Good one, Mike! Wonderful colors, good focus and eye contact! Bravo! Cheers, Klaus

  • Good 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-01-30 5:37]

Hi Mike,

A very nice looking bird. I like the colors of the bird and how it looks between the thorns of the bush. May be a little more sharpness should have been usefull.

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-01-30 6:05]

Hi Mike,

A nice capture,great colors and BG,i have an almost identical capture of this bird (as wll taken in kruger,near skukuza restcamp,not posted yet),but I think it is quite a coincedent,anyway thanks for posting this beatifull bird,


Hi Mike,
This is one of the most beautiful King fisher picture i have seen. very nicely composed in its natural environment. The sharp thorns are adding to the glory of the picture.TFS

Hi mike
Good capture of a woodland kingfisher, nice natural background, the thorns of the bush add to your compostion.

wow, una gran fotografia, el ave contrasta muy bien en el entorno espinoso.


beatifull bird, MRAVO..

Hi Mike

This is a gorgeous little kingfisher. I've never seen one in nature although I notice that the distribution map indicates that it should be in present in the Zululand area as well. I will keep my eyes peeled and maybe someday I might get lucky.

With the wide aperture you managed to capture a fabulous BG, well removed and absolutely complimentary to the subject. The colours are stunning and the details are quite sharp. The exposure levels were also spot-on, showing good contrasts between the darker and lighter areas.

You mentioned using NeatImage for the first time and I think you did quite well. I remember that you use PS Elements 5.0 and if NeatImage was installed correctly it should become part of you PhotoShop program. With other words you should be able to select NeatImage from the "Filter" tab in the PhotoShop software. This gives you the added advantage that you can select whatever portion of you photo using the "Lasso" or "Magic Wand" tools and then apply NeatImage to that specific area only. That means you do not have to apply NeatImage to the entire photo. I have found that it is mostly just the BG that needs noise reduction so I would normally only apply it to the BG and not to the main subject itself. This is for the obvious reason that you do not want to reduce sharpness on the main subject as NeatImage will rob you of the focus you worked hard for and earned by paying a lot of money for a good lens.

I have done a fun workshop for you and with the freedom we have in workshops I did a number of enhancements that one would normally not do with the original posting. The Acacia thorns are very prominent and an essential part of the habitat display, but I though a few of them were situated at awkward positions making it looks like the thorns were growing out of the back and head of the kingfisher. I removed those and a couple of other loose hanging thorns as well.

Well done and TFS.
Best regards

Hi mike;
Excellent capture of this Woodland Kingfisher, what amazing colours just stunning, really stands out well up against the soft background, exposure is spot-on, all the best Cheers Rick :)

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-02-06 4:27]

Hi Mike,
Wonderful shot of this Kingfisher with very impressive sharpness and colours on its plumage. Superb lighting, exposure and pose captured. Nice BG and surrounding. Very nicely composed. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2008-02-18 3:26]

Hi Mike,

I like this kingfisher a lot. It looks a bit like the kingfisher I captured in Gambia. What I like most about this bird is the colored beak. Congrats.


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