bird, blue-faced malkoha, Tissa, Sri Lanka

BLUE-FACED MALKOHA: Not as elusive as the red-faced relative, this malkoha dislikes people on the face-to-face level but he does not mind human presence as such. So one does not need to go far outside the village for a photo but better to have the camera ready because this guy will not stay for too long... (Tissa, Sri Lanka)

bird, Malabar pied hornbill, male, female, Yala, Sri Lanka

MALABAR PIED HORNBILL: Photographing hornbills is one of the classic frustrating experiences where no telephoto lens can be long enough until at some point the diffident creatures just land right in front the photographer and give the perfect show... (Yala, Sri Lanka)

bird, blue-tailed bee-eater, Bundala, Sri Lanka

BLUE-TAILED BEE-EATER: Just like the white-throated kingfisher, the blue-tailed bee-eater is very easy to photograph. With the bird sitting for long periods of time on a perch, the photographer can pick the background, the angle, the composition... (Bundala, Sri Lanka)

bird, rose-ringed parakeet, Sri Lanka, Walpita

ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET: Present in the jungles of South-East Asia, as well as in the cities of Europe, this is the easiest to photograph parakeet, always willing to perform some tricks for the photographer,... (Walpita, Sri Lanka)

bird, rose-ringed parakeet, Sri Lanka, Kaudulla

ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET: ...individually, or with a partner. (Kaudulla, Sri Lanka)

bird, small minivet, Habarana, Sri Lanka

SMALL MINIVET: This little guy does not like the camera too much, patience is therefore required. On the other hand, he remains active throughout the day which makes the photographer's life a lot easier. And when he finally calms down, observing his colours is pure pleasure... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, intermediate egret, Habarana, Sri Lanka

INTERMEDIATE EGRET: Two to three degrees in zoology are necessary to navigate the chaos of all the egret species out there. This one looks very much like the intermediate egret in its breeding plumage. But who is a layman photographer to say... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, cattle egret, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

CATTLE EGRET: Not always sitting on the back of a water buffalo, yet the cattle egret appears somehow easier to identify than the rest of the family... (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

bird, gray-bellied cuckoo, Udawalawa, Sri Lanka

GREY-BELLIED CUCKOO:  Cuckoos don't enjoy the presence of a camera very much and females are even more discrete than males. Getting a picture of a female in bright daylight can therefore be only described as pure luck. (Udawalawa, Sri Lanka)

bird, little cuckoo-dove, Fraser's Hill, Malaysia

LITTLE CUCKOO-DOVE: This bird only lives in South East Asia and really likes staying in dense vegetation. So any shoot counts... (Fraser's Hill, Malaysia)

bird, Asian openbill, Yala, Sri Lanka

ASIAN OPENBILL: In terms of taking a picture, this bird is no different to the storks of Europe, displaying the same slow movements and calm behaviour which makes photographing him a very easy task... (Yala, Sri Lanka) 

bird, lesser whistling duck, Udawalawa, Sri Lanka

LESSER WHISTLING DUCK: When photographing ducks, it is worthwhile looking also up into the trees, the ducks do not only come flying or floating... (Udawalawa, Sri Lanka)

bird, spot-billed pelican, Tonle Sap, Cambodia

SPOT-BILLED PELICAN: During the dry season at Tonle Sap in Cambodia the birds gather by the remaining bit of water, giving the photographer an opportunity to select among various compositions, just like with these two spot-billed pelicans flying by. (Tonle Sap, Cambodia)

bird, black kite, Heda, Japan

BLACK KITE: One of the random shots when a curious bird of prey just floats in during a walk along the seaside cliffs ... (Heda, Japan)

bird, white-browed bulbul, Tissa, Sri Lanka

WHITE-BROWED BULBUL: This guy does not look too convincing but he is a formidable singer which makes him relatively easy to trace. One only needs to travel to South-East Asia (Tissa, Sri Lanka)

