Following on from my last post about the date I had with Mick at Lotherton Hall, I thought I'd show you some of the birds we saw in the bird garden.
Lotherton Bird Garden was built in the 1970's and has one of the most comprehensive collections of rare and endangered birds in the country and many of them are part of endangered breeding programmes. There's an education programme for all visitors, from families to schools and university students.
The first birds we came to were Flamingos, they were such a vivid pink colour. Apparently, the colour of a flamingo is determined by what they eat. They each had one of their legs tucked up in to their body and were standing on just one leg.
I love these Superb Starlings, such a gorgeous colour. They can commonly be found in East Africa. Lotherton has a number of unrelated pairs from which they're breeding a genetically diverse colony to inhabit the 'into Africa' exhibit which I talk about later in the post.
These are just some of the benches which are dotted around the bird garden, they're fun and educational. Aren't they lovely?
This is a Southern Helmeted Curassow. It eats mainly fruits, berries and leaves, but will also eat insects, small rodents and reptiles.
This Trumpeter Hornbill wouldn't win any beauty competitions. The casque on it's head is filled with honeycombed, light cellular bony tissue.
This Emu came right up to see us, I was a bit nervous that it would peck me. The emu is the second largest bird in the world, only the Ostrich is bigger. They can reach up to 6.5 feet in height and are flightless but can reach speeds up to 30mph.
I couldn't get a very good photo of the Andean Condors because of the wire bars, but I couldn't leave them out of my post. They're the largest bird of prey in the world and live in the Andean Mountains of South America. Lotherton is participating in the European Breeding Programme for the Andean Condor. Their numbers have declined due to farming practices encroaching on their habitats.
There's a couple of these fun binoculars around the garden. They can be used to get a better look at the birds up in the trees. I think they're really meant for children, but Mick's such a big kid that he had to have a go.
The Southern Ground Hornbill has bare patches of bright red skin on it's face and neck which, it's believed, is to keep dust out of it's eyes whilst it forages during the dry season.
This huge aviary has been designed to recreate an African water hole scene. We were able to go inside and wander round with birds within touching distance. The rest of this post is about the birds which we saw in this 'into Africa' setting.
There were lots of Little Egret nests high up in the trees. They didn't look very stable.
Many birds were asleep on the ground, they didn't seem at all bothered by all the visitors passing by.
I loved this African Crowned Crane, it looks like it's wearing a headdress.
This Waldrapp Ibis is an ugly bird, it looks like it's wearing a mask. It's a critically endangered bird, so sad. That's why breeding programmes such as those which Lotherton undertake are so important.
These are just a few of the birds which can be seen at Lotherton Bird Garden, there's so many more, including different species of owls which I didn't take any photos of but which are always a favourite, and the rheas which are so funny when they're running around.
I wrote about the bird garden on my Fabby Day post back in April 2011. Saturday was another Fabby Day, as I'm sure you can tell by my latest couple of posts. I'm really enjoying our dates, I wonder where we'll get to in June.