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Inch to scratch

Inch to scratch
Photo Information
Copyright: Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-10-16
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Tamron AF70-300mm LD, Digital ISO 400, Hoya skylight (1B)
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: De Wildt Cheetah Research Centre
Theme(s): 50-60 points chapter 3, Funny Faces, 5 favs. and up - PART 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-10-28 4:28
Viewed: 8547
Favorites: 6 [view]
Points: 60
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa)

New World vultures are different from Old World vultures in nearly everything except outward appearance. Old World vultures are from the same ancestral stock as eagles and other hawks. New World vultures, including condors, share ancesters with storks and herons, and there are some researchers who think that New World vultures should be moved out of the order of Falconiformes.

Brazil, Venezuela, etc. in dense tropical forests.

Basically a creamy white bird, the flight feathers and tail are black, the ruff is black and the feet are grey. The bare face and neck skin are flushed with yellow rose, and orange, accented with black and grey. The distinctive, prominent wattle is orange and red. Adult eyes are straw color. (go figure.. )

Except for condors, the king vulture is the largest New World Vulture.

King Vultures have been observed watching and then following other kinds of vultures in to a carcass. Only turkey vultures and lesser and greater yellow-headed vultures have a good sense of smell. The black and king vultures and the condors lack carcass-smelling ability completely.

King vultures will soar high above the turkey vultures and yellow-heads, which stay generally near the tree canopy level. The circling and casting back and forth of the carrion sniffers signal a detected carcass, and they begin their descent. These larger vultures will take over the carcass for a while, which actually works out very well. The king vulture is often the only one large and powerful enough to rip open the tough hide of the carcass, allowing entry to the "good stuff" inside. It takes its fill and then vacates, making way for the others.

Black vultures gorge on chunks of muscle and viscera while turkeys and yellow-heads are slower and more deliberate, taking the last scrap of muscle, tendon, and fascia off of the bones.

Like all vultures, the king vulture is built for long hours on the wing. They seldom flap, rising on thermals and soaring across the miles in search of illusive carcasses.

Bright coloration, unusual in vultures, is probably to enhance intra-species identification in dark canopy conditions. It is unknown whether, or how, these color patterns are used in individual interactions.

King Vultures are known to nest on or near the ground, in stumps or down logs, using existing substrate with little or no nest arrangement.

Males and females are identical and nearly the same size. Usually only one egg is laid, and both parents incubate. The juvenile chick's plumage is brown. It leaves the nest area at about one year old, and begins acquiring adult plumage at 18 months.

I found this one scratching his famous waddle of a rock. It was an interesting moment and therefore I share this with you. Hope you like it.

coasties, red45, marhowie, PDP, laxpix, willie, Kirsten, Robbrown, Lesley, AndyB, gazo, Luc, deud, Callie, japie, milloup, Lourens, touristdidi, dantor, ljsugarnspice, manyee, Lyanna, olontur, Facsi, gelor, ewa1, kojak, Vidaro has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To touristdidi: Wild bird...gerhardt 1 11-01 07:33
To Kirsten: Verstaan..gerhardt 1 10-28 16:24
To PDP: Fast one...gerhardt 2 10-28 09:27
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Gerhard, he's an ugly charachter! Good capture though.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2004-10-28 7:04]

Really weird! At first look I thought that was some kind of camouflaged caterpillar with skunk tail :-) Very good shot!

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-10-28 8:11]
  • [+]

OK, I think you pulled a fast one here...this shot has been rotated 90 deg clockwise and shows the actual moment of impact when the rock thrown by the mother, so shocked at how ugly her son was, hit this chap in the head :-)

Great work Gerhard, nice colours...excellent capture and details and one ugly bird.

Was the rock alright afterwards. Very nice focus and action shot. Very informative notes.
Most unusual pose and a rare picture indeed.
Mooi so!

quelles couleur !
le regard vif semble te regarder...qu fait il ? il dort ?
le clichet est jolie malgré la mauvaise tete de la bestiole ;)

haha, strange pose :o) i was thinking like, is he dead?
good colours and detail.composition is good to.
i think it's a funny shot in a way!

kan je verstaan, ja :o)

mooi gedaan!