bird, oriental skylark, Udawalawa, Sri Lanka

JERDON'S BUSHLARK: This bird is best photographed early in the morning not only because of the lovely light but also because he seems notably slow in the morning, just soaking in the warmth, ignoring the camera totally. (Udawalawa, Sri Lanka)

bird, baya weaver, female, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

BAYA WEAVER: The brightly coloured male spends most of his time building the incredible nest and is therefore more difficult to photograph. The female, waiting to inspect the result of the male's effort makes an easier photographic target. (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

bird, Brahminy starling, Bundala, Sri Lanka

BRAHMINY STARLING: A family of these starlings in the distance can be spotted fairly easily but they don't like getting within the range of even very long lenses. One has therefore often to put with a photo of the bird only, not caring too much about the background... (Bundala, Sri Lanka)

bird, Sri Lanka woodshrike, Sri Lanka, Habarana

SRI LANKA WOODSHRIKE: One has to travel to Sri Lanka to see this bird but once there, he is a quiet, happy to be photographed subject, no further complications... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, Asian fairy bluebird, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

ASIAN FAIRY BLUEBIRD: The female, sporting the incredibly iridescent blue feather is visually more attractive than the largely black-feathered male... (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

bird, plain prinia, Udawalawa, Sri Lanka

GREY-BREASTED PRINIA: A classic example where the disoriented photographer takes a random picture of a small bird but does not know how to identify him. Only the intervention of an experienced ornithologist can help... (Udawalawa, Sri Lanka)

bird, plain prinia, Udawalawa, Sri Lanka

PLAIN PRINIA: The identification is not made any easier by the fact that the grey-breasted and the plain prinia look alike and prefer similar type of vegetation. (Udawalawa, Sri Lanka)

bird, brahminy kite, Tissa, Sri Lanka

BRAHMINY KITE: Birds of prey, typically circling high in the sky, are notoriously difficult to identify. Fortunately, in the case of this kite, the contrast between the white head and chest and the dark-coloured wings and tail just cannot be mistaken for any other bird... (Tissa, Sri Lanka)

bird, purple heron, Habarana, Sri Lanka

PURPLE HERON: This bird's habit to quietly wait for his fish in the early mornings makes the photographer's task very easy... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, greater coucal, Habarana, Sri Lanka

GREATER COUCAL: This bird is not uncommon in south-east Asia and locating him does not take too much time. But since he prefers staying in the shrub, too often will there be a twig or branch in front of his face on the photos, making the majority of them candidates for the bin... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, Asian paradise flycatcher, Habarana, Sri Lanka

ASIAN PARADISE FLYCATCHER: The difficulty of photographing this bird is mainly his tail which usually keeps trailing among branches, ruining the composition of the picture. And even with unobstructed view, the length of the tail makes framing the photo quite a task... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, Taiwan barbet, Taipei, Taiwan

TAIWAN BARBET: Sometimes, taking a photo can be difficult not because the bird would not cooperate but because too many photographer's are around due to the bird's cult status. A Taiwan barbet nesting in one of Taipei's city parks represents a classic example. (Taipei, Taiwan)

bird, zebra dove, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

ZEBRA DOVE: Parking lots, junkyards, construction sites and similar are often the best places for bird photography. Photographing birds and landscapes actually have so much in common... (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

bird, black-winged stilt, Yala, Sri Lanka

BLACK-WINGED STILT: A very cooperative bird, not only easy to photograph but also great fun to observe, operating skilfully on his extremely long legs...  (Yala, Sri Lanka)

bird, black-winged stilt, Yala, Sri Lanka

BLACK-WINGED STILT: The juvenile may still look quite different but the legs and other essential features are already present... (Yala, Sri Lanka)

bird, common myna, Hambantota, Sri Lanka

COMMON MYNA: Photographically, this is the Asian counterpart of European starlings, pigeons, crows or any other birds which love urban environment, human presence and attention of the camera... (Hambantota, Sri Lanka)

bird, pheasant-tailed jacana, Habarana, Sri Lanka

PHEASANT-TAILED JACANA: This is a no nonsense bird. Just take your boat onto the lake by sunrise and he will be there, ready to pose for the camera, no questions asked. (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, Malay chicken, Malay rooster, Saigon, Vietnam

