H I T  T H E  S P O T

That’s exactly what a crested coua chick hopes will happen when its time to eat. The chicks have markings inside their beaks (top photo) that look like targets and aid their coua parents (bottom photo, an adult) to hit the spot when feeding their young.

How did I get the shot?

This crested coua chick is being hand-reared behind-the-scenes by animal staff at the Central Park Zoo (CPZ.) I arrived at the chick’s scheduled feeding time for the “spot on” moment as it opened wide for lunch.

It is a significant hatching for CPZ as only the fourth U. S. zoo to successfully rear a crested coua chick. Even the New York Times thinks so!

Photo credits: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Source: wcs.org




A F R I C A N  P L A I N S  B I G  B I R D

It’s our flightless friend, the ostrich photobomber, who photobombed my giraffe picture a few weeks ago. This time, she was the star subject. I waited for her to turn and catch the sun, no flash, to get every detail of her head and eyes. Ostriches are big birds, close to six feet tall, and share space with even taller giraffes in an area that is all about Africa at the Bronx Zoo

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


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Back to the World of Birds at the Bronx Zoo—with a flash on my camera this time. Shooting through glass is a challenge often resulting in light bouncing back in a big blast that can ruin your photo. Stand at an angle to the glass rather than in front of it when taking your picture. The distracting flashback is gone, and reflections are minimized. Flash really helped to illuminate my friend’s face as he met this colorful quetzal.

Tip: I wear black when I have assignments with glass so I don’t show up in the reflections myself!

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


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Wanna play catch?!

Toco toucans do. Grapes have a dual purpose—as a part of these birds’ diet, and as a gift—as this toucan makes a catch for his catch. Pitching and catching fruit is a courtship ritual as noted by National Geographic.

To catch the action, I used a high ISO with no flash. Some zoos don’t permit the use of a flash, so check the rules before using one, or try adjusting your camera’s ISO. For more zoo photo tips, see my article at Nikon.

This pair lives in the World of Birds at the Bronx Zoo.

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS



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Ostrich photobombers.

Even animals seem to like picture crashing as these ratites (large, flightless birds) photobombed my recent giraffe assignment at the Bronx Zoo. I worked with our keepers for a long time to get our entire giraffe herd in one frame. At the magic moment, OSTRICH PHOTOBOMB.

It went on for an hour, and they never gave up.

Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


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Today, my blog is for the birds. September 1 is Vulture Awareness Day. Times are tough for these large birds of prey. Lovers of carrion (decaying flesh,) vulture numbers have dropped by over 95% in parts of the world due to a drug occurring in some of their food. It is toxic in their systems according to conservationists at WCS.

This cinereous vulture is my neighbor at the Bronx Zoo. Stop by, or visit your local zoo and pay tribute to these birds that are members of nature’s clean up crew.

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Source: bronxzoo.com, wcs.org