Birds of the Bible – Foundation #2 Updated

We will continue with the Foundation from the Word of God (the Bible) about the creation of birds.

If you have not read “Birds of the Bible – Foundation #1 Updated Click Here

By the end of Genesis Chapter 1 the birds (fowls of the air):

Fischers Lovebird by Phil Kwong

Fischers Lovebird by Phil Kwong

  • Created by the Lord on Day 5
  • Each according to its kind
  • Told to multiply and fill the earth
  • Were given every green herb for food (vegetarians)
  • Placed under the dominion of man
  • “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.”

In Chapter 2, the birds are named by Adam. (v 19-20)

At this point, we know that the birds were at their best, they were eating fruits, seeds, herbs and not each other.  The birds had been named according to their kinds by Adam, who was created on Day 6. Their colors and features were at their grandest showing the Glory of God’s wisdom and omnipotence. They must have been fantastic to behold.


When the serpent tempted Eve and caused her to question the Word of God, she not only questioned, but added to the Word of God.

Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (Genesis 3:1-3 KJV

Most of you know the rest of what happened:

  • Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and gave Adam some also.
  • They were caught and tried to pass the blame.
  • The serpent was cursed. Adam and Eve become sinners and pass sin on to their offspring (us).
  • All God’s creation was cursed (Genesis 3:15-19)
  • Death (spiritual and physical) is now present, which had not been before.
  • Because of Adam’s sin, an animal had to die to make “coats of skins, and clothed them”, “God clothes them with a garment which covers their nakedness, a garment which had its origin in death (the death of another), which had come in, but which hid the effects of the sin that had introduced it.” (Darby’s Synopsis)
  • Sacrifices of the blood of animals and birds for man’s sin is begun. Not until the Lord Jesus Christ became the perfect sacrifice (Hebrews 9:12-14) did the need for those sacrifices end.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (John 3:16-21)

Somewhere between the Fall of Adam and Eve and the cursing of them and all of creation, the birds, animals,  earth, man, etc. all begin to have changes in their behavior from God’s proclaiming that all was “very good.” By the time of the Flood (Foundation #3), that, “very good” is no longer true.

African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) ©WikiC

African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) ©WikiC

Several very interesting articles:

Different Kinds of Flesh, by Paul A. Bartz

Even Strange Animals Fit into Kinds, by Paul A. Bartz

Why Does God’s Creation Include Death & Suffering?, by Tommy Mitchell, January 31, 2008, From “The New Answers Book”, Answers in Genesis

How Did Defense/Attack Structures Come About?, by Andy McIntosh & Bodie Hodge, December 27, 2007, From “The New Answers Book”, Answers in Genesis

Why Did God Create Such Terrible Teeth? by Brian Thomas, M.S., Institute for Creation Research

Did Lions Roam the Garden of Eden? by Nathaniel T. Jeanson, Ph.D., Institute for Creation Research




Birds of the Bible – Foundation #1 – Updated

If you read my blog, Impact of the Answers in Genesis Conference, I stated that the Foundation of the Word of God needs to be emphasized. For the last year, the different Birds of the Bible have been introduced. Where did the birds come from? The byline of this blog is “Birdwatching from a Christian Perspective.”  What does God’s Word say about the bird’s Creation?

Scrub Jay by Mike Bader

Scrub Jay by Mike Bader

Most birdwatchers know that when they pick up a Bird Guide or Book, one of the first thing we read is:

“Having attained the power of flight more than 150 million years ago, birds might be …” (Smithsonian Handbooks, Birds of North America, Eastern Region, page 6)

“Feathered Dinosaurs?
For years biologists have half-jokingly referred to birds as “feathered reptiles.” In part, it is a ploy to annoy bird lovers with the thought that the objects of their fancy are just singing lizards wrapped in stretched-out scales called “feathers.” Yet the phrase reflects an important biological reality: birds are undeniably the modified descendants of reptiles, as their body structure and habit of laying eggs out of water clearly show.”
Archaeopteryx makes an ideal “missing link,” showing characteristics intermediate between reptiles and birds…..One view, still held by many paleontologists, suggests that about 200 million years ago its ancestral line split off from a group of reptiles, the thecodonts.” (The Birder’s Handbook, p. 31-33)

“The Implications of Flight / The central theme of bird evolution is flight. Most avian features can be related back to this fundamental adaptation. The avian forelimbs are dedicated almost entirely to aerial flight, for instance. To meet the diverse demands of survival without hands, birds have been subject to a fascinating evolutionary makeover.”  … “Birds have evolved compact….” (p. 15)  Section called Origins, Evolution, and Classification states – “Bird Are Reptiles – Before the discovery of Archaeopteryx” (“about 150 million years”),” taxonomists had already suggested a close relationship between birds and reptiles because of the large number of anatomical features shared by the two classes of animals.” Goes on to mention “missing link” (p. 39, The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior)

On and on it goes. They state as “undeniable facts” many things that come from a “theory.”