MALAY CHICKEN: There is also the entire area of birds being (ab)used by people for other than culinary purposes, such as for example fighting. A useful reminder that even such an innocent activity as birdwatching can entail some ethical troubles... (Saigon, Vietnam)

bird, kentish plover, Bundala, Sri Lanka

KENTISH PLOVER: This guy will not allow anybody to approach, it is therefore necessary to wait until he decides to come closer. Fortunately, he usually moves around in groups and somebody in the group is always curious enough... (Bundala, Sri Lanka)

bird, blue-and-yellow macaw, Kenting, Taiwan

BLUE-AND-YELLOW MACAW: The decision by people that a bird should become their companion entails complex and ambivalent consequences for the species. For the photographer, the task of course becomes rather simple, such as with this specimen in the hotel complex in Taiwan. (Kenting, Taiwan)

bird, little ringed plover, Minneriya, Sri Lanka

LITTLE RINGED PLOVER: The same considerations apply like when photographing the Kentish plover, the advantage being that those two species often share the same location. (Minneriya, Sri Lanka)

bird, orange-headed thrush, Sri Lanka, Habarana

ORANGE-HEADED THRUSH: Unfortunately for photography, thrushes really like dark environments and this bird is no exception. Getting a sharp picture therefore means accepting a fair amount of noise... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

Bird, Indian pond hereon, Tissa, Sri Lanka

INDIAN POND HERON: A wonderfully versatile bird for photography, happy to wait motionlessly for his prey in water... (Tissa, Sri Lanka)

bird, Indian pond heron, Negombo, Sri Lanka

INDIAN POND HERON: ... or above water... (Negombo, Sri Lanka)

bird, Indian pond heron, Sri Lanka, Habarana

INDIAN POND HERON: Once in the air, the heron's white wings can be fully appreciated. Evolutionary probably developed to startle the prey or the predator, they can also surprise the photographer which may miss the shot easily... (Sri Lanka, Habarana)

bird, orange-breasted green pigeon, Udawalawa, Sri Lanka

ORANGE-BREASTED GREEN PIGEON: Even if living in the tropics, this is still a pigeon, easy to photograph. Compared to his European cousins, he just spends more time in upper tree branches... (Udawalawa, Sri Lanka)

bird, orange-breasted green pigeon, Udawalawa, Sri Lanka

ORANGE-BREASTED GREEN PIGEON: The male and the female are different in their colors but not in their  habits. (Udawalawa, Sri Lanka)

bird, grey hornbill, sri lanka

CEYLON GREY-HORNBILL: Even if spectacular visually, this bird's real bravuro are the audio effects. Whoever thinks that a chainsaw sound can only be produced by a chainsaw should meet the grey hornbill in the evening in the Sinharaja jungle... (Sinharaja, Sri Lanka)

bird, indian robin

INDIAN ROBIN: This is a lovely bird and easy to photograph, except that he likes environments which people don't necessarily do, like landfills or rubbish heaps. Wellingtons therefore recommended... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, Indian robin, female, Negombo, Sri Lanka

INDIAN ROBIN: As so often, the female is much more inconspicuous, with no striking colours and an overall subdued appearance. (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, great egret, breeding plumage

GREAT EGRET: This extremely elegant bird is very common and easy to photograph. It makes therefore sense to wait for a somewhat uncommon moment, like when the egret changes into the breeding plumage... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, little cormorant, perching, sri lanka

LITTLE CORMORANT: A photo can also be too good, technically speaking. Cormorants, otherwise easy to photograph, are often covered in a cloud of insect parasites which the camera captures very neatly and in great detail. Should they be kept in the picture...? (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, yellow-billed babbler, sri lanka

