Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed – Chapter 5

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) ©WikiC

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) ©WikiC

Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed

The Bluebird and the Robin

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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CHAPTER 5. Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed.

Running over to the Old Orchard very early in the morning for a little gossip with Jenny Wren and his other friends there had become a regular thing with Peter Rabbit. He was learning a great many things, and some of them were most surprising.

Now two of Peter’s oldest and best friends in the Old Orchard were Winsome Bluebird and Welcome Robin. Every spring they arrived pretty nearly together, though Winsome Bluebird usually was a few days ahead of Welcome Robin. This year Winsome had arrived while the snow still lingered in patches. He was, as he always is, the herald of sweet Mistress Spring. And when Peter had heard for the first time Winsome’s soft, sweet whistle, which seemed to come from nowhere in particular and from everywhere in general, he had kicked up his long hind legs from pure joy. Then, when a few days later he had heard Welcome Robin’s joyous message of “Cheer-up! Cheer-up! Cheer-up! Cheer-up! Cheer!” from the tiptop of a tall tree, he had known that Mistress Spring really had arrived.

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Peter loves Winsome Bluebird and Welcome Robin, just as everybody else does, and he had known them so long and so well that he thought he knew all there was to know about them. He would have been very indignant had anybody told him he didn’t.

“Those cousins don’t look much alike, do they?” remarked Jenny Wren, as she poked her head out of her house to gossip with Peter.

“What cousins?” demanded Peter, staring very hard in the direction in which Jenny Wren was looking.

“Those two sitting on the fence over there. Where are your eyes, Peter?” replied Jenny rather sharply.

Peter stared harder than ever. On one post sat Winsome Bluebird, and on another post sat Welcome Robin. “I don’t see anybody but Winsome and Welcome, and they are not even related,” replied Peter with a little puzzled frown.

“Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut, Peter!” exclaimed Jenny Wren. “Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut! Who told you any such nonsense as that? Of course they are related. They are cousins. I thought everybody knew that. They belong to the same family that Melody the Thrush and all the other Thrushes belong to. That makes them all cousins.”

“What?” exclaimed Peter, looking as if he didn’t believe a word of what Jenny Wren had said. Jenny repeated, and still Peter looked doubtful.

Then Jenny lost her temper, a thing she does very easily. “If you don’t believe me, go ask one of them,” she snapped, and disappeared inside her house, where Peter could hear her scolding away to herself.

The more he thought of it, the more this struck Peter as good advice. So he hopped over to the foot of the fence post on which Winsome Bluebird was sitting. “Jenny Wren says that you and Welcome Robin are cousins. She doesn’t know what she is talking about, does she?” asked Peter.

Winsome chuckled. It was a soft, gentle chuckle. “Yes,” said he, nodding his head, “we are. You can trust that little busybody to know what she is talking about, every time. I sometimes think she knows more about other people’s affairs than about her own. Welcome and I may not look much alike, but we are cousins just the same. Don’t you think Welcome is looking unusually fine this spring?”

“Not a bit finer than you are yourself, Winsome,” replied Peter politely. “I just love that sky-blue coat of yours. What is the reason that Mrs. Bluebird doesn’t wear as bright a coat as you do?”

“Go ask Jenny Wren,” chuckled Winsome Bluebird, and before Peter could say another word he flew over to the roof of Farmer Brown’s house.

Back scampered Peter to tell Jenny Wren that he was sorry he had doubted her and that he never would again. Then he begged Jenny to tell him why it was that Mrs. Bluebird was not as brightly dressed as was Winsome.

“Mrs. Bluebird, like most mothers, is altogether too busy to spend much time taking care of her clothes; and fine clothes need a lot of care,” replied Jenny. “Besides, when Winsome is about he attracts all the attention and that gives her a chance to slip in and out of her nest without being noticed. I don’t believe you know, Peter Rabbit, where Winsome’s nest is.”

Peter had to admit that he didn’t, although he had tried his best to find out by watching Winsome. “I think it’s over in that little house put up by Farmer Brown’s boy,” he ventured. “I saw both Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird go in it when they first came, and I’ve seen Winsome around it a great deal since, so I guess it is there.”

“So you guess it is there!” mimicked Jenny Wren. “Well, your guess is quite wrong, Peter; quite wrong. As a matter of fact, it is in one of those old fence posts. But just which one I am not going to tell you. I will leave that for you to find out. Mrs. Bluebird certainly shows good sense. She knows a good house when she sees it. The hole in that post is one of the best holes anywhere around here. If I had arrived here early enough I would have taken it myself. But Mrs. Bluebird already had her nest built in it and four eggs there, so there was nothing for me to do but come here. Just between you and me, Peter, I think the Bluebirds show more sense in nest building than do their cousins the Robins. There is nothing like a house with stout walls and a doorway just big enough to get in and out of comfortably.”

