Update on Version 3.2 and Eye


Sumatran Laughingthrush by Lee at Zoo Miami

“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? (Matthew 6:26 NASB)

I am still working a little behind the scenes on the IOC Version 3.2 update. My eye surgery has slowed me down somewhat. With the new families that were added (see Updating to IOC Version 3.2 Underway ) I am making quite a few changes. Because of those families, I am working backwards to make room for the new pages.

Also, my eye surgery went well for a week, then when I got up from a nap last Thursday, my vision was blurred. After two visits to the Doctor, they say all is well, that something floated across inside. So far it is still there a week later. Right now, my vision is less than before the surgery. So, I have not been writing as many articles as normal. Continue to keep my in your prayers. They have definitely been felt.

Red-tailed Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron milnei) and Black-throated in forefront by Lee

Red-tailed Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron milnei) and Black-throated in forefront by Lee

While working on the Leiothrichidae – Laughingthrushes Family, I was enjoying remembering our visit to Zoo Miami this year. Those Laughingthrushes are sort of fun to watch. They hop around instead of walking. We were able to see the Sumatran (Black and White), Black-throated and the Red-tailed Laughingthrushes. I call the Sumatran “Joe Cool.”  We have also seen the Red-faced Liocichla at the Riverbanks Zoo SC and the Red-billed Leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea) by Dan at National Aviary PA

Here are the Families Updated to IOC 3.2 Version from Laughingthrush to Grosbeaks, Saltators & Allies:

See all the Birds of the World


Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 1

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 1

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Powerful Owl  ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 12/9/2012

My apologies again for a tardy bird of the week, so here is something special. Well, special for me, anyway, as it has been a serious bogey bird for me. All addicted birders and bird photographers have their bogeys, in the sense of ‘an evil or mischievous spirit, a cause of annoyance or harassment’ usually a species that is invisible to the victim or hides whenever the victim is around.

Powerful Owls first cast an evil spell on me on 11 February 1999 when one in Pennant Hills Park made my film camera malfunction so that the entire film was hopelessly underexposed – you can see the wicked gleam in its eye below. As soon as I picked up the film from the chemist the following day, I went back to Pennant Hills Park but the owl was no longer there or no longer visible.

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 2

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 2

Shortly after that I moved from Sydney and switched to digital photography (nowadays we take instant photographic feedback for granted). Since then, whenever I’ve visited Sydney I’ve looked for Powerful Owls in all their usual haunts – Pennant Hills Park, Mitchell Park, Beecroft, Warriewood, Royal Botanic Gardens, Royal National Park, etc. – without success.

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 3

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 3

Last Tuesday I gave a talk on parrots to Birding NSW in Sydney and inquired about POs. Yes, one had been seen in its favourite tree, the White Fig, near the entrance to Government House the previous Saturday. I went there on Wednesday and searched the tree for at least 20 minutes but the owl remained invisible until I decided to leave. Delighted with its success, it let its guard down, the spell weakened and I got the briefest visual sensation, like a shimmering mirage, of a barred tail. Powerful Owls are big 60-65cm/24-26in in length, it was then quite visible from the ground and not very high up, so a spell is the only explanation.

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 4

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 4

The next day, I went birding with Madeleine Murray and we abandoned plans to look for the owl (they’re quite visible to her) and went instead to Port Hacking, south of Sydney, where, lo and behold, we found another one, or to be more accurate Mad found it after I’d walked straight past it as the spell hadn’t entirely dissipated – it normally does so quite quickly after it has been broken once.

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 5

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 5

The Powerful Owl is the largest of the Hawk Owls (genus Ninox) and exceeded in size only by the world’s largest owls such as the Grey Grey and the larger Eagle Owls. It is found in eastern and southeastern Australia usually within 200km of the coast from central Queensland to eastern South Australia. It has large territories ranging in size from 3-15 square kilometres so it is nowhere common and is listed as Vulnerable. However, it seems to be quite tolerant of selective logging and can survive in patchy forests. It feeds mainly on arboreal mammals such as possums, but will also take flying foxes (fruit bats) and roosting birds.