But the Word of God, our Bible says differently.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Continuing through Chapter 1, you find that God, who is the “self-existent”, “three-in-one”, known as “I AM“, did the creation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3)

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) by Lee

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) by Lee

Day 1 – Light (Day) and darkness (Night)
Day 2 – Firmament (Heaven) in midst of the waters and divided them
Day 3 – Waters (Seas) gathered together and the dry land (Earth) appeared with grass, herbs and fruit after his kind
Day 4 – Sun, Moon, and Stars
Day 5 – Great whales and all water creatures after his kind and the winged fowls (birds) after his kind

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. (Genesis 1:20-23)

Day 6 – Land animals, cattle, and creeping things after their kind

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:24-26 )

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. (Genesis 1:27-29)

And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:30-31)

Day 7 – God rested and blessed and sanctified all His work

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (Genesis 2:1-3)

In Birds of the Bible – Foundation #2, I will bring out some more from the Word of God and articles written about the creation of birds. For now, let me make this observation. If the birds were created on Day 5 and the reptiles were created on Day 6, how did birds evolve from reptiles?


A friend suggested that, since she is a new follower, I should re-post/update some of the original Birds of the Bible articles. This series was posted back in 2009. I am updating some of the photos and material as needed.

Birds of the Bible

Original Birds of the Bible – Foundation #1

Original Birds of the Bible – Foundation #2

Wordless Birds

BLT at Noah’s ARK

Interesting Things from Smiley CentralFrom another e-mail received, this one is about a Bear, Lion and a Tiger. They are affectionately known as “BLT” and housed at the Noah’s Ark Sanctuary in Georgia.

This is Leo the African Lion, Baloo the Black Bear, and Shere Khan the Bengal Tiger.


The threesome were rescued as babies from the basement of an Atlanta drug dealer’s home when it was raided by authorities.


They were starving, traumatized and had bacterial infections.


Since then, they were brought to Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary


… where they’ve lived in the same habitat together for 13 years.


The only time the three were separated was when Baloo was sent to surgery. [While at the drug dealer’s home, Baloo had been mistreated so profoundly that the harness that was put on him had grown into his skin.]


The two cats were distraught and cried for the bear’s return when he was at the vet’s. Since then no one has separated the group.


They clearly bonded during their earliest memories and never wanted to be apart.


Now they live together as if they were brothers of the same species.

BLT 10

They play together, nuzzle one another and are extremely affectionate.

BLT 11

The threesome are the only lion, tiger and bear living together in the world.

BLT 12

They’re just that exceptional.

BLT 13

Humans could really learn from the bond that these three have.

BLT 14

No one ever told them they couldn’t love one another, so they did just that.

BLT 15

And now, even all these years later, they continue to do so.

BLT 16

The trio are affectionately referred to as BLT, standing for bear, lion, and tiger. They might just be the most adorable sandwich ever!

That is the end of the e-mail I received. Their behavior reminds us that when the Lord returns, sets up His kingdom on earth and Isaiah is fulfilled:

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6-9 NKJV)

Here are two videos found on the internet about them.



Noah’s Ark Sanctuary in Georgia

How Well Do We Reflect?

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by Ray Barlow

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by Ray Barlow

These photos by Ray Barlow have just been running around in my mind. It’s about the same as when you hear a song and then for days you hear it and hum the song.

How close are we walking with the Lord Jesus Christ? Are we near and close enough to touch base once in awhile like the photo below?

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by Ray Barlow

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by Ray Barlow

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-25 NKJV)

Are we spending more time in reading, praying, attending church, and having fellowship with other believers? Getting closer to the Lord to where we are starting to reflect Him in our lives.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by Ray Barlow

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by Ray Barlow

As in water face reflects face, So a man’s heart reveals the man. (Proverbs 27:19 NKJV)

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by Ray Barlow

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by Ray Barlow

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV)


Lord Bless your day as you consider these verses. I trust we all will strive to be more like Jesus and others can see Him in us.


Gospel Message
Birds of the Bible – Fly Like An Eagle
Thanks to Raymond Barlow for the permission to use these photos.


Golden Eagle’s Adventure Continues… Welcome Boys and Girls!

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

Golden Eagle ©PD

Golden Eagle ©PD

Hi everybody! This is Golden Eagle and I am very excited today! I got up this morning and flew around one of the beautiful lakes in my home state of Florida! The Bible says that God sends the rain and the sunshine on the good people and the bad people. God treats us all with GRACE and kindnesses!

Genesis 6:8 says that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” That’s the first time the Bible mentions grace and the last time? It’s in the last verse of the Bible: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Rev 22:21)

This ADVENTURE all started in the mind of our Creator God (the Lord Jesus Christ). Hey young people, ponder the lakes, the streams, and the rivers. Ponder the rocks, the minerals, and oh yes, the gold and silver. Ponder the butterflies, the animals, and the insects. Ponder the planets, the Earth, the stars, and the sun. Ponder the Milky Way Galaxy and our beautiful Solar System. Ponder mankind, life, and all that it means. Ponder God and His created Universe.

