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Laughing Falcon

Laughing Falcon
Photo Information
Copyright: Selen Ediger (SelenE) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-28
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of South America, Birds of Prey- RAPTORS (II), Birds of PERU [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-11-23 8:12
Viewed: 6159
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Another first presentation for TN,
Laughing Falcon
Herpetotheres cachinnans

*The Laughing Falcon, Herpetotheres cachinnans, also called the Snake Hawk, is a medium-sized bird of prey in the falcon family, the only member of the genus Herpetotheres. This Neotropical species is a specialist snake-eater. Its common and scientific name both refers to its distinctive voice.

It is found from both coastal slopes of Mexico through Central and South America south to Amazonian Peru and Bolivia, practically all of Brazil, and northern Argentina, at altitudes up to 1500 m (rarely to 2400 m in Colombia). It occupies varied habitats, usually including at least scattered trees. It is generally not migratory, though in some areas it may make seasonal movements.

This species is 46 to 56 cm (18 to 22 in) long and has a wingspan of 79 to 94 cm (31 to 37 in). As usual among birds of prey, the females are bigger, weighing 600 to 800 g compared to the males' 410 to 680 g. With its big white (immature) or pale buff (adult) head having a dark brown mask from the eyes around to the nape, it is unmistakable. The pale color of the head continues onto the underparts. The upperparts are dark brown, and the tail is dark brown with bold pale bands.

A Laughing Falcon often stays for hours on a perch (which is frequently conspicuous). It catches snakes, including venomous ones, by pouncing on them from flight with a thud and then biting them just behind the head, sometimes removing it. It carries them to a perch to eat them. It may carry small snakes in its bill and swallow them tail-first; big snakes may be carried head-forward in its claws, as an Osprey carries a fish, and then torn to pieces. It supplements its diet with lizards, small rodents, and also bats and centipedes.

Its English name comes from its loud voice (as does the specific epithet cachinnans; laughing aloud or immoderately). The most common call is a long series of separate, rather human-like cries, each one often rising sharply in pitch in the middle and sometimes falling sharply at the very end. The series may be introduced by faster calls suggesting maniacal laughter. Sometimes two birds call together at different pitches and tempos. The familiarity of these sounds in the American tropics is attested to by such common names as Acauã (Portuguese); Halcón Guaco, Halcón Macagua, and Guaicurú (Spanish); and Guaycurú (Guaraní).

(*Source: Wikipedia)

Alex99, nglen, pekkavalo1, anilnediyara, bucanas, matatur, Juyona, eng55, Silvio2006, crs, marhowie, bahadir, Argus, boreocypriensis, Adanac, gracious, uleko, Evelynn, sranjan, izler has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Evelynn: shutter speedSelenE 1 12-02 14:34
To boreocypriensis: tskSelenE 1 11-24 23:45
To vanderschelden: thxSelenE 1 11-23 08:19
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Selen,
that's wonderful, such a cute bird looking down to you. Very good and sharp shot, thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Hello Selen,
Yes..it's laughing a bit:-)
Nice sunglasses as well.
Has somehow a bit the characteristics of an owl.
Extraordinary species and quite new here?
Well done

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-11-23 8:25]

Hi Selen.
Nice presentation of this very cute bird. It poses are very attractive. However, I am impressed with great sharpness of the images, wonderful colours and fine lighting. Pattern created by branches is so excellent as image of the bird. Well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-11-23 8:28]

Hi Selen. Congrats on the TN First. With this starge looking Falcon. Most odd when you look at the face on. You have taken it with good detail and POV. well done TFS. Interesting notes too.

Hi Selen,
Very good pictures of this 'hilarious' Falcon which trying to impress you with his fashionable shades. Great pose(s) and composition, details are sharp and good lighting.

Hi Selen,
THis is a funny looking bird, was it preneing? You have good eye contact and the perch is good. Congrats for another first on TN image.

A fine, double capture in tandem Selen, showing at least the head from different aspects in perfectly focused and exposed tele-close ups. The frontal image looks like that of a space traveler a little. A good contribution to the birds in TN!

