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Capturing the Majestic Flight Patterns of Birds in Doris Mitsch’s Locked Down Looking Up

“Lockdown Vultures (Moab Mesa).” All images © Doris Mitsch, shared with permission

In her latest photography project, Bay Area artist Doris Mitsch captures the mesmerizing flight patterns of birds. Locked Down Looking Up features stunning images of birds flying around rugged mesas, descending toward forests, and congregating above the sea. The continuing project began in early 2020 when Mitsch placed a camera outside her home and recorded birds flying around it over several days. If you’re fascinated by the beauty and power of birds in flight, be sure to check out this exhibition!

“There is still lots of stuff going on in my life, although everything has come to a halt, up in the air,” she concludes. She’s gone on to capture similar swarming events with vultures, gulls, and crows in places all along the California coast and across Moab’s dunes.

Mitch’s composites combine the length of time, the number of birds, and the overall number of pictures combined range from 500 to 5,000. “Lockdown Vulture (Signature)’ is one of my favorites since it depicts just one vulture moving slowly around the course for around a minute,” Mitsch explains Freeyork. “‘Lockdown Vultures (Moab Mesa)’ is another one of my favorites, which depicts about five minutes’ worth of 25 or so birds circling together.”

In addition to this series, Mitsch also produced a collection of images focusing on starlings’ murmurations, which she may find on her website

“Lockdown Vulture (Signature)”
“Lockdown Vultures (Moab Slope)”
“Lockdown Swallows (Hunting)”
“Lockdown Crows (Evening Commute)”
“Lockdown Crows (One Tree)”
“Lockdown Bats (Pas de Deux)”
“Lockdown Gulls (Sea Ranch)”