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Shelley's Francolin

Shelley's Francolin
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger NP 2009
Date Submitted: 2011-08-01 9:19
Viewed: 5311
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Shelley's Francolin / Scleroptila shelleyi

The Shelley's Francolin is number 48 in the series of the birds of the Kruger National Park which I am still sharing. Enjoy!

Of the all the birds in the Francolin family, this one is my personal favourite. The arrangement of colour and patterns in the plumage is exceptionally beautiful. This image was taken in the Skukuza area during our 2009 annual vacation. It is the 2nd time this bird has been featured on Trek Nature, the 1st time by Loot who introduced the species in November 2008.

As per my previous posting, Spurfowl (or Francolins) are "partridges with leg spurs" and they form the largest genus of the family Phasianidae.

Height: 33cm.
Weight: ±500g.
Females: Lacks the spurs of the males.

The 'grassland francolins' (genus Scleroptila), which include the Orange River, Grey-winged, Red-winged and Shelley's francolins, are quite similar to one another. Shelley's francolin can be distinguished by the black-and-white patterning on the lower breast and belly, which contrasts with the chestnut and buff patterned upper breast. Male and female have the same plumage. The chestnut-stripped upper breast and flanks and the boldly marked black-and-white lower breast and belly are diagnostic. The throat is white, edged with black. The head is yellowish-brown, the bill is grey, the normally proportioned legs are yellow, the back is mottled black-and-brown streaked in white and the eyes are brown. The male and female have the same plumage and colours.

A rhythmic 'tilitileeo', repeated many times at dawn and dusk.

This bird forages for food on the ground. This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants.

Savanna grasslands and open woodlands, especially associated with rocky ground.

They are usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.

The Shelley's Francolin is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Scleroptila shelleyi will seek out a new mate. Nest consists of a scape in the ground, lined with grass and roots and placed among grass or bushes. Breeding season in South Africa, peak October to January. After the 3-8 eggs have been laid, they are incubated by the female for 20-22 days. Chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and after 12 days are able to fly short distances, and after 5 weeks they can fly strongly.

Too frequent burning (i.e. annual burning) results in the grassland becoming ruined and unsuitable for their survival. Burning during the breeding season results in destruction of nests and chicks through being burnt up or through being exposed to destruction by hail storms.

Names of this avian species in other languages
Afrikaans ...Laeveldpatrys
Zulu ... iNtendele
German ... Shelleyfrankolin
Portuguese ... Francolim de Shelley
French ... Francolin de Shelley
Dutch ... Shelley-Frankolijn Main Source but also various bits and pieces from numerous other sites.

I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

maaciejka, siggi, jurek1951, maurydv, PaulLees, lousat, ramthakur, marius-secan, roges, paolo49, Alex99, Mamagolo2, Jakkals, rousettus, PeterZ, Argus, ferranjlloret has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Anna,
really nice photo of this bird. Great point of view. Excellent sharpness. A lot of details. Great composition.
Thanks for sharing,

Hello Anna,
What a beauty once again. You really have mastered your Sony with that fabulous lens. But that is only part of it. The rest, I am sure, is about talent and patience and perserverance and a great eye, all of which adds up to hard work and a fabulous result.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-08-01 10:37]

Hello Anna,
a fantastic capture of this Francolin, very good sharpness and very beautiful natural colours, excellent POV and composition wih a lovely pose.Best regards Siggi

Hi Anna,
What a fine capture of this fascinating bird. You show a very nice profile here with excellent sharp details and fine colours. I like the natural background. Well done

Hallo Anna,
what a beautiful capture of the Shelley's Francolin, very good sharpness and fine details on the cryptic plumage, marvellous natural colours, excellent point of view
Best regards

Ciao Anna, beautiful bird in nice pose, wonderful natural ambientation, fine details, excellent sharpness, splendid light and colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

Hi Anna,

Very nice capture of this amazing bird Anna, fabulous clarity with superb details, lovely colours with fine saturation, good exposure under the overcast lighting situation, great work and well done,
Best regards,


Hi Anna,
The feathers on this bird are wonderful. I read the notes about conservation is it on an endangered list? The ground is burnt in this image isn't it. Well shot image of an intersting bird.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-08-01 16:07]

Hi Anna,what a beautiful bird and what a magnificent sharpness,this background is terrible whit the same colors of plums,but you work very very well to create a magic 3D effect.Very professional work and very interesting specie.Thanks for share,have a nice day,Luciano.

