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(I posted this yesterday on the Birds of the Bible For Kids blog and thought you might enjoy it. Besides, I have been dealing with a medical issue for two weeks and am on antibiotics. My energy level is low, so this helps not having to write another blog today. Please keep me in your prayers as I have a follow-up Dr. visit Monday.)

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

THE BOBOLINKS HAVE A TEA PARTY

Who Should Arrive But the Fairies

Who Should Arrive But the Fairies

“The other day,” commenced daddy, “the bobolinks had an afternoon tea.

“The tea party was given for the meadow larks. The bobolinks are great friends of the meadow larks and they wanted to be the first this season to entertain them. Besides, most of the bobolinks had new summer homes and their colony was near a beautiful stream.

“You know the bobolinks always build their homes in the meadows—but they build very near a stream and their homes are always deep down in the long grass.

“They had all come to live in Waving Grassland for the summer—that is, all the bobolinks who always moved about together in the summer and winter—and many of their friends, the meadow larks, were on hand to greet them. A number of others were going to arrive in a few days—before the tea party.

“Now Waving Grassland was very beautiful country. The meadows were very large and the grass was so beautiful and so long that it always waved in the soft breezes, so that the bobolinks named their new summer place Waving Grassland.

Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna) 2 by Kent Nickell

Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna) 2 by Kent Nickell

“And so the bobolinks made all their preparations for the tea party. The guests arrived dressed up in their best new summer plumage. The meadow larks came first, as they were the guests of honor.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Michael Woodruff

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Michael Woodruff

“The red-breasted grosbeak family were all there looking too lovely for words. And the bluejays,

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) at Bok Tower By Dan'sPix

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) at Bok Tower By Dan’sPix

downy woodpeckers,

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) by Raymond Barlow

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) by Raymond Barlow

the orioles,

Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) by Kent Nickell

Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) by Kent Nickell

the thrush family,

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) by Margaret Sloan

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) by Margaret Sloan

the chipping sparrows,

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) by Quy Tran

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) by Quy Tran

the robins,

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) eating by Jim Fenton

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) eating by Jim Fenton

the indigo birds—

PAS-Card Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) by Raymond Barlow

and even the shy vireos ventured forth.

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) by Dario Sanches

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) by Dario Sanches

Of course, usually they hate parties, but they loved the stream nearby and the beautiful country the bobolinks were living in, and they thought at least once a year they ought to be a little bit sociable and friendly with their neighbors.

“After they had all chatted together—to us it would have sounded more like chirping—the bobolinks began to serve tea.

“They had spring water for their tea—the water from the cool stream which had a deep spring within it. And this tea they served in little moss-covered stones. That gave it the most delicious flavor, and all the birds asked the bobolinks where they had found such good tea. You know in birdland they don’t ask each other where anything is bought, but where it is found! And the bobolinks told their secret.

A resin statue of a fairy ©WikiC

A resin statue of a fairy ©WikiC

“But as they were drinking cup after cup—or stoneful after stoneful—of tea, who should arrive but all the fairies!

“The birds greeted the fairies with their best songs—or their way of saying ‘We’re so glad to see you’—and the bobolinks trilled with joy because they had arranged this lovely surprise for their guests.”

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Lee’s Addition:

In that day,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘Everyone will invite his neighbor Under his vine and under his fig tree.’ ” (Zechariah 3:10 NKJV)

Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, … But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14 NKJV)

That was nice of the Bobolinks to invite their neighbors and friends. We also should be willing to invite and share with others our blessings. Also, it sounds like they had a lot of fun and chats. Are you friendly to those around you and willing to share. We should share and not expect to receive something in return.

The best thing we can share is our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. ABC’s of the Gospel

Another Bird Tale From

Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories – Gutenberg ebooks

By

Mary Graham Bonner

With four illustrations in color by
Florence Choate and Elizabeth Curtis

 

Daddys Bedtime Story Images

These stories first appeared in the American Press Association Service and the Western Newspaper Union.


