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Taking The Bow - TBN 7

Taking The Bow - TBN 7
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: 2006-10-16
Categories: Birds, Bushveld
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 HZ DG Macro, Digital ISO 100, UV 62mm Kenko
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/200 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger National Park - 2006
Theme(s): Birds of South Africa 1, 70-79 Puntos (chapter 2), Birds / Aves, Birds of Africa, A study in Ornithology (birds) 1, Touched by Nature, !!! STOLEN PHOTOS !!! I [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-11-25 16:16
Viewed: 8001
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 72
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Grey Go-away Bird - Corythaixoides concolor
Also known as the "Grey Go-away Bird".

The 7th delivery of the "Touched by Nature" series.

The notes of my previous posting tells the story of this Extraordinary Beggar which I photographed at the Satara camp in the Kruger Park. To be able to appreciate this follow-up story 100% you first need to read the notes of my previous posting.

Only after I completed the feeding of the other birds, did this Go-away bird approached me, looked straight at me, took a deep bow (as you can see on the photo), and stretched out flat on the ground. Afterwards it came closer and gracefully accepted some bread that I offered it. This had me baffled since I've never seen any thing like it before. I did some research and found that more than 200 species of birds have been observed to lie down on the ground and indulge in anting, dusting, or sunning behaviour.

Anting rids or reduces external parasites and can soothe skin irritations.
Dusting may reduce moisture, align feather barbs, and remove external parasites.
Sunning may help to increase body temperature.

In my previous posting a number of critiquers suggested that this bird was performing one or the other of above mentioned behaviors. For the sake of interest I've included some questions asked and the answers I gave which support my conclusion below

Evelynn Smith
Are these birds usually so bold...hence the name?

A I have never experienced such a close encounter with one of these birds. I think it is because this bird, and the others I refer to in my notes, is actually living inside the camp where they daily have close contact with humans. They also get fed regularly, by the visitors, and this is probably the reason why it had no fear of me.

What I do know is that these are very curious birds. When I encounter one in the bush, I like to imitate their call and it normally doesn't take long before I have a tree full of Go-away birds having a conversation with me

Janice Dunn
We see sparrows have dust baths here, but this one was showing off for you I think - payment for the food!

A I think you are quite right, this was not a normal dusting, but the bird was showing off.

Jose Rodriguez
It seems to me that Pavlovian conditioning has converted the original behaviour into this new one.

A I think you are absolutely correct as this is a modification from the original behaviour. Isn't it amazing how adaptable & resourceful nature can be at times?

After carefully reading and comparing the research material with the incident I came to the conclusion: This bird adopted a natural behaviour for a new benefit and knew exactly how to keep the bread on the table. I don’t believe this was part of the normal anting, dusting, or sunning behaviour.


Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

FeatherBirdLady, jeanpaul, SunToucher, blakitan, Janice, Matt-Bird, jcoowanitwong, coasties, jmp, marhowie, scottevers7, manyee, RAP, Signal-Womb, CTP, Silke, peter_stoeckl, Shoot_Score, Dyker, Leace, Miss_Piggy, Debz, Rehanna, betsie has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

I think perhaps too, it was showing off - that it had at some point been rewarded for this stance and therefore adopted it as a part of receiving food. hehe

What a ham, eh?

Nice shot, excellent composition, sharpness, contrast and colors. I wouldn't change a thing about it and if I could award you TEN, I would! :)


Salut Loot
Il est très réussi ce portrait de drole d'oiseau qui a de bizares de manières! La prise de vue est intéressante et les détails excellents. J'aime bien cet éclairage et la lumière dans son oeil,ainsi que son ombre au sol.
Bravo et au revoir....JP

Hi Loot,
I wasn't that sure about the pervious photo of this bird, but I am glad you posted this one. The contrast between the shadows and highlights in the previous one were rather large, that it was difficult for me to see what was a shadow and what was the black color of the feathers. This version makes it more obvious. Probably also because there is some 3-D look to it.
I still find the lighting a little harsh, but I can understand that with this kind of daylight, a flash is needed so a silhoutte photo will not be the result.
The features of the bird are really interesting. In one part it has some simularities with a parrot and in others it looks more like a bird of pay. The color of the bird is realy something else and pose you have captured is stunning.

I know that you work with levels and the tab button. I can only recommend to be carefull on finding a pure black and white spot.

Anyway, the photo is a stunning one, and I really love the way you are answering some of the question from the critique of you previous shot.

Thanks my friend.


Hi Loot,
Interesting pose of this bird, very polite guy. Look light this was taken under very bright sunlight.
Nice shot.

Ben Lakitan

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-11-25 17:50]

Oh yes, she is curtsying to you Loot. Looks like a trained parrot. Wonderful capture and interesting notes too. 100 points for your show off friend...
Kia ora

This is quite a capture of a unique bird. That is really unusual behavior. Thanks for all the Q & A's. I love the color of this bird. It is a wonderfully sharp image. I am impressed with that lens...although it is becoming more apparent to me that it is more a matter of who's using the lens that the lens itself. I have some nice lenses but I more experience in using them.

