Sunday, August 31, 2014

Prince Edward Island 2008 Trip Blog - Day 1

So I'm finally getting around to re-posting the blog of my trip to Prince Edward Island from 2008. When I switched hosting companies in 2009 or 2010, the photos I edited specifically for that trip report went into the netherworld, so I'm copying & pasting the text and going through the original photos and trying to match things up.

A bit of an explanation: I've loved Anne Of Green Gables since my early twenties. Even though I watched the Megan Follows movies growing up, I wasn't that into Anne until I became an adult and read the novel and started watching the film regularly. Then it was just love. Because of my fancy for all things Anne, I decided I wanted to go to Prince Edward Island, where the novel is set. The year I decided I wanted to do this just happened to be the 100th anniversary of the book's publication, so it seemed like perfect timing. I began to make plans.

My mom decided she'd like to go, too, so I made plans for two....

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Oregon Zoo In Flight - Part 2

(Previously: Part 1)

The California Condors are the newest additions to the Oregon Zoo. I've counted two.

 I've seen the Condors kind of playing. One will fly over to the others' branch, and the other will fly to a different branch, and the first one will chase the other. They'll also spread their wings, as if to show off.

Heck, maybe they're mating.

If you're looking for big, majestic birds that are slightly more appealing (and eat fewer carcasses), just head up the leafy pathway, to Eagle Canyon.

Most days, the eagles just sit there. But if you get lucky, you might catch one or both of them playing/washing in the stream, or even flying!

Meanwhile on the Northwest Trail...

You may be surprised to learn that the Oregon Zoo has a lot of ducks. There are some in beaver exhibit. There are bunch in this pond, too, and some are particularly feisty towards one another.

Well, only some.

There are ducks in the two main African aviaries, and there are ducks on the ol' Farm....

Welcome to "The Duckery!"

I love these ducks. They aren't very people-friendly (well, pubic-friendly... they seem to love their caretakers), but they're darn cute, the way they waddle and quack.


Although they don't fly, I felt it would be wrong to leave out the penguins. Unfortunately, the Oregon Zoo's penguin exhibit isn't ideal for photography... the windows are foggy and smudged and the place is kind of dark.

Just pretend that the water=air, and the penguin does kinda look like she's flying!


Finally, there are some birds at the Zoo that you may never see in a permanent exhibit. Tucked away and cared for who-knows-where, some of the most interesting of our feathered friends only come out for educational talks and the summer show Wild Life Live. In years past, this show included birds flying over the heads of the audience; that was cut this year because of construction projects. Despite that, many wonderful birds did get to come out and say "hi" for a few minutes this summer, including owls, hawks, macaws, and Pierre the Hooded Vulture!

Want More? Check Out:

Oregon Zoo In Flight - Part 1

When I first heard that the Oregon Zoo was going to build a new exhibit and bring in new animals, I was excited! Then I learn that those animals would be birds. California Condors, to be specific. All I could think was, More birds? The Zoo already has enough birds for a small army... of... well, birds. Stop with the birds and bring in a panda, dangit!

I really like pandas.

But I also really like birds... now. It took me a while, but I eventually began to see how cool they are. The more I photographed birds, the more I realized that the Oregon Zoo's bird population is really spectacular. They have dozens of different kinds, some in their own exhibits, and some almost hidden and oft-overlooked. Perhaps because birds are not big and fuzzy wuzzy, sometimes zoogoers don't pay much attention to the little winged creatures. But this summer, I've been paying attention... and now I'm hoping I'll bring your attention to some of the feathery beings that call the Oregon Zoo "home."

When zoogoers think of birds at the Oregon Zoo, Lorikeet Landing probably comes quickly to mind. It's a beautiful area surrounded by lush plants and colorful, noisy Lories and Lorikeets. Currently, it is the only exhibit at the Zoo where people can lawfully feed animals ($1 buys you a cup of nectar that'll start to trickle down your arm if the birds don't drink it up within a few minutes.) 

Sadly, the Lorikeets won't be at the Oregon Zoo much longer. The Zoo recently announced that the birds are moving to Florida and that their exhibit will be re-purposed. :(

Another location that is home to many birds at the Zoo is the Howard Vollum Aviary, located near the Rhino exhibit. 

I sometimes bypass this building because it's a little warm and stuffy and has a mildly unpleasant smell. On the days I can overlook that, however, I find myself enchanted by the variety of birds. Each visit, I see different ones. Sometimes certain birds will be hiding; others will be too high up to see; others will be right there to pose for photos.

When in "Africa," keep an eye out for the Southern Ground Hornbills. It's neat to see how well they get along with the gazelles and giraffes.

D'aw, buddies!

One of my favorite "bird viewing" areas is African Rainforest Aviary. This one's easy to miss because it's on a loop that's off the beaten path. Definitely take a few extra minutes to discover what's in this area.

While the pink flamingoes might be this exhibit's biggest hit, many birds live here, including two types of ibises, three types of ducks, an a one-winged Hooded Vulture.

I have but one wing!

Do you think there can't possibly be any more birds at the Oregon Zoo? Think again -- and check out Part 2!

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