Photographer's Note

Bird of Paradise Story

© zahoorsalmi - If you are interested in using this image_ please contact zahoorsalmi. Please do not use without permission

I live in a small to town of Pakistan and passionate of bird watching since my childhood. To purse my passion I started bird photography and travelled far away places to find the birds. One day I was visiting a site in Salt-Range North West of Punjab to search birds and due to my keen interest and sharp sight I spotted an amazing bird at a far distance with a long tail. I took some shots but the quality of photos was not good as the bird was far away but then I decided to capture detailed photos of this bird of paradise. I visited the same location next day but could not find it not even days after. Then again I visited after a month but failed to locate the bird and even after six month and so I could not find it.

After considering the last date when I first saw the bird, I went to the location a month earlier next year and found they have already breed and young ones were along with their parents. I took some shots but was not satisfied with the result. At that moment I decided to come back next year in the same season but three months earlier from that date. Finally for the third year I saw them building the nest and took some shots. Bothe male and female had a very good relation and they were very quick in building the nest. I decided to stay in the field to capture the breeding shots. It was a garden and the nests were three to five feet above the ground. I picked a good location and fixed my camera there.

One day I was coming out of the garden and closely observed a nest along the way. There was one egg in the nest and unfortunately the female was close by and saw me peeking into her nest. I observed the nest for a day and the next day but the female was not sitting in the nest and left it. I realized I made a grave mistake and was feeling very bad. I started thinking how to resolve the situation and picked the egg from the nest. I brought the egg to the main nest which I was observing before with my camera and carefully placed it beside the three eggs already in it when the parent birds were away. I thought the problem was solved but created even a bigger problem without realizing.

I was in the garden for more than a week and started understanding the attitude of birds. I saw when the female returned and observed the eggs, it started screaming very loudly and flew to the male sitting close by. I clearly observed the female was complaining to the male that the extra egg is not hers. The male flew to the nest and observed but was not upset. I felt the female blamed the male for another relation and was continuously screaming in anger by open wings and stopped sitting on the eggs. Before this situation the male and female were sitting on the eggs alternately. Afterwards only the male started sitting on the eggs but the female was arguing for this action as well but did not leave the male. She was always angry and was constantly flying from one branch to the other close to the male.

For two weeks the male was sitting on the eggs but the female never stopped complaining. The male was determined and performed the duty and finally the eggs were hatched. I was very happy to observe all four chicks and was relieved. However this was not a happy ending for the male. Even at this point the female was complaining and did not feed the chicks. All the feeding for two weeks was carried out by the male. I was glad to see all the chicks were healthy and they were trying to get the feed first every time. I was observing all this very closely for one and a half month and became part of their habitat. Even sometimes the female while screaming sat on my camera lens.

Ultimately, one morning I saw the four young ones were sitting outside of the nest. In the afternoon they were sitting on the branches and finally in the evening they were able to jump from one branch to the other. Even after words until the four were able to catch the prey, the male was feeding them. Though the female never feed the young ones it stayed close to the male and the relationship did not break and finally she started sitting along the male. This complete documentary took two months and I was very satisfied for my time and effort. This was nature’s true and amazing experience for me.

Reply to the first critique
To Klaudio (daddo)

This is not a story from Disneyland and it is very easy to criticize without proof. Please identify your experience or at least a reference to your statement!!!

From now I will answer to your comment with a solid proof and reference. Both male and female take equal responsibility for hatching of eggs and feeding chicks later. I observed this myself and as a proof, have a look at the following shots I took myself.[email protected]/5698879870/in/set-72157619735099632
In this image the female is sitting on the eggs.[email protected]/5743572920/in/set-72157619735099632
This image shows the female feeding the chicks.
As a direct proof have a look at this wiki link showing the female in the nest in second last image on the right side! Also read ecology and behaviour section as well.

Please avoid such ridiculous comments in future!!!

daddo, sdnpicz has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Zahoor Ahmed (zahoor_salmi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 59 W: 0 N: 171] (1053)
  • Genre: People
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2011-05-06
  • Categories: Nature
  • Camera: Canon 40D, 400mm F5.6L
  • Exposure: f/5.6, 1/500 seconds
  • Details: Tripod: Yes
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2013-01-26 9:46
Viewed: 3540
Points: 2
Additional Photos by Zahoor Ahmed (zahoor_salmi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 59 W: 0 N: 171] (1053)
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