Evelynn : )

Hello Loot,

Very interesting bird with lots of texture with in his wings, the many wonderful colors with the details you have posed are excellent, appers the light was really bright, excllent control of that problem, very nice indeed, seems you pulled off another great photo,

TFS Kyle

Hi Loot,

Here is the picture i was waiting for. It looks indeed like the bird was taking a bow.
I find your composition very appealing. It seems you positioned the camera pretty low but then again high enough to convey the bird an obedient attitude. I appreciate the space you left in front of the bird to give it some room to "breath". As I can see from the shadow, the sun was exactly above your subject (it never happenes where I live) and here is where you did a great job using your flash. It is a great lesson that not only teaches me how to avoid harsh shadows on the subject but also shows us a means of getting more life in the subject. The catchlights sparkle in the eyes making them more vivid. And all this without overexposing anything on this almost white bird. Thanks for all these lessons. I really enjoyed your story of this "Extraordinary Beggar" and from the answers you gave to other members' questions, I can only wonder how adaptable some creatures can be. Thanks again!

Friendly Regards,

Hi Loot,
This is one bird with attitude and the way it seems to be striding along looks very cool. Great timing and POV.

Hi Loot,
Agree with you that this bird knew how to keep the bread on the table. A brilliant picture to appreciate. Very well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2006-11-25 23:59]

Hello Loot

A very interesting pose from this bird.Excellent DOF and POV the details are razor sharp with excellent colours.TFS


Hi Loot

I love your little friend. He is so entertaining! Nice catchlight in the eye, good POV and nice colour. Congrats!

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-11-26 3:06]

Hi Loot,

This posture if even more surprising that the first one as only can be useful for getting foods. Such an ability to learn is a clear example of
· the intelligence of this species, and
· the kind of shows to what humans react.

Excellent shot under this strong light, absoletely focused, well exposed and a master composition.

Best regards,
José M.
PS. Thank for the quote.

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  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-11-26 5:40]

Showing off or not...she sure was very interesting and it's your merit to have captured here in that moment...i've said it before and i'll say it again!
This is definately one of the most interesting birds on TN so really TFS!
This here pictuer is also quite wierd - it seems to be charging at you! :) Watch out...she means business :))
Another great POV, excellent usage of flash and lovely details.
Very well done, Loot!

Bravo and TFS

Hello Loot,
Tell me that it is taken from a Walt Disney's picture and this is a cartoon. This bird is a prince who salutes her loved one on his return from a great battle :)

This is a unique moment so well caught in time. This story is really amazing and I love the way your picture are so poetics :) Excellent technique at all levels. I love this lightning, details and pose of the bird of course. TFS this little wonder,

Cool action close-up Loot. You have stopped the action very well, with sharp details. I like very much the POV and pose here, with excellent use of flash to fill the shadows underneath the bird..Perfect title too :)
Have a great day & thank you mf!

Aaaahh - now this cute bird is also walking - I like it very much, a real beauty.
Thanks for sharing it, Loot, both shots are fantastic, bye
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Hi Loot,
As far as Darwin's Theory of evolution is concerned. It holds true for the most part to this day, but science is finding out that certain species of animals can adapt to a new environment in a very short period of time. They can make not only behavioral, but biological changes in a very short time period. This guy certainly seems to have made some behavorial changes to his benefit.

That being said:

Great Shot! Timing was perfect to capture this pose in such sharp detail. Well composed and framed for a fast action shot. What I think you did a superb job on here is managing the light. Judging from the shadow, you had some strong sunlight. Your fill flash exposure was flawless here to balance the light and keep such beautiful colors and detail in the plumage. You made a very difficult shot look pretty easy here. Great camera work my friend. I haven't won the lottery yet to fund my safari, but I keep buying tickets!
Take care,

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-11-26 21:58]

Hi Loot,
This is a most incredible pose. : )
Only you can elicit such an amazing behaviour from a bird.
Your notes explaining how you interact with the wild animals that you encounter make me think that you have a magic power that enables you to communicate with them. I know that that connection stems from your respect for the wildlife, and I think that your sensitivity to these fellow creatures of us allow you to photograph them with an added dimension. : )
A wonderful POV of this show-off bird presented here with sharp details and perfect exposure.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2006-11-27 5:41]

Hi Loot,
What a timing for shooting this very beautifull bird,
I did not see them so often this time I was overthere. Only high in a tree.
They make so special noise, that you cannot miss them.
It makes a bow to you in my opninion, for me it is a supershot.
Thank you very much.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2006-11-28 5:35]

