Birds of the Bible – Lord Who Is There

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) ©USFWS

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) ©USFWS

I am currently taking a Ladies Bible study, “Disciples Prayer Life.” One of our lessons suggested using some of the different names of God while praying. There is quite a list of God’s names in our lesson. Some of them are:

  • God (Elohim) – Sovereign, Power, Creator
  • Lord (Adonai) – Master, Ruler, Owner
  • Jehovah (the self-existing Lord) – eternal, changeless, faithful
  • The Lord our Provider (Jehovah-Jireh)
  • The Lord our Peace (Jehovah-Shalom)
  • The Lord who is there (Jehovah-Shammah)

It is this last one, Jehovah-Shammah, that has really caught my interest. As you can see, it means “The Lord who is there.”

When we read Genesis 1:1, it begins with “In the beginning, God…” The word for God here is Elohim – אֱלֹהִים ,  ‘ĕlôhı̂ym,  el-o-heem’ There is much to be said about this, but, for now, that is not my purpose. The Lord God is the Creator, Sovereign and all-powerful. God has no beginning, or ending, He is the Alpha and the Omega.

Because God has always been, the word, Jehovah-Shammah, “The Lord who is there” is also true. God’s Word chose not to use that word here.

Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) by Ray

Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) by Ray

All of this to explain a passage about the sparrows, which I have used many times before, that could have used the word ” Jehovah-Shammah.”

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31 KJV) (emphasis mine)

When a sparrow or any bird falls and/or dies, their Father, knows all about it because HE IS THERE.

If a fallen sparrow is noticed by the Father, who is there, should we not receive comfort from knowing that our Lord God knows and sees us also. As that passage goes on, there is comfort given to us because we are of more value than the birds. We, mankind, were made in the image of God, animals and birds were not. Because of sin, the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, provided salvation for us. It cost the Lord His blood to save us from our sins. We have a choice whether to receive that Sacrifice or not.

Anyone for a Sparrow Snack?

Every since I saw this photo, Matthew 10:29, has meant more to me than just a bird dying of old age. That whole cage is packed with sparrows to be eaten. That sickens me, but maybe I eat things that sicken others in another culture. I just found another photo of a roasted sparrow. I refuse to post it.

I love Sparrows of all kinds and the other birds. Most of all, I am thankful for a Creator God who cares for those birds and for us. When we KNOW that the Lord IS THERE, we can have comfort knowing we can pray and bring our requests to the Lord, knowing that He cares and already knows all about our needs.

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Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Sparrows

Birds of the Bible – Worry and Sparrows

Sharing The Gospel

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More Photos To Enjoy!

My friend, Jeanie, who wrote the poem, Hummingbird, sent me these photos. Enjoy!

The photography is amazing, but the captions are priceless !!!!!

I hate it when he plays "Mount Everest ..."

I hate it when he plays “Mount Everest …”

Who the is "Sugar Lips"?

Who is “Sugar Lips”?

Those brownies were Far Out!!

Those brownies were Far Out!!

NO! We Don't want any Magazine Subscriptions!

NO! We Don’t want any Magazine Subscriptions!

There's a ringer competing in the Hogtown Olympics.

There’s a ringer competing in the Hogtown Olympics.

I'm not Over-Weight, I'm Under-Height!!

I’m not Over-Weight, I’m Under-Height!!

You do have an odd perspective on things.

You do have an odd perspective on things.

Lunchtime at the Corncob Cafe

Lunchtime at the Corncob Cafe

Okay, I caught him, now what do I do with him?

Okay, I caught him, now what do I do with him?

I hate this game.

I hate this game.

Flight 'Hum-One' coming in for a landing.

Flight ‘Hum-One’ coming in for a landing.

Just act natural and blend in.

Just act natural and blend in.

Where's my Coffee?

Where’s my Coffee?

Whooo loves ya, Baby?

Whooo loves ya, Baby?


But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
(Colossians 3:14-17 NKJV)


Sunday Inspiration – Seven Small Families

As we continue through our Passerines, we come to seven families that have very few members in them. Just because their numbers are few, their Creator has not failed to give each a niche to fill and the ability and design to do so. They are all small birds, like the song, “His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” these bird are no less ignored by the Lord.

Dapple-throat (Arcanator orostruthus) ©WikiC

Dapple-throat (Arcanator orostruthus) ©WikiC

I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God. (Psalms 69:3 NKJV)

The Dapple-throat and allies – Arcanatoridae family only has three species; Spot-throatt, Dapple-throat and the Grey-chested Babbler. Internet says they are from Africa and that its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. That is about the only information given.

Cape Sugarbird (Promerops cafer) ©WikiC

Cape Sugarbird (Promerops cafer) ©WikiC

More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (Psalms 19:10 NKJV)

The Sugarbirds make up a small family, Promeropidae, of passerine birds which are restricted to southern Africa. The two species of sugarbird make up one of only two bird families restricted entirely to southern Africa, the other being the rock-jumpers Chaetopidae. In general appearance as well as habits they resemble large long-tailed sunbirds, but are possibly more closely related to the Australian honeyeaters. They have brownish plumage, the long downcurved bill typical of passerine nectar feeders, and long tail feathers.

Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella) at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella) at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

“You shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue.” (Exodus 28:31 NKJV)

The two Fairy-bluebirds are small passerine bird species found in forests and plantations in tropical southern Asia and the Philippines. They are the sole members of the genus Irena and family Irenidae, and are related to the ioras and leafbirds.

These are bulbul-like birds of open forest or thorn scrub, but whereas that group tends to be drab in colouration, fairy-bluebirds are sexually dimorphic, with the males being dark blue in plumage, and the females duller green.

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) by Ian

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) by Ian

And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about. (Exodus 25:24 KJV)

Regulidae – Goldcrests, kinglets family has only six members. The kinglets or crests are a small group of birds sometimes included in the Old World warblers, but are frequently given family status because they also resemble the titmice. The scientific name Regulidae is derived from the Latin word regulus for “petty king” or prince, and comes from the coloured crowns of adult birds. This family has representatives in North America and Eurasia.

Spotted Elachura (Elachura formosa) ©Ramki Sreenivasan

Spotted Elachura (Elachura formosa) ©Ramki Sreenivasan

The Spotted Elachura (Elachura formosa (Elachuridae) is the only bird in its family they discovered recently through DNA studies. It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. This species is found in undergrowth and dense thickets of this type of forest, with a preference for thick fern ground cover, mossy rocks and decaying trunks of fallen trees and brushwood (often near stream or creek) long grass and scrub.

Violet-baked Hyliota (Hyliota violacea) ©WikiC

Violet-baked Hyliota (Hyliota violacea) ©WikiC

Hyliotidae – Hyliota found in Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and plantations. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher at Circle B Reserve by Lee

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher at Circle B Reserve by Lee

Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall be dissolved and vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner [like gnats]. But My salvation shall be forever, and My rightness and justice [and faithfully fulfilled promise] shall not be abolished. [Matt. 24:35; Heb. 1:11; II Pet. 3:10.] (Isaiah 51:6 AMP)

(Wrens skipped until next week ) Our last group of very small birds are from the Polioptilidae – Gnatcatchers. The 18 species of small passerine birds in the gnatcatcher family occur in North and South America (except far south and high Andean regions). Most species of this mainly tropical and subtropical group are resident, but the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher of the USA and southern Canada migrates south in winter. They are close relatives of the wrens. (Wikipedia)

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Not Sure What Happened!

Please re-check the last article I posted this evening. I went to fix one thing and it wiped out most of the article. It is now the way is was supposed to be.

Great Grey Owl

I am still looking for remarks or a story that could be posted as to what you think that expression is saying.

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) ©Peter K Burian at www.peterkburian.com

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) ©Peter K Burian at http://www.peterkburian.com

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: (Job 5:17 KJV)

Sunday Inspiration – Worth The Lamb

Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus montanus) ©WikiC

Chestnut-backed Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus montanus) ©WikiC

Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. (Hebrews 3:1-4 KJV)

Looks like this week you’ll be introduced to three families of avian wonders. I am skipping over the Cisticolidae – Cisticolas and allies until next week, because it is quite large. This week the Black-capped Donacobius (Donacobiidae), only bird in family; the Malagasy Warblers (Bernienidae) with 11 species; and the Babblers, Scimitar Barbler’s of the Timaliidae Family of 55 should give us enough birds for a slideshow.

Black-capped Donacobius (Donacobius atricapilla) ©©

Black-capped Donacobius (Donacobius atricapilla) ©©

The Black-capped Donacobius (Donacobius atricapilla) is a conspicuous, vocal South American bird. It is found in tropical swamps and wetlands in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela; also Panama of Central America. They are common in a wide range of Amazonian wetlands, including oxbow lakes, riparian zones, and other areas with tall dense aquatic or semi-aquatic vegetation.

Mating for life, pairs of Black-capped Donacobiuses can be seen frequently and throughout the day atop thickets of dense lakeside or streamside vegetation. They often will engage in antiphonic dueting. Adult offspring will remain with their parents and help raise siblings from subsequent nesting periods in a system of cooperative breeding. (Wikipedia)

Long-billed Bernieria (Bernieria madagascariensis) WikiC

Long-billed Bernieria (Bernieria madagascariensis) WikiC

The Malagasy warblers are a newly validated clade of songbirds. They were formally named Bernieridae in 2010. The family consists of 11 species of small forest birds and is endemic to Madagascar. (Wikipedia)

Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus superciliaris) ©WikiC

Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus superciliaris) ©WikiC

Our last family has Scimitar Babblers and some of the various Babblers.

The genus Pomatorhinus of scimitar babblers are jungle birds with long downcurved bills. These are birds of tropical Asia, with the greatest number of species occurring in hills of the Himalayas. They are medium-sized, floppy-tailed landbirds with soft plumage. They are typically long-tailed, dark brown above, and white or orange-brown below. Many have striking head patterns, with a broad black band through the eye, bordered with white above and below.

