Here are some more of the 72 pictures I took at the aviary. 😀
Northern Bobwhite Quail. Once a numerous bird in the eastern United States, its population is in sharp decline mostly due to habitat loss. This small quail, not hugely bigger than a soft ball, has a distinctive call that literally sounds like ‘bob-white’. And this call is SO loud it makes you think they are twice their actual size. It is sad to say that I have only heard this call in the wild only once in the past twenty years.
Could this be a young Red Bishop Weaver just coming into color? I just had to take her picture as she sat there all sleepy and rumpled.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. A bird of south-central U.S. and across to Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri. These birds love open scrubby country and sometimes catch bugs by launching off a perch to catch them in mid-air. I was very fortunate to get a picture of these little guys as they were very busy flying around.
I have no idea what the black and blue bird is, but he was very aware of me and the camera, staring straight at me and slightly poofing his chest.
Wattled Curassow. Endangered. They are native to the rainforests of South America. In addition to habitat loss, they are hunted for meat much like we hunt for turkeys. This particular bird was enjoying himself standing on the railing next to the door startling visitors as they came through. 😀
Brown Pelican. Yep, another of my favorites. I wish I could find a decent small china figurine. These birds dive headfirst into the ocean to catch fish, the pouch on the underside of their bill expanding to hold 2-3 gallons of water to help trap the fish. Did you know they incubate their eggs with their feet? o_o
I went to a free flight show! One of the free flying birds were these adorable Hooded Vultures. These birds are common across sub-Saharan Africa. They live in a wide variety of habitats including villages! They are carnivores and scavengers. Unlike a lot of vultures who feed only on carcasses, these guys can be found feeding in refuse dumps and along shore lines. Unfortunately, like most vultures, they do poop on their own legs to help cool themselves off. Eww! (But they are so cute!)
Another of the free flight birds, the Lanner Falcon. A beautiful raptor found mainly in Africa with small populations in Europe and Asia, these birds have been used in falconry for over 1000 years. Unlike the North American Peregrine who is known for their stunning high-speed dives, the Lanner Falcon hunts horizontally reaching speeds up to 90 mph from wing flaps alone. Do you see the antennae attached to the bird’s leg? There are actually two, one to gauge speed and one for GPS in case the bird decides to wander off.
There he is high in the sky.
A lucky shot of the Lanner Falcon having a go at the lure.
Mantling (protecting) his ‘kill’.
A wonderful shot of the Lanner Falcon as he gets ready to eat his treat.
I love watching the birds working with their trainers.
Next up will be the Bateleur Eagles and, of course, souvenirs!