Friday, May 6, 2011

The Zoo

Yesterday I went to the zoo for the first time in several years.  I and some friends used to make a trip in early spring to either the zoo or the museum or botanical gardens, but we got out of the habit.  It's one of the better zoos in the nation, and we're lucky it's just an hour or so away.

Most of the exhibits were as I remembered, but they'd added a lorikeet exhibit and I spent some time there.  The staff person who was selling cups of nectar and seed sticks and I chatted about parrots for a few minutes.  A harried mom offered me two seed sticks and I bought some nectar.  I barely had a chance to give the woman money for the nectar before two or three lorikeets flew over to eat and drink.

I loved it, of course. One of the lorikeets casually landed on my shoulder as if she'd been trained.  Maybe she had.

Of course, they're all comfortable with people and squealing children, but I was surprised at how stubborn some of them were.  One of them was on a tree branch just above me.  I offered him the nectar cup, and after a slurp or two, he simply yanked it out of my hand, clamped it against the branch with one of his feet, and took his time taking the rest of the nectar.  A couple of times I gently tried to pry the paper cup away from him, but no way would he let go of it.

The staff woman said the zoo feeds the lorikeets all kinds of fruits and vegetables, that sometimes when she comes in the entire ground of their aviary is covered with lettuce and the lorikeets are going to town on it.  There were a couple of lorikeets who looked a bit plucked; the woman said they have had some bully problems.

I took a lot of pictures, which I'll post at future dates. 

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