Monday, May 31, 2010

Birding at the Zoo

Happy Memorial Day! We have been out on hikes and birding so much lately, on impulse we decided to go to the Louisville Zoo, even though we knew it would be packed with kids. It was the right decision.
Our favorite zoo bird is the Lorikeet. They have so many bright colors! Hold out a little cup of nectar in and they immediately jump all over you to drink it, lapping with their tongues. Yes, some people couldn't quite handle those little feet in their hair, particularly young kids. Shreek! After the nectar is gone, the Lorikeets still stay on your shoulders to nibble on your earrings, or walk up and down your neck licking sweat - guess they must like the salt. It tickles like crazy!
Sometimes they get a little over-enthused and try to take a bite out of your finger, which Dick didn't care for. Compared to owl bites, though, these were just love nips. In addition to the exotic and endangered animals, the Zoo plays host to many local birds too, especially Canadian Geese. My favorites at the lake are the Wood Ducks. Some of the males haven't started to molt yet, and they are beautiful. Others are in eclipse and will be pretty sorry looking for a while until their colorful feathers start to grow back in. How odd to see so many Wood Ducks at the zoo, and so few out in the wild. Baby ducks slip through the fence and mama swims back and forth trying to call them back to her.
Some of the Flamingos are much pinker than others. This guy sat on his ankles and tucked his head into his wings, looking more beige than pink.
The Emus sat in the shade while kids yelled and splashed at the new water park in the zoo. Construction is still under way for the polar bears and sea lions, but the water park seems popular. I think this emu could wear an earring on her ear. I've never seen one so prominent on a bird before.
I think the sign said this was the Demoiselle Crane, although I could be wrong. I love the different colors in the bird eyes.
This Crested Crane has long been one of my favorites. The punk rock star of the bird world!
Black Swans used to be part of the Australian exhibit, but now they swim in the big lake with all the other geese and ducks. Doesn't seem to bother them a bit.
This stork was in the pen with the giraffe's and I didn't see its name sign. Hey, do zoo birds count on your life list?
Of course, you can't limit yourself to just the birds at the zoo. I was interested in faces today, so the orangutan and the Siberian tiger joined my collection. The lions wouldn't wake up and look in my direction. However, the absolutely BEST photos I took today must be saved for another post, since there are so many of them. I didn't think it would be good to have all these birds, plus my really special photos in the same post. So come back in a few days and see the Griffon Vulture and the giraffes!


dick dennis said...

My bird was just telling me to put the camera down and feed him some nectar. At least I snampped a good one of you before the lorikeet
said "Enough".

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I still miss our Scotty! Love the zoo. Hope you have a great week~

Mary Beth said...

we miss scotty too. Mom did you stop by and say hi to Punch and Mikki too. What about Loo Loo, Cindy Sue, Oliva, and Shelia? If you don't remember who all these are just ask Andrew. After all we did pick up after them for how many years?

Glad you and Dad had a good day at the zoo though. Always a fun place to visit. We'll have to go as a family when the late nights start again too.