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Old Oct 28, 2010, 5:52 AM   #1
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Default [pics] Gang-gang Cockatoos juvenile male & female

I was sitting in my car at some traffic lights on a relatively busy highway one sunny Saturday afternoon when I spotted a couple of birds in a Cotoneaster tree. I couldnít quite tell what they were at first, then I caught a glimpse of the magnificent scarlet coloured head feathers of one of the males. My heart instantly began racing, as these birds were basically at eye level not 10 metres away from the highway, seemingly oblivious to the noisy traffic nearby Ė the perfect opportunity to get some photoís of one of my favourite Australian birds. But.. I didnít have my camera gear! I was about 10 minutes from my house, but the drive home felt like an eternity. When I finally got home I raced inside, grabbed my gear & tore out of the driveway back to the spot, hoping, praying, that by some miracle the cockatoos would still be there. You can imagine my sheer joy when I pulled up in a side street & found the Gang-gang Cockatoos still happily gorging on the little red berries. And not just a couple of cockatoos, at least a dozen of them!

I spent the next two hours quietly observing & photographing these beautiful birds. They barely lifted an eye to my presence as they fed on the Cotoneaster berries, allowing me to get quite close. I was very cautious not to get too close however, I didnít want to do anything to cause them to become alarmed. I counted 14 cockatoos in the flock, although Iím not sure that was all of them as they were stretched out over a patch of trees spanning about 15 metres & were constantly moving about hunting the next bunch of berries to feast on.

The flock was made up of a mixture of mature & immature birds. The immature males had begun to transition into their adult plumage, with patches of scarlet red feathers appearing throughout their head & filamentous crest, as illustrated in this photograph.

Olympus E620
Zuiko 70-300mm lens

http://pixelatedempire.com/2010/10/g...ng-cockatoo-2/





Pictured here is a female Gang-gang systematically chewing the seeds out of every berry in the bunch it is grasping. The birds would break a bunch of the fruits off the tree at a time, & after each berry was stripped of its seeds, the cockatoos would move onto the next bunch.

Olympus E620
Zuiko 70-300mm lens

http://pixelatedempire.com/2010/10/g...ng-cockatoo-3/



Cheers
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 6:38 AM   #2
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Beautiful, Adam. Did you get any photos of the mature males? I'm familiar with a number of Cockatoos but have never heard of this type.

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Old Oct 28, 2010, 6:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkurkowski View Post
Beautiful, Adam. Did you get any photos of the mature males? I'm familiar with a number of Cockatoos but have never heard of this type.
Indeed I did, I filled an 8GB CF card with images of these birds! Stay tuned
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 7:19 AM   #4
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Hi Adam,

As Ted said, beautiful images. What good fortune to be able to see them, then go back home, get your gear, and finally be able to photograph these birds.

Great shots and thnx for sharing.

Zig
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 7:26 AM   #5
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Great Shots. The birds are way more patient than I to get what little seeds out of those berries...they have great plumage...please post more photos! BTW where are you that you have such beautiful and to me exotic birds?
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 8:20 AM   #6
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Wow, I am glad you spotted those birds, and that they were still there when you returned. Interesting story and beautiful birds. We will be looking forward to some more postings.

Steve R.
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 9:14 AM   #7
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Got some great shots going on there, Adam. The only time I see birds like this are at the zoo or a pet shop.
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 11:15 AM   #8
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Great photos. Thanks for sharing both the photos and the story.

A. C.
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Old Oct 28, 2010, 12:25 PM   #9
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Great shots Adam, nice that they decided to hang around and wait for you.
That 70-300 is working out really good for you, it needs lots of light for hand holding.

The DOF on them both is really good. The first showing the suroundings and the closer one taking out the background.
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Old Oct 29, 2010, 4:40 AM   #10
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Thanks very much all for your comments, very much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalonewolf View Post
BTW where are you that you have such beautiful and to me exotic birds?
Just outside Melbourne, in Victoria, Australia

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Originally Posted by Scouse View Post
That 70-300 is working out really good for you, it needs lots of light for hand holding.
It's a wonderful lens.. I haven't used it much since I got my 50-200 SWD & EC-14, however after sending the SWD in for a repair after a botched firmware update, I've given the 70-300mm another run and I just love it - when the light is good of course!
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