Raptors - Ryan Taylor


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Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

Huffman Metropark, Dayton, Ohio

"Bird, beast, man and flower, we're all one flesh.” - Marty Rubin

March 3rd is World Wildlife Day and so we should remind ourselves how integral animals are to this world. Without them, we really wouldn't exist. For example, bird migrations and populations are some of the first indicators for climate change we look towards for research. Turkey Vultures are nature's janitors: they feed on roadkill and carrion left behind from other predators. If these birds didn't exist, we would have a lot of rotting carcasses to pick up otherwise.

This image was taken during my first visit to Huffman. It was approaching mid-morning and I had almost exhausted my search for images. One last area I had yet to explore was the Huffman Dam. I sought to make a trek up to the top with the now midday sun peering over. Not able to find a compelling landscape composition, I instead found my attention turn towards about a dozen turkey vultures soaring not too high above my position at the top. Shooting in burst mode, I made sweeping motions from side to side with my gimbal tripod head and managed this portrait of one in flight. Within a couple of minutes, they were already way out of range even for my telephoto as they kept soaring on the hot air thermals.

To me, it is indicative of the Huffman's area for aircraft and the invention of flight. The area is rich with aviation history and to see impressive birds such as Turkey Vultures and Bald Eagles in flight here is simply inspiring. Nothing is more impressive to me than that sense of freedom.

© 2018 Ryan L. Taylor Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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