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Bird of Prey

Bird of Prey
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: 2005-04-23
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 10D, Sigma 80-400 OS, Hoya UV 77mm
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): New Zealand Raptors, 40 points or more (Chapter 5)., Falcons - I chapter, Birds In Flight Part Two [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-04-29 3:39
Viewed: 7786
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Here is my second post of the New Zealand Falcon. Flight of the Falcon is my first post. This photo is again a bit soft on focus, but the POV and dramatic atmosphere is well worth sharing. I did enjoy the day at Wingspan and for anyone visiting Rotorua, New Zealand, share some of your time with these amazing birds and be entertained as well as educated during their 'free flight' display. You will not be disappointed. Thanks for looking.

New Zealand Falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae) aka Karearea, sparrow hawk, bush hawk. Endemic, endangered

Physical characteristics: Size to 45 cm. Female larger than male.
Colouration mostly brown with grey bars on upper, lighter throat, barred chest grading to rust coloured lower. Male has dark brown iris, black bill (blue-grey base), yellow legs with black claws and a blue-black back of head and neck region. Female has yellow cere, eye ring and legs, less blue-black.

Habitat and range: Scattered populations throughout both main islands and some small islands also. Breeding restricted to main ranges. Very rare north of Auckland. Numbers are falling due to habitat loss through land clearing, introduced predators, reduced prey species, environmental poisoning ( resulting in breeding failure) and illegal shooting.

Habits: Hunting may involve soaring or perching in a high spot to launch a diving attack from above. May also fly low and flush birds out of hiding. Strongly territorial. Roost in holes in cliff tops. Courtship involves the male mock-attacking or tempting her with food. Food may be plucked before eating, and if large, stashed for finishing later.

Diet and care: Mostly birds, both native and introduced species. Some mammals and insects are hunted also. Small, smooth stones are swallowed to grind food. Carrion does not seem a regular part of the diet.

Breeding: August - December.
Nest: a scrape under cover of a rock, log etc or in epiphytes on trees.
Eggs: 2-4 slightly ovoid pink ,dulling to rusty brown over time. A second clutch may be laid to replace lost/ infertile eggs. Both male and female guard the nest and share incubation duty, the male hunting for food for both. Incubation lasts approx 30 days.
Chicks: White down replaced about 11 days with a thicker grey coat. Pink legs and beak, fading to grey at about 10 days. Fed by female for first 10 days or so. Fledge at around 55 days but can fly about 20 days earlier.

Image Information

Camera: Canon 10D
Time of day: 2:14 p.m.
Date: 23rd April 2005
Weather conditions: Clear
Lens: Sigma 80-400mm OS
Filter: Hoya 77mm UV
Shutter Speed: 1/1000
F-Stop: F/5.6
Focal Length: 199mm
ISO: 400

sAner, red45, AndyB, Janice, liquidsunshine, Toni, scottevers7, Lesley, naki, marhowie, slrnovice2, deud, gazo, hibou has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Superbe photo Pam ! Un bel arrêt sur image.
Très bonne note explicative.
Bravo !

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-04-29 3:46]

Hello Pam. Focus is a bit soft, but who cares as this is such a nice action shot! I can really feel the speed of this fantastic bird. Pose and composition are excellent. Note is very informative. TFS!


Wow I agree a nice POV at present nothing looks sharp to me for I need a new pear of glass :)

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-04-29 4:08]

Breathtaking photo Pam! Pose of this predator is superb. Soaring and ready to strike! Good quality and great subject. TFS!

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2005-04-29 4:16]

Impressive capture.
The composition is very good and you did very well to get this in flight considering how fast they are.
That feeling of speed is shown clearly in this shot.
Good work,well done.

Excellent capture Pam. The fast shutter almost freeze the movement. The colours looks very natural and the pose in flight looks dramatic as you say. In such picture I can easily live with a slight softness in the focus. Great note too.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-04-29 5:05]

Hi Pam, full points for the action! Look at his eye, so focused on where he's going. Excellent capture, well done!

Good action, Pam.
It's soft as mention but it's still a good picture.
Good composition and colours.
Welll done.

Another great capture Pam,
I can sense the speed he's doing from his positioning.
Great shot of this majestic bird in action.
Thanks for posting

very very good capture and good composition

  • Great 
  • Graal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 751 W: 31 N: 20] (5100)
  • [2005-04-29 13:15]

Superb shot when bird fly, good capture. Good sharpness and DOF. I like it. Well done.

  • Great 
  • puciu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 16] (2631)
  • [2005-04-29 13:55]

Amazing photo of action.

  • Great 
  • Toni Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 403 W: 2 N: 316] (2034)
  • [2005-04-29 17:41]

Wow, you can really feel the speed. Great capture.
Regards Toni.

  • Great 
  • Kris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 174 W: 0 N: 129] (1818)
  • [2005-04-29 18:30]

Fantastic! Congratulations on this shot. Great moment you have captured.
I like it very much.
Very well done!

A really nice shot on this falcon. An excellent stop action shot, and the bird is in perfect position. Nice Work!

It's really a great capture, even if a little soft focused.
It gives a good idea of the action.
Very well caught.

I think this is extremely well done, Pam! My only nit is it is too tight in the frame...he needs a little more room especially to move forward in, but otherwise a fabulous capture!

Hello Pam, Your perspective is everything here, a dramatic POV..Framed very well with good light. Well done!

Uhhh, I went to a local bird of prey centre and tried to get shots of the birds in free flight. I did manage to get a couple in the frame but that's about all I can lay claim to *grin*.
Great shot Pam. I know how difficult this is to get, these birds are fast! You really show the magnificence of this bird. I'd hate to be the bait, wouldn't you? Great composition too. Wonderful job :)

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2005-05-05 1:08]

Yes, very dramatic hunting bird! Great pose, great in-flight action! TFS

  • Great 
  • optic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 322 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2005-05-05 20:06]

Hello Pam you did an impressive photo, nice action shot i like the details dof & pov

very well done


  • Great 
  • gazo Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 72 W: 0 N: 13] (91)
  • [2005-05-14 7:00]

Gee! What a shot!!!
Fantastic action picture. I'm impressed by the claws. ***

Wow! What can I say? This is a spectacular action picture, extremly well captured.

  • Great 
  • hibou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 217 W: 1 N: 331] (1629)
  • [2006-04-04 19:34]

HI Pam,
Only one word came in my mind ...WOWWW!
What a perfect timing you had for this one. TFS

niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice shooooooooooooot!

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