Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Zoo Birds: For Hot and Cold

To celebrate our grandson's first birthday, we joined a family group at the Jacksonville Zoo for a fine day  of interesting sights. He loves birds so it was a great place to take him. In one large enclosed area, visitors are invited to feed nectar to some tropical birds.

The Florida native wood storks have a large rookery and come and go as they please, building nests now.

I loved watching the flamingos.

Note the immature one that is still rather brown and white. It is the diet of shrimp and crayfish that  creates their bright color.

What a magnificent bill! I have been told that black feathers are stronger and that is why many birds have black wingtips. I wonder if the keratin in the beak is tougher on the end where it is black.

I did not realize that they use it almost upside down for feeding.

Speaking of feathers...

 The penguins were a hit, especially with the kids. The coloring of these birds is a better match for rocks and ice and snow and cloudy weather that can be characteristic of their native habitats.

B and I have been to this zoo several times over our decades together. It has grown into quite the attraction. 

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