Hubble Ultra Deep Field with Scale Comparison ©©

Hubble Ultra Deep Field with Scale Comparison ©©

ALL OF THIS AND SO MUCH MORE CAME FROM THE MIND OF GOD. The Universe shows us what was in the mind of God in eternity past!

God has a PLAN for this Universe, for our Solar System, and for our Planet, Earth. He has a PLAN for your life and for my life. We are going to get to live FOREVER with God if we are saved! Are you saved? The answer is either yes or no.

Sunrise over Lake

This morning as I flew around my hometown lake I saw the sunrise in beautiful colors of splendor. I saw the sky turn different shades of red and pink. I saw the colors reflected in the glass like mirror of the still and smooth lake surface. I saw the birds fly in a V-shape formation. The white ibises were just beautiful. I flew around the lake for a number of minutes and the minutes turned into an hour.

Circle B Bar White Pelicans

Circle B Bar White Pelicans

Every moment we get closer to God. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7) We have come from God and we are going back to God.

This ADVENTURE that God has planned for us is truly exiting. We will get to reign with Jesus for a thousand years on this very Earth. Some of you will be in charge of two or five or ten cities! Now is the time to prepare for what God has in store for us! It all starts with you admitting that you are a sinner and excepting what Jesus has done for us on the cross. He shed His precious blood to wash away our sins. Accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord and you will have entered this amazing journey that God has planned for us, all because of His GRACE.

Kids keep in touch and the Golden Eagle will fly in with exciting new developments in this adventurous journey. A journey that will lead to the God of the Universe and His amazing Heaven!!!

(Re-post of Bibleworld Adventure’s The Adventure Continues… Welcome Boys and Girls!)

Bibleworld Adventures is the new home of Golden Eagle and other interesting articles about Christian different topics.


Golden Eagle Articles Here


Trumpeter Swans: Trumpeting a Wildlife Conservation Comeback

If a bird’s nest chance to be before you in the way, in any tree, or upon the ground, whether they be young one [i.e., nestling infant birds], or eggs [i.e., not-yet-hatched baby birds], and the mother [’em is the usual Hebrew noun for “mother”] sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young.  But you shall surely send forth the mother, and take the young [literally “children”] for yourself; that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong days.  Deuteronomy 22:6-7

During mid-August (AD2015) my wife and I visited the Columbus Zoo (in Ohio), while vacationing, and I was surprised to see Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator) there —  and I realized that the Trumpeter Swan illustrated the importance of Deuteronomy 22:6-7.

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) ©Columbus Zoo

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) ©Columbus Zoo

Seeing the snowy-white Trumpeter Swans, there, occurred during a telephone call, while we were viewing and identifying various animals, with our enthusiasm-exuding Ohio grandsons (who both call us Mimi and Farfar, the latter name being Norwegian for “father’s father”).  The unexpected telephone call came from a caller in crisis, seeking legal advice, on how to interpret and apply a mix of federal statutes.  It appeared that the call could not wait, till I returned to Texas – such is the lot and responsibility of a vacationing lawyer.

But a bird-watcher has his priorities!  So, as we rounded a bend in the walking trail, and I saw a couple of Trumpeter Swans, I interrupted the phone call with “hold on just a minute”, then I half-screamed to the grandsons: “Look, boys  –  Trumpeter Swans!  Look!  Trumpeter Swans!”

Seeing these massive swans, up close, helps you to appreciate how huge they are.  Trumpeter Swans are the heaviest of all birds that are “native” to North America – and one of the heaviest birds, alive today, that is capable of flight!  Unlike other swans, the Trumpeter Swan has a distinctively black bill, a stark contrast to the all-white hue of its adult plumage.

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) ©USFWS

The Trumpeter is a close cousin of Eurasia’s Whooper Swan [Cygnus cygnus], which I previously commented on, in an earlier blogpost about birdwatching in Iceland  (please check out .)  The Trumpeter Swans did not “trumpet” while we observed them; however, their name is due to their habit of loudly vocalizing with a musical sound like a trumpet, similar to the vocal sounds of their Cygninae cousins, the Whooper Swans and Bewick Swans.  Swans are shaped somewhat like geese, but swans grow larger and have longer (and proportionately thinner) necks.  The poise and posture of swans, accented by their flexible and long necks, appear more elegant than that of geese, some say, although surely mama geese would disagree.  Why are swan necks so lengthy and versatile?  Imagine being nick-named “Edith Swan-neck” — that is the name by which historians remember the wife and widow of England’s last Saxon king, Harold Godwinson, who lost the Battle of Hastings to William the Conqueror, in AD1066.  [ For more on that providentially historic battle, see  . ]  Geese have 17 to 23 neck vertebrae, yet swans have 24 or more!  Trumpeters also bob their heads a lot, apparently as a form of visual communication with one another.

Back to the very busy (and very tiring) adventure at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio.

