Saturday, August 29, 2009

Burgers Zoo: Desert

Here's the second Burgers Zoo post, this time about the Desert.
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The Desert ecodisplay is designed to represent a part of the Sonora-desert is Arizona and Mexico. It's a desert very rich in animal and plant life, but you need a bit of luck and good timing to see it.
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We visitied the Desert early in the morning, at noon and in the afternoon and the morning was clearly the best time to see animals. At noon, almost all of them are hidden to escape the heat and in the afternoon we only saw that many birds because the sprinkler system was turned on and they were taking baths.

a pair of White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)
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scared away by a group of children
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a juvenile Northern Cardinale (Cardinalis cardinalis), moulting into adult plumage and bathing in the wet leaves
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a female or juvenile cardinale
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a male Ultramarine Grosbeak (Cyanocompsa brissonii)
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a female Ultramarine Grosbeak
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a female Yellow Grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysopeplus)
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a Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) - unusual for birds, they find their food (carrion) through their very keen sense of smell
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a Collared Peccary (Pecari tajacu)
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the Peccaries and the Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) each had their own enclosure, but most of the other animals were allowed to range freely (including the vultures)
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some nocturnal animals are displayed in a tunnel system that's located between the Desert and the Bush, for example the Kit fox (Vulpes macrotis)
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and the Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)
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the Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) also had its own enclosure, otherwise it would prey on the smaller birds and they are very adept hunters, good at sneaking up on other birds, hidden away in grass or undergrowth.
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and here are my favourite birds in the Desert, the Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata).
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they were always running around in pairs, the female following the male closely, resembling two windup-toys
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The Camera Critters meme has more critters, go and look at them!

8 comments:

Snap said...

Oh, my! What a delight! It looks like you had a wonderful time at the Burgers Zoo. I love the desert critters. Videos just hit the spot! Thanks!

Dina said...

Thanks for all the videos. Love the owl, especially.

Noner said...

The Peccary is really cute!

I have critters up at:
Pawesome and Random Animals

James said...

What a great selection of desert critters.

Sandy Kessler said...

Loves those roadrunners

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Jennifer: What a lot of neat animals you have shown here.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I've been to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and I must agree that animals were seldom seen by me. This is GREAT!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Wonderful series of photos. I'd love to see that kit fox in person. I love their faces.