Sitting on prominent perches, flitting across the road flashing it’s colours, and even tumbling across the sky, the Lilac Breasted Roller likes to be noticed. It really doesn’t need to try so hard with it’s stunning bright colours of turquoise, blue, pink, yellow, tan and green.
While bumping down the road in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, I noticed a roller perched at the end of a branch and it was just about to enjoy it’s lunch. A brightly coloured dragonfly with yellows and purples was being held in the roller’s beak.
As we slowed down to get alongside without startling the bird, the roller started toying with it’s prey, tossing the dragonfly into the air and catching it again.
The bird only did it a couple of times, so I was glad I caught the action before the beautiful dragonfly was crunched and swallowed.
I made this photo with my Canon 6D and the 400mm f/5.6 lens at ISO1000, 1/4000 of a second. I used a very high ISO because I needed a super-fast shutter speed to catch this precise moment.
Because of the brightness of the sky, I increased my exposure compensation to +1/3 to make sure there was enough light on the bird to retain all it’s detail. I don’t usually worry about blowing out the sky in this kind of situation. It’s more important to have a well exposed main subject. Still, I had just enough colour in the sky to bring some of it back in post-processing.
Thank you for this image. Perfect mood up-lifter for a gloomy winter day in Almaty- Kazakhstan. My wife tells me we have these birds in Bulgaria ( home-originally) but I have not seen them. Will look for them this Summer! Funny how the bird has been playing with lunch. Cats do the same ( with birds sometimes…)
Matea Michelangeli says
Perfect timing!! great photograph!
Harvey Spears says
Really nice shot!
Great shot, Anne! I love your website and your story. You are very brave and very inspiring.
Perfect timing. Really wonderful shot!
Rex Lucas says
This is truly a great picture. The day that I can capture one of these then I will say that I have truly arrived. I have been chasing a humming bird for some time now without much success. I really love this moment.
John Schlichte says
Thanks for sharing the fantastic Lilac Breasted Roller and Dragonfly photo along with details regarding how the photo was taken and processed. May every day in your new life adventure bring special moments to capture and cherish.
I consider myself an advanced amateur nature photographer, currently using a Canon PowerShot SX40 Series camera. Some of my photos can be seen at http://www.JESProductions.net Again, thanks for sharing and best of luck with your future photo adventures. – John Schlichte
Leslie Hughes Bradford says
This is a spectacular shot! I love the colors, the action, the timing! I am Wow’d and wanted to say “WELL DONE – BEAUTIFUL!” Sending Much Peace, ~Leslie
Mary @ Green Global Travel says
Amazing timing. That is one of the prettiest little birds I’ve ever seen!
Julie Root says
Doug Worrall says
Anne, another great work image with two animals
Nancy de Flon says
What an amazing capture, Anne! You are such an inspiration.
Laurie MacBride says
Fabulous image! Well done! Very impressed with your quick thinking & response in this situation.