Two falcons and a kooka

This week I travelled with a friend who especially likes kookaburras, when I got home a visitor to lirralirra had emailed about kookas so I thought I’d share a favourite image I took of a young kookaburra posing in the late afternoon light.


Young KookaburraLaughing Kookaburra
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/500, f/5.6, ISO 100, focal length 400mm


I’d been hoping to find a young kookaburra to photograph all season but despite hearing plenty of them practising their laughs I didn’t find one until a recent trip to Canberra. I especially liked the lighting and the way the breeze was gently ruffling its soft feathers. Kookaburras perch and pounce and capture prey with their strong bills before returning to a perch to consume their catch.


Brown Falcon - Kim WormaldBrown Falcon
Canon 5D Mk III, 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/1250, f/6.3, EV +1, ISO 400, focal length 400mm


I had my first chance this week to take a handful of images of birds in flight with the new 5DIII and I can’t wait to have better opportunities. The Brown Falcon’s feet and curved talons are massive, ideal for striking and holding prey while its hooked bill is ideal for tearing flesh. Previous posts including Lord Howe Island tropicbirds and Gale force gulls,  feature images of birds in flight that I took with the 7D. I’m hoping my ‘keeper’ rate with the 5DIII will be a lot higher than with the 7D.


Brown Falcon - Kim WormaldBrown Falcon
Canon 5D Mk III, 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/1250, f/6.3, EV +1, ISO 400, focal length 400mm


I prefer to catpure images of birds on natural perches but there is something about this old fence that appeals to me. I’m not a fan of barbed wire but the colours of the ancient post, the seed heads and grey sky are all represented in the colouring of the falcon giving the image a kind of unity.

Happy birding, Kim


PS  The Equipment page has been updated to include the 5D Mark III and various other items.


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23 comments to Two falcons and a kooka

  • my obsession still is to upgrade my 1DIII to a 1DIV over a 7DII or another lens. The reason is I do a lot of fast photography, horses dogs birds in flight, I would like to keep my 5DIII in as good a condition as possible for weddings landscapes children etc, a used 1DIV can take the bumps, I’m clumsy, only the other day I fell with the camera landing hard and me with skin off both knees right now, lucky I had switched cameras about 20 minutes earlier to the 1DIII 🙂 I am still watching eBay and slowly the 1DIV prices are coming down but it will probably be a while before I can afford it. I’m so glad I did get the 5DIII though, totally awesome camera, in my opinion I cant really fault it, you are producing wonderful work with it, but then your work with 7D was great as well so I’m a believer that it also is the person behind the lens that plays a huge part more than the camera anyway.

    • lirralirra

      I’d like to try a 1DIV, I wonder if Canon are planning on the 7DII (or whatever they call it) replacing both models – that could be interesting! Sorry about your crash landing and sore knees, hope the camera’s okay! Good luck with your 1DIV hunt and thanks for your comments about my 7D and 5DIII images, much appreciated 🙂

  • Kim,
    Love the falcon on the fence post, very iconic!


  • lovely shots, I would say I get probably 70% more keepers out of 5DIII. there is a new tamron zoom lens out and I’m considering that rather than 7D11 when it appears unless that’s so so awesome I could not pass it up. But the 5DIII is very good auto focus wise, leaves the 7D for dead. these are beautiful shots, I love the one on the fence.

    • lirralirra

      Thanks Julie! 70% keepers would be awesome, I agree about the 5DIII autofocus. I’ve read reviews about the 150-600mm Tamron and it sounds impressive. Now I’ve upgraded I’m less fixated on the 7DII than I’ve been any time during the past year 🙂

  • Carole King

    Hi Kim, It looks like you have quickly found your way around the new camera, the Falcon photos are really good, I love the last one the best too.

    • lirralirra

      I’ve found the 5D Mk III a very comfortable upgrade and am keen to learn more about it. I enjoy knowing which images you like, Carole. I hadn’t realised how the colours looked in the last falcon shot until I saw it on screen.

  • Cool, I love the closeup of the Kookaburra. And the Falcon shots are awesome. Well done, Kim! Have a happy weekend!

  • Margot Capuano

    Love the kookaburra photo -such a wise and knowing look. What amazing detail you have captured in the feathers.

  • Marie-Louise Schaefer

    I love the composition of the brown falcon and the barbed wire fence. I look at the falcon and think: I recognise him (?), sounds funny, doesn’t it? Treatment Plant, Gate 4??
    Great photo, cheers M-L

    • lirralirra

      Hi Marie-Louise, your comment is amazing! It is a Treatment Plant falcon and quite possibly Gate 4. I’m interested to know how you recognised it.

    • Marie-Louise Schaefer

      My husband and I used to spend many Sundays at the Plant. There are a few birds around I do recognise. In the same area there is also a Black-shouldered Kite.
      I also noticed that you have taken gorgeous photos of the Helmeted Honeyeater. About 12 years ago I had one in my garden. But unfortunately never saw him again.
      Good luck with your photography, I love all of it!

      • lirralirra

        I’m very impressed with your ID skills Marie-Louise, recognising an individual bird is fantastic. What a wonderful experience to have had a Helmeted Honeyeater in your garden even for a single visit. With regards to your other questions please contact me via the email address on the contact page and I will respond directly to you.

  • As you know Kim these little fellows (Kookaburra’s) have been my most loved Australian bird having seen them on my first trip to Australia now to see this photo of one that you were able to capture so perfectly with his feathers like that makes me feel like one would certainly like to cuddle him but of course that would never happen but just my first impression ha!ha! The Falcons are also well done, just not one of my favourites. In this photo you certainly can see where nature gives them lots of camouflage blending in so well with their surrounding as you have portrayed . Thanks for these Dona

    • lirralirra

      What a lovely first impression Dona! Kookaburras are gorgeous birds, real little characters. I was thrilled when this young one landed beside me in Canberra. I’m glad you like it too 🙂

  • Stunning images. You must be so pleased with your upgrade.
    I hear the kookas, but it is quite a while since I have seen them. Love the young one’s ‘bad hair day’ look.

    • lirralirra

      I’m thrilled with the upgrade EC. The kookas’ territories gradually change here, I like it when our property is at the edge as we get to see them more often than when we’re in the middle. I hope they visit you soon.

  • Those great in flight shots are really special! I really like that last one best tho.

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