As we all excitedly discussed the Trumpeter Swans, so close to us then, my mind recalled how these quietly graceful and magnificently dignified swans were once very close to the extinction cliff.   According to one study (by Banko, cited below), in AD1957, the United States then hosted only 488 Trumpeter Swans.  It got even worse!  In AD1932, fewer than 70 Trumpeter Swans were known to exist in all of America, with about half of them dwelling at or near Yellowstone National Park’s northwest section.  Would the Trumpeter Swan go extinct like the Passenger Pigeon and the Dodo bird?

What a loss it would have been, if our earthly home had seen a permanent demise of such noble anatids, especially since they once teemed when America was founded!

Trumpeter Swans were once hunted in huge numbers – thousands were killed for their skins and/or feathers.  Sir John Richardson (a Scottish scientist/surgeon who studied the Trumpeter extensively) once wrote that the Trumpeter Swan was “the most common Swan in the interior of the fur-counties.  …  It is to the trumpeter that the bulk of the Swan-skins imported by the Hudson’s Bay Company belong” [as quoted in Winston E. Banko, “The Trumpeter Swan:  Its History, Habits, and Population in the United States”, North American Fauna, 63:1-214 (April 1960), a data-source used for much of this article].  The Trumpeter Swan was well-known of its migratory habits, ranging from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, according to ornithologist James Audubon:

“The Trumpeter Swans make their appearance on the lower portions of the waters of the Ohio about the end of October. They throw themselves at once into the larger ponds or lakes at no great distance from the river, giving a marked preference to those which are closely surrounded by dense and tall canebrakes, and there remain until the water is closed by ice, when they are forced to proceed southward. During mild winters I have seen Swans of this species in the ponds about Henderson [Kentucky] until the beginning of March, but only a few individuals, which may have stayed there to recover from their wounds. When the cold became intense, most of those which visited the Ohio would remove to the Mississippi, and proceed down that stream as the severity of the weather increased, or return if it diminished. . . . I have traced the winter migrations of this species as far southward as the Texas, where it is abundant at times, . . . At New Orleans . . . the Trumpeters are frequently exposed for sale in the markets, being procured on the ponds of the interior, and on the great lakes leading to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. . . . The waters of the Arkansas and its tributaries are annually supplied with Trumpeter Swans, and the largest individual which I have examined was shot on a lake near the junction of that river with the Mississippi. It measured nearly ten feet in alar extent, and weighed above thirty-eight pounds.”   [Quotation taken from Banko, on page 15.]

During AD1862 George Barnston, a Scottish-born Hudson’s Bay Company official in Canada, noticed the Trumpeter Swan’s remarkable migration habit, as it is seen in America’s Northwest:

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) and Canadian Geese ©WikiC

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) and Canadian Geese ©WikiC

“In the winter months all the northern regions are deserted by the swans, and from November to April large flocks are to be seen on the expanses of the large rivers of the Oregon territory and California, between the Cascade Range and the Pacific where the climate is particularly mild, and their favourite food abounds in the lakes and placid waters. Collected sometimes in great numbers, their silvery strings embellish the landscape, and form a part of the life and majesty of the scene.”   [Quotation taken from Banko, on page 17.]

Records indicate that Trumpeter Swans were still present in “the states of Washington, Oregon, and California in the Pacific flyway ; Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, Nebraska, Icansas, and Texas in the Central flyway ; Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Louisiana in the Mississippi flyway ; and Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina in the Atlantic flyway to demonstrate that the trumpeter still appeared as a migrant or winter resident in those states during the last half of the 19th century”, according to Banko (at page 20).  Banko further reported, in AD1960, that the marketable feathers of swans historically superceded the marketing of their skins (especially by the Hudson’s Bay Company), and soon the population numbers of North American swans were plummeting as swan feathers gained popularity as a glamorous ingredient in fancy hats for ladies, with less flamboyant quills being marketed as ink-pens.   Even the famous Audubon, in AD1828, observed that American Indians engaged in swan hunts, in order to gain the prized plumage of these wondrous waterfowl, many of which feathers would ultimately be exported for resale to ladies of fashion in Europe!  (Banko once served as Refuge Manager, Branch of Wildlife Refuges, for the U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, part of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Fish & Wildlife Service).

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) ©WikiC naturespicsonline

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) ©WikiC naturespicsonline

As transatlantic trade in fancy feathers burgeoned, the marketing of Trumpeter Swan plumage (as well as plumage of other large birds, such as flamingo, egret, heron, and many others), for fashionable female headgear, was driving the North American population of Trumpeter Swans toward regional extirpations and appeared aimed at a continental extinction, — unless regulatory brakes were somehow applied, with ameliorative conservation efforts to restore the population.

Many conservation efforts combined, to rescue the Trumpeter Swan’s perilous predicament,   four of which were:  (1) the Lacey Act of 1900, that banned trafficking in illegal wildlife; (2) the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, that implemented the migratory bird protection “convention” treaty, of AD1916, between America and Great Britain (f/b/o Canada); (3) President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 7023 (4-22-AD1935); and (4) the conservation-funding statute called the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration [Pittman-Robertson] Act of 1937.  For more on this last federal wildlife conservation-funding law, please review “Crayfish, Caribou, and Scientific Evidence in the Wild”, posted at ).

