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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

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Malleefowl

Malleefowl (Image ID 45377)
Photographed byJim Schultz on Tue 16th Mar, 2021 and uploaded on Thu 18th Mar, 2021 .
Resolution1800x1350
Viewed117
ID45377
CommentImage specific (03.18.21BiL~OL_3160042): It had been a lifetime dream of mine to achieve a photo of a Malleefowl in the wild. Many a time have I driven out in order to look for them, but until March 2021, I had only managed to see this bird species from behind, running or, occasionally, flying away as soon as I stopped my car. This bird from Dryandra Woodlands, however was rather tame and neither ran or flew away, but allowed me to follow with my camera at length, while it was quietly foraging in the woodlands’ leaf litter. I knew the birds were or had been present at Dryandra, as I had seen recently active nest mounds here, albeit decades ago, but the birds themselves always eluded me. In fairness, I believe this bird may have been one of a captive raised pair released back into the wild; it certainly had little fear of me. Also, it was wearing three leg bands, which I removed in Photoshop, because I could, and in order to maintain at least an illusion that untamed and untouched Australia still exists. What looked like the beginning of a nesting mound nearby gave me hope that the birds may again breed and thrive at Dryandra, where regular 1080 baiting controls foxes and where hopefully also feral cats can be kept in check in the future. A further main factor of their occurrence and successful breeding and survival is the period since the habitat last burnt, with areas that have not burnt for more than several decades preferred. Fingers crossed! Time of capture 15:41.
EquipmentEquipment used: Olympus OM-D E-M1X with Olympus 300mm f4 IS Pro ED M.Zuiko lens Camera rig support: Manfrotto Monopod Art 434SSB with Manfrotto Tilt Head Art 234RC; also handheld for some further low angle captures Technique: Stalking the bird slowly through the woodlands Camera settings: Exposure Program/Shooting Mode: ‘Manual’; shutter speed 1/500 sec, f5 & ISO-400. Metering Mode: ‘CenterWeightedAverage’; Focus Mode: ‘C-AF/Manual’ or MANUAL FOCUS and Drive: ‘Sequential shooting (Silent-2frame)’. Image Stabilizer on (S-SIS AUTO) & In-Camera-Sharpness +2. Bird recognition firmware: On or Off, depending on situation Post Processing: FastStone for viewing & sorting, Olympus Workspace for Tif conversion and metadata; Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw/CC 2020 for a slight anti-clockwise rotation, selective work and general post-processing incl. removal of disturbing elements (leg bands inclusive) and heavy ‘taming’ of the background. No blanket sharpening or noise control was undertaken. ‘Australian Bird Guide 2019’ for additional data, distribution confirmation and colour checks.
LocationDryandra Woodlands, Western Australia
Keywordsadult
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