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Feather Duster

Feather Duster
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: 2006-03-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 HZ DG Macro, Digital ISO 400, UV 62mm Kenko
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/80 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of Brazil, Animal Portraits II, Birds / Aves, Parrot Paradise, Birds of South America, Parrot&Macaw, Different Birds, A study in Ornithology (birds) 1, !!! STOLEN PHOTOS !!! I, Green Birds [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-03-23 21:43
Viewed: 7792
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Orange-winged Amazon parrot - Amazona amazonica

Anyone using the term "bird brain" to describe the intelligence of our feathered friends will rethink after seeing the Umgeni Bird Park Free-flight Bird Show. It’s the only one of its kind on the African continent and relies on the bird’s ability to perform in an open air arena. What is particularly important is that the birds are encouraged only to perform in the context of their own natural behavioural patterns.

This parrot is not part of the show, but it enjoys the freedom of the park. I shot this photo at the open plan cafeteria where the bird was sitting on the backrest of a chair. It had a piece of feather in its paw which kept it, and us, amused for some time.


It is mainly green with a blue forehead, some yellow on the crown, cheeks and outer tail tips, and an orange speculum. The outermost feathers are edged with blue. The bill is horn coloured with grey towards the tip. The iris is orange, and the legs pale grey. Sexes are alike.

Captive Orange-wings love to mimic different sounds and are fairly good talkers. They're jovial and playful personalities which make them the darlings of the Amazons. Live expectancy is up to 80 years.

These birds are very sociable. During the day they are generally seen in pairs flying above the forest canopy or in the crowns of tall trees foraging for fruits and seeds. In the evening they roost communally, up to more than 600 birds together. Although Amazon parrots occur in flocks it is usually the result of convenience for finding food sources. Because of the large number of individuals in such flocks there is probably no, or at least limited individual recognition and probably no hierarchy structure as exists in African Grey Parrot flocks.

They are distributed in Colombia, Venezuela, the Guiana’s south of eastern Peru, and southern Brazil. Also found on Trinidad and Tobago.

They occur on the edges of rain forests and deciduous forests, but also in cultivated areas and near human habitation.

The parrot forages in the canopy for seeds, nuts, fruits, and berries, flowers, and buds.

They are 33-36cm (13-14 inches) long and weigh 340-480g (12-17 ounces).

Two to four eggs constitute the normal clutch, with incubation about 3 weeks. Only the female broods. She leaves the nest for short periods when the male comes to feed her. During the day the male remains close to the nest, but at dusk he flies off to the communal roost. After hatching, the young remain in the nest for 2 months.

They are noisy birds and make loud, high-pitched screams

Not globally threatened. Common in primary or secondary rainforest. It is persecuted as an agricultural pest and by capture for the pet trade. Source.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

Janice, jeanpaul, ramthakur, aido, Zeno, scottevers7, marhowie, SkyF, wkshelton, SunToucher, wallhalla15, coasties, cdplayer, hummingbird24, firelord, Florin, Dyker, Miss_Piggy, Rehanna, betsie, Aaltjie has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To manyee: The parrot's friendloot 2 03-23 23:11
To Janice: Feather dusterloot 1 03-23 23:09
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-03-23 22:45]
  • [+]

Wow, Loot... You posted a friend for my parrots. ; )
This one is gorgeous. The focus and the exposure are perfect, with a beautiful blue OOF background that shows off the bird without any distractions. The colors are stunning, and the pose is most amusing. Is he trying to make himself sneeze? Your notes are very thorough and engaging. Thank you for sharing this masterpiece. : )

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-03-23 22:51]
  • [+]

They would make great pets Loot. We grew up having budgerigars as pets, and if is wasn't for the mess they make and our cats, we would have had more for our children.
Super portrait of this beauty. I'll say Ditto to Manyee's comments; she says it all. He's playing with his feather and keeping his eye on you too. Real sweet, TFS

Bonsoir Loot
C,est une très belle prise de vue que ce beau perroquet. Les couleurs sont magnifiques très beaux détails et très beau BG.
Merci et au revoir.....JP

Extremely vivid close-up shot, Loot. The details on the head are fascinating. The eye in particular stands out in shape and colours.
I recall an incident 20 years ago when parrot behaviour left me speechless, and a bit embarassed. We were dining in an open veranda on a rainy afternoon and watching a bevy of parrots frolicking on the tamrind tree outside. Suddenly one of them flew straight onto the table, settled for a moment on the rim of a dish and then onto my head.
Needless to say, it was an entertaining sight for my family.

