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Photo Information
Copyright: Robert Brown (Robbrown) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1184 W: 88 N: 2160] (6106)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-10-29
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, Sigma AF 70-200 F2.8 Apo EX DG HSM, Digital ISO 200
Exposure: f/8, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-01-05 16:06
Viewed: 4431
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
A common bird across Europe around ponds lakes , canals and slow streams, though every continent seems to have a related species differing mainly in size going by the posts I have seen here on TN.
Here in Europe people tend to confuse it with the other black plumage water bird the Coot, which is larger and instead of having the bright red and yellow beak, has a bright white beak and face shield (Which makes it a very difficult bird to photograph). Other differences are things like Moorhens have a tendency to be shier in their habits preferring to hide in vegetation at the waters edge, and if caught in the open then they dive under water and swim to the nearest cover (This is not true for population in public parks were people feed them). Where as the coot is a much more bold bird to the point of being the bully of the pond driving other birds away and even killing other birds especially ducklings and baby moorhens, I have witnessed whole clutches or baby moorhens systematically killed by a pair of coots who shared the same large pond, and speaking to other this is a world wide phenomena in coots.
Coots seem to feed almost entirely on or at the waters edge while Moorhens will go quiet a distance from water into fields and along ditches searching for food.
Another difference I have observed in moorhens is the extended family that can develop between the different clutches in a breeding season. If the 1st clutch survives to the juvenile stage the keep with the family and help feed the next clutch of babies when they hatch, this keeps on through a possible 3rd batch of babies in a good year, and only breaks down when the the older juveniles start to molt into their adult pulmage of black with the red beak at which point the male starts to make their life hell by chasing them around not allowing them to feed so they fly or walk off else where to find there own spot and mate.
As to a nest site well Moorhens like to have access to the water so they can escape predation by Foxes and mink. This is likely to be a tree stump or fork low to the water , also a clump of reeds or like the pair I have at work a patch of Blackberry brambles which have grown out of the bank and down into the water provides an armoured place to build the nest using reeds and other bank-side vegetation to make a platform on which to lay 3 to 4 eggs which take about 4 weeks to hatch into bald ugly balls of black fluff which if they manage to avoide the Coots quickly grow and fill out to look much nicer.
Please read the extended notes below in the disscussion as I ran out of room here or Click Here for A Quick Link to the rest of the Notes

Argus, RAP, mirceax, Fisher, Hil has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To RAP: Thanks RicardoRobbrown 1 01-05 18:28
To Argus: Hi IvanRobbrown 1 01-05 18:08
To carper: Thanks JaapRobbrown 1 01-05 17:54
Extended Notes about where it was taken and howRobbrown 1 01-05 16:07
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Critiques [Translate]

hi robert!
very beautiful photo with good sharpness and nice composing
like the plants on the right,make nice balans

Hi Rob,
You caught some beautiful soft light here. Excellent composition and framing of the scene. A spot on exposure has brought out great colors and sharp detail in the plumage. The red on the beak, and yellow of the legs, has nice contrast to the Moorhen's plumage. Nice work!

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2007-01-05 16:26]
  • [+]

Una clara, nítida y estética captura Robert con gran punto de vista.
Me encantan los intensos colores y los detalles del plumaje del ave bien marcados a pesar de la intensa luz.
Sólo criticaría el encuadre cortando la reflexión y dejando espacio sobrante arriba, pero sólo es una opinión personal.
Un cordial saludo desde Buenos Aires... Ricardo

A clear , razor sharp and aesthetics capture Robert with great point of view. I love the intense colors and the details of the plumage of the bird very well marked in spite of the intense light.
Only I would criticize the framing cutting the reflection and leaving space surplus up, but it is only a personal opinion.
A cordial greeting from Buenos Aires... Ricardo

great sharpness, TFS Ori

Hello Robert.

Excellent picture, very good details and colors.

Jose Luis.

Hi Robert !
Excellent image with super colours and details,good composition too.

  • Great 
  • dkaved Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 259 W: 17 N: 431] (2114)
  • [2007-01-05 17:22]

Hi Robert,
Cute little chap!I like the warm light you have caught.Nicely placed with the capture of the green leaves giving good balance to the composition.Good natural colours.
Regards, David

very nice chicken Robert,
yes in Dutch it is a water chicken. It's a very good photo of yours. First of all i wish you and your family a very good 2007. With my respect, and you know that because I know you know for some years, Robert, thank you and Adam for making this side possible.
gr. jaap

  • Great 
  • hibou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 217 W: 1 N: 331] (1629)
  • [2007-01-05 19:38]

Hello Robert,
Very good picture of this bird. We have those bird in Canada and I know that it's quite difficult to do a picture that close. All details are perfect, light, colors, details, sharpness, compo, Congrat and TFS

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2007-01-05 22:40]

Hi Robert,

Nicely captured and well done on the composition.
Sure looks like the American Coot, Coot has the white instead of the Red. Cool shot.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-01-06 3:19]

Hello ROb,
Wonderful shot of this Moorhen, very sharp and excellent colours. I love the gentle blue water and the weeds in the water. I shot some young ones today but they are not nearly as colourful. Very nice composition!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2007-01-06 6:46]

Hello Robert , A Great shot from the moorhen , good colours details compositie sharpnes tfs And Best Wishes 2007 , Greetings Teunie .

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-01-06 6:50]
  • [2] [+]

Hello Robert,
You have achieved what I have been trying to do for a half hour today but failed!
This is a sharp and well lit, well composed presentation of a Moorhen.
They are rarer in Sweden and when I found one in a pond it was too shy to present himself in order to take a shot of this quality. It then got too dark.
TFS and best wishes,

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2007-01-06 8:28]

Bonjour Robert!

Bonne prise l'oiseau est très joli et les couleurs sont bonne.
Merci et bonne semaine.

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2007-01-06 11:01]

Hi Rob

Great shot of the Moorhen, nice composition with a touch of vegation included in the frame and a great POV and pose too, the details are really nice, great natural colours which I find so hard to get right on these pesky birds.

TFS Hilary :o)

bonjour robert
felicitations pour l'approche,les poules d'eau sont generalement mefiantes et fuient au premier bruit.
ici les couleurs sont bien visible sur le bec.
la netteté est assez bonne.

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