Friday, January 1, 2010

Squirrel monkey- Bonnet House, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

squirrel monkey

Squirrel monkey
Squirrel monkey- Bonnet House, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Squirrel monkey eating
Tennisball head

Yes, we know it's a bird blog. We went down to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for a few days to get away from the winter. We planned on doing a little birding, and while reading about places close to our hotel, we discovered that the Bonnet House had Brazilian Squirrel monkeys in addition to being a good place to bird. It was within walking distance from our hotel, so one afternoon we took a stroll over and did the grounds only tour, preferring to stay outside in the warm weather. We had to walk around a few times before we encountered the monkeys. We put our previously learned monkey spotting techniques to work. (We've watched monkeys when on vacation in Brazil and Costa Rica.) When we heard funny noises and things started falling out of the trees around our heads, we knew they were close. When they got really active, it was impossible to miss them, and we spent about an hour observing and photographing their crazy behavior. We even saw one eat a dragonfly. We just couldn't get enough of them.

Mike assumed they were in cages or on a small island, but Chris was right and they roam freely on the 35 acre grounds of the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. There are plenty of plants and insects to eat here and the little tennis ball heads (as we nicknamed them) seemed to be living the good life.

We took a few too many photos to post here, so if you like squirrel monkeys you can see the rest on Flickr

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Anhinga from Bonnet House in Ft. Lauderdale

Anhinga

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Ft. Lauderdale Birds

Blue-grey gnatcatcher
Blue-grey Gnatcatcher

Palm warbler
Palm warbler

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Ibis

Ibis
Ibis
Ibis

Here's a juvenile ibis and an adult (all white), from Ft. Lauderdale.

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Florida Iguana

Florida Iguana
One of the places listed as a hot spot for birding in Florida was the Evergreen Cemetery. There were some nice trees and a lagoon or canal that ran along the back end, which is where we took a few of the bird photos. After being there for a while, Chris noticed a VERY LARGE iguana in a tree near a small heron. We worried for a while that it was planning a meal, but there was no need for us to worry as we remembered they're vegetarians. So, as we made our way around to the other side of the water for better lighting conditions for pictures for Mike, Chris was loathe to discover there were A LOT of her least favorite creatures, the iguanas, in the trees. They all seemed to be sunning themselves in the trees, which is fine, but as Mike pointed out, Chris would never rest in peace if buried in this cemetery.

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Royal Tern begging for a meal

 


The beach and the sun were the real reasons for our trip to Florida. We couldn't help stopping to watch a royal tern demanding to be fed. This photo was taken with our people camera not the birding one. Mike likes royal terns because their hair reminds him of George Costanza.

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