Friday, April 16, 2010

Florida Theme Park Birding: Disney

Great Egret, Magic Kingdom, Orlando, FLA

Disney's relationship with wild bird-life is rather more strained than Gatorland's. (The company was sued in the early 1990s for killing black vultures that were causing trouble on Discovery Island). Nevertheless, one can see many great and snowy egrets at the Magic Kingdom during the evening. (And while we were there--a northern parula in the garden outside of Mickey's House).

Animal Kingdom has a couple of aviaries and some nice species-specific exhibits. Roseate spoonbill chicks, for example, right near the park entrance.

But there are quite a few interlopers. Mallards, in all their weird hybrid varieties, are ubiquitous and fearless.

Lily was thrilled to see ducklings. (Maybe the highlight of the day).

Quite a few red-shouldered hawks as well, in both Kingdoms, often being chased by grackles.

And most unexpected, a sizable Animal Kingdom roost (mixed: mostly ibis, but some egrets and herons as well) that can be viewed on the way to Camp Minnie Mickey.

Finally, neither wild nor a bird, but really cool when the sun is going down--the translucent wings of the flying fox.

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