Gerhard, I'm commenting twice as I did this earlier at 5:00am & failed to hit the 'add' button. Still asleep :-( Exotic colors & a comical pose make this post unique! You say he's scratching but I'd say that blank stare is from banging his head on the rock! Thanx for this great post!

It could also be titled "Waiting for the Axe to Fall".
This is a cracking moment well captured , the colours fairly zings off the screen. the note is brilliant. keep them coming.

  • Great 
  • Lesley Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 297 W: 13 N: 913] (2988)
  • [2004-10-28 15:04]

Or it could be titled " Thanksgiving Feast South African Style" ! What a truly amazing image. I always thought Vultures were rather ugly, but this one is quite a beauty !

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2004-10-28 19:03]

Excellent capture and I love the comical pose!
Good vibrant colours.
Excellent note.
Great work again,very well done.

  • Great 
  • gazo Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 72 W: 0 N: 13] (91)
  • [2004-10-28 21:12]

Very good shot. I love the eye. Great colors. *

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2004-10-28 22:47]

I turn my head on the side to look at your bird opposite, I look in his eye and I wonder which of both has the most idiotic air, it or me. I believe that it is me. Thank you Gerhard, you allow me not to be caught too much with the serious one. :)

Looks like he is streching it for the chopping block, die beuel, executioner!. Cute, love this ugly guy, and the eye is hypnotic.

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2004-10-29 15:34]

If you have an itch, it must be scratched! I love this moment and you captured it beautifully. The eye is simply stulling and reflect the emotion that is experienced when an itch is taken care of.


Yeah, well, pretty he's not, but the hypnotic eye in connection with the half-open bill give the impression of sheer delight at getting whatever's itching scratched ;-)) Good colours and sufficient DOF, although I'd have liked a teeny weeny bit more ;-)

My magtig, Gerhard, maar dit lik my die ou het boedel oorgegee!! Excellent shot!!!

He is incrediable. The look is priceless. I thought at first it was a parrot, so bright! Did you find him in the wild. What a wonderful shot, I am jealous!

That's a funny position well done
Good capture

I have neve seen a vulture with so much color! He is so ugly, he's cute! What a great, one in a million shot! Very sharp photo with an exceptionally informative note! Thanks alot!

  • Great 
  • Maru Silver Star Critiquer [C: 18 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2004-12-08 16:47]

The pose is incredible! The sharpness over the face and the contrast of the background are really good. Very well done!

WOW, is jou lens nog heel ?? ;)

he is so beautiful and ugly at the same time, only a face a mother (might) love !!!

Thats a Very funny and really good picture, Congrats

Great moment. Wonderful capture. And one ugly bird!

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-04-01 1:27]

This picture is hilarious! Great candid of a wild animal doing "its thing"! The expression on his vulture's face is priceless. You captured it well, with great clarity and beautiful colors. Very informative notes. Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful photo. : )

  • Great 
  • Ina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 111 W: 6 N: 101] (767)
  • [2005-04-23 2:48]

What a fantastic pose...So funny and so ugly at the same time... I like it so much...TFS... Ina...

Beautyfull photo.
Great colors.

Welcome to TN.

Jeez, I never thought I would be cracking up over a vulture! You managed to make me do it though. Excellent and original pic, brilliant note.

  • Great 
  • Active Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 113 W: 6 N: 19] (1231)
  • [2005-10-08 16:23]

I`m here a new member. when I saw your pictures I was nicely shocked :) you are a real master of photography art.
This photo is wonderfull, I like the saturation, details...everything!!!
I wish I could make some day a picture like yours..even one ;-)
I admire !!! and send greetings

  • Great 
  • ewa1 (36)
  • [2006-03-25 17:01]

Wow! That's such a great picture! I love it. At first I didn't know what it is, but now, when I know ;), I think you took a wonderful photo. TFS,

  • Great 
  • kojak Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 36 W: 0 N: 19] (163)
  • [2007-01-01 22:49]

Very decisive moment you caught there! Exellent colours and details. Good job!


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