Wild Turkeys in Northern Utah

/, Box Elder County, Utah, Wild Turkeys/Wild Turkeys in Northern Utah

Autumn Wild Turkey on a grassy hillsideAutumn Wild Turkey on a grassy hillside – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or called in

It was a fine Autumn morning for photographing Wild Turkeys in northern Utah yesterday because the skies were mostly clear and the turkeys were a bit more cooperative than usual. I don’t get many opportunities with turkeys so when I see them, I photograph them.

Northern Utah Wild TurkeyNorthern Utah Wild Turkey – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or called in

I like photographing these large, upland game birds but this flock in particular can be challenging because the habitat I find them in most often is brushy, rocky, and hilly and they can hide easily. It is frustrating to know they are there when you can’t get clean shots of them.

Hen Wild Turkey on an Autumn dayHen Wild Turkey on an Autumn day – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or called in

When I can, I’m happy. I wish this bird’s head stood out more from the cliff face behind it but I’m still happy with the photo.

The Wild Turkeys in northern Utah are mostly the Southwestern subspecies and they are also called Rio Grande Wild Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia).

Wild Turkey flying past a cliff faceWild Turkey flying past a cliff face – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or called in

I had plenty of missed opportunities with turkeys in flight yesterday, by that I mean I clipped a lot turkey body parts while they flew past because they were close, I had better luck with the turkeys that were a bit father away from me.

Flying Wild TurkeyFlying Wild Turkey – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or called in

Fun fact: Did you know that young Wild Turkeys can fly at just 10 days old when they are much smaller than the adults? That helps them avoid predators and enables them to fly up into trees to roost at night.

Wild Turkey hen in flightWild Turkey hen in flight – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or called in

Of the Wild Turkey flight photos I took yesterday I think I like this one the best because the bird stands out well from the cliff face behind it. Honestly though, considering how fast they fly I was just happy to get several sharp images of them in flight.

Life is good.

Mia

4 Comments

  1. hummingbird lover October 23, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Hi! you really caught that turkey in every movement! You need to make a video and post it for Thanksgiving! Great work! love it !

  2. Elephants Child October 22, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Love the fourth – with the shadow of the wing ahead.
    And had never thought about ‘turkey on the wing’.

  3. Marty K October 22, 2017 at 8:50 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a turkey fly. Thanks so much for these fantastic shots!

  4. Patty Chadwick October 22, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Those are powerful, smart birds…we haveca flock of them in Maine. It always amazes me how they cross a now busy road without getting hit….

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