Peter nodded quite as if he understood all about the advantages of a house with walls. “That reminds me,” said he. “The other day I saw Welcome Robin getting mud and carrying it away. Pretty soon he was joined by Mrs. Robin, and she did the same thing. They kept it up till I got tired of watching them. What were they doing with that mud?”

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

“Building their nest, of course, stupid,” retorted Jenny. “Welcome Robin, with that black head, beautiful russet breast, black and white throat and yellow bill, not to mention the proud way in which he carries himself, certainly is a handsome fellow, and Mrs. Robin is only a little less handsome. How they can be content to build the kind of home they do is more than I can understand. People think that Mr. Wren and I use a lot of trash in our nest. Perhaps we do, but I can tell you one thing, and that is it is clean trash. It is just sticks and clean straws, and before I lay my eggs I see to it that my nest is lined with feathers. More than this, there isn’t any cleaner housekeeper than I am, if I do say it.

“Welcome Robin is a fine looker and a fine singer, and everybody loves him. But when it comes to housekeeping, he and Mrs. Robin are just plain dirty. They make the foundation of their nest of mud,—plain, common, ordinary mud. They cover this with dead grass, and sometimes there is mighty little of this over the inside walls of mud. I know because I’ve seen the inside of their nest often. Anybody with any eyes at all can find their nest. More than once I’ve known them to have their nest washed away in a heavy rain, or have it blown down in a high wind. Nothing like that ever happens to Winsome Bluebird or to me.”

Jenny disappeared inside her house, and Peter waited for her to come out again. Welcome Robin flew down on the ground, ran a few steps, and then stood still with his head on one side as if listening. Then he reached down and tugged at something, and presently out of the ground came a long, wriggling angleworm. Welcome gulped it down and ran on a few steps, then once more paused to listen. This time he turned and ran three or four steps to the right, where he pulled another worm out of the ground.

“He acts as if he heard those worms in the ground,” said Peter, speaking aloud without thinking.

“He does,” said Jenny Wren, poking her head out of her doorway just as Peter spoke. “How do you suppose he would find them when they are in the ground if he didn’t hear them?”

“Can you hear them?” asked Peter.

“I’ve never tried, and I don’t intend to waste my time trying,” retorted Jenny. “Welcome Robin may enjoy eating them, but for my part I want something smaller and daintier, young grasshoppers, tender young beetles, small caterpillars, bugs and spiders.”

Peter had to turn his head aside to hide the wry face he just had to make at the mention of such things as food. “Is that all Welcome Robin eats?” he asked innocently.

“I should say not,” laughed Jenny. “He eats a lot of other kinds of worms, and he just dearly loves fruit like strawberries and cherries and all sorts of small berries. Well, I can’t stop here talking any longer. I’m going to tell you a secret, Peter, if you’ll promise not to tell.”

Of course Peter promised, and Jenny leaned so far down that Peter wondered how she could keep from falling as she whispered, “I’ve got seven eggs in my nest, so if you don’t see much of me for the next week or more, you’ll know why. I’ve just got to sit on those eggs and keep them warm.”

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Listen to the story read.

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  1. What bird family do the Bluebird and Robin belong to?
  2. Why is it good that Mrs. Bluebird isn’t brightly dressed?
  3. When the Robin runs and then stops, what is he doing? What might he find to eat?
  4. What colors are the Robin’s head, breast, throat and bill?
  5. What does the Robin’s song sound like?
  6. Should we have an attitude like the Robin’s Song?

“Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. (James 5:13 NASB)

“A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. (Proverbs 15:13 NASB)

“Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 NASB)

 

Links:

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Links:

Chebec the Least Flycatcher, Dear Me the Phoebe - Burgess Bird Book ©©

 

  Next Chapter (An Old Friend In a New Home. Coming Soon)

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Savannah Sparrow by Ray Barlow

  

 

  Wordless Birds

 

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Fly With An Open Bible

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

Fly With An Open Bible by Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle ©PD

Golden Eagle ©PD

Boys and girls of all ages this is GOLDEN EAGLE circling in for a landing on this beautiful world that Jesus Christ created. To learn anything, to understand anything, we must have an open Bible! The other day, I heard of a 24 year-old lady that had never read the Word of God. She had no idea that the rainbow had any meaning whatsoever. Do you know the meaning behind the rainbow?  Get your Bible out and open it to Genesis chapter 9. There you will find the meaning to the rainbow.

