a second look, birds, friends, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, ZooTampa

At the zoo…

No, we didn’t go back to the zoo, but I did get distracted by so many other photo ops we were lucky enough to have in a short period of time and missed some fun animals. I showed you the orangutans, because they usually make up half the shots I take at the zoo. But there were other notable creatures to see.

Imagine my surprise to see a white spoonbill. A Eurasian spoonbill, who was’t the best at posing for a picture.
He did better here, posing with a scarlet ibis.
We see ibis everywhere here, but not this scarlet variety. Their coloring comes from the crustaceans which they eat in tropical South America and the Caribbean.
And this is a shoebill stork, who stood close enough to the front of the enclosure that it was hard to get a picture of his whole, 5 foot tall self! Somehow he seemed bigger than the other birds we see that are almost as tall as he was. But he has a sturdier build, and he looks so much bigger. They are from the swamps of eastern tropical Africa where they eat big fish, like lungfish, eels, and catfish. As well as Nile monitor lizards, snakes, and baby crocodiles. Another odd trait is that they poop on their own legs. It cools them off. They couldn’t print it if it wasn’t true, right?
The sign said shoe billed heron, but when I googled that it just brought me to the big shoebills.
I was shooting through the same sort of fencing that you see in the background here, but the camera can focus on the owls and ignore the fencing, at least some of the time. Barred owls.
We finally saw the binturong. He came to the zoo and took over the enclosure where the clouded leopard used to drape himself over a big branch and allow for all of us to take great pictures of him. So we looked at this guy as an interloper, except that we hardly looked at him at all because he wasn’t usually visible. Until I lightened my picture quite a bit in Lightroom you couldn’t really see him in this picture either. They live in the trees, climbing well but not fast, and eat everything. That’s what omnivore means, right?
I shot these lorikeets through their enclosure netting also. They made one cute pose after another and I worried that I wouldn’t get decent pictures, but they turned out okay. Choosing which cute shot to use was the problem.
Doesn’t this guy look happy? I don’t know why because he shares an enclosure with what appears to be a couple of needle-nosed alligators, but they seem to have come to a meeting of the minds.
Just a hippo, um, make that an Asian rhino.
This is a Schmidt’s red-tailed monkey. His tail is longer than he is. So cute with a nice yellow heart on it’s face.

There is no story to the duckling in the feature photo, it’s just cute! But it is being raised in the zoo. What a lucky duck!

a second look, friends, fun, nature, Nature's beautiful creatures, perseverance, photography, ZooTampa


Yes, we went back to ZooTampa yesterday, and of course I looked for Riplee. But honestly, I’m not 100% sure who was who. But this little guy from the the feature photo appeared to be on his own, no mother hovering to keep him safe. And he was all over the place, gathering up the pieces of vegetables that had been put out for them for their morning treat.

I was sure I was looking at Riplee when I took this picture.
But then this little one started to make me wonder. Riplee is two years old now, and there was another one around a year younger than him so that makes me wonder about this one. A very little one was climbing on ropes, very busy, but then a mom reached up and reeled him in now and then.
But then there was this mom who quickly climbed the enclosure and swung from ropes and that little one clinging to her was on his own to stay attached.
When I saw this mom holding her baby I assumed it was that little infant I saw the last time I was here. But looking at the photo I think this baby is the one year old. I remember how I’d race back to the zoo to see Riplee, sure that he would have grown so fast. But he was an infant a long time, well over a year before he was venturing away from mom.
Eventually you must move on, and when we did we saw these barred owls. I took the picture through the same mesh that you see behind them, but the camera focused on the owls and ignored the enclosure in front of them. That’s how it looked through the view finder as I took the pictures, but I was doubtful that it would look like this in the photo.
I tried my best to get an otter picture the last time was was here. They swim in the murky water and if they zoom in close to the glass you see them for a second. I was kind of pleased with this one, the bubbles especially.
Yes, we live in Florida, but the new Florida exhibit is very nice so we always stop by.
This didn’t look like a wolf to me as I stood there watching it move around the enclosure. It scratched itself on the bark of a tree, and panted with a very friendly-looking face. I asked myself if I’d recognize them in the wild, and I suppose if I was in their environment I’d be more aware. I think it looks more wolf-ish in the photo.
This was a new spotting for us. We saw several big nests up high in the trees, and this one is home to a great blue heron and her chick. Freely choosing to make her home here I assume.

I apparently will never learn to take pictures of the signs that tell you what animal you are looking at. I feel badly if I show pictures without any identification at all, so I’ll hang onto my mystery photos a while and try to look those up.

a second look, adventure, Florida landmarks, fun, live and learn, perseverance, photography, ZooTampa

Doing my homework…

We went to a fun photography class on Saturday. It was a refresher class on how to shoot photos at the zoo. The reminders were helpful, even if I didn’t manage to adhere to them as strictly as I might have hoped. Getting your lens up close to a wire fence or a plexiglass window will cause the enclosure to not show at all. Our leader, Jeff, also reminded us to watch out for unfortunate backgrounds for our photos. Try to select a spot with a good background and wait for the animal to to walk into that spot, suggested Jeff. I’m afraid my patience wore out long before that happened.

I decided that catching the elephant munching on grass would do for a shot.
There were lots of kids at the zoo this morning, and they were very excited to see the flamingos.
Jeff used a photo of a giraffe during the class. He challenged us to try to get both eyes in a photo. I did it, but barely.
I’d been skipping the lorikeet enclosure the last few times I’d been to ZooTampa. Now I wonder why.
When you have cut off a body part make it look like you did it on purpose. The kinkajou is missing a very long tail, but only in my pictures.
The Komodo dragon enclosure is directly behind the orangutan playground. But when we arrived the orangutans weren’t out yet, though their greens and lots of colorful boxes were waiting for them. So I peeked through the glass and this guy was right there. I was happy the glass was there also.
An Okapi, possibly assembled by a committee.
Getting an angle on the Spoonies wasn’t easy.
This needle-nosed alligator look alike is usually looking sleepy. Not today!
The tiger was facing away from me. Then he lifted his face into the sun.
Then he turned and looked at me. I didn’t worry about having the lens zoomed in a bit too close.
Someone else was looking at me too. He was big, but the guy next door was way bigger!

As you might suspect, there are a lot of orangutan photos yet to be viewed. They’ll keep me busy tomorrow.