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Female Blackcap

Female Blackcap
Photo Information
Copyright: Ralf Lukovic (ralfsworld) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 492 W: 93 N: 1903] (6560)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-05-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 5D, Canon EF 400mm F/2.8 L IS USM
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-05-10 5:17
Viewed: 3274
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Even today's post is from Swedish island Öland. I was @ south part of island called Ottenby. This little bird was really far from me and middle of the tree so I used my 2X extender to get closer. This is 35% crop of 100% or FF.

I think this is Female Blackcap but I am not 100% about that. All help or suggestion are appreciated :)


Sylvia atricapilla, is a common and widespread sylviid warbler which breeds throughout northern and temperate Europe. Its color pattern is unique in the genus Sylvia; the Blackcap's closest living relative is the Garden Warbler which looks different but has very similar vocalizations. These two, whose ranges extend farther northeastwards than other Sylvia, seem to form sister species well distinct from the other typical warblers (Helbig 2001, Jønsson & Fjeldså 2006).

It is a robust typical warbler, mainly grey in plumage. Like most Sylvia species, it has distinct male and female plumages: The male has the small black cap from which the species gets its name, whereas in the female the cap is light brown. This is a bird of shady woodlands with ground cover for nesting. The nest is built in a low shrub, and 3–6 eggs are laid. The song is a pleasant chattering with some clearer notes like a Blackbird. This full song can be confused with that of the Garden Warbler, but in the Blackcap, it characteristically ends with an emphatic fluting warble. Especially in isolated Blackcap populations (such as in valleys or on peninsulas and small islands), a simplified song can occur. This song is said to have a Leiern-type ("drawling") ending after the term used by German ornithologists who first described it. The introduction is like that in other Blackcaps, but the final warbling part is a simple alteration between two notes, as in a Great Tit's call but more fluting (Snow et al. 1998).

One subspecies of the Blackcap, S. a. heineken, is very prone to melanism. Its exact extent of occurrence is not altogether clear; it is typically found on Madeira but might inhabit all Macaronesian islands as well as the Atlantic coasts of Iberia and Northwest Africa (Snow et al. 1998). The melanistic birds, S. a. heineken morpha obscura, were at first considered a distinct subspecies.

This small passerine bird is migratory, and northern and central European breeders winter in southern Europe and north Africa where the local populations are resident. It is hardier than most warblers, partly because it will readily eat small berries as well as the more typical warbler diet of insects.

In recent years, substantial numbers of central European birds have taken to wintering in gardens in southern England. Presumably the ready availability of food, particularly from bird tables, and the avoidance of migration over the Alps compensate for the sub-optimal climate. Bearhop et al. (2005) reported that birds wintering in England tend to mate only among themselves, and not usually with those wintering in the Mediterranean. This is because the short-distance migrants arrive back from the wintering grounds for breeding earlier than birds wintering around the Mediterranean, and of course have spent the winter together, when pair-bonds are initiated. The authors point out that division of a population by different migration routes can be a first step towards speciation.

From wikipedia

uleko, Rolf, MMM, falke, SelenE has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Anders: Tack Andersralfsworld 1 05-11 05:24
To falke: Tack Bengtralfsworld 1 05-10 10:43
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Ralf,
This is a nice specie of bird that you captured in a lovely pose with beautiful environment. This BG is superb and so are those colors and exposure. I don't know if you sharpened it a lot as I can see some noise on the bird. Anyway, this is a nice picture of a bird that I don't know :) Thanks,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-05-10 6:46]

Hej Ralf,
Another super shot from you! Yes it is a female Blackcap and captured in a nice pose too. Great sharpness and beautiful colours.
TFS and regards, Ulla

Hello Ralf very good comp. and sharpness , tfs and good luck...

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-05-10 7:01]

Hej Ralf,
Not easy to capture either male or female Blackcap. Considering the heavy crop you did well to get such detail in this shot of the female. Nice compo., lighting, colour and BG.
Från ett regnigt Skåne...
TFS, hälsningar,

  • Great 
  • Rolf Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 58 W: 0 N: 27] (196)
  • [2007-05-10 7:24]

One more nice shot from you! I have never seen this kind before.

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2007-05-10 8:57]

Hi Ralf
Another very nice capture.Very sharp image with nice colors and exposures.I really like the composition of your image I also like that beautiful BG.
TFS Michel
ps you are making my choice beetween the 400 and 500 more difficult.

  • Great 
  • falke Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 153 W: 18 N: 479] (1863)
  • [2007-05-10 10:03]
  • [+]

Visst är det en svarthätta!

I like this photo very much and are impressed of the details and sharpness despite the heavy crop.... very nice subtle colours as well.

Just beautiful!

Regards/Bengt (back from France now and looking forward going to Öland and Ottenby next weekend)

I love all the toning colors in this shot. The composition is a little busy but the blurred background helps. I think this may be just a touch oversharpened. The feathers seem a little "chrystally".

Evelynn : )

Hej Ralf
With all the circumstanses you mension It's a brilliant photo, even with a good lens. ( I envy you on that) I can´t realy remeber I'v seen any Blackcap, maybe I need a tube binocular.
Ha en riktigt skön dag!
Anders i Gnesta

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-05-11 3:51]

Hi Ralf,
Composition and colors are very nice. I liked your POV and the pose of this cute little bird. TFS

Bella questa femmina dai colori morbidi e carichi. Dettagli molto buoni.

Ciao e grazie, Emanuele

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