Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pelican Feeding

It's a real treat for our guests to watch our animal keepers feed our pelicans in the outdoor aviary, so I thought you might like to see it, too.  Here's one of our pelicans waiting patiently for fish to be tossed from the boardwalk above it:
As Becca, one of our animal keepers, prepares to throw the fish, you can see the pelican get ready to open its mouth:
The pelican watches intently as the fish drops closer...and, the pelican's huge beak opens:
The pelican caught several fish:
In this photo you can see the side of the bird's beak and the large elastic throat pouch:
All done--that was yummy!
Thanks, Becca!  More off the beaten path in two weeks!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

You Otter Be in Pictures 2

Hey!  Am I too cute or what?! 
Guests at the VLM are always enchanted with our male river otter:
Here he takes a plunge in his pool and swims towards the large plexiglass window at the bottom of the pool:
Looks like a torpedo with legs, right?
He's a very acrobatic swimmer and commonly swims in a corkscrew pattern in the water, turning around and around:
His powerful legs, with webbed feet propel him steadily through the water--when he swims at the surface, you can see a bow wave out in front:
When he gets out of his pool, he shakes off the water:
...then leaps across his stream:
He takes time to groom his plush fur:
 Wait, is there still some dirt on my nose?
Don't worry--I'll clean it!
Sometimes the river otter gets a treat from our animal keepers.  Yum!...crunchy fish!
What?  No more fish until dinner time?  Well, OK, back into the water then!  Hmmm, I wonder what all these people are looking at?
It's been a busy morning...I think I'll take a nap:
More off the beaten path in two weeks...