Saturday, October 17, 2009

National Zoo

On the morning before I was to leave, I decided to visit the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. It was nearby and FREE! Plus, I had been visiting zoos every place else in the world! So, why not in Washington, DC? It was only one stop away on the Metro.

To my mind, what makes the National Zoo famous is the pandas! Now, since the birth of Tai Shan, there are three pandas. I have no idea who is who so I just numbered them 1 through 3. They were all housed separately when I visited. It is quite exciting to see them in person and each one drew a crowd of their own.

Panda 1
After taking ten shots of this one eating at a distance, he got up and moved closer!!!
Then he sat back down and resumed eating.

Panda 1

This panda was comtemplating.

Panda 2

And this panda never moved at all.

Panda 3

The red pandas were up in trees. One was galvating around, just out of sight, but this one was cat napping well within camera range.

One thing I really love about the National Zoo, is that they manage to have unobstructed areas where camera shots of the animals can be taken. In otherwords, there is only air between you and the animal, so your camera does not focus on chain link or flash is not reflected back on glass. So, here is a really great photo close up of the fishing cat. One place where I really had a difficult time with getting photographs of animals because of poor animal housing planning as far as photography concerns was the Columbus Zoo.

But here again, the animal housing is a problem with the clouded leopard, illustrating that not all zoos are perfect. This cat was so beautiful, but I just could not get a shot. It is my fault.

These parents were facsinated that the sloth bear was keen on their toddler.

The cheetah housing was again, perfect for photography! But, they moved quickly!

Kandula, an Asian elephant, was born in the zoo in 2001 and seemed to be just wandering around his enclosure. Then, suddenly, he turned and lifted a car tire off of a pole and tossed up showing that he is intelligent. We hoped he would play more, so that I could get a photo, but he just decided to munch on some left over rye grass instead.

This is a closeup of a large catfish in the underwater tank section of Amazonia.

This is a roseated spoonbill that landed very quietly. They are rather tall birds, almost as tall as a great blue heron.

Roseated Spoonbill

These are fresh water stingrays swimming in the tanks in Amazonia. We then went to the lower level, where we could see them from the side.

Fresh Water Stingrays

We could hear tropical song birds above us, and I caught a glimpse of a blue one, but I was not quick enough to get a photo. But I did catch this little red hooded bird. I don’t know the name of it, and there was no signage saying what it was. There were quite a number of them flitting around the trees. They were very pretty to hear.


Kaio said...

I loved the Panda's photos.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kaio!