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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

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Laughing Kookaburra

Laughing Kookaburra (Image ID 43429)
Photographed byJim Schultz on Sun 15th Nov, 2020 and uploaded on Tue 17th Nov, 2020 .
Resolution1800x1400
Viewed554
ID43429
CommentThis Laughing Kookaburra has caught what I think is a Buchanan’s Snake-eyed Skink, a common, small skink endemic to Western Australia. The kookaburra is in the process of ‘I’ll slap-you-till-you’re-dead-so-I-can-eat-you’ process during which the bird will slap the skink against the perch repetitiously and chew it over often, as here, tossing the prey slightly up the air, bill open, only to grab it again in a different spot. This all serves to break up the prey and make it tender, like a chef would go over a schnitzel with a meat tenderizer. Interestingly, during this process of vigour, the kookaburra’s nictitating membrane will be employed as needed to avoid damage to the eye of the bird. This membrane can be seen partly exposed in this image.
EquipmentNikon D850 Nikkor AF-S 500mm f4G ED VR Technique: Camera rig support: Gitzo GT3543XLS Tripod, Dietmar Nill gimbal tripod head; standing upright partly obscured by a tall shrub Exposure Mode: MANUAL 1/640 sec at f5.6; ISO-500. Metering Mode: Center-Weighted; Focus Mode: AF-C Low & AF Area Mode: Dynamic, 9 points. VR: Off Nikon ViewNX-i for viewing and selecting files; Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw/CC 2020 for resizing and cropping to 147%, selective sharpening and general post-processing; Topaz Pro plug-in DeNoise for mild blanket sharpening and moderate noise control. ‘Australian Bird Guide 2019’ for distribution, data and colour checks
LocationBibra Lake (GPS), Western Australia
Keywordsfeeding/with prey, adult
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