Ian’s Bird of the Week – Budgerigar

PSI-Psit Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) by Ian
Ian’s Bird of the Week – Budgerigar ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 3/3/15

Judging by the number of emails that I received about Pied Butcherbirds, iconic species are popular and there were many interesting stories about experiences with them. So here is another, perhaps globally the most familiar Australian bird. Although it’s quite common and sometimes very abundant after good rains in the drier parts of Australia, you have to go out of your way to find it. So it it’s much less well-known as a wild bird than say other iconic species like Australian Magpie and Laughing Kookaburras that turn up in backyards.

It wasn’t until after I moved to North Queensland in 2002 that I first saw them in the wild, and that was on a trip to Moorrinya National Park between Torrens Creek and Aramac, 370km southwest of Townsville. In places like that you usually see them in small flocks of maybe 10-20 in rapid undulating flight. These make sudden turns in the sunlight showing alternately green and yellow in a characteristic and delightful display of vivid, fluorescent colour.

PSI-Psit Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) by Ian

The sexes can be distinguished either by differences in behaviour, sometimes subtle as in the first photo with an attentive male and a bored or playing hard to get female, or less subtly as in the second photo. Her the male is concentrating seriously, and the female is rather inscrutably either in a state of bliss or thinking of the motherland. An easier way though is by the colour of the cere – the tissue surrounding the nostrils – blue in adult males, and brown in females. Juveniles have duller plumages, barred foreheads and lack the black spots on the neck.

PSI-Psit Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) by IanAfter good inland rains, the population can explode and Budgerigars may be seen in flocks of thousands. When dry conditions return and seeds become scare, flocks wander far and wide in search of food. They move into areas beyond their normal range and can turn up in coastal areas such as near Townsville. The birds in the third photo were near Woodstock just south of Townsville on the way to Charters Towers and I have seen them near Bluewater.

Sometimes escaped cage birds turn up in odd places in strange colours, such as this almost completely white one near the Strand in Townsville. I don’t know about you, but I prefer the natural colours. I was in Ireland once for a family funeral in February and was birding on Dun Laoghaire pier in Dublin Bay on a very cold, dull winter’s day, when I spotted a bright yellow budgie looking very out-of-place among some roosting waders. It was a moment of great empathy and I thought ‘you and I should be back in sunny Australia’.

PSI-Psit Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) by IanI’m in Melbourne at the moment to visit East Gippsland next weekend with my Victorian birding pals who know of a good site for both Greater Sooty Owls and Masked Owls (both cousins of Barn Owls) near Orbost. I haven’t seen or photographed either of these, so may I request your customary friendly support and spiritual goodwill to help us find them? It would be lovely to be able to bring at least one of them to you as the next bird of the week.

Greetings
Ian

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


Lee’s Addition:

Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. (Psalms 96:3 NKJV)

Ian is correct, at least for me. The Budgerigar or “Budgie” as I was taught, was one of the first bird names I ever knew. Almost everyone I have ever seen was in a cage or aviary. Few have been pets and one was sitting on someone glasses look down into their lens. But, to see them in the wild where they live would be a great experience.

Thanks, Ian, for again sharing your adventures with us. The most I have ever seen at one time has been at Lowry Park Zoo. I’ll also be praying that Ian finds those Greater Sooty Owls and Masked Owls so that he will share them with us on another Bird of the Week.

Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) by Lee LPZ

Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) by Lee LPZ

Ian’s Birds of the Week

Ian’s Budgerigar Photos

Ian’s Psittacidae Family

Psittacidae – Parrots Family

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Sunday Inspiration – Give Thanks

Spangled Cotinga (Cotinga cayana) ©WikiC CinZoo Photo by Greg Hume

Spangled Cotinga (Cotinga cayana) ©WikiC CinZoo Photo by Greg Hume

To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. (Psalms 30:12 KJV)

As we continue through the Passerine Families, today we arrive at Cotingidae – Cotingas Family which has 66 members and the Pipridae – Manakins Family has 52 species.

As you watch the birds you can listen to Mark Quijano sing “Give Thanks.” Mark is a newer follower of this blog and I am following his, now that we have been made aware of the each other’s blog. Our mutual draw is Our Lord Jesus Christ. I find the Lord’s Family enjoyable, wherever they may be. Mark lives in Saga City, Japan. Please check out his site “Travel Diary.”