Spelaeorni genus the typical wren-babblers, is a bird genus in the family Timaliidae. Among this group, the typical wren-babblers are quite closely related to the type species, the chestnut-capped babbler (Timalia pileata). Typical babblers live in communities of around a dozen birds, jointly defending a territory. Many even breed communally, with a dominant pair building a nest, and the remainder helping to defend and rear their young. Young males remain with the group, while females move away to find a new group, and thus avoid inbreeding. They make nests from twigs, and hide them in dense vegetation. (Info from Wikipedia)

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Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. (Revelation 5:12 KJV)

“Worthy The Lamb” ~ Choir at Faith Baptist Church

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More Sunday Inspirations

Donacobiidae – Black-capped Donacobius

Bernieridae – Malagasy Warblers

Timaliidae – Babblers, Scimitar Babblers

Gospel Presentation

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Lesser Sooty Owl

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

Newsletter – 9/7/15

You may remember that in March of this year Greater Sooty Owl featured as Bird of the Week when I visited East Gippsland east of Melbourne with my Victorian birding pals Barb, Jen and Joy. Last Thursday I met up with the trio again, this time at Kingfisher Park west of Cairns, Far North Queensland. The main target was, naturally, Lesser Sooty Owl , another member of the Barn Owl family and a species as elusive as its larger cousin. I’d seen one at Kingfisher Park in 2002 but hadn’t photographed it and none of the trio had seen it before.

Lesser Sooty Owl (Tyto multipunctata) by Ian

It’s a Wet Tropics endemic ranging from Paluma – and perhaps Bluewater Forest near me – in the south to Cedar Bay in the north, with an estimated population of 2000 pairs. I’ve searched for it many time since without success so I’d agree with the field guides that say: “seldom seen” (Morcombe) and “until field studies in recent decades … among our least-known birds” (Pizzey and Knight). On Wednesday night I’d searched for it along some dreadful tracks in Tumoulin Forest Reserve near Ravenshoe and on Thursday night we spotlighted the 10km length of the Mount Lewis road near Kingfisher Park with the usual result.

Lesser Sooty Owl (Tyto multipunctata) by Ian

It does occur at Kingfisher Park and Andrew Isles told us to listen for it in the evening “after the barn owls” which live in adjacent Geraghty Park. Barn and Sooty Owls make chirruping calls and both species of Sooty Owl have a characteristic descending whistle like a falling bomb. Sure enough at 6:55pm an owl chirruped maybe 50 metres from the trio’s apartment and we raced around the corner to find this bird had come to visit us and was perched in full view in a tree at a photography-friendly height. Later, I agreed with Joy that it was an OMG moment on a par with encountering the Kagu family on a forest track in New Caledonia.

Lesser Sooty Owl (Tyto multipunctata) by Ian

In the past, the Greater and Lesser have been treated as a single species, but the species split is now generally accepted. They are genetically close, but there is a big difference in sizes – Lesser 31-38cm/12-15in , Greater 37-51cm/14.5-20 (females of both are larger than the males) – and differences in appearance, call and behaviour. Their ranges are disjoint with the Greater found from near Melbourne (Strzelecki and Dandenong Ranges) along the east coast to Eungella National Park near Mackay in Central Queensland. There is also a Sooty Owl in New Guinea. It’s still lumped with the Greater, which is biogeographically unlikely, but has been placed with the Lesser and may even be a different species.

Lesser Sooty Owl (Tyto multipunctata) by Ian

The behaviour of the Lesser differs in that it uses lower perches for hunting, good for photographers, and is known to cling to the side of tree trunks like the Eastern Yellow and Pale-yellow Robins. The last photo shows its impressive talons: these would be able to cling on to anything.

Lesser Sooty Owl (Tyto multipunctata) by Ian

If you’re into benchmarks, last week’s bird, the Ouvea Parakeet, was the 1500th global species on the Birday website (15% of all bird species) but the Australian total was stuck at 699 waiting for something special of course. The Lesser Sooty Owl will be a fitting 700th – I haven’t put it up yet, you get to see if first – that’s 700 out of the 898 ever recorded or 78%.

I’m back home now planning my next project now that the Diary of a Bird Photographer Volume 1 has been published. So far, 27 copies have been purchased and favourable comments are coming in from all over the place including California, UK, Italy and Dubai. The Fat Birder has published a review in which he said:

“I hope anyone who enjoys fine photography and fantastic birds will go to iTunes and download the book… I for one can’t wait for volume 2”

Happily, the remaining 940 members of the bird of the week list don’t have to wait that long for Volume 1!
I’ve put a Quick Guide to eBooks on the Publications page that should be useful if you want to find out more about electronic books or need to chose which book seller is the best for your needs. I have good feedback too about formatting, so I’ve included a section on the ePub format this is a flexible format that flows to match the screen and (selected) font and font size. This may mean, for example, that an image may jump to the next page if there isn’t enough space and get separated from the header before it.

http://www.birdway.com.au/birdphotographersdiary01.htm

Ian's Book

Ian’s Book

http://www.birdway.com.au/nqbirds.htm

Where To Find Birds - Ian

It turned out that the illness from which my desktop computer was suffering – dying graphics card – was terminal, or perhaps ‘terminated’ is a better word, as being a 2008 model, Apple classifies it as ‘vintage’ and doesn’t supply parts any longer. So I’ve had to order a replacement, and I will greatly appreciate any book sales!

End of commercial and plea…

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:

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)

I am impressed with this neat Lesser Sooty Owl from our Creator and also with Ian’s number of Global and Australian birds he has on his birding list.