YELLOW-EYED BABBLER: Unlike his yellow-billed relative, this bird hates human presence and getting a halfway decent photo of him will require the longest available focal length. (Udawalawa, Sri Lanka)

bird, brown-headed barbet, sri lanka

BROWN-HEADED BARBET: While many other barbet species avoid human presence rather strictly, this one can does not mind visiting gardens or city parks which makes him probably the easiest barbet to photograph. (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, yellow-billed babbler, perching, sri lanka

YELLOW-BILLED BABBLER:When a bird poses for a perfect profile shot, there is no reason to say no, even if the object does not represent the most exotic creature, in Sri Lankan standards. (Tissa, Sri Lanka)

bird, purple swamphen, sri lanka, habarana, lake

PURPLE SWAMPHEN: This birds is really at ease when in the middle of a lake and one therefore gets the best chance to photograph him from a little rowing boat... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, wood sandpiper, Bundala, Sri Lanka

WOOD SANDPIPER: One of those where only an experienced ornithologist can save the clueless photographer who took too many pictures of the common sandpiper, the wood sandpiper, the curlew sandpiper and many other birds looking totally alike... (Bundala, Sri Lanka)

bird, black eagle, Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

BLACK EAGLE: Taking photos in this angle is of course suboptimal, even if oftentimes necessary with birds of prey. Then again, with such an angle, the bird-to-photographer eye contact can be replaced with the one between the photograhper and the prey... (Sinharaja, Sri Lanka)

bird, male, Sri Lanka junglefowl, Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA JUNGLEFOWL: This bird can become quite tame in some of the national parks and photographing him is therefore not difficult. One is only wondering why did the people of Sri Lanka select somebody with such a confused face expression as their national bird... (Sinharaja, Sri Lanka)

bird, female, Sri Lanka junglefowl, Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA JUNGLEFOWL: ...maybe for reasons of gender equality, since the female looks at least as confused as her male counterpart. (Sinharaja, Sri Lanka)

bird, Sri Lanka blue magpie, Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA BLUE MAGPIE: One of the absolute icons of the Sri Lankan avifauna and a very easy object to photograph at the same time. One only needs to have a piece of ripe banana and know where approximately she lives... (Sinharaja, Sri Lanka)

STORK-BILLED KINGFISHER: The most relaxed among all kingfishers and therefore not too difficult to photograph, in technical terms. But it is surprisingly hard to concentrate on handling the camera with this incredible tool of a beak out there... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, black-headed ibis, Dambulla, Sri Lanka

BLACK-HEADED IBIS: Even though this bird is easy to spot in large gatherings on trees, such photos can get rather chaotic with too many ibis necks in the picture. Better to wait until a bird presents himself without his extended family. (Dambulla, Sri Lanka)

bird, dark-fronted babbler, Habarana, Sri Lanka

DARK-FRONTED BABBLER: Just like his relative, the yellow-billed babbler, this bird only lives in South India and Sri Lanka. But he dark-fronted babbler is much less common and not willing to be observed for very long. Any clean photo therefore counts. (Habaran, Sri Lanka)

bird, female, purple-rumped sunbird, Habarana, Sri Lanka

PURPLE-RUMPED SUNBIRD: An exception to the general rule that the smaller the bird the more difficult to take a photo, the female sunbirds appear to like the camera. The males rather like the general rule... (Habarana, Sri Lanka​​​​​​​)

bird, black-rumped flameback, Tissa, Sri Lanka

BLACK-RUMPED FLAMEBACK: Like all woodpeckers, this bird spends most time higher in the canopy. But luckily, once he decides to search for food under the bark, he continues systematically down the tree trunk, eventually arriving at a good angle... (Tissa, Sri Lanka)

bird, white-eye, Habarana, Sri Lanka

WHITE-EYE: The photographer's nightmare. These birds move around in groups, hardly ever spending more than few seconds in one spot, simply because whenever even one of them, for whatever reason, starts feeling uncomfortable they all move on... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, black-hooded oriole, Habarana, Sri Lanka

