Turkeys in Flight

After monitoring and photographing two flocks of wild turkeys for a week or so, I was able to tell their story in my last post. I was satisfied and was ready to move on. The only images that I lacked were birds in flight, but I dismissed the idea. Turkeys are more apt to walk or run than fly (unless harassed), and it’s unethical to disturb wildlife during the stressful winter season.

Then, yesterday morning happened. I decided to take the back roads into town, mainly to see how wild turkeys were responding to a 19 degree (F) day with 20 mph winds blasting powdery snow across open fields. I didn’t expect to see anything, but instinctively grabbed the camera and adjusted the settings for speed and snow. The definition of insanity?

I found a couple of birds in the corn stubble on high ground, moving toward the lee side of a hill. I didn’t realize what was happening until I pulled over and shut the truck off to get a better look. A flock had left the roost and walked into dense vegetation in a gully near the road. They were now flying across the road, a few at a time, a hundred feet in front of me.

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The last bird to cross afforded me an opportunity to capture the complete process of a big, heavy bird, flying at perhaps 30 or 40 mph, coming in for a “soft” landing. Enjoy!

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And that’s how it’s done! Questions???

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Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

 

Farm Fields and Wildlife

An unusually warm and sunny September has lured me to local farms to watch and photograph wildlife. I have to share a few of the highlights from recent trips.

Sulphur butterfly on Teasel

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Young buck, blinded by the late afternoon sun, relying instead on his nose and ears to evaluate my presence.

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The difference between an adolescent, yearling buck and a mature, 4 1/2-year-old breeder can’t be fully appreciated until they’re seen in the same frame!

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An adult doe and her fawn. The first of several deer hunting seasons opens on October 1 and the fawns will have lost most/all of their spots by then.

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Three white-tail secrets for beating the survival odds:

1 — stay in the shadows

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2—never let your guard down

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3—-and, when all else fails, run like the wind!

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A hen turkey and her small flock of youngsters foraging on seeds and insects. They have incredible eyesight but lack a deer’s curiosity and tolerance of humans; in other words, they’re unapproachable! This mother hen knew something wasn’t right, but chose not to sound the alarm and run…totally out of character!

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“If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.”   – Steve Irwin

September sunset

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Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.