<< Previous Next >>

Spot The BooBoo

Spot The BooBoo
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: 2006-10-09
Categories: Birds, Humorous, Bushveld
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Digital ISO 400, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Travelogue: Kruger National Park - 2006
Theme(s): AnYtHiNg ExTrEmElY hUmOrOuS, Birds of South Africa 1, 70-79 Puntos (chapter 2), Birds / Aves, Funny Faces, Wildlife of Africa, Birds of Africa, !Loodzwaar, !Masks, !Unusual Colours, A study in Ornithology (birds) 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-02-08 18:35
Viewed: 8736
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 70
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Helmeted guineafowl - Numida meleagris

I find these birds amongst the most difficult to photograph. Their heads just never stops moving as it continually bops or weaves about while they forage for food. I would set up the perfect portrait shot and when I press the shutter release button – the head would be somewhere else, but definitively not on the photo. Probably that is why this one came out somewhat up-side-down (chuckle).

We have seen a total of 663 guineafowl during our stay in the Kruger Park. This one was photographed in the vicinity of Berg-en-Dal on the S110 Matjulu Loop.

Taxonomic Classification

KINGDOM: Animalia (animals)
PHYLUM: Chordata (vertebrates - fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals & invertebrates – acorn worms, lancelets, and pterobranchs)
CLASS: Aves (birds)
ORDER: Galliformes (turkeys, grouse, quails, and pheasants)
FAMILY: Numididae (guineafowls)
GENUS: Numida (old Roman name for northwest Africa)
SPECIES: meleagris (guinea-fowl)

It is a large (53-58cm) bird with a round body and small head. It weighs ±1.8kg. The bill is short and stout; the body is stocky and the plumage is gray-black uniformly spangled with white spots. The wings are medium sized and rounded, and the tail is short. Like other guineafowl, this species has a bare or unfeathered head, decorated with a dull yellow or reddish bony knob, red and blue patches of skin, and there may be a wattle. They are both monomorphic and monochromatic - meaning both sexes look and act alike. The wattle on the male is much larger than on the female.

Africa, mainly south of the Sahara; West Africa, north-eastern Africa, southern Arabia and southern Africa. Has been widely introduced into the West Indies and southern France.

Habitat & Habits
Inhabits warm, fairly dry, and open areas with scattered shrubs and trees such as savanna, grassland, or farmland. They are very agile and capable of strong flight, but are mainly terrestrial often choosing to run rather than fly, and can run up to 5km in a day. They typically roost in trees. Pairs remain monogamous, lives in flocks of up to 100+ birds.

Includes seeds, roots, tubers, grubs, rodents, small reptiles, crawling insects, and occasionally feeds on vegetation and fruits.

It usually breeds in or just after the rainy season(s) and can lay up to 20 eggs; although nests have been found with up to 50 eggs, presumably laid by more than one female. Incubation is 26-28 days. Fledging duration is 10 weeks and sexual maturity is reached at approximately 2 years. They can live 12-15 years in the wild.

This diurnal bird calls with a rasping, stuttering, grating "keerrrr".

Least Concern. However, during the last 2 decades their populations have declined significantly in the South African provinces of Gauteng, Mpumalanga and especially KwaZulu-Natal. Source.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

cecilia, stevkds, horia, Aaltjie, scottevers7, pvs, peter_stoeckl, ellis49, dew77, ramthakur, marhowie, lovenature, jeanpaul, betsie, valy67, jmp, SkyF, saeedabbasi, oscarromulus, Miss_Piggy, Rehanna has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Aaltjie: Upside down surpriseloot 1 02-18 22:13
To whjb: Hulle kyk sonder om te sienloot 1 02-14 19:00
To betsie: Welkomloot 3 02-13 10:48
To Shoot_Score: Searching for a Cometloot 5 02-12 20:34
To betsie: Blyf skryf in Afrikaans!Shoot_Score 1 02-12 17:52
To marhowie: Drop that headloot 2 02-11 13:22
To pvs: Open beakloot 1 02-10 01:30
To Dyker: Brain foodloot 1 02-10 01:12
To scottevers7: ½ degree or so!loot 1 02-09 07:32
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

tres bonne reussite , des couleurs superbes et bons détails

  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2007-02-08 19:00]

Hi Loot,
Great shot and indeed I like your text spot the booboo. Look to it right, upside down, left, but I prefer to went my head to the right. It is like a jigsawpuzzle.
They are so quick and nice to see but as you say very difficult to take a picture off.
Great work.

I think this bird Eye looking bird its very rare becuase they never take there eye off you So what people do keep wallking round it in a circle till eventually it Chokes itself ?????

Brilliant!!! the detail, colour and exposure are so good...
Well photograph...

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-02-09 0:39]

I've seen some of these here Loot - real pretty, eh??? And I see he was too quick for you because your shot is a little OOF. But looking at this pic of my Guinea Fowl, I see mine is a bit soft too.
And after this weekend of Rugby we'll see how bad or good you are at spotting the booboo!!

