Wherever You Go, There You Are

As I noted in my previous entry, I was really looking forward to photographing at the Butterfly Exhibit and I carried the best lens for shooting butterflies close up, my 100 mm macro lens. If I’d known that I was going to the zoo I would have taken an entirely different set of lenses, either my 70-200 mm lens, my 400 mm lens, or both.

I was most upset by the fact that I had promised Lael a trip to the butterfly garden and had to disappoint her, but as she pointed out as we walked around the zoo, “Who needs butterflies when the zoo has so many birds.” She knows her grandpa well.

This Spur-winged Lapwing caught my attention in the very first exhibit.
It seemed remarkably familiar, but entirely new, all at the same time, and I couldn’t quite figure out why until I read it was a cousin of our Killdeer, a personal favorite.

Spur-winged Lapwing

The 100 mm lens was entirely incapable of capturing a decent shot of an ostrich in the distance, but it’s hard not to be impressed by a bird this big,


even when you’ve seen it many times.

I don’t remember ever seeing this red-headed jungle bird ever before, though, but I was impressed by the unique head and struggled to get a good shot through the glass panes.

unknown bird with red head

On the other hand, this turquoise-colored bird was in a large open area, but it was so dark and the bird was so camera-shy that it was a real struggle to get a decent shot.

unknown turquoise-colored bird

The real “aha” moment of the day was when I noticed these strange birds mixed in with the flamingoes.

Young Flamingo

The curator pointed out that young flamingoes lack the brilliant pinks of the adults, even when they’ve been fed on the same shrimp that causes the pink coloration in the adults. I’ve never seen a flamingo that wasn’t pink.

Of course, this is only a small number of the birds to be found in Woodland Park Zoo. I’m continually surprised by the large numbers of birds to be found at most zoos today. I certainly don’t remember seeing nearly as many birds at the zoo when I was a child. I wonder if that’s because they actually had less birds, or whether I simply didn’t notice them because I was more interested in lions, and tigers, and bears?