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Dressed To Thrill

Dressed To Thrill
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10-20
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC HX1, Sony G lens 20x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 125
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger National Park - 2009
Theme(s): Funny Faces, Wildlife of Africa, A study in Ornithology (birds) 1, Kruger National Park 2, Birds of South Africa 3, Birds of Africa I, A painter's dream, jacqueline's favourites [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-11-30 9:26
Viewed: 6526
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Crested Barbet - Trachyphonus vaillantii (male)

(Also known by these other names: Levaillant's Barbet, Levaillant's Ground Barbet, Black-backed Barbet.)

This is the same specimen which Anna (Miss Piggy) showed in her posting of "Nature's little clown".

Anna has written enough about this bird and the opportunity we had to photograph it, so you are welcome to visit her posting for the full story. She also gave quite an overview concerning other encounters with Crested barbets. Just in short though, this little guy was catching forty winks while sitting in the midday sun, on the drain at the back of our bungalow. It was so placid that I could approach really up close to catch this shot. While Anna was shooting it from the front, I came in from the side which gave me the ideal chance to get this facial shot. (See Anna's workshop) The bird was so sleepy that it seemed like it could fall over at any moment and end up right inside of the drain. Fortunately it eventually woke up and dashed off on some other serious barbet business, whatever it is that they do whenever we are not around.

Taxonomic Classification

: Animalia (animals)
SUBPHYLUM: Vertebrata (fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, & mammals)
CLASS: Aves (birds)
ORDER: Piciformes (largely arboreal birds; includes the woodpeckers and close relatives)
FAMILY: Lybiidae (African barbets and tinkerbirds)
SUBFAMILY: Trachyphoninae (African terrestrial barbets)

Other Names
Kuifkophoutkapper (Afrikaans), iMvunduna (Zulu), Ludvonca (Swazi), Haubenbartvogel (German), Barbican promépic (French), Barbaças-de-poupa (Portuguese), and Kuifbaardvogel (Dutch).

The Crested Barbet is a smallish bird but somewhat larger than a house sparrow. The shaggy crest, the yellow face, the yellow underparts speckled with red, the black wings speckled with white, and a broad black breast band are diagnostic. These colours blend well in the bush.

Height: 23cm.
Weight: ±80g.

The sexes are alike.
Females: Usually less vividly coloured.
Juveniles: Resembles the adult.

West and central Angola, Zambia, Southeast Zaire, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, south to Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique. Northeast Namibia, Botswana and central South Africa (Free State Province and north to Limpopo Province).

It prefers dry open woodland or moist riverine forests. It also occurs in suburban gardens (where it is welcome, as it feeds on snails) and savannah grassland with patches of alien trees.

Crested Barbets are usually found singly or in pairs. They hop around on the ground looking for food. They do not fly easily and then only for short distances and they roost in holes in trees. These birds are aggressive towards other birds in their territory and chase off both nest competitors such as other Barbets and other birds such as doves and thrushes.

It is omnivorous, eating largely insects and other bird's eggs when fruit is scarce. It forages for insects mostly on the ground, sometimes flying into foliage to eat fruit.

- They nest in a hole in a tree (or a Sisal log in a garden).
- They are monogamous and territorial during breeding.
- Eggs are laid between September to December.
- 1 to 5 eggs are laid at daily intervals.
- Incubation lasts between 13 to 17 days, mainly by the female.
- The young hatch naked and blind.
- They are fed insects by both parents.

They are very vocal. The male utters a sustained trilling 'trrrrrrrr…..' that can continue for long periods. The female responds with a repeated 'puka-puka'.

Conservation status
Not threatened, common resident.

Source: "The Larger Illustrated Guide to Birds of Southern Africa" by Ian Sinclair & Phil Hockey, published by Struik Publishers with additional information found here.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop CS2.

hansh, marianas, anemone, horias, nglen, eng55, Juyona, bahadir, xTauruSx, roges, CeltickRanger, Miss_Piggy, PaulH, JoseMiguel, goldyrs, Argus, boreocypriensis, uleko, Alex99, tuslaw, Dis. Ac., Noisette, Rehanna, betsie has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • hansh Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 277 W: 1 N: 741] (2762)
  • [2009-11-30 9:29]

Hello Loot.

What an impressive picture of yours.
A sharpness which i seldom see, every feather is to see in your picture.
Very beautiful colors, one of the best birdpictures i have seen in quit a while.
Compliments for making this one and special thakns for sharing it.

Gr. Hans

Great capture!
Wonderful details, lovely colors!

Hello Loot.
Stunning shot of this cute bird. Beautiful colours and nice composition.
Kind regards,

hello Loot
magnifique portrait
splendides couleurs et details
best regards

Wow, I can't belief that - so close, so wonderful. This guy is full of action, Loot, I like that moment, he seems to be very interested in something he's looking at. Fascinating shot, thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2009-11-30 9:48]

Wonderful capture, great colors and details.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-11-30 10:00]

Hi Loot. This is uch a colourful picture of the Crested Barbet . Which you have taken with sharp focusing and fine detail. Your use of the light has given rich colours. I like the pose with its mouth wide open. It stands out so well from the plain coloured BG.Interesting notes to go with this fine picture. well taken TFS.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-11-30 10:36]

Hello Loot,
Fantastic portrait of this Kuifbaardvogel, which I've seen and photographed a few times in Tanzania in the pre-digital period. Great action photo with the head in this pose. Perfect sharpness and details. Beautiful clear colours. Good isolation from the BG. Excellent choice of composition.

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-11-30 10:59]

Hi Loot,
Excellent capture.I liked POV,sharpness,satureted colors,BG and expression on birds face a lot.Have agreat week!
Thanks for posting..

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2009-11-30 11:02]

Hola Loot,
original picture under intense lighting.
colorful plumage, and powerful beak ...
I think this bird does not have many friends,:))

Wowww... stunning close up shot of this beauty Loot.
i liked her face very much! Lovely...
TFS and regards,

Hello Loot, very beautiful portyrait shot of this lovely barbet.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • Mello Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 140 W: 34 N: 480] (2419)
  • [2009-11-30 12:22]

Great capture Loot. Incredible details of this bird. Very well done and TFS. Regards,

  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2009-11-30 12:26]

Hallo Loot,
Splendid portrait with some details and colors.
A beautiful composition with a beautiful BG.
Have a pleasant week,

hello Loot

the portrait of this Crested Barbet it is like a glamour photo !
superb pose of the bird, beautiful vivid colour tones, fine POV,
excellent focus sharpness and details, excellent luminosity, TFS


Hi Loot

Like I said with Anna's post this is a bizarre plumage combination. Those piercing red eyes and blood-splatterd facial plumage are weird in my opinion. I've never seen anything like it.
Great portrait anyway, super details and sharpness.


Hallo Loot
Spectacular as always. You have excelled yourself once again with this one. Technically it is super. You just know how to handle your camera and produce beauties as this one. Precise timing, super camerawork and excellent light is how I describe this striking image. This is indeed a beautiful bird with lovely features and characteristics, very charismatic indeed. Your focus, exposure, sharpness and point of view are just exceptional. I just love this one, indeed a painters dream. Stunning photo with brilliant colours. A well deserved 10/10 + extra!. Love

Hi Loot.
This bird looks great and have some unseen colors.
Great and funny immage.Congratulations.
Greetings from Romania.Alin.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2009-12-01 10:24]

Hi Loot,
extremely impressive details you captured here, which in a shot like this is essential, as i am sure you know. I like the framing and the open mouth pose you caught is great - well done indeed, as always.

Hi Loot,
What an impressive display of colours and contrast have got here.
I like a lot fine details on the feathers, eye and open beak.
The good light and bright backgroud colour makes of this a very vibrant image to look at.
Compliments and thanks for the pic.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2009-12-02 20:26]

Hi Loot,
You sure capture the darnest expressions on your animal subjects!
Are you an "animal whisperer"?
Very funny, spooked look on this barbet.
He has beautiful colors and markings,
and the details are super sharp, showing the varied color patterns in the plumage.
A new bird for me, I believe.
TFS. : )

A wonderful surprise to hear from you again, my dearest and most respected friend.Indeed, this barbet is dressed to thrill!I find the shot simply superb, despite the harsh light....
Very well done, Loot!
And welcome back!

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-12-05 0:00]
  • [+]

Hello Loot,
A close-up portrait that couldn't be sharper!
This fine and colourful head and shoulder portrait of the Crested Barbet breathes fire! The colours do that and so do the open bill and eyes to suggest that this bird has a fiery character.
This is certainly striking and I'm glad that you led me to it as it is one of the most striking bird portraits on TN.
Thanks and have a great weekend, you and Anna,

Dear Loot

It's impressive to notice how similar this and the former posting are as far as the position of the animals and the expression is concerned. And the way you have chosen the point of view, the close focus and the moment of the capture render this expression at best. It's not only a "simple" and common portrait of a bird, but it's vivid and dynamic. I also appreciate the great sharpness and deep clarity very much. Moreover, your notes are interesting to read and they are complementary to what Anna has written.

Kind regards


Hi MF Loot,

Marvelous job as always, the colour of this beauty really suits well to make it stand out against its surroundings. Incredible details and focus too. You really have a great skill for this kind of photography. I also loved this beauty's strong facial expression.
TFS and have a nice WE MF!
Greetings from cloudy and cold Izmir,


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-12-05 7:53]

Hello Loot,
What a laugh!! I understand that you had a great time watching these birds! They certainly have a most striking plumage in a multitude of colours. You show excellent focus on the red eye and very sharp details here. A great close-up!
Many thanks and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-12-05 9:37]

Hi Loot.
One of the most impressive shot and portrait. Fantastic captured moment and expression of the bird's face. Diagonal composition is stunning as well as explosion of colours and details. Red eye makes breathtaking effect. Bravo. Great impressive work.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-12-05 15:05]

Hi Loot,all in one in this pic.A wonderful moment to take,a great festival of colors,impressive sharpness and top composition....for me is enough!My best compliments,have a nice Sunday,LUCIANO

Ciao Loot, wonderful portrait with fantastic colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2009-12-06 18:44]

Hello Loot,
I imediately recognized this Crested Barbet from viewing the post made by Anna. I had never seen this particular bird before, so that proves that TN. is doing it's job of educating others about nature from all over the world.
You managed to capture a wonderful close-up of this little clown by depicting very fine detail and gorgeous colors.

Hello Loot,

an outstanding nice portrait from this beautiful bird with good details and fine colours.


Hello Loot
this is a fantastic bird and taken so well, with very sharp details,
great profil view, colors and lighting are superb
excellent note
Have a good night

  • Great 
  • deons Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 58 W: 0 N: 55] (595)
  • [2012-08-10 6:31]

Hallo Loot
Baie mooi n skerp foto van die Kuifkop Houtkapper. Een van hulle besoek my gereeld vroeg in die oggend maar ek kon nog nie 'n mooi foto vasn hom kry nie.

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