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The Daily Bucket is a regular series from the Backyard Science group. Here we talk about Mother Nature in all her glory, especially the parts that live nearby. So let us know (as close as you are comfortable) where you are and what's going on around you. What's the weather like? Seen any interesting plants, bugs or critters? Are there birds at your feeders? Deer, foxes or peahens in your yard? Seen any cool rocks or geological features? Post your observations and notes here. And photos. We like lots of photos.  :)
In the old days, zoos were nothing more than animal prisons, where "stamp collections" of wild things ("one of each") paced neurotically in cramped cages behind iron bars, often taunted by the crowd or reduced to begging for peanuts. Today, things have changed. Zoos are now centers of conservation, education and captive breeding. Cages have been replaced by naturalistic enclosures and large open areas where the animals can form natural herds and family groups.

For budding wildlife photographers, zoos and aquariums are a blessing. Where else can you shoot closeup photos of an endangered bird from Africa, a rare monkey from South America, and a reclusive fish from the Australian reefs, all in the same afternoon?

Is it "cheating" to photograph local wildlife species in a zoo . . .? Are you "not really a wildlife photographer" unless you are slogging through the mud with a long telephoto lens to get that shot of a fleeting animal or bird in the distance . . . ?

Here are a few zoo and aquarium shots of local species I've taken over the years . . .

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Lookdown Fish

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Eastern Fence Lizard

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Bullfrog

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Moon Crab

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Bald Eagle

And now it is your turn: let us know what's going on in your neck of the woods.  :)

Originally posted to Backyard Science on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 05:15 AM PST.

Also republished by Shutterbugs.

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