<< Previous Next >>

Birdie Num Num

Birdie Num Num
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: 2008-12-07
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Birds of South Africa 3, Joe's Favourites 3, Animals from my garden, Juveniles [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-12-15 16:57
Viewed: 5093
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 98
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
House Sparrow/ Passer domesticus

Choosing a title for this image was a real head scraper. There were such a lot of ideas for titles that came to mind. I think it was even worse than standing in front of a cupboard full of clothes not being able to make up your mind and decide what to wear. Since Loot is very busy with a big project at work, which at the moment does not allow him the time to do postings or critiquing of his own (I know he would love to) I asked him for a title and he suggested "Birdie Num-Num" from the movie "The Party" starring Peter Sellers.

There is a whole story behind this photo and I would like to share it with you:

It was not long after we moved into our house of the last 22 years that a pair of Greater-striped Swallows decided to build their nest on our veranda. It was very pleasant to have them around, as they are sweet birds and have the most pure and fine call or song. With the veranda door open we could hear them when they where there and one could often hear the babies. We were always looking forward for their return after the change of season. After all, our veranda is their home. Every year they, and eventually their offspring, returned and occupied their home for another brood to be raised.

A few weeks ago I opened the veranda door for fresh air as always. I was greeted by two very fidgety almost hysterical (if I can use that word) House Sparrows sitting on the telephone cable, tjirping away like crazy. At the time it felt if they were scolding at me. I was not really bothered by them, except that I thought they where making a terrible noise for birds of their size.

It was only later when I did my usual stroll through the garden that I realised there where Sparrow chicks in the Swallows nest, as I heard their gentle baby sounds from in the nest. We where actually upset as the Sparrows was taking over the Swallows nest and in the process breaking down their hard work they have done building the nest from mud.

I realised it must have been the reason for the two making such a noise at the time. They wanted to protect the youngster/s. I just could not decide who had the biggest chirp, the mother or the father. All one could see were their mouths opening, closing, and screaming and screeching for all that its worth.

So that was the daily ritual. Whenever I would open the door, they would screech their throats dry or until I am out of eyesight. I tried to ignore them and carry on with my normal routine, but it is very difficult to carry on like normal with the sound of a chicken being slaughtered every time you leave the house.

On Sunday the 7th December, I decided I'll take my daily stroll but thought I'll leave the house from a different door, leaving the Sparrows in peace. I could not believe my ears, when I stepped outside and the same almost hysterical screeching reached my ears. I could not see them at the time, but I heard them loud and clear. The further I walked, the more intense and louder the screaming became. I think it was instinct to let me look down to the grass and there right in front of my feet was this cutie pie looking straight up at me with this sweet and innocent expression on its face. I do not want to think what would have happened if I had taken one more step.

The parents were teaching the little one to fly, and I interrupted the process. I just could not let this moment pass, and fell down on my stomach (grassroots level), coming eye-to-eye with the little one and captured this special moment. It was such a special feeling coming so close to the bird's face and having the opportunity to photograph it.

I did not want to disturb them too much or delay the process and only took a few shots. It was very hot and humid, and I can imagine it being very tiring for the little one to have its first flying lessons in the scorching sun. It reached 39C on that day.

I moved away but must admit I was very curious to see how the flying process would develop and take place. I think they watched me, and were not happy with my presence because nothing happened except the scolding, tjirping and squealing (see the workshop) that I now was getting used to. The little one stayed put. I slowly walked around the house, and passing the spot, the youngster was not there anymore. My eye caught it sitting in the shadow of a shrub in one of the flower beds.

I felt sorry for it, because of the terrible heat, but did not want to touch it, as I have learnt that once a human touches a baby bird the parents will reject it and would not want anything to do with it. I just could not let it happen. Once again I strolled around the house, and on my return the little one was gone. Later on, I heard sounds coming from the nest and I knew the little chick succeeded with its first lesson in flight.