If you have a large screen, you can do both at the same time, else, watch the birds as you listen to Mark. Or you can watch Mark sing and then start it again and listen as you watch the birds. Oh, the options I have given you today to enjoy Our Lord’s Creation and “Give Thanks” through music and birds.

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“Give Thanks” ~ sung by Mark Quijano, his YouTube Channel

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Sunday Inspirations

Cotingidae – Cotingas Family

Pipridae – Manakins Family

Travel Diary

Good News

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Birds of the Bible – Gifts From Birds

Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) at Lake Morton By Dan'sPix

Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) at Lake Morton By Dan’sPix

Birds of the Bible articles have been written about Raven’s before. James J S Johnson sent a link to a news story in the BBC News Magazine about Crows that is similar to the Ravens in the Bible.

First the story. A young girl, Gabi Mann, feeds Crows and they bring her “gifts.” (nutshell version). See The girl who gets gifts from birds.

It started when she got out of the car and dropped food from her lap. The Crows grabbed it and each time she came home, they watched for her. It went from that to Gabi and her mother feeding them on a regular basis. Then, the crows started leaving various items, that could fit in their mouths, as “gifts.” Here are some of those items.

Things brought by the crows

Things brought by the crows

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Things brought by the crows

Things brought by the crows

Does the story bring to mind a similar situation, but with Ravens bringing something to someone?

In I Kings 17, we read about the prophet Elijah who was told by the LORD to get away and hide by the Brook Cherith.

And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. (1 Kings 17:4-6 NKJV)

Ravens and Crows are both in the same family, Corvidae – Crows, Jays, Ravens, which has 130 species presently. “They are considered the most intelligent of the birds, and among the most intelligent of all animals” (Corvidae-Wikipedia).

In the Bible, our passage in I Kings says that the ravens brought him food. Checking the different translations, all the translations, except two, call them Ravens. Those two call them Crows. The ABP+ uses G2876, which Strong says:

G2876

κόραξ
korax
kor’-ax
Perhaps from G2880; a crow (from its voracity): – raven.
Total KJV occurrences: 1

The other, ISV, says, “Crows would bring him bread and meat both in the morning and in the evening, and he would drink from the brook.”

Either way, the point is, the LORD used birds from a very intelligent avian family, that He Created, to feed his prophet. Critics like to find everything they can to disprove the Bible. Yet, the Lord gives us all kinds of reasons to believe his Word, if we just open our eyes.

Those birds could have brought bits of food as well as “trinkets.”

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:19-20 KJV)

Fan-tailed Raven (Corvus rhipidurus) ©WikiC

Fan-tailed Raven (Corvus rhipidurus) ©WikiC

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The girl who gets gifts from birds.

Corvidae – Crows, Jays, Ravens

Birds of the Bible – Ravens

Raven – Wikipedia

Corvidae – Wikipedia

Wordless Birds

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Sunday Inspiration – “Ant” Birds

Streak-chested (Spectacled) Antpitta (Hylopezus perspicillatus) by Ian

Streak-chested (Spectacled) Antpitta (Hylopezus perspicillatus) by Ian

The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; (Proverbs 30:25 KJV)

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8 KJV)

Last week’s Sunday Inspiration featured the “first four bird families, taxonomically, in the Passeriformes Order (Songbirds)” This week we will continue with the next three families. They all have “ant” birds in them; Antshrikes, Antwrens, Antbirds, Antthrushes and Antpittas.. The Thamnophilidae – Antbirds family does have a few Bare-eyes.

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Click to Listen

“He Looked Beyond My Fault” ~ ©The Hyssongs

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Sunday Inspirations

Passeriformes Order

Thamnophilidae – Antbirds Family

Formicariidae – Antthrushes Family

Grallariidae – Antpittas Family

Gideon

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Australian Magpie

Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) by Ian

National days are occasions in which icons play a big, maybe dominant or even overpowering role, and Australia’s, January 26th, is no exception. So here is the Australian Magpie. It’s not strictly a Magpie in the Northern Hemisphere sense and it’s not strictly Australian, as it also occurs naturally in southern Papua New Guinea and has been introduced to both the main islands of New Zealand.

