Fun day at the zoo.

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“Gimmi a kiss!”

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“I gotta itch.”

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“I’m still a baby.”

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“Gimmi a hug!”

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“I’m the biggest one here.” (I realized later that he had a problem with his foot.)

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“Let’s go for a swim.”

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“Come here lady. I’ve got something to tell ya.” says the croc.

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“Come join the party.”

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One last parting shot from my fun day at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.

Linking up to Saturday’s Critters Shine the Divine

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

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