Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ueno Zoo Part III: Bird House

Further into the East Garden of the Ueno Zoo, I came across a well-planted dhole exhibit. Dholes are not common in North American zoos in my experience, so it was a welcome sight.

There was a small nocturnal house nearby. Interestingly, this zoo is the second one I've been to that exhibits pangolins!

Other inhabitants of the nocturnal house included mouse deer, leopard cats, slow lorises, and Leschenault's rousettes. As it turns out, this was not the only nocturnal exhibit the zoo had, but we'll get to that down the line. Arguably of even greater interest, however, was the bird house next door.

Well... I did say most of the small animal exhibits looked decent. This cage contained a red-shouldered macaw. Large parrots are difficult to accommodate properly, but this still stands out rather negatively among otherwise presentable displays, especially the other (fairly large) enclosures in the bird house.

A shorebird exhibit. From left to right, the species visible in the picture are a wattled jacana, reeve, redshank, and Egyptian plover.

A southern bald ibis. This was part of a very large two-story display with many, many species.

This green turaco was another inhabitant of that display.

As were this spur-winged plover (left) and blacksmith plover (right).

As the "two-story high" factoid would suggest, there was a second floor to the bird house. From this higher vantage point I also saw a great slaty woodpecker, the largest unequivocally extant woodpecker in the world!

There was also this bearded barbet.

Another two-story exhibit (of which I don't have first-story photos) included this blue-throated piping guan.

More Palawan peacock pheasants, this time including a female. The peacock-like "eyespots" on the male are also more visible here than in my previous photo of one.

A flock of Fischer's lovebirds. Despite the language barrier, general reactions I noticed suggested that visitors were quite taken with these fellows.

A poor photo of a crested partridge.

A male paradise whydah with a female in the background. Interestingly, they were kept with common waxbills, which some whydahs are brood parasites of. I wonder whether this was an attempt to stimulate breeding in the whydahs.

Some blue-breasted quail were also present in that display.

This exhibit had two local kingfisher species living in it, a ruddy kingfisher...

... and a common kingfisher.

They had a pond well stocked with small fish to fish from.

Somewhat strangely, the centerpiece of the bird house was not a bird exhibit at all, but a southern tamandua! I'm not complaining; I've only seen tamanduas before at the Woodland Park Zoo (and I believe they were northern tamanduas). This one also had an outdoor exercise area just outside the bird house, with a large tree for it to climb (up to a certain height at least, at which point they had encircled the tree trunk with metal sheets, presumably to prevent escape).

Not far from the bird house proper were some outdoor aviaries. Here's a laughing kookaburra with only its head visible.

A great blue turaco, both comical looking and magnificently striking.

A secretary bird. This long-legged raptor is always good to see.

As the sign in the above photos hints, one of its neighbors was a black-necked crane.

On my way towards the West Garden, I passed through an arctic-centered exhibit, with displays for polar bears, seals, and sea lions. There was also a series of ptarmigan enclosures showing birds at different stages of their seasonal molt, which I thought was fairly ingenious.

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