Hello Selen,

Very nice presentation of this cute falcon. I like very much the second picture. Good sharpness. Nice natural colours.

Merhaba Selen,
bellissimo collage per presentare questo rapace, che hai colto splendidamente in due posture diverse e ci mostrano bene le sue caratteristiche, ottima nitidezza.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-11-23 11:09]

Hola amiga,
fina captura y bello pov,
buen trabajo y exquisito foco,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-11-23 11:12]

Hello Selen,
You captured one of my favorite S.and C. American birds as the first here on TN. Congratulations.
Beautiful colours and great sharpness. Very nice poses. I like the left photo the most.

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-11-23 11:14]

Merhaba Selen Hanım,
Çok güzel fotograflar.Her iki karede de bir ayagin havada olmasi cezali oldugu izlemini veriyor:)Selamlar,ellerinize saglik!

Merhaba Selen, splendid double capture of fantastic falcon, fine details and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-11-23 21:29]

Helo Selen,

You have made an interesting colage showing well the bird. You have chosen fine poses of the bird showin well it's plumage. The strong light you have had allowed you to render strong and saturated colors.

Thank you for sharing,

Hi Selen,
Great side by side presentation..and a first!
That's worth a BIG smiley :))
Nicely done,

Selamlar Selen hanım. 2 güzel kare. maskeli bir kuş. Şirin görünüyor. Teşekkürler.

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-11-24 10:32]

Merhaba Selen hanım çok güzeller ellerinize sağlık başarılarınızın devamını diler sağlıklı ve güzel günler geçirmenizi temmenni ederim selamlarımla cahit.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-11-24 12:47]

Hello Selen,
Nice double showing us a new species of hawk on TN - congratulations! Both images show the features well with good sharpness and lighting against a tropical blue sky.
The Laughing Falcon is new to me too, so thanks very much for sharing this fine contribution including the good note.
Best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-11-24 14:03]

Hi Selen,
what an unusual falcon!
I like the one where he's looking straight down the lens.
Good sharpness and clarity.
Great compositions.

Well done,

Selam Selen hanım,
Peruluları bilmem ama ben gıpta ediyorum. Orda olmak varmış. Bu kadar ekzotik yaratığı görmek ve fotoğraflamak büyük bir haz. Ordan başka sürüngen yahut kurbağa görüntülemediniz mi? Yörenin çok renkli ve zehirli kurbağaları çok meşhurdur. Bu maskeli güzeli harika görüntülediniz. Elinize sağlık.


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-11-24 19:39]

Hello Selen,
What a fantastic debut of this cute raptor. I like the image on the right for the quizical look the falcon is giving you. Great work Selen thank you.

Merhaba Selen,
Congrat for being the first in TN on this beautiful cute Laughing Falcon! My first encounter as well!
the lighting is truly beautiful that falls upon it also in great sharpness, nice colour and details

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-11-24 22:35]

Hi Selen,
Outstanding shot of this Laughing Falcon and both the images are captured with great sharpness and clarity. The image is precious for being the first too. However I wonder why they are named that way. Excellent DOF, POV and composition.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-11-30 8:23]

Hello Selen,
Sorry to have missed this fine presentation of a rarely seen Falcon! Excellent captures showing details very nicely in good light. Interesting how it is doing a balancing act and only holding on to the tree with one foot!
Many thanks and cheers, Ulla

I prefer "laughing falcon" to "snake hawk"!! : )

I like your composite posting. The straight on view is different than one would expect...quite cute actually.
These are nicely exposed against the sky. Nice sharpness too... what was your shutter speed?

Evelynn ; )

Hello Selen,
Its a great capture & an addition on TN by you. The details & POV are phenomenal. TFS.

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2009-02-16 10:31]

merhaba selen hanım
bu farklı ve güzel türü bize kolajla çok iyi tanıtmışsınız
pozu, göz teması ve detayları nefis
elinize sağlık

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