Adelaide Zoo in South Australia is one of my favourite zoos, and it is also my home zoo, being less than an hour’s drive from my home. I am a life member of Zoos SA, mainly because of my love of birds and animals but also because of the zoo’s excellent conservation programmes.
Adelaide Zoo boasts an excellent collection of Australian bird species as well as a few foreign birds. There are several walk through aviaries which I always visit because they provide an excellent opportunity for bird photography. There are numerous other aviaries too, but shooting through the wire of each cage can be challenging. More about that in future articles here.
I didn’t have any such problems taking photos of the Emus in their enclosure. They roam around a large enclosure with only a low fence surrounding it. This provides excellent opportunities for good photos. They also share the enclosure with some Tammar Wallabies. In the last photo you can see a wallaby with a joey poking his head out of the pouch to pose for me.
We are in the midst of an election campaign here in Australia. Politicians of all persuasions are being chased by reporters to get the latest breaking news.
In my home state this morning, reporters were chasing a different kind of pollie – an escaped parrot from Adelaide Zoo. A Blue and Gold Macaw escaped from the zoo and led the keepers on a chase through the parklands, with a string of reporters in their trail.
After a chase which kept reporters and zookeepers on their toes, an escaped macaw has been coaxed back into a cage in Adelaide.
The blue and gold macaw Tambo was getting some outdoor flight training at Adelaide Zoo on Wednesday when children frightened him and he flew off.
The two-year-old macaw faced attack from other birds in city trees which may have scared him even further afield.
Zoo bird keepers kept watch and called the bird as he took up roost in a 15-metre casuarina tree on the banks of the Torrens in the city.
To see photos, a video and to read the rest of the story click here.
One of the benefits of visiting zoos like the Adelaide Zoo here in South Australia is to observe many bird species up close. Most zoos have collections of birds and Adelaide Zoo is no exception. There is a large collection of easily viewed aviaries decorated to reflect the different habitats present in Australia – from the deserts through to rainforests. In most cases the observer can get to within a metre or two of the birds which helps in learning the finer details of plumage.
The zoo also has two walk through aviaries where you can get even closer to the birds. These are also excellent for bird photography. One of the species I photographed on my last visit was the Black-winged Stilt shown on the photos above and below. This was a challenge – even with a flash on my camera. It was lurking in the pools of the rainforest aviary.
Black-winged stilts are water birds found throughout most of Australia where suitable habitat exists, except, of course, for the drier inland regions. They can occur in small groups of only four or five through to large concentrations in the hundreds, depending on the conditions.
Royal Spoonbills are found throughout much of Australia where there is suitable habitat. They are absent from the drier inland areas and are rare in southern Western Australia. They are sometimes seen in the company of our other species of spoonbill, the Yellow-billed Spoonbill.
Their preferred habitat includes shallow waters, both coastal and inland, estuaries, edges of lakes, dams and wetlands, tidal mudflats and irrigated pastures. Their nest is a shallow platform of sticks, often over water and often in association with other waterbirds such as cormorants. During breeding the adults have a conspicuous plume of white feathers on the back of the head.
The photo above was taken in a walk through aviary at the Adelaide Zoo, South Australia.
On my visit to the Adelaide Zoo last week I spent some time in a walk through aviary. I wanted to get some more photos of the birds in their collection so I could share them here.
After several minutes in the enclosure my attention was drawn to the wooden walkway I was on. A small furry creature had jumped up on the walkway and came to investigate my shoes. It was a Long-nosed Potoroo, a small Australian mammal the size of a rabbit. He sniffed quite deliberately all around my shoes before hopping off to get a rub and a scratch from some children who had just entered the aviary.
This species of potoroo is found in Tasmania and in small numbers on the mainland, mainly coastal NSW and Victoria. It is not entirely nocturnal (unlike many of our mammals) and lives on fungi, insects, seeds, fruit, and vegetation.
Now to appease the birders who come to this site, here are two photos of birds I took only a minute or so before the potoroo came into my life.