It is, however, certainly iconic, and not just in the sense of something that is typical of Australia. It was incorporated in various South Australian insignia just after Federation, and features “displayed proper” against the risen sun of federation. All six state coat of arms were incorporated into the Australian coat of arms in 1912, so the magpie, along with the Black Swan of Western Australia, made it to the national coat of arms. The bird referred to in the original South Australian design documents is called the “Piping Shrike” but the Australian Magpie has had various names including “Piping Crow-shrike” (Charles Sturt, explorer, 1840).

Australian National Coat of Arms

There are several races of the Magpie and I thought it would be easy to describe and illustrate them as part of this bird of the week. In fact, the descriptions, delineations and ranges of the various races are both messy and vague so I’ve settled for three easily recognised categories based on the colouration of their backs between the universally white (or pale grey) nape and rump: Black-backed, White-backed and Western.

Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) by Ian

The Black-backed group, first and second photos, is the most widespread occurring everywhere except in SW Western Australia and SE Australia and Tasmania. The nominate race ‘tibicen’ of eastern Australia is Black-backed and the name is derived from the Latin for ‘trumpeter': tubicen. Male and female Black-backed have similar patterning except that the females have greyish tinge to the white and the black is less intense.

Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) by Ian

The familiar Magpie of Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia is the White-backed. The bird in the third photo is a male, while the one in the fourth photo is a female. The grey tinge and scalloping on her nape and back is quite obvious.

Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) by Ian

The male of the Western Magpie in SW Western Australia is like the male White-backed. The female, however, has very dark scalloping on the back to the point where it is almost black, fifth photo.

Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) by Ian

Australian Magpies have group territories with the group varying in size from a pair of adults to several adults and juveniles of varying ages. Usually only one pair in the group actually nests with the female doing the nest-building and most of the incubation. The young are fed by the female, often with help from her male partner and sometimes from other group members. Magpies can be aggressive towards people near the nest, and many Australians can recount stories of being attacked when cycling to or from school. Juveniles have greyish rather than black plumage, like the juvenile Black-backed in the sixth photo.

Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) by Ian

Australian Magpies, and their close relatives the Butcherbirds, are candidates for being the finest song birds in Australia. The Magpie has a varied and complex repertoire and is well-known for its flute-like choruses by a pair or group. It is usually started by the senior male or female in the group with other members, including juveniles, joining in. Less intense warbling songs are done by individuals, often for long periods, contain elements of the choral singing and mimicry. The New Zealand Poet, Denis Glover, in his best known poem, The Magpies, rendered the song as ‘and Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle/The magpies said’.

The flute-like quality of the voice features in various European names for the Australian Magpie: Cassican flûteur (F), Flötenvogel (G) and Verdugo Flautista (Sp). I think the Germans have got it right with their Fluting-bird – much better than naming it after some unrelated Northern Hemisphere bird that it vaguely resembles. Maybe we should launch a new name for it next Australia Day. Now that would be a fitting Australia Day honour.

Greetings
Ian

**************************************************
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/
Where to Find Birds in Northern Queensland:  iTunesGoogle Play Kobo Books
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

He (Solomon) spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that grows on the wall; he spoke also of animals and birds and creeping things and fish. (1 Kings 4:33 NASB)

Ian, thanks again for sharing your Magpies from Australia. Seeing that he travels all around, he gets to see these different Magpies as he goes off on his birdwatching adventures. Their expressions give a look of intelligence to them.

Check out:

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Quotes from C. S. Lewis

Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher (Culicicapa ceylonensis) by W Kwong

Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher (Culicicapa ceylonensis) by W Kwong

In today’s Creation Moments article, A WONDROUS BUT TERRIFYING CREATION, these quotes from C. S. Lewis caught my interest. The article is actually about Louie Zamperini’s experiences, especially with nature.

C.S. Lewis writes about how our experience with the creation awakens within us a sense that there is more – something other, something beyond the natural world. He writes in Mere Christianity, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Lewis also observes in his book Miracles that we can only savor this world for the wonder that it really is when we appreciate it as the creation of a supernatural God. “Only Super-naturalists really see Nature…. To treat Nature as God, or as Everything, is to lose the whole pith and pleasure of her. Come out, look back and then you will see … this astonishing cataract of bears, babies, and bananas; this immoderate deluge of atoms, orchids, oranges, cancers, canaries, fleas, gases, tornadoes, and toads. How could you have ever thought this was ultimate reality? … The “vanity” (futility) to which she was subjected was her disease not her essence.”