You humans should thank God that you can read and appreciate beauty. Although I write these things once in a while, you do know that birds cannot really write and read. However, God created you to do those things and so much more.

“Blessed (happy) is the man…his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” Psalm 1:1-3

The Word of God will bring you true success. It is no accident that you are presently reading this article. I have chosen to write this and you have chosen to read it. However, even though we both have a free will and can do what we want to do, Jesus Christ is in control of every single thing that happens in the entire Universe. He is in control of everything that you and I do, say, and think! Why even a sparrow doesn’t fall out of a tree without the Heavenly Father.

The Key to True Knowledge

The Key to True Knowledge

The question for you to answer is this: ARE YOU SAVED? You are either saved or lost. This has nothing to do with are you good or bad because the Bible says that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) You’re made in the “image of God” and you will live forever somewhere according to the Bible. You can go to Heaven if you trust Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. When Jesus died on the cross, He shed His blood and paid for your sins as your substitute. He stood in our place and took the punishment from God the Father so that you could be forgiven! You must personally accept Jesus by faith. You know, no one can eat your breakfast for you. You individually eat your breakfast and then your body makes use of the food to give you energy for the day. You must personally receive Jesus into your life!

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name…” (John 1:12)

Golden Eagle has learned a few things as I have soared over this planet. You must study things with an open Bible. The Bible tells us where the first humans came from! You know that scientist have landed a washing machine size robot on a comet the other day. That thing has been flying around for 10 years and just arrived at its destination! That shows us how big this universe is. The comet is over 300 million miles away from Earth. The people who sent that robot to the comet are trying to find out the answer to the question: WHERE DID WE COME FROM. And that is a great question. But, they will never find the answer until they open their Bibles and begin to read the first few chapters in the book of Genesis. God created Adam on the sixth day of Creation week. He took the elements in the earth, the dust of the earth and “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)

When you study Science or History or God or whatever, you need to open your Bible and see what God has to say!

The Earth rotates around the sun. We should rotate around Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The sun gives light to the earth and Jesus is the Light of the world. Tonight, you will fall asleep and in the morning you will wake up. That is God’s way of trying to teach us that sleep is like death, but you wake up in the morning and that is like the resurrection day!

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) by Margaret Sloan

Monarch Butterfly by Margaret Sloan

A worm goes into a cocoon and comes out a beautiful butterfly! Metamorphosis, a change teaches us that Jesus Christ will give us a new body in the future if we are saved! Humans sweat because of Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden! The Earth is covered with water because of Noah’s flood. In fact, four-fifths of the Earth is covered with water if you count the oceans, the seas, the rivers, the streams, and the lakes!

Every snowflake is different, every blade of grass is different, every bird is different! And each one of you are unique and different. That is how God has made you! We could talk about this forever! In fact, God’s people in Heaven will talk about this and learn about God and His Universe forever. You will have a real body and be in a real Heaven with real GOLDEN STREETS!

“AND THE BUILDING OF THE WALL OF IT WAS OF JASPER: AND THE CITY WAS PURE GOLD, LIKE UNTO CLEAR GLASS…AND THE STREET OF THE CITY WAS PURE GOLD, AS IT WERE TRANSPARENT GLASS. (Revelation 21)

The question you need to ask yourself is this: will you be in Heaven with Jesus Christ in that day? And remember we are only one heartbeat away from eternity. Why not ask Jesus to save you this very moment? “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

Thanks for flying with me. And thanks for having an open Bible! Read some of God’s Word today! I would love to fly to the comet later today, but I know I will not be able to get beyond the atmosphere, so I might just head back to my roost for the night and gaze into the starry heavens. You never know what you might see! Have a great one…

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Golden Eagle

Wordless Birds

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Sunday Inspiration – Variety

The photos this week are from the Pin It (Pinterest) website. Thought sharing some of their great variety of bird photos would be enjoyable to watch. The ones selected do not even begin to show the photos they have in the various topics.

As mentioned in the latest article by Emma Foster, the Lord gives varying gifts, just as the Lord created the birds with such variety. May we use our varied talents to serve our Fantastic Lord and Creator.

“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:3-8 NASB)

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“For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? (1 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV)

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“The Love Of God” – ©The Hyssongs

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Sunday Inspirations

Assurance: The Certainty of Salvation

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Swallow-tailed and Palkachupa Cotinga

PAS-Coti Swallow-tailed Cotinga (Phibalura flavirostris)  ©WikiC

PAS-Coti Swallow-tailed Cotinga (Phibalura flavirostris)
©WikiC

While working on the latest I.O.C. Version 4.4 update (which is now complete), this bird caught my attention.

Wikipedia has this in their article about this neat bird: “The swallow-tailed cotinga (Phibalura flavirostris) is a species of passerine bird. As suggested by its common name, it has traditionally been considered a member of the cotinga family. Following the recent removal of several members from this family (now placed in Tityridae), the placement of this aberrant species is unclear. It is therefore considered incertae sedis by SACC.”

What this means that in a recent previous update, they took this bird out of the Cotinga family and placed it in an Uncertain Family holding place “Incertae Sedis” by itself. Now with this update, they put this one back in with the Cotingas, but have given it the “Phibalura” genus name. (Okay, so what is so interesting about that?)

Palkachupa Cotinga (Phibalura boliviana) ©©Benjamin-Skolnik_U

Palkachupa Cotinga (Phibalura boliviana) ©©Benjamin-Skolnik_U

Continuing Wikipedia: “Currently, it is monotypic within the genus Phibalura, but it has been suggested that the taxon boliviana should be considered a separate species, the Bolivian swallow-tailed cotinga or Palkachupa cotinga (P. boliviana). The nominate taxon (P. f. flavirostris) is found in Atlantic forest in south-eastern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and Argentina (Misiones only). The taxon boliviana, which only was rediscovered in 2000 (after 98 years without any records), is restricted to the vicinity of Apolo in Bolivia. Both populations are threatened by habitat loss.”

“Eighty percent of the Palkachupa Cotinga’s habitat has been destroyed by clearing and burning forest for firewood and pasture; unfortunately, this destruction is ongoing. Parts of the cotinga’s former range are now completely treeless. Nesting success in remaining habitat is low; predation by jays and severe weather are the biggest causes of breeding failure.” (American Bird Conservancy)

It appears that the sub-species of the Swallow-tailed, the now added Palkachupa disappeared from sight for over 98 years. I find that amazing, but considering where it lives, is understandable. That brings to mind some promises from these bird’s Creator.

1) He promised to provide for them. The Lord takes care of many things without man’s help.

Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. (Genesis 1:30 NKJV)

And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.’ (Deuteronomy 11:15 NKJV)

They give drink to every beast of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst. By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. He waters the hills from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. (Psalms 104:11-13 NKJV)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NKJV)

2) We can learn from them – to trust their Creator who knows exactly where they are. We or the bird may be out of sight of man, but never from God. The Bible says the Lord will never leave us.

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

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5 KJV)

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”(Revelation 4:11 NKJV)

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Articles about the Swallow-tailed

Birds of the World

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Fantastic Week-end

Purple Gallinule Reaching Circle B

Purple Gallinule Reaching Circle B

We greatly enjoyed this past week-end. Dr. James J. S. Johnson, from Institute For Creation Research, who writes for this blog, came to speak at our church. We had not met him personally and so this was a time of getting to know him.

Dan and I, Dr. Jim (my name for him) and Golden Eagle (Baron) went birdwatching on Saturday. We took him to our favorite birding spot here, Circle B Bar Reserve. We saw 31 species, several “life birds” for him and one “life bird” for me, an Orange-crowned Warbler.

The Birders at Circle B Bar Reserve

The Birders at Circle B Bar Reserve

After we left there, we went to Lake Morton. I wanted two things to happen, but it didn’t. Was hoping to let them feed the Wood Stork over there and see a Wood Duck. Not to be. We saw one Wood Stork, but he must have already been fed. We did get to feed some of our other friends there. All total, we saw at least 19 species there. Also, the Lord prepared a great day for us. (Rained good part of Sunday, but Saturday was beautiful.)

Feeding White Ibises at Lake Morton

Dr Jim Feeding White Ibises at Lake Morton

While describing our trip later, I misused the word “boring” which got mistaken. What I meant was that compared other visits to those two places, the number of species were less than normal. Birdwatching adventures are never “boring.” How can they when you are out enjoying the Lord’s great creation? Amazing! Fabulous! Superb! Those are better words.

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; (Job 12:7 NKJV)

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:11 NKJV)

As Dr. James told us in his presentations, the Lord uses so much variety, provision, and design in each of His created beings, humans included. If we just slow down, God’s hand can clearly be seen. (my paraphrase) Just with the birds, the wing structure, specialized beaks, programmed travels, interconnection between bird and plant, and on and on. Oh, Praise the Lord!

