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Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (male) – ‘record shot’ | by tickspics
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Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (male) – ‘record shot’

Private farm near Mindo | Ecuador


Yes, I know this is a rather poor photo to say the least, but it’s a ‘record shot’ of a striking, but bizarre looking, bird that is extremely difficult to see in the wild let alone photograph. I will certainly never see another one again, so I thought I would post the shot for others to enjoy. We had an opportunity to go to a lek early one morning at first light. The lek was just a small area of trees where the males come together to shout at each other and display before dispersing back into the forest. The whole event may only last an hour or so at most, so we were fortunate to have five birds in attendance. Frustratingly they were almost entirely hidden from view most of the time, apart from this particular bird which came out in the open for a couple of minutes. It was in a good position, but without the use of flash (which was not allowed) I could only achieve a 1/10th second at ISO-6400, so I’m surprised to even end up with a ‘record shot’.

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Taken on January 29, 2015