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Life and Death under African sky

Life and Death under African sky
Photo Information
Copyright: Michel Detay (M_Detay) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 21 W: 0 N: 160] (832)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-07-15
Categories: Birds
Camera: D3S, Nikkor ED 600mm 1/4 D
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/800 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Eagle, Birds of Prey [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2012-09-09 4:06
Viewed: 3545
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Life and Death under African sky Nakuru National Park Kenya

Mid July the raining season was not over yet. The sky suddenly turned dark and the rain was coming toward us. This tawny eagle (Aquila rapax) just cached an egret busy in the river with hippopotamus. He brought its prey on this dead tree and started to pluck the egret. Luckily I was parked there with a 600mm (unfortunately I could not move as it is forbidden to step out of the car) and I got that picture.

Nakuru National Park lies in Central Kenya, 140km north-west of Nairobi, in Nakuru district of the Rift Valley Province. The ecosystem comprises of the lake, surrounded by mainly wooded and bushy grasslands. The park supports a wide ecological diversity with Flamingos (Greater and Lesser) and other water birds being the major attractions of the area. The ecosystem provides for about 56 different species of mammals including the white rhino and buffaloes and a variety of terrestrial birds numbering nearly 450 species.

The Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax) is a large bird of prey. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. It breeds in most of Africa both north and south of the Sahara Desert and across tropical southwestern Asia to India. It is a resident breeder which lays 13 eggs in a stick nest in a tree, crag or on the ground. The Tawny Eagle's diet is largely fresh carrion of all kinds, but it will kill small mammals up to the size of a rabbit, reptiles and birds up to the size of guineafowl. It will also steal food from other raptors.
The call of the Tawny Eagle is a crow-like barking, but it is rather a silent bird except in display.
In Africa widely distributed S of 17N although missing from the equatorial lowland forest areas of the W and from the arid SW.

More info on Tawny Eagles

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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2012-09-09 4:28]

Hi Michel,
Perfect shot and very good moment captured.
Excellent light and colours with sharpness details.
Regards Jiri.

Hello Michel,
Incredible how you kept that 600mm so still. What a fabulous image with the activity in great clarity. Congratulations.

Nice shot, probably good you didn't get out, or someone would shoot a lion eating you :)


Hi Michel
the dark sky and the white feathers make it all

Hello Michel
Amazing scene and impressive photo with very good composition, wonderful lighting and very good sharpness!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2012-09-09 12:39]

Hello Michel,
Fantastic moment in very beautiful light and colours. Great sharpness. Fascinating!

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2012-09-09 19:53]

Hello Michel,
What an awesome capture in the wild. Your stop action couldn't have been any better, as the feathers are being driven by the wind.
Excellent focus and beautiful natural coloration. I can imagine the excitment you must have felt as he landed in this tree with his prey. Great job!!

Hi Michel

Fantastic and super lucky to get this action in your camera..Every element in the picture especially the dull grey BG conveys the theme so strongly. Superb.


This pic displays excellent quality in many aspects. The action captured of the subject is amazing. The composition, sharpness, details, DOF, BG and colours are very well done. The dark BG gives excellent character to the pic.

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