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it. I personally like an image taken from the front, especially of a bird. It just gives a total different view and perspective of the subject. I am really chuffed at this image, and would also place it close to my heart with the rest of my own personal favourites from my collection, as it was a special moment I have captured at the time. It is little happenings (moments) like this one I have just described that make nature around us so wonderful.

rousettus, gracious, Alex99, valy67, ferranjlloret, darwin, JoseMiguel, gannu, eng55, sranjan, nkasot, cypturk, jconceicao, JORAPAVI, boreocypriensis, uleko, xTauruSx, bahadir, ramthakur, zulfu, yasemin, Aaltjie, fiyo, Evelynn, pilonm, trekks, marhowie, manyee, wuta, spalaxtr, rcrick, wishnugaruda, Janice, jusninasirun, Ingrid1 has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To wishnugaruda: Birdie Num NumMiss_Piggy 1 12-27 09:07
To pilonm: Christmas giftMiss_Piggy 1 12-23 01:01
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hello Anna

Yes "Birdie birdie num nums", such a memorable scene from The Party.Peter Sellers was amazing.
The beak on this little one is very amusing.
Excellent POV and DOF.
The colours are terrific.
Thanks for the chuckle.


Hello Anna
what a nice portraite for young sparrow. Its huge mouth make it very lovely. Great focus, POV and composition. Your notes also very nice as always. Thanks for sharing. my regards to you and Loot.

Hello Anna,
A fitting title may have been; "A face only a mother could love!" Very crisp and detailed shot of this sparrow. Well done...

Hello Anna,
Great title indeed for a amazing image like this!
great closeness with superb details and sharpness!
I can almost touch it in real!
very beautiful colour as well
many thanks for the sharing

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-12-15 23:01]

Hi Anna.
My day started very well. I have read amazing story about your charming but a bit noise neighbors and have watched a unique picture of the youngest from them. Shot looks greatly. Its little hero looks like a monster. 3D-effect is tremendous. Details are stunning. Fantastic rare picture. My congratulations and many thanks for sharing of the shot and huge note. My kind regards.

  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2008-12-15 23:40]

Hello Anna !
He's not exactly cute, he looks strange with this huge beak, but you managed an excellent picture of him ! :-) I like all those nice details on the plumage and face, beautiful natural colors, excellent composition and POV, and a wonderful note, I really enjoyed reading it. Very well done !

Hello Anna,
Great scene of this bird!
Excellent sharpness!!!! Thanks for sharing your work

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-12-16 1:18]

Hello Anna,
Fantastic frontal POV in excellent sharp details. Splendid colours. Very beautiful composition.

Hi Anna
Great closeup showing fantastic detail,textures in the feathers.
tfs jon

Hi Anna,
Is remarkable the high quality of the image you present us today.
I almost can touch the new born, it looks so real, sharpness is amazing.
I like a lot the big close up and the richness in details of it.
My compliments and thanks for share.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-12-16 5:01]

Hello Anna, It is almost like a bed time story my mummy used to tell me. Superb and lovely feeling. I feel the same way and just imagined i am in your house. Lucky and blessed you are to take this shot and help them. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-12-16 8:31]

Hi Anna,
What a cutie:)It's very close and well detailed.I liked POV,exposure,sharpness and pose of chick a lot.
Excellent work!
Thanks for posting.

Hello Anna,
Amazing details of Birdie Num Num "sparrow chick". So cute, so innocent with excellent details of yellow chubby cheeks ;) TFS.

Hello Anna
A cute sparrow baby and its lovely portrait shot. Details and colours are impressive.
Greetings from Cyprus.

Hi Anna,

I love this beautiful capture of this L'il cute fellow. Excellent in all aspects. Great point of view and composition with focused details.
thank you for sharing.


Hello Anna,

Great capture.
Excellent details and coçours.
Light,focus and sharpness are fantastic.
Good notes.

