Forever faithful

P01_001

Forever faithful
Red-and-green macaw (Ara chloropterus)
Forever faithful, macaws choose a single companion for their entire lives. As a resident of a primary forest area, I spent my days observing pairs of macaws flying over my house and sometimes nesting nearby. This allowed me to constantly witness the personality and loyalty of these beautiful and exotic birds.
Unlike most animals that follow a seasonal mating behavior, where the couple only comes together during the breeding season. Macaws are different. They stay together, year after year, offspring after offspring. According to legend, if one partner loses the other, for some mysterious reason, the survivor flies high up until suddenly closing its wings and letting itself fall to the ground, sacrificing itself alongside its lost half.

P01_001 – Leonide Principe
Camera Nikon F5 with Nikkor lens 70-200mm f2.8 – Diapositive Film Fujichrome Velvia 50 – Scanner: Nikon SUPER COOLSCAN 5000 ED
Digitised from a positive on film
Original file size: 5348px x 3585px
Location Taken: Paraná do Ariaú (Iranduba – Amazonas Brazil)
Aproximate Date Taken: 1991
Collection: Birds – Persons shown: none
Keywords:
arara-vermelha-grande, Ara chloropterus, Green-winged macaw, Red-and-green macaw, araras, macaws, Psittasidae, aves, birds, FAUNA, animals, paraná do Ariaú, Ariau parana, Iranduba, Amazonas, Amazônia, Amazon, Amazonian, Brazil, Brasil, Brazilian, América do Sul, South America, beijos, kiss, kissing, emoções, emotions
EN01 Forever faithful P01_001
PT01 Eternamente fiéis P01_001
© – Leonide Principe, all right reserved
www.leonideprincipe.photos

Glorious Postcard

Due to its success and extensive visibility, “the kiss of the macaws” has become the symbol of my photographic work and my trademark, as it was the best-selling postcard among all those produced by my publisher, setting a true sales record. Moreover, it has been featured in various magazines, books, and even advertisements. This article narrates how the photograph was taken during one of the initial expeditions of my Amazonian journey.
I observed the macaw couple for hours; they didn’t stop chattering, arguing, gossiping, whispering, murmuring, caressing, pecking, kissing… yes, kissing just like humans can, with the same pleasurable feeling, passionately. The focal length of my 80-200mm zoom lens was at its maximum, 200mm, for a close foreground, and the use of flash provided extra light, necessary in the undergrowth, ensuring a safe exposure time of no less than 1/125 of a second. The macaws lived freely in a jungle lodge, hence well accustomed to human presence. They were comfortably perched on a branch, seemingly more interested in each other than any other distraction.
During the photo shoot, following my routine, I adhere to a set of priorities such as adjusting time and aperture (with the most suitable level of automation), ensuring precise framing (to avoid the need for image cropping), and unquestionably focusing on the eyes. Subsequently, my index finger remains ready to capture the stimuli of the moment. In that analog era, recording events was not as generous as it is today, as the photographer had a limit of 36 shots on the film: it was crucial not to run out of film during a peak moment of action. Hence, there was a need for greater patience and training regarding ‘knowing to wait for the peak moment of action.’
On the light table, during the assessment and selection of the slides, is where the strategies employed truly demonstrated their worth and the details captured, whether favorable or not. It is there that brutal disappointments and joyful triumphs surface, both expected and unexpected.
During that occasion, I took around 5-6 films to the lab, totaling approximately 200 shots. It was only at the light table that I discovered this passionate kiss, with closed eyes, one’s head feathers ruffled, neck stretched, finding secure shelter in the other… a true love story! It’s no coincidence that this photograph became the iconic image of my professional work.
Tens of thousands of postcards were sent by tourists visiting the Amazon and Brazil. The two passionate macaws flew to every corner of the globe.
Now, I live in a cabin on the edge of the forest, where every day, macaws fly over my hut, mostly in pairs, engaging in lively and eternal conversations, discussing, declaiming, commenting, and reporting on something. Sometimes, I join in their animated discussions, but I’m not sure if they ignore me or perhaps see me as another subject for gossip. When I am fortunate enough to have a nest nearby, they are often in the air or feeding on a palm tree nearby, their highly expressive voices accompanying me in my daily tasks for hours, urging me to interpret the topics of their conversations.
I try to understand why they chatter so much, reflecting on this strong and expressive personality that so naturally belongs to the rainforest sky, whether through their voices, colors, or the elegance of their flight. Due to this high communicative quality, locals may capture chicks to raise in their homes or for sale. It is easy to see how a macaw that becomes a pet loses essential knowledge it had in the forest and even destroys all the fruit trees near the owner’s house. However, a free macaw living in the forest already knows everything it needs to perpetuate its species, recognizing the seasonal fruits, their ripeness, being able to eat some that are toxic and then ingest clay to aid digestion. Sometimes, those who enjoy tribal life live in groups, sometimes many of them come together, families and tribes, and hold festivals… hundreds of protesters flying, reciting, protesting, and celebrating life.