BLACK-HOODED ORIOLE: Provided he choses to climb a bit lower from his favourite positions up in the trees, getting a good picture of this bird is easy.With his distinctive voice, bright-coloured plumage and very participative attitude, this birds often virtually insists on being photographed... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

VICTORIA CROWNED PIGEON: This bird can now apparently be photographed almost exclusively in captivity, given that his natural habitats are located very far and disappearing quickly. But the colours and shapes remain formidable even in a public park. (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) 

bird, emerald dove, Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

EMERALD DOVE: Nobody has time for pigeons and doves but both families feature some very beautiful birds. One only needs to slow down a bit when turning away the camera... (Sinharaja, Sri Lanka)

bird, white-bellied sea eagle, Tissa, Sri Lanka

WHITE-BELLIED SEA EAGLE: As always when an eagle and his dinner appear out of nowhere, the unprepared frustrated photographer is left with a bunch of blurred pictures, hoping that at least one could be saved in post-processing... (Tissa, Sri Lanka)

bird, wooly-necked stork, Buduruwagala, Sri Lanka

WOOLY-NECKED STORK: It takes a bit of effort to locate these storks but once spotted, photographing them does not require much skill. They often willignly pose for a photo in the middle of a rice paddy, knowing well that the distance to the photographer, even if not long, keeps them perfectly safe... (Buduruwagala, Sri Lanka)

bird, crested hawk eagle, Kaudulla, Sri Lanka

CRESTED HAWK EAGLE: This identification is just a wild guess. Distinguishing between the Crested Hawk Eagle and the Crested Serpent Eagle should be easy, at least theoretically, when observing them in flight. But when they perch, it becomes virtually impossible... (Kaudulla, Sri Lanka)

bird, male, Jerdon's leafbird, Yala, Sri Lanka

JERDON'S LEAFBIRD: Males and females look identical with some birds and totally dissimilar with others. And then there are those with a slight difference between males and females but with both very beautiful and worth photographing, just like the Jerdon's leafbird. Here a male... (Yala, Sri Lanka)

bird, Jerdon's leafbird, female, Habarana, Sri Lanka

JERDON'S LEAFBIRD: ... and here a female. (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, common ostrich, Hualien, Taiwan

COMMON OSTRICH: So many of the anatomical features not visible on smaller birds can be seen very clearly on ostriches. Already this educational aspect makes them a good object for photography, even if only on a farm far outside Africa. (Hualien, Taiwan)

bird, asian brown flycatcher, Habarana, Sri Lanka

ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHER: No extravagant colours, no extravagant behaviour, just classic elegance of a small backyard bird... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, large cuckooshrike, Udawalawa, Sri Lanka

LARGE CUCKOOSHRIKE: This is an easy, cooperative bird who likes the camera. Getting a photo therefore requires only a bit of travelling, as he only lives in South-East Asia, and a bit of luck, as spotting him may turn out to be somewhat difficult because of his masking. (Udawalawa, Sri Lanka)

bird, little green heron, Negombo, Sri Lanka

LITTLE GREEN HERON: As he moves mainly in the thick undergrowth around lakes or by the sea, taking a photo of this fast moving heron is only possible from the water. This means pointing the camera back to the shore and trying to keep a degree of balance on some flimsy boat which is in danger of capsizing any moment...(Negombo, Sri Lanka)

bird, white-rumped munia, Kalawana, Sri Lanka

WHITE-RUMPED MUNIA: Munias, arriving always in smaller groups, like to sit on top of grass blades, swaying in the wind, which makes it almost impossible to take a decent photo. A rare occasion when they are munching on the gras while quietly seated on a coconut therefore calls for a prompt camera action. (Kalawana, Sri Lanka)

bird, tricolored munia, Habarana, Sri Lanka

TRICOLORED MUNIA: Another of the small Asian finches, the tricolored munia behaves in a similar manner to the white-rumped cousin and poses similar photographic challanges. (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, white-bellied drongo, Kalawana, Sri Lanka

