Gimme a little wild turkey

December 30, 2007|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

Chris J. Dempsher made up for the time he was unable to photograph the 14 turkeys that had flown into his backyard a little more than a week before Thanksgiving Day.

He missed the shot because the shutter speed setting on his camera was too slow. But he got one more chance - five of those birds returned a few days later, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

He finally got those turkeys. He took photos from inside his home behind a glass window, then sneaked outside and peered down into his own yard from behind a fence.

"I knew it would be my last chance," said Dempsher, a pathologist and a hobbyist photographer who lives just north of Hagerstown.


Dempsher resides near wetlands that attract wild turkeys. Sometimes, as many as 20 can be seen crossing streets to access the wetlands. But the birds rarely stray from the wetlands into human turf, Dempsher said.

Perhaps the turkeys found the prospect of a free meal from Dempsher's bird feeder too good to pass up.

"They flew in the yard and just started pecking around," Dempsher said.

Photos by Chris J. Dempsher


Chris J. Dempsher, an amateur photographer, said his home north of Hagerstown is near wetlands that attracts wild turkeys. He used a Canon Rebel XTi with a telephoto lens and internal stabilization to photograph the birds.

Dempsher said one of the birds noticed him. "This was a threatening gesture," Dempsher said. "It was his way of saying, 'Back off.'"

Dempsher photographed these turkeys from behind a window. They were pecking around for birdseed scattered near a bird feeder.

After photographing the turkeys from behind a window, Dempsher wanted to photograph the birds in flight. So he sneaked outside and peered over his own fence to scare them into flight.

These spooked birds took off once they realized Dempsher was closing in on them.

After intentionally rousing a few wild turkeys that had flown into his yard, Dempsher captures photos of one in flight.

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