Funny “Bird” faces at the zoo.

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Inca tern in the aviary.

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Blue bellied roller in the aviary.

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Crazy lorikeets in the lorikeet feeding aviary.

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A hooded merganser hanging around the manatee exhibit. I’m not sure if he is part of the zoo. I didn’t see a band on him.

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The marabou stork couple flirting on the nest.

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I was looking around up in the trees to see if any of the wild birds are nesting yet and saw this barred owl high up in the pine trees.

More pictures from my recent trip to the Lowry Park zoo.

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Another “Funny Faces at the Zoo” post

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I always see red bellied woodpeckers up in the trees at the zoo.

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Everyone loves the little meerkat “clowns”.

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The marabou stork is back on the nest.  Last spring she had 2 babies. She doesn’t look too happy about having to sit there for weeks.

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The front of an Okapi.

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The back of an Okapi.

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“There’s a piece straw hanging in front of my eye. Maybe I can reach it with my tongue” says the giraffe.

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A hooded merganser snoozing over the manatee pool.

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Injured manatees recouping at the zoo manatee hospital.

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He seemed so serious in the first picture so I asked him to smile.

A few funny things at Lowry Park zoo.

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Hoody in my neighbor “hood”

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The tiny pond in my neighborhood has a rare occupant every winter. I finally saw him recently and stopped by to take his picture. The hooded merganser was the only duck in the pond that wasn’t a muscovy duck. He usually has a mate with him but this morning he was alone. I hope she’s just late getting in from up north. I hope he doesn’t spend the winter alone in this little pond.

 

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Hooded mergansers are very skittish.  He stayed across the little pond at first.  I sat down on the grass and all of the muscovy ducks came swimming over to me.  They sat next to me and I guess the hoody thought I wasn’t a threat because he did swim a little closer. He never got all the way to the edge or up on the bank but he did get much closer than usual. He also spent some time preening in front of me which a good sign but maybe he’s lonely. I’m going to keep looking for that lady duck.

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The faces that get no respect, the muscovies came right up to me and I’m assuming they were looking for a handout. After a few minutes they just plopped right down next to me. I didn’t feel like getting up so I started taking pictures of their faces. They are almost like snowflakes, no two faces are just alike.

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They got bored with me and started snoozing. It was time to go home.

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Backyard in November

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An ibis sits on our dock.

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We see the hooded merganser couple almost every day. Most of the time they stay in the middle of the channel but occasionally I’ll peak out the window and they are right in front of our dock.

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I was out in the backyard taking this picture. He was keeping an eye on me. If I took one step more away from the house, he would have gone swimming down the channel.

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The neighborhood osprey tugging on his fish.

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He would take a bite and then look around, repeating this the entire time he was eating.

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The house sparrows were already fixing up the nest in our dock.

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Taken through the bedroom window, the neighborhood kingfisher was watching me as he was trying to gulp down his fish.

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Blooms in the yard in November.

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

Also, check out more birds at Paying Ready Attention for 

High up in the sky – Skywatch Friday

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This was the first time I’ve seen hooded mergansers at Circle B Bar Reserve.

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Tricolored heron reflection

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Wood stork out in the marsh.

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Baby great blue heron almost grown up, still on the nest.

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Cattle egret fly-by.

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White pelicans coming across the lake.

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White pelicans flying over my head.

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Not quite fully grown eagle flying high up.

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An adult eagle flying over my head in circles.

It was a rare beautiful morning in late January. This winter seems to be the year of the icky weekends. I know, it could be worse. I could actually be living up north where it SNOWS so I can’t complain. There’s still hundreds of white pelicans at the park but they usually stay pretty far away, across the lake. You have to catch them flying high overhead.  It was a quiet morning but a perfect morning for a long walk.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday

A new park for me

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I found a sleepy yellow crowned night heron snoozing in a tree along the boardwalk. He was sleeping right next to an empty nest. Hopefully, he’s planning to use it soon. He was looking pretty grumpy.

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Yes, another blue-gray gnatcatcher.

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Female red-winged blackbird in the bush.

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Another one on the ground along the boardwalk.

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Yellow rumped warbler posing for me. Why are these the only ones that like to show off?

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Pretty green feathers on the male mallard. Mating season has begun.

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I found this lone female hooded merganser hanging out with a mallard couple. She was asleep on my first lap around the park. She was just floating along the creek.

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On my 2nd lap around the park, she was awake and watching me.

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She started to dive for food and did not seem to care if I was around.

I’ve been by the golf driving range in Largo a million times. I did not realize there was a park behind it. It’s a small park but has a nice layout. On one side is the driving range. Another side has a small creek with a golf course across from it. The third side is the same creek around the bend with houses across from it. There are several paved paths and a nice boardwalk around a very small pond. It was cold the morning I headed over. Practically freezing here at a chilly 48 degrees! But, the sun was out and it warmed up fast. I had heard there were cedar waxwings hanging around the park. I saw them there but they were far away on the other side of the creek into the sun. I walked two laps around the park and saw them later fly overhead. Off into the yonder. Oh well, I’ll try to head over there again before they leave for spring.

Backyard in January

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The kingfisher was 7 houses down sitting on a sailboat mast.

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Ibis on the dock at the same house.

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Great blue heron preening on my neighbor’s dock. He’s been coming around a lot lately.

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I call him Grumpy face.

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I walked out on my dock one afternoon and scared the hooded mergansers. I didn’t realize they were floating around next to it.

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He’s looking back at me like “Why did you come outside?”

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They were heading down the channel, keeping an eye on me.

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Sitting on my neighbor’s dock post, the kingfisher was showing off his snack. I know he can see me through the bedroom window.

Just a few visitors to our corner of the world during January.

Linking up Saturday’s Critters