Anhinga Lake Morton by Dan

Anhinga Lake Morton by Dan

 

I am including the list of birds seen at both places. Also, a short video of a Snowy Egret using his foot to stir up something to eat. Wonder how that habit came about? Could it be that the Lord programmed that in it because of promising to provide for them?

“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? (Luke 12:24 NKJV)

Also, Dr. Johnson’s talks showed slides with examples of these points. (From an excerpt)

Witnesses for God’s Truth – “This presentation reviews 5 different kinds of witnesses for God’s truth, each of which takes away excuses from anyone who pretends to have no witness of God and His glory:  (1) the physical creation, including our own physical bodies; (2) the uniqueness of humanity; (3) Scripture; (4) Christ’s incarnation; and (5) one more witness that we all are accountable for, and this one is quite scary!”

Lessons from the Zoo –  “Did you know that the animal kingdom, in all of its diversity, reveals God’s creative genius and glory in uncountable ways?  Why does God like and create variety in creation? How do the various animals living today, as well as other animals (like dinosaurs) which lived in earlier times, confirm the Bible’s account of creation – and refute Darwin’s evolutionary “natural selection” idea? This presentation provides a series of examples of big and little animals that display God’s handiwork in amazing ways. Mammals, reptiles, insects, spiders, fish, shellfish, jellyfish, and more!

Tricolored-Snowy-Great Egret-White Ibis at Circle B

Tricolored-Snowy-Great Egret-White Ibis at Circle B

Circle B Bar Reserve, Polk, US-FL
Nov 8, 2014 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Us, Dr J and Baron – 31 species

Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Anhinga
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill  6
Black Vulture  50
Turkey Vulture  50
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk
Purple Gallinule
Common Gallinule
Stilt Sandpiper
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Gray Catbird
Orange-crowned Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Boat-tailed Grackle

Lake Morton, Polk, US-FL
Nov 8, 2014 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM
Us, Dr J. and Baron – 18 species (+1 other taxa)

Mute Swan
Black Swan
Black-necked Swan
Muscovy Duck (Established Feral)
Mallard (Domestic type)
Blue-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Anhinga
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
White Ibis
Common Gallinule
American Coot
Laughing Gull
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
Blue Jay
Palm Warbler
Boat-tailed Grackle

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Sunday Inspiration – Veteran’s Day

Bald Eagle flying by Dave's BirdingPix

Bald Eagle flying by Dave’s BirdingPix

Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. (Deuteronomy 32:7 KJV)

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4 KJV)

Lord Bless all of you as we remember our the military this Veteran’s Day. Many have served and given their all, others are now serving or have served faithfully. We Honor you and Thank You for your service for our country. Other have served their country’s military also. We should remember them also and I am sure they have a similar day. Our’s just happens to be November 11.

The birds chosen this week have either a military item as part of their name or there has been an airplane named after that type of bird.

Happy Veteran Day! Lord Bless You.

 

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“Military Service Medley” – Faith Baptist Orchestra 7-3-11

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Sunday Inspiration

Military Aircraft of the United States with Bird or Bird-Like Names

Sharing The Gospel

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Working On The New Update to I.O.C.

Sulawesi Hornbill (Penelopides exarhatus) LPZoo 3-8-12 by Lee

Sulawesi Hornbill (Penelopides exarhatus)LPZoo by Lee

They have come out with the latest Update and I am again working on updating the blog. This time they added only 13 new species, deleted 2, and made 3 changes to names. But, as lately, they threw another family up in the air to rearrange it. This time it was the Hornbill-Bucerotidae family. It was really reshuffled and they changed some of the genus around.

Here are the new additions:

  • Aztec Rail (Rallus tenuirostris) – Was Subspecies of King Rail
  • Mangrove Rail (Rallus longirostris) – The Old Clapper Rail
  • Clapper Rail (Rallus crepitans) – New Clapper Rail
  • Ridgway’s Rail (Rallus obsoletus) – Formerly California Clapper
  • Sooty Barbet (Caloramphus hayii)- Was Subspecies
  • Blue-eared Barbet (Megalaima duvaucelii) – Removed M. d. australis Subspecies
  • Palkachupa Cotinga (Phibalura boliviana) – Was Subspecies of Swallow-tailed Cotinga
  • Riparian Antbird (Cercomacra fuscicauda)- Was Subspecies
  • Bougainville Whistler (Pachycephala richardsi) – Was Subspecies
  • Black-eared Warbler (Basileuterus melanotis) – Was Subspecies
  • Tacarcuna Warbler (Basileuterus tacarcunae) – Was Subspecies
  • Yungas Warbler (Basileuterus punctipectus)- Was Subspecies
  • Roraiman Warbler (Myiothlypis roraimae)- Was Subspecies
  • Pale Baywing (Agelaioides fringillarius)- Was Subspecies

Deleted:

  • Norfolk Ground Dove
  • White-throated Whistler

Hard to find data yet on these because sites are being updated, just as this one is. Will update when all the 4.4 Version is complete.

