Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Wilds- a winter view

The Ohio Ornithological Society (of which I am a member in good standing) runs an annual trip to The Wilds, a restored strip-mining operation in southern Ohio. It has a fascinating history, which you can read all about here.

It is a huge grassland, with some areas being reforested with the only trees and plants that can withstand the compacted, degraded soils: Black Pine, Green Ash, Sycamore, Silver Maple and the like.

A typical view of the back roads; these are AEP's acreage contiguous to The Wilds. Look carefully in the very top of the middle pine: Red-Shouldered Hawk, juvenile. This one was pretending to be a Rough-legged Hawk by perching at the tip-top of the tree!

Now we are talkin' wild. Sichuan Takin, that is, Budorcas taxicolor tibetana, (hmm, are they spicy-hot?) Check out this link for all of the managed animal species at The Wilds.

And of course, the star of the day- was this baby Southern White Rhino and her mum.

.......................... "Oh, I hear... birders!"
This little gal had everyone fonding over her. It is hard to believe something that will become so large can still be so doggone cute. In fact, it seems some folks had a hard time controlling themselves!

Zookeeper Dave, looks as though he would like to say... Ladies, please step away from the Rhino, step away!

Great fun, good birds and a bonus rhino. Life is good.

1 comment:

  1. Awww, you got a REALLY good shot of momma and baby rhino together! Wasn't she absolutely the sweetest thing? Glad we got to make contact this weekend. Look forward to seeing you at Flora Quest!