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Sunbittern Wing Stretch | by Jeff Dyck
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Sunbittern Wing Stretch

While we were near the lodge doing some macro photography, one of the guides spotted this Sunbittern wading across the river. I have seen many images of the Sunbittern's gorgeous hidden wing-spots and it is bird I have wanted to photograph, so I quickly ran back to my room and grabbed my big lens then made my down to a spot on the opposite bank. We watched the bird for some time as he preened on the rocks then, much to our delight, did a couple wing stretches revealing some of the usually-hidden wing feathers.


The lighting for this shot was strange - it is mid-afternoon, but a storm front is rolling through, so while the sun is lighting the scene from behind and to the right (not ideal!), it is diffused and somewhat flattened. About 10 minutes after this shot was taken we found ourselves running back to the lodge for some cover in a true torrential downpour.


Now - unfortunately, the bird chose to do his stretching right in front of large branch hung up in the rocks, so I chose to clone out the distracting branch in Photoshop. In the interest of full disclosure, the original image is posted below...

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Taken on February 22, 2013