Also: Sorry there has not been as many articles lately, but have been dealing with several health issues. The Bronchitis is almost over, now have stitches from skin cancer removal. Physical Therapy is helping. Praise the Lord, it could be a lot worse. It is just that everything came close together. Also, Praise the Lord for the way He created the human body.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. (Psalms 139:14 NKJV)

Birds of the World

Hornbill-Bucerotidae Family

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Barn Swallows, a Nostalgic Reminder of Home

Barn Swallow (same)

Barn Swallow (same)

Barn Swallows, a Nostalgic Reminder of Home

by James J. S. Johnson

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.  (James 4:14-15).

Luzon Bleeding-heart by Dan

Orni-Theology

As daylight slid slowly into nighttime darkness, one warm summer evening in Sweden, I thought I recognized the sleek silhouettes of swallows, flitting and zooming here and there, like aerial fighter pilots, catching hapless insects in the air.  It was too dark, and they were too fast, to positively confirm them as Barn Swallows, but surely that’s what they were.  Little hatchlings, waiting hungrily in mud-nests nearby, likewise appreciated the aerial insect-grabbing of their caring parents.  The day would come, in time, when the hungry nestlings would do the same for their progeny.

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) baby by Neal Addy Gallery

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) baby by Neal Addy Gallery

In Europe one of the common summer migrants is the Swallow (Hirunda rustica), known in America as the Barn Swallow, due to their habit of nesting colonies near the roofs of barns, stables, and other wooden buildings.  Barn swallows are easily recognized by their long tail streamers, narrow and pointed wings, iridescent blue-black upper feather coat, contrasting with a white underside sporting a rusty orange forehead and chin-throat bib.  (The sexes are similar except that the female has shorter tail streamers.)   Like other swallows, the barn swallow is mostly insectivorous, catching bugs on the fly, as it darts and arcs with graceful flight patterns, powered by deep wing-beats.  [See Jürgen Nicolai, Detlef  Singer, & Konrad Wothe, Birds of Britain and Europe (Harper Collins, AD1994; translated by Ian Dawson), page 170.]

One of the most nostalgic folk songs of Scandinavia (especially Sweden) is Hälsa dem därhemma  (“Greet those at Home” – audio and bilingual lyrics at http://treasures2.weebly.com/haumllsa-dem-daumlrhemma.html ), a song about a young sailor aboard a ship, as night falls, homesick for his family and homeland, who sees a flight of migratory swallows.  In song the homesick sailor asks the little swallows (“lilla svala”) to give greetings to “those at home”, including his father, mother, and little brother – and even the green fields that the sailor left behind.  To those of us who have heard it sung, many times and in many places, the emotional recall of days (and homes) gone by pull at our hearts and memories, as we too can think of loved ones we have left behind, one way or another, as we have traveled our life journeys in this busy world.

If swallows could transmit greetings, from us to loved ones now out of reach, what greetings would that be?  The New Testament epistle of James reminds us that we have no control on the day that unfolds us, much less on the many tomorrows that approach our horizons.  But the future is not “up for grabs” – it belongs to God.  It is good to know that our great God sovereignly rules the world — and us therein.

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.  (James 4:14-15).

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) baby by Neal Addy Gallery

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) baby by Neal Addy Gallery

Life has many changes.  Homes come and go.  People come and go  —  even loved ones.

But God is always there and He changes not (Malachi 3:6).  And He prepares a place for us, as a permanent and perfect Home, for that day appointed for our Earth-leaving, which is the day of our true Home-going/Home-coming.  And yet, we are already Home, now, if we belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, because God Himself is our permanent home.  What a wonderful privilege it is to be created by Him, redeemed by Him, and to belong to Him (and to His loved ones) now and forever.

