I really should start this series of posts with one that gives my general impression of the London Zoo and all that, but I am simply too busy right now. Thus it will be photo-heavy posts on individual animals (or species) or enclosures etc. until I find time to write more.
The London Zoo has some animals I haven’t seen before – interestingly not half as many as I expected. Somehow, there’s quite a parallel in selection of rare animals between the Berlin Zoos and London! Still, plenty of new species :) The London Zoo is, by the way, incredibly full of birds – a smart decision as birds need relatively little space, and the zoo is really cramped. Thus, showing a lot of birds means having a lot on show despite being spatially constrained, whereas keeping rhinos and elephants – well, that’d be half the zoo just for two species. Overall, I took loads of pictures of various reptiles (again, need rather little space) and of birds, but very few of mammals. So I’ll start with a bird. And because it is Monday and thus mammal time, I’ll add a mammal, too
A Violet-backed Starling (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster), which I have tried to photograph many times in Stuttgart and Berlin, but somehow the pics never came out well. Seems the autofocus has issues with the iridescence of the feathers, and the birds usually do not sit still long enough for me to properly focus manually.
and this is, I believe, the female. As is often the case in birds, the males are all showy and the females are camouflaged.
here’s a photo taken at Tierpark Friedrichsfelde with both genders in one shot:
So what’s special about this starling? Nothing, really – but they are nice to look at, and they can easily be kept with many other species in a walk-through aviary. And now, on for the mammal.
Sleeping aardvarks (Orycteropus afer). Often kept in the Night House, where they are close to impossible to photograph as they do not often stand still, this is the first good photo I ever got of one.