Una coherente continuación de tu anterior entrega amigo mío mostrándonos al ave luego de su apacible asoleada.
Me encanta una vez más el punto de vista y encuadre elegidos, priorizando la vista de la sombra además.
No sé si es por el tipo de plumaje o por el intenso sol, pero los detalles parecen perderse en algunas áreas y personalmente creo que el F6.3 podría haber sido más amplio de acuerdo al fondo resultante pero como siempre desconociendo las condiciones de la captura.
Excelente nota también.
Mis mejores saludos... Ricardo

A coherent continuation of your previous one gives my friend showing us to the bird after its gentle one put in the sun.
I love once again the point of view and elected framing, also prioritizing the view of the shade.
I don't know if it is for the plumage type or for the intense sun, but the details seem to get lost in some areas and personally I believe that F6.3 could have been more depth according to the resulting bottom but as always ignoring the conditions of the capture.
Excellent note too.
My best greetings... Ricardo

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  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2006-11-28 11:35]

It looks like a character out of a disney film. At least it had polite manners. Nice composition and details. The most unusual pose I have ever seen from a bird.



  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-11-28 13:44]

Hallo Loot , Een Prachtige foto van de vogel wat een leuk beest , een leuke compositie het lijkt of hij naar jou toe komt lopen ,mooi gedaan fijne avond ,Teunie .

Hello Loot!
It seems the bird is running!!!
Good detail, great the soft blue on the grey feathers, and nice the action captured.

Yes loot, this one is quite a character, I just love him. I think he is composed very well in the frame and your plain of focus covers the imported areas. Details are well seen here in the plumage. Very well done. Great note BTW..

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  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2006-11-28 18:37]

Hi Loot,
Great capture my friend.
Corythaixoides concolor is really cute bird and really showing off in this frame :)
I like your pov,dof,timing,colors,framing,note,focus and contrast.Well Done.TFS

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2006-11-28 20:42]

Superb capture and perfect composition for this little character. The crispness of the details and the lovely colours make this an absolute winner.
Couldn't help but make it a fave!

Hi Loot,
Another great shot on this beautiful bird with interesting pose. Very good detail and nicely framed.
Thanks for sharing!

Hello Loot,
now this is just as fascinating, and very funny to look at.
Very dynamic capture, excellently composed.
The shadow in front of the backlit birds makes it look even more determined to march into your direction.
Excellent study and analysis of behaviour of a bird that is intelligent enough to interact with our species in a very inventive way.
Thank you! Best regards,

great information for sure! Plus I love the photo, great close up and quick relexes to catch the shot at this moment.. beautiful photo! TFS
Donna :o)

thanks for your comment on my photo "December Storm -4 " :o)

what an incredible capture you did here and very amazing work (good fill-in).

merry christmas to you.

bonjour loot
j'aime bien cette scene,l'oiseau semble se deplacer d'un pas decidé et tres serieux.
la photo est tres bonne.
bien vu.

Loot, perhaps this bird was trying to white-ant other birds...

Interesting note and shot! Jay

AND I remembered it correctly... It now lives here too!!! More so the pity!

  • Great 
  • mithun (0)
  • [2007-12-26 22:03]

A stunning bird with a interesting pose.
The light and shadows in this picture is simply superb making the picture so lively.
This is my first time i am seeing this bird.
Thanks for sharing.


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  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2008-04-15 2:08]

Hi Loot, this is another great shot of this Grey Go-away Bird. Your notes here are interesting as I think that animals, both wild and domestic, do adopt their behaviour whilst interacting with humans. A very charming bird that knows how to get attention and rewad from humans. Great shot all round.

Hallo Loot
I remember this episode as clearly as if it was yesterday. (Just a pity I cannot remeber direction so well.) We were both amazed at this Grey Go Away bird’s way of bowing in front of us, before it accepted some food from you. It was such a delighful and most graceful view. This is a stunning photo with details clearly visible and well displayed. Great focus, super sharpness and great point of view. Your presentation displayed excellently as usual, and your notes very stimulating and exciting. I think one day when you are on pension and sit on the veranda, you must consider compiling a book on all your adventures while being on various holidays or outings. I think it will be a great seller, and it will also be a great inheritance for your grand children. Thanks for sharing.

Hello Loot

Hier sit ek behoorlik en kraai van die lag. Ek het die storie lyn gaan optel by die vorige foto en notas van hierdie voël en al wat ek kan sê is, "You must be joking". Nie omdat ek die storie in twyfel trek nie, daarvoor het jy tog immers die besonderse fotos wat duidelik ooreenstem met dit wat jy sê. Eerder sê ek dit uit 'n diepe verwondering en ontsag vir die kostelike wyse waarop die natuur soms 'n ding kan doen. Ek sou ook seker nie my oë kon glo, indien ek in jou plek sou gewees het.

Hierdie foto is puik en die slag het die skaduwee van die son egter 'n baie interessante uitwerking op die foto. Dit lyk amper soos 'n arend of so iets wat op sy prooi af peil met half toegemaakte vlerke. Die Kwêvoël het goe uigekom met pragtige skerp detail.


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