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.
This is a great post for me being a lover of all animals. Some of it must have rubbed off on KP as she recently said, "I'd like to be like David Attenborough when I grow up!" Getting up close to the animals is wonderful. They have just built a similar structure at Marwell Zoo where we visited recently.ReplyDelete
We're just the same here, a family of animal lovers. I don't think I'd have the patience to do anything like David Attenborough does, he must have waited for hours and hours to catch the footage he has over the years.Delete
What a wonderful place, especially for an animal lover with a camera!ReplyDelete
It's a great place with plenty to see. Lots of photo opportunities too.Delete
Looks like a fascinating and informative day out.ReplyDelete
Love from Mum
There's plenty of information boards all around and lots of things to learn about these wonderful birds.Delete
I think the binoculars are really cool! Mark would have done exactly the same thing! JxReplyDelete
I don't think men ever really grow up, do they? The binoculars are fun though, I quite fancied having a go myself.Delete
I'm always fascinated by birds and the enormous variety. Thanks for the photos and glad you had such a good day. Emus can be quite funny and we see lots on our travels, even not far from here.ReplyDelete
It must be amazing to see emus in their natural environment. There's such a variety of birds at Lotherton, it's wonderful to be able to see them all.Delete
How facinating! Thanks for sharing this with us, Jo. :o)ReplyDelete
It's fantastic to be able to learn so much about birds we wouldn't usually see in this country. We've got such a variety ourselves here in the UK that we forget there's so many other birds in other countries, most of which we wouldn't usually get to see.Delete
I love the bird gardens at Lotherton, we all went last year, sons and grandchildren.There was also a fun fair and they had a whale of a time.ReplyDelete
There's a kiddies ride and a hook a duck stall at Lotherton most of the time. I think it's such a lovely place for every age, something for everyone.Delete
The breeding programme sounds like a worthwhile project. All the birds aze interesting. I wonder if you saw any young ones?ReplyDelete
I didn't see any young ones, but like you say, the breeding programme is so worthwhile. It's such a shame that so many birds are endangered, so it's places like Lotherton which will keep them from dying out all together.Delete
It's such a fascinating place, has so much there. Love the extras like the benches and binoculars :) xxReplyDelete
It's a wonderful place, something for all ages and all interests. I really like how even the benches are educational.Delete
Thanks for such an enjoyable, and interesting, post with lots of terrific pictures. It's the sort of place that I really like going to time and again. Flighty xxReplyDelete
You would love Lotherton, there's so much to see and do, and the bird garden is made all the more interesting by giving such great information on all the birds. It's a place we'll go back to time and time again.Delete
Some of those birds look so prehistoric, lots there I've never heard of, very educational post.ReplyDelete
I'm with Mick, I wouldn't have passed up having a go with those binoculars either.
You're right, though one of the benches says that scientists believe that the first birds developed from feathered dinosaurs, so it's not surprising really. Mick's a big kid at heart, he couldn't walk past the binoculars without trying them out.Delete