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After spending some time with the Sumatran Tigers yesterday, Kongo found this East African Crowned Crane at San Diego’s Safari Park.  This bird was all decked out for the holidays with an impressive crown, Christmas red wattle, and a fuzzy little beret that seemed to come straight from 5th Avenue.

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It was feeding time for the vultures at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park yesterday when Kongo passed by.  Vultures are interesting birds and provide valuable services by cleaning up carrion in the wild but these are images you wouldn’t want to see anywhere outside of a zoo, like if you were trekking across the desert and one of them landed next to you.

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Okay, Kongo gets that serious birders will look down their beak in a scathing fashion about the notion of going birding at the zoo.  And given that Kongo is just back from touring the Galapagos Islands where the birds were everywhere in the wild he admits that it is a bit of a let down to go to the zoo now although the San Diego Zoo happens to be one of Kongo’s favorite places and where else can you get a close up of a Hyacinth Macaw (above) and Metallic Starlings (read on) on the same day?