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):


Jaguar:



Caribbean Flamingos:






Jabiru Storks:


Puerto Rican Woodpecker:


Hummingbird:



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:







Mockingbird:



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: