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...who is the fairest of them all?

...who is the fairest of them all?
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: 2006-06-16
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Digital ISO 100, Hoya UV (72mm)
Exposure: f/8, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of South Africa 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-12-08 3:53
Viewed: 6890
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Lesser Flamingo
Phoenicopterus minor

The Lesser Flamingo is a species in the flamingo family of birds which occurs in Africa (principally in the Great Rift Valley), across to Pakistan and northwest India. It is the smallest and most numerous flamingo, probably numbering up to two million individual birds.

In Africa, where they are most numerous, the Lesser Flamingos breeds principally on the highly caustic Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania. Like all flamingos, they lay a single chalky white egg on mounds they build of mud. Most of the plumage is pinkish white.

Chicks join creches soon after hatching, sometimes numbering over a hundred thousand individuals. The creches are marshalled by a few adult birds who lead them by foot to fresh water, a journey that can reach over 20 miles.

The clearest difference between this species and Greater Flamingo, the only other Old World species, is the much more extensive black on the bill. Size is less helpful unless the species are together, since the sexes of each species also differ in height.

This species feeds primarily on Spirulina, a cyanobacteria which grows only in very alkaline lakes. Although blue-green in colour, the bacteria contains the phtotosynthetic pigments that gives the birds their pink colour. Their deep bill is specialised for filtering tiny food items.

Lesser Flamingos are predated on by a variety of species including Marabou Storks, baboons, African Fish Eagles and jackals.

Depending on the water levels and bacteria contents these birds flock to our local pans. True to human nature people tried to shoot them, run them over with quad bikes and chased them with boats on the pans. To such an extent that the local police had to patrol the area. Why would someone do such a thing??? I guess it is the wrong place to post such a question seeing that wildlife is a passion for all of us here.

nainnain, red45, Janice, coasties, SelenE, Argus, vanderschelden, scottevers7, ramthakur, loot, SunToucher, jchemas, dew77, manyee, RAP, marhowie, sAner has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To vanderschelden: Thanx for the kind words.gerhardt 1 12-08 07:42
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-12-08 4:20]

Hi Gerhard!

Lovely light and colours. I almost feel warm touch of African sun my friend :-) Mirror effect, pose, small drop of water on bird's beak and of course subject itself - everything is great. Very calm and relaxing mood. Superb.

MAGNIFIQUE un vrai travail de maitre, ceci est excellent, les couleurs, le reflet, bon bg
bravo et merci du partage

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-12-08 4:23]

And who is the fairest of them all? I'm sure this fellow will win, Gerhard.
What stunning colours the bill and legs are, and eyes too. Our zoo flamingos are very pale compared to this beauty. I had heard that was because they aren't fed the natural food they like.
Well composed, and as excellent as we expect from you, TFS

Hi Gerhard ,

A great capture with good details , love the effect of reflection with the small drop about to drop from the beak , its great pic.



Hi Gerhard

The thumbnail just jumped off the page! The big view is incredible. The detail shown especially the water droplet on the end of the beak leaves me speachless! The lighting is superb and the exposure management is simply brilliant. Stunning Gerhard! Thank you my friend!!

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2006-12-08 5:03]

Hello Gerhard,
Great use of light and wonderful colors. I liked the reflections and the composition a lot. TFS

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-12-08 6:16]

Hi Gerhard,
I like the movement so well captured in the waves shape. Lovely colors and excellent composition.
TFS, José M.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2006-12-08 7:12]

Hello Gerhard,
This capture of the Lesser Flamingo is superb.
The light makes the red parts glow and the ripples together with the reflection give the whole a fairy tale feeling, apart from your caption.
The sharpness is a fine plus.
Well done, best wishes, Ivan

Good note with the sad reminder about human behaviour

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-12-08 7:31]

Hi Gerhard

Another splendid capture from you with yet another impecable reflectiong shot!
The POV here is excellent and the warm light simply charming. The proper exposure gave you a bliss of natural colors - very well saturated, and also allowed you enough time in order to freeze that water-drop at the tip of its beak.
Very nicely framed and composed, as well.

Bravo and TFS

PS: I have no idea why someone wloud do such things, as the ones you mentioned!...but it's simply sad :(

Hi Gerhard,
A beautiful shot here. The soft warm light is perfect. Excellent exposure has captued the amazing colors and sharp detail to make this shot.Great reflection with flawless composition and framing. Superb camera work!

Hi Gerhardt,
Good image through compo, sharpness, colors,...
Puzzled a bit about 'long' legs.
Overall good work

Hi Gerhard,
OK, I add my share of praise on you. You have the eye! Congratulations. My best regards to you and Charlize. Dietrich

amazing picture with amazing light, TFS Ori

hi gerhard,
nice shot,
well composed, good dof, nice pov,
lovely well saturated colours,
reflection on water looks nice,
the light is creating nice effect here,
tfs & regards

Hello gerhard,

excllent work, great details very crisp, Nicly composed and capture photo perfect colors BG POV DOF Excllent work,

TFS Kyle

Masterpiece of a picture, Gerhard.
Everything is in place in this extremely beautiful image.
Thanks and take care.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-12-08 13:14]

Hello Gerhard

A perfect flamingo shot if ever I've seen one. The reflective light from the water surface added to remove any possible dark shady areas while you managed to control the exposure to such an extend that the soft pink plumage shows no OE whatsoever. This is excellent work as these birds tends to OE very easily. The reflection adds some more impact to the shot and the drop of water dripping from the bill adds that touch of action.

A lovely composition with stunning colours, great details, and superb DOF.

Very well done and TFS.

Hi Gerhard,
It is so much better to see them in the wild then what I did, visiting a zoo. This is really a beautiful pelican species. These leges are so much longer then what I am used to. This species also looks a lot slender. Those eyes are really something specail. The composition is beautiful, especially the rippled reflection. The water drop is just awesome. A pitty you had some dirt spots left on the lens.

P.S. How strange some humans can act when they are in someone elses home.

Hello Gerhard
Great shot.
Excellent colors, dtails, composition and framing.
Love the reflection of the flamingo in the water.
Regards and TFS

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-12-08 14:07]

Hello Gerhard,
Excellent capture.POV,reflections on water,lighting,moment you caught,colors and composition are wonderful.Have a great weekend!


wow, what some color,
great job on the reflection,


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-12-09 1:52]

Oh wow, Gerhard.
That is just beautiful.
I love the light, the colors and the details.
That beak is so weirdly shaped.
The exposure is spot-on.
Awesome reflection.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • reina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 257 W: 1 N: 330] (2032)
  • [2006-12-09 17:05]

Hi Gerhardt, very nice reflection, nice colours and very clear.
Well done and TFS Reina

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2006-12-10 6:47]

Luminosa, espléndida y aguda imagen amigo mío con atinado encuadre, foco y el bonus de una maravillosa reflexión.

Luminous, splendid and sharp image my friend with accurate framing, focus and the bonus of a wonderful reflection.

Hello Gerhard.
I just dropped by to wish you a Merry Christmas & a Happy Holiday season.
Excellent image mf.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-12-19 6:48]

Hi Gerhard,

The picture is very sharp and the exposure is spot on. I like the reflection a lot altough I think the crop in the bottom is a wee bit too tight. I can also see two dustspots (in the water above the head, right and left) and I would have removed them before posting. Note is excellent. How have you been? Did you ever receive my mail a while ago?? Happy holidays!


Excellent flamingo image, once again the reflection really adds a lot more to the image. It's really too bad people would do such a thing to animals. :)

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