Saving America’s Trumpeter Swan from near-extinction is largely due – humanly speaking – to the establishment of the Red Rock Lakes Migratory Waterfowl Refuge (n/k/a “Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge”), part of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem  —  located mostly within a 60-mile radius that includes portions of southwestern Montana, eastern Idaho, and northwestern Wyoming, including Yellowstone National Park, which itself includes a “Trumpeter Lake”.   The Trumpeters have enjoyed dwelling in the Red Rock Lakes neighborhood for generations —  for example, an aerial photograph during January AD1956 shows 80 of them on Culver Pond (east Culver Spring area, where warm spring waters, often found in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, keep the pond from freezing), on a day when the outside air was -20 degrees Fahrenheit!  (See page 59 of Banko’s report, cited above.) This federal wildlife refuge was established by FDR’s presidential executive order (#7023), in AD1935, largely in reaction to the nadir-number of Trumpeter Swan count of less than 70 during AD1932.

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) by Daves BirdingPix

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) by Daves BirdingPix

According to the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge’s official website (q.v., at, this refuge now includes 51,386 acres, plus conservation easements totaling 23,806 acres, all of which blends into a marvelous mix of snowmelt-watered mountains, montane forests, flowing freshwater, and marshy meadows:

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge has often been called the most beautiful national wildlife refuge in the United States. The rugged Centennial Mountains, rising to more than 10,000 feet, provide a dramatic backdrop for this extremely remote Refuge in Southwest Montana’s Centennial Valley. Red Rock Lakes NWR encompasses primarily high mountain, wetland-riparian habitat–the largest in the Greater Yellowstone Area– and is located near the headwaters of the Missouri River. Several creeks flow into the refuge, creating the impressive Upper Red Rock Lake, River Marsh, and Lower Red Rock Lake. The snows of winter replenish the refuge’s lakes and wetlands that provide secluded habitat for many wetland birds, including the trumpeter swan, white-faced ibis, and black-crowned night herons. The Refuge also includes wet meadows, willow riparian, grasslands, and forest habitats. This [ecological] diversity provides habitat for other species such as sandhill cranes, long-billed curlews, peregrine falcons, eagles, hawks, moose, badgers, bears, wolves, pronghorns and native fish such as Arctic grayling and westslope cutthroat trout.”    [Quoting from ]

Trumpeter Swans are also seen afloat in lakes of Wyoming’s neighboring park, Grand Teton National Park, a scenic mountain-dominated park accented by the Snake River and Jackson Lake, and historically enjoyed, annually (in the summer), by many bankruptcy barristers (and their families), as they simultaneously attended the Norton Bankruptcy Law Institutes at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  The Trumpeter pairs are often seen as isolated pairs, each “owning” its own lake, yet these swans also congregate in gregarious flocks, especially in the Red Rock Lakes area.

[Canadians, especially in British Columbia and Alberta, have also been intensively involved in serious efforts to conserve Canada’s population of Trumpeter Swans, for more than 65 years – but this birding report mostly notices and focuses on the Trumpeter conservation efforts in the United States.]

Has FDR’s Executive Order 7023 been followed by conservation and restoration success, for the Trumpeter Swan?   The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website reports a happy “yes”:

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) by Kent Nickel

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) by Kent Nickel

In 1932, fewer than 70 trumpeters were known to exist worldwide, at a location near Yellowstone National Park.  This led to the establishment of Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in 1935.  Red Rock Lakes is located in Montana’s Centennial Valley and is part of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.  Nearly half of the known trumpeter swans in 1932 were found in this area.  Warm springs provide year-round open waters where swans find food and cover even in the coldest weather.  Today, estimates show about 46,225 trumpeter swans reside in North America, including some 26,790 in the Pacific Coast population (Alaska, Yukon, and NW British Columbia) which winter on the Pacific Coast; 8,950 in Canada; about 9,809 in the Midwest; and about 487 in the tri-state area of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana (including the Red Rock Lakes refuge flock).”   [Quoting from ]

Sounds like a winner to me  —   from less than 70 to more than 46,000!

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) cygnets ©USFWS

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) cygnets ©USFWS

However, if only the wildlife conservation principle of Deuteronomy 22:6-7 (i.e., you can take the eggs and nestlings, but not the adult mother birds) had been practiced in North America, during the past 2 or 3 centuries, the continent’s Trumpeter Swan population would never have gotten so close to extinction.  Moses not only mandated restrictions on excessively hunting avian wildlife (Deuteronomy 22:6-7), Moses also banned imprudent deforestation (Deuteronomy 20:19-20).   Of course, creation conservation laws are always balanced to value human life over nonhuman life forms (Matthew 6:26-30; Psalm 8; Jonah 4:8-11).  Yet the promulgated priority of stewardly usage of God’s creation – because all of creation is God’s property, ultimately, not ours! — traces all the way back to Creation Week, because even Adam was put into Eden “to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15), and Noah managed the greatest biodiversity protection project ever (Genesis chapters 6-9).