Like all of us, Nature – though wondrous and awesome – is in need of redemption. The “essence” of Nature points us to her Awesome Maker. And the “disease” within her – the futility, corruption, and harsh cruelty – instructs us to anxiously long for our full redemption. As the Bible puts it,

“…the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature (the anxious longing of the creation) waits for the manifestation of the sons of God…. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:18-19, 22)

To see that article …

Like yesterday’s I’m Little but…., the hawk would not be trying to catch and eat the squirrel had it not been for the curse and our fallen world. It will be great when things are made right. The main question is, are you prepared for when that takes place?

The Gospel Message

Yellow Canary (Crithagra flaviventris) Male ©WikiC

Yellow Canary (Crithagra flaviventris) Male ©WikiC

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The Hodge-Podge Writing Challenge

Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant (Hemitriccus orbitatus) ©WikiC

Eye-ringed Tody-Tyrant (Hemitriccus orbitatus) ©WikiC

Leave it to my friend Sandra Connor, over at “In Love With Words” to start a weird challenge. Her The Hodge-Podge Writing Challenge caught my interest.

The challenge is to find three words, one on page one, one on page 50 (51 in my case-50 had a photo) and one from page 100. See her challenge for the exact rules. Then you are to make three sentences using those three words in each one.

So I am going to use “Naming the Birds at a Glace” to find 3 words. (Drum roll) My words are “Color” “Dark” and “Whitish”

Sentence #1

The color of the bird had a very dark head with a whitish ring around the eye.

Sentence #2

As the color of the sky lightened with the sunrise, the dark looking bird I had been watching became more whitish.

Sentence #3

The term “whitish” does not mean that the object is white, but more dark like a milky or creamy color.

Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) by Ian

Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) by Ian

I think I will stick with writing about my birds and leave the fancy writing to Sandra and those of you who enjoy “thinking.”

By the way, I found the photos AFTER I wrote the sentences. Just so you will know. And of course I used birds because I am a “bird brained.”

If you would like to try this Challenge, go to The Hodge-Podge Writing Challenge and see what you come up with.

(PS Just thought of another sentence:)

No matter what color of skin you have, whether dark or whitish, it makes no matter, because the Lord loves us all.

Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them. (John 12:35-36 NKJV)

And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; (2 Peter 1:19 NKJV)

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You Don’t Have to Be a Christian to Call on Jesus – Re-blogged
Looking Back: Digging Through The Archives of ‘In Love With Words’ – Reblog

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – European Goldfinch

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) Female by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – European Goldfinch ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 1/21/15

Last week I mentioned that the Zebra Finch was an Estrildid or Grass Finch (family Estrildidae) without exploring the significance of this, so here is a taxonomically quite different finch, the European Goldfinch (family Fringillidae), to continue the subject. Choosing it was prompted by an email from some English friends of mine currently in New Zealand who expressed disappointment that most of the birds seemed to be ones introduced from the British Isles, naming in particular the Goldfinch. So here is a photo of one that I took in its native habitat, when staying with these friends in 2001 on Alderney one of the smaller inhabited Channel Islands off the coast of France.

It was introduced to Australia as well in the 1860s and is quite widespread in the southeastern mainland and on Tasmania. It’s an attractive bird with a canary-like song and like the Zebra Finch a popular cage bird. So it’s not surprising that homesick settlers introduced it. It does well in farmland, parks and gardens but not in native vegetation.

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) Male by IanThe sex of adult Goldfinches can be told from their plumage, even though they are very similar and most field guides don’t make the distinction. It’s a bit like those Spot the Difference puzzles, so here, second photo, is an Irish male to compare with the female in the first. The pale cheeks on the female are buff, those on the male white. The red bib on the female is rounded, on the male more rectangular. The female usually has a complete buff breast band; the male just has buff breast patches separate by white. The male is also whiter underneath. There are other subtle differences not apparent in these photos such as the amount of white on the tail.

PAS-Frin European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) Juvenile by IanYou can tell from their stout conical bills that they are seed-eaters, and any such vaguely sparrow-like bird is likely to be called a ‘finch’. In temperate zones seeds are available mainly in spring and autumn, so dietary versatility is needed. The male is chomping its way through the buds and flowers of Hawthorn and Goldfinches will also feed on invertebrates. Their favourite food is the seeds of thistles and their, by finch standards, relatively pointed bills are adapted to picking out seeds from among thorns, like the juvenile bird in the third photo in autumn. Its plumage, apart from the black and yellow wings, is mainly brown and streaked with no red or black on the head, and almost pipit-like.

