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Chlidonias

razor-billed curassow aviary

photo taken 1992. There are no longer any curassows in NZ and I believe only one (or two?) left in Australia

razor-billed curassow aviary
Chlidonias, 9 Jun 2010
    • Chlidonias
      man we are sad people.

      I think I can see the actual aviary in that aerial photo, having looked at it for a while. In the bottom left corner of the photo is a little triangle of road with a red car on it, and there are two blocks of aviaries parallel to that visible section of road, the lower block looking like a big square of mesh and the upper block being long and narrow. The curassow aviary is the one at top right of the big mesh square, with all the points you mention being able to be seen (the rear smaller aviary and the wooden shelter) as well as where the shrubs to the right of the cage would be.

      Is that the one you were looking at?

      And is the narrow block of aviaries above them (to the right) the one where the kookaburra was photographed?
    • Chlidonias
      and you are right, I never noticed the lorikeets back there.
    • zooboy28
      I don't think we're sad...:confused:

      Yup, that was the one I was meaning.

      The kookaburra would not have been in that block above, as that is now the Chimpanzee cage, where Janie lives, and it is also shown as holding chimps in the 1980s map (and as empty in 1979, and as holding birds of prey earlier). I think it is probably part of the curassow aviary block, but toward the other end. Even though in the aerial photo all these aviaries appear to be the same height, and this one appears to be shorter than that for the curassow, this can be explained by the slope of the site, which would allow a taller aviary to the right. This is the same with the aviaries there today, although those on higher ground have been built taller. Here is a pic to explain, the aviary closest to camera is where the curassow likely was.
    • Chlidonias
      sorry I was obviously having a senior moment and putting "right" instead of "left" (twice no less!!). What I meant to write was:

      "I think I can see the actual aviary in that aerial photo, having looked at it for a while. In the bottom left corner of the photo is a little triangle of road with a red car on it, and there are two blocks of aviaries parallel to that visible section of road, the lower block looking like a big square of mesh and the upper block being long and narrow. The curassow aviary is the one at top left of the big mesh square, with all the points you mention being able to be seen (the rear smaller aviary and the wooden shelter) as well as where the shrubs to the right of the cage would be.

      ........

      And is the narrow block of aviaries above them (to the left) the one where the kookaburra was photographed?"
      [I meant the upper block of aviaries that is parallel to the road; it looks like they have the rear shelters that can be seen in the kookaburra photo]



      (Also I think us obsessing over an aviary that isn't even there any more is sad :p :D)
    • Chlidonias
      this is what I'm meaning. I circled the top-left aviary in the lower block where I think the curassow aviary was, and also circled the block to the left of that where I think the kookaburra probably was.
    • zooboy28
      Yes, I think we are now in definite agreement over the location of the curassow aviary.

      However, I do not think that you are right in regard to the location of the kookaburra aviary, which I still think was to the left of the curassow aviary (if you were looking at it as a visitor), in the same block.

      Here is a photo of the aviary that you circled as the kookaburra aviary, which is not as deep as the other aviaries, and also has a taller central aviary, which is different to the kookaburra aviary.

      Just to disagree a little bit more, I don't think its that sad, I'm having quite a bit of fun here.
    • Chlidonias
      ah yes, I see what you mean about that aviary (and I think I can just make out the domed middle part in the aerial photo), so scratch that idea entirely then.

      However, in the kookaburra photo you can see that the wooden shelters run fully the length of the back (across all three aviaries visible in that photo), and in the aerial photo I just can't see that in the section to the left of the curassow aviary. (Whereas, in contrast, the shelter on the left side of the curassow photo is plainly visible in the aerial photo).

      Are any of the existing aviaries to the left (i.e. as you move away from where Janie is housed, in the direction of the peafowl) similar at all?


      oh yes indeed, I'm having a lot of fun too. I love digging around trying to find answers to things like this. We are sort of the Hardy Boys of Auckland Zoo (does that make you feel like it's sad yet? :p).
    • Chlidonias
      on another note, I'm also wondering what the little hut in the rear aviary in this photo is for! It's too big to be a cover for rat traps (i.e. to stop the birds getting caught in them), so I wonder if there was some ground-dwelling animal in there too, maybe agouti or a tortoise or something like that. Which makes me further wonder if the aviary block could be viewed from all sides (although from the aerial photo that doesn't seem likely). It does seem odd to have off-display aviaries situated in view behind display aviaries, it must have been frustrating for visitors to be able to see there were birds back there but not be able to get a proper look!
    • zooboy28
      Yes, I see that that is not present, but there could have been changes in the intervening 15 or so years between the late 1970s and 1992 (not clutching at straws here:D). I still think the kookaburra aviary was in the same block.

      Further down the path, there is only the aviary with the taller central cage I posted a photo of before on the left, followed by the Japanese Garden (again, I don't know what this replaced, but it still predates the photos we are discussing). On the opposite side is a weird exhibit surrounded by low rock walls and some wide mesh fences, which I believe may have been built for ratites, and more recently held mara, and now parma wallabies, with a small exhibit with a pond at the end which held Carolina wood ducks until recently and is now empty. Beyond this is the black cockatoo aviary, followed by a distinctive long aviary with a rounded roof and end, which holds lovebirds. The stream then runs through this part of the zoo, with a small bridge that takes you past a small exhibit for a sulphur-crested cockatoo (not an aviary) to the original freeflight aviary (1922) which now holds blue & yellow macaws and sun conures. The peafowl exhibit has been renovated extensively, and has held Galapagos tortoises for a number of years now.

      So there is no room in that area at all for the kookaburra aviary, especially given the presence of aviaries either side of it, except for the block at the top. I also can't think of any other places in the zoo where such a block could have been, I would have thought that a block of aviaries would have appeared on a map, although could believe that an individual aviary might have been omitted.

      Well, yeah, the Hardy Boys reference does make it seem a little sad.
    • zooboy28
      Yes it does seem odd, and quite frustrating too, as I very much doubt that visitor viewing from the rear would not have been possible, although may have been possible through the side, if the shubbery was not too thick. There seems to be a picnic table near this back aviary visible in the aerial photo, although that had likely gone by 1992.

      In terms of the hut, the 1992 census suggests plenty of tortoises that could have lived in here, as well as agouti, but no other realistic candidates, except possibly ground fowl, such as pheasants? I also think that it might be unsuitable for tortoises, unless purely summer accomodation, as there is no room for a heat lamp.
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  • Category:
    Auckland Zoo
    Uploaded By:
    Chlidonias
    Date:
    9 Jun 2010
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