Thursday, May 22, 2008

Giraffe tongue!

More from the zoo trip...

We headed over to the giraffe exhibit in time for the 2pm feeding. For $2, you can buy a handful of lettuce and go out onto a special balcony that overlooks the giraffe pen. All three know when it's close to a feeding time and come right up to the balcony to snatch treats out of your hand. I took this shot before the feeding started, but after the giraffes had already gravitated to the walkway. This one was trying to reach some new leaves on a palo verde tree (obviously stripped as far as a giraffe tongue can reach).

Reid Park Zoo

The world's largest pigeon

No, I'm not exaggerating :) Here's a resident of one of the Reid Park Zoo's aviarys:

Reid Park Zoo

The first thing that struck me about this bird was the fluffy mess of fine feathers on top of its head. It was preening and kept shaking its head so fast that the feathers would blur into a kind of corona. It's about the size of a small turkey and, while shy, came right out onto the pavement when the zookeeper came around with food bowls. It never occurred to me that this might be a pigeon until a friend identified it for me. Now I can't help but see the resemblance. I see hundreds of regular city pigeons around downtown every week - this is just a grossly exaggerated version. Fun to be able to get so close to such an exotic critter.