Taken at Giant City State Park, Ill., a place I miss very much for its quietness, solitude (during the week), wildflowers, and rock formations.
I probably took this photo in Capaha Park’s rose garden, Cape Girardeau, Mo. Cropped and sharpened but otherwise unaltered.
Taken with a Canon PowerShot S40; cropping and slight manipulation in Photoshop.
This peacock pheasant looks nearly spherical because of its position, my camera angle, and the fact that its feathers are probably plumped up as well. This was an open enclosure, so some of the pheasants were down on the walkway. People don’t seem to alarm them much; after all, zoo visitors are constantly walking through their home. After this shot, birds will fly away from this blog for awhile and I’ll turn to other things.
That bright blue eye!
Another bird species that inhabits the Amazon rainforest. I finally had the luck of getting a catchlight in the eye, because this enclosure was so well lit.
This little tropical fellow (only the males boast the brilliant turquoise-and-jade plumage) has a most excellent name. The word cotinga comes via French from the Tupi, an indigenous people living in what is now Brazil. (Interestingly, Tupi is also the name of a software program for 2D animation whose logo is very reminiscent of cotinga plumage.) There are several other species of cotinga, too, all of them gorgeous and apparently much sought out by bird-watchers.
Some good news: Wikipedia says that the spangled cotinga is “not considered to be threatened because of its wide distribution.” It lives in the rainforest canopy, however, so I hope this status continues despite deforestation, which does threaten some other cotinga species (again, according to Wikipedia). No bird species should be lost if it can possibly be helped—but especially not such a beautiful one.