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Columba arquatrix

Columba arquatrix
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: 2006-03-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 HZ DG Macro, Digital ISO 200, UV 62mm Kenko
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/60 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Doves and Pigeons, Birds of South Africa 1, Birds / Aves, Birds of Africa, RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 1, A study in Ornithology (birds) 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-07-02 19:16
Viewed: 8645
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 64
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Rameron pigeon - Columba arquatrix

It was my turn to ask for help as I did not have the faintest clue about the ID of this bird? Many times I have seen this happen on TN and it is one of the reasons why this is such a great site. When one asks for help, the answer is normally not too far away. After I posted this photo (in a flash) the very first critiquer, Adrian Warren (AdrianW) supplied the ID which meant that I could then update the notes with the proper information on the species. Thanks Adrian, I do appreciate your speedy response.

I photographed this bird at the Umgeni Bird Park in Durban, early this year, and have since tried to identify it without any success. I have contacted the Bird Park via phone and e-mail, but it seemed like I had to go to Durban to show them a photo before they might be able to recognise it. I tried 'Google', but every time I ended up in a mad-mad merry-go-round that led me nowhere very fast. There are zillions of photos of pigeons and doves and it is like searching for your lost car keys. It is not anywhere where you think it might be.

This guy was sitting in a dark corner in one of the walk through aviaries. I shot it at ±6m distance, handheld and with fill-in flash. It was the very first time I used my brand new 28-300mm Sigma lens. Since then I have learned quite a bit about the behaviour and characteristics of this lens and would take a similar photo with completely different settings, i.e. a much smaller aperture (to increase the DOF) and my flash configuration would also differ considerably.

As there was no fence between the bird and me, this shot posed no problem, but after this I tried to shoot some birds behind a fence and this lens just would not co-operate at all. Because it has macro capabilities the minimum focal distance is 300mm and even if I placed the lens right next to the wire fence, it got totally confused and kept on searching between the wire and the subject. This meant that I had to revert back to my tried-and-tested 55-200mm Canon lens which has a minimum of 1m focal length thus the close proximity of a fence does not bother it at all.


Length: 38-41cm. A large pigeon with conspicuous yellow beak, eye-patch, legs and feet. It is dark purplish-grey, spotted with white, has a grey crown and blackish tail. Females are similar to the male but duller.

Inhabits the primary & secondary evergreen forests of Eastern Africa from Ethiopia, Southern Sudan, Uganda and eastern Belgian Congo to Angola & South Africa.

Common in coastal forests and alien plantations of pine and eucalyptus in the east and near the southern coast of South Africa. It has adapted well to an urban existence and is increasingly common in these areas.

They are somewhat nomadic seasonally, depending on fruiting of trees.

Usually a single white egg; incubation 16 days, fledging in about 20 days, and independent in about another ten days.

Source: "Birds of Southern Africa", by Sasol, Struik Publishers.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

AdrianW, pablominto, ddg, pvs, soccer, scottevers7, jmp, dew77, zeca, cas_orla, coasties, marhowie, CTP, sAner, valy67, pilonm, saguzar, thor68, jeanpaul, Dyker, Miss_Piggy, Rehanna, Aaltjie, betsie has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To saguzar: "Best on Internet"loot 1 07-08 00:49
To AdrianW: Thanks my friendloot 2 07-03 05:17
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Critiques [Translate]

Any chance of it being a: Rameron Pigeon Columba arquatrix?

As for the photo, lovely work as usual. Focus is spot on, and there's a lovely amount of detail in the plumage. I think a fraction more DOF would have been useful to bring the nearest wing fully into focus, or perhaps hyperfocal focussing would have helped (probably not @ f/5.6). Anyway, a lovely capture of a curious bird. Good luck finding the ident! Well captured :D

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-07-02 21:15]

They driva me crazy tooooo. Unfortunately I don't know it Loot, but it does look like the one Paul Bright posted. And are doves and pigeons different? I love its colours, especially the yellow eyes and beak. Look very bright though. The patterns are pretty too. Well spotted Loot, TFS

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2006-07-02 22:28]

Hi Loot

Can't help with the identification, but I must add that it is an amazing portrait.What beautiful colours and detail. It is a stunning image .Well done.TFS


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  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-07-02 23:07]

What a colorful and unusual pigeon, Loot. : )
The yellow around the eye and on the beak is just stunning, and the white spots in the plumage give him a very sporty look. Amazing details on the head. Great POV and beautiful warm browns in the blurred BG. An excellent shot.
TFS. : )

Hi Loot,
Superb portrait with great clarity in colours!
Superb details in the feather coat and I really appreciate the colours contrast provided by the shining bright beak...
Good point of view, well done on DOF!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2006-07-03 2:53]

Loot bonjour, quel bel éclairage qui donne beaucoup de relief au plumage de l'oiseau et un tour d'oeil remarquable de netteté. Very good job and congratulations, Didier.

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  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-07-03 3:57]

Hi Loot,

An impressive composition of this pigeon,it is razorsharp and has excellent details and colors,well done on this one,


Great sharpness, Lighting, Composition and detail shown against a dark BG. A lovely posting. TFS,

Hello Loot, Excllent, Bg, POV colors and details is really crisp, really nice portrait of this unknow bird, TFS Kyle

Hi Loot,
A beautiful portrait shot! Fill flash exposure really did well with the rich saturated colors. Detail is very very sharp. Superb contrasting OOF backround. I know you do very well with geometery, but I think you did not do so well in your latin class ;-)

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-07-03 10:35]

Hi Loot,
This pigeon looks great against this blured, dark-luminous and beautiful background. The feathers has a lovely color and great texture. Details are clear and sharp and composition is balanced and lower pov make the birds looks great. A very good portrait!
TFS, José M.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-07-03 10:51]

Hello Loot,
Magnificent portrait.I liked especially POV a lot.Use of light,details,DOF you managed,simple BG,catchlight in eyes,expression on face and composition are excellent.

