In the helicopter world there are two kinds of take off profiles – altitude over airspeed where you are trying to clear an obstacle and airspeed over altitude where you gain flying speed before gaining any height. It takes less power to do airspeed over altitude and as such that’s the preferred method, situation permitting. It also makes sense for birds, though as quick as they are you seldom notice it. Several doves in a nearby pine tree were being skittish and I was trying to get some pictures of them lighting and leaving the tree. I caught this one almost by accident. I could see him ready to leave and hit the shutter as he stretched out, catching him in his dive. He’s a split second away from flapping his wings to level off.