The Jabiru or Black Necked Stork was my favourite bird at Australia Zoo. I had seen its back from a distance at Currumbin so didnt realise how gorgeously coloured these birds are. And they are tall as well – a good 5 feet and most of it leg. Australia Zoo had a good enclosure and there was a viewing platform right where they appeared to be nesting and a pair were on display. The shot taken above was of another bird and this is all there was of his head visible above the fenceline.
I believe the female is the one with the leg – according to the website she is a rescue as the leg was damaged/broken. Beautiful elegant birds, and apparently one does fly at the Free Flight show on occasion – I wonder if they fly with their long legs out behind them?
The Free Flight show was well worth attending, a large variety of birds were on display, swooping and circling the arena. My biggest complaint was that the scale was not conducive to intimate photography, although at the end, some birds were on display where you could get up close and personal. Still a lot of fences and cluttery background to account for, which is frustrating. Light on the day was high overcast so nicely filtered.
They had flights of these birds above swooping around and then landing on the other side of the arena (thank goodness for 200mm zoom lens) these are 100% crop hence the smallness of the birds but the colouring was quite delightful.
I took lots of out of focus in flight shots (or ones with the back half or a wing) as I was just not quick enough to catch them, or the background was not particularly nice. I enjoyed this show, and saw lots of pretty and unusual birds on the wing, which not something I would normally see.