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The Guinea fowl groom- Kruger Photographic workshop

Posted by Joe Lategan on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 Under: Kruger National Park July 2013

Right next to the road and close to a herd of elephant I saw a group of guinea fowl grooming in front of me and their relaxed manner was due to the cool temperatures  and overcast conditions that were fast disappearing as the sun was starting to break  through the clouds after light rain the morning. I sat and observed them for a while and noticed a certain behaviour that I could never capture before. Not that I'm a specialist on fowl but it intrigued me. Every  now and then one individual would slowly approach a group of bird, slowly raise its head, close its eyes and open its mouth and the two closest birds would slowly in slow motion approach the stretched out neck and start picking at the neck feathers probably for fleas or things as it is in this area of the neck the birds cannot reach with their beaks to groom themselves. While the one bird are being groomed he keeps his mouth open and eyes closed most of the time. The sudden slow motion of the group involved in the neck grooming is what is totally fascinating to watch and ranked as one of upon my highlights of the July Kruger expedition.

This lasted around 5 to 7 seconds only. Once again this was a highly satisfactory moment or 5 as it was the first after all my years on the planet that I experienced this. Probably the most unique moment of the behaviour is the split second the one that needs neck grooming start to slowly stretch out its neck , open its mouth and close its eyes and   the closest two birds move slowly towards its neck in a telepathic manner. It all happens together.

Naturally the vehicles did not even take notice of the guinea fowl partly due to the elephants that were much more fun to watch and photograph but it is these moments that need to be captured by photographers not due to the fact that they will win more competitions with it but as a soul feeder. Photographing these smaller creatures and capturing the unique moments and behaviour's and educating the population do something that makes a photographer grow. It is as if God rewards one for the appreciation for nature in full as He does not think elephant or lion are more important than guinea fowl. But only the true matured character can appreciate this in any case. I say this because I can reflect on my life as a photographer as well. This maturity grows with most people that are nature lovers.

In : Kruger National Park July 2013 

Tags: "guinea fowl" grooming "kruger park" "joe lategan" 
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About Me

Joe Lategan I am a extreme lover of the "creation", and hater of destruction thereof. Photography allows me to share in a deeper dimension than words with fellow men/women, my feelings in this regard. I am a inspirational speaker on the sustainability of the environment and and creation. On the other hand I present, consult and drive Cost leadership programs (including Disaster/ emergency preparedness and systems analysis,risk and ethics) for corporations