A selection of birds from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Yesterday was the San Diego Zoological Society’s Members Appreciation Day. Each year they have a big dinner and entertainment at the Safari Park since it has more room (about 2,000 acres more!) than the Zoo. However, I only have to travel seven miles to go to the Zoo whereas Safari Park is forty miles from me. The dinner and entertainment also take place after Safari Park has closed which means we have the whole park all to ourselves, which is kind of nice.

I averaged 99 pictures per hour for the time I spent at Safari Park yesterday. I have decided to share ten pictures with you today! All of birds. Now tell me you’re excited. Go ahead. Tell me….

Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impeyanus)
Native to the Himalayas.
Himalayan Monal at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The little guy above was very aggressive, charging anyone within about eight feet and attempting to peck them. He was pretty fast, too. We think he was protecting a nestmate, which would be logical since its mating season is April through August.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

White-headed Lapwing (Vanellus albiceps)
Native to tropical Africa, preferring areas near large rivers.
White-headed Lapwing at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

African Spoonbill (Platalea alba)
Widespread throughout Africa.
African Spoonbill at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Southern Bald Ibis (Geronticus calvus)
Native to grasslands and semi-desert areas
in the mountains of southern Africa.
Southern Bald Ibis at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber)
Native to the Caribbean and tropical areas of South America.
Scarlet Ibis at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

White-faced Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna viduata)
Native to Africa and South AmericaWhite-faced Whistling Duck at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis)
An endangered bird from Eurasia.Red-breasted Goose at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Coscosroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba)
Native to South America, it is the smallest of the birds called “swans.”Coscoroba Swan at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pink-backed Pelican (Pelecanus rufescens)
Native to Africa, Arabia, and India.Pink-backed Pelican at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Lastly, I would be remiss in my dedication to Julian, Database Manager at Russel Ray Photos (and all-around AWESOME guy!), if I did not include a picture of his favorite bird, the Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex). Safari Park has two of these magnificent birds. I walked around the island and finally found a spot where I could get both birds in the same picture. (If Julian reads this post and finds this insert, I shall provide him with a monetary bonus.) They are solitary birds, but these two are on the same island together, and they were having a stare-down that lasted the full 15 minutes that I spent watching them. The expression of the one bird seems to indicate a slight displeasure with the other shoebill being in its territory.

Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)
A vulnerable species native to swamps in Africa.Shoebill at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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28 thoughts on “A selection of birds from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      As I tell everyone, when you get here, let me know. I often have free tickets to the Zoo and SeaWorld, and with enough advance notice, I have been known to play docent for a day.

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  1. peacelovegreatcountrymusic

    Lemme ask a stupid question. Is there any difference in standing close and taking a photo with less zoom or is it better to stand farther away and zoom. Water is standing everywhere and I’m stuck inside. Got lots of time to contemplate these things.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      A good general rule of thumb is to get as close as possible without zooming. Then use the zoom to get even closer to fill the picture frame with your subject so that you don’t have to crop the picture using a photo editing program later on. The more you can do right in the field, the better your picture will be.

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    2. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      P.S. In the case of zoos, aquariums, and sanctuaries, though, where there are fences involved, a long zoom lens (mine is 300mm) will help you get rid of the fences, glass, etc., while you’re at watching the wildlife.

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      1. Bonnie

        Not the right spot to post but…just have to tell you that my geraniums are doing very well this year! Maybe cos MY Jim is watching over them? ;D Best Regards.

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  2. quirkywritingcorner

    Great pictures. I love the birds. I need an imagery bird for my child’s fantasy. What I’ve thought of is not too far from some of these although Amira has a huge bill and quite different coloring. After seeing the red-breasted goose, I realized the way I want to do the colors will work.
    Thank you for following my blog. I hope you will find more articles of interest.

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  3. Pingback: Red-breasted geese research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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