The juveniles acquire the adult plumage during the first autumn moult, and the rather scruffy individual in the fourth photo is in mid-transition. This photo shows the very pointed bill, even if the owner is looking a bit doubtful about the even scruffier thistle head.

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) Juvenile by IanGetting around to the taxonomy at last, the various groups of finch-like birds have caused and still cause avian taxonomists many headaches, and I don’t want to trigger any more here. It is sufficient to say that the approximately 700 global species of finch-like birds belong to several separate lineages, currently separated at the level of family.

The Fringillidae to which the Goldfinch belongs, sometimes called the ‘true’ finches (by the Europeans of course) have an almost global distribution but are completely absent, naturally, from Australasia. The Estrildidae, which include all the native Australian grass finches, occur only in Africa, southern and southeast Asia and Australasia (but not New Zealand).

The African members belong to a group called Waxbills, the Asian ones are mainly Munias or Mannikins and the grass finches are predominantly Australian. The Estrildids occur mainly in tropical or sub-tropical regions, and only in Australia have some Firetails ventured into cooler areas: notably the Red-eared Firetail in SW Western Australia and the Beautiful Firetail in the SE mainland and Tasmania.

I’m in danger of getting carried away here, so I’ll stop. Here are some links if you want to explore their photos further: FringillidaeEstrildidae and I haven’t even mentioned the other finch-like birds such as the Sparrows  Buntings and New World SparrowsNew World OriolesWeaversTanagersCardinals

Greetings
Ian

**************************************************
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/
Where to Find Birds in Northern Queensland: iTunesGoogle Play Kobo Books
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. (Genesis 7:14-15 NKJV)

More beautiful birds to check out from Ian. Thanks, Ian. If you check out his links, you will find some very nice photos.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week

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Babbler For Who?

Indian Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus horsfieldii) ©WikiC

Indian Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus horsfieldii) ©WikiC

bab·bler – ˈbab(ə)lər/ – noun

  • a person who babbles.
  • a thrushlike Old World songbird with a long tail, short rounded wings, and typically a loud discordant or musical voice.

While reading in Ecclesiastes recently, I saw the word “babbler.” Working on the Birds of the World lists, that word caught my attention. Ahh! Maybe I could write an article about the Babblers that I had seen in the list.

A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; The babbler is no different. (Ecclesiastes 10:11 NKJV)

Chestnut-faced Babbler (Zosterornis whiteheadi) ©WikiC

Chestnut-faced Babbler (Zosterornis whiteheadi) ©WikiC

What I did not know is that there are seven families that have “Babbler” birds in them. There are Ground Babblers, Wren Babblers, Thrush-Babblers, Scimitar Babblers, Jewel-babblers, Hill Babblers, Tit-Babblers, a Rail-babblers and regular just plain Babblers.

Then checking for more verses on “babblers,” I found two more. The verse above and this one both have a sort of negative meaning to the word.

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler. (Proverbs 20:19 ESV)

There is one more verse that will come later. First, what is a Babbler of the bird kind?

Rail-babbler (Eupetes macrocerus) by Peter Ericsson

Rail-babbler (Eupetes macrocerus) by Peter Ericsson

“The Old World babblers or timaliids are a large family of mostly Old World passerine birds. They are rather diverse in size and coloration, but are characterised by soft fluffy plumage. These are birds of tropical areas, with the greatest variety in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The timaliids are one of two unrelated groups of birds known as babblers, the other being the Australasian babblers of the family Pomatostomidae (also known as pseudo-babblers).

White-browed Babbler by Ian

White-browed Babbler by Ian (Australia)

Morphological diversity is rather high; most species resemble “warblers”, jays or thrushes. This group is among those Old World bird families with the highest number of species still being discovered.

Timaliids are small to medium birds. They have strong legs, and many are quite terrestrial. They typically have generalised bills, similar to those of a thrush or warbler, except for the scimitar babblers which, as their name implies, have strongly decurved bills. Most have predominantly brown plumage, with minimal difference between the sexes, but many more brightly coloured species also exist.

