Great Reno Balloon Race 2002
Disneyland '02
San Diego Wild Animal Park
San Diego Zoo
Sea World (San Diego)
Fort Churchill (Civil War Reenactment)
Governor's Mansion
Great Reno Balloon Race 2001
Monterey Peninsula
Zion National Park
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The bird images were from the African aviary at the entrance to the Park.  Most of them were very weird (that's the Bald Ibis on the far right). WildAnimal0012.jpg (26826 bytes)WildAnimal0013.jpg (21134 bytes)WildAnimal0015.jpg (21185 bytes)
Not terrific pictures (given the time of day and weather conditions, it was trying) but you get some idea of how the park is setup.  There are about 250 different species of birds, mammals and reptiles at the park. WildAnimal0018.jpg (72654 bytes)WildAnimal0020.jpg (95988 bytes)WildAnimal0025.jpg (92046 bytes)
The antelope with the curved horns are South African Sable Antelope. WildAnimal0028.jpg (87385 bytes)WildAnimal0032.jpg (58123 bytes)WildAnimal0033.jpg (35474 bytes)
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My wife (and some stranger) feeding the birds.  The birds on the far right are African Jacanas. WildAnimal0045.jpg (73483 bytes)WildAnimal0046.jpg (57415 bytes)WildAnimal0048.jpg (96193 bytes)
I love pelicans.  This was a real opportunity to get some close-ups of these large and interesting birds. WildAnimal0052.jpg (80878 bytes)WildAnimal0053.jpg (72960 bytes)WildAnimal0195.jpg (58784 bytes)
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These are the Indian or Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros.  The baby is less than a year, and although it was bright sun it was worth a few shots of mother and child. WildAnimal0056.jpg (44910 bytes)WildAnimal0057.jpg (55886 bytes)WildAnimal0060.jpg (67561 bytes)
Due to the heat that day (which made lousy conditions for photographing the animals) the rhinos took to the water and stayed there. WildAnimal0074.jpg (57099 bytes)WildAnimal0080.jpg (79885 bytes)WildAnimal0095.jpg (47046 bytes)
The rhino on the right is a Northern White Rhinoceros, and very different looking. WildAnimal0097.jpg (50372 bytes)WildAnimal0123.jpg (67691 bytes)
Left to right we have Jimela Topi, Waterbuck, and Blue Bull WildAnimal0063.jpg (93991 bytes)WildAnimal0064.jpg (71547 bytes)WildAnimal0065.jpg (110851 bytes)
Here we have the Indian Sarus Crane, Fallow deer, and a baby Armenian Mouflon. WildAnimal0070.jpg (98143 bytes)WildAnimal0075.jpg (87611 bytes)WildAnimal0087.jpg (61085 bytes)
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Some Impala and a Cape Buffalo WildAnimal0106.jpg (69681 bytes)WildAnimal0107.jpg (61787 bytes)WildAnimal0109.jpg (56446 bytes)
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One of the cooler events of the day: this was the only time our guide had ever seen a birth of an Eastern White-Bearded Gnu (or Wildebeest).

This occurred way up on the hill so I had to use my 2x on the 70-200 just to get this close.  Other than the guy who had a 100-400 no one else even bothered to take a picture.  And he didn't have my multiplication factor!

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While we were waiting for the Wildebeest to be born (took about an hour) this Eastern White Pelican flew overhead, and I was lucky enough to snap off a few shots (who says the 70-200 with a 2x doesn't focus fast enough?) WildAnimal0115.jpg (18617 bytes)WildAnimal0116.jpg (15026 bytes)WildAnimal0117.jpg (14073 bytes)
We took the photog tour (highly recommended) to get most of the above shots.  The highlight of the tour was hand feeding the giraffe (my wife is far right). WildAnimal0124.jpg (46103 bytes)WildAnimal0126.jpg (52680 bytes)WildAnimal0129.jpg (56712 bytes)
He certainly had some goofy looking expressions. WildAnimal0130.jpg (24686 bytes)WildAnimal0131.jpg (34780 bytes)WildAnimal0140.jpg (25958 bytes)
Yep, you guessed it.  This male giraffe is trying to... get friendly with the female.  He was too young to have much luck (now he knows how Hoffman felt with Mrs. Robinson). WildAnimal0153.jpg (66145 bytes)WildAnimal0157.jpg (65206 bytes)WildAnimal0160.jpg (47360 bytes)
You rarely see any wild animal lay down.  The guide says only baby giraffes would do this, and only when watched by the adults. WildAnimal0161.jpg (56020 bytes)
Insects and butterflies, taken with 100mm 2.8 macro (and ringlight). WildAnimal0166.jpg (30621 bytes)WildAnimal0173.jpg (46215 bytes)WildAnimal0176.jpg (18983 bytes)
The typical bird show, although I really liked the vulture.  Once again, we were very far away so I had to use every bit of lens I had. WildAnimal0178.jpg (48053 bytes)WildAnimal0184.jpg (48856 bytes)WildAnimal0187.jpg (87972 bytes)
This is the Shoebill Stork, one of the weirdest looking birds I've ever seen.  He looks like he ought to be extinct. WildAnimal0223.jpg (84492 bytes)WildAnimal0217.jpg (53909 bytes)WildAnimal0211.jpg (96894 bytes)
This owl was actually trying to scare away a tortoise that was getting to close to her nest.  She was a riot and even though the cage had thick webbing I had to grab a shot. WildAnimal0224.jpg (43987 bytes)WildAnimal0225.jpg (45764 bytes)WildAnimal0228.jpg (49234 bytes)
This is the largest flying bird, the California Condor.  It's truly magnificent, and the Animal Park has a terrific exhibit. WildAnimal0230.jpg (37933 bytes)WildAnimal0232.jpg (33354 bytes)WildAnimal0233.jpg (53680 bytes)
We waited for almost an hour while this guy sat and cleaned himself.  Then, like a showman, he teased us with each wing before finally opening his full wingspan out (over six feet and more than I could get with my telephoto).  I was the only photographer that day who had the patience to wait. WildAnimal0234.jpg (53590 bytes)WildAnimal0235.jpg (56318 bytes)WildAnimal0237.jpg (53412 bytes)
Lessons Learned: There's no better place to get pictures than the zoo or the animal park.  Of the two, I preferred the park, but the weather conditions (brutal sun in the summer) made good photos very difficult.

If I had to do it again, I'd go in the winter or (time permitting) wait for a cloudy day.  Those people who live close have a big advantage.  As with the zoo, long lenses were the order of the day.  But taking the photo tour (kind of pricey but worth it, as it duplicates going on an actual safari) brings you up close and personal with the animals.  I'll do it again.


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