Despite similarly coloured busy BG, this amazingly beautiful bird stands out sharp and clear in your well controlled picture, Anna. You perform magic with your compact camera.
I agree with you that this Francolin is perhaps the most beautiful among its kind by virtue of the range of colours and patterns on its plumage.
Warm regards.

Hello Anna,
Spectacular image with very nice colors and excellent focus.
What a perfect camouflage. The details are amazing.
Fantastic exposure. Exceptional clarity and focus.
Thanks for sharing!

Hello Anna,,
Fantastic bird.
With verity of colour.Right timing...
Great details and sharpness.


unbelivable camouflage, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2011-08-02 1:23]

Hallo Anna,
perfect capture. Great details and colors. Very interesting info, thank you.

Beautiful birds indeed and this is one of the best. Thanks for sharing. regards yiannis

Hi Anna
Beautiful bird, beautiful capture! Pin sharp with great detail and true colors. Love the catchlight in the eye. Good depth of field control, well done!

Bonjour Anna,
La maitrise de la lumière est remarquable est permet d'apprécier la multitude de couleurs du sujet grace à son opposition sur l'arrière-plan malgré le mimétisme existant entre l'oiseau et son environnement.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Hi Anna,very nice capture.TFS

Hi Anna,
Great capture.Excellent colours with fantastic composition and details.
Regards, Paolo

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-08-02 8:06]

Hi Anna.
What a nice camouflage and nice reproduction of all details of the bird and natural scenery. Quality of the shot is exceptional as usual. Bravo, dear Anna.

hello Anna
Great sharpness and beautiful colours
this is a super picture
great shot Anna
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • mikou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 869 W: 68 N: 1479] (6093)
  • [2011-08-02 11:14]

Hi Anna.
So it is absolutely amazing and well-camouflaged bird. Of course, also your capture is great. You are perfectly able to separate him from behind. With accurate focus and exposure. It seems that he goes after some burnt ground . Colours and mainly light are so beautiful.
TFS and also many interesting information in note.
Best regards

Hello Anna,
great capture of this bird with perfect sharpness and many details. I especially like your well chosen POV, the fine eye contact and the beautiful colours.
Best wishes,

Hello Anna,
This is one of your most stunning shots. The beautiful plumage weaving from one color to another reminds me of a beautiful tapistry woven by a Masters hand. Excellent sharp detail with fantastic sharpness that makes the bird stand out against the background Stunning my friend, just stunning. TFS.

Hello Anna
Interesting bird and impressive photo! Very good composition and good sharpness. The colours are fantastic.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-08-04 19:12]

Hello Anna,
What amazing camouflage plumage this bird is sporting. I would imagine they would be almost impossible to spot from a distance. The burned BG in this shot matches it's beautiful plumage quite well.
Excellent focus, allowing us to see exceptional detail and attractive body features. Love the low POV and nice eye contact. Perfect exposure and framed nicely. Well done!!

Hello Anna,
This is an amazing shot displaying excellent sharp feather detail and fantastic colours. Great work once again.

Debe de ser una mestra del camuflage. Bellísimos colores y texturas.
Gracias por compartir este bello documento Anna:
Josep Ignasi.

Hello Anna
nice to see again your posts. this is great capture of pretty francolin. Up to now, I have seen only Francolinus francolinus. Both of them is similar in general appearance. focus, POV, details and composition great.
thanks for showing us this beauty. well done

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-08-09 2:25]

Hello Anna,
Fantastic photo of this Shelley's Francolin, the best I've seen so far of this species. Great that you could come so close. Splendid natural colours and excellent sharpness and details. Taken from a perfect POV. A great gift to TN.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2011-08-11 8:24]

Hello Anna,
A very fine capture of Shelley's Francolin. This bird obviously needs camouflage to survive and the BG suggests this, But your focusing, sharpness and DOF shows it up so well, despite the BG. The colours and composition are great too.
Congratulations on this TN 2nd and for sharing it.
Best regards,

Hallo Anna,
NIce & very mimetic francolin species, excellent series!
Tanks for sharing,
Best regards, Ferran

excellent picture Anna, congraatulations ! I love the detail the colors and the excellent perspective,

have a good time,

ciao, tino

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