The systematics of Old World babblers have long been contested. During much of the 20th century, the family was used as a “wastebin taxon” for numerous hard-to-place Old World songbirds (such as Picathartidae or the wrentit). Ernst Hartert was only half-joking when he summarized this attitude with the statement that, in the passerines, (Wikipedia)

“Was man nicht unterbringen kann, sieht man als Timalien an.” (What one can’t place systematically is considered an Old World babbler)

They finally started trying to divide them into different groups and families. You will find those seven families below. Also, from the definition at the beginning, they are vocal with a “typically a loud discordant or musical voice.”

Nepal Wren-Babbler (Pnoepyga immaculata) by Nikhil Devasar

Nepal Wren-Babbler (Pnoepyga immaculata) by Nikhil Devasar

The last verse I found with “babbler” gives us a more positive emphasis. The Apostle Paul was in Athens and:

“Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean.” (Acts 17:16-20 NKJV)

Are we “babblers” for the Lord like Paul? When people listen to us (or read what we write), do they hear a loud “discordant sound” or a clear “musical note”? We have no control how the words are heard. Some may consider the Words of Jesus as just another belief system in the world, while others will hear the Words as joy to their souls. We are told to tell others about Christ. So, Who do we “Babble” for?

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Eupetidae – Rail-babbler – 1

Pellorneidae – Fulvettas, Ground Babblers – 40+ Wren Babblers, Thrush-Babbler, Scimitar Babbler, Babblers

Pnoepygidae – Wren-babblers – 5 Wren-babblers

Pomatostomidae – Australasian Babblers – 5 Babblers

Psophodidae – Whipbirds, Jewel-babblers and Quail-thrushes – 4 Jewel-babblers

Sylviidae – Sylviid Babblers – 6 Hill Babblers, Thrush-Babblers, and Babblers

Timaliidae – Babblers – 55 Scimitar Babblers, Wren-Babblers, Tit-Babblers and Babblers

Orni-Theology

Sharing The Gospel

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Martha and the Go-Kart Race

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Martha and the Go-Kart Race ~ by Emma Foster

There was once an enormous ostrich named Martha who was extremely tall with a really long neck. She lived at the zoo and every day people would come there to look at her and all the strange and exotic animals. Many people came to look at Martha every day.

One day a flyer that had been left on the ground by a boy who was passing them out was blown in by the wind into Martha’s exhibit. She glanced down at the flyer. In big bold letters it said: GO-KART RACE THIS SATURDAY! The flyer went on to explain the instructions and it said that all ages were admitted. Martha decided right then and there she would enter the race.

That night, Martha sneaked out of her exhibit by climbing over the fence and sneaked into the shed in the back of the zoo. Finding some wooden boards, a hammer and nails, and a few other things, Martha set to work and eventually constructed her go-kart by Saturday.

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot at Riverfront Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot at Riverfront Zoo SC by Lee

On the day of the race, Martha pushed her go-kart up to the starting line. All of the kids stared at her as she tried to get into the go-kart. It was difficult because of her long legs, but Martha eventually managed to get settled.

A man from the sideline swung a flag signaling to start the race. Martha zoomed down the road and turned a corner. After a few more turns Martha and the others drove over a bridge and eventually down a steep hill.

Ostrich

Ostrich

Martha spotted the finish line. She was in the lead. In a few seconds Martha crossed the finish line and won first place. Now every time someone at the zoo passed by Martha’s exhibit, they would see her first place trophy and her go-kart. The people at the zoo would always say they had never seen a better racer and the zoo keepers never figured out how she escaped from her exhibit.

The End


Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Closeup by WikiC

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Closeup by ©WikiC

Lee’s Addition:

Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? (Job 39:13 KJV)

Well, our young writer has come up with another interesting Bird Tale. Emma continues to amaze me with her stories. Thanks, again, Emma. Keep up the good work. Lord Bless you as you continue to develop in wisdom and with the Lord.

See her other stories:

Also:

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Sunday Inspiration – Flamingo Gardens

Birds at Flamingo Gardens by Lee 2014

Birds at Flamingo Gardens by Lee 2014

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. (John 18:1-2 KJV)

…Did not I see thee in the garden with him? (John 18:26 KJV)

Dan and I stopped at Flamingo Gardens in Davie, Florida in November. Realized I haven’t said anything about it and decided to share some of the photos taken then.

