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Helen Betts | all galleries >> Rediscovering Home >> Washington Rediscovered: Year 2 > 'Objects of Wonder': Shoebills
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'Objects of Wonder': Shoebills

We went to an exhibit titled “Objects of Wonder: From the Collections of the National Museum of Natural History,” an interesting display of items that examines how scientists use the Smithsonian collections to enlighten and illuminate our understanding of nature and human culture. I took a few pictures, but most of it was more appropriate for viewing and reading about than photographing.

These fantastical looking birds are shoebills, which I believe were acquired as part of the East African expedition accompanied by former US President Teddy Roosevelt. According to the sign: “Living in papyrus swamps in tropical East Africa, these marsh birds stand as still as statues…then they strike! Their large, powerful beaks snap up frogs, lungfish and even young crocodiles.”

'Objects of Wonder': Dazzling Diversity, posted earlier:

Nikon D810 ,Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
1/100s f/4.5 at 56.0mm iso6400 full exif

other sizes: small medium original auto
Ton T.17-Sep-2017 12:39
Impressive and beautiful bird! Great image V
Julie Oldfield16-Sep-2017 11:16
Very fascinating to see. V
Tom Munson15-Sep-2017 19:11
A fascinating bird, Helen. I'd love to see one.
janescottcumming14-Sep-2017 13:02
That certainly is a very formable beak! V
larose forest photos14-Sep-2017 02:30
Fantastic shot of these very impressive birds. V
Gill Kopy14-Sep-2017 01:42
What a great shot of these amazing looking birds - inspite of living in Tanzania, I've never seen them :( V
victorswan13-Sep-2017 15:00
Such a beautiful portrait of an equally handsome bird lovely image Helen BV
Milan Vogrin13-Sep-2017 14:21
danad13-Sep-2017 13:54
A fine composition with a great clarity and a superb harmony of tones. V.
globalgadabout13-Sep-2017 13:13
top notch image...they look remarkable, and powerful too...V
Jim Coffman13-Sep-2017 12:16
These birds are very fascinating t me. Nice image, Helen..
Ika Zinka Eferl13-Sep-2017 12:16
Wonderful portrait! V+
Isabel Cutler13-Sep-2017 10:09
Wim Ensie13-Sep-2017 09:02
Unbelievable, what un ugly bird and never heard of.
Martin Lamoon13-Sep-2017 08:31
Certainly amazing birds.
Patrick Goossens13-Sep-2017 07:41
I have seen these in Tanzania during a Safari. They look incredible
Chris Morton13-Sep-2017 07:09
indeed quite a bill
Ton, Ben & Rob Nagtegaal13-Sep-2017 06:16
Beautiful photo of this special bird, I have seen him in Africa. V