Mandarin Duck Pair at Zoo Miami

While working on the Life List of All the Birds We Have Seen, I came across this video and decided to share it. We were at the Wings of Asia Aviary at Zoo Miami.

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.” (Psalms 8:3-5 KJV)

“The Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) is a perching duck species found in East Asia. It is medium-sized, at 41–49 cm (16–19 in) long with a 65–75 cm (26–30 in) wingspan. It is closely related to the North American wood duck, the only other member of the genus Aix. Aix is an Ancient Greek word which was used by Aristotle to refer to an unknown diving bird, and galericulata is the Latin for a wig, derived from galerum, a cap or bonnet.

The adult male has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and “whiskers”. The breast is purple with two vertical white bars, and the flanks ruddy, with two orange “sails” at the back. The female is similar to female wood duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye, but is paler below, has a small white flank stripe, and a pale tip to its bill.

Both the males and females have crests, but the crest is more pronounced on the male.

Like many other species of ducks, the male undergoes a moult after the mating season into eclipse plumage. When in eclipse plumage, the male looks similar to the female, but can be told apart by their bright yellow-orange beak, lack of any crest, and a less-pronounced eye-stripe.”[Wikipedia]

Life List of All the Birds We Have Seen – Part I

Life List of All the Birds We Have Seen

After the Storm – Zoos

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) by Dan at Zoo Miami

“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (Proverbs 12:10 KJV)

“Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.” (Psalms 36:6 KJV)

If you will recall, before Hurricane Irma attacked our state, we shared this blog with you: Hurricane Irma and the Animals at the Zoos

I was checking around the state to see what was being done to prepare for the Hurricane. Now, almost two months later, how did the Zoos do during and after the storm. We were discussing maybe visiting one of the zoos in a month or so, and I was wondering how much damage they received. Actually, one of our favorite birding places here in Lakeland, the Circle B Bar Reserve, just re-opened today, October 13, 2017. They had numerous downed trees and flooding.

While checking out my most favorite birding place at a Zoo, Zoo Miami, they are actually opening back up tomorrow, October 14th for the first time since Hurricane Irma.

Here are some articles and video that you might find informative as to how they did and how they protected their animals.


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Zoo Miami to Open Oct. 14, after Hurricane Irma
In the article, you will see a photo like this. Click it and the photos will open. Click through them to see some of the damage. WPLG1 of 62 PHOTOS: Ron Magill shares photos of Zoo Miami after Hurricane Irma

“We greatly look forward to opening Zoo Miami again,” Zoo Miami director Carol Kruse said.

Huge Ficus Tree at Zoo Miami ©RonMagill

Zoo Miami’s Massive Ficus, Downed by Irma, to Remain as Hyena ‘Furniture’

Go to Google and search: “Zoo Miami irma” and you will find many photos of the protected animals and damage around the Zoo. Most of these are Copyrighted and can not be shared here.

Here one more interesting article:

Hurricane Irma: survival stories from 27 zoos & sanctuaries 

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Birdwatching Trips

 

Hurricane Irma and the Animals at the Zoos

Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) female Zoo Miami by Dan

Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) female Zoo Miami by Dan

“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:37-41 KJV)

We here in Florida are preparing for Hurricane Irma to impact our state in the next few days. Dan and I have put in our supplies, and our just waiting to make a final decision to stay or go to a shelter. When we lived in Fort Lauderdale years ago, we went through the fringe of Hurricane Andrew. As you know, we like to visit zoos, especially Zoo Miami. During Andrew, the then Miami Metro Zoo was devastated. Thankfully, it was rebuilt and renamed Zoo Miami.

Thought I would check to see what is being done around the state at some of our favorite Zoos. What I found was more of what they did in previous hurricanes to protect the animals.

Victoria Crowned Pigeon (Goura victoria) by Lee at Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami is right in the path of a direct hit from Irma. The Wings of Asia aviary was built to new strong hurricane strengths, and we trust it can stand up to this new threat. Here are some links to what preparations are happening.

