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oflory in California and Dallas

Discussion in 'United States' started by oflory, 17 Jan 2024.

  1. oflory

    oflory Well-Known Member 10+ year member Premium Member

    Joined:
    19 Mar 2013
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    Location:
    London
    Hello all,

    I am going to be in California in mid-March, and will be breaking my return flight in Dallas. I will be able to visit LA Zoo and the Aquarium of the Pacific in Los Angeles (possibly also the Marine Mammal Rescue Center); then San Diego Zoo, San Diego Safari Park, San Diego SeaWorld, the Living Coast Discovery Centre and the San Diego Natural History Museum in San Diego. Breaking my flight in Dallas will allow me to visit the Dallas World Aquarium (though sadly probably not either Dallas or Fort Worth Zoos).

    Rather than clog up the respective threads with questions, I thought I would make this post instead.

    San Diego Zoo
    I am really keen to see the Tongan scrubfowl (if still alive). I have read that the best time to see her is to go straight to her exhibit at opening time (which I am aware is officially off-show but viewable with binoculars?). Is that when she is most active?

    Does anyone know if the Owens aviary has a re-opening date?

    Do any of the 'Wildlife Presentations' have any especially interesting or notable species?

    San Diego Safari Park
    I'll be visiting on a Monday, presumably the queues for the Africa tram wouldn't be particularly long on a weekday? Thinking I may need to go round at least twice in order to see the Ugandan kobs and red-fronted gazelles.

    San Diego Seaworld
    Do the pilot whales always feature in the dolphin show?

    Living Coast Discovery Centre
    I've read it is usually easy to see the lightfoot rails, is there a good time of day to see them?

    Dallas World Aquarium

    I'm concerned about the variable signage here - just how bad is it?!

    Sorry for lots of questions, but I am excited!
     
    Green_mamba and amur leopard like this.
  2. Kudu21

    Kudu21 Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    The Tongan scrubfowl is still alive; however, she is no longer in the partially on-show exhibit behind Polar Bear Plunge. She has been moved entirely off-show.

    There is not a timeline for the reopening of the Owens Aviary. They have not even begun the renovations yet because they have not been able to catch and remove all of the birds yet.

    From what I’ve seen, most of the presentation animals are pretty standard ambassador species. The most interesting species I’ve seen in a presentation is the Gambian pouched rat.

    The queues for the African Tram are going to be entirely dependent on the spring break schedule of the local schools. If there aren’t any spring breaks that week, you should not experience long queues on a Monday. That said, if there are spring breaks that week, it will be very busy. You really shouldn’t have an issue seeing the kob— it’s the gazelles that are the tricky ones.

    The pilot whales do not always feature in the dolphin shows, no. I have had some luck seeing them in the off-show pools from the pathway around the Sloth Encounter area.

    The facility itself does not currently have any lightfoot rails on display, and the aviary they are usually in when they do is closed through the waterfowl migration period due to HPAI. You can sometimes see wild rails in the adjoining national wildlife refuge.

    The signage is pretty atrocious. It is all electronic, in no way comprehensive, and often outdated. I found using species lists and photos here the most helpful to at least have an idea of what to look for and where.
     
  3. oflory

    oflory Well-Known Member 10+ year member Premium Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    London
    What a pity about the scrubfowl, lots to see there regardless. Is the Owens aviary relatively easy to view from outside?

    From a quick look at San Diego school board, the spring break is the first week of April, so hopefully should be relatively uncrowded. Thank you for your previous advice about a good time to see the gazelle!

    I'll have binoculars, so hopefully will be lucky too.

    Great - I think you have saved me a trip, in that case! And thank you for such comprehensive replies!
     
  4. Green_mamba

    Green_mamba Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    South Yorkshire
    How recently was she moved because I saw her last August.
     
    Last edited: 17 Jan 2024
  5. wild boar

    wild boar Well-Known Member

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    the United States of America
    I'm interested in how this works. What are the approaches for removing so many birds from such a large aviary?
     
  6. Kudu21

    Kudu21 Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Location:
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    It is not easy to see into the Owens Aviary from the outside. There aren't many places that would really provide a view, and the mesh is very tight/thick. For the sake of the project, hopefully by March the birds will all have been removed and renovations will have begun, anyways.

    That might be when San Diego's public schools have spring break, but that does not mean that is when all of the schools in the various suburbs or any private schools are on spring break. Hopefully you won't run into large crowds, but I think it might be best to be prepared for the possibility.

    I'll let you know if anything changes re- the rails before March. I have been more than happy to help!

    I believe she was moved sometime this past fall. You got very lucky then!

    Bait stations, I imagine. They are likely feeding in howdy cages that can have their doors remotely closed once birds are inside and are then netting them out from there. It'll certainly be a slow process with that many birds -- especially once they start to catch on.