Nature photos from my trip

Although it would have been nice to have seen the Golden-handed Tamarin I showed in my last post in its natural habitat of South America, I truly got a kick out of seeing it and other amazing creatures while at the Dallas World Aquarium last week.

It's not only an aquarium but a combination of several open aviaries, rain forests, and tanks. I have mixed emotions when it comes to zoos and such but have to say the DWA is a remarkably well-maintained facility and the animals and birds appeared to be healthy and happy.

I do not use flash when I take nature photos and didn't even think to ask the staff if I could.  In hindsight I think it would have been OK to do so (and the quality of my photos would probably have been a lot better if I had used flash since we were indoors) but overall I'm pretty happy with how my pics turned out and hope you get a feel of how extraordinary the creatures were. 

Matschie's Tree Kangaroo:

Shoebill Stork:

Red-capped Manakin:

Mystery bird I'll have to spend time looking up but it might have been a female yellow-headed or Red-capped Manakin:

Swallow Tanager:

Another mystery bird:

White-faced Saki Monkeys:

Golden-handed Tamarin:

Citron-throated Toucan:

Saffron Toucanet:

Sleeping Three-toed Sloth:

Emperor Tamarin (I tried to get pics of their faces but they moved so fast!):

Orinoco Crocodile:

Roseate Spoonbills:

A few of the Spoonbills made their way to the rafters:

Red-breasted Toucan:

Golden-handed Tamarin having a scratch:

Turned to the other side to scratch its other leg:

Saki Monkeys (male on the left, female on the right):

The two monkeys above resumed preening each other a second after that photo was taken.

Golden Lion Tamarin:

Antillean Manatee:

A diver swam amongst the creatures, collecting their food rubbish and otherwise checking on things. Arapaima fish are seen on the right:

African/Black-footed Penguins:

Three of the penguins were pretty sleepy as quiet classical music was being pumped through speakers overhead:

I was pretty taken with this little snoozer:

The middle and right-hand penguins were sleepy too:

Freshwater Sawfish:

Bonnethead shark (bird perched above it on the edge of the rock):

Barred Owls:

Morelet Crocodile:

Guiana Crested Eagle (at first I thought it was a Harpy Eagle):


Caribbean Flamingos:

Jabiru Storks:

Puerto Rican Woodpecker:


Blue-necked Tanager:

We also visited Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, a public park located in Plano, Texas.

Carolina Chickadee:

Bigger squirrels than we have up north:

A Dark Morph Red-tail hunted low above the open fields:


Red-tailed Hawk:

Wild Nopales:

Red-bellied Woodpecker:

What was very likely a Hook-billed Kite a very difficult bird to identify:

At first a friend and I wondered if it may be a Hook-billed Kite but now think it could have been a Sharp-shinned Hawk:

Turkey Vulture:

Black Vulture:

A stretch of power lines and open pathway on another side of town: 

Starlings on the wires:

Mourning Dove:

Starling right after lift-off: