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Goliath Heron + damselfly

Goliath Heron + damselfly
Photo Information
Copyright: Thijs van Balen jr (Pentaxfriend) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 514 W: 24 N: 1888] (8048)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-09-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Pentax K20D, Pentax fa*4,5 300mm if ed, Digital ISO 160, 67mm Hoya HMC
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/250 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-09-09 14:45
Viewed: 4309
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Ciconiiformes
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Ardea
Species: A. goliath
Binomial name: Ardea goliath

The Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath) is a large wading bird of the heron family Ardeidae. It is found in sub-Saharan Africa, with smaller numbers in Southwest and South Asia.
This is the world's largest heron. The standing height averages over 1.4 m (4.5 ft), with a wingspan of at least 2 m (7 ft) and a weight of about 4 kg (9 lb). In flight it has a slow and rather ponderous look and, unlike some other herons, its legs are not held horizontally. Male and female look similar, with an overall covering of slate gray and chestnut feathers. The head and its bushy crest, face, back and sides of the neck are chestnut. The chin, throat, foreneck and upper breast are white, with black streaks across the foreneck and upper breast. The lower breast and belly are buff with black streaks. The upper mandible is black and the lores and orbital areas are yellow with a greenish tinge. The eyes are yellow and legs and feet are black. Juveniles look similar to the adults, but are paler.

Important habitats are lakes, swamps, mangrove wetlands, with few cool water, sometimes river deltas.

Goliath Herons feed on fish, amphibians and little rodents. A diurnal and often rather inactive feeder, this heron hunts by standing in the shallows, or on floating vegetation, intently watching the water at its feet. As prey appears, the heron rapidly spears it with open mandibles.

Its breeding season is from November to March. These birds build a large stick nest in trees overhanging water, on the ground and in low bushes.

More info

Date/time 9-9-2008 21:59:04
ISO speed ratings ISO 160
Shutter speed value 1/250 s
Aperture value f/4.5
Exposure bias value 0.00 eV
Metering mode Center weighted average
Flash Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Focal length 300 mm
Focal length in 35mm film 450 mm

eqshannon, cataclysta, soccer, Alex99, cicindela, cedryk, drchoneydew has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-09-09 17:35]

Hello Thijs! Wow! What a great capture, great moment and fantastic technique! You've done an perfect job my friewnd, congrats!


Hello Thijs,
this is very nice artistic portrait of Heron and damselfly on its beak. Sharp details wonderful. POV, eye contact and timing also great.
TFS, best wishes

This image is worth more than points...it should be publsihed.....seriously..it is worth sharing with a large audience...funny shot and yet remains so natural....way cool!

What a great shot and one that shows the contrast of the sizes. I love it that the heron also has a stick in its beak. I wonder if it actually sees what is sitting on its beak? A lovely sharp well composed shot of this heron and its companion.


wonderful meeting! with excellent sharpness, light and colors...

Hello Thijs,

What a great portrait of this heron. Very good sharpness. And the damselfly is really a "plus". Excellent light and colours.

Voici une libellule qui n'a peur de rien !
Bonne journée.

Hi Thijs
First of all fantastic moment. Also fantastic light and good diagonal composition. I like it very much


A very good pic of the Heron, showing good detail, and sharpness of the subject. The backlighting is wekll controlled and your DOF, POV and BG make a very good pic.

Hy Thijs
ok, after i finished smiling...good contrast in tha animal kingdom! I like also the feathers of the heron, and his lock...Ah, a damsefly, and i cannot eat her...ah, I am not a insectivorous bird! Graet shoot! TFS

Hi Thijs,
amazing portrait of this heron. I like the dragonfly on, and the twig in its beak ;)
Colors, Sharpness, light and POV are very good.
TFS Tatjana

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-09-10 5:41]

Hallo Thijs,
Wat een prachtig licht in deze foto. Mooi scherp portret in een goede compositie. Het stokje in de snavel en de libel zijn verrassende bonussen. Erg goed!

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2008-09-10 7:56]

merhaba Thijs
wonderful portrait photo
i like composition, POV, BG, colours and sharpness

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-09-10 9:20]

Hi Thijs.
Fantastic scene and terrific timing. Bravo. I also am impressed with quality of the image. Amazing framing, sharpness of the bird and insect on the beak, impressive backlight and nice BG. Well done and best wishes.

Hello Thijs!
Simply fantastic capture! One for a million, I suppose! You were very lucky to be in right place at right time.
Congratulation and best withes from Lodz!

  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2008-09-11 5:44]

Hoe krijg je het voor mekaar.
Perfecte timing om deze vogel vast te leggen mét een libel.
Het lijkt wel een beetje of de vogel scheel kijkt naar het kleine diertje bij z'n snavel.
Prachtige lichtinval door de kam van z'n veren. Super

Superb shot, a combination of three subject, a damselfly, a heron and a small piece of branch.
Nice. TFS

  • smurali Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 205 W: 14 N: 609] (3596)
  • [2008-09-11 10:34]

Remarkable picture Thijs. Fantastic colors. The Damselfly added drama to the picture.

- Murali

  • Great 
  • badar Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 0 N: 160] (785)
  • [2008-09-12 3:49]

Hi Thijs,
Fantastic detail & what a fascinating featherdo .Great composition.

  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2008-09-15 8:57]

Hello Thijs,
What a funny and appealing picture! I like very much the stupid face of the heron. Perfect timing, good light and well chosen frame.
Best greetings,

Hello Thijs,
It´s a unique, wonderful and colourful porrait. The bird has a "mad" face and look. The insect posed in the bird´s beak is the cake´s strawberry.

Hi Thijs,
o jeah - I found it - it's lovely - thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • eliz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 167 W: 20 N: 271] (1537)
  • [2009-02-22 21:51]

what a fantastic capture. shoot against the light and it have a damselfly on it's beak ... nice

WOW I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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