NFT available on OpenSea

P03_062

A talk that doesn’t stop
Green-winged macaw (Ara chloropterus)
A constant care of one for the other, cleans the feathers, scratches the head, it seems that it is going to peck and all this develops in a continuous murmur, the chatter does not stop for nothing. A psittaciform bird of the Psittacidae family, it is known as the green macaw and the great red macaw.
It is easy to confuse the scarlet macaw with the great scarlet macaw. The latter is identified by being a larger bird and with a green stripe on the wings.

P03_062 – Leonide Principe
Camera Nikon F5 with Nikkor lens 70-200mm f2.8 – Diapositive Film Fujichrome Velvia 50 – Scanner: Nikon SUPER COOLSCAN 5000 ED
Digitised from a positive on film
Original file size: 5391px x 3591px
Location Taken: Paraná do Ariaú (Iranduba – Amazonas Brazil)
Aproximate Date Taken: 1997
Collection: Birds – Persons shown: none
Keywords:
arara-vermelha-grande, Ara chloropterus, Green-winged macaw, Red-and-green macaw, araras, macaws, Psittasidae, aves, birds, FAUNA, animals, paraná do Ariaú, Ariau parana, Iranduba, Amazonas, Amazônia, Amazon, Amazonian, Brazil, Brasil, Brazilian, América do Sul, South America, beijos, kiss, kissing, emoções, emotions
EN(Analogic) A talk that doesn’t stop P03_062
PT(Analogic) Um falatório que não para P03_062
© – Leonide Principe, all right reserved
www.leonideprincipe.photos

P03_067

Know his region
Green-winged macaw (Ara chloropterus)
The macaw’s flight is elegant and smooth, and perfectly synchronized. It doesn’t matter if they are two or more macaws, they fly in formation. Every morning they leave the nest and go to specific areas with certain fruit trees. They know their region well and they know the fruiting times.

P03_067 – Leonide Principe
Camera Nikon F5 with Nikkor lens 80-200mm f2.8 – Diapositive Film Fujichrome Velvia 50 – Scanner: Nikon SUPER COOLSCAN 5000 ED
Digitised from a positive on film
Original file size: 3520px x 5391px
Location Taken: Paraná do Ariaú (Iranduba – Amazonas Brazil)
Aproximate Date Taken: 1993
Collection: Birds – Persons shown: none
Keywords:
arara-vermelha-grande, Ara chloropterus, Green-winged macaw, Red-and-green macaw, araras, macaws, Psittasidae, aves, birds, FAUNA, animals, paraná do Ariaú, Ariau parana, Iranduba, Amazonas, Amazônia, Amazon, Amazonian, Brazil, Brasil, Brazilian, América do Sul, South America, beijos, kiss, kissing, emoções, emotions
EN(Analogic) Know his region P03_067
PT(Analogic) Conhece sua região P03_067
© – Leonide Principe, all right reserved
www.leonideprincipe.photos

Version 1.3 – Second edition and proofreading

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