Dina made me do it! After seeing her Roseate Spoonbill shots, I had to go to Lowry Park Zoo for myself. The spoonies have built a nest over the alligator exhibit, and there are three cute babies growing up in it. The nest is unusually visible, making it very photographable. Rich had been wanting to visit the zoo on our vacation, so we went!
Here the adorable spoonies…
I felt sad seeing the Roseate Spoonbills caged in their exhibit. There were Wood Ducks and Ibises and a Tern in there, too. I much prefer to see them out in the wild. On the other hand, the zoo let me see a bunch of other birds that I don’t usually have the opportunity to see or photograph. Like this African Yellow-Billed Stork, a cousin of our Wood Stork. I’d say that this guy got more than his fair share of the “pretty” gene…
We saw a White-Faced Whistling Duck, African White Spoonbills, and this Javan Pond Heron. He reminds me of our Reddish Egrets. Both the above birds were behind cage bars, but I dialed in a large aperture and used my flash, and you can barely see the lines from the cage.
Rich and I love to watch the Oragutans and their antics. The two babies have gotten bigger. One sat with Mom while the other went exploring. Here she ate a nice lettuce snack while swinging her way down from her favorite hammock. It’s disturbing to hear that this species is expected to be extinct in the wild by 2020.
Another Primate World favorite were these Red-Tailed Guenons. One liked having his picture taken so much that he waved to the camera!
We were surprised by a summer shower, so we hung out in the aviary to let it pass. I enjoyed watching this Blue-Gray Tanager, cousin to the Red and Scarlet Tanagers that keep evading me during migration. He sat on his perch and posed for me, but then as it started to rain harder and harder, he started this little dance of preening and fluffing his wet feathers. He seemed happier than we were when it stopped raining.
There were Mandarin Ducks in the aviary, along with two tiny ducklings. How cute!
The Bald Eagles at Lowry have been injured and are unable to fly. One sat very near to me and let me get head portraits. Before the rain, the pictures all show the eagle with his tongue hanging out (probably part of how he cools himself). After the rain, the tongue was back where it belonged in his mouth, and his feathers were all fluffed from the water.
Rich says it’s fun to watch me with my camera. I thought it was fun to share a photo adventure with him! :)
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lowry Park Zoo?
Check out my Lowry Park Zoo page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!