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Oilbird | by Judd Patterson
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Oilbird

Oilbirds are really quite amazing. For starters, they are the worlds only nocturnal, fruit-eating bird. The young are well fed on oily palm fruits, and they actually grow heavier than the adults. At one time the chicks were actually harvested for their oil...providing the bird with its common name. The adults have a three foot wing span, which was much larger than I expected.

 

Continuing a trend of fairly extreme exposures from Trinidad...

 

This is a rare natural light photograph of a roosting Oilbird. I was lucky to find a bird not too far from the entrance to its cave, so a tiny bit of natural light was trickling in. I focused carefully and did a 1.3 second exposure at ISO 3200. Thankfully the Oilbird stayed very still!

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Uploaded on March 13, 2010