Now that he is producing these books, I hope he will continue to give permission to reproduce his Bird of the Week Newsletters.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week 

Ian’s Birdway

Barn Owls – Tytonidae

Wordless Birds

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Ouvéa Parakeet

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Ouvéa Parakeet ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 9/2/15

I was half-way through preparing this bird of the week this afternoon when my 2008 iMac died, or at least got terribly ill, so I’ve delivered it to the Mac Doctors and am now working on my laptop. Thank goodness for automatic backups, as I lost only the email itself and the map below that I was in the middle of preparing. I want to get the email out today so that i can delivery 4 birds of the week this month – my level of enthusiasm for doing the bird of the week has risen considerably since I started preparing the first volume of the Diary of a Bird Photographer.

Anyway, back to the Loyalty Islands off the west coast of the main island of New Caledonia. After spending the morning in Lifou, we flew to the neighbouring island, Ouvéa, home to the endemic Ouvéa Parakeet. Ouvéa is a long thin island, thinnest in the middle in a way that reminded me of both Bribie Island in Tasmania and Lord Howe Island. Like Lord Howe, it has a coral lagoon on one side and an ocean beach on the other but the resemblance largely ends there, as Ouvéa is a coral atoll and very flat, while Lord Howe is volcanic in origin and spectacularly mountainous.

Map of where Ouvéa Parakeet Found, by Ian

Map of where Ouvéa Parakeet Found, by Ian

The parakeet occurs mainly on the northern end of the island so its geographical range is tiny – see the scale on the map above, courtesy of Google Earth. The airport is on the southern end and we decided not to emulate some energetic birders who wrote a trip report and travelled from the airport to the north end of the island by bicycle. Instead, we had booked a rental car at the airport and booked accommodation in a tribal village called Gossanah in parakeet territory near where our bird guide Benoit lived. I’ll say a bit more about both our guide and accommodation later, but first the parakeet.

Ouvéa Parakeet (Eunymphicus uvaeensis) by Ian

It was dark by the time we reached Gossanah, so parakeet hunting had to wait until the morning. I was woken up by early-riser Joy with the exciting news that there were parakeets in the grounds of where we were staying. I stumbled out bleary-eyed (remember we had got up at 4:30am the morning before to get our flight to Lihou) camera in hand and sure enough there they were, or there it was, first photo. Later we joined Benoit and he took us around his garden and though an area of adjacent rainforest. There we found some more parakeets, including the one in the second photo.

Ouvéa Parakeet (Eunymphicus uvaeensis) by Ian

They aren’t as brightly coloured as the Horned Parakeet of the main island, Grand Terre, and the crest is different, containing more than two feathers and lacking red tips. The Ouvéa Parakeet used to be treated as a race of the Horned, but has now been given full species status.

Ouvéa Parakeet (Eunymphicus uvaeensis) Nesting Hollow by Ian

Benoit showed us an active nesting hollow, third photo. We saw a parakeet flying into it and waited for it to reappear, but it had either settled down for the morning or had more patience than we had. The parakeets are very partial to the seeds of Papaya. They don’t wait for the fruit to ripen before they chew their way into the centre to get at the seeds.

Papaya

Papaya

The parakeets are protected and the population has increased in recent years. We got the impression that the islanders are rather ambivalent about the birds. They are proud to have such an unusual endemic bird – its iconic status is actively promoted by the authorities – but are concerned about its effect on their largely subsistent way of life.

Ouvéa Parakeet (Eunymphicus uvaeensis) by Ian

Ouvéa Parakeet (Eunymphicus uvaeensis) by Ian

We stayed at a tribal home stay called Beauvoisin – ‘good neighbour’ run by Marc and his wife (see http://www.iles-loyaute.com/en/Prestataire/Fiche/1374/beauvoisin). They provided dinner in the evening, accommodation in a circular hut and breakfast – Joy took the photo above of me emerging from the hut in the morning. We enjoyed it very much and Marc and his family were delightful and looked after us very well. They spoke some English and have a Facebook page. Benoit Tangopi our guide was great too and we saw a variety of other interesting birds on the walk through the rainforest. We contacted him by phone +687 800549, but you might need to brush up your French as he doesn’t speak much English.

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:


If a bird’s nest should chance to be before you in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the mother bird is sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother bird with the young. You shall surely let the mother bird go, and take only the young, that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days. (Deuteronomy 22:6-7 AMP)

Thanks, Ian, for taking us along on another birdwatching adventure. I don’t speak French, so we are glad you did the talking and photographing. Another neat creation you have found for us to enjoy.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week Newsletters

Ian’s Ouvéa Parakeet Photos

Psittaculidae – Old World Parrots

Wordless Birds

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Diary of a Bird Photographer!

y electronic book Diary of a Bird Photographer has been released worldwide today, 31 August, on Apple iTunes BooksGoogle Books and Kobo Books! Find out more about it including availability, pricing, compatible devices and screenshots on the BIrdway website: http://www.birdway.com.au/birdphotographersdiary01.htm.