It’s okay to be homesick,  —  and to appreciate the migratory swallows that go “home” each year,  — but our true home awaits us, in Christ, and there are many mansions there (John 14:2-3).  Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.  ><> JJSJ

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Orni-Theology

Hirundinidae – Swallows, Martins

Birds of the Bible – Swallows

Gospel Message

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Sunday Inspiration – Broadbills

 

Green Broadbill by Dan at Zoo Miami

Green Broadbill by Dan at Zoo Miami

“He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. (Psalms 18:19 ESV)

“I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place. (Psalms 31:7-8 ESV)

Broadbills are one of my favorite birds. To me, they are adorable. So far, we have only seen the Green Broadbill and the Long-tailed Broadbill. Both have been at zoos.

Notice their eyes. They always look so alert and expressive.

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“Jesus Loves Me” by Bonnie Standifer

This piece was written and played by Bonnie Standifer. Played at our Orchestra Concert in March of 2013 at Faith Baptist Church. You have never heard it played this way before. Bonnie is a very gifted arranger and pianist. (I’ve used her song before, but it is so fantastic.)

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Sunday Inspirations

Formed By Him – Broadbills

Eurylaimidae – Broadbills

Broadbill - Wikipedia

Gideon

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Griffon Vulture

Boumort National Reserve

Boumort National Reserve

The first photo shows part of Boumort National Reserve in the foothills of the Pyrenees in Catalonia about 40km southwest of Andorra. A reserve since 1991, It has an area of 13,000 hectares and is of special importance as one of the only places in Europe where all four European species of vultures breed. Three occur naturally, while the fourth, the Eurasian Black or Cinereous Vulture has been reintroduced, after becoming extinct in the Pyrenees in recent decades. I made arrangements to visit it through Steve West of Birding in Spain, including getting the necessary permit to photograph these birds, accommodation and transport.

As part of the conservation effort, the vultures are fed three times a week and I was taken to the feeding site by two rangers who had collected carcasses and meat off-cuts from farmers in the vicinity. The site is equipped with a spacious and comfortable hide, complete with toilet, and I was left there alone for the day after they had spread out the meat and carcasses in front of the hide. When we arrived there were already between one and two hundred vultures, almost all Griffons, soaring high above. I had been briefed beforehand that the first arrivals would be Griffons, with Eurasian Blacks arriving later in the morning when the crowds thinned, while the iconic Lammergeier could be expected, probably, in small numbers in the middle of the afternoon. The fourth species, the Egyptian Vulture is a summer visitor and had already departed for Africa.

Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) by Ian

Sure enough, as soon as the rangers left, large numbers of Griffons glided in and squabbled noisily over the food. Griffons feed mainly on muscles and viscera and attacked the carcasses and pieces of meat with great gusto. The bird in the second photo showing its skill at balancing on a rock on one foot and waving the other is an adult, recognisable by its white ruff, horn-coloured bill and pale wing coverts. The one in the third photo is a juvenile, with grey bill, coffee-coloured ruff and darker wings. Juveniles generally had a covering of short plumage on the head and neck, while the adults often had relatively bare necks.

The breeding range of the Griffon Vulture extends from Portugal in the west to northeastern India and southwestern Kazakhstan in the east. Spain is its main stronghold in the west with about 8,000 pairs and the species is not considered under threat.

Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) by Ian

These birds are huge and it was wonderful to observe them up close. The black bird in the fourth photo sneaking a mouthful from under the watchful eye of a Griffon is a Common Raven. This is the largest passerine in the world, with a length of up to 67cm/26in and wingspan of up to 130cm/51in, larger than a Common Buzzard, but completely dwarfed by the vulture. Griffons are up to 110cm/43in in length, with a wingspan of up to 280cm/110in and weighting up to 11kg/24lbs.

Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) by Ian

In the air, they glide effortlessly and powerfully and the enormous wings make the body appear quite small by comparison. They come into land looking like parachutists under square canopies but with the ponderous, unwavering stability of a large aircraft like a B747 or an A380. Look how elegantly and precisely the toes are arranged with all the poise of an Olympic diver, fifth photo.

Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) by Ian

It really was an extraordinary experience watching the spectacle of these amazing birds, even if their table manners left much to be desired. The large amount of food disappeared at a great rate and the crowds started to disperse, leaving the scene, one hoped, for the later, rarer and more picky species. To be continued…

Greetings
Ian


Lee’s Addition:

Another neat adventure for Ian. Not sure I would want to be left all day by myself. Then again, Ian, is quite an adventurous birdwatcher and photographer. Patience is something he definitely has.

Thanks again, Ian, for sharing your adventure. I have a feeling you will soon tell us about some of those other Vultures that came to feed.

“There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen: (Job 28:7 KJV)

The Griffon Vulture is a Bird of the Bible as Vultures are mentioned. One version of the Bible lists a Griffon.

