<< Previous Next >>


Photo Information
Copyright: Ram Thakur (ramthakur) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4316 W: 231 N: 14052] (56953)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-02-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, Sigma 70-300 4-5.6 APO DG MACRO, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/8, 1/160 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-03-01 4:55
Viewed: 6460
Favorites: 4 [view]
Points: 88
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Friends, looks like I hit a jackpot from Saudi Arabia!
I gather that this bird is rather difficult to come by.
(That should compensate for all the flies/cockroaches I inflicted on you from here :-)!)
My immense gratitude in identifying this bird goes to my very erudite and caring friend Ivan Kruys (Argus) from Sweden.
After spending endless hours on the net to ID this bird, I finally posted it today with a tentative note. I was not at all convinced of my conclusions and had made an ardent appeal for help which finally came from Ivan. Thanks a million, my friend!
That this bird is difficult to come by is illustrated by the following paragraph I have quoted from an article. To read it in full, please go HERE.

“Of all the bird families in the world, perhaps the hardest to add to one's life experience are the rockfowl in Africa [two species in the Picathartidae], the Kagu [Rhynochetidae] of New Caledonia, and these monotypic families of the Old World: Shoebill [Balaenicipididae], Ibisbill [Ibidorhynchidae], Plains-Wanderer [Pedionomidae], Bornean Bristlehead [Pityriaseidae], and the Hypocolius. One might argue that surely the cassowaries [Casuariidae] and scrub-birds [Atrichornithidae] of Australasia, the kiwis of New Zealand [Apterygidae], and the trumpeters [Psophiidae] and gnateaters [Conopophagidae] of the New World tropics are in the running. All are unique and specialized birds, many of uncertain origin, and each is scarce and generally elusive. What makes the Hypocolius doubly difficult is political. Its breeding range is centered in Iraq & Iran (east into Pakistan) and its primary wintering location is in Saudi Arabia, all nations that have been very difficult or impossible to visit as western tourists. Birders searching for Hypocolius have been essentially restricted to looking for a few spring migrants in Bahrain or the U.A.E. (a few occasionally winter there as well). . .”.

The normal information about this bird is quoted from Wikipedia:
The Grey Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus; alternative name Hypocolius) is a small passerine bird species. It is the sole member of the genus Hypocolius and family Hypocoliidae. It ranges through the Middle East, breeding in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and wintering mostly near the Red Sea and Persian Gulf coasts of Arabia. It is found in bushes and scrub and also in palm groves and gardens.
The Hypocolius's shape and soft plumage resemble the waxwings'. Birds are mainly a uniform grey color, with males having a black triangular mask around the eyes. They have white-tipped black primary wing feathers and a black tip to the tail.
These birds eat berries with some insects. They lay 3-4 eggs in a nest in a bush


prmsantos, shal, JORAPAVI, Debz, lgfoto, Dan, Pitoncle, wkshelton, Juyona, uleko, fiyo, Alex99, oki, ldsouza, Argus, pablominto, jmp, cecilia, stevkds, dew77, sayat, saeedabbasi, izler, vhemmati, Maite, peter_stoeckl, roconnell, oscarromulus has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To fthsm: Hiramthakur 1 03-04 10:23
To oki: Hiramthakur 2 03-04 10:04
To jaycee: Hello Janeramthakur 1 03-01 13:52
To Argus: Thanks a million, Ivanramthakur 1 03-01 12:14
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

This is a great picture. I applaud your good skills and technicalities. The overall color is very well complimented and the poised of this bird is just fantastic. Good timing and composition.


Beautiful photo, very well composed! Good light,DOF and detail, soft colours.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-03-01 5:08]

Hi Ram,
What an artistic shot. This looks like a very fine painting with marvellous colour-tones. Very elegant pose of the bird also.Congratulations for this picture. For the ID there surely will be somebody to confirm your researches.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • shal Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 256 W: 64 N: 481] (2140)
  • [2007-03-01 5:12]

Hi Ram,
lovely smooth composition and a pose by our feathered friend in its natural habitat,
Beautiful work :)
Cheers :D

Hola Ram,
Bonita toma con un posadero espectacular y una pose muy bella, buena nitidez y luz agradable. Un cordial saludo

What a great shot!
It seems to be a painting. The colors are nice and smooth and the pose is fantastic.
Congrats and TFS!

