Animal Portraits from Baltimore Zoo

Back in March we went to the Baltimore Zoo and I took my 120-400mm lens. I think this may be the first time I’d taken that lens to this Zoo (although I’d taken it quite a few times to the National Zoo in DC). I took lots of photos, but some didn’t come out the way I wanted and others just looked too much like they were in a zoo. I wanted (as much as I could) to have photos that could have been taken in the wild. I didn’t succeed with all the photos I chose for this post, but I was happy with the way they came out.

I don’t know what it is about prairie dogs – if it’s their silly chubbiness or their meerkat-like behavior, but I always love taking photos of them. This time I was able to get close up enough to see him sticking his tongue out at the zoo-goers.

I don’t think anyone would ever see this photo and thin I’d gone to Aantarctica or South Africa, but I did like that I caught them about to dive.

I’d seen flamingos my whole life, having grown up in Florida. But until this photo I hadn’t realized their eye color or the peculiar way their beaks bend. I remember reading once that they’re pink because they eat shrimp…but shrimp are only pink if you cook them. So I wonder if that’s true or not.

My absolutely favorite thing about this photo (that you may not appreciate unless you’re at least viewing it on a tablet) is the way the ostrich feathers look. They’re like little fir trees. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen feathers that look like that before.

The unease I feel at this ostrich staring at me is a good reminder that they’re living dinosaurs.

I know this photo isn’t perfectly crisp, but if you contrast the frozen water with the zooming ducks you’ll get an idea of just how fast they were chasing each other. My kids loved that they were chasing each other in circles.

I was pretty lucky this swan was posing for me for 30 or so minutes.

I don’t know what bird this is, but I do not want to get on his bad side. Not only is the one of the most bad-ass looking birds (behind an Eagle, of course), but that pointy beak looks like it could do some damage.

Right as we were getting ready to leave, this alligator was out on his own with a circle of people around him. The Florida person in me thought that was madness. But the photographer in me was happy to get a chance to take some really close up photos.

And also enjoy this video I shot of the crazy noises flamingos make.