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One for Sranjan

One for Sranjan
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-04-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Digital ISO 100, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/11, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Wildlife of Africa, Birds of Africa, A study in Ornithology (birds) 1, Birds of South Africa 3, Dedications at treknature: Part Five, uMkhuze Game Reserve 1, My Dedications ;o), Anna's Favourites 1, CeltickRanger's favorite Bird photos -3- [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-12-16 9:44
Viewed: 6397
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 60
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Crested Francolin - Peliperdix sephaena (female)

(Synonym or old name: Crested Francolin - Francolinus sephaena Source)

This one is dedicated to Subhash Ranjan (sranjan). Thanks for your valued friendship and continued support and for spoiling me rotten with those wonderful dedications you bestowed upon me. It is friends like you who make this site such a wonderful neighbourhood. Your contributions to this site clearly reflect your unselfish, considerate and kind nature.

I want to apologise for my absenteeism on TrekNature and my sporadic postings and critiquing the last couple of months. I am extremely busy with a major project at work and this is keeping me occupied until late at nights, from early in the mornings and even over weekends. So, I really do not have much time to spare on the moment. Even though I am missing you all I just have to focus on this project and I hope you will understand. Unfortunately this will still continue for quite a number of months, but be ensured that I will be back. For the interim I will continue to make periodic postings and visit your postings if and when time permits. Thanks for understanding.

As mentioned in my previous posting I want to remain with the topic of Spurfowls / Francolins for the moment, so I'm posting another one which I captured during our 2006 visit to the uMkhuze Game Reserve. For more information on these game birds, please see my previous postings of the Shelley's Francolin and the Swainson's Spurfowl.

I captured this bird in the road next to the small dam at Ediza Pan in the uMkhuze Game Reserve. Presently the Mkhuze region is so dry that the camp had to close for overnight visitors or residents as there is no drinking water in the park. Fortunately, day visitors are still welcome, but apparently the animals have taken a severe toll due to the ongoing drought conditions. There's not even water in the boreholes to fill any waterholes where the animals can go to drink. This is Africa at its cruellest, but nature has to go its way. Once the drought is broken all should be fine again as Africa has the remarkable ability to bounce back with vitality and abundance.

Taxonomic Classification

: Animalia (animals)
SUBPHYLUM: Vertebrata (fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, & mammals)
CLASS: Aves (birds)
ORDER: Galliformes (rather weak-flying or flightless game birds & domestic poultry)
FAMILY: Phasianidae (turkeys, pheasants, junglefowl, francolins, spurfowls, partridges, quails, monals, peafowl & chickens)
SUBFAMILY: Perdicinae (short-tailed galliformes – francolins, spurfowls & partridges)

Other Names
Bospatrys (Afrikaans), isiKhwehle (Zulu), Nghwari (Tsonga), Schopffrankolin (German), Francolino crestato (Italian), Francolin huppé (French), Francolín Capirotado (Spanish), and Kuiffrankolijn (Dutch).

A very attractive and distinctive Francolin which can be identified by its broad white superciliary stripe (the marking above the eye). A medium sized bird with a black bill and reddish legs. Upper parts mottled buff and black, lower breast and belly buff, streaked with white; back, wings and tail brown, streaked with white and very fine black vermiculations. The tail is frequently cocked at a 45° angle, imparting a bantam-like appearance. The crest is only visible when the bird is alarmed.

Height: 35cm.
Weight: ±380g.

Females: Is less boldly marked and lacks the spurs of the males.
Juveniles: Resembles the female, but is paler.

Africa from southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and western Somalia, south through Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania (excluding western regions) to Namibia, Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and NE South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Swaziland).

Found in dense bushveld, savanna, riverine forest, thornveld, dense woodland, near rocky hills and on cultivated lands.

Normally seen in pairs or small groups often on bare ground including dirt roads (as in the photo) or wandering through grassland and brush. Most references make specific mention that they often feed along the edge of dirt-roads - presumably where it is easier to see their seed and insect foods. They are a particularly noisy species often calling at intervals throughout the day and may even be heard on bright moonlit nights.

Consists of bulbs, seeds, berries, insects and molluscs.

- They form breeding pairs (monogamous) that can last for up to 10 months.
- Nest: A sparsely lined scrape on the ground in rank grass or under dense thorny scrub.
- Breeding dates: Between October and May.
- Batch size: Anything up to 9 white, cream or buff eggs are laid.
- Incubation: 19-26 Days.
- Chicks leave the nest about 2 hours after hatching and are looked after by their parents.

A rattling "chee-chakla, chee-chakla" given by birds calling in duet.

Predators and parasites
Preyed on by the following birds-of-prey: Martial eagle, Wahlberg's eagle, African hawk-eagle, Black sparrowhawk, Tawny eagle, Peregrine falcon and Lanner falcon.

Conservation status
Widespread and locally a very common resident.

Source: "The Larger Illustrated Guide to Birds of Southern Africa" by Ian Sinclair & Phil Hockey, published by Struik Publishers with additional information found here.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop CS2.

