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Flying Scarlet Macaws

Flying Scarlet Macaws
Photo Information
Copyright: Andy Cole (flagman) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 351 W: 44 N: 607] (2408)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-04-16
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 70-200F/4L + EF 1.4x II, Hoya Super HMC Pro1 67mm Sky1B
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Zoo animals, Birds in Flight [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-07-11 10:17
Viewed: 15354
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 69
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is another photo that I've had sitting in the archives for a long time. The only reason I've kept it and not deleted it is because of the nice background which I think gives it a 'rainforest' feel, even though it was shot in bedfordshire! The macaws fly almost every day at flying displays at Whipsnade, but are strangely difficult to capture. They fly faster than you might think, and I'm still practising :) I think this shot was quite soft initially but I managed to sharpen it up quite a bit, I can't remember what technique I used, though, it was a couple of months ago.

Common name:Scarlet Macaw.
Scientific name: Ara macao

Found only in the forests of Central and South America

Still numerous in remote areas but is threatened wildly by habitat loss and hunting.

Vital statistics:
Height 90cm
Weight 1000g
Wing span 145 cm

The Scarlet macaw spends most of it's time eating in the upper most part of the forest canopy. Here it feeds on a variety of soft fruits such as figs and also some nuts. Scarlet macaws generally feed in groups.

Breeding and life history:
Scarlet macaws usually mate for life. They build their nests in palm tree hollows about 50m above the ground. After mating the female will lay 2-3 eggs which she will incubate for about 24 days. After the chicks hatch they will remain in the nest until they are 3 months old. At this age they fledge but remain with their parents for between 1 and 2 years. The parents will not reproduce again until the offspring have left and so may breed only every 2 or 3 years. This leads to a very slow increase of already small numbers.

eruyanik, MojoUK, ddg, aido, liquidsunshine, manyee, marhowie, Dando, sAner, RAP, vanderschelden has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To vanderschelden: Not wild!flagman 1 08-23 05:27
To thistle: Cut and pasteflagman 3 07-13 03:57
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Andy!
Great in-flight shot! These macaws have great colours and they looks so beautiful when they were flying. Superb contrast with the brown bg. Very interesting that the macaws looks so vividly, when bg is pale! i like the frame also. Exceptional shot! Thank you.

  • Great 
  • MojoUK Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 65 W: 7 N: 328] (1479)
  • [2006-07-11 10:35]

Hi Andy,

I love those vivid and bright colours against the neutral tones of the background. The sharpness looks ok at this size and the composition is also very good.


Regards, Mark.

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2006-07-11 10:47]

Bonjour Andy, bravo pour ce shot de perroquets en vol. Les couleurs sont éclatantes et le sujet bien mis en valeur sur le sombre BG. Bon piqué. Mes félicitations, Didier.

  • Good 
  • soccer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 0 N: 655] (2557)
  • [2006-07-11 10:55]


Very colourful subject choice indeed. I would have preferred a tighter composition to show off more of the colour and detail of the birds.

The dark BG does add to the colour of the subject and is a well taken action shot.


hi andy
des couleurs etras sur les perroquets,le BG est un peu sombre mais le tout reste bien.

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-07-11 11:05]

Hi Andy,
Great in-flight shot. Good detail on the Macaws and I agree about the background, gives it a very natural feel. What it also gives though is a real contrast to the bright colours of the Macaws. Excellent colours and light, really a nice shot.

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-07-11 11:23]

Hi Andy,
An excellent in flight shot,with nice colors and a goo looking BG,well done and TFS,


  • Great 
  • Scott Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 225 W: 0 N: 356] (1752)
  • [2006-07-11 11:41]


Really shows how diverse the natural world is.
What "forces" in their natural world caused them to evolve in these brillant colors?

well done,

Hi Andy, nice shot, well managed.
The contrast beetwen birds and landscape is amazing!


  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-07-11 12:52]

A beautifull shot andy , fantastic colours sharpnes bg and the framing , very good job ,tfs reetings Teunie .

  • Great 
  • ciccio Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 221 W: 50 N: 338] (2751)
  • [2006-07-11 12:59]

Una bonita fotografía en vuelo de esta pareja. Me gusta mucho el fondo y el encuadre. Gracias por compartir. Un saludo. Jose Luis.

Nice splash of bright colour infront of those trees...

Very well captured Andy,
Good detail, colours and sharpness. exposure and lighting are good. Good POV and composition.
Getting a good BG during the display is always very difficult, this is spot on.