Humans have been eating domesticated birds, such as chicken and turkey, ever since Noah’s family disembarked the Ark (Genesis 9:3).  People who raise domesticated fowl (such as chickens) are careful to preserve enough breeders so that they don’t eat up all of their fowl.  [This illustrates the old adage about balancing give and take: if your input exceeds your output, your upkeep is your downfall!]  Accordingly, chicken farmers avoid eating all of their chickens  — it’s important to protect the reproductive success of your chickens if you want poultry eggs and/or chicken meat to eat, on a continuing basis!  But what about wild birds?  The private ownership principle that guides common sense, in raising chickens and other domesticated fowl, doesn’t work so well with wild birds (especially migratory birds), because they are not privately “owned” – so they are a “public” resource vulnerable to irresponsible “tragedy-of-the-commons” depletion.

And most swans are wild, so greedy over-hunting can endanger their population success.

Providentially, the eating of wild birds, such as wild swans, was restricted under Mosaic law, for good reason  —  wild bird populations can be extinguished if one generation of hunters gets too greedy.

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) on nest ©USFWS

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) on nest ©USFWS

If a bird’s nest chance to be before you in the way, in any tree, or upon the ground, whether they be young one [i.e., nestling infant birds], or eggs [i.e., not-yet-hatched baby birds], and the mother [’em is the usual Hebrew noun for “mother”] sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young.  But you shall surely send forth the mother, and take the young [literally “children”] for yourself; that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong days.  Deuteronomy 22:6-7

This is a simple law of predator-prey dynamics:  if the predator population (i.e., the “eaters”) consume too many of the prey population (i.e., the “eatees”), the result is bad for both populations, because the prey population experiences negative population growth, a trend that can lead to its reproductive failure (and extirpation) if the excessive predation continues unabated.

Each generation of humans, therefore, needs to exercise wise stewardship of Earth’s food resources, so that adequate food resources will be available of posterity (i.e., later generations).  When greed leads to over-hunting, the foreseeable consequence is bad for both the birds (whose population declines, generationally) and the humans (whose food resources decline, generationally).

Sad to say, mankind’s track record for respecting and heeding God’s Word, as it teaches us to be godly stewards of His creation (and to use it in ways that glorify Him, its rightful and only true Owner), all-too-often misses the mark (Romans 3:23).

What slow learners we all-too-often are!   [For Genesis-based ecology perspectives, for this fallen “groaning” world, see and and  and .]

Meanwhile, may God have mercy on the people of America, by restoring to us a serious and reverent respect for the “whole counsel of God”, that He has given us in the Holy Bible, His holy Word.  Only then, as we heartily heed His Word, will we properly appreciate and rightly treat His creation, including the Trumpeter Swan.  And, only then, will we properly revere and appreciate Him as our Creator (and Redeemer).  And living life responsibly on His earth, with that kind of reverence, would be far better than the fanciest feather in anyone’s cap!

by James J. S. Johnson


More articles by James J. S. Johnson


Good News


Are Dinosaurs Extinct? (Re-post)

Here is an interesting Creation Moments Minute from Creation Moments:

I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. (Job 30:29 KJV)

We see these quite frequently in the Zoos. Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa has one we have watched, but he usually just lays there and looks around. The one in the video surprised me that they can run that fast.

This one was taken at the Palm Beach Zoo in Florida last year.

Kamodo Dragon Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

Kamodo Dragon Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. (Isaiah 43:20 KJV)



Birds of the Bible – Jeremiah 19:7

Bird of Prey by Phil Kwong Galleries

Bird of Prey by Phil Kwong Galleries

“And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hands of those who seek their lives; their corpses I will give as meat for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth.” (Jeremiah 19:7 NKJV)

I’m currently traveling through Jeremiah in my personal reading of the Bible. Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet and it is easy to see why he was called that. Parts of the Scripture are hard to read, not that the words are hard, but because of that which is happening.

When birds are mentioned, of course, those verses catch my attention. What, where, and why are they being mentioned? Normally if you just pick out a verse those questions would pop into your head. Because of reading through Jeremiah, those thoughts were already answered.

Jeremiah was sent to inform the Israelites of the judgment coming because of their sins. He was told: “Thus says the LORD: “Go and get a potter’s earthen flask, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the elders of the priests. And go out to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom.” So he did as commanded.

When they got to the valley, he was told to proclaim there the words that I will tell you.

and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will bring such a catastrophe on this place, that whoever hears of it, his ears will tingle. “Because they have forsaken Me and made this an alien place, because they have burned incense in it to other gods whom neither they, their fathers, nor the kings of Judah have known, and have filled this place with the blood of the innocents (they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind), therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that this place shall no more be called Tophet or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hands of those who seek their lives; their corpses I will give as meat for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. (Jeremiah 19:3-7 NKJV)

That is hard, but God is Just. God is Longsuffering. God is Love. God is all these at the same time. People like to say because God loves he would never condemn or judge someone. Not true. He destroyed the whole world with a universal flood because of sin, yet he saved eight souls and the critters. He destroyed Sodom because of sexual sin of those who perverted it, yet he saved three. There are other examples throughout the Bible.

