Archive for January, 2011

Mueller’s Gibbon, Taronga Zoo, Sydney

Mueller's Gibbon, Taronga Zoo, Sydney

Mueller’s Bornean Gibbon is one of the smallest of the smallest gibbons.It can be found on the island of Borneo where it is endemic. They are arboreal feeders, primarily fruits of the rainforest. They are diurnal (active during the day) and their early morning calls are loud and piercing.  They have very long arms which enable them to swing easily from branch to branch as they move through the rainforest.

We saw these Gibbons during our visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney last year. At the bottom of this post I have included a photo of the sign accompanying this display. I frequently do this to remind me of the particular species I have photographed, especially of those animals or birds with which I am not all that familiar.

Mueller's Gibbon, Taronga Zoo, Sydney

Mueller's Gibbon, Taronga Zoo, Sydney

Beautiful lunch time visitor

Silver Gull, Taronga Zoo, Sydney

Silver Gulls make excellent photographic studies. This is because they are generally quite unafraid of people, especially at the beach, in picnic areas or open air restaurants. On our visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney last year this individual decided it was worth hanging around where we were sitting in the hope of a few morsels to eat. It was sadly disappointed because we only sat at the table for a few minutes while we had a drink break.

What a beautiful pest

Common Myna, Taronga Zoo, Sydney

I took this photograph of a Common Myna last year on a visit to one of my favourite zoos, Taronga Zoo in Sydney. We had a short break at one of the food outlets in the zoo. As we were sitting there a Common Myna sat on one of the umbrellas covering patrons having a meal. The red top of the umbrella is shown reflected on the breast feathers of the bird, creating an interesting effect. Look rather beautiful, actually.

Sadly, this introduced species has grown to pest proportions in Sydney, Melbourne and many other towns and cities. It is a pest species because it competes with native bird species for food and nesting spots and is steadily displacing native species in some areas.

Common Myna, Sydney

Sun Bear, Taronga Zoo, Sydney

Malayan Sun Bear, Taronga Zoo, Sydney

The Malayan Sun Bear is one of the animal species on display at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. Sun Bears are the smallest members of the bear family. They naturally occur in SE Asia but numbers are decreasing due to hunting, mainly for their fur or for their bile which is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Others are killed when they interfere with crops.

They eat a wide range of foods, including small mammals, birds, reptiles, fruit, eggs and a range of plants.

Malayan Sun Bear, Taronga Zoo, Sydney

Please don’t wake the tiger

Tiger, Taronga Zoo, Sydney

During our visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney last year we had good views of the tiger shown in the photo above. I was carrying my 19 month old grandson at the time and he delighted in growling like a tiger while pointing at the animal – much to the amusement of the many people nearby. I was amazed at how low his growl was, considering his age. We had a good laugh about it. Fortunately the tiger slept on.

On my trip to Nepal in 2006 I went on an elephant safari ride through the jungle in Chitwan National Park in the south of the country. Although there are tigers in this area, sightings are quite rare. By way of compensation for not seeing one, we had excellent views of several rhinos, as well as many other animals and birds.

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