Friday, May 26, 2017

The bird show that ... wasn't!

Wednesday night, May 24, was a special Member's Only night at the John Ball Zoo. The big deal was the brand new "Realms of Flight" show that was supposed to happen. This is the first Member's only night I have attended, and Brendan was able to enjoy it with me. Everything was discounted 25% (entry was "free"), so we rode the Funicular for a total of $3.00 to the tippy-top of the zoo where the new bird exhibit was all ready for the show!
The Funicular is an odd little contrapment that doesn't look a bit like a train--so it is a good thing they haven't called it a train. I should have snapped a picture before we boarded. Anyway, we rode it up to the top. Brendan was very pleased.
 The tigers were a bit elusive (always it seems!) ... but I was able to quickly snap this shot.
 It turns out that the bird show was actually not a "show" at all, but rather an introduction as to what we can expect when they actually DO a show. I was truly disappointed because I was sure we were going to see the birds in action! Brendan was not put off one single bit. He sat and listened to the bird handler tell us very interesting facts about this eagle.
 First of all, it only takes 3 months for an eaglet to reach adult size! PLUS ... can you guess what this bird weighs? That was the question posed to the audience. I was figuring somewhere around 20 pounds, but I wasn't even close!
LEWIS weighs UNDER 8 pounds! Did you know that birds' bones are HOLLOW?!!! I had no idea! LEWIS is a bald eagle, America's national symbol. His wing span is around 7 feet. 
 LEWIS has 7000 feathers that he can "operate" independently; in other words, he can make all of the feathers on his head stand up! Or he can make his back feathers look like a mohawk! 
LEWIS has an eagle friend by the name of CLARK--but we did not meet CLARK Wednesday night. We did, however, meet WAGNER, a red-tailed hawk.
 Red-tailed hawks are actually quite common in Michigan. 
 The trainer said the reason we don't see more red-tailed hawks is because we are NOT looking! They sit on fence posts, street lights, and are often seen flying high in the sky. Look up!

We stayed and listened to the trainer for about 30 minutes, and then we moved on. All of the kids enjoy playing on this wooden train, and Brendan is no exception. 

 Brendan LOVES the flamingoes too! He says he thinks their skinny legs are funny.
 This little penguin came right over to the glass to meet Brendan. So cute.

It had threatened rain all day Wednesday, but thankfully, we were able to spend about and hour-and-a-half at the zoo before the drizzle bothered us enough to leave.
 It is always fun to be at the zoo. Look at Nessie (below)!! She was an Art Prize entry once upon a time but now resides at the zoo pond.

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