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Black-capped Donacobius

Black-capped Donacobius
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-09-18
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1000 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2014-07-20 7:48
Viewed: 2007
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Another new species for Treknature: A pair of birds with the bold yellow irises: The Black-capped Donacobius.

The Black-capped Donacobius (Donacobius atricapilla) is a conspicuous, vocal South American bird, about 22 cm. It is found in tropical swamps and wetlands in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana,Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela; also Panama of Central America.
In the Pantanal it’s fairly common.

The Black-capped Donacobius is the only member of the genus Donacobius. Its familial placement is not established, and ornithologists disagree as to its closest relations. In the 19th century, it was placed in the Turdidae, and in the 20th century, moved to the Mimidae. It had various English names, including the "black-capped mockingthrush". In the 1980s and 1990s, suggestions that it was a type of wren (Troglodytidae) were accepted by the South American Classification Committee (SACC), the American Ornithologists Union (AOU) and most other authorities. More recently, listing organizations and authors follow Van Remsen and Keith Barker's conclusion that it is not a wren either, but instead most closely related to an Old World (probably African) lineage. A current proposal to the SACC would create a monotypic family, Donacobiidae, for this species, but this is not universally accepted as some authorities insist it may prove to be a member of an existing Old World family, presumably the Locustellidae which seem to be its closest living relatives. These are long-tailed "warblers" from around the Indian Ocean region, many of which despite their cryptic coloration, smaller size and more solitary habits, are similar to the donacobius in stance, habitat and some aspects of their behavior (such as the nests); these "warblers" also have a similarly voice, but being higher-pitched they sound less grating and more like locusts (namely in Locustella).

Black-capped Donacobiuses are common in a wide range of Amazonian wetlands, including oxbow lakes, riparian zones, and other areas with tall dense aquatic or semi-aquatic vegetation. A third of the species range is outside the Amazon Basin, from Panama, northern Colombia, and western Venezuela, the Orinoco River system of Venezuela, to southeast coastal and inland Brazil, and neighbouring countries southward, Paraguay, and extreme northern Argentina.

Mating for life, pairs of black-capped donacobiuses can be seen frequently and throughout the day atop thickets of dense lakeside or streamside vegetation. They often will engage in antiphonic dueting. Adult offspring will remain with their parents and help raise siblings from subsequent nesting periods in a system of cooperative breeding.

Voice: A variety of loud whistled calls and churrs, often repeated in series, e.g.. a liquid “whoit, whoit, whoit....”. Pairs often duet. Perching next to each other and bobbing their heads while swivelling their fanned tails; they sometimes also inflate an orange pouch on the sides of the neck.
*Birds of Brazil: The Pantanal & Cerrado of Central Brazil by John A Gwynne, Robert S. Ridgely, Guy Tudor and Martha Argel.

bluesky1975, Hotelcalifornia, Alex99, iti, oscarromulus, kinglove, marius-secan, CeltickRanger, Miss_Piggy has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

hallo Peter
Super gaaf deze opname zo naast elkaar op de tak
prachtige vogels super scherp en prachtige kleuren
de kleuren en licht zijn prachtig
bedankt weer gr lou

Ciao Peter, great capture of lovely couple, nice pose, beautiful ambientation, wonderful natural colors, excellent clarity and fine details, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

Hi Peter,

Another fabulous presentation from you. The color is so natural. Excellent details & superb focus.

Warn Regards,

Hello Peter-Another new species!!!Don't know how many new species you have!Beautiful birds.Nice captured.Very good details and sharpness.Well managed BG light too.Good presentation.thanks for sharing.Regards and have a nice time-Srikumar

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2014-07-20 9:40]

Hi Peter.
What a cute subject, precise wide DOF and perfect details of the both birds. Exposure of the image, reproduction of the coloration and other details of the birds are simpy perfect. I also like so much wonderful smooth BG. Stunning 3D photo. Well done.

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2014-07-20 10:37]

Hi Peter,
Excellent shot of a beautiful couple,amazing colors
and perfect sharpness details.
Regards Jiri.

Hello Peter,
Detailed and educative notes.
[Have been busy travelling by car along the western coast ... sorry for not writing ... have been sooooo tired ... this driving has left me EXHAUSTED.]
Truly a beautiful composition. Presented with taste.
All in all SUPERB!!!
Mario with kind regards.

Ciao Peter
照的很漂亮 很美丽的一對小鳥 也很清晰
真是黑美麗 又很清楚
构图也很美丽 真是好看

Hello Peter!
Superb shot of these beautiful birds from a very good POV. Excellent sharpness, very good details and beautiful natural colors. Those yellow eyes are very attractive. Conratulations and thanks for sharing,
Best Regards,

Hi Peter,

Nice couple.


Hello Peter!
Superb shot with excellent sharpnes.

  • Great 
  • dip (59)
  • [2014-07-21 8:30]

Hello Peter,
very nice capture of the couple,
nice natural colours and very good lighting,

Hello Peter,
Brilliant in all aspects.....Incredible clarity, focus and sharp details. Very nice image. The exposure is perfect. I like this interesting scene with a lovely specie of birds. The colors and contrast of this image are amazing....
Thanks for sharing!

Ciao Peter. Impressive DOF exciting light stunning details. Good compo in vertical.


  • Great 
  • nanreh Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 12 N: 258] (2191)
  • [2014-07-21 19:42]

Beautiful birds; unknown to me, it seems a "CALANDRIA BIG" I infer that it is because I read the Mimidae family. Right now I found out by google, which in my country live in our province of Formosa (in northern Argentina, bordering the Republic of Paraguay) and is called "ANGÚ" in "Guaraní" (native language), "CALANDRIA LAGUNERA" in Spanish language.
Great capture of this couple that was surely on the edge of a pond or swamp.

Congratulations, Peter!

Hernán Bortondello

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2014-07-22 0:34]

Hi Peter
ver pretty view of these black capped pairs. Excellent shot in lovely details. The environment is very nice and the look so cheerful.


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2014-07-22 12:38]

Hi Peter,2 in the same pic for the 1st time on TN,spectacular opportunity caught by you in a magnificent way,i like the vertical cut and the impressive sharpness and colors,the eyes detail are super,i like it! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

nice pair, TFS Ori

Hello Peter

Excellent photo of these other South American birds
with fine POV on their expressive poses and glances,
with beautiful light and excellent contrast, TFS


Hallo Peter
Now this it truly a lovely bird with really bright colours. The yellow eye stands out prominently and I just love the black patch of feathers on the head. This is a bird I have not seen before and seeing one of them is a pleasure but seeing two is an absolute bonus. Best regards and thanks for sharing.

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