  • Great 
  • Rosa Gold Star Critiquer [C: 56 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-12-17 1:27]

Hello Anna,
what an outstanding capture.
Beautiful clear eyes. Great colour and
Have a wonderful day

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-12-17 3:47]

Hello Anna,
An interesting story that I hope has a happy ending!
This is a fine close-up this House sparrow nestling taken from a great frontal POV to show the mouth designed for drawing attention and receiving food. It isn't old enough to be a fledgeling and can certainly not fly despite the parents frantic efforts. If a cat or any predator doen't get it first the safest thing to do would be to try to put it back into the old swallow's nest.
Thanks for sharing the story and this fine illustration,
Best wishes,

Hello Anna. Absolutely brilliant! I love it! In actual fact, only a mother could love that face! Well done, perfect portrait and so sharp! Well done!

Hola Anna,
Excelente acercamiento, casi se leen los pensamientos, la nitidez y textura son sobresalientes, la luz y fondo agradables, saludos
José Ramón

Anna Hi;)

A lovely the expression on my face with this excellent face shot of a cute baby sparrow. Amazing composition and details. I have always been told bird lovers are special people. You have captured this image very very well, the thumbnail just jumps right out of the screen at us. Congratulations my friend, very well done!
All the best and warm regards,


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-12-17 6:56]

Hello Anna,
Now this is a brilliant close-up of this little one! I love the broad yellow beak and the sleepy looking eyes! Poor little fellow, he's looking so helpless. Great details and beautiful colours and very nicely framed!
Many thanks and regards, Ulla

hello Anna

very good close-up of this baby sparrow. You have seen a very interesting scen in your garden. the photo is very sharp and the colors are beautiful

P.S. thanks for the friendly welcolm e-mail


Hello Anna, a lovely capture of this litle baby with wonderful details and cute face.
TFS and regards,

Hello Anna, lovely shot of a sparrow baby with wonderful details and sharpnes. Nice composition too.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-12-17 14:46]

Haha! What a face!! :-))
Superb shot, Anna!
The detail is amazing.
Very good composition.
Excellent POV.

Into my favs!


This is too close for comfort, Anna!!!
I mean for the parents of this bird, not you sprawling there on the grass on you tummy and trying to shoot this fledgling at close quarters.

You make your story come alive with a strong narrative technique (That's what I'm trying to teach my 5th Graders these days in the school) and back it up with an incredible close-up of the little bird's face plus a workshop.

Well, I may not give you full marks in the technique category, but you deserve 100% in presentation. And that includes you note :).

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-12-17 22:15]

Hello Anna
What a cute baby sparrow and its lovely shot with great details and colours.
TFS and G's,

Hi Anna.
Excellent portrait and beautiful baby sparrow...Colors and detail very clear..
Very good composition and wonderful post..TFS..
Kind regards,

Hello Miss Piggy
A well deserved 10/10. You truly are a very good story teller. I love to read your notes, and use my imagination to relive what you have described. The detail you managed to photograph is superb. Looking at the fluff in the neck, it almost looks as if it still can be moist. On the eyelids it appears as if there are still some traces of the eggshell. The clarity of the big eyes and beak is super and displays so well. The beak still looks very soft and tender, and the expression on the face is priceless. Once again a well deserved 10/10.
Warmest regards.
Aaltjie & Hettie.

Ciao Anna, beautiful portrait of cute bird, splendid details and fantastic sharpness, wonderful colors, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2008-12-18 6:33]

Hello Anna,
Very well composed, and the details, sharpness and lighting are excellent. TFS

Hello Anna,

That is quite a story and adds a lot to the image. I was afraid that he might have just fallen from the nest and was in danger from neighboring cats etc. I am amazed at how perfect the depth of focus is. The details are superb.

Evelynn ; )

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2008-12-19 3:15]

Hi Anna,
thanks for your encouraging words. And also thanks for your concern about my friend, Jusni.
Jusni went to Mecca,, Saudi Arabi to perform his hajj.
It takes about 44 day until he return back to Malaysia. He will be back by first week of January. So that is the re4ason for his disappearance.
Your shot is cute and very sharp. The tight cropping allows viewer to focu on its dewtails and beauty.
A real cute.