Ian's Book

Ian’s Book

With the increasing abundance of excellent bird photos on the internet, I am finding it more difficult to sell photos so moving into publishing is important for the future of my Birdway website and the Bird of the Week newsletter. Diary of a Bird Photographer contains the first 341 Bird of the Week postings spanning the period 2002-2009, contains more than 500 photos and 80,000 words – the length of an average novel. Depending on sales, l plan to publish 2010-2014 as another book.

With a recommended retail price of 8.00AUD, 7USD, 6EUR or the equivalent in your local currency it represents great value. By buying it for yourself and/or your friends or family and recommending it to others, you’ll earn my gratitude and show your appreciation for the bird of the week! Maybe you could forward this email to anyone who you think might be interested: that would be wonderful.

Greetings
Ian

PS Next bird of the week, a special parrot and the random bird of the week, should be out later today.

**************************************************
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:

Seem’s as though Ian has written a book. Here is his newsletter telling about his “Diary of a Bird Photographer!”

His regular weekly newsletter – Ian’s Bird of the Week – will be published tomorrow.

Sunday Inspiration – Wren-Babblers, Crombecs and Bush Warblers

Mountain Tailorbird (Phyllergates cucullatus) by© Wiki

Mountain Tailorbird (Phyllergates cucullatus) by© Wiki

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16 NKJV)

I trust you are enjoying this Sunday Inspiration series of the Lord’s Creation of the PASSERIFORMES – Passerines (Songbirds) Order. This week’s collection of little Passerines are from three families. Of the 130 families in the Order, we have arrived at numbers 76, 77, and 78. By now, you have see over half the Songbird species in the world. Of the 40 Orders of Birds, the Passerines are the largest.

Scaly-breasted Wren-babbler (Pnoepyga albiventer) ©©

Scaly-breasted Wren-babbler (Pnoepyga albiventer) ©©

Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. (Acts 9:18 NKJV)

Pnoepygidae – Wren-babbler has only five species and are endemic to southern and south eastern Asia. The genus contains four species. The genus has long been placed in the babbler family Timaliidae. A 2009 study of the DNA of the families Timaliidae and the Old World warblers (Sylviidae) found no support for the placement of the genus in either family, prompting the authors to erect a new monogeneric family, the Pnoepygidae.

Cape Grassbird (Sphenoeacus afer) ©WikiC

Cape Grassbird (Sphenoeacus afer) ©WikiC

Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. (1 Chronicles 16:9 KJV)

Macrosphenidae – Crombecs, African Warblers family has eighteen (18) members in its family. The African warblers are a newly erected family, Macrosphenidae, of songbirds. Most of the species were formerly placed in the Old World warbler family Sylviidae, although one species, the Rockrunner, was placed in the babbler family Timaliidae. A series of molecular studies of the Old World warblers and other bird families in the superfamily Sylvioidea (which includes the larks, swallows and tits) found that the African warblers were not part of the family Sylviidae but were instead an early offshoot (basal) to the entire Sylvioidea clade.

Chestnut-crowned Bush Warbler (Cettia major) ©WikiC

Chestnut-crowned Bush Warbler (Cettia major) ©WikiC

The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge. (Proverbs 14:18 KJV)

Cettiidae – Cettia Bush Warblers and Allies total up 32 species.

Cettiidae is a newly validated family of small insectivorous songbirds (“warblers”) It contains the typical bush warblers (Cettia) and their relatives. As common name, cettiid warblers is usually used.

Its members occur mainly in Asia and Africa, ranging into Wallacea and Europe. The monarch warblers (Erythrocercus), Tit Hylia Pholidornis and Green Hylia (Hylia) are exclusively found in the forests of Africa. The pseudo-tailorbirds, tesias and stubtails, as well as Tickellia and Abroscopus warblers are mostly found in the forests of south and southeastern Asia, with one species reaching as far north as Japan and Siberia. The genus Cettia has the widest distribution of the family, reaching from Western Europe across Asia to the Pacific islands of Fiji and Palau. Most of the species in the genus are sedentary, but the Asian Stubtail is wholly migratory and the Japanese Bush Warbler and Cetti’s Warbler are partly migratory over much of their range. A few species, such as the Pale-footed Bush Warbler, are altitudinal migrants.

The species are small, stubby birds. Most have moderately long to long tails, while the stubtails and tesias have tiny tails that do not even emerge past their tail retrices. The group is typically clad in dull plumage, often with a line above the eye. Some, like the monarch-warblers (Erythrocercus), are much different in appearance, having areas of bright yellow plumage. (Wikipedia)

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Listen as you watch the birds:

“Bow The Knee” ~ Sheila Vegter and Jacob (her son who is playing the piano and singing)

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Sunday Inspirations

PASSERIFORMES – Passerines (Songbirds)

Pnoepygidae – Wren-babbler

Macrosphenidae – Crombecs, African Warblers

Cettiidae – Cettia Bush Warblers and Allies

Good News

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Pileated Woodpeckers With a Chipmunk, One Singing, and One Eating

Pileated Woodpecker by Lee

Pileated Woodpecker by Lee

‘Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. (Jeremiah 32:17 NKJV)

I always enjoy seeing Pileated Woodpeckers like this one at Circle B Bar Reserve here in the area. This was taken several years ago.

