We hadn't been to the National Zoo in a while, so it was our 1st choice of things to do on Thursday when we couldn't scare up any friends for a playdate and the glorious fall weather demanded that we spend the afternoon outside. We got rock star parking and wound up entering the zoo a new way - right in front of some very active cheetahs and with immediate access to the Asia trail and our beloved giant pandas.
There were no pandas to be seen that day so we crossed the bridge over the elephant yard and got to see a calf playing outside with the gorgeous autumnal hues as a backdrop. The bridge funnels you into a closed loop leading to the bird house. Not a destination with a major draw compared to the lions and gorillas we usually gravitate towards, but I'm glad we gave it a try. It was really fun!
There is a small indoor area where the birds are free to fly around, and many were just sitting there in branches a few inches from our heads! Wish I had brought the good camera instead of just a point-and-shoot.
Around the back was an outdoor "flight exhibit," a giant netted structure with all kinds of big birds doing what came naturally. Again, they were so close you could practically touch them!
Walking around the path back to the bridge led us past even more bird exhibits I never knew were there. Perhaps the cranes were the inspiration for "Angry Birds?" And I don't know what the heck that flamingo was doing, but it was fun to watch.
Right before closing the loop and crossing back over the bridge we found this eagle sculpture and had some fun with it.
Funny, Joseph is pretty much over getting his picture taken at this point, but that day he wanted to stop and pose every time we came across an animal statue. And quite often he'd ask me to pose so he could take a photo of me. Maybe one day he take over this Alton Boys gig! Need to teach him hoe to keep those chubby little fingers off the lens.
I'm sure we'll make it a point to visit the bird house once in a while now that we know how much fun it is. It could not have been a more perfect way to spend a gorgeous fall day with my son!