Rainforest Strangers

Australian Brush-Turkey, Queensland

Two seemingly endless days of flying, across an unnatural number of times zones, and I am in the rainforests of northern Queensland, Australia.  My mission is to document a variety of unusual species native to this endangered ecosystem including the giant Cassowary. But there is no shortage of other astonishing creatures as well that I will be covering over the next few weeks. Take, for instance,  this rather handsome Brush-turkey, a common scavenger on the forest floor. I found one resting in a tree but struggled to find a clean portrait.  Normally I would try to find a position with a soft, unobtrusive green background - but I couldn't find it here.  Shooting straight up into the forest canopy is always a challenge, but this time the harsh light unexpectedly worked, the round highlights actually managing to add interest to the picture.

The second shot is a more conventional, whole body shot of the same bird. I had to employ a light fill-flash to restore color and detail in what was a dark forest interior.  Not a great beauty  -- it's bare head makes the bird look more like a vulture -- but a nice record from my first day here.  Stay tuned for more.

Nikon D3  70-200mm lens


    I met several of these on a walk through the rainforest in Feb just north of Sydney, and they’re very tame! One followed us for some of our hike, she was as curious about us as we were about her.

    Wait til you meet a giant black and white Goanna!

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