If you've been visiting this past week, you've had the opportunity to tour Lion Country Safari near West Palm Beach, Florida, with me. I hope you've enjoyed all the animals; I certainly enjoyed the photography, despite its limitations! Today, how about a little more colour?!
In the Walk-Through Safari Park, among other attractions, there are many birds, and many of them were brightly coloured- what a treat for the eyes!
Who doesn't love seeing Flamingos? Their salmon pink plumage is so beautiful. Did you know their colouring is because of the carotenoid pigments in the food they eat? A flamingo's colouring will fade to white if they don't get the proper food. And did you know flamingos mate only once every 2-3 years, and typically lay only one egg? We passed their pond several times... I could have stood there the entire day, watching them preen, and preen, and preen....
The Sarus Crane is an endangered species, native to India. It is the tallest flying bird, growing as tall as 6 feet. Males and females bond for life and share in raising their young.
(Check out the Black Spider Monkey trying to photobomb in the background...)
The White Ibis is seen quite frequently in Florida. Unlike many water birds which use their keen eyesight to locate their prey, the Ibis is a "tactile non-visual forager" which means he probes around with his long beak to feel for and capture his prey.
This little fellow was a visitor, I'm sure. He landed on a tree next to me and stayed long enough for a few quick shots, then flew off. I think he's a Red-Bellied Woodpecker. (I know, I know, he has a red head not a red belly. But that's what my trusty bird book calls him and who am I to argue with Roger Tory Peterson?) If I am wrong, please let me know.
The East African Crown Crane is a very distinctive bird - who could miss his headgear?! They are known for their frequent and exuberant dancing displays. Sadly this one didn't treat us to a performance.
There were several opportunities for "animal encounters" and one was a Lorie and Lorikeet feeding station. There were several different kinds of lorikeets, which are native to southeastern Asia, Polynesia and Australia. They are small to medium arboreal parrots, equipped with specialized tongues for feeding on nectar and soft-fleshed fruits. Their bright plumage was so tropical-looking!
As we entered the enclosure, a father and two of the cutest little boys were feeding them. The boys were so excited that real live birds were landing on them and feeding from the little containers of nectar they were holding. So cute to watch!
Lastly we came to the Macaws. I've had a healthy respect for Macaws since I was introduced to them at age 7 on my first trip to Florida. We visited Parrot Jungle and I was persuaded to "pose" with parrots for a picture. I can still feel their sharp claws digging into my shoulders. It was all I could do to keep from crying.... Well I'm proud to say I didn't cry with this encounter either... haha. But I didn't let their claws near my shoulders or any other part of me, either...
The Scarlet Macaws are one of the most beautiful members of the parrot family with their red, yellow and blue feathers, and they're one of the largest Neotropical parrots. They have wide strong wings and can reach flight speeds of 35 miles an hour. While we were watching these birds, one of the staff came along with a number of brown paper bags which she proceeded to tie to their fences. We asked what was in the bags and she replied "toys". She could hardly get them tied in place, the macaws were so anxious to get at them. They had them shredded in no time, to reveal large pinecones inside...
The Blue and Yellow Macaws are equally handsome with their vivid plumage. Of course, being a blue lover, I was just a bit partial to this fellow. Macaws form strong pair bonds and mate for life. They will also form strong bonds with humans. They are intelligent and can learn tricks, and can be taught to talk.
I am linking to Mosaic Monday. Be sure and stop by.
Two birds never sing the same song,