Animal caretakers prepping for Irma with lessons learned from Andrew

“Zoo Miami’s flamingos won’t be riding out Hurricane Irma in a bathroom like they were 25 years ago when Hurricane Andrew devastated the park.

Instead, the park’s majestic birds will be inside their steel and concrete enclosure—an upgrade from the iconic photo that shows the birds huddled in a hay-filled bathroom.

“It’s one of the things we learned from Andrew,” said Ron Magill a spokesman for Zoo Miami. “They will be safe.” CLICK THE LINK TO READ THE REST.

Here are two clips from the Hurricane Andrew damage.


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Wrinkled Hornbill (Aceros corrugatus) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Wrinkled Hornbill (Aceros corrugatus) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Brevard Zoo – Viera, Florida [from an article in Florida Today] They are on a “wait and see,”

“VIERA — Officials at Brevard Zoo, like a lot of people, are keeping a careful eye on Hurricane Irma.

But as of now it’s business as usual for the zoo staff and the 800 animals there.

Elliot Zirulnik, the communications manager at the zoo, said the zoo has a hurricane plan in place, which includes two-week stockpiles of food for the animals.

If a hurricane warning is issued for the area, then zoo staff will work on securing the animals.

The 800 animals at the zoo consist of 165 species.

“It’s a lot of work but it’s something our team is prepared for,” Zirulnik said.

The zoo is located in Viera, off Wickham Road, near Interstate 95.”

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Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) Jax Zoo by Lee

Jacksonville Zoo

Couldn’t find where they have written about the current hurricane approaching, but here is an interesting article about last year when Hurrican Matthew came through.

The Jacksonville Zoo bringing in ‘ride-out’ team to help protect animals, facility from Hurricane Matthew

I did not list Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa because it appears the hurricane is going to go up the east coast of Florida. They will prepare in Tampa, but also “wait and see.”

Inca Tern at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee

The Lord is in control of this storm and already knows where it will go, what and who will be affected by Hurricane Andrew. Your prayers for our residents of Florida; both we humans and the critters.

“The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7 KJV)

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Birdwatching at Zoos

Mystery Bird Solved at Zoo Miami

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Mystery Bird at Zoo Miami by Lee

“My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.” (Pro 6:20-21 KJV)

Finally sat down and started naming my photos from our latest trip to Zoo Miami’s Wings of Asia Aviary. Since we spent the whole day, just in that Aviary, except for lunch, the photos are not in any order. Ducks especially have a way of swimming by and then another, then back they come again. Most of you photographers know how it is. And as I’ve always stated, I wish the Lord had hung name tags on birds so we could more easily identify them. :o)

I was fortunate to receive a list of the current birds from the workers, which has been a huge help. With at least 500 birds and 88 species in one aviary, it can get complicated putting names on the right birds.

I had gone through these photos before I came to the one above:

Lady Amherst's Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) Zoo Miami by Lee

Lady Amherst’s Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) Zoo Miami by Lee

Now there is a beautifully designed avian wonder from the Creator. More about this bird later.

The Siamese Fireback is also in the Pheasant family.

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) Zoo Miami by Lee

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) Zoo Miami by Lee

So, when our mystery bird showed up, which family do you think I kept looking through? The Pheasants and allies – Phasianidae Family. I searched high and low.

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Guess what this bird is!

Can you guess what this bird is?

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Mystery Bird and a Red-vented Bulbul at the Zoo

I about fell out of my computer chair when I found out.

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Maybe a close up of the face will help. Zoo Miami by Lee

Our Mystery Bird turns out to actually be a Pigeon!!!. This is a Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) [Green-naped Pheasant Pigeon] as Zoo Miami calls it.

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

I Just Couldn’t Believe THIS IS A PIGEON!!!!!

