We have had a pair of sandhill cranes roaming our neighborhood for several years. They always bring their new chicks by to show them off. Back in January they sent last years chick on his or her way to starting his or her own family. Mamma and papa crane have been coming by together without any chicks. Several weeks ago they started coming by individually. Mamma would come by in the morning and papa would come by in the evening. We assumed this meant that they had eggs in the nest. Then about 5 days ago they stopped coming all together. We assumed this meant the eggs had hatched. Finally they brought their two beautiful new babies by, proudly showing them off.
For my birthday, my wife and our friend Cassy took me to ZooTampa in Tampa Fl. The zoo has 56 acres of naturalistic animal exhibits in a tropical setting, housing over 1000 animals. The zoo is divided into regions with corresponding habitats and animals. There is a region for Asia, Africa, Australia, and Florida.
We arrived just in time for the orangutan chat. The orangutan caretakers gathered them together and kept their attention by tossing them a treat as they told everyone about the orangutans. We were able to get a great look at the two week old baby clinging to its mother. They were all covered in feathers. Apparently, earlier they were given feather pillows and they all had a pillow fight!
We walked through the Florida manatee exhibit. ZooTampa is a manatee critical care center. Injured and sick manatees are brought to the center and cared for until they are healthy enough to be returned to the wild.
There was a wildlife connection at the Zoo Ventures Theater. The caretakers for the macaws told everyone all about the macaws. They had two macaws that were flying over the audience from one caretaker to another. After the wildlife connection, it was time for the macaw fly over near the main entrance. All the macaws fly through the zoo to manatee circle, a large circular sitting area with a manatee sculpture in the center. The macaws land on a perch near the circle. The caretakers explain how the macaws are going to fly around the circle and back to the perch. They did this three times before they sent them flying through the zoo back to their enclosure. It was pretty cool seeing the large colorful birds flying overhead.
We had a trip to South Africa planned for this coming April. We were really looking forward to this trip! But the tour company canceled the trip due to the covid pandemic. We planned on seeing the African Penguins at Boulders Beach and doing a safari through Kruger National Park. Today we saw some African Penguins and took a ride on a safari vehicle through the African region of the zoo. It wasn’t quite the same as a trip to South Africa, but I guess it will be as close as we get for now.
Here are a few of the other animals that we saw along the way.
This Indian Rhino was keeping cool in his pool and having fun blowing bubbles.
The lorikeets are always fun! We always like to visit the lorikeet aviary anytime we visit a place that has one. We bought a little cup of nectar to feed them. They can spot those little cups from a mile away! They come sit on your shoulder or your arm and even your head! We had a great time with the lorikeets. We had a awesome day at ZooTampa! It was a fantastic way to spend my birthday!