World's Smallest Raptor - Pied Falconets Part 1


Frogfish

Link Posted 09/07/2012 - 18:49
Well almost. I was shooting some Pied Falconet's last weekend in Wuyuan, China. Here's some excerpts on the birds :-
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The average size of the smallest falcons is about 15 cm (6 in.), and weigh 35 g (1.23 oz.). There are about 10 or so very small falcons, found in different regions and habitats across the world. The smallest are the Black-thighed Falconet (Microhierax fringillarius) found throughout Southeast Asia, and the White-fronted Falconet (Microhierax latifrons) on the island of Borneo.

Other species of the Falconet genus Microhierax include the Collared Falconet (Microhierax caerulescens), the Philippine Falconet, Microhierax erythrogenys) and the Pied Falconet (Microhierax melanoleucus).

The Spot-winged Falconet (Spiziapteryx circumcincta) is found in south america.

Another group of small falcons are the Pygmy falcons belonging to the genus Polihierax which includes the african Pygmy-falcon (Polihierax semitorquatus) the White-rumped Falcon or White-rumped Pygmy-falcon (Polihierax insignis).

By comparison the smallest falcon in North America is the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) which is 20-28cm (8-11 in) in length and weighs over three times as much as of most of these small falconets.

The adult Pied Falconets feed mostly on insects, but also on small birds up to x3 larger than themselves e.g. thrushes, and also small ground mammals and reptiles. Insects and birds are taken in flight.

Adult Pied Falconets (aka Pied Pygmy Falcon, White-legged Falconet) are variously given from different internet sources as averaging 16-18cms (6 -7 ins).
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From watching these birds for about 10 hours over 4 days (not one shot until after 7.5 hours) I can say their hunting success rate is around 90% ! Their prey rarely escapes capture. Which during these 4 days comprised of dragonflies, butterflies and another couple saw them also take a small bird.

Seen in some of these shots are a parent and fledgling and the parent twice called the fledgling in to share the prey (a dragonfly and a butterfly).

Hope you enjoy these ! All taken with a Pentax K5, DA*300 and AFA x1.7 TC.

Fledgling



Into Action !



Gargoyle



Bigger than a dragonfly - just



Going Home



What Did You Say ?



Sleep Guru



No, Not Even A Wing !



Fast Landing



Fantail



You'll Eat Your Dragonfly and Like It !



Angel of Mercy



One Handed



That's My Girl !


http://frogfish.smugmug.com/ Pentax. Pentax DA*300/4, Cosina 55/1.2, Lens Baby Composer Pro & Edge 80, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.
Nikon. D800. D600. Sigma 500/4.5, Nikon 300/2.8 VRII, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 35/2.0, Sigma 50/1.4, Nikkor 85/1.8, Nikon TC20EIII, Nikon TC14EII, Kenko x1.4, Sigma 2.0

womble

Link Posted 09/07/2012 - 18:52
Some lovely shots there. K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

matwhittington

Link Posted 09/07/2012 - 19:00
Gosh what wonderful looking birds - and well captured as well. Nice set. Thanks for the info too
Mat W

My Flickr: link

bassman

Link Posted 09/07/2012 - 19:04
Great shots Kevin

Jumbo48

Link Posted 09/07/2012 - 19:47
What a great set of photos of such beautiful birds. Thank you for sharing the pictures an the info about them as well.
Regards John/Jumbo

snappychappy

Link Posted 09/07/2012 - 20:05
Beautiful set of images there, and what a remarkable bird.
My piccies.

davidstorm

Link Posted 09/07/2012 - 20:09
Great shots, especially 'one handed'. I've toyed with the idea of getting a Pentax 1.7 AF Adapter and dismissed it in favour of a Sigma 50-500. I would be interested to know Kevin your views on the AF 1.7 Adaptor and which lenses it is most suitable for. I guess high quality primes are the only sensible partners.

Regards
David
Flickr

Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

wvbarnes

Link Posted 09/07/2012 - 20:10
Wonderful. I read somewhere Pentax were talking about selling a teleconverter again. I assume the one in use is as rare as these birds!

petrochemist

Link Posted 09/07/2012 - 23:00
Great shots, well worth the patience it took to get them!

Looking forward to part 2.
Mike
.
Pentax:K5ii, K7, K100D, DA18-55, DA10-17, DA55-300, DA50-200, F100-300, F50, DA35 AL, 4* M50, 2* M135, Helicoid extension, Tak 300 f4 (& 6 film bodies)
3rd Party: Bigmos (Sigma 150-500mm OS HSM),2* 28mm, 100mm macro, 28-200 zoom, 35-80 zoom, 80-200 zoom, 80-210 zoom, 300mm M42, 600 mirror, 1000-4000 scope, 50mm M42, enlarger lenses, Sony & micro 4/3 cameras with various PK mounts, Zenit E...
Far to many tele-converters, adapters, project parts & extension tubes etc.

