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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: 2007-01-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 10D, Canon 70-300mm DO IS USM, Digital RAW 200, Marumi UV 58mm
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-01-02 3:38
Viewed: 5057
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Yesterday my husband and I went on a boat trip across to Tiritiri Matangi Island This is a nature reserve and over a period of time has been replanted in native bush. All mammalian predators have been eradicated and a number of species of threatened and endangered birds have been successfully introduced. This photo of the Saddleback was taken by my husband. Thanks for looking! :-).


Maori Name: Tieke (pronounced tea-eh-keh)
Common Name: North Island Saddleback
Latin Name: Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater
Family: Wattlebird
Status: Rare, endemic

* Found only in New Zealand, tieke is one of 3 species of the endemic family of wattlebirds. The others are the kokako (Callaeas cinerea wilsoni), which is also endangered, and the huia (Heteralocha acutirostris), which became extinct about 100 years ago, with the last confirmed sighting in 1907.

* There are two subspecies of saddleback, the North Island saddleback (Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater) and the South Island saddleback (P. c. carunculatus).

* Once widespread, tieke, like many other New Zealand birds, proved highly vulnerable to bush clearance and the introduction of pest predators such as rats, cats and mustelids, and rapidly declined in numbers in the mid to late 1800s. The last reported sighting of saddleback in the North Island was in 1910.

* The total population in 2004 is estimated at c.5000, with birds now found on nine islands such as Kapiti, Little Barrier, Tiritiri Matangi and Mokoia Island (in Lake Rotorua).

* Saddleback had until recently been extinct on the mainland for close to 100 years. Transfers have now been undertaken to two mainland sites. The first transfer was to Karori Wildlife Sanctuary in 2002. Following this successful transfer, tieke were transferred from Cuvier Island and released in September 2004 into Boundary Stream (Hawke's Bay), an unfenced mainland island managed by the Department of Conservation.

The North Island Saddleback was on the verge of extinction until captive breeding programmes and subsequent release to predator-free islands eased the pressure on them. Saddlebacks forage over the tree trunks and on the ground looking for small insects. Saddlebacks were highly regarded by Maori and seeing one on the eve of battle was considered a good omen.


Camera: Canon 10D
Time of day: 2:03 p.m.
Date: 1st January 2007
Weather conditions: Clear
Lens: Canon 70-300mm DO IS USM
Filter: Marumi 58mm UV
Shutter Speed: 1/100
F-Stop: F/5.6
Focal Length: 300mm
Support: Hand Held
ISO: 200
External Flash: Canon 550EX Speedlite
Original file type: Digital Raw

Adanac, Janice, XOTAELE, pauljk, elefantino, Alex99, Argus, TAZ, pvb, marhowie, jeanpaul, ferranjlloret, scottevers7, star74 has marked this note useful
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Great image, what a unique bird, great catch light, nice on the bg, pov, and dof,


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-01-02 4:05]

Hello Pam,
This was a great capture by your Hubby. Composition, colors and details are all excellent. Great note of a very interesting subject. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-01-02 4:09]

Well done Mark - you'll have to start coming out with us ladies on our next photo shoot!!
You shot him well - not always easy, is it? It's a good shot of the Sadddleback, I have only seen them in the distance in amongst the trees, so you were lucky. Good job, and thank you...

Preciosos detalles, realmente una imagen encantadora, con unos colores nítidos y estupendamente retratados.
Saludos amiga. JL.

Hi Pam,
Great shot of this amazing bird. Looks like Mark can drive a camera as well as he does cars. It's an image that is hard to fault.

A beautifull bird never seen one interesting reds on black good focus, DOF and detail nice work Rgds Necip.

Your husband took a good shot of this saddleback Pam. Nice and sharp, good pose, well exposed and good OOF background.

Hello Pam, nice shot with a good pose of your subject.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-01-02 9:06]

Hi Pam.
Skillfully done picture. Excellent reproduction black tones and details of this beautiful bird on light, very impressive BG too. Great captured scene, sharpness, exposure and composition. My best regards and TFS.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-01-02 9:19]

Hello Pam,
Superb capture of this rare endemic bird with all the qualities of a good bird portrait, incl. fine BG and catchlight in the eye. Nice diagonal placing of the bird.
First time I have seen this and I thank you for posting this even if it was taken by your husband!
Best wishes, Ivan

You are a great teacher, Pam:-)
Good photo.
Excellent sharpness...
Wish I could photograph such birds in my country...
Well done

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2007-01-02 12:55]

Hello Pam,
You offer us another nice bird portrait with an intructive note too.
Note : rarely, I also post on TL, and I have discored your other shots there.
Wow, I was impressed by your talent also there, all subjets are great with you, sincerly ! You are better than many professionals... Your husband had a good idea to offer you a 10D and it is always pleasure to admire your photos on internet...
Thanks for sharing your chef d'oeuvres.

  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2007-01-02 13:49]

Hi Pam and husband,
This is a very well captured bird. Thank you for the introduction. Never seen this one before.
Good focus and dof, composition and colours.
Thanks Paula

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-01-02 17:19]

Hello Pam
Excellent shot with a marvellous sharpness, color, POV and composition. Very good framing and excellent information.
Thank you very much for sharing
Best wishes

Beautiful job Pam.
You nailed the exposure and details, nice :)
Well composed, lovely pose & POV..
Have a Great Week!

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-01-03 13:01]

Hi Pam,
Wonderful capture. Superb colour and sharpness. Great DOF and POV. The BG acts as a perfect contrast with the bird. Wonderfully composed.

Bonjour Pam
Belle présentation et belle prise en portrait avec ce bel oiseau,les couleurs et la nettetée sont très bonnes, belle composition et le Bg pâle rend bien les couleurs de l'oiseau..
Au revoir et félicitation ....JP

Hi Pam,
You have obtained a great composition of this pretty bird, very good colors.

Hi Pam,
A great looking shot. I love the red flaps at the corners of his beak. Colors and detail in the black plumage is excellent. Overall comp. and framing looks great, as does the pose.

  • Great 
  • star74 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 211 W: 3 N: 598] (2474)
  • [2007-01-04 11:01]

Hi Pam,
Wonderful capture and beautiful colors of this bird.
Nice clear details and sharpness.
Well done

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-01-05 15:33]

Wonderful details on those diffificult dark feathers. I love those splashes of vibrant red as well. Great POV, Excellent DOF and very sharp. You have captured a lovely alert post



  • Great 
  • jo8 Silver Note Writer [C: 1 W: 0 N: 14] (101)
  • [2007-01-06 15:24]

Well done Mark.
Awesome Shot
Colours are great. Quite a lovely pose too.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-01-07 12:29]

Excellent capture Pam ! Very nice bird photographed perfectly by you. great camera work again !


Great exposure on this saddleback it has a well balance range of lighting and the colors are very natural. Tell your husband that this is a great shot. :)

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