At the Denver Zoo

Since Jen and the kids love the Denver Zoo, I’ve visited it nearly every time I’ve visited. I took pictures of this striking East African crowned crane in a past visit,

but have no memory of most of the birds I saw this time.

For instance, I don’t remember seeing this startling Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, despite occupying a rather large area next to the lion exhibit. I was struck by how much its head resembled raven masks used by Northwest Indian tribes.

I suspect I’ve been so turned off by tacky flamingo statues stuck in suburban lawns I’ve never really appreciated the delicate beauty of a flamingo until I stopped to photograph this flock:

I even managed to finally see a Canvasback duck, a duck common in the Pacific Northwest but I’ve never spotted.

Much of what we finally see seems pre-determined by what we’re interested in seeing, doesn’t it? I suspect that the birds registered this time simply because I’ve become interested in birding in the last year.

Which isn’t to say that I didn’t also pay attention to my favorite animals. I can’t imagine any bird that could ever outweigh my love for elephants, particularly for an elephant that can balance on its front legs while picking peanuts up out of the moat.

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