Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ueno Zoo Part II: Raptors

Continuing on with my trip to the Ueno Zoo, I came to an enclosure for Eurasian otters. Otters almost never fail to put up a good showing, especially if they're awake.

I found this an interesting exhibit design: a water tank extending out from the main enclosure so visitors can have an underwater view of the otters.

Nearby were another row of aviaries, focused on raptors this time. If it sounds like this zoo has a lot of aviaries, that's because it does. There's more to come. I would even say that the bird collection here is reason enough to visit, but this is a maniraptor blog. First of all, a snowy owl.

A northern goshawk. This may be the first time I've seen one.

A Japanese sparrowhawk. Almost certainly the first time I've seen one. This exhibit also contained Eurasian kestrels.

A greyish eagle owl with a barn owl in the background. I was momentarily surprised that these two would share an exhibit, as I more commonly associate the name "eagle owl" with the much larger Eurasian eagle owl, which has a penchant for preying on other raptors.

A forest eagle owl, yet another first for me.

Some white-backed vultures.

They shared their aviary with this white-tailed sea eagle. There is a lot of talk about the ethics of keeping cetaceans in captivity, and for good reason, but large raptors often look almost as restricted in captive settings to my eye. Free-flight shows may be the best we can do to replicate their wild behaviors for the time being, but at least the ones at the Ueno Zoo are given fairly large cages (similar to the ones I saw at the Asahiyama Zoo last year).

A mountain hawk eagle, fairly impressive looking.

I hadn't expected to see an Andean condor here, so it was a pleasant surprise.

A common buzzard.

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