Gang Gang Cockatoos + Making Of

May 3, 2013

I don’t even know why, but Gang Gang Cockatoos (Callocephalon fimbriatum) have been my favorite birds for years. When i moved to Australia, I hoped to be able to photograph these striking little cockatoos, but it took almost three years until it finally happened yesterday!

Gang Gang Cockatoos are similar in size to Galahs and have a bit more of a compact build. Their call is very distinctive an unmistakable. They usually live in higher altitudes and can mostly be seen in tree tops. Every autumn small flocks of Gang Gang Cockatoos (Callocephalon fimbriatum) migrate to the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. They are looking for Hawthorn berries, which are very abundant in some local parks.

Until yesterday I never had any luck finding Gang Gang Cockatoos feeding in bushes that were low enough for taking pictures. That changed when I got a message from my friend Chris, who told me about a new spot. Since the weather was nice and since I had some spare time, I jumped in my car and drove there. At first I didn’t hear or see any Gang Gangs, but just before I was about to leave I heard a bird calling. I followed the call and found four birds feeding in a quite low bush! I went back to the car as fast as I could to get my camera. When I returned the birds were still there and allowed a very close approach. In fact they didn’t really care about me at all. They were completely focused on the berries.

While photographing it got quite dark and during the initial excitement, I forgot to take my flash. So I decided to chuck my whole rig into the bushes and ran 400m back to the car to get the flash. Luckily when I came back the birds and the camera were still there!

Below are a few images I took and the making of. You can see how I used the near by hill to gain a better angle, which enabled me to use the nice green grass as my background.

Notice that I was basically shooting right into the sun?

Wondering why?

The answer is simple, since my background and subject were in shade, the sun angle almost didn’t matter and I am happy to ignore it in favor of a better perspective and background.

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One Response to “Gang Gang Cockatoos + Making Of”

  1. […] Seit jeher sind Helmkakadus (Callocephalon fimbriatum) meine Lieblingsvögel. In Zoos und bei privaten Haltern sind sie sehr selten und so war es mir nur einige Male vergönnt diese tollen Kakadus live zu sehen. Als ich vor einigen Jahren nach Australien ausgewandert bin, hoffte ich natürlich es zu schaffen freilebende Helmkakadus zu sehen und vor allem zu fotografieren. Es sollte jedoch 3 Jahre dauern, bis mir das endlich gelang. Gestern nachmittag bekam ich eine SMS von einem Freund, der mir eine neue Stelle nannte, an der die Kakadus manchmal fressen. Da das Wetter schön war, entschied ich mich schnell dort hin zu fahren. Als ich ankam war kein Helmkakadu weit und breit zu sehen. Nach gut einer Stunde hörte ich jedoch den unverkennbaren Ruf eines Helmkakadus und folgte diesem. Kurze Zeit später fand ich 4 Helmkakadus in einem Weißdornbusch! Es war ein Pärchen mit zwei Jungvögeln. […]

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