Vultures to Roost

A week or so ago I was on the road just before sunset. The sky was clear and blue, the evening light warm and golden. I noticed several vultures circling in tight formation, indicating they would soon be roosting. By the time I maneuvered into position for  photographs, they had settled in on the upper branches of a dense stand of spruce trees. I stood and watched, thinking that I had missed a “golden” opportunity. Then, I saw another gliding in and circling the roost, and another, and … about 8 or 10 more birds arrived over the next 15 minutes.


I knew what I wanted to capture, but didn’t realize how much the odds were stacked against me. Even with birds circling overhead at fairly close range and me panning like a spinning top, the times when everything came together – posture, lighting, my lens – were all too brief. I quickly realized that the window of opportunity was just a second or two, or a few degrees, out of the full 360 degree circle.


My goal was to capture the golden evening light on the wings. I failed to freeze most of the fast, wing-beat shots, but got a some of the gliders.




Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

5 thoughts on “Vultures to Roost

  1. Hard to see what you’re complaining about. You got some great shots there….. though not quite one of my favorite subjects. At least your shots made them look quite nice. That prehistoric head is not quite what I’d call aesthetic. 😉

    • Thanks Gunta – I always look forward to your insights! Know what you mean re: favorite subjects. At the moment, my target is wildflowers, but continuous rainy and stormy weather is drowning the idea as well as the blooms, turning me into a desperate and frustrated photographer! 🙂

      • Oh, know THAT feeling all too well. But this too shall pass I’m sure….. 😉 Just keep shootin’.

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