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Guaney Ballet

Guaney Ballet
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-01-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon EF 300mm f2.8 USM IS
Exposure: f/8, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite Bird photos -5-, The Wildlife, Plants and Scenery of Chile [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-09-29 13:03
Viewed: 7194
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I took these two acrobatic guanay cormorant from (you guessed it) a boat using my 300mm 2.8 + 1.4x converter. I thought there was a nice sense of movement here against the bright background.

The Guanay Cormorant or Guanay Shag, Phalacrocorax bougainvillii, is a member of the cormorant family found in South America. It is a resident bird living on the Pacific coast of Peru and northern Chile. (The Argentinian population on the Patagonian Atlantic coast appears to be extinct.) After breeding it spreads south to southern parts of Chile and north to Ecuador, and has also been recorded as far north as Panama and Colombia – probably a result of mass dispersal due to food shortage in El Niño years. Its major habitats include shallow seawater and rocky shores.

The Guanay Cormorant is similar in coloration to the Rock Cormorant, Phalacrocorax magellanicus, but larger, measuring 78 cm from the tip of the bill to the end of the tail. Its bill is greyish with some red at the base. The face is red with a green eye-ring. It has roseate feet. The head, neck and back are black as are the outer parts of the thighs. The throat patch, breast and belly are white. In breeding plumage it has a few white feathers on the sides of the head and neck.

Breeding occurs year round with a peak in November and December. The nest is built of guano on flat surfaces on offshore islands or remote headlands. There are up to 3 nests per square meter in high-density colonies. The Guanay Cormorant lays two or three eggs of approximately 63x40 mm in size.

It feeds mainly on the Peruvian anchoveta, Engraulis ringens and the Peruvian silverside, Odontesthes regia, which thrive in the cold Humboldt Current. The Guanay Cormorant is the main producer of guano.

Habitat loss and degradation and over-fishing have resulted in a steady decline of the population of about 30% from an estimated figure of 3 million birds in 1984. This species is listed as NT (near threatened) by IUCN.

The scientific name commemorates the French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville.

rousettus, Luis52, siggi, flashpoint, zulfu, boreocypriensis, jaycee, CeltickRanger, Argus, bartove, SelenE, horia, anel has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2009-09-29 13:24]

Hola James.
Excellent timing in Your photo. Just beautiful, I also like the pose and the BG.
Both Cormorants has a lovely red eyes.
Nice to see You here again My friend.

Hello James
nice to see you again after one month. I hope everything very well. welcome back.
this is really great capture as ballets you mentioned on title. they look very beautiful with red eye skins. focus, timing, POV/DOF, colors and composition wonderful. thanks for sharing. best wishes friend

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-09-29 13:30]

Hello James.
Good pose. you have captured a good moment .Good details and composition. And thanks for the note too.This birds dance in the sun with wings spread.
Best regards Siggi

hello James!
a surprising capture with this humorous posture like a ballet.....
excellent focus and detail of this acrobatic guanay cormorant

greeting sERGIO

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-09-29 14:30]

Hello James, superb and funny shot of these cute cormorants.
TFS and R's,

Hi Big Bro James,

What a lovely and perfect capture of these pretty cormorants in wonderful poses:)
Amazingly beautiful
TFS and have a nice night!

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-09-29 17:20]

Hi James,

I can imagine your excitement when you saw these dancing Cormorants! What a sight this must have been. Your timing was wonderful to capture the performance. I love those red eyes and the outspread wings. Hope you share some more with us.


hello James

an excellent and beautiful photo of these Cormorants
with a appropriate title of their funny pose, fine POV,
fine focus great sharpness and details, TFS


Hello James

A wonderful composition.
Great timing.
Excellent detail and light.
The poses are terrific.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-09-29 22:17]

Hello James,
A great action shot taken with fine timing. Excellent exposure in harsh lighting to make a fine portait of these two Guanay Cormorants. The one with the outspread wings looks like it may be a juvenile.
Thanks and all the best,

beautiful capture, TFS Ori

Wonderful shot with good colors, details, ligting and sharpness. Good composition.
Well done

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-09-30 8:30]

Hello James,
Good to see a photo from you. And a spectacular one of these Cormorants. Great poses. Excellent composition, sharp details, POV and natural colours.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2009-10-01 7:25]

Hi James,
How cute :o)) Pose you captured is great. Very good timing.
All the best,

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2009-10-01 7:30]

Hi James

I've been meaning to congratulate you for such a well timed capture, but i only got to it now :)
This is really a superb shot and your title fits it excellently! The pose in which you caught these two beautiful Guanay cormorants is amazing - just like an extension from a waltz. The details on them are also impeccable and the exposure is spot-on - getting good details form the darker parts of the plumage but not over exposing the BG for instance.
On top of everything, as usual, a very nice and educational note, trademark of jamesp ;)
Very beautiful post, my friend!

Bravo, TFS and all the best

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-10-02 5:19]

hello James,
I missed this funny one.. surprised that you have taken this good picture from a boat. You were right the acrobatic movements are very interesting and make an excellent composition. Beautiful red coloation around the eyes of these birds. Makes them very special.
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2009-11-15 8:25]

This is a great shot, James.
I love the dos-si-dos dancing poses. Very cute.
Fantastic composition with a clean BG.
Lovely details on these two comical looking birds.
TFS. : )

Lovely example of bird behavior. Possibly a mating display?

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