Best wishes

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Check the latest website updates:


Lee’s Addition:

Glad you sent us a Bird of the Week, Ian. I was starting to worry about you, that maybe you were sick or something. The wait was worth it because this is a beautiful Owl. I am glad you are no longer under this bird’s “evil spell on” you.

The Powerful Owl is part of the Strigidae – Owl Family. To see more photos of them, check out Ian’s photos and our Family page here:

Typical or Hawk Owls – Ian’s Birdway

Strigidae – Owl Family


Third to arrive

Third to arrive

Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? (Job 39:27 KJV)

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 KJV)

Last night we went on my first birdwatching adventure since my eye surgery. After an article was shown to me, by a friend, we had to check it out. And it is only about 3 miles from our house.

Here is the article’s link: Eagles Making a Home on Sheriff’s Communications Tower

First Eagle Chased off by Grackle-crop

First Eagle Chased off by Grackle

We arrived around 4:30 pm and we had other birdwatchers coming to see the event. At first there were quite a few Boat-tailed Grackles up on the tower. When the first young Eagle arrived, they promptly chased him off.

When the second Eagle came in, he landed and the Grackles decided it was time to leave. From there on, the mostly young eagles came in one or two at a time. Wow! I have never seen that many Bald Eagles together at one time. By the time we left there were 25 that had come to the tower. When one landed, as the article said, they would start greeting each ofter. The lady standing by us keep coming up with stories they might be telling, like; “How was your day?”, “You should see the large fish that I caught”, “Went over to …..” It was fun.

 The setting Sun

The setting Sun

We also saw 2 Sandhill Cranes, 12 Lesser Scaups on the pond, 2 Killdeer, 4 White Ibises flying by and of course the Grackles. It was a nice evening and we watched the sun set over the pond.

The Tower with 20 Bald Eagles

The Tower with 20 Bald Eagles

And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together. (Luke 17:37 KJV)

The tower is 190 feet tall and we were standing back quite a bit. I know my eye is blurry, but considering how zoomed in these photos are, I think they are not bad. Shot several videos trying to get the sound of their greetings, but every one was talking during them. We were all as excited as the Eagles to see each other and have their chats.

What an event.

Here is the tower as we saw it without the aid of the camera.

The Tower without zoom

The Tower without zoom

Bald Eagles are of course one of our Birds of the Bible with at least 34 verses mentioning them. They belong to the Accipitridae – Family (Kites, Hawks & Eagles).

I will have more photos and video later.


Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) by Ray

Song Sparrow by Ray


Deuteronomy xxxii 6-7.—“If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way, in any tree, or on the ground, young ones or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young. But thou shalt in anywise let the dam go, that it may be well with thee, and that thou may prolong thy days.”


T is said that the following petition was instrumental in securing the adoption in Massachusetts of a law prohibiting the wearing of song and insectivorous birds on women’s hats. It is stated that the interesting document was prepared by United States Senator Hoar. The foregoing verse of Scripture might have been quoted by the petitioning birds to strengthen their position before the lawmakers:

“To the Great and General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: We, the song birds of Massachusetts and their playfellows, make this our humble petition. We know more about you than you think we do. We know how good you are. We have hopped about the roofs and looked in at the windows of the houses you have built for poor and sick and hungry people, and little lame and deaf and blind children. We have built our nests in the trees and sung many a song as we flew about the gardens and parks you have made so beautiful for your children, especially your poor children, to play in. Every year we fly a great way over the country, keeping all the time where the sun is bright and warm. And we know that whenever you do anything the other people all over this great land between the seas and the great lakes find it out, and pretty soon will try to do the same. We know. We know.

“We are Americans just the same as you are. Some of us, like some of you, came across the great sea. But most of the birds like us have lived here a long while; and the birds like us welcomed your fathers when they came here many, many years ago. Our fathers and mothers have always done their best to please your fathers and mothers.

“Now we have a sad story to tell you. Thoughtless or bad people are trying to destroy us. They kill us because our feathers are beautiful. Even pretty and sweet girls, who we should think would be our best friends, kill our brothers and children so that they may wear our plumage on their hats. Sometimes people kill us for mere wantonness. Cruel boys destroy our nests and steal our eggs and our young ones. People with guns and snares lie in wait to kill us; as if the place for a bird were not in the sky, alive, but in a shop window or in a glass case. If this goes on much longer all our song birds will be gone. Already we are told in some other countries that used to be full of birds they are now almost gone. Even the Nightingales are being killed in Italy.

