Sunday, September 7, 2014

Brevard Zoo

Had a nice outing to the Brevard Zoo today. We go rained out, but here are the pictures from the first 2/3 of the zoo. We will have to go back to see the Africa part. Funny thing is, I participated in the community build for the giraffe enclosure when I lived in Rockledge, but I haven't seen it since they opened it.  Some day. For now, here's what we saw today:

They had a captive flock of Roseate Spoonbills. Made me kind of sad that there are people who will only ever see these in captivity.
Scarlet Ibis. One of my favorite birds. I hope to see one in the wild some day.
For size comparison, the Scarlet Ibis and the Roseate Spoonbill. Roseates are native to FL, the Scarlet Ibis is not (although the White and Glossy Ibises are native.)
(Left to right) A Chilean and an American Flamingo. Compare and contrast.
Close up of the American Flamingo. Still hoping to see one these in the wild someday. Need to do this soon before they are gone.
A local wild Grackle who is molting. The white parts are his pin feathers.
A Blue-throated Maccaw.
Capybara (thanks Mary for reminding me the name!)
This must be where my coffee high wore off, I don't remember this guy's name either.
Son of Capybara.
This guy cracked me up. He was a zoo-crasher, just having him self a grand old time in a puddle. It's a local wild Grackle, not part of an exhibit.
I love Grackles. They can look dull, but when the light hits them just right, they burst into color.
Another local wild critter, not part an exhibit, not captive. This is a 5-lined Skink.
This wild non-native Cuban Anole was hanging out with the Skink.
An American Bald Eagle, looking all dramatic.
A Crested Cara Cara. He looks like he is wearing an ill-fitting toupee.
A Red-tailed Hawk. I felt bad for him, he was on a really short tether. Just not an animal that should be kept in a zoo, it seemed really cruel. I am guessing that the eagle and cara cara had their flight feathers clipped, but this guy still has his, which is why he was tethered but the other birds of prey were not.
A better look at the skink. Make sure you click to enlarge this shot. You can clearly see that he lost his tail, and you can see where it has grown back, but with a totally different pattern.
I think was a Blue Maccaw?
This is cool. Another local wild critter. A Banded Water Snake. He was visiting a turtle. A clue that he is not venomous is his eyes - they are round, not vertical slits.
The snake the turtle having a chat.
We (that is me and even David) have no idea what this one is. It was in the Australian exhibit.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Bugs, Crabs and Birds at the Inlet

Well, we were supposed to go to the zoo today, but I was sluggish, and David discovered that today is National Shorebird Day (aka "Another Stupid Seagull Day) so we went birding at Sebastian Inlet instead. Didn't get anything new, but got some cool pix. Click to enlarge.

There was a whole herd of Woodstorks out there today. I love this bird. Look at his feet - they look as old and wrinkly as his face. I can relate!
 More Woodstorks.
Some kind of crab. If anyone knows their crustaceans, let me know, I could use some IDs.
A partial skeleton of some kind of fish.
 Ants, nomming on a dead bee.
This is bizarre. It looks like the bee's butt is smiling, despite being devoured by ants.
This is cool, I never noticed this before until I downloaded these pictures - the black on the Woodstork's wings is iridescent.  In the zillion times I've taken pictures of them, I never captured or even noticed this before.
Another shot that shows the iridescence.
If you've ever seen a bunch of Laughing Gulls, and one of them looks like a wrestler, he's probably a Herring gull, not a Laughing Gull. This is a great picture (if I do say so myself) that shows the size difference between the two species.  
A Ruddy Turnstone, doin' his thing.
This Turnstone was a little poser.
 So dramatic...
It is pretty amazing how the Turnstones can just completely disappear into the seaweed.  There are 3 birds in this picture.
Another species of crap. I swear, this one almost looks like a Mangrove crab, but they wouldn't be at the beach.
This is something else I've never taken a picture of. This Osprey was puking (I mean, I actually saw the chunks come out.) David says it is common for raptors to barf pellets. I knew Owls do it, but was not aware other raptors do.

"Oh crap, that idiot with the camera just took pictures of me puking. No more Jim Beam for me."
Some pretty bees on flowers.
I love the amber color on against the purple.
I thought this picture was cool, his wings look like helicopter blades.
One last bee picture.
I have no idea what this is. It was acting like a pollinator, but looks like some kind of beetle.
I like the little white panties showing at the top of his back legs.
Something about this picture tells a story. I think this Ruddy Turnstone just had a huge fight with his wife (over the fact that he was out doing shots with the Osprey last night), and he stormed off to think about things while walking on the beach...
...and then decided, "Yeah, she's a pain, but she's MY pain. I'll go home now..."