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White Heron - Maori Name: Kotuku

White Heron - Maori Name: Kotuku
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: 2005-08-18
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 10D, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM, Digital RAW 100, Hoya UV 77mm
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: South Island Winter Holiday 2005
Date Submitted: 2005-08-18 4:32
Viewed: 45834
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
On our way from Pelorus Bridge to Motueka, we visited Rabbit island which is just west of Nelson. On bird on my wish list was a

White Heron. Luck me, here he was in the muddy marsh at Rabbit Island. I couldn't believe my good fortune. Hope you like him.

Thanks for looking.

White Heron (Maori Name: Kotuku)

Scientific Name: Egretta alba modesta
Conservation Status: Endangered
Habitat: Lake edges, ponds and marshes throughout New Zealand, also in Australia.

Unique Features: The kotuku is recognised by its white feathers particularly the large, dorsal plumes, known as ospreys,

which are only present during breeding season.

Social Behaviour: In August the adult birds arrive at the one breeding colony in Okarito in South Westland. They take part

in elaborate courtship displays and after breeding the birds re-disperse throughout the country.

Diet: Kotuku will eat fish, frogs and water-living invertebrates from the marsh areas and can snap up small birds or mammals

found near the water.

Reproduction: They will pair in spring and take turns to incubate the 2-5 pale blue eggs. Young hatch after 25 days and

fledge at about 6 weeks of age.

Life Cycle: Kotuku can reach a considerable age in captivity, but due to their threatened status, life in the wild is much


Relatives: Kotuku are also found in Australia, and there are closely related subspecies worldwide.

Interesting Facts:

* There are only around 15 breeding pairs left in New Zealand, and their only breeding ground is at Okorito in South Westland.
* The kotuku was nearly wiped out in the 1870's as European settlers used the feathers for hats.

Breeding Programme: Wellington Zoo has the only breeding pair in captivity in New Zealand.

Environmental Conditions: The kotuku has always been one of New Zealand's rarest birds, although it is also found in India,

China, Japan and Australia.

The above obtained from http://www.wellingtonzoo.com/animals/animals/natives/kotuku.html


Camera: Canon 10D
Time of day: 5:31 p.m.
Date: 18th August 2005
Weather conditions: Clear
Lens: Canon 100-400mm L IS
Filter: Hoya 77mm UV
Shutter Speed: 1/90
F-Stop: F/5.6
Focal Length: 400mm
ISO: 100
Original file type: Digital Raw

puffy, sway, electra, Janice, marhowie, hummingbird24, liquidsunshine, scottevers7, Luc, Comandante, TAZ, dew77, deud has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • VeTTe Gold Star Critiquer [C: 162 W: 0 N: 0] (684)
  • [2005-08-18 5:11]

good shot; colors and background..

It's amazing, nostalgic photo!
Great shot!

  • Great 
  • puffy Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 289 W: 0 N: 339] (1351)
  • [2005-08-18 6:02]

Supert shot Pam, execellent details, sharpness and DOF, great colours too. :) Very well captured my friend... excellent job!!! thanks for sharing

Hi Pam,
this is a really majestic bird. Wonderful. Wonderful shot too. I like this warm light in the background. Well done.

  • Great 
  • sway Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 305 W: 85 N: 319] (1276)
  • [2005-08-18 7:00]

Hi Pam,
Great shot, They are such a beautiful bird, you have captured it so well. TFS
I have been enjoying your pictures lately!

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-08-18 7:11]

Oh Pam! He's a beauty. The BG is just great, especially the orange colours behind him. You POV is perfect. The Heron's feathers show no OE at all. Clarity and details nice and sharp. Definitely a special capture. Well done.
Yes, I'm home! Pity the holiday had to end. And I hope your trip is going well.

This is very nice Pam. Great sharpness, perfect exposure and well composed. I like the overall mood of the shot this BG and light has created, Well done!

Hello Pam,

He is magnificent!

This photo is well composed and very tranquil in nature.

Except for those eyes, watching intently for any sign of a meal...

Excellent details, colors, POV, and BG.

The soft light adds a great deal to this wonderful image.

Well done and congratulations.


Excellent shot Pam
Good detail and great POV. perfectly exposed. Well composed. Good colours & notes.
Well captured, thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-08-18 13:18]

What a lovely shot of this great egret. The details are sharp, and the exposure is perfect. I really like the gold reflections in the water. They give the picture just the right touch of color, without disturbing the serenity of the scene. Very well done, and TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-08-18 17:12]

Pam, these birds are very beautiful, and this is a grea shot.

I like composition, pov and sharpness.

You did great with exposure too. Dealing with these while feathers is not an easy task. Beautiful bg.

  • Great 
  • zakiwi Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 154 W: 20 N: 274] (1309)
  • [2005-08-18 17:32]

Well done Pam,

Excellent shot. Your DOF and Exposure are really magnificent.

Hi Pam,
A really beautiful composition on this heron. The light is soft and wondeful in this shot. That OOF backround reallly makes your subject stand out well. A really great shot!

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-08-18 21:38]

Hi Pam, I do not have the time to write a decent comment but I must write that I love your white heron. Can you send me a feather on this bird, please?... ;-)
I give to you the *very* well deserved smiley.

Thank you for sharing pictures and notes and for the enjoyment which they give to me.

Hello Pam!
Wonderful shot.Details on white,BG and POV are perfect.Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-08-19 3:21]

What a pretty and interesting bird that you have well captured ! Composition, pose, POV, DOF, colors, details and sharpness are very good ! Thanks for sharing Pam.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-08-19 4:50]

Hello Pam!
Very nice capture.Expression on face,details,POV and composition are excellent.

I like this image.Great detail of the heron.What is the yellow at the top right hand corner?

  • Great 
  • MAXME (0)
  • [2005-08-21 0:39]

very nice shot,nature at it's finest!

Hi Pam,
I really like this photo. The heron looks so elegant. The composition is excellent with the heron on the right, looking over to the left. I like the background too, in particular that golden glow in the upper right corner. Excellent work!

Nice catch. Like how the bird stands in the 1/3rds composition wise. Nice details and expression of the bird. nicely done.

  • Great 
  • optic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 322 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2005-08-26 13:53]

Hi Pam,
you did a great portrait i love it!
Composition, details, dof & pov are great. Colours & light FANTASTIC !

Very well done,

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2005-08-31 5:26]

amazing whitness! very artistic. great background and colours. tfs

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