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Posts Tagged bird

Fresh from the camera: Kereru Brendan Moyle Feb 11

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New Zealand has two native pigeons, and  the kereru is the species found on the main islands.  It is a large bird, found in native forest, and for these reasons seems to be a ponderous flier.  It is also an important seed-disperser.  It consumes many native berries that are later deposited elsewhere.  Sadly it’s also considered threatened as populations are in decline.

The main challenges to photographing keruru is they like living up in the tree canopy.  If your goal is to take lots of photos of pigeon-backsides, as you look upwards into the branches, you’ll be very happy.  To get photos of the bird acting naturally means finding a way to get both close and high. 

I managed that this weekend, finding a position that got me right next to the ripe fruit of a cabbage-tree (or Cordyline).  There’s a few shots to go through, and the canopy issue still means having to shot at a low shutter speed, but I got a few keepers.  These shots were taken with a 300mm prime, and I’ve been close enough not to need to crop. Enjoy :)

Time on the beach Brendan Moyle Jan 22

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One of the consequences of our fondness for beaches is pressure on native birds that live there.  Whilst sea gulls may seem very robust, other birds are less so.  One is the endangered NZ dotterel or tÅ«turiwhatu.  There’s only about 1700 birds left of this species, and the North Island populations are only found in the upper north.  The nesting strategy for this bird is a simple scrape in the ground.  This means the nests are easily damaged or disturbed by well, almost anything.  This includes people, dogs, SUVs etc. 

Close to where I live is the Okura reserve and there is an isolated sweep of beach (near the old Dancre cottage) that has a small population.  Some days I’ve hiked out there with one of my sons and we’ve just sat, watching them through binoculars.  I have for sometime, been trying to get some good pictures of them as well.  Open beach is not easy to get close to birds with, and avoid startling or scaring them.

Last week I succeeded with a bit of planning and a bit of luck.  One the planning side, I dressed carefully in stone or khaki clothing to blend into the beach.  A stone-coloured brimmed hat finished the look, and I eschewed sunglasses.  There would be no dark areas on my body or outline.  There was also a large log washed up on the beach I could conceal myself behind by laying beside it.  I had about an hour there, able to watch and take pictures.  For the first time I ended up with a series that didn’t require cropping.  In fact, the birds seemed curious about the shutter sound and came closer than I expected.  Here’s a sample:

 

 

Sated- Female Sparrow Brendan Moyle Nov 05

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It seems odd that with sparrows Passer domesticus being a common (and introduced) bird here in NZ, I’ve taken so few pictures of them. It reflects I guess, my strong preference for photographing native birds rather than introduced. The population in NZ is based on releases in the late 1800s and sparrows flourished.

I guess the two main challenges is that they are a reasonably drab bird and they’re also relatively small. The first issue makes it difficult to take a picture that pops out at you. Rainbow lorikeets are much easier :)  The second is you have to be very close to get a view of the bird that doesn’t require heroic cropping.

I managed both feats last week down at Lake Pupuke. Timing was in the early evening during the golden hour.  And with no-one else around, the birds seemed a little less wary. 

One female sparrow was reasonably photogenic, posing in some lovely early evening light. Shots taken with my a700 and 300/4 G lens.

Close-up of the bird

Feeding Time: NZ tauhou or silvereyes Brendan Moyle Oct 03

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The tauhou or silvereye (or waxeye, depending on what common name you were acquainted with) is a recent immigrant to NZ.  They established themselves from a population from Australia in the 1850s.  With their natural colonisation (cross-Tasman winds) they’re considered a native bird.  Many of our native birds do in fact, have an Australian origin.  
 
What is better than one tauhou, is three :)  Afterall, they usually move around in flocks.  The shot has been taken in my garden using my a700 and 300/4 G lens.

Feeding Time: Tauhou or silvereyes Brendan Moyle Sep 29

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The tauhou or silvereye (or waxeye, depending on what common name you were acquainted with) is a recent immigrant to NZ. They established themselves from a population from Australia in the 1850s. With their natural colonisation (cross-Tasman winds) they're considered a native bird. Many of our native birds do in fact, have an Australian origin.

What is better than one tauhou, is three :) Afterall, they usually move around in flocks.


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Original Album

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The largest pigeon in the world Brendan Moyle Sep 24

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The NZ kereru is a (threatened) but extant pigeon.  It is the only native pigeon species in NZ and is also the largest.  This leads it to have an odd flight path, where its downward action seems to risk it crashing into the ground. 
 
These shot are of a kereru perched in a native tree in some forest close to us.  The trick really is to see if it will sit partly exposed in sunlight to capture the sheen of its neck and head feathers.
 
At the moment, they’re also making a mess of our deck with the discarded seeds of berries they’re consuming :)
 

The largest pigeon in the world Brendan Moyle Sep 24

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The NZ kereru is a (threatened) but extant pigeon. It is the only native pigeon species in NZ and is also the largest. This leads it to have an odd flight path, where its downward action seems to risk it crashing into the ground.

These shot are of a kereru perched in a native tree in some forest close to us. The trick really is to see if it will sit partly exposed in sunlight to capture the sheen of its neck and head feathers.

At the moment, they're also making a mess of our deck with the discarded seeds of berries they're consuming.


Original Link


Original Link

—–
For more photos please visit
|Zenfolio Albums|

Feathered Rainbow- a lorikeet picture Brendan Moyle Sep 20

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While I appreciate I’ve been quiet for a bit, I have also been busy.  So I’m returning with this photo of a Rainbow Lorikeet.  These are a small parrot, native to Australia, often found in large numbers. One of the challenges is actually getting a picture of just one of them :)
 
I’ve taken this shot more as a portrait and then adjusted the background to a solid black.  This brings up the colours of the feathers.
 

 
 

Feathered Rainbow- a lorikeet picture Brendan Moyle Sep 20

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While I appreciate I've been quiet for a bit, I have also been busy. So I'm returning with this photo of a Rainbow Lorikeet. These are a small parrot, native to Australia, often found in large numbers. One of the challenges is actually getting a picture of just one of them :)

I've taken this shot more as a portrait and then adjusted the background to a solid black. This brings up the colours of the feathers.


Link to larger image

—–
For more photos please visit
|Zenfolio Albums|

A high-key pic Brendan Moyle Sep 07

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This shot is from the Okura track and the eventual beach you arrive at. The weather was dull and poor, which meant few other people around. It also meant that a lot of birds were resting on the beach rather than braving the wind and swells of the bay.

I decided that lighting was too poor to get a highly detailed pic of one of the birds. Nonetheless, there atmosphere (and hey, effort of carrying the camera gear on a decent hike) suggested a different tack. I selected these three godwits sheltering from the wind, and went for a high-key composition.