WHITE-BELLIED DRONGO: This unpretentious bird is capable of eating huge insects. Since he does not mind being photographed from close distance, the insects can even become too prominent on the photo, ruining the composition. Better to stick to the simple basic pose. (Kalawana, Sri Lanka)

bird, black bulbul, Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

BLACK BULBUL: Even though far less common than the red-vented bulbul, this bird is easy to photograph, especially if the photographer prepares a little feeding station with enough fruits... (Sinharaja, Sri Lanka)

bird, great thick-knee, stone curlew, Bundala, Sri Lanka

GREAT THICK-KNEE: This wader gets active mostly in the evenings which limits the photo opportunities considerably. Fortunately, he does not mind being observed during the day as such. But action photography will not take place during his extremely slow walk along the lake... (Bundala, Sri Lanka)

bird, whiskered tern, Habarana, Sri Lanka

WHISKERED TERN: One of those superb flyers which keep circling around, changing directions constantly and driving the photographer mad. But just when all hopes for a good photo are gone, he decides to calm down and performs his morning hygiene session straight in front of the camera. (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, common tailorbird, Udawalawa, Sri Lanka

COMMON TAILORBIRD: The smaller the bird, the more difficult to take a photo. This rule applies also to the extremely vigilant tailorbird. Except when he takes his morning bath which makes him forget about the possible presence of humans and their cameras... (Udawalawa, Sri Lanka)

bird, oriental magpie-robin, Habarana, Sri Lanka

ORIENTAL MAGPIE-ROBIN: Unassuming and tame, this bird is fun to photograph. Robin in size and magpie in colouring, he knows his photographic qualities and will usually force his way in front of the camera, chasing away any other candidates... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, brown shrike, Habarana, Sri Lanka

BROWN SHRIKE: As any other small bird, the brown shrike is very shy and insists very much on keeping his distance from the photographer. But a good photo opportunity will eventually arise, as these birds are as common in Asia as sparrows in Europe. (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, Indian roller, Udawalawa, Sri Lanka
INDIAN ROLLER: Indian roller is the ideal bird for photography - present everywhere in South-East Asia, active throughout the day, colourful, not shy at all... (Udawalawa, Sri Lanka)
bird, spotted dove, Chiang Mai, Thailand

SPOTTED DOVE: This bird represents the Asian counterpart of the wood-pigeon in Europe, photo opportunities will arise in a number of situations. (Chiang Mai, Thailand)

bird, red-vented bulbul, Indian paradise flycatcher, Yala, Sri Lanka

RED-VENTED BULBUL, INDIAN PARADISE FLYCATCHER: Not really in the village anymore but not quite in the wild either, in this place in the outskirts of Tissa, Sri Lanka, birds are used to people. Many species come here to eat, not being disturbed by binoculars or cameras... (Yala, Sri Lanka)

bird, black swan, Taipei, Taiwan

BLACK SWAN: Even if introduced for decorative purposes to many places, including Europe, these are Australian birds and the numbers in Europe are so small that one typically needs to travel a bit to see them. (Taipei, Taiwan)

bird, yellow-browed bulbul, Sinharaja, Sri Lanka

YELLOW-BROWED BULBUL: This bulbul only lives in Southern India and Sri Lanka so one actually has to make the journey to meet him. Even if easy to locate due to his loud calls, this bird is rather shy and the chances for a good photo radically increase with a little feeding station prepared in the right spot. (Sinharaja, Sri Lanka)

bird, white-throated kingfisher, Habarana, Sri Lanka

WHITE-THROATED KINGFISHER: Among the kingfisher species of Sri Lanka, this one is the easiest to photograph, possessing two important qualities - he is rather common and he likes the camera... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