Here we have a nation, His chosen people, had grown cold in their worship of Him and turned to other gods and even sacrificed their children. Sound like our nations today? People do not believe in God, but would rather believe in evolution, have abortions, pervert God’s gift of intimate relations in marriage. On and on, the churches are accepting all kinds of things that God said ” which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind.” Will we come to that judgment also?

Burrowing Owl from Dusky's Wonders

Burrowing Owl from Dusky’s Wonders

I love watching the Birds of the Air, but am sorry that they have to become Birds of Prey because of people’s denial of the God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) ©WikiC

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) ©WikiC

We are encouraged to return to the Lord God’s Word.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (17) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (18) “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (19) And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (21) But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:16-21 NKJV)

Like I said earlier, some things are hard to read and share, but it is there in the Word and the Word is True.


Birds of the Bible

Gospel Message


Birds of the Bible – Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)

After posting the photos of the Cactus Wrens (The Chase Begins…), I realized that you weren’t told much about these birds. After researching them; I decided they deserve to be a Birds of the Bible bird.

Why? Not because they are named specifically, but because of the way the Lord Jesus created these wrens to live in the desert environment and to survive there.

Cactus Wren Desert Mus-Tucson by Lee 37

Cactus Wren Desert Mus-Tucson by Lee 37

For one thing, they sort of blend in with their surroundings which helps protect them, camouflage. Hanging out in those spiked plants give them another great advantage.

Cactus Wren at nest ©WikiC by BigWheel55

Cactus Wren at nest ©WikiC by BigWheel55

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26 NKJV)

One of the favorite places they like to make their nest is in the Cholla cactus. It is very spiny and keeps predators at bay. We saw several nests. An interesting thing about their nest show wisdom given them by the Creator. “Cactus wrens build nests that are the size and shape of a football with an opening at one end. They will construct this nest out of grasses and other annual plants, but can also include scraps of cloth and other woven fibers that they find. They will build this nest (and many others) usually in cholla, but also in palo verde, acacias, saguaros, or the hanging pot in your backyard.” (Fact Sheet)

Cholla Cactus by Lee

Cholla Cactus by Lee

Nest in a Cholla Cactus at Desert Museum by Lee

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, And makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?’ (Job 35:11 NKJV)

The nest always have a roof over them. “Domed with tunnel-shaped entrance, made of coarse grass or plant fibers. Lined with feathers.” They also make a perch or doorstep at the opening. They need the dome or roof to shield the hatchlings and themselves from the heat and sun of the day. At night, the feathers and other linings help preserve the body heat. As you may know, desert have large temperature swings each day. Sounds like wise advise for humans in a desert also.

They do have some predators. “Coachwhips and other whipsnakes are able to navigate their way through the cactus and often will take eggs or nestlings. Adult birds can be food for coyotes, hawks, fox, bobcats or domestic cats.” (Wikipedia)

“It is a bird of arid regions, and is often found around yucca, mesquite or saguaro; it nests in cactus plants, sometimes in a hole in a saguaro, sometimes where its nest will be protected by the prickly cactus spines of a cholla or leaves of a yucca.” (Wiki)

The thing that does reveal were they are is when they sing:

It is not the fanciest song, but they sound happy when they sing. I can’t sing well, but I enjoy singing. The Bible says were are to make a joyful noise.

“The Cactus Wren is the largest North American wren, at 18–23 cm (7.1–9.1 in) long. Unlike the smaller wrens, the cactus wren is easily seen. It has the loud voice characteristic of wrens. The cactus wren is much less shy than most of the family. Its marked white eyestripe, brown head, barred wings and tail, and spotted tail feathers make it easy to identify. Like most birds in its genus, it has a slightly curved bill. There is little sexual dimorphism.

The cactus wren primarily eats insects, including ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and wasps. Occasionally, it will take seeds, fruits, small reptiles and frogs. Foraging begins late in the morning and is versatile; the cactus wren will search under leaves and ground litter and overturn objects in search of insects, as well as feeding in the foliage and branches of larger vegetation. Increasing temperatures cause a shift in foraging behavior to shady and cooler microclimates, and activity slows during hot afternoon temperatures. Almost all water is obtained from food, and free-standing water is rarely used even when found” (Wikipedia) Another source mentioned that when the Gila Woodpecker pecks the cactus, it causes it to seep liquid. The Cactus Wren drinks this also for fluid. That is another great provision provided by their Creator.

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

The Cactus Wren has the honor of being the State Bird of Arizona.