Many of the sketches in this volume are the work of Rebecca McCann, creator of the “Cheerful Cherub,” etc.

Daddy's Bedtime Bird Stories by Mary Graham Bonner - 1917
Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories by Mary Graham Bonner – 1917

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Links:

Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) ©©Flickr

 

 

  Bird Tales

 

 

 

 

 

  Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories

 

 

 

  

 

 

  ABC’s of the Gospel

 

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) by Ray

 

 

  Icteridae – Oropendolas, Orioles & Blackbirds (and Bobolinks) Family

 

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Australian King Parrot ~ Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 7-31-14

Mea culpa again for the long delay since the last bird of the week. The good news is that, apart from dotting a few i’s, my current obsession Where to Find Birds in Northern Queensland is finished, so with luck you may get more frequent BotWs in the future. Here is an attractive and surprising omission from the BotW series, the Australian King Parrot. It’s one of the most spectacular Australian parrots and deserves the ‘King’ moniker. The French call it la Perruche royale.

It’s quite common along the eastern seaboard of Australia, with a preference for fairly dense coastal and highland forests including rainforest. That can make it hard to see but it’s quite vocal and the whistling call of the males is a very characteristic sound of eastern forest. It responds readily to being fed and can get quite tame. The one in the first photo was taken at O’Reilly’s in Lamington National Park, where the birds will perch on arms and shoulders and pose happily for photos. The males are distinguished from the females by the brilliant scarlet of the breast extending onto the head and having a conspicuou peppermint green blaze on the wings.

The females are gorgeous too with scarlet lower breast and belly, green heads and pinkish necks. The one in the second photo was busy exploring hollows in trees, but it was hard to imagine that she was contemplating nesting in May. Both sexes have blue backs, third photo, but this is usually hidden by the folded wings. The wing blaze may be missing or inconspicuous in females.

It’s usually just called the King Parrot in Australia and I used to wonder vaguely about the ‘Australian’ qualification. The reason for it is that is a Papuan one in New Guinea and a Moluccan one in western New Guinea and the islands of eastern Indonesia. Both these are rather similar to the Australian one, but smaller and differ mainly in the colour or lack of the blaze on the wings, and the amount of blue in the plumage.

There are two races of the Australian species. The larger nominate race occurs along most of the east coast, while the smaller race minor (obviously) occurs in northeastern Queensland. The literature doesn’t say much about minor except that it’s smaller, and there’s disagreement in the field guides about how far south it occurs: choose between Cardwell, Townsville and Mackay. I suspect Townsville is correct as there a big gap between the Paluma Range population and the Eungella/Clark Range one near Mackay. Anyway, the male in photo 4 and the female in photo 5 were photographed on the Atherton Tableland and are certainly minor.

It seemed to me from the photos that I took there that the northern males had brighter and more extensive blue hind collars and the females had brighter wing-blazes than southern birds. My sample size was small, but it might be an interesting project to check out whether these differences are consistent and to establish the exact geographical ranges of the subspecies. In northeastern Queensland it is mainly a highland species, with some movement to the lowlands in winter and I have seen them very occasionally near where I live.

Links:
Australian King-Parrot (I should have put hyphens in the photo captions)
Red-winged Parrot

Anyway, back to dotting i’s. The next stage in the book is to check out publishing via Apple iBooks, Google Play, etc. That’s something I know nothing about, so it will be interesting to find out how it’s done.

Greetings

Ian<
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Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Bird Photos http://www.birdway.com.au/
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17 KJV)

What beautifully created Parrots! They are just fantastic. Also, I was beginning to worry about Ian. It has been over a month since his last newsletter, Plum-headed Finches.

These parrots are members of the Psittacidae – Parrots Family. There are approximately 365 members, depending on whose list. The greatest diversity of parrots is in South America and Australasia.

