More pretty birds at Gatorland

A snowy egret was showing off.

The snowy egrets and tricolored herons were sitting on eggs.

Getting a stick for the nest.

The never ending chore of grooming for great egrets. The last one still had his pretty green spring face on.

A tricolored heron and snowy egret were having a fight over a fishing spot.

Flamingo ready for a nap.

More wild birds at Gatorland coming in to nest at the bird rookery (the flamingo is a resident).  These were all taken in April.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Wild and resident animals at the zoo

The trees are full of wild ibis all over the zoo.

The wild blue herons and tricolored herons were just starting to build their nests over the alligator exhibit.

A zoo resident stork was sitting on a nest. By nature, she’s covered in flies. When she moved, they would buzz around.

A resident flamingo splashing around.

Two “head banger” birds in the aviary.

Up close with manatees at the manatee hospital pool there. These are all injured manatees that are in rehab at the zoo. Most of them get released when they recover. (taken through the glass with my phone).

Fun at the Lowry Park Zoo in late March.

Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

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All of the above are missing a wing. They are permanent residents at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park.

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A wild vulture stopped by for a handout.

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Lots of other Florida wildlife there as well.

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The flamingos were taking a bath or napping.

A few things from Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park in late December.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

More than just gators at Gatorland.

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“Gimmi a kiss.”

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“To the left a little.”

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“That hits the spot.”

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Gatorland bunny has the run of the place. But he better watch out and not go into any of the alligator exhibits.

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Pretty in pink.

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“Wassup?”

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Sexy emu

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Bees were buzzing.

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The swamp walk was full of ferns.

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New growth.

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Getting crispy.

There are lots of other things at Gatorland besides alligators and wild baby birds. They have parrots out in the open hanging out together and playing. Rabbits and wild ducks can go where ever they want. The swamp walk is a boardwalk that goes through a swamp filled with ferns. Red bellied woodpeckers were flying high up in the trees. I get there early to take pictures of the baby birds in the mangroves along the alligator lake but before I leave I take a walk around the rest of the park to see what else I can find.

Check out more pictures at Our World Tuesday Our World Tuesday Graphic

Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention  for 

The zoo face awards of 2014.

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He wins the “I want to hug you” face award. It’s not often he’s awake.

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This one wins the “I have the brightest colors” award. He struts around the Australian section of the zoo. I love the red face and yellow beak contrasting with the black and white feathers.

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Some kind of stork. This one wins the “I have yellow oozing down my beak” award.

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The penguin wins the “best use of pink eyeshadow” award.

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The flamingo wins the “Pretty in Pink” award.

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The meerkat wins the “Dirtiest but cute” face award.

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This one wins the “Most unattractive but coolest” award. The marabou storks were working on the nest. Last spring I was able to get a few shots of the baby. I’m hoping for another one this year. I wonder what that bright pink button looking thing is behind his head.

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This one wins the “meanest” face award. A tough looking bird, the shoebill stork had a baby on Christmas day in 2009. They haven’t had one since. I didn’t see any of them sitting on nests while I was there the week of Christmas this year.

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This one wins the “Clown” face award. They are housed in the Lorikeet exhibit.

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This one wins the “best use of the Arizona desert colors” award.

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This one wins the “Come near me and see what happens” award. Especially with that feather sticking out of his teeth.

On my Christmas tourist tour trip to the zoo with my sister, I only took my 300mm fixed lens. I wanted to be able to get decent shots of the baby elephants which tend to hang out in the back of the exhibit. But you can see how close you can get to most of these animals. Most of the shots I could only get their heads, except for that alligator, which was in the back but I still couldn’t fit his whole body in. He was huge. So, I decided to focus in on the details of their faces. Since it’s that time of the year when all of the movie award shows come on TV I thought I’d do my own zoo animal awards. Let me know if you think they should win any other awards!

Shine the Divine

Birds at Animal Kingdom

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This bird was eating something yucky. (Inside the aviary at the safari exhibit)

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It looks like he was working on a nest. (Inside the aviary at the safari exhibit)

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Wild grackles were everywhere in the park. This one was watching us eat our lunch. Even though there were signs everywhere not to feed the birds and ducks, people were still feeding them so the eating areas had a lot of wildlife hanging around looking for a handout.

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Great colors in his feathers (Inside the aviary at the safari exhibit).

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The resident flamingos there were trying to sleep.

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What a cute couple. The one standing was picking bugs off the other one’s face. Or at least that’s what it looked like it was doing. I think these are residents at the park but they weren’t in any type of enclosure. I couldn’t find a sign for them but they look like some type of stork. They are pretty with their orange beaks and pink tail feathers.

We saw so many different types of birds on our trip to Animal Kingdom in Disney World in early march. I took tons of pictures and these were my favorites. The best thing was most of the birds were open to the public. Birds were just out wandering around. You could walk through the big aviary at the safari ride exhibit and the birds were flying all around. This was another one of those target rich environments but I was challenged on the light. It was dark and cloudy most of the day we went. But hey, it was still a day off from work spent at a Disney park so I can’t complain.

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Portraits of zoo animals

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Meerkat with a dirty nose. I guess they spend their entire lives dirty.

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Penguin with pink eyeshadow.

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Flamingo with a curve.

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Double eagles. It’s not often you see these two close together.

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Some type of stork in the African aviary.  I thought the bright yellow beak with the red face was pretty cool and then I noticed the touch of pink in his feathers.

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Most popular face award.

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Eye of the tiger. Look at those white whiskers.

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Portrait of a maribou stork that was only a day or two old.

On a recent trip to the Lowry Park zoo, I only took my 300mm fixed lens. I wanted to try it out on the baby elephant and see if the pictures looked different from using my old 70-300mm zoom. I decided that it would be my one lens for the day and see what I came up with. One thing I realized is that you get a lot closer to the animals there than you think. I kept thinking “I need my zoom.” so I could zoom out. Instead, I just focused on getting close up portrait shots of the animals, something I don’t do that often. It was a fun morning and the above are some of my favorite shots and since I’ve taken an annoying amount of baby elephant shots, I’ll be posted more of those soon as well.

Camera Critters