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-03-01 5:31]

Beautiful shot of this very pretty and elegant bird. Wonderfully composed, nice and sharp with lovely colours. It is a work of art.

Wonderfull harmonic shot Ram. I like the composition and framing.Excellent colour presentation with harmony of foreground and background.TFS

  • Great 
  • Dan Gold Star Critiquer [C: 113 W: 0 N: 2] (18)
  • [2007-03-01 6:33]

Hi Ram,
Splendide warm colors, excelent composition, beautiful image. Is a 10 points photo.
TFS, Dan

Bonjour Ram,
Très intéressante composition par la tonalité des couleurs et par l'attitude peu farouche de l'oiseau mais un peu restricitve quant aux caractéristiques du plumage.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Hello Sir,
It is so clear. Wow. The bird looks like part of the tree.You have managed very good lighting on the bird even though its in shadows. Excellant exposure. THe sharpness and details are commandable. I lik the frame too which gives it a wall hanging picture look.



Hello Ram,

excllent colors Bg POV DOf perfect detail svery crisp I really like this POV alot well done

TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-03-01 9:31]

Hola Ram,
preciosa captura,
detalles excelentes y agradable compo.
bella textura,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-03-01 11:12]
  • [+]

Hi Ram,

What a beautiful picture. The subdued colors and the position of the bird are wonderful. I doubt it is any kind of a finch though.


bonjour ram
est ce l'oiseau qui est de petite taille ou les epines qui sont immense?
toujours est il que la netteté est parfaite.
bon POV et bonne exposition.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-03-01 11:14]

Hello Ram,
Ivan will no doubt come up with the right ID!
Beautiful capture of this bird in a very lovely pose and the colours of the bird and the background match so well. Excellent composition!!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2007-03-01 11:33]

Perfect shot,Ram!
Sharpness,details and colors are marvelous. TFS

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-03-01 11:35]
  • [+]

Hello Ram,
Firstly I must say that this is an exquisite shot with just the right exposure in the shade, good sharpness and first class composition. Easy to make a positive critique on such a fine shot and I congratulate you for that!

The ID, however, is another matter. Firstly I can say that this is definitely not a finch, sparrow, lark, or warbler and I exclude bulbuls, wheatears, thrushes, and shrikes. This leaves us with just one species: a female Grey Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus) The male is all grey with a black cap and black tip to tail. The female is afeatureless creamy brown, lacking black on head and a diffuse dark tip to tail, but she has a well demarcated creamy throat. Your shot shows all these features well.
The hypocolius overwinters in Saudi Arabia and breeds on the Iranian side of the Persian Gulf.
I may add that I have never seen this species myself. I had to use my Field Guide to the Birds of the Middle EAst by Porter et al. and then confirm my conclusion on the internet.
Thanks for sharing this one with us.
Best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-03-01 11:46]

Hello Ram,
Ivan is right, it's a female Grey Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus). You can see a photo on Avibase, the world bird database.

Most of all I like the harmony in the composition. Great photo.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-03-01 11:52]

Great artistic picture. Elegance, delicateness and beautifulness of your work are impresses. My congratulations and TFS. Super.

  • Great 
  • oki Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 79 W: 10 N: 114] (587)
  • [2007-03-01 12:49]
  • [+]

Hi Ram,
another great one... The colors, sharpness and POV are perfect, same as the great great frame (Did you make it with Adobe Photoshop Elements?)
Best regards,

Hi Ram,

Lovely shot. Like the composition. I prefer birds in profile as it is hard to see their features when the look into the lens - however, this is a lovely shot nevertheless. It must have been hard to get the shot as the foliage looks pretty dense.

Cant help you ID the bird, sorry!! Would be a case of the blind leading the blind if I tried.


