Saturday, September 10, 2011

Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C Part 3 “Birds”

baby flamingo

Flamingoes are well know for their beautiful pink color which actually is a result of their diet. They feed on algae, diatoms, and small crustaceans which are rich in carotene pigment. Not exactly appetizing, but amazingly for these birds it is what helped to produce the name flamingo which originated from the Latin word flamma, meaning ‘flame’.

Both mother and father Flamingoes share the responsibility in raising their baby. They work together to pile up mud for building the nest in which the mother Flamingo will lay a single egg. The parents take turns in incubating the egg. After the egg hatches the young chick will have either white or gray plumage like the chick above. I can imagine him crying, “Mama, feed me, feed me!”

Maybe you have thought of your own caption idea for the picture above. If you have I’d love to hear it. You may send me a comment and you may include your website.

A female cardinal

This native cardinal appears to have a inquisitive look. I spotted it while looking at one of the bird exhibits.

I love the colors on this parrot!

Red-fan Parrots live in the Amazon Rainforest in the genus Deroptyus. The have exquisite neck feathers that can be raised to form an elaborate and colorful fan. It most likely is a defense device used when threatened. These tropical birds live in trees and stumps. They feed on fruits that are up in the Rainforest’s canopy.


White-faced Whistling Ducks include eight different species in their genus Dendrocygna. They make their home in Costa Rica southwards to Northern Argentina and Uruguay. They live in Southern Africa and south of the Sahara from Senegal to Ethiopia. They even live on the island of Madagacar which is 226,658 sq miles and is the fourth largest island in the world!

Bird one

This is a Micronesian Kingfisher which sadly is extinct in the wild. As stated in the sign below it was originally found in Guam, Palau islands, and Micronesia. You can click the sign below to read it better.


By looking at the Pygmy Falcon’s beak you can tell he is a predator who preys on insects, reptiles and small animals. Animals, watch out for this falcon cause these birds have a rapid speed and dart through the air with quick bursts of energy.

This is a Red-crested Cardinal. They live in Southeastern South America and were introduced into Hawaii. This little bird is a beautiful tropical sight!

The Red-crested Cardinal name’s origin is obvious. It has a beautifully colored head which is vibrant red. Despite their name, this species of cardinal is not closely related to true cardinals. Their natural habitat is subtropical and tropical dry shrub land.


Click to enlarge sign.

bird three 

The Roseate Spoonbill like Flamingoes get their pink color from their diet. Their colors range from pale pink to bright magenta. This coloring though depends on the age and location.



The Keel-Billed Toucan is about 25 inches in length. It is a Latin American bird and is the national bird of Belize. The toucan’s bill may appear large, but is actually very light and spongy. The bill is green with a red tip and orange sides. It is a beautiful bird the photograph.


Elizabeth’s Traveling Tips: 


If you travel a lot and you’re ready to upgrade from your digital camera to a DSLR, I recommend the EOS Rebel T1i. It takes incredible pictures. I found mine for about $200 dollars cheaper than retail. The kit came with a EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens and the larger lens photographed above.

Scripture for the week

Genesis 7:14-7:16

They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according its kind, everything with wings. Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in.

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