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Posts Tagged ‘male wild turkey’

Late on Monday afternoon I spotted this large male Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge as he was foraging in the leaf litter. The turkey was very focused on scratching about in the fallen leaves and let me get so close to him that I was able to take this shot at 250mm on my zoom lens that extends to 600mm.

The light was already starting to fade—the sun set at 4:53 pm that day—and I know that my relatively old DSLR does not handle low light very well, so I did not want to raise the ISO beyond ISO 800, for fear of introducing an unacceptable amount of graininess. Instead, I captured this image with an exposure of 1/40 second, a really slow shutter speed. Even though I was using a monopod for stability, many of my shots were blurry, but this particular image ended up pretty sharp.

I love the way that I was able to capture so many details of the turkey’s feathers. From a distance, the main feathers look to be a solid dark color, but up-close, they show a lot of color variation and patterns. I was happy too that I was able to get a good view of the turkey’s “beard.” I’ve read that you can estimate the age of a turkey on the basis of the length of its beard, but I am not confident that I could figure that out—all I can say is that the turkey appeared to be a mature male to me.

Wild Turkey

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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I do not know about the reactions of the lady turkeys, but I was mighty impressed by the display of this male Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) early yesterday morning at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. A lot of male birds go to great lengths to impress and attract females during the early spring, but this wild turkey’s presentation might take the prize for being so flamboyant and ostentatious. I guess he has truly embraced the motto, “Go big or go home.”

Wild Turkey

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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Yesterday I was thrilled to get a glimpse of this impressive-looking Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I have seen Wild Turkeys at this refuge on numerous occasions, but this is one of the first images that I have been able to capture this spring.

I am always amazed when I come upon a male turkey displaying his feathers. I grew up in the suburbs of Boston and the only turkeys that I ever saw were those in the freezer at the supermarket, which did not look anything like this bird, and the cutout figures that we would pin to the wall to celebrate Thanksgiving. Somehow I always thought those cutouts were cartoonish caricatures—little did I know that wild turkeys actually look like those colorful figures.

wild turkey

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Sometimes the view from the back is just as spectacular as the view from the front. I spotted this male Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) in full display this past Friday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. There were no females around to impress, but somehow, like a vain bodybuilder, this guy seemed compelled to flex and show off, even while doing something as mundane as foraging for food.

Initially I was disappointed that this turkey steadfastly refused to turn around and show me his face. As I surveyed the scene, though, I realized that I really loved the perfect fan shape of the displayed tail and the geometric abstractness of the the turkey from this angle. In fact, this kind of a shot might cause viewers to linger a little longer on the image as they gradually figure out what the main subject is, i.e. that it is a wild turkey.

 Wild Turkey
© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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