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|Bokmakierie - Telophorus zeylonus|
I though it's perhaps high time to do a rare posting just to let you know I'm still kicking and to say "HI" to you all.
Anna was having a walk about in the Tienie Versfeld Wildflower Reserve searching for wild flowers to capture on camera. This reserve is part of a farm donated to the National Botanical Society of South Africa in 1958, by Mr. Marthinus Versfeld, the owner of this farm that dates back to 1830's. In this botanical reserve, which covers an area of just over 20ha, an attempt has been made to preserve a piece of the Sandveld with its characteristic variety of flowering species. The reserve is open to visitors throughout the year, although it is most popular in spring when its fields of wild flowers are quite dazzling. Although a large variety of wild flowers is found here, this reserve is particularly valued for its bulbous plants.
From all the walking on this day my legs were rather tired and painful so I waited in the car and killed time by "watching cars passing by". The entrance gate, to this lovely little wildflower sanctuary, is situated right along the busy main R315 road between the coastal town of Yzerfontein and Darling, the wild flower mecca of the Western Cape. That's when I noticed this Bokmakierie. It was relatively close to my car, perched on a fence post with a worm in its beak. Next moment it disappeared into the grass and a short while later it resurfaced and vanished into the distance. Soon I realised it was busy feeding its young and every time it came back with a snack it first perched on the fence post to make sure all is clear before entering the nest. It was so ironic as I unsuccessfully chased after this shy bird for so many times, during our Cape trip, and eventually, after I gave up hope, here it came "too me" and provided me with the most generous opportunity to get some clear shots.
KINGDOM: Animalia (animals)
PHYLUM: Chordata (animals with a shared body plan having at some stage in their lives: a notochord, a dorsal neural cord, pharyngeal slits, & a post anal tail)
SUBPHYLUM: Vertebrata (fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, & mammals)
CLASS: Aves (birds)
ORDER: Passeriformes (the perching birds)
FAMILY: Malaconotidae (bushshrikes: small to medium-sized passerines closely related to the true shrikes)
Length: 22-23cm - sexes are similar in plumage, but the males are bigger than the females.
The bright lemon-yellow underparts and broad, black breast band are diagnostic. The vivid yellow tip to the dark green tail is conspicuous in flight. The strong bill has a hooked upper mandible.The juvenile lacks the breast band of the adult and is greyish green below.
Near endemic to southern Africa, it occurs across South Africa excluding much of the Limpopo Province, extending into southern and western Namibia and south-western Angola. It also has an isolated population around the Chimanimani Mountain along the Zimbabwe/Mozambique border.
It occupies a variety of habitats, however it prefers open areas with scattered shrubs and trees, such as dune scrub, succulent Karoo, renosterveld, Protea scrub, open bushveld, alien tree plantations, bushclump grassveld, orchards, vineyards, gardens, parks and bushy, rock-strewn hillsides.
Unlike the true shrikes, which perch conspicuously in the open, the Bokmakierie is shy and skulking.
An opportunistic feeder, it mainly eats insects but may also feed on lizards, snakes, birds and fruit. It catches most of its prey on the ground, rapidly pursuing before stunning and eating them. It also gleans insects from leaves and branches and occasionally hawks prey aerially.
Both sexes construct the nest, which is a cup made of small twigs, leaves, roots, tendrils, grass and bark, sometimes incorporating man-made materials such as twine, paper and cardboard. It is usually placed in a dense shrub, concealed by thick vegetation. Egg-laying season is year-round, peaking during August. It lays 2-5 eggs, which are mainly incubated by the male in the day and the female at night, for a period of about 14-19 days. The young are brooded and fed by both adults, leaving the nest after about 15-21 days. The parents still tolerate their presence into the next breeding season, at which point they become independent.
The call of the Bokmakierie is a delight to hear. The paired birds almost invariably call in duet and have quite an extensive repertoire. It has a range of loud whistles and calls, but the most typical is the one that gives this species its name, bok-bok-mak-kik.
Not threatened, as in fact it is a locally common resident. Least concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.
Source: "The Larger Illustrated Guide to Birds of Southern Africa" by Ian Sinclair & Phil Hockey, published by Struik Publishers, with additional information found here.
Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop CS2.
JoydebChaudhury, Miss_Piggy, Hotelcalifornia, samiran88, aruntp, ramthakur, josediogo1958, AKBAR-ALI-ASIF has marked this note useful
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An outstanding capture,remarkable sharp details and clarity,beautiful colours scheme and its luminosity.An inspiring capture for me.
How great so see a posting from you, all of us were missing you on the site. It was way too long since you spoiled us with your great images.
A stunning image as usual from your hand and your lens, technically excellent. In my eyes a definite PPPP. Pretty, Pleasant, Perfect picture and Pose, for sure a master at work.
The shot of the Bokmakierie is really stunning. The perching position is very elegant. The clarity is beyond doubt. Well detailed from tail to head. Excellent background to make this bird really stands out. Brilliant composition, I really love it.
Thanks for your most informative note.
Love you lots.
Ciao Loot, great capture of lovely bird on beautidul blurry BG, wonderful matural colors, splendid sharpness and fine details, lovely very well done, my friend, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio
Beautiful picture of this bird.Nice to see great BG.Very nice colour all over.
Thanks for sharing,
Regards and have a nice day,
Hello Mr. Loot.
Wellcome back after a long interval with an extraoridinary and outstanding bird picture.
I like in this picture is Colour of the subject and with the BG colour.
the chosen Light is also superb.
I am also echoing with Anna "Pretty, Pleasant, Perfect picture and Pose,"
overall it is really a plesant picture for me.
with warm regards,
- [2013-09-07 23:33]
really beautiful species of bird. beautiful lighting on the species. nice background. tfs.
- [2013-09-08 0:16]
That's a long, long time ago you posted here one of your masterpieces. And this is another one. Great in all aspects. The matching background is gorgeous.
Swaagat! Khushaamdeed! Welcome!
Loot, you have taken years to come back. What a pleasant surprise to see your picture here on TN!
It brings back memories of the bygone era when this site was perhaps the best in the cyber-world. I keep on harping on it time and again, perhaps to the intense irritation of those who were not there then.
Your picture of a Bokmakierie is a stunner in all respects and a joy to behold.
I also enjoyed reading your story in the note.
Thanks for obliging this site and its scanty denizens with your priceless picture.
Interesting bird and GREAT photo! The pose, the composition and the sharpness are excellent.
Wonderfull pic with these yellow in yellow colours and a great sharpness too.
congratulation for this work
Miss You my Friend.For the pics and for the notes.Do not complain about the knees.This photo is perfect.Colours,light,BG,compo,details...
I do photograph a lot from the car.
Enjoy the days and thank You.
What a splendid shot! Razor sharp details on this beautiful bird. A very artistic kind of BG too. I loved this shot. Thank you for sharing,
- [2013-09-12 1:17]
some may say the WB is not perfect, but the warm light. together with the perfectly assorted bg color gives a great picture here
Lovely bird on beautiful BG with splendid sharpness.
Very well done, my friend, have a nice weekend