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.

More funny faces at the zoo

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An early morning walk at the Lowry Park zoo produced a lot of funny faces. A baby marabou stork all grown up, a screech-owl missing eye that found refuge at the zoo and a loving boat billed heron couple among a few I saw. The caracara in the last picture was shot in the wing. He has a permanent home at the zoo where he can do his hop/fly low on the ground. We don’t really see any caracaras on the coast since they mostly live in central Florida so this is a good chance for kids to get up close and see one.

A face only a Mother could love

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Not the most attractive bird at the Lowry Park zoo, the Marabou stork is one of the funniest looking. They get a lot of attention as people walk by and comment on them. This is the 3rd year I’ve seen Marabou babies in this spot, right next to the zebras and giraffes. There are two babies this year. One is much bigger than the other and was easier to get pictures of him. Mom was feeding them some breakfast.  This was late March so  by now they are probably all grown up. It’s always fun to see the babies at the zoo.

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