We were there many years ago when they first opened. We lived in the area at the time. Flamingo Garden has grown and is a very delightful place to visit. They have an aviary which contains Florida native birds. Many have been injured and cannot be released to the wild again.

Please enjoy some of the sights as you listen to our orchestra play In “The Garden”. (Click arrow below the slideshow)

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“In The Garden” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra with Flute Solo by Lauren D

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Sunday Inspirations

Flamingo Gardens

Gideon

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Collared Kingfisher

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Collared Kingfisher ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 12-30-14

The first photo shows a present from Santa that I want to share, taken late in the afternoon on Christmas Day: a Collared Kingfisher This species is the only one of the ten Kingfishers and Kookaburras normally found in Australia that hasn’t featured as bird of the week. It’s a close relative of the Sacred Kingfisher, but larger with a much heavier bill. In Australia it is almost exclusively a dweller of mangroves and feeds mainly on crustaceans such as crabs with a carapace width up to 2cm: hence the shell-crunching beak, it’s best field mark.

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) by Ian

Because of its preference for mangroves and because it’s not very common, I’ve found it a difficult species to photograph in Australia. Often the only access to mangroves is on boardwalks, so you can’t get close to anything that’s not close to the boardwalk and, even if you can, you usually can’t get an uninterrupted view in the dense vegetation. In fact, the only tolerable Australian photo that I had was one I took in Darwin in 2004 where there is a walking track into mangroves from Tiger Brennan Drive.

 

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) by IanWhen I pass through Cardwell travelling north towards Innisfail and Cairns, I always stop there as it’s a lovely place where the highway runs along the beach front with views of Hinchinbrook Island and a convenient 90 minutes from home. There’s a rest area at the southern end of town close to a patch of mangroves that regularly produces interesting birds. It was badly damaged by cyclone Yasi four years ago, but is now recovering and the path through the mangroves from the rest area to Port Hinchinbrook has been restored.

In early November, I saw a Collared Kingfisher perched in the open on a dead mangrove near the rest area; it was low tide and the bird was presumably looking for dinner on the mudflat. I didn’t get a photo of it – camera malfunction – but looked again on Christmas Eve on the way north and heard and then found one on a different perch in the middle of the mangroves. I got only the quick, back-lit, get-it-before-it-flies-away shot, second photo, before it did exactly that and I didn’t see it again.

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) by Ian

I returned home on Christmas Day and had another look, as the tide was going out and I hope that this would attract the bird into a more open position for a late feed. Just before I was about to give up, I heard the bird calling and found it perched near the beach. I got some distant shots, but when I approached it it flew over my head and returned to exactly the same back-lit spot where it had been on Christmas Eve. If you compare photos two and three, you can see from the guano stains on the branch that it is only a couple of centimetres apart on the two occasions. Clearly a bird of habits. This time, it tolerated my approach, and allowed me to leave the path, squelch through the mangroves and get around behind it where I took the first photo. Austral

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) by Ian

I’ve qualified some comments with ‘in Australia’. This species also ranges quite widely through Asia, and in some places it is found in many other habitats including suburban gardens and forested areas along rivers. I had no trouble photographing three in the space of week in Singapore and Malaysia, fourth photo, in 2001. These Asian birds belong to different races from the Australian ones and their taxonomy is very confused, with about 50 subspecies being currently recognized. The Malaysian and Australian races have white underparts but some others, particular those in the Pacific Islands east of New Guinea are quite buff, and some taxonomists think they should be transferred to the Sacred Kingfisher. The calls vary by location too. In Australia the usual contact call is a distinctive two note ‘kek KEK’, with the emphasis on the second one.

I hope Santa brought you what you wanted too.
Happy New Year!

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/
Where to Find Birds in Northern QueenslandiTunesGoogle Play Kobo Books
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.” (Matthew 4:18-20 KJV)

It is always enjoyable to happen upon a bird that is not always easy to find. Of course, when you bring out a camera, you never know if they will stay long enough to get a photo or not. Personally, for me, they seem to scatter. I am glad Ian was able to capture this beautiful Kingfisher’s photo.

You can see Ian’s Kingfisher photos here:

Collared Kingfisher

Sacred Kingfisher

Whole Kingfisher Family

and also enjoy many of his adventures here:

Ian’s Bird of the Week

Kingfishers – Alcedinidae – Whole Family

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