.[size=11:].FlickrWPFPanoramio

Frogfish

Link Posted 10/07/2012 - 08:34
Thank you all very much for the kind comments Kris, Mat, Bassman, John, Snappy, Bill and Mike (big sigh of relief after 7.5 hours when they eventually came close enough to get decent shots - they were usually around 100+yds away in other tall trees) !
http://frogfish.smugmug.com/ Pentax. Pentax DA*300/4, Cosina 55/1.2, Lens Baby Composer Pro & Edge 80, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.
Nikon. D800. D600. Sigma 500/4.5, Nikon 300/2.8 VRII, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 35/2.0, Sigma 50/1.4, Nikkor 85/1.8, Nikon TC20EIII, Nikon TC14EII, Kenko x1.4, Sigma 2.0

tyronet2000

Link Posted 10/07/2012 - 08:41
Super photographs. Thanks for sharing and giving the additional information too.
Regards
Stan

PPG

Frogfish

Link Posted 10/07/2012 - 08:47
davidstorm wrote:
Great shots, especially 'one handed'. I've toyed with the idea of getting a Pentax 1.7 AF Adapter and dismissed it in favour of a Sigma 50-500. I would be interested to know Kevin your views on the AF 1.7 Adaptor and which lenses it is most suitable for. I guess high quality primes are the only sensible partners.

Regards
David

Thank you David !

The DA*300 is an excellent partner for the AFA x1.7. However AF can be a bit frustrating if you don't have good contrast, sometimes even having to move focus off the ideal spot to get a focus confirmation and then recompose, this, as you can imagine, occasionally leads to lost shots. Actually it's not bad for BIF due to the low focus throw if focus is missed the first (or second or third) time around (whilst MF is set on the lens of course).

The other downside is that if in those situations (of low contrast in the high canopy or dark bushes) you can not switch to fully manual as the AFA has it's own mini-motor that you can not switch off, so great for adding a degree of AF to MF lenses but not always desirable !

I did find it wasn't a great match for the Tokina 300/2.8 MF lens so that lens will be sold next week as IMHO 400-500mm is the minimum requirement for most bird shots (ignoring most small passerines, garden birds or if you are in a hide).

You need a relatively fast, bright and sharp prime to get the best out of the AFA x1.7. which wide open (f6.7) is very usable but is better still at f8.
http://frogfish.smugmug.com/ Pentax. Pentax DA*300/4, Cosina 55/1.2, Lens Baby Composer Pro & Edge 80, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.
Nikon. D800. D600. Sigma 500/4.5, Nikon 300/2.8 VRII, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 35/2.0, Sigma 50/1.4, Nikkor 85/1.8, Nikon TC20EIII, Nikon TC14EII, Kenko x1.4, Sigma 2.0

Frogfish

Link Posted 10/07/2012 - 08:49
wvbarnes wrote:
Wonderful. I read somewhere Pentax were talking about selling a teleconverter again. I assume the one in use is as rare as these birds!

It comes up now and again Bill. Just set up a watch on EBay or several forums and you'll get one. Alternatively you can buy one new from Japan (use a trans-shipper who you have it sent to in Japan and they'll ship it on to you for a very small fee - they have English websites). I've seen it on Japanese Amazon and Ebay.
http://frogfish.smugmug.com/ Pentax. Pentax DA*300/4, Cosina 55/1.2, Lens Baby Composer Pro & Edge 80, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.
Nikon. D800. D600. Sigma 500/4.5, Nikon 300/2.8 VRII, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 35/2.0, Sigma 50/1.4, Nikkor 85/1.8, Nikon TC20EIII, Nikon TC14EII, Kenko x1.4, Sigma 2.0

beachboy2

Link Posted 10/07/2012 - 09:01
Great set. thanks for showing
cheers
bb2

K5, K20D, Bigma, Sigma EX 105, Sigma EX 10-20, Sigma EX 28-70 F2.8, Sigma Ex 1.4TC,
Pentax 135 F3.5, Pentax 30mm F2.8 , Pentax 50mm F1.7, Pentax 55mm F1.8,
Super Taks: 35mm F3.5, 50mm F1.4, 135mm F3.5, 200mm F4
Vivitar TX 200mm F3.5,Vivitar (Komine)135mm f2.8, Vivitar 2X TC, Vivitar T4 400mm F6.3
Tamron SP 35-80,80-210 F3.8, Helios 44M, Mir 1B 37mm F2.8, Jupiter 9 85mm F2, Chinon 28mm F2.8, 3M-5A 500mm F8 etc etc

annieogg

Link Posted 10/07/2012 - 09:42
WOW cracking set, what brillent looking birds my fave shot is second from last one. Thanks for the info too hadn't realised there was such a small falcon.
All roads roam to Leeds
linklink

Pentax K-5 18-55mm Tamron 70-300mm
Pentax 35mm
a few filters Manfrotto tripod and monopod Silk tripod and a bumbling approach on how to use them
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