Checkout all of Ian’s Parrot photos (around 50 species)

King Parrot at Wikipedia

Psittacidae – Parrots Family

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SmileyCentral.com

MEERKAT SCHOOL

“… and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.” Exodus 4:15b

Behavioral researchers define teaching very specifically. First, of course, a teacher must have pupils. Then the teacher must be less efficient in doing whatever he is doing than he normally would be if he were alone, as a means of showing the pupils how to do the task. And finally, the pupils must learn the task more quickly than they would on their own.

Meerkats at the Auckland Zoo ©©Auckland_Zoo

Meerkats at the Auckland Zoo ©©Auckland_Zoo

Meerkats at the Auckland Zoo by that definition, humans, of course, are teachers. Among animals, only a species of ant meets this definition of teaching. But now researchers from the University of Cambridge in England say that meerkats also qualify as teachers. They found that experienced hunters will take young, inexperienced pups with them when they hunt. They will let the youngsters watch them as they catch prey. Of course, when they catch some small prey, the youngsters will vocally beg for a handout. However, only 35 percent of those handouts are served to the youngsters dead. The rest of the time they have to learn how to subdue the caught prey themselves. On the other hand, older, more experienced pups received already-killed handouts only 10 percent of the time. Further tests involving live and dead prey show that those given live prey could learn to subdue it in only three days.

Despite the researchers’ presupposition that teaching evolved, God is still the One that teaches the teachers.

Meerkat at LP Zoo by Lee

Meerkat at LP Zoo by Lee

Prayer:
Father, I pray that you would provide Your church with faithful teachers of the forgiveness we have in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Notes:
Science News, 7/15/06, p. 36, S. Milius, “Live Prey for Dummies.” Photo: Meerkats at the Auckland Zoo. Courtesy of Ashleigh Thompson. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

©Creation Moments – Meerkat School, 2014.


Lee’s Additions:

Meerkat at LP Zoo by Lee

Meerkat at LP Zoo by Lee

I have always enjoy watching Meerkats and thought you might enjoy another Interesting Things blog. Lowry Park Zoo and other zoos keep them.

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American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) at Circle B by Lee

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) by Lee

The herds shall lie down in her midst, Every beast of the nation. Both the pelican and the bittern Shall lodge on the capitals of her pillars; Their voice shall sing in the windows; Desolation shall be at the threshold; For He will lay bare the cedar work. (Zephaniah 2:14 NKJV)

I enjoy “trying” to find bitterns. They can be right challenging because of the way the Lord designed them to be “hidden in plain view.” The American Bittern, at the top, landed right in front of us at Circle B last year. Otherwise, he would have blended right in and he would have been missed. Bitterns are also a Bird of the Bible.

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) by Bob-Nan

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) by Bob-Nan

Bitterns belong to the Ardeidae- Herons, Bitterns Family and most are well hidden while they search for food. “Bitterns are a classification of birds in the heron family, a family of wading birds. Species named bitterns tend to be the shorter-necked, often more secretive members of this family. Bitterns usually frequent reed beds and similar marshy areas, and feed on amphibians, reptiles, insects, and fish. Unlike the similar storks, ibises, and spoonbills, herons and bitterns fly with their necks retracted, not outstretched.” (Wikipedia)

Sunbitterns, which I added, are members of the Eurypygidae – Sunbittern Family. These comments from Woodland Park Zoo, show how their design helps hide them. “With its slow, deliberate walk on orange-colored legs and its long neck held parallel to the ground, the sunbittern resembles the sun-flecked forest interior. This spectacular frontal display is for threat or defense rather than courtship and is usually accompanied by a low hiss and bowing.”

“… they have vividly colored middle webs, which with wings fully spread show bright eyespots in red, yellow, and black. These are shown to other sunbitterns in courtship and threat displays, or used to startle potential predators. (Wikipedia)

This ability to hide brought to mind these verses:

Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, (Psalms 17:8 NKJV)

For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock. (Psalms 27:5 NASB)

Hide me from the secret counsel of evildoers, From the tumult of those who do iniquity, (Psalms 64:2 NASB)

Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the LORD; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:24 NKJV)

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“Hide Thou Me” – ©Rejoice! by the Hyssongs

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