V I S I T  T H E  T R O P I C S  I N  D E C E M B E R

It is the cold season at Central Park Zoo (CPZ,) but step into the Tropic Zone, and you’ll be in a rainforest filled with animals like exotic birds and leaping lemurs.

A particular favorite of mine to photograph in the CPZ Tropic Zone is the Taveta golden weaver. The male of this species is always busy weaving intricate oval-shaped nests with the hope of impressing a female. She makes the choice, though, based on which guy has the best constructed nest.

Lenses fog over quickly when coming in from the cold. Leave 15-20 minutes to acclimate camera gear when planning an indoor shoot like the weaver.

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS



G I V I N G  G I F T S 

Gift giving is fun.

Our Andean bears at the Queens Zoo get to unwrap presents filled with food treats from their keepers—a form of enrichment where our bears participate in the spirit of the holiday season.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s parks—the Bronx Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Central Park Zoo, and New York Aquarium (drop off at Tom’s Diner) are doing more than presents to the animals. We are accepting new toys to give to local veterans’ families in the Bronx and some communities hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy in the New York area. Gift donors will received a free ticket (click for details) to the Bronx Zoo.

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS


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




L E A F  L O O K E R S

Leaf lookers look no further. The Wildlife Conservation Society’s zoos show off their fiery foliage during this peak week of the fall season.

Japanese macaques, or snow monkeys, are one of the most temperature-tolerant primates and like the chill that begins in autumn.

I used a shallow depth of field (a lower number on the aperture setting) when photographing this scene to keep the monkey as my focal point and the background soft, which makes it glow!

Photo credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS




Make forever memories by taking photos of your kids with animals at our zoos. Instead of posing your family and asking them to look at the camera, wait for a moment of action, like our Central Park Zoo’s polar bear splashdown, and the picture makes itself.

This shot is from our WCS Photo Collection from more than a decade ago taken by Dennis DeMello, my predecessor as WCS Staff Photographer.

To our subjects—Happy 18th Birthday, Megan, and Happy World Animal Day, Gus, the polar bear!