“Now we humbly pray that you will stop all this and will save us from this sad fate. You have already made a law that no one shall kill a harmless song bird or destroy our nests or our eggs. Will you please make another one that no one shall wear our feathers, so that no one shall kill us to get them? We want them all ourselves. Your pretty girls are pretty enough without them. We are told that it is as easy for you to do it as for a blackbird to whistle.

“If you will, we know how to pay you a hundred times over. We will teach your children to keep themselves clean and neat. We will show them how to live together in peace and love and to agree as we do in our nests. We will build pretty houses which you will like to see. We will play about your garden and flowerbeds—ourselves like flowers on wings—without any cost to you. We will destroy the wicked insects and worms that spoil your cherries and currants and plums and apples and roses. We will give you our best songs, and make the spring more beautiful and the summer sweeter to you. Every June morning when you go out into the field, Oriole and Bluebird and Blackbird and Bobolink will fly after you, and make the day more delightful to you. And when you go home tired after sundown Vesper Sparrow will tell you how grateful we are. When you sit down on your porch after dark, Fifebird and Hermit Thrush and Wood Thrush will sing to you; and even Whip-poor-will will cheer you up a little. We know where we are safe. In a little while all the birds will come to live in Massachusetts again, and everybody who loves music will like to make a summer home with you.”

The singers are:

Brown Thrasher, King Bird,
Robert o’Lincoln, Swallow,
Vesper Sparrow, Cedar Bird,
Hermit Thrush, Cow-bird,
Robin Redbreast, Martin,
Song Sparrow, Veery,
Scarlet Tanager, Vireo,
Summer Redbird, Oriole,
Blue Heron, Blackbird,
Humming Bird, Fifebird,
Yellow-bird, Wren,
Whip-poor-will, Linnet,
Water Wagtail, Pewee,
Woodpecker, Phoebe,
Pigeon Woodpecker, Yoke Bird,
Indigo Bird, Lark,
Yellow Throat, Sandpiper,
Wilson’s Thrush, Chewink.

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) by Kent Nickell

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) by Kent Nickell

Lee’s Addition:

By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. (Psalms 104:12 NKJV)

Things were tough for the birds back in 1897 and I guess they wanted their rights protected. This was one way to do it. Thankfully, today there is very few of the feathers and birds being stuck on hats for the ladies. Most don’t wear hats these days. Hunters still hunt, but not so much for “Songbirds.” Unfortunately young folks still like to cause problems for the birds instead of enjoying their songs and antics. They fail to realize the beauty of God’s created avian critters. Several groups became concerned and several laws were passed to protect the birds.

See National Council of Women about this hat campaign.

Lacey Act

By the late 1800s, the hunting and shipment of birds for the commercial market (to embellish the platters of elegant restaurants) and the plume trade (to provide feathers to adorn lady’s fancy hats) had taken their toll on many bird species. Passenger pigeons, whose immense flocks had once darkened the skies, were nearing extinction. Populations of the Eskimo curlew and other shorebirds had been decimated. The snowy egret and other colonial-nesting wading birds had been reduced to mere remnants of their historical populations. The Lacey Act (passed on May 25, 1900) prohibited game taken illegally in one state to be shipped across state boundaries contrary to the laws of the state where taken. The Lacey Act has become a very effective tool for enforcing the wildlife protective laws of the States and the Federal government (a detailed synopsis is available). However, in the early years of the 20th century the Act was ineffective in stopping interstate shipments, largely because of the huge profits enjoyed by the market hunters and the lack of officers to enforce the law. These early failures of the Lacey Act led to passage of the Weeks-McLean Law. (The Migratory Bird Program – Conserving America’s Birds – U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)


Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for September 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited


(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Captive’s Escape

The Previous Article – The Mourning Dove

Gospel Message


Birds Vol 1 #5 – National Council of Women

The Migratory Bird Program – Conserving America’s Birds – U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 – Wikipedia



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