On our visit to Salt Lake City last week, we took the grandkids to the Tracy Aviary, located in the city's Liberty Park. A visitor to the aviary should be warned that there is a fairly high entrance fee (around $10 for seniors), but I thought the facility was well worth it. The aviary is large, nicely laid out, and clean. If there is a complaint it is that the diversity of species could have been greater, given the facility's overall size.
Unfortunately, I had not brought my telephoto lens on the trip. The only lens I had was my workhorse 24-120 mm lens. As result, even at 120 mm, a lot of the birds appeared really small. Fortunately, even with hefty crops, I generally had enough pixels for the cropped image to appear sharp. Here is what I got, more or less in the order we saw them.
First up were some pelicans. One of these birds (the one in the back) had a "growth" on its bill, which apparently was normal. Like many of the shots, this one was heavily cropped and appears a bit messy.
Next up was a ruddy duck, the male of which has a bright blue bill, a bird I had never seen before. (Again, heavily cropped, but serviceable.)
One of the challenges when shooting captive animals, especially birds, is dealing with intervening wire netting. That was the case with the following bird whose species I failed to record. The caging behind the bird is obvious, but I was able essentially to eliminate the caging between me and the bird by opening up the lens's aperture to f/4.0. Often my camera's autofocus would get a little confused between focusing on the bird and focusing on the wire caging.
The aviary had a wide variety of owls.
Note that this last, the long-eared owl (who must have had its ears tucked back), has a major problem with one of its eyes.
One of the cages contained a number of macaws, both blue and red.
Here the caging between me and the birds was more noticeable, but not terribly distracting.
Far and away my favorite bird during our visit was the king vulture. Not only was he the ugliest bird in the aviary, but he seemed happy to perch quietly while I took some photos.
Again, the caging was a bit of an issue. Here is a closeup of his gorgeous (??) head. A face only a mother could love.
Following the vulture, we visited the flamingo pond. I liked the composition of this first shot.
I also got a second shot of a couple of flamingos that were having a heated discussion, with a third flamingo refereeing the argument.
Finally, a stately bald eagle that also seemed content to pose for me.
The grounds, both of the aviary and the surrounding Liberty Park, were nicely landscaped, and I got the following floral shots of corn flowers (I think) and a very large (perhaps 8 inches across) hibiscus.