NB - Kind regards to Loot - Only after reading your notes and Loot's in this trek I know the fact.
May God Bless you and how lovely to have the same hobbies.

  • Great 
  • waylim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 8 N: 489] (1765)
  • [2008-12-19 12:31]

Hi Anna,
Oh, so adorable and cute little thing, facing the tough world and camera for the first time. Learning to fly is not easy I guess. Perjaps like us learn to ride a bike or walking.
This is a lovely shot a document that you have encouter this little one face to face. Excellent shot with so much details. Thanks Anna.

Hi Anna ,
So nice portrait with great details and amzing colours.
Light is excellent too.
Very well captured.
Kind regards

Hello Anna,

I think you received your first Christmas gift sooner this year :-)

What a lovely face!!! He looks so sweet! Thank you very much for relating about the circumstances about getting this impressive picture! The bright yellow on the beak is surely a great motivation for feeding for parents. With this color they know for sure where to put the insects ;-)

A lot of photographer prefer to get profile of the head. But I agree with you, image from the front give another perspective sometimes very interesting! That way you can also see what a spider see just before leaving this earth!

Thank you very much for sharing this so sweet story and picture with all of us!

Michel (who just add you as one of his favorite photographer!)

hi Anna

Wow, this face really jumps out at me when I open the thumbnail. Yes, you succeeded in catching my full attention with this close up macro and sharp capture. I really like the wet look and such a cute little one.

Very nice shining color contrast of the beak. I can stare at it a long while for Xmas! :)

tfs, bill

Hi Anna,

Awesome texture and so much of detail... Feathers are simple so detail... You managed to get a nice close of him...

Thanks a lot for sharing it!!!

Ciao Anna,
tenero e simpatico ritratto di questo piccolo di Passero, eccellenti POV frontale e DOF, mi piace molto la composizione con effetto grandangolo con il grande becco in primo piano, straordinaria definizione, bellissimi e contrastati i colori.

Hi Anna,
Great detailed closeup, I like the portrait comp & frontal POV.
Greater still is the story behind the shot, it's a pleasure to follow along as the drama unfolds :)
Well done & Merry Christmas to both you & Loot.

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2008-12-23 12:10]

Hello Anna , Exelent portret from this lovely sparrow , A fascination shot everithing is perfect , For you Loot and the famely wy wish you a Merry Cristmas and very good 2009 , Greetings Jaap and Teunie .

Hi Anna,
Great details and sharpness. Very cute little baby. TFS. Regards.

Hello Anna

I must have missed this one what a great shot of this little house sparrow, the details, colours and dof are all perfect. Wonderful work I love it,

All the best, and a very happy christmas and new year
Rick :)

Hi Anna,
I passed that post - o my god - that's soooooo cute! And your story, I love it!
I always love your words, you can tell so visual, I can see everything inside my mind so well while reading your note - you should write a book! What's your occupation, Anna? I hope you don't mind if I ask.
You are such a special person, I only know you from this forum, but I know you are so likable and your critiques are always so warm, thank you very much, I'm always happy to "hear" from you.
Many greetings from the cold Germany
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-12-31 0:37]

A real baby sparrow and you being so close to him makes his look HUGE!! What a super little fellow he is.

He's so sharp, and what a big mouth he's got!!

And I love your story - have you thought of writing a book, or short stories for publication?
Well done Anna

Anna Hi,

This is just superb mugshot of a house sparrow. It is pretty common around here too but I never had a chance to peek inside the nest. Sop sharp in focus and such excellent details of the head. I like the tight framing living the background silenced. Wonderful contribution and TFS.


Great capture and a verry good photo.Best regards.Alin.

Dear friend
Thank you so much for contributing this cute thingy to my theme "juveniles"

The sharp details are incredible - and like always your notes most interesting.

(I think, Loot has stopped posting, because youhave become too much a competition for him , chuckle , chuckle, as he would say. :-))
Frankly, each photo I see in your port folio is from the technical point of view perfect and a true pleasure to view!

Have a nice week, and thanks again

Calibration Check