WHITE-BELLIED SEA EAGLE: Even though this eagle keeps his distance both in the air and on land, he just is so large that a photo of this type can be taken relatively easily... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, spot-billed pelican, Bundala, Sri Lanka

SPOT-BILLED PELICAN: Among the residents of water surfaces in the Bundala national park in Sri Lanka, pelicans may well be the most photogenic ones, with their evil eye always aware of the camera and with the slow flap of the wing allowing also for easy pictures in flight... (Bundala, Sri Lanka)

Painted Stork, Bundala, Sri Lanka

PAINTED STORK: Unlike the pelicans, the painted storks in the Bundala national park don't actively pose for photos. Nonetheless, they operate in huge numbers and in sufficiently close proximity to allow for close-up photos. (Bundala, Sri Lanka)

Crested Serpent Eagle, Sri Lanka

CRESTED SERPENT EAGLE: This bird is just a star among photographers. He loves posing for a picture, always proudly displaying his crest. (Udawalawa, Sri Lanka)

bird, crested serpent eagle, juvenile, Habarana, Sri Lanka

CRESTED SERPENT EAGLE: The juvenile, rather than posing for the camera, seems rather simply confused... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, crested serpent eagle, Udawalawa, Sri Lanka

CRESTED SERPENT EAGLEShould every eagle just circle majestically in the skies at all times and only now and then elegantly descend to the water surface, catch a fish with his powerful talons and again take off into the sun? But what if getting a lunch is just a matter of standing in the puddle and waiting...? (Udawalawa, Sri Lanka)

bird, crested serpent eagle, Udawalawa, Sri Lanka

CRESTED SERPENT EAGLEAnyway, all the menacing elegance is quickly gone with the wind blowing from the wrong direction... (Udawalawa, Sri Lanka)

bird, Indian cormorant, Balapitiya, Sri Lanka

INDIAN CORMORANT: According to one theory, evolutionary, dogs developed eyes strongly resembling those of human babies and that trait sits at the very core of their friendship with people. Birds of course don't go for such nonsense, the big birds with evil eyes being the best example of avian independence... (Balapitiya, Sri Lanka)

bird, oriental darter, Habarana, Sri Lanka

ORIENTAL DARTER: Anhingas spend perhaps even more time to dry their plumage than cormorants which make photographing this huge bird really easy. (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, blue-winged kookaburra, Prague, Czech Republic

BLUE-WINGED KOOKABURRA: These Australian guys produce incredibly loud and funny noises. Seeing them in their natural habitat is on the to do list for the future but this photo was just taken in a zoo. (Prague, Czech Republic)

bird, house sparrow, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

HOUSE SPARROW: Useful tricks can be learned even from the most common birds. A dust bathing sparrow is happy to pose for the camera and lets the photographer wonder about water scarcity and future hygiene standards... (Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka)

bird, red-wattled lapwing, Kandy, Sri Lanka

RED-WATTLED LAPWING: Coexisting with humans rather happily, the lapwings do not mind a close-up photo session. They even seem hoping to receive some insects in exchange for posing patiently and they only fly away once really sure that no food is forthcoming from the photographer... (Kandy, Sri Lanka)

bird, yellow-wattled lapwing, Hambantota, Sri Lanka

YELLOW-WATTLED LAPWING: More restrained than his red-beaked cousin. However, this lapwing still does not need convincing to take a pose, even during the mid-day hours. (Bundala, Sri Lanka)

bird, intermediate egret, Habarana, Sri Lanka

INTERMEDIATE EGRET: Should egrets not be photographed just because photographing them is too easy? It may sound crazy to ignore these super extremely elegant birds but there are indeed photographers out there asking such questions... (Habarana, Sri Lanka)

bird, red-vented bulbul, Hambantota, Sri Lanka

RED-VENTED BULBUL: Being very common in his natural habitats, this bulbul is easy to spot. Photographing him is, however, a much more complicated story, as he just does not want to display his red vents too often... (Hambantota, Sri Lanka)

