I was expecting to see a lot of wildlife during my trip to South Africa but I was not expecting to see an Ostrich on the road to the Cape of Good Hope, but I did. There was actually a male and female Ostrich right next to the road and many people were stopping to photograph them. This photograph is of the female. By the time I got my gear out the male had wandered off. I was able to get quite close to her and she did not pay much attention to me. Then, suddenly, she stood straight up and looked at me through the corner of her eye. That’s when I captured this photo and then rushed to get back into the vehicle. Like most fowl, males are more colorful than females.
Contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not bury their heads in sand to avoid danger. This myth likely began with Pliny the Elder (AD 23–79), who wrote that ostriches “imagine, when they have thrust their head and neck into a bush, that the whole of their body is concealed.” This may have been a misunderstanding of their sticking their heads in the sand to swallow sand and pebbles, or, as National Geographic suggests, of the defensive behavior of lying low, so that they may appear from a distance to have their head buried.
This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5DS using my Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 II Lens set on 400mm. The camera was set on Aperture priority mode with the aperture set at f/10, shutter speed at 1/320th of a second and the ISO set at 640. This is a single image processed in Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro.
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