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Old Jul 15, 2012, 1:51 PM   #1
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Default One of the World's Rarest Birds - Courtois' Laughing Thrush

My trip to WuYuan was primarily in search of this bird, Courtois' Laughing Thrush, (and the Pied Falconets - though they are not endangered) armed with information on the exact locations in WuYuan where these very rare birds can be found (this information is not widely available and is just being passed on from birder to birder).

This is a little information on how endangered these birds are :

Even though the available data on courtoisi are still quite limited, enough is known to draw some tentative conclusions as to its status - given the fact that the known birds are now totally in one local population, with 150-160 individuals and in one small area only. In accordance with the latest version of the IUCN Red List Criteria 2000, (17) the subspecies courtoisi certainly qualifies as Endangered (EN), and quite possibly even Critically Endangered (CR), given its presumed population size and the range it actually seems to occupy. For example, of the four breeding sites of this taxon which have been located, none is larger than 10 ha in total size, which shows how phenomenally circumscribed the breeding territory of this relict subspecies has become.

The results of our exhaustive field searches reveal that the first, and for a long time also the only, record of Courtois's Laughingthrush, though nearly a century old, is by no means an incidental one. There has evidently long been a very small, remnant population of the bird tenaciously surviving in Wuyuan - and only Wuyuan.

In the last 10 years, the local authorities and government in Wuyuan County have been making constant efforts in conservation, including the delimiting of so-called Mini-Protected Areas (MPAs), with ranges varying from a few hectares to hundreds of hectares or even more. When field studies on courtoisi were initiated, more than 180 MPAs had already been established, which cover a remarkable portion of the territory of Wuyuan and should bode well for the future of the birds.

I hope you enjoy these shots at least part as much as I did taking them !

Two for Joy

And Baby Makes Three


Fatty Bum Bum

Rainbow (sorry not great IQ but it amused me so I hope you enjoy it too) !

The Eyes Have It

Don't Bug Me !
Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 3:06 PM   #2
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Must of been an amazing encounter.. Thanx for sharing your once in a lifetime experience..
http://www.flickr.com/people/danedawg/ ...K-3x2,Tamron 90mm,Sigma 10-20mm,Tamron 17-50mm,Tamron 28-75mm,Sigma 70-200mm,Sigma 500mm/4.5 ,Da* 300mm,Metz 50af1, Metz 52af1,YN 560iix2..
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 5:52 PM   #3
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The heck with the IQ. The wet chick is a crack up!
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 7:58 PM   #4
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Beautiful photo's...K-5 and DA 300 ? Sounds like an exciting trip to the isolated area to capture (through photography) these very rare and beautiful birds.

I'm sure you had difficulty containing your excitement when you saw this lifetime bird.

I also enjoyed seeing pics of the Falconet. I'm only familiar with birds in Western Canada and the northwestern areas of the USA...so birds such as the Thrush and Falconet are a treat.
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Old Jul 16, 2012, 7:35 AM   #5
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Fantastic series Kevin

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Old Jul 16, 2012, 9:33 AM   #6
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Very nicely done series Kevin, The wet chick is fun to see


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Old Jul 16, 2012, 7:33 PM   #7
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Very nice. You must have been thrilled to see them.

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Old Jul 16, 2012, 8:25 PM   #8
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Congratulations on your find. Your perseverance paid off and you found what you were looking for.
You also captured some very nice images.
A very successful trip I would say.
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Old Jul 16, 2012, 9:06 PM   #9
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One of the world's rarest birds nicely documented - good work!
If life brings you lemons, you can make lemonade.
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Old Jul 16, 2012, 11:05 PM   #10
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Great series! A true thrill to see a bird so rare. And, a fun series, too.

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