I found these videos on YouTube and they show the Pileated in a different way than we have observed them. Enjoy!

The first one is a YouTube by Dan & Joe. He discovers a chipmunk:

He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, And stretched out the heaven by His understanding. (Jeremiah 51:15 NKJV)

Here’s another video of a Pileated Woodpecker Singing by Pureimaginationvideo:

This last one has a very good close-up of a Pileated digging for Grubs by Martyn Stewart:

But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation. Thus you shall say to them: “The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.” He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion. (Jeremiah 10:10-12 NKJV)

I have been reading through Jeremiah and these verse caught my attention.

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Birds of the World

Picidae – Woodpeckers Family

Who Paints the Leaves?

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“Flag That Bird!” (Part 5)

Black Swan ©WikiC
“Flag That Bird!”  (Part 5)

by James J. S. Johnson

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.  (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

This is the fifth and last article in this “Flag that bird!” series, on various birds that appear on national flags.  (In other words, this is this mini-series’ “swan song”.)

All of us know enthusiasm-fueled folks who proudly launch into a new project – yet they soon falter, when the initial excitement fizzles, and they somehow fail to employ the prolonged patience to follow a long-term project through to completion.  (But, as we all know, “a job half-done is a job undone”.)  Thankfully, this blogsite mini-series, on “flag birds”, has now reached its proper closure!  Of course, there are other flags (such as state and provincial flags) that depict birds, but this set of articles has predominantly focused on birds portrayed on national flags.  Accordingly, as promised before, this final sequel features two huge birds, a swan and a crane, plus another bird whose identity is less than fully certain.

For a quick review, these vexillology-related birds were previously featured, as follows:

Part 1, posted at Flag That Bird – Part 1  — Belgium’s Wallonian Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus); Portugal’s Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis); Burma’s Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus); and Dominica’s Sisserou Parrot (Amazona imperialis);

Part 2, posted at Flag That Bird – Part 2  — the British Antarctic Territory’s Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri), and the Saint Helena Plover, a/k/a Saint Helena’s skinny-legged “Wirebird” (Charadrius sanctaehelenae);

Part 3, posted at Flag That Bird – Part 3  — Kiribati’s Great Frigatebird Emperor Penguin (Fregata minor); and

Part 4, posted at Flag That Bird – Part 4  — Papua New Guinea’s Raggiana Bird-of-Paradise (Paradisaea raggiana, f/k/a Gerrus paradisaea), and the ubiquitous Dove, best illustrated by the common pigeon, a/k/a Rock Dove (Columbia livia).

In this article, three remaining birds will be introduced:  (1) the black swan of Western Australia (Cygnus atratus); (2) the black and white “piping shrike” of South Australia, the exact identity of which is questionable, although this article will assume it is the same bird as the Australian magpie, perhaps more particularly the subspecies known as Cracticus tibicen telonocua, f/k/a Gymnorhina tibicen leuconota (e.g., by explorer Charles Sturt); and (3) Uganda’s crested crane (Balearica regulorum gibbericeps).

Black  Swan (Cygnus atratus).

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) Ruffled ©WikiC

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) Ruffled ©WikiC

Western Australia’s Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) appears on the official state flag of Western Australia (sometimes contracted as “Westralia”), which occupies the western third (i.e., almost a million square miles) of that island-continent country.  The Black Swan also presents prominently on Western Australia’s official coat-of-arms, flanked by two kangaroos.

Flag that bird - Flag of Western Australia

The Black Swan is well-named – their feathers are black (or black-grey, depending on how the sun shines on them), with a few white flight feathers.  Their bills are mostly bright scarlet, with a whitish bar near the tip.  And they are huge birds – adults can weigh between 8 to almost 20 pounds!  The wingspan breadth is between 5 to 6½ feet, like the length of a human lying down!  Their babies (called “cygnets”), however, are fuzzy white chicks, with dark bills, cute as they can be.

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) with Cygnets ©WashPost

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) with Cygnets ©WashPost

The first time that I ever saw Black Swans, excluding the confined context of a zoo’s aviary, was at The Broadmoor hotel complex in Colorado (located at the edge of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, within view of Pike’s Peak – an area perfect for viewing magpies).  But the Black Swan is not native to North America – it is an Aussie native.

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) with Cygnets ©Broadmoor

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) with Cygnets ©Broadmoor

Like other swans (e.g., the Trumpeter Swan, described at Trumpeting A Wildlife Conservation Comeback, its neck is S-curved and very long – in fact, the Black Swan has the longest neck of any swan.

Australian Magpie (Cracticus tibicen, a/k/a Gymnorhina tibicen).

The official state flag of South Australia features a bird called a “piping shrike”, but what bird is that?  Many have analytically identified it as the species now called the Australian Magpie, (Cracticus tibicen), perhaps more particularly the subspecies once called the “White-backed Crow Shrike”, which his now called the white-backed magpie (Cracticus tibicen telonocua, f/k/a Gymnorhina tibicen leuconota).

Flag that bird - Flag of Western Australia - Magpie

The Australian Magpie has several subspecies nowadays, nine according to some taxonomists – although ornithologists know that such lump-or-split classifications are vulnerable to slippery subjectivities.  [For an insight into the arbitrary subjectivity of “lumper”-versus-“splitter” taxonomy, see Footnote #2 within http://www.icr.org/article/valuing-gods-variety .]