Very good colour combination Loot.
Technically perfect picture. Very well done. tfs. Stev

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-02-09 2:08]

Very funny, Loot. : )
Quite effective, though, I must admit.
A rather interesting POV, to say the least.
These birds are really dazzling.
All those white spots on the black body are enough to make one dizzy.
Is that one that bird seems "disoriented" to me?
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-02-09 3:22]

Hi Loot

Oh dear...my neck is stuck, tilted on my right shoulder...ouch! :))))
This is really a very "interesting" post...but i have to make a confession...the BG gave it away. At first i was like: "what kind of an ugly bird this is???"...and then..."wait a minute...the blurry plants in the BG aren't alright...ohh...OHHH!!!!!...bloody Loot...he tricked me again!" :)))

Seriously now, i can totally understand what you mean by the non-stop moving heads. But despite that this is not a 100% sharp shot, you bulled another bunny out of your hat and made a great post out of it!
Lovely note, too!

Bravo, my friend and TFS

  • Great 
  • moody (62)
  • [2007-02-09 6:14]

Nice and cool picture, congratulations. Cheere, Moody

Hi Loot

What an upside down surprise.
I can just say “Ditto” and agree with Horia’s critique.
Very colourful and interesting photo.
As always your notes are very informative, and educational.
Thanks for sharing this BooBoo with us. Just hope everybody see it as it should be, and do not think there monitors need some adjusting, or that they think they had a glass to much red wine, after dinner. Ha –ha (only a joke).
And some members constantly make BooBoo’s by not giving smiley’s where it is well deserved, for example the one on your “Baby Elephant Walk”, and many many more.
Pity all the new members (and some old) could not go for a training course before they are allowed to pass critiques. (Of course my own modest opinion)

Kind regards

Hi Loot,
Superb colors and detail shown in this Helmeted Guineafowl. You want to reach out and feel that texture on the head. Well done! I don't think you can make fun of my seascape/sunset horizions being off a half degree or so. I would say this birds horizion is slightly off too.
It certatiny was eve catching to say the least.

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2007-02-09 9:13]

Very funny -- I have never before seen anyone post a picture rotated on purpose before. I guess he really had your head spinning, eh?
thank you too for giving it a name -- in Damascus they were known as Egyptian chickens and they were quite aggressive (almost like ducks in their attitude toward intruders).
Thanks for the posting and the notes -- Hope you land on your feet very soon.

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2007-02-09 11:10]
  • [+]

Hi Loot,

This posting reminds me of a postcard that I received years ago from a friend who had visited South Africa,however on this postcard,the crop was a lot tighter and the beak was closed,anyway I like the idea and compo alot,despite the picture is not in focus,well done and TFS


Hi Loot,
This is interesting position and pose, unable to imagine how it came about (90 degree rotate would be perfect). Colorful bird and great color contrast. A great trip to see so many Helmeted guineafowl during the trip.

  • Great 
  • Dyker Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
  • [2007-02-09 19:13]
  • [+]

Hello Loot
Hehe...this guy is falling over for fear of your big lens. You had a very interesting idea with this photo as the bird almost looks believable in this rotation. Seems like you even cought out a couple of the critiquers, even though you did mention it in your notes. So slaap party maar rustig voort. The focus is slightly soft, although I'm sure you did not upload this one for its photographic merits but for the humouristic factor or for the curiosity value.

Hi Loot,
a very nice picture pd this colourful bird.
Never seen this before and he is so ugly eith a face just a mother could love;-)). Lovely colours and f´good DOF.
Maybe he is a bit soft but it seems he is always moving as my Long-tailed tit, so you did a very good job.
Very well done, my friend.

Hello Loot,
so you had me on your hook. I was thinking more than just a short moment: What a funny bird with its crown, funny ears bent back in speedy motion like Snoopy's, its nose depressively turned down, like Snoopy's.
Most colourful spectacle that seems to be designed to make spectators giddy.
Thank you for this funny contribution, coming with excellent multimedial notes, as always, dear friend - "keerrrr"!
My best regards,

P.S.: Thank you for your visit and very nice words to my recent posting of the b-fly in black fur!

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-02-10 3:29]

Hello Loot,
Very nice capture.POV,colors,BG,composition and especially framing a lot.Excellent work!

Using Kruger National Park as your backyard, you can well afford to have a wisecrack on a poor Riyadh House Fly, Loot (chuckle!).

[Sorry, I'm trying to convey my appreciation of what you wrote in your usual humorous yet highly analytical critique on my recent picture.]
You wouldn't believe me but when I clicked on the thumbnail in your gallery, I was expecting to see a rather handsome, colourful giraffe :-)!
And if I don't look at the bigger picture carefully, I still see the same handsome, colourful giraffe (chuckle!).
BTW, are you trying to check on our Gestalt psychology, you wicked old man?
An amazingly beautiful capture of this highly exotic 'bird' you forgot to rotate 90 degrees right!
Thanks for the lovely and informative entertainment, mf.