Juyona, siggi, zulfu, Argus, Royaldevon, CeltickRanger, Alex99, albert, Miss_Piggy, Aaltjie, ferranjlloret, boreocypriensis, marhowie, wishnugaruda, pilonm, ramthakur, Rehanna, betsie has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Wow wow fantastic image.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-12-16 10:19]

Hola amigo,
nice capture,
camouflage and beautiful colors ...
excellent lighting and focus.
saludos Loot.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-12-16 11:05]

Hello Loot,
this is a very good picture, explendid image of this francolin, the collors and details are fantastic, indeed a very good capture, well done my friend.
Regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-12-16 11:14]

Hello Loot,
Splendid shot of this francolin with wonderful colors, composition and focus. TFS.

Hello Loot,
A grand image of this Partridge appearing bird. Very crisp details for the late afternoon light. This bird looks to be useful as a game bird for those that hunt birds.
Excellent capture...

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-12-16 11:52]

Hello Loot,
Excellent beautiful photo in incredible sharp details. Fantastic DOF, natural colours ad composition. I've ever made a photo of this bird (pre-digital period), but this one is so much better!

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-12-16 12:19]

Hello Loot,
A very nice capture taken from your archives. You took this Crested Francolin from a fine rear POV with its head turned to catch the light and show us his features with fine sharpness and detail. This frame-filler is well positioned against a fine OOF laterite soil BG.
A feast for the eyes, nice tribute to Subhash and thanks for sharing it.

Hello Loot,

This coquettishly posing bird reminds me so much of the road runner from cartoons!
Wonderful textural details and colours.

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

Hi Loot,
Very good capture of this Crested Francolin; good pose and composition, sharp fine details, nice colours and BG.

hello Loot

excellent shot of the Crested Francolin, with fine POV and framing,
superb warm luminosity and colour tones, i love the pose of the bird
superb timing to shoot him in photo, excellent sharpness and details
of the plumage, and a catch-light at point, TFS


Hello Loot

I hope you have caught up with everything in your hectic world.You have posted a lovely chicken like wild fowl here.Interesting that they hang about dirt roads,and I have often wondered if the grouse and such that do that over here were looking for grit from the roadside.I am not fully up on bird physiology but I believe they peck at grit to help digest their food.
A lovely POV for this one,it looks as if it is a couple of steps ahead of you and not taking it's eye off of you either.
This perspective really gives a good look at the markings and colours of the plumage.
Very good focus with a nice little glint in the eye.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-12-16 21:46]

Hi Loot.
You have pictured this fine bird at very attractive moment and pose. I like amazing colouration of the scene and bird. It is very impressive and pleasant for look. I also like extreme sharpness and details of the bird. You have represented all its features perfectly. DOF is selected precisely. Some blurriness of the BG is very suitable and nice. Note is great as always. It is your family impressive feature and style. My greetings and all the best.

Hello Loot,
Great shot with excellent focus
The plumage of this Francolin is superb

Hallo Loot
From all the Francolins you shared with us so far in this series I fancy this one’s pose and overall display the most. I like the somewhat jumpy gait, with its one paw in the air, flashing its backside feathers like a fan. The details and variation of colours of the plumage is displayed well and the different patterns are very fascinating to look at. It is like puzzle pieces fitting only at the right place. The shiny charcoal coloured beak is another feature that cannot be missed. The sparkle in the eye is in my opinion the cherry on the cake and rounds of this very special image to its best. Thanks for sharing this beauty and all the information you share with us with regard to these birds. Your research material is high in standard and very valuable. I am sure once Subhash has laid his eyes on this one, he will like it very much.

A different but great angle, composition perfect, love the space in front of the bird showing movement. Excellent sharpness and colour rendition, well done

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-12-17 7:00]

Hello Loot, No need for any sorry we love you. This is a real beauty for my indian friend. For loving and bonding relations you dont need to see them, just the friendship in the air is enough. Take care (Superb shot as usual and all the best for your project)

Hi Loot,
What a funny looking bird. It is easy to see that it has relatives in the chicken family. Its expression is pretty similar to that of a domestic chicken. I like its pose a lot, standing on one leg while keeping an eye on you.
I got a difficult time with the exposure though. Its seems that you pulled in the shadow and highlight point in too much. The whites in the feathers look burned while the shadows look too black. I know that finding the black and white spots in levels is good, but keeping in mind that real black and white isn't always present in a photo its good to keep away from it a little. Loosing details is not something you want. I feel that if you looked for the blue spot in the shadows and the yellow spot in the highlights the result would be better.

I hope that work won't stress you out too much and that the free time you have is spent on your family and hobby i.o. pleasing us with stunning photos.

