Saturday, April 18, 2009

Turkey Vultures at Clifty Falls, Indiana

When I think of Clifty Falls, I think of Turkey Vultures. Years ago, Rick and I were there and we saw over 40 vultures spiraling over the Ohio River at the same time. It was an amazing sight. A sturdy observation tower just past the visitor's center offers perfect viewing. This time, there weren't as many TVs soaring past (it's spring, previously we were there for their return in the fall), but I was able to see them from our 4th floor balcony which was fun! They were almost eye level at times and quite amazing. The most I saw flying together on Thursday was 14. They were spiraling and soaring out over the Ohio River looking very cool...and impressive. I also saw a Black Vulture, which was a lifer for me. 

It was late afternoon, and this guy kept soaring 
past our balcony. He seems to be giving me the 
eye, which is a bit unnerving. Thank goodness 
I like TVs and think they are sort of cute.


I like this series of photos because you can see the 
shift in color of the sky. The first photo the sun was 
more at my back. As he soared past, he flew more 
into the sun. You can watch the sky get less blue. 


...he still is giving me the eye. I was tired 
after a big day of hiking, but not that tired!

I'm still learning how to shoot using light. If you haven't seen it already, for a nice lesson on shooting blue skies without filters, see this post on Shooting my Universe by Steve. 

A few more flight photos. He had turned around and was on his way back...




20 comments:

E said...

Wonderful, so elegant and beautiful, great pics, thanks for sharing Kelly, it is so interesting!

hillybillyfarmgirl said...

Wonderful pictures. This is such a magnificent bird, we don't have them where I live.
I saw some TV back in 98, when I lived in Texas for a while. I'll always remember that.
Thank you!
Greetings from Sweden

Kallen305 said...

Awesome TV shots!! I love how close up you were able to get to it.

Chris said...

Hi Kelly,
Very impressive shots of a massive bird. Not so easy to take I guess but these are simply wonderful flight pictures. Great job.

Jayne said...

So beautiful to see those silvery underwings as they soar. :c) We have loads of them here in the rural area where I live, and will often see upwards of 15 together soaring high.

Ginnymo said...

Wow!! Nice close ups of them!! Now I get to see what they really look like..for I can only see them at a distance. I only have a Sony DSC-H5 and no extra lenses. Maybe someday...
Great shots Kelly!!!

Montanagirl said...

You took some very nice TV photos there! Great job. I've notice in my pictures how the sky changes depending on my position with the camera. I like the "Blue" sky best.

Laure Ferlita said...

Just love that third photo down where you can see the blue from the sky peeking through. Awesome photos!

Have to say I've never thought of TVs as kinda cute! ;•)

Mary said...

I think he wanted you to take all those lovely photos of him! Great shots!

Richard said...

Great flight pictures.

Nick S said...

Excellent Kelly. You got much closer photos than I ever have of that species. Bravo !

Warren Baker said...

Great flight shots kelly. They make our common buzzards seem like pussies.

Steve said...

Excellent pictures Kelly. Shame we don't get Vultures over here, they're much better looking than some of our raptors.

The Early Birder said...

FAB 'in flight' series.

Dave Lewis said...

Great shots of the cuties in flight...Especially the one from behind!
Dave

Atanasio Fernández García said...

Kely Hi! Very beautiful images of vultures in flight, blue skies are perfect! And how lucky to photograph from an observation tower located almost at the height of the flight of birds. Magnificent! Greetings!

Shellmo said...

You really got some wonderful flight shots of these turkey vultures!! I love watching them glide...

Kelly said...

Enita...thank you!!!

Farmgirl...thanks. Texas is a great place for birds. You must have enjoyed living there.

Kim and Chris...thank you! They just floated past me while I stood on the 4th-floor balcony. It was awesome!!!

Jayne...around our house we see high numbers only during spring as they migrate north to Hinkley, Ohio...but usually not more than 6 or so. We have two that live near our house, and I always see them soaring around.

Ginny, Montanagirl, Laure, Mary and Richard....thank you!!

Nick...thanks...again, I didn't have to work too hard as they drifted past me as I stood on the balcony. I wonder if they do that all the time. They only did it once while I was there. (You should have seen me running back in to the room to grab the camera.)

Warren, Steve and FAB...thank you. They are fun birds, no doubt. I love them. There is something about that red face that is cool...

Dave...I knew you'd like that one from behind!! Thanks!

Atanasio and Shelley...thank you! I was lucky...Truly it was like they wanted their photos taken.

Steve B said...

This is not an easy subject and you've done very well. Black, black lit birds are tough! Very well done and thanks for the shout-out.

Kelly said...

Steve...thanks! Also, thanks for the lighting lesson you posted!