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Photo Information
Copyright: Luis Leal (Luis52) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-01-06
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D80, 80-200mm f/2.8D ED AF Nikkor
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/640 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-01-12 14:40
Viewed: 9053
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Turkey Vulture
Cathartes aura.

MEASUREMENTS: The Turkey Vulture has a body length of 24 - 25 inches, a wingspan of 5 - 6 feet, and weighs 3 1/2 - 5 pounds.

HABITAT: Turkey Vultures exist in a wide range of habitats from deserts to savannas and grasslands, to tropical and temperate forests. The bird’s range extends across much of the continental United States, into Central America, and throughout most of South America. Birds in the northern limits of its range migrate south as far as South America.

DIET: Turkey Vultures are almost entirely carrion eaters and feed on medium-sized dead animals. These birds use their sight and acute sense of smell to find food during low level soaring flights.

REPRODUCTION: This vulture nests in small caves, on the ground under bushes, or in hollowed stumps and logs. The female lays 2 eggs that are incubated for 38 - 41 days. Unlike most birds of prey, the chicks are fed regurgitated food, not fresh pieces of meat. The young vultures fledge in 10 - 11 weeks.

NAME DERIVATION: he scientific name comes from the Greek word kathartes, representing a cleanser or purifier and refers to the scavenging nature of the bird, and aurouá, which is the Latinized word for the name Mexican Indians gave to vultures. The common name refers to the red skin on the head and dark body feathers that resemble the Wild Turkey. Turkey Vultures have been called Buzzards, John Crow, Red-necked Buzzard, and Carrion Crows.

The Turkey Vulture is one of the few birds of prey that is able to use its sense of smell to locate food.

With the warmer climate in North America and an increase in road-killed animals, Turkey Vultures have extended their range northward.

Saludos Luis52.

nglen, CeltickRanger, marhowie, jaycee, eqshannon, K9madtex, jusninasirun, mariki, dB_grafix, matatur, angybone, Adanac, earthtraveler, Juyona has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

hello Luis

superb inflight shot with typical bird of preys wings open,
good details of the subject, i like the pov of your image and
the way you framed the vulture on the image, TFS


Hi Jose,
Good detail and POV in this inflight.
Your sky always seems to have a nice deep hue to it..
Good composition also, with plenty of space for the vulture to fly into :)

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-01-12 15:17]

Wow, Luis - a wonderful inflight Turkey Vulture. You froze him beautifully with a great blue sky background. Colors are wonderful and the details are superb. I love the wings and seeing the face so clearly.


There is no mistaken ID on that fella...They are big with a big wingspan which you captured entirely. From far away and perched they don't look so bad, but in flight the only thing beautiful is their wings...but you sure have it down....He'll eat anything! Nice image..

Hello Luis, very nice capture, good composition and pov, very good shrpness and dof, nice colors.

it's a good frozen action, nice pose, perfect sharpness and attractive colours

Nice panning Luis! You sure do have a lot of blue sky days there. Tomorrow is supposed to be partly sunny here... first sun of the new year!!!! It is an unusual winter... very wet.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • Tabib Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 160 W: 5 N: 167] (859)
  • [2008-01-12 20:37]

Hello Luis!

Majestic in flight of superb vulture you got there.

I like the compo of wide spread wing contrasting with saturated blue sky.
You a pro!.


Nice shot of this Turkey Vulture. I am glad that you left him some space to fly into. I have tried several times to capture birds in flight but have not been very good at it. TFS.

Hello Luis,
Superb shot of this vulture in contrasting details against the blue sky. Not easy to catch one on the fly. Well done.

Hello Luis.

Very nice capture of this vulture. Very good POV and very good sharpness. Such a blue sky also!

Hi Luis.
I am impressed with the wing span and how well you stopped it in flight.Good sunlight, and a very rich sky adds to the beauty of it. TFS

Wow Luis, You've captured a perfect soaring vulture with its eyes on the ground, searching for a suitable prey! Your POV and exposure were correct and the resulting composition exquisite. TFS.

  • Great 
  • badar Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 0 N: 160] (785)
  • [2008-01-13 4:40]

Hi Luis,
Nice details in this flight capture. Love the sky colour.

Fantastic...not just a great shot but a great in-flight shot! AWESOME!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-01-13 12:41]

Hello Luis,
Wonderful inflight photo. Excellent contrasting colours against the superb blue BG.
Very good details and colours in the Vulture. I love the composition.

Bonjour Luis,
Magnifique, grandiose, impressionnant.

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2008-01-13 21:12]

Hello Luis,
Just marking today because I'm out of time
I'll be back tomorrow with a proper critique
..Greeting from the Grand Canyon State my dear friend


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-01-14 4:20]

Hola Luis,
A superb inflight image of this great species. The details and colors are superb and he stands out well against that nice blue sky. We get these great birds in the summer, maybe even this one. Thanks my friend.

Fine inflight of this vulture. The wing span is impressive.
Very good detail, POV, and comp.
Well done Luis.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-01-14 11:08]

Hi Luis . This is a first class in flight shot. with good timing to get the bird over head. good detail and colours.such detail in the wings. stands out so well against the blue sky. well done TFS. good notes too.

sorry i missed this yesterday

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-01-14 11:26]

Hello Luis, what a great inflight shot of this Vulture ! You've perfectly captured the details and the colors of this bird ! The composition is perfect ! Thanks,


Excelente formato y buen encuadre amigo Luis.
Bien captados los detalles tanto de las alas como sorprendentemente de la cabeza. Desconocida ave para mí.
Un abrazo: J. Ignasi

These turkey vultures are so impressive when I seem them flying in the sky. I've never seen one close enough to the ground for me to grab a shot, though. This is a superb capture! Wonderful details and color! Congrats!


Una impresionante vista.
Muy buenos detalles y excelentes colores.
Perfecto encuadre amigo, JL.

PD. Se acercan fechas de exámenes y no dispongo de mucho tiempo para todo, de ahí que no publique con la frecuencia que quisiera.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-01-26 3:26]

Hola amigo,
hermosa captura,
intenso cielo y bello pov,
agradable compo y sensacional foco,
buen fin de semana, abrazos a la familia-

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