Posts Tagged ‘massive wingspan’

I often see Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) soaring high overhead when I am exploring Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I have always been amazed at the way that they effortlessly glide for long periods of time without having to flap their wings. I never really appreciated, though, how massive a wingspan Turkey Vultures have, because the the previous times I had seen a vulture at close range, they have generally been perched with their wings tucked in.

On Thursday, I managed to flush several Turkey Vultures that had been pecking away at something at water’s edge. They flew up into some nearby trees and began to preen themselves as they patiently waited for me to pass. I was quite surprised when one of them spread its wings wide open and then glanced back at me over its shoulder. The wing display was impressive.

I also took advantage of the situation to capture a portrait shot of one of the other vultures that was perched on a broken off tree. I not sure that I would call this bird “beautiful” in a traditional sense, but I do like the way that I was able to capture a bit of its personality in this shot—there is even a hint of a smile.

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture


© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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