Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Serengeti Birds and Babies

As exciting as all African animals are, there is something very special about babies.  I have learned that I think all babies are adorable, even the ones that others may find ugly. They are all cuties to me!
For example, this baby crocodile. It looks like a normal crocodile but tiny!

Baby hippo! They are so pudgy and happy! I was shocked that they are already fabulous swimmers even at such a young age. 

Baby zebra butt!! Zebras have the greatest butts in all of the animal kingdom so naturally, fuzzy baby butts are the cutest of all!

Elephant butts are an awfully close second. 

This little (very tiny) one was trotting around trying to get Mama to come play. The little ones are so silly when they run because they have no control over their trunks!

Now this pair was very interesting. They were stragglers from a larger herd and had to pass 2 males lions. Mama was not happy about that. She stuck her tusks in the air and grunted as if to say, "Don't even think about it!" I would do the same if I had a baby as tiny as hers. 

She wasn't too happy about us either. That's when we remembered that we are NOT invisible and we should probably be very quiet…
But that baby!!

Another very large part of this expedition was birds! We had to identify at least 50 different bird species. There are over 500 species in Serengeti so it was actually much easier than is sounds. 
Here are some of my favorites aka the ones that stayed still long enough for me to take a picture of them. 

These were at every single water source we stopped at. "Is that something new?" nope. Just another Egyptian goose...

Raptors are plentiful in Serengeti and there are so many different species of hawks and eagles. This vulture was trying hard to be cool like an eagle...

But couldn't help himself. 

As you can imagine, I enjoyed the birds very much. I won the "most likely to become addicted to birding" superlative at camp this year. I do believe Tanzania has nursed that flame into a raging fire. My bird field guide is worn and bent from just 2 months of use. I regret nothing. 

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