INTERESTING FACTS: The cactus wren is very protective of its nesting area. They have been known to attack squirrels, other birds, and even people who have gotten too close to their nests. They are not as shy as other wrens and, in fact, have been known to fly into open windows of cars or homes out of curiosity. (



My Western Greater Roadrunners

Roadrunner in Ft Stockton TX by Lee

Roadrunner in Ft Stockton TX by Lee

And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind, (Lev 11:16)

While on our vacation to the West (USA) I wanted to see the Greater Runner. It was one of the top birds on my “to see” list. Disappointed by not finding one in the wild, we were not totally disappointed. Surprised, but not disappointed. I actually saw some years ago, but wanted to photograph a wild one.

When we stopped in Fort Stockton, Texas, we visited the original Camp Stockton and then went to see the “22 foot” Roadrunner. No kidding, it is 22 feet long and 11 feet tall. Of course it was not a live roadrunner. I have since learned that his name is “Paisano Pete.”

(Bonus) Apparently Fort Stockton likes “big birds” because we found a large chicken also.

Large Chicken in Ft Stockton TX by Lee

Large Chicken in Ft Stockton TX by Lee

An actual “roadrunner, also known as a chaparral bird and a chaparral cock, is a fast-running ground cuckoo that has a long tail and a crest. It is found in the southwestern United States and Mexico, usually in the desert. Some have been clocked at 20 miles per hour (32 km/h).”

“The subfamily Neomorphinae, the New World ground cuckoos, includes eleven species of birds, while the genus Geococcyx has just two, the greater roadrunner and the lesser roadrunner. The Greater Roadrunner, (Geococcyx californianus), inhabits Mexico and the southwestern United States. The Lesser Roadrunner, (Geococcyx velox), inhabits Mexico and Central America.” (Wikipedia)

Well, “Paisano Pete” definitely would not count as a real bird, so I had to keep looking. We saw some in a Zoo or two, but when we got to the Living Desert Zoo in California, we were able to really see two of them. They were in an aviary where we saw them up close and not through a cage wire. These are the Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus). One was warming itself by exposing its feathers on the back and the other was trying to kill a dead mouse and chase a Turkey Vulture around. Got within two feet of one of them.

Roadrunner Warming up at Living Desert Zoo CA

Roadrunner Warming up at Living Desert Zoo CA


Roadrunner with mouse at Living Desert Zoo CA by Lee

Roadrunner with mouse at Living Desert Zoo CA by Lee



Fort Stockton, Texas: Paisano Pete: Giant Roadrunner

Paisano Pete

Living Desert Zoo and Garden

Fort Stockton, Texas – Wikipedia

Greater Roadrunner – Wikipedia

Birds of the Bible – Cuckoo

Cuckoos – Cuculidae Family


The Purple Thief – (Re-post)


Creation Moments

  “He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.” (Psalm 111:4)

Birds and insects that take nectar from a flower without picking up any pollen are known as nectar robbers. Now, you’d probably think that nectar robbers would be harmful to plants and trees, but the desert teak tree couldn’t survive without a nectar robber – the purple sunbird.

Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) ©J M Garg

Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) ©J M Garg

In order to reproduce, this tree needs birds to pollinate its flowers. But since a tree cannot reproduce with its own pollen, it needs birds to fly from flower to flower and from one tree to another. Anything that encourages the pollinating birds to fly farther away helps out the teak trees.

That’s where the purple thief comes in. Researchers at the University of Delhi discovered that the sunbird visits the flowers one hour before the pollinating birds arrive. The purple sunbird has a long, sharp beak that pierces the base of the flower to feed, so it doesn’t pick up any pollen. It does, however, empty the flower of about 60 percent of its nectar, leaving relatively little for the pollinators. This means that the pollinators will have to travel to more flowers and trees to get enough food, spreading pollen wherever they stop for a meal.

The researchers noted that “the robber plays a constructive and crucial role in the reproductive performance of [a] threatened tree species.” How right they are. And this unusual but crucial dining arrangement shows once again what an ingenious God we serve!


Lord, only You could come up with such an ingenious way to help the desert teak tree to reproduce! Surely such an arrangement could not have come about through blind chance! Amen.


“These trees don’t mind getting robbed”, Science News, 7­-25­-14. Photo: Purple sunbird. Courtesy of J.M.Garg. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution­Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Lee’s Addition:

Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) by TAJA

Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) by TAJA

Sunbirds belong to the Nectariniidae – Sunbirds Family which currently has 143 species. They are amazing colored by their Creator and well designed for the plants they pull the nectar from.

From Sunday Inspiration – Sunbirds, “These are very small passerine birds. Most sunbirds feed largely on nectar, but also take insects and spiders, especially when feeding young. Flower tubes that bar access to nectar because of their shape, are simply punctured at the base near the nectaries. Fruit is also part of the diet of some species. Their flight is fast and direct on their short wings.

The family is distributed throughout Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and just reaches northern Australia.


Nectariniidae – Sunbirds Family

Sunday Inspiration – Sunbirds

Sunbird – Wikipedia

Who Paints the Leaves