Nicely captured Loot,
Good detail, colours and sharpness. exposure and lighting are good. Good POV and composition.

Thanks for posting, have a great week.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-07-03 19:22]

Hi Loot,
excellent portrait, the details and colors are wonderful.

  • Great 
  • zeca Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 373 W: 14 N: 539] (2887)
  • [2006-07-04 0:14]

Hello Loot!
The colours are superb here! Very nice POV and lights, showing sharp details. Excelent note!

Hi Loot

Is it a sub species of 'Drivameroundthebend'? Love the upward angle of the shot. Nice depth of colour. Good catchlight. Wonderful quality shot! :-)

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2006-07-04 7:44]

Hello Loot
I am quite delighted by this shot of a bird that is so common around most cities that we simply overlook its beauty. The crispness of your focus is superb and the composition is excellent, becoming a portrait rather than a snapshot.
Thanks to you, I will be really looking at these little fellows once again.
Best regards

Hi Loot,
I like the POV from slightly below and 45 degrees front. Well managed DOF & exposure. The subject is well seen from the BG, and the flash has brought every detail :)
Great shot!

  • Great 
  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2006-07-04 13:41]

Hi Loot,
Excellent capture of this lovely Pigeon.
Your pov,dof,focus,sharpness,colors,blurred bg,note,framing,details and pose perfect.TFS
Have a Great Week,

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-07-04 13:49]

This is a great shot Loot. Very fine details, sharp focus and lovely colors. Well done & TFS!


  • Great 
  • Dando Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 637 W: 32 N: 792] (3084)
  • [2006-07-04 17:08]

Hi Loot,
Excellent portrait. Great sharp details with good exposed colours. Also good use of the fill in flash. Well done and TFS.

Hi Loot ! Another wonderful shot, as always from you ! Wonderful details, excellent colors, composition, POV, BG and exposure. I really like the contrast between the grey plumage, and the yellow beak and eye. It is realy a great portrait, very well done !

Hello Loot,
I'm happy that someone helped you with the ID! Excellent close-up of this special pigeon! I like very much its yellow beak and yellow cercle around the eyes. The colors looks very natural to me too. If you look carefully, you can see yourself in the eye reflection (don't search to far for I'm just kidding ;-)). Great composition with a nice bg! TFS.


Hi Loot,
wow, what shiny feathers and so brilliant colours. Sharpness is excellent, I can count every single feather. A wonderful shot, very impressive, thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Hello Loot,
this is one of the best pigeon portrait that I´ve seen in TN. Has very good details on the feathers, the flash use is the correct, specially for the nice dark BG. POV is great, makes mare "tall" to the pigeon.

a bird park that does not know its own birds?! how strange is that?!
or had he entered the park secretly?
with your wonderful shot they would have had a good chance
to identify the pigeon.
excellent potrait, loot! :-)
beautiful colors and nice bright light due to the flash,
terrific pov and details - i really like the orange-yellow
beak and eye-ring and the interesting pattern on the feathers,
especially the "drops of white paint" on the shoulder.
great job & take care, thorsten.

Bonjour Loot
C'est une excellente composition avec ce beau portrait de ce joli pigeon ! La présentation très jolie avec de belles couleurs, ainsi que les détails très bien définis de son beau plumage ainsi que le beau BG. Merci pour le partage mon ami.
Au revoir et Bravo ....JP

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  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-07-11 17:09]

Hi Loot
Great portrait shot of this bird. Great sharpnes, colours, light and POV.
Well done my friend


Hello Loot

Nog so een uit die argiewe kan seker nie skade doen nie. Veral nie wanneer dit so 'n pragtige bosduif is nie. Toe ek 'n kind was het ons hierdie voël gereeld in die omgewing gesien, maar nou dat ek daaraan dink, ek kan nie onthou wanneer laas ek een van hulle gesien het nie. Plaas jy my net gevra het vir die identifikasie en ek sou jou dadelik kon help (asof jy nou dit moes kon weet né). Jy het hierdie een pragtig afgeneem. Die kleure is so ryk en die haarfyn besonderhede is 'n lushof vir die oog. Ek kan verstaan hoekom jy pronk dat dit dalk een van die beste fotos op die Internet kan wees van hierdie spesie. Wel gedaan.


Hallo Loot
What a stunning close-up portrait of this gorgeous pigeon. You really excelled yourself on this one. The sharpness and focus is super and nothing is out of its place. The colours are bright and beautiful and I particularly fancy the bright yellow of the beak and the circle around the eye. The eye itself stands out like a glowing marble, and the catch-light there-in is magic. The fine detail of the patterns on the plumage is eye-catching and perfectly formed and shaped. The dark background you used highlightes the features of this special bird. Pigeons and doves always give me a feeling of an innocent, peacefullness. Thanks for sharing.

Hello my friend
In my eyes (and of course Hettie’s as well) this is certainly a very handsome fellow. The bright yellow of the beak and the circle around the eye is fabulous. The details of the grey feathers on the chest stand out well and I like the patterns formed. Almost like lattice work. Hettie likes the white dots on the upper wings, as she says it reminds her of little Lotta, the fat little girl in the comic strips of years ago. She always wore dresses with huge polka dots. A lovely portrait of a beautiful bird.
Warmest regards
Aaltjie and Hettie

Howzit Loot,
One of your old pics and it seems like it was quite a mission for its ID.Impact photo with very sharp subject and great detail.The tip of the beak even well exposed almost looking like a drop of water at a quick glance.Like to see you up and running again!!Take care and TFS.

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