A few late babies bringing in the rear

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The juvenile little blue heron above was testing out his wings. He was a little wobbly as he moved from branch to branch and he was flapping hard. I don’t think he was quite ready to take off yet but soon. I like the way you can see his bones in his wings. He’s still got some pin feathers underneath there.

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The ones above are still too young to be off moving around yet. They must have been the last ones born later this spring.


There was still a tiny one.  A very late tricolored heron baby with his parent were on the other side of the alligator exhibit at Lowry Park Zoo. Another great wild baby bird season is coming to a close at the zoo.

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Fun things at the zoo.


“You got a snack for me lady?”


“I guess I’ll just eat this tree.”


“Stripes always make you look slimmer.”


“These elephants stink!”


“I’m going to steal this monkey’s food.”


“Bananas are for ducks too.”


“Can you get this hammer off my head?”


“A nice dead tree to chew on. As long as those elephants don’t knock it down.”

A few fun things at the zoo. I always swear I’m going to stay away during the hottest part of summer but when a baby elephant is born it’s worth the sweat to go see it play.

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Wild things at the Lowry Park Zoo.

Lots of bees buzzing around the flowers.

Juvenile blue herons hanging around the nest. They were probably born here earlier this spring. It seems they don’t want to leave home.

My first yellow throated warbler of the fall season. (If you can call it fall). The bird reports were saying fall migration started back in mid-August when I took these but it felt like a heat wave. 

There was a titmouse hanging around with the warbler. They were high up in the trees near the manatee hospital.

Not technically a wild thing, this turtle lives in the manatee exhibit. I thought he had a pretty face.

There did not seem to be as many grasshoppers at the zoo than last summer. I wonder if they had been spraying to keep the numbers down. The grasshoppers eat up all of the nice green foliage around the exhibits.

Looking at the waterfall, you could almost pretend you were on some Caribbean island instead of central Tampa.

I hadn’t been to the zoo in several months so I decided to stop in for a quick visit. It was the middle of August, which I always swear I would never visit during that month. Hot and steamy!

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Baby birds at the zoo

Two baby blue herons looking at mom. Mom was close by in another tree. I think she was taking a break from her little screamers.

The one on the right looks to be a few days older. His beak is already getting darker.

Baby tricolored heron looking out at something.

An older tricolored heron baby resting.

Baby blue heron walking around.

A quick trip to Lowry Park Zoo did not produce anything unusual. The zoo had trimmed back the bushes and short palm trees along the alligator exhibit and the amount of nesting wild birds there was much smaller than in the past several years. Most of the great egrets nest in the upper parts of the oak trees and their babies were almost fully grown. The famous front and center nest that housed the baby spoonbill family last year was taken over by a blue heron family. I was disappointed that there weren’t any spoonbills nesting there at all this year. The first picture is of the nest that is highly visible when you walk by the alligators. Everyone was walking by and commenting on the baby birds. It was still a productive visit. They were all cute just starting to walk around. There were still a few blue herons sitting on eggs so there will be more to come before their season is over.

Sunday afternoon at the zoo

One of the resident eagles looking as something. He’s so neatly groomed. You can tell he’s not out there in the wild getting dirty and messy. The sign says the two eagles there are permanently injured.

The other people at the zoo thought these two were kissing but it’s actually the parent still feeding a juvenile. The one in front is just turning from gray to pink. He was born this past summer.

Scratching an itch.

Baby ducks already swimming around. It seems so early for ducks.

More babies swimming around. It’s always fun to see the babies in the water around the exhibits.

I stopped by the zoo last weekend to see if there was any wild birds nesting yet at the alligator exhibit. It’s a little early for them to nest there, they usually start having babies in April and May but since it’s been so warm and babies are popping up early I thought I’d see if any action was going on. The zoo is renovating the back boardwalk so it was blocked off for a couple of weeks. I was told it should be back open in early March so I’ll head back out there again. I hope they didn’t change any of the landscaping around the exhibit that would discourage nesting. It’s so nice to have a mini bird rookery so close to my house. Last year a spoonbill couple raised 3 beautiful babies right in the front so this spring I’m keeping my fingers crossed.