Yeah, that’s right, I said beautiful.
I was one too, who used to think that the turkey vulture was ugly.
Well that was until I started to go to bird and wildlife rescue, recovery and rehabilitation centres more regularly, which began a couple years ago. There are a few on Vancouver Island and I love them all for different reasons.
Now, due to being educated at these centres, the turkey vulture is one of my favourite birds, and especially if you spend some time researching and getting educated on their importance in our ecosystem. They are crucial. We need them! They help to dispose of things like carrion which would otherwise spread disease.
And, I find them quite beautiful; their colours and varied textures, shapes and patterns, are fascinating for any visual artist.
I am not a fan of captive caged birds or wildlife for sure.
However the birds at any of these centres have been rescued due to having been orphaned or injured and for one reason or another, can never be safely returned back to the wild.
Yesterday I visited the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre on my way home. I always have a camera with me, so I made a quick stop to take a break and to stretch my legs.
Here, as a photographer, there is always with an opportunity to practice some photography skills because you are dealing with less than perfect situations; often not great light, barriers like wood beams and double-wire fencing and backgrounds behind the birds that may not be appealing, extremes in harsh bright light and/or too dark and with birds often sleeping in shadows or hiding behind foliage on perches in awkward to photograph locations. Challenge accepted!
It is a wonderful challenge to get amazing photos with all these possible barriers to success. Plus at the same time, your entry fee helps the centre to feed and care for the birds that help educate us all.
The turkey vulture:
And, as I said on Instagram, “if anyone cannot understand and feel the true and deep connection with birds or animal, I do not understand them.”
So please if you can, visit and support the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre. Thank you!
(P.S. I have one more STUNNING image of one of these turkey vultures that I made a few months ago during another visit, but instead of “my dog ate my homework” … well … my my dog ate my SD card. OK, he didn’t really eat it, but one tooth puncture wound to my SD card rendered it unreadable. So I will be returning to NIWR to see if I can recreate that image again. In the meantime, I will post a lower resolution copy I had saved to my phone in my next post.)