Uwol 27 - On Cue by Marj Atkins at DVinfo.net

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Old October 3rd, 2013, 10:00 AM   #1
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Uwol 27 - On Cue by Marj Atkins

For most birds the timing of their breeding season is critical if they are to maximize the chicks chances of survival. This video looks at a some surprising factors involved in getting this right.

I wish I had had more time to construct this story better. It is very basic and straight forward as it stands now. I chose this subject because I am literally surrounded by birds actively preparing for their breeding season. The dawn chorus is something else – even in suburbia.

I made two day trips during this month and picked up a number of useful shots but I also had my camera to hand all the time so I could make the most of anything going on in my garden.

I set up my still camera to do the germination time lapse but even though I found eggs and caterpillars I literally had no time to set up time lapses for those as well given my work load at the moment. (They need TLC.) Therefore I borrowed six seconds from my ‘Hidden Wonders’ entry (3:12) and three seconds from my ‘By Design’ film (3:37) as proxies. No rain yet so my sprinkler had to suffice. 


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Old October 3rd, 2013, 03:24 PM   #2
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Re: Uwol 27 - On Cue by Marj Atkins

Wow Marj,
Your films are always so informative, & this one is no exception. You have some really great shots there. I especially liked the time-lapse shots. I am off to hopefully film some caribou in the next couple of days, & will watch all the films again when I am back, that way I can better comment on them.
Thanks,
Bryce
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 06:57 PM   #3
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Re: Uwol 27 - On Cue by Marj Atkins

It was a pleasure to be able to watch a whole range of birds from across the world. The star of your show sent me to my South African field guide, where I learned it was a Crested Barbet. He looks like he is a bird with an attitude. You have a much greater variety of breeding birds than we do. Don't you wish that nature would spread out the breeding season a bit, so you could spend more time with some of the nesting pairs, instead of finding them all active at once! Maybe next film you could pick one or two, and include that dawn chorus you mentioned.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 08:19 AM   #4
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Re: Uwol 27 - On Cue by Marj Atkins

Thanks for your encouraging comments Bryce - seems like I can't get away from info. Drives me dilly.

Steve:
Crested Barbets are territorial and defend their territory actively - particularly during the breeding season. The first shot showing the Crested Barbet calling was taken during a lengthy and highly vocal war of words between them and an intruder that made his appearance in their territory. Most of the action took place in the tree so it was difficult to film but they certainly got the message across.

I think it would be quite difficult to follow a single breeding pair from start to finish in a month nevermind two(the eggs of the dove took 17 days to incubate). With limited time one just has to take what one get when it chooses to make an appearance so for good or for bad it was much easier to do a variety. I considered naming the different species but decided that would be too distracting so I’m glad you had the SA field guide. As you probably noticed we have around 900 species of birds here – 31 endemics. (I have counted 42 different species in my garden over time but I have about 20 regulars.) We live in an amazing country.

The pair of Laughing Doves in my story chose a totally daft place to make their nest – in a plant at our main entrance - on the street side where there is a continual busyness of cars going past, of family, visitors and delivery people coming in and out or people dropping stuff into our post box nearby. How they put up with all that human activity I really don’t know. The male sits during the day and the female at night. The shots I got of the eggs and chick were taken during the hand over time at about 5 o’clock each afternoon. The male leaves early and the female really takes her time getting back for the nightshift! The chick was three days old in the final shot. Unfortunately I did not get an opportunity to film them feeding it.

Once again thanks for your comments. I have not watched any of the films yet - will do so at the weekend.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 11:11 AM   #5
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Re: Uwol 27 - On Cue by Marj Atkins

Hello Marj,

I really like your film. And as mentioned, the time lapses were great!
It is facinating to se species we don't have here, and learning new things. And your stories teach me something new everytime.
Well done!
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Old October 4th, 2013, 11:50 PM   #6
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Re: Uwol 27 - On Cue by Marj Atkins

Hi Marj,
Well I came back from the mountains early, so had an opportunity to watch the films again. I still can't get over the diversity of species you have there! Interestingly, it looks like you have one I see here regularly, the red breasted nuthatch, or is that something else? I loved your voiceover, you really do a great job on the quality of it. Also your judicious use of music is lovely, allowing the natural sounds you have captured to really shine.
I know what you're saying with information & trying to find a good balance between telling a story, & letting your film help tell your story. No overload here though, I thought there was a good balance & I found it all very interesting.
Regards,
Bryce
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Old October 5th, 2013, 10:33 AM   #7
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Re: Uwol 27 - On Cue by Marj Atkins

Hi Marj,

I can only agree with my fellow commenters - I learn something new every time I watch one of your films!

Very well put together, and it works well as a short. The time-lapse sequences add a lot of value, as do the ´into the nest¨shots.

Thanks!
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Old October 5th, 2013, 11:12 PM   #8
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Re: Uwol 27 - On Cue by Marj Atkins

Hi Marj. Not much I can add. You do have a way of making thing interesting and educational all at the same time. Yes sometimes it makes a person wonder where some birds will choose to nest alright.

Gordon
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Old October 7th, 2013, 03:24 AM   #9
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Re: Uwol 27 - On Cue by Marj Atkins

Thank you all for taking time to comment on my film.

Bryce - I had a look at the Nuthatch on Google and I would say it is generally much smaller than my bird - the Cape Robin-Chat. They certainly have similar colouring. Appreciate your constructive comments on my video.
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Old October 7th, 2013, 10:14 AM   #10
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Re: Uwol 27 - On Cue by Marj Atkins

Marj, I just love it when you give us these great stories of yours.
Editing, sound and VO is all fine - as usual :)
Educating and informative at the same time and thats how I get to know your films.
It's your trademark, I'll say - that is ment in a positive way :)
To me, living in Norway I enjoy very much to watch creatures from other parts of the world.
Thank you for sharing and I wish you all the best.
Geir Inge
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