Family Photography in the Montecasino Bird Gardens

The Montecasino Bird Gardens in Fourways, near Johannesburg, is a very popular place for families to visit over a weekend.

The Gardens are beautifully laid out, with a wide variety of rare and spectacularly beautiful birds on view. You can walk through most of the cages, and even hand-feed some of the smaller, less aggressive birds. There is an entertaining and educational show, twice a day, where you can learn about birds and conservation. The live birds, although “trained”, sometimes misbehave to the great delight of all the kids in the audience!

We have visited the gardens a number of times (my husband was one of the people who designed the landscaping, so we like to see how it’s all “growing in”) especially now that the children have children of their own.

Here is Owen, hand-feeding a lorikeet, in one of the walk-through cages. Owen is pretty fearless – he has also handled very large snakes in one of the Bird Garden exhibits!

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My hubby…I’m glad to see the birds still fancy him 🙂

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Owen again, enjoying the wonderful environment:

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A wet pelican, with a preposterous hairdo 🙂

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A small waterfall, and an Ibis, inside the large walk-through aviary:

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Owen, and his little brother Carl, crossing the bridge over the lake where the pelicans hang out:

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Glenn and Owen:

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After our visit to the Bird Gardens, we went and had a light dinner on the Montecasino Piazza  – where Carl tried to convince a total stranger she should donate her ice-cream to him!

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All these images were made with my Canon 60D and a 70-300mm zoom lens. The zoom lens was not easy to use in the enclosed walk-through cages, but it was brilliant at bringing the birds right up close, and compressing scenes such as the two boys crossing the bridge.

I processed all these images in Photoshop CS6 – removing minor distractions, lightening the Ibis in the shot of the waterfall, and adding a texture to the image of the boys on the bridge.


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