Hello Ram,
A lovely bird, and so well depicted here!
The plumage looks like silky soft, and the fine light reproduces the colours very well...
Pleasant composition, a fine pose and good lines!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-03-01 14:25]

Hi Ram,
Outstanding post mf! You have entered in the Olympus of bird photographer! Every aspect here is really wonderful: details, sharpness, colours, pose, composition and subject. This bird is absolutely smart!
TFS, José M.

Congrats! beautifully captured and the image of the bird looks so delicate.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2007-03-01 18:02]

The delicacy of both the bird and the capture must be complimented, Ram. The details are exquisite and the colours superb. I love the fact that you have been able to include lots of its natural habitat so that we can also see why it is so hard to find.
Your bugs are long forgiven!!
This is truly wonderful

Amazing photo Ram. Very well done. Tfs. Stev

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-03-02 2:56]

A beautiful capture, Ram.
There is a softeness to this shot , which enhances its artistic feel.
It looks like an Audubon painting with gorgeous colors.
And a rarety to boot... What a special treat.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-03-02 5:30]

Hello Ram,
Magnificent capture.Lighting is amazing.I liked POV,eye contact,details,visual impact and composition a lot.

Hello Ram,
This is a very nice picture of a bird that looks a bit by its texture at a Cedar Waxwing but I'm sure that is it not this specie though :) I love the pose of your beautiful little model, those colors, composition and this beautiful framing. Well done, you are becoming a bird's expert :) Thanks,

  • Great 
  • sayat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 280 W: 0 N: 258] (1457)
  • [2007-03-02 14:35]

Both the bird and the shot have a very, very rare beauty. Amazing. Fantastic.

Hi again dear Ram ,
excellent shot.
it is wonderful with amazing colours.
well composed .
great sharpness,light and BG.
lovely frame.it is my favorite.
thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • OzBY Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 183 W: 2 N: 351] (1355)
  • [2007-03-03 12:48]

Hi Ram,

Great picture of this bird.
Great color, sharpness, light, composition and background.


Hi Ram,

What a beautiful bird nicely captured. From the three posts on this bird I like this one. Good pose by the bird and great details.


  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-03-03 16:46]

Hello Ram
What a lovely and beautiful picture!!
You have captured this lovely bird in a wonderful pose. I love it!
Very good sharpness and wonderful composition.
Bravo, my friend!
My compliments and thank you very much for sharing.

  • Great 
  • fthsm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 172 W: 56 N: 512] (3689)
  • [2007-03-04 6:01]
  • [+]

Hi Ram,
I am not sure about the species but if this is a "Grey Hypocolius" it is also really rare for us in Turkey. I found the bird name in species list of Turkey but I never saw a photo or never heard its name.
Really good capture though the bad conditions.

Hello Ram,
my congratulations for this capture. Even before having read in your notes that the species can very rarely been seen on photographs, this image at once stands out for its very subtle colours in a most pleasantly soft light, precise details and an excellent composition. The fact the bird shown is such a rare one makes this capture even more of a sensation.
Great work. Excellent.
With thanks, and best regards,

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2007-03-04 18:48]

hello ram
it is different and interesting bird for me. i like its pose and plain colours. composition, point of view, lighting, sharpness, details and framing are great
thanks for sharing

Primero gracias por tus comentarios y tu amabilidad. Encantado de conocerte.
Esta foto es muy delicada, de colores suaves y bien centrada. Las ramas de la palmera centran al eve en su hábitat lo que hace que la foto sea más interesante.
Saludos desde España y hasta pronto:

J. Ignasi Tejedor i Boned

Congratulations Ram. I can imagine your very proud on an image of such a rare bird like this, I would have been to. Colors, softness, light and composition are most wonderful. Perfect job. Best regards, Harry

A beautiful portrait of this rarely sighted bird. The warm tones and contrasting textures add a richness to the scene. Well done.

Beautiful photo with soft colour and good composition!

beautiful bird, TFS Ori

What a GREAT find, Ram.!!!
Thanks to you, today, I know what it looks like.
This is a well focused, in fact, "finely" focused image.
Mario from Calgary, Alberta, Canada with friendly greetings.

Hi Ram
woooow ... goood shut. sepia mode is very good.
well done

Calibration Check