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Juvenile Blacksmith Plover

Juvenile Blacksmith Plover
Photo Information
Copyright: Carl Landsberg (Jakkals) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 187 W: 3 N: 587] (2813)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-09-03
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 40D, Canon EF 300 f/4L IS USM, Tiffen 77HTDUC Filter
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-05-13 13:13
Viewed: 4329
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A Juvenile Blacksmith Plover from my Etosha archive. It might look like this image was “over sharpened” due to the feathers around the neck and head of the bird but not so! Slight “Unsharp mask” was done at 84%, Radius 0.2 pixels and threshold 1 level. I picked up a few feathers at the Etosha pans and all of them were quite stiff due to the minerals, etc. from the water in the pans.
Enjoy and comments are welcome.

Blacksmith Plover
Scientific name: Vanellus armatus
Family: Charadriidae
Order: Charadriiformes
Class: Aves

The Blacksmith Plover is a medium sized lapwing bird approximately 12 inches long. It is a strikingly patterned bird with red eyes, and very long legs. The long legs enable it to move very quickly across the open moist landscapes enjoyed by the creature. Both sexes are alike having primarily black and white plumage with a tinge of occasional gray. This bird has a white belly, a white nape patch on the top and side of its head, and white under the wings. The rump and tail of the Blacksmith Plover are white with a bit of black. The rest of the animal is black. The Blacksmith Plover has a spur on both wings buried in its plumage which is used for fighting and protection. (Kindersley, 1993).

The Blacksmith Plover is distributed throughout southern and eastern Africa. It has recently extended its range and now breeds south to Cape Town, South Africa. The Plover inhabits the dry ground beside rivers, lakes, dams, ponds, lagoons, waterholes and sewage farms.

The Blacksmith is an assertive, conspicuous but wary creature. When the Blacksmith Plover is disturbed it makes a very loud metallic sounding "clink, clink" that resembles the sound of someone hammering a piece of metal. These Plovers are usually found alone or in pairs but will occasionally congregate with other plovers and fly in a flock.

The Blacksmith Plover spends most of its time during the day at lakes and marshes with muddy banks where it feeds on insects, worms, snails, seeds, small mollusks, and crustaceans. There have been scattered reports over the past 2,500 years of the Blacksmith Plover feeding near and in the mouths of crocodiles. The Blacksmith Plover plucks parasites from the backs of the reptiles as they bask in the sun. The Blacksmith will even enter the mouth of the crocodile to pick remnants of food from between the teeth or leeches from the lining of the mouth (Burton, 1985). The Blacksmith Plover is a monogamous territorial bird.

While the Plover is in non-breeding it will form pairs or be part of a group. With the advent of breeding the birds begging to court each other. The courtship ceremony involves the birds running around in a straight up posture, getting very excited, calling, perhaps picking up an object and shaking it around, bowing, and turning the head from side to side. They will later pair off and may copulate. This continues while the birds are still in flocks and goes on until just before the eggs are laid (Brown, 1982).
Both sexes of the Blacksmith Plover participate in building the nest. The Blacksmith Plover builds its nest on the ground using its body to dig the hole. This procedure is called the nest-scrape. The Blacksmith Plover lays one to four eggs each time. Incubation by both parents begins after the last egg is laid and lasts about 23 31 days. One of the parents must sit on the eggs at all times in order for them to hatch. The parents relieve each other every 20 80 minutes.
Blacksmith Plover chicks weigh approximately 16.5 oz at birth. The chicks leave the nest within just a few hours. The babies depend on their instinctive response to the parents call and their ability to camouflage themselves for survival. They can make themselves almost invisible with their plumage and remain motionless until any danger has passed.

Wild Population:
The Blacksmith Plover is not an endangered species. The Blacksmith Plover has a good sized population because the survival rate of the newborn is high at locations where populations have been studied.

Suggested Reading:
The Birds of Africa Volume II, Brown, Leslie, Emil K. Urban, and Kenneth Newman, Academic Press, London, New York 1982.
Bird Behavior, Burton, Robert. New York, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1985.
Birds of South Africa, Calburn, Simon. Calburns Purnell and Sons S. A. (PTY) LTD. 1969.

CeltickRanger, maaciejka, Alex99, bungbing, uleko has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2012-05-13 13:15]

Hello Carl,
Very nice shot . Razor sharp image with perfect exposure. Colors are natural and well contrasted.Best regards Siggi

Hello Carl,
A bird in the morning light, great exposure with optimum sharpness. perfect colour. very nice picture.
best wishes.

Hello Carl

Excellent close-up shot of this wader bird,
very fine POV, DOF and framing, beautiful light
coming to the image and the bird, great focus,
sharpness and details, TFS


Ciao Carl, lovely bird in nice standing pose, wonderful natural colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2012-05-14 3:55]

Hello Carl,
Excellent sharp detailed photo of this Blacksmith Plover in very beautiful natural colours. Good DOF, composition and a nice contrasting background.

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2012-05-14 5:56]

Lovely plover with great colors and the lighting is beautiful too. tfs.

Hi Carl,
great point of view. Amazing colours. Perfect composition. Very good sharpness.
Thanks for sharing,

Hello Carl,
Wonderful light on this beautiful bird.Great POV and composition,beautiful colours and great sharpness.
Thank You
Best regards

Interesting subject and beautiful photo Carl! Very good composition, nice colours and impressive sharpness.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2012-05-17 20:27]

Hi Carl.
I like your impressive 3D-image of a cute bird a lot. Bright sunlight, tack sharp details of the bird and right exposure, vivid colours and clarity of the image impress the imagination. Well done and kind regards.

Hello Carl,
The golden brown colours stand out for me as does the excellent sharpness and not to forget the highlight in the eye. Wonderful illumination of this beautiful bird. Wonder where the name "blacksmith" comes from. A real jewel from your Etosha archive. Well done once again.

Hello Carl,
Lovely picture of A Juvenile Blacksmith, beautiful lighting, great sharpness and good composition, a very well capture,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice day,
Best Regards,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2012-06-02 7:21]

Hello Carl,
Nice to see a capture of a juvenile Plover in a fine pose! Great work, showing excellent details and colours in beautiful light.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

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