Australia Magpie on Dead Branch ©WikiC

Australia Magpie on Dead Branch ©WikiC

The Australian Magpie is deemed a type of “butcherbird” as opposed to the “corvid” category that includes the “magpies” of Europe and America.  The Australian Magpie is famous for its singing, entertaining (those with ears to hear) with a complex repertoire of vocalizations.  The black-and-white opportunist has habituated to human-dominated habitats, such as the agricultural fields of farms, gardens, and even wooded parklands.

Australia Magpie ©WikiC

Australia Magpie ©WikiC

The Australian Magpie is not a picky eater – its diet includes both plants and animals.  Its preferred diet, however, is dominated by a variety of larval and adult invertebrates, such as insects (like ants, moths, beetles, bees, wasps, cockroaches) and arachnids (like spiders, scorpions), as well as earthworms, millipedes.  The Australian Magpie is also known to eat some small vertebrates, such as rodents (like mice), lizards (like skinks), and/or amphibians (like frogs and toads).

Some compare the problem-solving resourcefulness and the brash cockiness – of this bird – to the national “reputation” displayed by many Aussie ex-patriots.  (Maybe Ken Ham should set the record straight on that topic!)  The Australian Magpie is quite a clever problem-solver  — it has been observed breaking off the stingers of bees and wasps, before swallowing such otherwise-dangerous bugs!  The Australian Magpie is not timid – it will defend its territory against raptors trespassing therein, such as Brown Goshawks.

Crested Crane (Balearica regulorum gibbericeps).

The official flag of Uganda sports a stylized depiction of a Crested Crane, a/k/a “East African Crowned Crane” (Balearica regulorum gibbericeps), which is a subspecies of the Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum).  The same crane appears on the Ugandan coat-of-arms.

The Ugandan coat-of-arms provides a more realistic picture of a Crested Crane.

Ugandan coat-of-arms Crested Crane

The East African Crowned Crane (a/k/a Crested Crane) is a tall bird, standing up to 4 feet tall!  It can weigh 6 to 8 pounds, while sporting a wingspan breadth of 6½ feet.  The plumage is dominated by slate-grey feathers, with wing feathers of white and chestnut orange.  The Crested Crane’s black head is adorned by white cheeks (accented with red) and a showy 3D “fan” crest, of golden top feathers, somewhat resembling fireworks.

Grey Crowned Crane ©WikiC

Grey Crowned Crane ©WikiC

Cranes – of various species – are famous for their long necks and long thin legs. Unlike herons (which fly with their necks “pulled back”), the Crested Crane (like other cranes) flies with its neck straightened and outstretched.  Like other cranes, the Crested Crane is gregarious – their aggregate nesting territories may host a flock of up to 200 residents.  These cranes are typically monogamous and territorial.  These socially stable birds are known to live as long as 20 to even 40 years of age.

In the wild, the Created Crane eats a mix of seeds (such as grains), other plant materials, insects, and worms.  Other foods eaten include eggs and fish, and even small lizards and frogs.  This diet is similar to the diet of other cranes (e.g., Sandhill Crane, Whooping Crane, Common Crane, etc.) around the world.  Cranes routinely eat whatever is available and convenient, so cranes are classified as “opportunist” feeders – consuming small mammals (like rodents), fish, snails, amphibians (like frogs), worms, insects, seeds (like grains, nuts, acorns), berries, root vegetables, and other plant materials (such as leaves.  As a matter of biome ecology, most cranes prefer wetlands, such as mudflats and other shorelands, or in wide open fields, such as prairies.

Common Crane in Estonia ©WikiC

Common Crane in Estonia Wetland ©WikiC

The “Common Crane” (Grus grus) is a cousin the these African cranes.  The Common Crane has a summer range, typically boreal forests (called taiga in Russia) that covered most of the top half of Eurasia, with blotches of winter ranges in Europe (Spain), Asia (e.g., China), and parts of Africa.

The zoologist George Cansdale [see his ALL THE ANIMALS OF THE BIBLE LANDS, pages 158-159] – after analyzing the mix of Biblical, ornithological, and biogeographical evidence – concludes that the Hebrew noun ‘agûr (e.g., in Jeremiah 8:7 & Isaiah 38:14) refers to the noisy Common Crane (Grus grus), an identification that the learned Hebrew scholar John Joseph Owens concurs with [see his ANALYTICAL KEY TO THE OLD TESTAMENT, volume 4, pages 116 & 242].  Matching the ‘agûr of Isaiah 38:14, the Common Crane is clamorously noisy, especially when agitated.  Cranes are also phenological migrants, a trait that accords with Jeremiah 8:7.

A review of our introductory verse provides another insight, the contrast between patience and pride:

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.  (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

In Ecclesiastes 7:8 the Hebrew adjective translated “patient” is ’erek – it denotes someone or something that is prolonged, drawn out, slow, longsuffering.  Accordingly, to be “patient in spirit” is to be willing to wait one’s turn, according to God’s providential line-up (and timing).  A humble person doesn’t butt in line; he or she patiently waits in the queue, for his or her turn.