Thanks for posting, have a great week.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-07-11 13:30]

Hi Andy,
I am glad you finally decided to share this shot with us.
It is wonderful. I love the colors of the flying macaws against that neutral but textured BG. The details are sharp and show off very well.
What a sight it must have been.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2006-07-11 13:36]

wauw Andy a marvelous shot,
great capture of those flying Macaws,
good in the light, fantastic composition, very good job.
gr. jaap

Hi Andy,
a nice inflight shot. The colourful birds are well seen against the BG. Well composed, the birds has rooms to fly in.
Well done.

Hello Andy, what an excllent inflight shot, perfect colors, Bg, POF DOF perfect details, , great Job, TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2006-07-11 15:20]

Great composition with the two of them in flight. The background is nice - it makes an interesting contrast to the brightness of the birds. Lovely

Hi Andy, nice shot.
Their bold colors stand out extremely well in stark contrast to this BG..Nicely framed and a great job of PP to pull this one out.
Well done!

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-07-11 19:59]


Bravo pour cette belle présentation,les oiseaux contraste bien avec l'environnement et les coulurs sont justes et réelles.

Wonderful photo, brilliant composition and POV! TFS - Xplorator Radu

Hello Andy,
This no doubt makes an impression. A mix of such colourful birds (two and inflight what is good already!) with the striking BG of dark trees.
As for the quality, I can't get rid of impression that the birds were cut and paste. This is probably becuase of the overharpening and whatever else you did to get the details.
Anyway, it looks great apart from that.

Just outstanding Andy! Nice colorful shot!
ps...my son's name is andy! great name!

  • Great 
  • Dando Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 637 W: 32 N: 792] (3084)
  • [2006-07-12 18:39]

Hi Andy,
Nice inflight shot. Great details with good colours and focus. Also well composed within the frame. Very well captured and TFS.

  • Great 
  • MAB (33)
  • [2006-07-15 18:59]

HI Andy,wonderful shot.
Well composed inflight shot.
TFS Mark

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-07-16 16:21]

Hi Andy,

I have seen the original picture and I must say I am amazed by the quality of this TN-sized picture. It looks sharp, where the original lacked sharpness. What is most appealing to me are the very bright and vivid colors against the beautiful, natural background. All in al this became a lovely TN-post. Well done & TFS!


  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2006-07-19 22:46]

Hi Andy,
Fantastic catch! Very good timing, amazing colours and excellent details.
Very well done!

Hi Andy,

A really nice picture. The striking colours against the dull (but nice) BG is why I like this picture. Well done.


Hello Andy,
The dark and blurring background against these colorful birds created three dimension effect. Very well done for macaws in flight. This is an adorable picture. TFS

This is great! These birds look so much better when they're flying around it's like candy in the sky. I saw several of the scarlett macaws as well as blue & golds, & red winged macaws flying around the wild in Peru, and what a site it is. I like how they pop right off the background. :)

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2006-08-11 9:44]

Visitando tu portfolio Andy, encontré esta maravillosa imagen en vuelo.
Excelente y real colorido de las aves, con gran nitidez de acuerdo a un atinado DOF y POV conforman una muy agradable presentación.
En el Workshop, se pueden apreciar las aves con mucho más detalles aunque el foco se pierde un poco.
Saludos... Ricardo

Visiting your portfolio Andy, I found this wonderful image in flight.
Excellent and real coloring of the birds, with great clarity of agreement to a hit upon DOF and POV conforms a very pleasant presentation.
In Workshop, the birds can be appreciated with much more detail although the focus gets lost a little.
Greetings... Ricardo

Hi Andy,
Surprise...for two reasons...a splendid capture and second one ...didn't know parrots are living in the wild in England?
Congrats on this one.
A fav

Hi Andy,
Superb shot!! Great sharpness, very nice colours and POV. Very nice composition. TFS.Hilmi,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-04-10 9:36]

Hello Andy,
What a contrast between the birds and the BG. The colours and the light are also very beautiful.

  • Great 
  • Sayre Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 44 W: 2 N: 30] (164)
  • [2007-09-22 13:07]

I like how you made this more a panoramic shot than a normal-sized one. I think that that, along with your use of empty space really allows you to be drawn into the flight motion of the macaws. I also think that the coloring of your background helps make the brightness of the scalets' colors pop out more, which really enhances the overall quality of your picture. Very well done!
TFS Steph

great cotnrast. TFS Ori

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