“The pheasant pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) is a genus of large terrestrial pigeon found in the primary rainforests of New Guinea and nearby islands. It ranges primarily over hilly and lower mountain areas, but can also be found in lowlands.

There are four species, [actually subspecies] which differ primarily in the presence or absence of a small crest and in the colour of the nape. The two best known are the western nominate (O. nobilis) with a greenish nape and O. n. aruensis from the Aru Islands with a white nape. [We saw this at the Cincinnati Zoo] The two remaining species, O. n. cervicalis from the eastern part of its range and O. n. insularis from Fergusson Island, have a grey nape and a black nape (concolour with the remaining black neck) respectively.” [Wikipedia with editing]

COL-Colu Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Cincinnati Zoo 2016 - Lee (2).JPG

Pheasant Pigeon [White-naped]  (Otidiphaps nobilis) Cincinnati Zoo 2016 – Lee

Pheasant Pigeon – Wikipedia

 

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Saffron Finch at the Cloud Forrest

Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan (Cropped by Lee)

Saffron Finch – Male at Zoo Miami by Dan (Cropped by Lee)

“…covered with silver, and her (his) feathers with yellow gold.” (Psalms 68:13b KJV) (modified)

Dan and I took a ride down to Miami last week. A 200 mile ride. We stayed two nights before heading back home via Flamingo Gardens in Davie, Florida. We really have not been birdwatching too much lately, so this makes up for a very hot summer and health reasons. Monday and Tuesday we spent at Zoo Miami. On Monday, because we didn’t get there until 2 PM, we visited their Cloud Forrest and Amazon and Beyond Area. We spent all day Tuesday in the fantastic Wings of Asia Aviary. So, let the tales begin:

 Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola) by Lee

Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola) by Lee

I want to introduce you to the Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola). They are actually Tanagers from the Amazon Basin of South America. The Saffron Finch likes the open and semi-open lowlands and are widely distributed in “Columbia, northern Venezuela (where it is called “canario de tejado” or “roof canary”), western Ecuador, western Peru, eastern and southern Brazil (where it is called “canário da terra” or “native canary”), Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, northern Argentina, and Trinidad and Tobago. It has also been introduced to Hawaii, Puerto Rico and elsewhere.”

Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan

Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan

“Although commonly regarded as a canary, it is not related to the Atlantic canary. Formerly, it was placed in the Emberizidae but it is close to the seedeaters. The male is bright yellow with an orange crown which distinguishes it from most other yellow finches (the exception being the orange-fronted yellow finch). The females are more confusing and are usually just a slightly duller version of the male, but in the southern subspecies S. f. pelzelni they are olive-brown with heavy dark streaks.”

Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan

Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan

“Typically nesting in cavities, the saffron finch makes use of sites such as abandoned rufous hornero (Furnarius rufus) nests, bamboo branches and under house roofs – this species is tolerant of human proximity, appearing at suburban areas and frequenting bird tables. They have a pleasant but repetitious song which, combined with their appearance, has led to them being kept as caged birds in many areas.” (quotes are from Wikipedia’s Saffron Finch)

Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola) Female ©WikiC

Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola) Female ©WikiC

I didn’t see the female, if they had one, but thought you might like to see the difference between the male and the female.

Interesting Facts from WhatBird.com

  • Members of Thraupidae Family
  • They are about 6 inches in length.
  • The Saffron Finch is also known as the Yellow Finch and Pelzeln’s Finch.
  • It was first described by Carolus Linnaeus in 1766.
  • A group of finches has many collective nouns, including a “charm”, “company”, and “trembling” of finches.

Here is some video that I shot of this beauty. I tried to catch him in the trees and that is a challenge, as any birdwatcher knows. But then, to my surprise, he just decided that he needed a bath. Wow!

We have lots of photos from the trip, so stay tuned!

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalms 51:7)

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Birdwatching Trips

Zoo Miami and the Wings of Asia FL

Thraupidae Family – Tanagers and Allies

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