In Ecclesiastes 7:8 the Hebrew adjective translated “proud” is gabah  — it denotes someone or something that is high, haughty, or high-minded, in some contexts what we sometimes call “uppity”.  Accordingly, to be “proud in spirit” is to regard one’s self as higher that one should, which is the opposite of what God (through Paul) commands us to be:

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each [i.e., all of us] esteem others better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  (Philippians 2:3-4)

Interestingly, humility and patience go well together, because accomplishing a long-term project often requires interacting successfully with other people, and getting other people to coöperate with you (so that your goals can be furthered) routinely requires you to serve their needs and goals.  This is called mutual symbiosis when we see it in birds; we call it “win-win” coöperation when humans do it.  In win-win situations the coöperating parties both further their respective goals, so their interactive relationship is not one-sided. (Contrast this with “parasite”-like people, who habitually take, but won’t give).

Unsurprisingly those who are haughty-minded, being selfish, are slow to appreciate this life principle, because “uppity” people cannot understand or accept the law of Acts 20:35, that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (quoting the Lord Jesus Christ Himself).  Consequently, many who could help them, with their project checklists, may shy away  –  why host a parasite?   And so it is that many who are haughty are proud to assertively start – yet don’t finish – complex projects that require prolonged patience.   Why?  Part of the cost of succeeding was the cost of benefiting others who contribute to the project.  The end is predictable:  failure and shame.

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  (Luke 14:28)

A sober lesson for long-term projects (including long-term relationships)!  Yet, this is a lesson much needed in America, nowadays, where impatient and high-minded “get-rich-quick” tactics all-too-often end in disappointment and discord.  (This author has seen many illustrations of this in business bankruptcy cases and in employment law contexts.)

In sum, thankfully, this “flags” the end of this mini-series on national vexillology-related birds.

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“Flag That Bird!”(Part 1)(Part 2)(Part 3)(Part 4) 

Orni-Theology

James J. S. Johnson’s Articles

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Golden Eagle Returns After Long Voyage Around The World

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC3

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC3

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of GOLD in pictures of SILVER.” (Proverbs 25:11)” 

Golden Eagle ©PD

Golden Eagle ©PD

Someone once told me to read one of the Proverbs each day for a month. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs, and that way we can read the Book of Proverbs 12 times during the year. You know, boys and girls, Solomon wrote about 3000 proverbs and he was the wisest man who ever lived (not counting Jesus, of course). Solomon was wiser than the wisest owl they tell me. Try reading a chapter each day and before you know it, you will gain some of Solomon’s wisdom.

Anyways, I just love the verse about apples and gold and silver. Why it reminds me delicious food and color and valuable metals. Everything that God created, He created for the benefit of you and me. He got this world ready in six literal 24 hour days and then God rested on the 7th day. He calls that day, the Sabbath. The word simply means “rest.” After my journey around the world, I can tell you that I need to rest and rest and rest some more. Don’t you just love to stay in your room where it is cold and dark and rest? Hey, why not get in your room and curl up with the best Book on this planet. This Bible came from another world. Did you know that? Look at this next Bible verse:

“For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in Heaven.” (Psalm 119:89)” The Bible came from Heaven and it’s going to be around forever!!!

The Bible starts off with these words: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) God created time: “In the beginning.” That’s almost like baseball: In the big inning. (Yes, I was trying to make a joke) God created space: “heaven” and God created matter: “the earth.” That’s was this Universe is comprised of: time and space and matter. So cool…

In the weeks ahead, I will share with you guys some of the amazing things I enjoyed on my journey around the world. One of the things I really enjoy is food. I love to eat. How about you? Did you know that God created green plants with the ability to make their own food. The scientists call this photo, photosynthesis or something like that. The green plants, with chlorophyll, can somehow use the light from the sun to make starch and sugar and stuff like that. I just love to eat.

Of course, if I eat too much I will get big like the ostrich. Those birds are so heavy, they cannot fly anywhere. I don’t want to be known as the huge eagle that can’t get off the ground. Well, boys and girls, I am going to leave my nest for a short while and find something to eat. The Creator God of the Bible has created me with eyes that can see very far away. Until next time, Golden Eagle says God bless you everyone and have a fun, filled, fantastic day. This is after all, Saturday, where i am off for my next feast. See ya!!!

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Lee’s Addition:

Golden Eagle, a.k.a., Baron B., is beginning a new blog called Bibleworld Adventures, Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver. We have been helping him set up his new “nest” and he will now post under the name “Golden Adventures.”

He will not only continue the Golden Eagle articles for the younger people, but will also be writing articles about the Bible, Birds, Creation Science, History, and the Kid’s Corner where the Golden Eagle  adventures can be found.

More Golden Eagle articles at his new site.

We wish him well in his new adventure and look forward to sharing his Golden Eagle articles with you here. The fact that Golden Eagle is a bird, I have had the privilege of teaching how to blog. Birds don’t even know how to hold a pencil, let alone know how to type. That big beak of his does work okay on the keys though. As Golden Eagle, “learns the ropes,” we will help him and not desert him.

Lord Bless you, Baron, (a.k.a. Golden Eagle) as you venture in to the world of blogging.

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Bibleworld Adventures

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