Every couple of years I visit Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Southern California and play with the birds. Meet the Superb Parrot native to Australia. This is the only bird featured in this post that is not designated endangered or vulnerable in the wild.
Every time I visit, I leave wanting to adopt one of their birds, like this Eclectus Parrot, native to the Solomon Islands.
Free Flight was established by an avian veterinarian to rescue and rehabilitate pet parrots. They have several highly endangered Hyacinth Macaws which are the largest of the Macaw species.
Friendly and outgoing Yellow Naped Amazons live in Mexico and Central America.
Pretty in Pink Moluccan Cockatoos are native to Indonesia.
Free Flight birds live in an open aviary and interact readily with the people who come to visit them.
African Grey Parrots from the Congo are famous talkers. Despite myths to the contrary, bird brains are intelligent brains. Parrot brains in particular are similar in several important ways to primate brains.
Blue and gold macaw are native to South America.
Cheers to you from the beautiful, happy and healthy parrots, at Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary~
I found Bambi grazing on a lawn in Washington state!
He was surrounded by very watchful adults.
The adults were a bit wary of humans,
but Bambi was pure curiosity!
This adult had a massive yet cleanly healed scar that transversed her right side and formed a y flap crossing over her shoulder. This was a major injury that cut through lots of muscle. I wonder if a good samaritan veterinarian stitched her up?
Cheers to you from the peaceful, and very dear-deer~
These orcas are part of a transient pod that hunt mammals in the waters off the coast of northern Washington.
This area used to be the territory of healthy pods of resident, salmon eating orcas. Many of these resident whales are now starving because their principal food source, salmon, have declined dramatically.
Their territorial waters are being taken over by transient whales who hunt local seals and seal lions.
Resident salmon eating orcas, and transient mammal eating orcas have evolved separately, speak different languages (yes, whales have languages), and have different behaviors and social structures.
The starvation of the resident orcas of the pacific northwest is yet another environmental tragedy endangering the lives of wild species.
Above you see a mother and calf kissing each other.
Then Mama and baby both decide to do a upside-down-under-boat-swim, so close to the hull , you could almost lean over the boat rails and touch their glowing blue bellies. They did this twice!
Why do you think?
And the most amazing thing? A grey whale did the exact same thing on our next trip.
We took two reasonably priced trips out of different parts of Washington, one for a full day, and another for a half day. On both trips we were allowed to spend about twenty minutes watching the orcas from a distance of about two football fields away, usually in fog, rain and rough seas. It is quite difficult to get decent orca photos in these conditions, but these rules are important because they protect orcas from harassment. Despite the limitations, we thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend both trips.
There are a variety of other tours available which allow you to spend more up-close time with pacific northwest orcas, but they can be very expensive, and maybe more intrusive. One three day trip for photographers for example cost $2500.00 per person. You can also book tours out of British Columbia, which we did years ago. On the Canadian tours we were accompanied by a orca biologist and were able to spend more up close time with the more plentiful Canadian orcas for a reasonable fee.
If you want to see wild orcas, do your research, and select a company that will best meet your expectations.
Cheers to you from the gorgeous orcas of the pacific northwest~
Lake Quinault Lodge in Olympic National Park, Washington state, was built in 1925. You can see Jim walking in front of the historic old building.
The lodge lies on the shores of Lake Quinault and is nearly empty this time of year, which makes it an ideal time to visit the park.
Olympic National Park encompasses one of three temperate rain forests in the United States. Quinault receives an average of 12 feet of rain per year, making it the wettest place in the lower 48.
This rain creates a luscious forest full of ferns, hanging epiphytic mosses, wild roses and violets, and old growth trees, some over 1000 years old.
The lake itself provides safe harbor to over 100 bald eagles and a myriad of bird and mammal species, including the unique Roosevelt Elk. Quinault is home to four types of salmon, including giant chinooks weighing up to 126 pounds.
There are over fourteen different hiking trails in the Quinault area alone, making exploration of the stunning rain forest easily accessible.
You can hike to the olderst Sitka Spruce tree in the world, and explore The Valley of the Giants, home to six of the of the world’s largest trees of their species.
Cheers to you from stunning Quinault in Olympic National Park~
(Sorry, if I am off line and slow to respond. We are traveling in the Pacific Northwest and often out of wifi range. I will check in with you when I can. Until then, be well and take good care!)