This bright little parrot is a Rainbow Lorikeet.
My husband and I visited the Palm Beach Zoo yesterday and our first stop was the Lorikeet Loft, a relatively new interactive exhibit where you can enter the aviary and feed the birds.
One cup of “nectar” (which is low-iron apple juice) is $2. Hold your arm out and a lorikeet, one of about 40 loose in the aviary, will perch and sip.
Is this great or what? Much better than just staring at animals on the other side of a fence.
Nestbox #8 with a friendly lorikeet coming to the front door.
I focused mostly on birds during our visit, unsurprisingly. Some, like this Tricolored Heron, were wild birds choosing to visit the zoo for its bounty of food resources.
Heron head shot.
This bird was fishing by dancing across the water and grabbing fleeing fish off the top.
It made several passes across the water like this while we watched.
But we didn’t have all day to watch a small native heron when there were other more exotic animals to see.
The Laughing Kookaburra is the largest member of the kingfisher family. I learned the Kookaburra song when I was in Girl Scouts a hundred years ago and so it’s a bird I “know” but have never seen.
I’d love to see one in the wild, but of course I’d have to go to Australia for that.
A predator of a wide variety of small animals, the laughing kookaburra typically waits perched on a branch until it sees an animal on the ground and then flies down and pounces on its prey. Its diet includes lizards, insects, worms, snakes and are known to take goldfish out of garden ponds.
Fennec foxes were eating lettuce when we stopped by their enclosure.
Crunch, crunch! went the little desert fox from North Africa.
The Chestnut-breasted Malkoha is a large cuckoo from Southeast Asia.
It was inside an aviary you could enter… staring out rather forlornly, in my opinion.
Patagonian cavy, or mara. This seeming cross between a rabbit and a small donkey is actually more closely related to a guinea pig. But it also reminds me a little of my dog.
Another wild bird making itself at home in the zoo.
Anhinga hanging out near the maras.
Nearby, the largest member of the guinea pig (cavy) family and largest member of the order Rodentia… the capybara.
One of a number of Eurasian Collared-Doves we saw wandering around the zoo, representing the classic bird category “Pigeon at the Zoo.”
With a flash of white tail feathers and a flurry of dark-tipped wings, the Eurasian Collared-Dove settles onto phone wires and fence posts to give its rhythmic three-parted coo. This chunky relative of the Mourning Dove gets its name from the black half-collar at the nape of the neck. A few Eurasian Collared-Doves were introduced to the Bahamas in the 1970s. They made their way to Florida by the 1980s and then rapidly colonized most of North America.
I have been keeping an eye out for one of these doves. I was almost as excited to “get” it (with my camera) as I was to see any of the captive birds – which I’m not counting on my Photo Life List sidebar. Eurasian Collared-Dove is #174.