There are many interesting birds in captivity at the Phoenix Zoo…
…and a local Common Moorhen was so inspired by all this finery, it decided to leave its rail roots behind and climb a tree.
Regular posting resumes this weekend. Thanks for reading.
How can you spot the zoology nerds in the South America exhibit at the zoo? While everyone else is admiring the jaguars, we’re the ones ooh-ing and aah-ing over a small worm-like caecilian in a tank. (For you non-nerds, a caecilian is a bizarre, limbless type of amphibian.)
Yes, today a few coworkers and I headed down to spend the day in Jacksonville, beginning with a few hours wandering the Jacksonville Zoo. I was originally thinking of going to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge sometime this weekend, but that’s been shelved until my parents’ visit next week. Though smaller than some I’ve been to, the Jacksonville Zoo still had some really cool exhibits (cassowaries!). I took a bunch of photos, and most of them turned out crappy, but here are a few of the highlights. The pelican with the leaf in the foreground is definitely my favorite.
I was particularly entertained by the nesting colony of Wood Storks that had invaded the African savannah exhibit. Only in Florida, eh?
On Black Friday, we opted to avoid the shopping malls and instead spent the afternoon walking around the lovely Phoenix Zoo. The orangutans were out enjoying their enclosure in defiance of all the signs claiming they were off exhibit. A new habitat for them is currently under construction, which will be lots of fun.
However, as much as I enjoy zoos, I have a problem where I seem to overhear every single incorrect statement about the animals made by other zoo-goers, causing me to become increasingly frustrated as the day goes on. Examples from Friday:
You get the idea. Anyway, my favorite animals at the Phoenix Zoo aren’t actually any of the captive animals on exhibit, but the wild birds who hang out on the duck pond during the winter. On Friday I counted Mallards, Northern Pintails, Northern Shovelers, American Wigeons, Ring-necked Ducks, scaups (don’t ask me which species), and Ruddy Ducks – seven duck species in one afternoon, right in the midst of a busy zoo. Even better than the ducks, though, are the moorhens.
Because they’re members of the rail family, I always think of Common Moorhens as being secretive, standoffish birds. Not so at the Phoenix Zoo. They patrol the picnic areas looking for crumbs, so bold that I could easily get great photos of them even with my little camera.
“Whatchoo lookin’ at?” he seems to be asking.
Hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving! I’m on my way back to Georgia for three more weeks of work before Christmas.
Yesterday I went to the Columbus Zoo with a couple of friends – I hadn’t been there in over a year, and I really wanted to see the new polar bear exhibit. It was definitely worth the trip. If you live anywhere in Central Ohio, you should go.