To ID Drongos species, the easiest is to look at its tail. Greater Racquet-tailed Drongo have two long distinctive tail rackets. It absent or shorter in Lesser species To differentiate it from Black Drongo, Bronze or Ashy species you have to look carefully at the feather colour and a beak.
Lesser Racquet-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus remifer) in glossed metallic blue, at Fraser's Hill @ Jelai Resort.
Flash is essential accessories in bird photography especially in dark canopy tropical forest like Malaysia. Better beamer or flash extender frequently use to enhance the reach of flash with telephoto lens. How much flash output (+ or -) to use is an art you have to learn. Different bird plumage react differently. The default setting of my flash is at -1 and I manually adjust according to distance of the bird and background lighting.
The most common evidence of flash on bird is red-eye or silver-eyes effect. The further the bird from camera the more noticeable the effect. We can minimize this with flash bracket that shift the flash from the centre of lens.
The Verditer Flycatcher above perched at electric cable about 20 feet from me. With the flash at minus 1 setting, the neck and breast colour are almost get burn out.
Canon 50D firing in fast continuous shooting at 6 fps, the flash can't keep up, so I have a flash and unflash pictures. With that we can compare which one is the true plumage of the bird.
In this case the unflash is the true colour of this male Verditer Flycatcher.
It has been more than two years that this big and noisy black&white bird visited my backyard. Yesterday morning I heard that familiar 'keng-keng-keng' sound at 7.00am not far from the back perimeter fence. She was busy poking and eating the ripe papaya.
Low morning light - at ISO 3200, speed 1/20 sec, f5.6 , manual focus.
My first encounter with this big bird was in June 2007, but the quality of picture was very poor - like this.
I upgraded my lens to Canon prime 400mm in November 2007 and this are my first shot on hornbill with 400mm lens - 12/11/ 2007 @3.50pm
Perched at banana friuits, Original Date/Time = 1/12/2007 @ 18:32:11
Original Date/Time = 13/1/2008 at 07:44:06, with 400mm lens
My home town Raub is at 3º 47' north to equatorial with hot tropical climate, so summer is almost all year round.
This Juvenile Magpie Robin was found spreading its wings and tail feathers at 2.26pm hot 35ºc afternoon sun. It stay there for about 2 minutes oblivious of my camera.
Why bird sunbathing?. Ornithologist have their theories ;
1. Feather maintenance - helping dislodge feather parasites - eg. fleas, lice, ticks.
2. To reduces the amount of metabolic energy to maintain a constant body temperature of around 40ºC.
3. Ultra-violet in sunlight involve in vitamin D conversion.
4. or just a feels good factor.
Juvenile Magpie Robin sunbathing. The temperature was so hot that it seen here panting with open bill.
Location: My backyard, Raub, Pahang.
2. Secret life of common bird. link here
I found a pair of this species at Hemmant trail at Fraser's Hill. This time without the aid of of MP3 song. Surprisingly a male was very confiding and obliged to be photographed. The female flew off with this only one dissent picture.
Large Niltava (Niltava grandis decipiens ) ; Local name: Sambar Kubung Padi
Have a look for more bird pictures at the Bird Photography Weekly @ Birdfreak.
EDIT (update: 18/3/2011) - compare to Blue and White Flycatcher here:-
Although this woodpecker foraged near the bamboo tree, it is NOT Bamboo Woodpecker.
ID = Greater Yellownape (Picus flanvinucha). Photographed at Telecom loop, setting +2EV compensation without flash.
Sorry for no beautiful clouds or blue sky, but still happy because that yellow wood worker is my lifer.
Location: Telekom loop, Fraser's Hill, Pahang.
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I love bird and like to photograph it, but I hate their dropping especially when it hit my car. Bird faeces contain uric acid and ammonia that can ate through the paint and cause permanent damage to car's paint work.
Bird dropping from pigeon may contain Cryptococcus neoformans , a fungus that causes infection in people with compromise immune system.
I parked my car in the roofed garage, but this Yellow-vented Bulbul was attracted to the car's mirror and perched at windscreen wiper. In the process it left a few dropping on the bonnet.
I have to wash the shit regularly before it hardened and set in to ruin the paint.
I don't mind if they did it somewhere else like this ;)
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Today is holiday for my Pahang state, so I close shop and went for half day birding at Fraser's Hill - my first time this year. Saw and shoots the usual common birds, no lifer this time. One lifer (the yellow-naped woodpecker). Birds are busy nesting and attending to their chicks. Here are a few sample. Too tired to process the other RAW files.
"Do they not look at the birds, held poised in the midst of (the air and) the sky?
Nothing holds them up but (the power of) Allah.
Verily in this are signs for those who believe". Surah An-Nahl (The Bee) 16:79
"Do they not see the birds above them, spreading out their wings and folding them in? None upholds them except the Most Beneficent (Allah). Verily, He is the All-Seer of everything". Surah Al-Mulk (67:19)