Monday, July 30, 2007

An Afternoon at the Ostrich Ranch

The girls had the day off school today, so I took it with them. I offered an array of possible dad-daughter activities---Desert Museum, Kartchner Caverns, Reid Park Zoo, International Wildlife Museum---but without hesitation they chose the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch, north of Marana off I-10. Since we've been there last, the ranch has added a new lorikeet aviary, a very exciting addition for daughters and dad both.

Some photos, of course!

For $5 per person, you can feed the Key deer, ostriches, and lorikeets. It's a veritable bargain, and helps keep this funky Tucson-area institution, in the shadow of crooked Picacho Peak, in business.

We started with the deer, which will gladly eat out of your hand.

To wit: this stag nibbling my older daughter's fingers. Good, messy fun!

Next, we headed over to the ostriches.

No kidding they bite! The best bet is to quickly dump the feed into a tray and get your hand out of there lickety split.

And trust me on this: if you try to pet their fuzzy heads, they'll think you have food and snap at your hand. Ah well, 9 fingers out of an original 10 ain't so bad, I suppose....

Quite the gullet on this bad boy, eh?

I'm not sure that sign acts as any kind of binding legal protection, mind you. But it was sign enough for us to move on to the lorikeets.

In addition to the Purina feed, the ranch supplies nectar that the lorikeets gently lap up.

Did I say gently? I meant: voraciously!

In fact, our younger daughter really didn't like the flying rainbows landing on (or near) her at all.

And with this close-up shot you can see: yes, they're beautiful, but with that red-and-black eye and fire-tipped beak, a bit psychotic looking to, no?

Still, who can resist having them land all over you in their zesty search for nectar?

And it's pretty easy to get attached to one or two of them, too.

Even if at a distance.

The lorikeets love baby wipes, too. Actually, it's just this pair of wipe-drunk birds, which I had to fight off to get to a wipe.

And it's nice to know that if we ever get the urge to have a pet parrot, we can just drive an hour or so up the road to be inundated by the little beasties.



Lauren said...

oh wow, such great pictures! but wait, why are your girls already back in school? it's only july!

Pamela said...

Your daughters are more beautiful than the lorikeets (and that's saying something)!