bird, white-throated kingfisher, Kandy, Sri Lanka

WHITE-THROATED KINGFISHER: As usually, this kingfisher does not seem much disturbed by human presence, happily posing for the camera when taking a rest in the hotel gardens... (Kandy, Sri Lanka)

bird, little green bee-eater, Minneriya, Sri Lanka

LITTLE GREEN BEE-EATER: Smaller and plumper than the other bee-eaters, the green bee-eater makes the photographer's life surprisingly difficult. Approaching too close is not possible and keeping one's distance results in such small bird being barely visible in the frame... (Minneriya, Sri Lanka)

bird, blue-tailed bee-eater, Yala, Sri Lanka

BLUE-TAILED BEE-EATER:His tell-tale blue tail not visible in an en-face encounter, this bird remains easy to identify by his brown chest, black beak and calm composure. (Yala, Sri Lanka)

bird, yellow-billed babbler, Kandy, Sri Lanka

YELLOW-BILLED BABBLER: Endemic to India and Sri Lanka, the babblers make for an ideal object for photography. Comparatively bad at flying, they usually sit around. Living in groups, they often can be seen in social interaction. And eating a lot of food which people like to eat, they happily frequent areas inhabited by humans. No need to go far for a photo... (Kandy, Sri Lanka)

bird, grey heron, Bundala, Sri Lanka

GREY HERON: All the herons, bitterns and egrets in their adult, juvenile, male and female appearances can get mixed up easily. And the chaos of winter and mating plumages does not help either. But other than that, photographing herons is an easy task. The grey heron lives all over the world and is happy to pose for a photo, standing on the ground or flying by... (Bundala, Sri Lanka)

bird, scaly-breasted munia, Nuware Eliya, Sri Lanka

SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA: Always busy building a nest made of grass, this bird is easy to spot and good fun to observe. But just like all small birds, he flies in a rather erratic manner which makes taking a photo a tough task. Fortunately, when cutting the next grass blade, he would rest for a while on the ground... (Nuware Eliya, Sri Lanka)

bird, male, Indian peafowl, Yala, Sri Lanka

INDIAN PEAFOWL: Everybody knows the peacock dance from public gardens but the real performance in free nature, where the attention of the female needs to be attracted, is still worth seeing. The male dancers become so immersed in their efforts that they are of course completely oblivious to any photographers... (Yala, Sri Lanka)

bird, female, Indian peafowl, Yala, Sri Lanka

INDIAN PEAFOWL: While the males perform their dance, the female is busy with her regular dust bath plumage maintanence. Perfectly able to multitask, she observes the dancing at the same time, making up her mind... (Yala, Sri Lanka)

GREY-HEADED FISH EAGLE: It is a great pleasure to see this eagle flying, as the species seems to be particularly fond of just sitting around and doing nothing. (Tonle Sap, Cambodia)

bird, Indian thick-knee, stone curlew, Bundala, Sri Lanka

INDIAN THICK-KNEE: During the day, this bird does not move much and - if spotted - is therefore technically easy to photograph. But there is something comically confused in the look of his large eyes which actually makes it rather difficult to concentrate on taking photos. One just feels like asking him if he is lost and needs assistance... (Bundala, Sri Lanka)

bird, black-crowned night heron, Taipei, Taiwan

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON: This heron lives almost everywhere and is easy to photograph, as - just like all other herons - he keeps standing and standing and waiting and waiting to ambush his prey... (Taipei, Taiwan)

bird, juvenile black-crowned night heron

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON: The juvenile may look very different than the parent but he behaves in the same manner, giving the photographer an easy time... (Taipei, Taiwan)

bird, shoebill, Prague, Czech Republic

SHOEBILL: Some people are principally opposed to taking photos in zoos. Sure, taking a photo of a bird in a zoo just does not feel the same. But as long as photography can demonstrate the beauty of the creature? No strong views here... (Prague, Czech Republic)

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