Hi Loot,
You got me fooled for a few minutes, but I am glad you mentioned that it was a up-side-down kinda photo. If you look at it the first time, it seems that the beak it more like a split comb and the real comb is its beak.

I can clearly understand the difficulties you had with capturing this bird, and for that, I take my hat of. Even if the result isn't as sharp as normal.


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-02-11 4:58]

Buenas Noches Loot,
un ave extraña para mi, original captura y agradable retrato y pov. saludos

Helo Loot,
Very odd looking fellow you have here.
Good detail, color, and exposure.
I understand from your note, just how difficult getting this one was..Excellent notes on the species,
Well done & TFS!

LOL ha ha ha LOL !!
Hi Loot
This took me a second or two to see what you did. We should do more things like this on TrekNature to yuk it up a bit. You could always say the guineafowl was running up a tree :)
Thanks for the chuckle

Allo Lott
Qu'elle espèce extraordinaire. C'est la première fois que je vois cet oiseau! On dirait qu'il est venu d'un autre monde. Les détails, la prise de vue et l'exposition sont parfaits; une réussite! Merci et au revoir...JP

Hi Loot
Ek het uiteindelik ook geregistreer net om te kyk na die fotos. Ek vind dit baie interessant. Weet nie of die kommentaar wat ek lewer vir enige iemand van nut sal wees nie, want ek is mos nou nie 'n pro nie - ek vind al die fotografie op hierdie site net te amazing vir woorde. Ek lees ook graag van die ander mense se kretiek. Ek was nogal teleurgesteld met Aaltjie se opmerking dat mens eers moet 'n kurses doen om kretiek te kan lewer - daar is sommige van ons wat dit geniet alhoewel ons nie pro is nie - dalk word ek eendag 'n goeie fotograaf deur net na julle foto's te kyk en te sien wat almal daaroor te se het. Ek dink hierdie voël met die onderste-bo kop is ongelooflik! Volgende keer sal ek in Engels skryf, want ek is nie so seker hoe als op die site werk nie, maar dit sal dit seker makliker maak vir die mense wat nie Afrikaans magtig is nie.

Hello Loot !
These birds may be very difficult to photograph, but you managed this one very nicely. I love the colors of this bird, but I must admit I am a bit confused - the bird looking at the top of the picture is very unusual and a bit strange, but once I got used to it I could appreciate your picture. Very well done !

Hierdie pragtig Berg-en-Dal Böö Böö!!! Myn öög gaan löödzwaar!

What colours Loot, and what a difficult psychedelic un-scrollable pattern on that nefarious neck! Did this bird eat LSD? Or is it me? AH IT did budgets ALL week!
Tfs, groet, J

PS Budgets done?

Finally have my JANUS workshoppes in place.
Sorry for the delay... My BööBöö...

PS3 And finally I want to thank my dear friend Aida
for her "handmaiden" job in sewing up this project!
She demonstrated her skills to me the first time when I had the blues

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-02-14 15:13]

Hi Loot,
This time I need some help from your notes, from the others' comments and looking for a while to the bird to understand that this was not a bird with two crests, but an open beak with one crest rotated. So, difficult to capture, difficult to view! Thank for this funny moments.
Best regards mf,
José M.

  • Great 
  • whjb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 51 W: 26 N: 172] (683)
  • [2007-02-14 17:52]
  • [+]

Hi Loot,

Nou toe nou, n paar uitlanders laat rondskarrel. Very interesting presentation and I agree 100% with your comments. Been there....


  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-02-15 16:31]

Hi Loot,
this is not fair, trying to fool us. This colorful guy is a trickster. I guess there is many ways to look at this one and each perspective is interesting. I also like the workshops special the one with the two headed bird.
Well captured even though he would not stop moving. You captured the details very well and the colors are wonderful.

Hi dear Loot ,
excellent details.
amazing colours and nice sharpness.
Bg is excellent.
great composed.
perfect work.
thanks and regards

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-02-18 10:23]

Hi Loot

I love the title lol. What a great looking bird, amazing colours and textures. Great note and a wonderful capture of this interesting pose :)



There is NO DOUBT that you are indeed quite UNIQUE.
Besides adding it as one of my Favs. I also took the liberty to add it to my "private" TN portfolio.
2 HEADS in 1 bird.
How very UNIQUE.
Very well done.
Best regards,
My antispyware problems are over. Thanks to you, once more. You are, like I said a long time ago, "a walking encyclopaedia".

I like this shot a lot , it had me fooled for a second, I seriously thought that the bird was looking to the right of the screen, then I had to take a second glance to finally noticed that the picture was rotated. :)

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-02-22 21:46]

Hello Loot

I am going to stick my neck out here and say the shot is on it's side.LOL Funny how are brains play tricks on us when our eyes think we are seeing something else.Lovely colours and details.Well focused .TFS


Calibration Check