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Chicken Run

Sri Lanka Junglefowl

First of all, forget the image thumbnail… (God forbid anyone should have the subject off-center!) This is the story of a wild chicken – actually a wild Sri Lanka Junglefowl, a close relative of the Indian bird that was domesticated into the Colonel Sanders variety thousands of years ago.  These bizarre, familiar birds are common in the forests of Sri Lanka – and face it, if they didn’t look like chickens, we’d think they were among the most spectacular birds in the world. Sadly, it is their fate to be ignored.

I have not posted here for 3 weeks or so because I have been in some pretty remote parts of this tropical island, far beyond the reach of the internet. (Yes, there are still places around the world that are off the grid).  It has been a rough trip, but a fascinating one, as I have been documenting several endangered species, and some remote corners of this little known country.  I will be posting more in the days and weeks ahead, but  thought I’d toss in this motion-portrait of a Jungle Fowl racing through the rainforest.  To get it I had to lay on the ground and shoot a mess of seat-of-the-pants exposures trying to get what I wanted. Many were out of focus, or missing the bird itself, but in the end I got a handful which capture the extravagant colors, and motion, of this wild-looking bird.

What the picture doesn’t show is the host of leeches that took advantage of my prone position to crawl up my body and feast on my blood. I was pinching them off of me for hours after this little exercise…

More soon; I still have 36 hours of flying ahead of me to get home.

Nikon D3, 17-35mm lens