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-03-24 5:28]

Hi Loot,
A very nice shot, excellent detail, especially in the eye. Colours are great, background a nice neutral colour and I have to say your flash control is spot-on. Nicely framed, great shot.

  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2006-03-24 5:44]

Hi Loot,

Splendid colors and great composition of this eating parrot.


Hi Loot,
The beautiful and vibrant colors in this shot are superb! I love the frame filling composition and tight crop here. Very sharp detail.
Outstanding work. I love it!

Hello Loot,
Nice colors and good use of flash. Well composed and an interesting pose/POV. Very good details, with the eye clear and sharp. Cute title, Well done!

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-03-24 8:13]

Hi Loot,
very nice captured in this cute pose. Nice sharp details and excellent colors. A beautiful portrait.

Hi Loot,
This is a wonderfull photo, Great colors and details, The exposure, lighting is perfect, Great work, TFS Kyle

Hi Loot,
Beautiful close up of this Parrot. The colors and sharpness are excellent. I relay like the pose of the parrot in this lovely photo. The DOF is excellent with a perfect blurry b/g.
Thank you my friend for the photo and the very informative note.

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-03-24 10:04]

Hi Loot,

Funny moment I suppose when you see the parrot play around with the feather,I have been told that certain species of birds eat there own feathers (mostly those birds that eat fish,to get rid of the fishbones),picture is sharp detailed and colorfull,
well done


Hello Loot,
pose is excellent, great work. Very good sharpness, details, colours and composition. Thanks for sharing.

Great closeup Loot. No 'red eye' here my friend! Very well composed and a great catchlight to bring th eye to life. Nice feather detail and with good saturation of colour. A visual treat! :-)

  • Great 
  • hibou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 217 W: 1 N: 331] (1629)
  • [2006-03-24 19:41]

Hello Loot, An other PERFECT shot from you. The colors, details just amazing ... the action of the bird ... the light in is eye Thank you for sharing.

I like this shot very much Loot, because everything in it is perfect.
The colors are outstanding and really go well against the background.
It shows the parrot on a natural pose and it is sharp and clear.

Beautiful close up of the gorgeous Amazon parrot, the details and colors are very pleasing. Nice job Loot. :)

Hey Loot!

I just drop by to say howdy! The bird is perfectly in focus. I >love< parrots! The colors of the parrot and your positioning are perfect! Your depth of field I find interesting. Whatever is in the background it fuzzed out to be the complementary background color for the bird. Good Show!! Gee I have got to get out there a take a few pics!

Thank you for sharing this wonderful find!

  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2006-03-31 22:19]

Hi Loot,
Excellent shot on this one! Superb details and clarity,
very nice colour and well composition.
Well done!

Hello Loot,

The quality of your shots is becoming increasingly apparent, and this timely image is no exception.

Beautiful details on this fine and well captured parrot.

Thank you!

It's a near perfect portrait. The fact that the bird is chewing a feather adds to the interest. My only criticism is the blur on the foot.

  • Great 
  • Florin (2)
  • [2006-10-03 21:25]

Thanks for this beutiful portrait of one of my favourite parrots, and for the information! I like that you caught the bird doing something, the pose gives this sensation of live, active bird.

Hello Loot

'n Kostelike titel vir hierdie foto. Kan ek die voël leen om bietjie hier by my te kom afstof. Jy het 'n baie interessante oomblik afgeneem terwyl hierdie papagaai ietsie anders gedoen het as om net daar te sit en mooi lyk vir die kamera.

Mooi skerp fokus en pragtige kleure maak die foto die moeite werd en gee dit 'n puik visueele trefkrag. Ek hou besonder baie van daardie mooi rooi ring om die oog.


Hi Loot
Baie mooi foto met ELKE veertjie in detail sigbaar.
Well done

Hello Loot
Precise timing, super camerawork and excellent light is how I describe this beautiful "Feather duster" Details are just splendid. The look on its face is just priceless and very dear. One cannot help just to love and adore this beautiful bird. The action captured while putting the feather in its mouth is very sweet and looks so true to the bird’s nature. The red circle around the eye tells a story of its own. Talking about stories, thanks once again for your lovely "story" in your note. It is always appreciated.
Warmest regards

Hallo Loot
What an adorable moment captured just about the time the parrot preparing to place the feather in its beak. Details captured are stunning. The vividly green colour of the feathers is displayed well and is most enjoyable to look at. I like the pose with its head slightly turned downwards, still making eye contact with you. The texture of the beak as well as the paw displays slightly ruggedly, but I think it might be the colour that confuses what I see and what it really is. The photograph is very sharp and has a nice contrasting background. The pose of the parrot with one paw in action is very special. Thanks for sharing.

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