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Photo Information
Copyright: Pam Russell (coasties) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3749 W: 483 N: 8155] (28054)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-10-30
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM, Digital RAW 200, Hoya UV 77mm
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2005-11-14 4:03
Viewed: 5326
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Skylark (Alauda arvensis)

At least 1000 birds were introduced into New Zealand between 1864 and 1875 and they quickly became well established throughout the country. They are now very common in open country, farmland, tussock grassland, sand dunes and sub-alpine herb fields.

This dull, yellow-buff bird is streaked and spotted brown on the upperparts and breast. The adult has a small crest, raised when alert. In flight the white outer tail feathers and white trailing edge to the broad wings can be seen. During territorial flight

displays between August and January, the male soars high and slowly descends, all the time singing a continuous trilling song.

The other call is a liquid “chirrup” usually made in flight.

The diet is mainly seeds of grass, cereals, sedges, clover and weeds. This is supplemented with invertebrates such as beetles, flies, spiders, bugs and larvae of flies, beetles and moths. Skylarks cause damage to crops.

Some pairs remain on territory all year and breed together year after year. The female builds a neat grass lined cup nest in a small depression in the ground, often concealed by an overhanging clump of grass, rush or tussock. Between September and January,
2-3 clutches of 2-5 greyish eggs, heavily speckled brown are laid. The female incubates for c 11 days and both parents feed the nestlings. They leave the nest at 9-10 days old but do not fly until c 20 days old. The young breed at one year old.

The Skylark lives and breeds on Tiritiri Matangi Island.

Vital Statistics

Conservation Status: Common European Introduction
Mainland Status: Widespread and locally abundant
Size: 18cm, 38g
Life Span: Not known in NZ, in Europe one was recorded at 8 yrs
Breeding: September - February

The above obtained from http://www.tiritirimatangi.org.nz/Fauna/Skylark.htm


Camera: Canon 20D
Time of day: 11:59 a.m.
Date: 30th October 2005
Weather conditions: Clear
Lens: Canon 100-400mm L IS
Filter: Hoya 77mm UV
Shutter Speed: 1/500
F-Stop: F/6.3
Focal Length: 200mm
ISO: 200
Original file type: Digital Raw

TAZ, red45, dew77, honza, Toni, marhowie, Fisher, livios, wallhalla15, liquidsunshine, Athila, glazzaro, sway, sarju, metcher, A996sps has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To jo8: Thankscoasties 1 11-14 23:17
To ellis49: Noise and over sharpenedcoasties 1 11-14 11:39
To Fisher: Smart sharpencoasties 1 11-14 11:34
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-11-14 4:19]

Wooooooow ! What a superb and interesting bird that you have very well captured! I also appreciate the complementary note... Congratulations Pam and thanks for sharing this beauty.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-11-14 4:45]

Superb details and quality Pam! Very cute and interesting bird, lovely pose and great green BG. Interesting note also.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-11-14 4:47]

Hello Pam!
Excellent capture.Clear details and sharpness are amazing.I liked catchlight in eyes,blurred BG,POV and composition also.

  • Great 
  • honza Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 533 W: 0 N: 720] (4197)
  • [2005-11-14 5:54]

Superb shot Pam. Nice pose, razorsharp details and perfect composition.

Stunning capture Pam, one of your best so far IMO.
Superb plumage deatils and sharpness. Composition is perfect and I love the background.
An excellent piece of work.

Hi Pam,
this is a beautiful picture wiht great POV and DOF.
The colours and composition are also very good.
It's some niose and IMO its a bit oversharpen.
Very well done, my friend.

  • Great 
  • Toni Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 403 W: 2 N: 316] (2034)
  • [2005-11-14 8:33]

Wow Pam
This is really beautiful. Razor sharp details. Great position on the rock. Stunning green BG to contrast the bird perfectly.
Great job.
Regards Toni

Excellent POV Pam. Very good sharpness and detail. The "clean green" BG works well here.
Well done & Thank You.

Hi Pam,

Beautiful shot, excellent details and composition. Well done on this one.

If you use CS2, may I suggest smart sharpen. You'll find it is much better then USM. 54, 1.0 remove lens blur, click more accurate. The "54" is a starting point, raise it or lower it acoording to the image.


Pam, great lighting, composition, details and pose.

I like contrast too.

As for the already mentioned noise on the background, I tried a workshop.

Hello Pam, a beautiful detailed capture of this fine bird. Nicely composed with very good DoF. Another great note too. Thanks for posting.

Nice shot Pam,
Good sharp detail, colours and BG.
Great POV, composition and exposure.
Well captured, thanks for posting, have a great week.

  • Great 
  • Athila Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 239 N: 493] (1982)
  • [2005-11-14 16:49]


It is very sharp and soft light with a good exposure shows excellent details in feathers. The composition is beautifull and shallow DOF makes a perfect BG.

Great shot and TFS.

Nice detail and pose, well done.


  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2005-11-14 21:51]

Belle prise de vue sur cet oiseau et bon détails dans le plumage.

Félicitation pour cet belle compositions!

  • Great 
  • jo8 Silver Note Writer [C: 1 W: 0 N: 14] (101)
  • [2005-11-14 22:47]
  • [+]

The infamous Sky Lark, very sharp picture. Kind of a cross between a sparrow and a something???. Lovely markings and an awesome shot Pam, congratulations :)

  • Great 
  • sway Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 305 W: 85 N: 319] (1276)
  • [2005-11-15 3:45]

HI Pam,
A beautiful shot.
Very clear and crisp details.
Great expression on the birds face, looking over his shoulder at you.
Great composition.
The OOF BG works well.
Great work

  • Great 
  • sarju Silver Note Writer [C: 8 W: 0 N: 10] (51)
  • [2005-11-30 2:34]

Hi Pam
So true about the introduction of the species on NZ ... I have never been to NZ but I have read that humans have really messed up with the regional biogeography of NZ a lot. .... like the introduction of so many non native species for example
about this photo ... i love your composition with green bg and the rock at the bottom.
excellent dof also
tfs ... cheers ... sarju

Good composition and pose. Great details and colors. Sharp. Very nice.

Good one there Pam, smooth BG to really bring out the bird with so sharp feather details.

I don't think I've seen a clearer shot. Absolutely excellent!!!

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