Hello my friend
Aitsa, aitsa. Kyk net so ‘n huppel in die stappie!
Well, well, I think once more you have outdone yourself and I must agree with the fellow members comments. (Royaldevon) – "This coquettishly posing bird reminds me so much of the road runner from cartoons!" (Wolfpower) –" You have posted a lovely chicken like wild fowl here" .(Alex99) – "Note is great as always" (albert) –" The plumage of this Francolin is superb". (Miss_Piggy) –"I like the somewhat jumpy gait, with its one paw in the air, flashing its backside feathers like a fan." And then the most important – (gannu) "we love you".
That is no lie. - We love you, and appreciate your valuable input on this site. Without your sporadic or frequent postings, there will be a definite void in our lives. Thank you sir!
Warmest regards.
Aaltjie & Hettie.

Dear Loot,
I am on the 9th cloud :) Your dedication of this gorgeous sephaena to me makes me feel very contented about the fact that you have accredited the natural exquisiteness of the blue planet from this part of the subcontinent. Its people like you who are the true leaders, guides & philosophers to many of us in real life. I sincerely thank you for your appreciation & for constant enrichment of our wisdom through your comments & critiques on the web. God bless.
PS: My personal regards to Anna & wish you all merry Christmas & a very happy New Year 2009.

Hello Loot,
Great capture of this Peliperdix sephaena, very good composition, perfect portrait!!!!
Greetings. Ferran

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-12-18 13:47]

Hi Loot,
a fine shot of this Crested Francolin.
Very good sharpness.
Excellent DOF.
Great light.

Well done,

Hi My dear friend Loot,

What a lovely posture of this beautiful crested Francolin in a fine composition. As always you do, a great photographic quality in all around. Accompanying notes are superb as usual. A classic Loot presentation indeed.

i can also say you "Başımın üstünde yerin var (You have a special place on my head)!" my friend. i think that phrase stemning from the head (brain indeed!)is the main controller of each person:) Am i Right? -chuckle:)..-

Like your heartfelt wishes, i also wish "Merry Christmas & a prosperous New year to you and Anna!"

TFS this fine capture MF..
All the best!
Warm regards,


Love the leg-up mid-stride pose Loot.
I like the warm color & detail/DOF, nice BG separation, POV, & framing.
Nice dedication & words too..
Because TN is exemplary in many ways of what a "cyber-space" community should be.
It has it's shortcomings, but the positives far outweigh the negatives IMHO.
Merry Christmas friend!

Hi Loot,
this bird is very pretty and I like the white parts. I'm not so firm in Animals or birds of South Africa because I never visited your homeland. So I'm happy that you show us so pretty things and I can learn and enjoy.
Thanks, I'm also happy I met you and now also your wife Anna here. You both are so wonderful people, always a helpful and nice comment for my shots. For me it's not always easy to say in English exactly what I mean and I have to look often for words missing in my head.
Understanding is easy ;-) So thanks again, enjoy the Christmasdays and all the best for you both for 2009.
Greetings from the cold and snowy Germany
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Perhaps you like to see where I live, I have two shots of the Christmas-market in TrekLens, look here and here

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-12-20 9:55]

Hello Loot,
This is another splendid Francolin very nicely captured here as it is strolling along. Wonderful light and colours and details are very sharp. Nicely framed too!
I miss your regular presence here and I'm sorry your workload is so heavy but I really hope we'll see more from you when it eases. I hope you'll have time to have a good rest over Christmas and wish you and your family a peaceful and happy
TFS and all the best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2008-12-21 11:42]

Wow, talk about sharp!
Wonderful details rendering the amazing markings on this francolin's plumage.
Amazing how the patterns on their feathers can create such complex and varied, and frankly, beautiful designs.
Great POV and light as well.
Well, we sure miss you, my friend...
But we got to do what we got to do.
Do stop by whenever you can.
TFS. : )

Hello Loot,

Another winning picture from you, my friend of this Francolin, walking. Even if the colors are similar between the feathers and the bg, the bird pops up very well in the image. You did a nice composition and the bird was nicely cooperating by turning its head like this in order to obtain a nice profile.

Great job and TFS!


Hi Loot,
Finally, I got some time to look at this great picture of a Crested Francolin you have dedicated to our itinerant doctor friend Subhash Ranjan. I'm sure he would be delighted at it.
In addition to the technical excellence manifest in this close-up shot of a beautiful bird, it is that small little detail that wins my heart -- the bird's foot lifted tentatively while it saunters around doing what these birds usually do during the day. The next subtlety is that look in the bird's eye that suggests it is aware of your presence, only if you were close enough to be noticed by it (I'm only guessing; you have such a potent lens in use here).
Thanks for sharing this brilliant image.
And last but not the least -- Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and Anna!

Hi dear Loot ,
So nice wok.
Great details and light.


  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-01-03 5:36]

Hi Loot,
thanks a lot for your encouraing and support for my fungi post. It is such a good feeling to hear from you, as I really enjoy your critiques that frequently appeared in the front page of TN. Youre such a treasure in sharing tips and techniques so do Miss Piggy. :).
I dont have much to say about bird photography because this is my poor field. that is why at any level, bird shot to me is praiseworthy what more with the shot like this.
Very sharp very clear and a great pose to viewers.
The skills are clearly reflected in the production of this shot.
Excellent presentation and lovely presentation.


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