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[Announcement] Hypography Goes to the Zoo


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I can barely imagine what it must be like to load this thread without high speed internet. I could probably have put the pictures here in a more efficient manner. My count stands at 81 different animals. I have gone through the rest of my pictures and it is around 131 total. More than that really, but I don't know how to identify all of them. Next time I will need to take some good notes. What still remains? Turtles, snakes, birds, fish, crocodiles, monkeys, leopards, deer, frogs, insects... all sorts of stuff.


At the end of the day me and the boys had a wonderful weekend of observing animals and learning about them, as well as learning about how a zoo and a farm operate; where a zoo gets its animals, how the animals are cared for, and what happens to the animals (food or long life). We have learned that cultural bias helps determine the fate of an animal; cows don't die of old age often, they are useful in life and in death. Horses on the other hand are retired until they die of old age; we don't eat horses in the US (but we will sell the meat to Japan and other equine eating countries). The lambs I photographed at the farm park will soon be served up for Passover and Easter. Some will be kept to make more lambs, or wool, before eventually becoming mutton for human or dog consumption.


At the zoo animals live long lives. Their breeding is carefully controlled to prevent over population and keep costs down. Sometimes excess animals of the right type might be slaughtered and fed to the predators. I remember when a Giraffe died at the Safari in NJ where I worked they took the dead body and put it in with the lions. It was while the park was closed for the winter, so nobody had to see the gore, but the keepers told how it was healthy for the lions to be fed that way from time to time.


Both the zoo animals and the farm animals have their health carefully monitored. It is safe to say that the zoo will go to greater lengths to preserve the life of an animal than a farm will, as the zoo values the animals for being alive, while a farm animal is often at its most valuable (and delicious) when it is dead.


I will post the rest of the pictures shortly. The next trip is to the Cleveland Science Center. Cool stuff!



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Oh yes! There were some animals that we missed. The Australian section of the zoo was closed, so we only got to see the animals near the fence, and the Koala hut was open. So in that area are another 20 or so species to photograph. The elephants have been moved to the Columbus zoo while their habitat is being rebuilt. The Hippos are in the elephant area, so they were not around either. The oldest hippo in the world (in captivity) lives at the Cleveland zoo, but he has been moved to a closed area and is no longer on display to the public. I missed the Red Pandas somehow. I will be sure to photograph them next time.


Another thing I got good photos of is the bridge construction. The Cleveland zoo lies in a river valley in thee heart of the city. The zoo was founded 130 years ago before the city was very big. Now the zoo is completely surrounded by the city, and bridges run over the narrow valley. Three years ago a the bridge that runs over the middle of the zoo was demolished. Its replacement is under construction, and I got good photographs of that.


I will be visiting again later in the spring. We bought a membership to the Cleveland Zoological Society so we can visit all year free of charge. I will move my photos to the Gallery at some point and do a better job of linking to information about each of the photographed animals. I am also investing in a portable USB power pack so I don't run out of juice in my good camera next time.



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I did make it up to the Meadows and got some pics. Havent spent alot of time going thru them yet, But heres a couple highlights.

Horned Lark. Difficult to photograph. Lands about 50-80 feet away and teases photographers.

Sharp Tailed Grouse. Beautiful ground bird with outstanding displays (which should be starting up). We saw three of these birds in a group.

Surprise of the day. Eastern Tiger Salamander. The ponds are still frozen and lots of snow around.

The first of the Red-winged Blackbirds are staking out territories now. Larger numbers of these guys moved in this week.

Swans on regular ice dont photograph well. We saw many of these guys, some too far away to photograph, others were sleeping on the ice with their backs to us. These two were more alert.

There were three eagles here, a juvie is in the tree and by behaviors, was probably the one flying in young from last year. The adult in the tree took off so I assume that was an intruder. There was a fourth eagle in a nearby tree. We saw many eagles.


OK Thats a start. be back later with more.

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OK heres another batch of pictures.


We saw many Canadian Geese, but their numbers are not full strength yet.



American Tree Sparrow. If he would have been out in the open, it would have been a great shot. This one was in brush along the road about 10-15 feet from the car.



Red-breasted Nuthatch. There were two pairs of these guys, one pair was calling out alot of alarms and did not let us get close.



Black-capped Chickadee. Many around but they are a busy bird and move around alot.



Hooded Mergansers. These guys were in Fish Lake Wildlife Refuge. I have yet to get that Kodak moment with these guys. They tend to be very shy and seldom close enough for the 'great' shot.



Hooded Mergansers again. This shot shows a bit of display going on with the bird the furthest away.



Water Beetle on Ice. There were several of these on the ice, but this one, we watched fly in and hit the ice and bounce around in shock. Then it crawled around looking for an opening in the ice so it could get into the water. There was no opening this day.



Wooly Bear Caterpillar on snow. This one was crawling across a snow drift in a shaded area. I wanted to lay down and get a better shot, but I would have become very wet and cold.



Still have a few more to post. Quality wont be as good but there are explanations. Such as, these guys arent in cages :)

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I was big mouth enough to volunteer to take some pictures of the wildlife near my house. Last weekend was however disturbed with another kind of wildlife with which Alexander will associate very well.

It completely slipped my mind that our town was hosting the biggest motorcycle rally in South Africa (7200 odd people), so I was on my bike taking part in that.


I have however dug some shots up for the thread. All were taken within 10 minutes drive from my house the last few years.


Here are the birds. (Please excuse the quality. I'm not a bird photographer, nor a birder, so if IDs are wrong, please notify :))


The bigmouth. No not mine, but an Ostrich trying to swallow my camera.


One day old Ostrich chick.


The daddy Ostrich.


Ostrich male on nest.


A Plover in my driveway.


Plover female with chicks in our garden.


Male Shrike in garden.


Blue Cranes, South Africa's national bird.


Wagtail. They nest nearby and feed in our yard. When the chick is big enough, they bring it with to feed. They sit on our patio waiting for any scraps that they can grab.

They don't even worry about my greyhound, who will walk within 2 yard of them.




Juvenile Seagull.


Male Cape Sugarbird on pincushion flowers.


Red chested Sunbird in our garden.


Female red chested Sunbird.


?? Sugarbird on dead protea branch.


European Swallow in flight.


European Swallow building a nest at my work.


Waxbill on our lawn.






Redbill Duck.


Weaver male building a nest.


Weaver male decorating nest inside.

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Very cool pics Jab!


I am not very familiar with african birds, but the long legged waders in the water may be a type of sandpiper (family Scolopacidae) rather than plovers (family Charadriidae). Plovers tend to have shorter beaks.


I may have found the one you have with ??? (below the waders):


Mangoverde World Bird Guide Species Page: White-fronted Plover

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Very cool pics Jab!


I am not very familiar with african birds, but the long legged waders in the water may be a type of sandpiper (family Scolopacidae) rather than plovers (family Charadriidae). Plovers tend to have shorter beaks.

I think you are correct.


I may have found the one you have with ??? (below the waders):


Mangoverde World Bird Guide Species Page: White-fronted Plover

Yes, looks like the Bird in your ref. Localities also check out.


Input appreciated.

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