“Of birds these are they which you must not eat, and which are to be avoided by you: The eagle, and the griffon, and the osprey.” (Leviticus 11:13 DRB)

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Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty – Chapter 4

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) by Quy Tran

Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty

The Chipping, Vesper and Tree Sparrows

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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CHAPTER 4. Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty.

For a while Jenny Wren was too busy to talk save to scold Mr. Wren for spending so much time singing instead of working. To Peter it seemed as if they were trying to fill that tree trunk with rubbish. “I should think they had enough stuff in there for half a dozen nests,” muttered Peter. “I do believe they are carrying it in for the fun of working.” Peter wasn’t far wrong in this thought, as he was to discover a little later in the season when he found Mr. Wren building another nest for which he had no use.

Finding that for the time being he could get nothing more from Jenny Wren, Peter hopped over to visit Johnny Chuck, whose home was between the roots of an old apple-tree in the far corner of the Old Orchard. Peter was still thinking of the Sparrow family; what a big family it was, yet how seldom any of them, excepting Bully the English Sparrow, were to be found in the Old Orchard.

“Hello, Johnny Chuck!” cried Peter, as he discovered Johnny sitting on his doorstep. “You’ve lived in the Old Orchard a long time, so you ought to be able to tell me something I want to know. Why is it that none of the Sparrow family excepting that noisy nuisance, Bully, build in the trees of the Old Orchard? Is it because Bully has driven all the rest out?”

Johnny Chuck shook his head. “Peter,” said he, “whatever is the matter with your ears? And whatever is the matter with your eyes?”

“Nothing,” replied Peter rather shortly. “They are as good as yours any day, Johnny Chuck.”

(Chipping Sparrow singing ©xeno-canto.org by Ian Cruickshank)

Johnny grinned. “Listen!” said Johnny. Peter listened. From a tree just a little way off came a clear “Chip, chip, chip, chip.” Peter didn’t need to be told to look. He knew without looking who was over there. He knew that voice for that of one of his oldest and best friends in the Old Orchard, a little fellow with a red-brown cap, brown back with feathers streaked with black, brownish wings and tail, a gray waistcoat and black bill, and a little white line over each eye—altogether as trim a little gentleman as Peter was acquainted with. It was Chippy, as everybody calls the Chipping Sparrow, the smallest of the family.

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)  by Quy Tran

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) by Quy Tran

Peter looked a little foolish. “I forgot all about Chippy,” said he. “Now I think of it, I have found Chippy here in the Old Orchard ever since I can remember. I never have seen his nest because I never happened to think about looking for it. Does he build a trashy nest like his cousin, Bully?”

Johnny Chuck laughed. “I should say not!” he exclaimed. “Twice Chippy and Mrs. Chippy have built their nest in this very old apple-tree. There is no trash in their nest, I can tell you! It is just as dainty as they are, and not a bit bigger than it has to be. It is made mostly of little fine, dry roots, and it is lined inside with horse-hair.”

“What’s that?” Peter’s voice sounded as it he suspected that Johnny Chuck was trying to fool him.

“It’s a fact,” said Johnny, nodding his head gravely. “Goodness knows where they find it these days, but find it they do. Here comes Chippy himself; ask him.”

Chippy and Mrs. Chippy came flitting from tree to tree until they were on a branch right over Peter and Johnny. “Hello!” cried Peter. “You folks seem very busy. Haven’t you finished building your nest yet?”

“Nearly,” replied Chippy. “It is all done but the horsehair. We are on our way up to Farmer Brown’s barnyard now to look for some. You haven’t seen any around anywhere, have you?”

Peter and Johnny shook their heads, and Peter confessed that he wouldn’t know horsehair if he saw it. He often had found hair from the coats of Reddy Fox and Old Man Coyote and Digger the Badger and Lightfoot the Deer, but hair from the coat of a horse was altogether another matter.

“It isn’t hair from the coat of a horse that we want,” cried Chippy, as he prepared to fly after Mrs. Chippy. “It is long hair from the tail or mane of a horse that we must have. It makes the very nicest kind of lining for a nest.”

Chippy and Mrs. Chippy were gone a long time, but when they did return each was carrying a long black hair. They had found what they wanted, and Mrs. Chippy was in high spirits because, as she took pains to explain to Peter, that little nest would not soon be ready for the four beautiful little blue eggs with black spots on one end she meant to lay in it.

“I just love Chippy and Mrs. Chippy,” said Peter, as they watched their two little feathered friends putting the finishing touches to the little nest far out on a branch of one of the apple-trees.

Bully the English Sparrow, Chippy the Chipping Sparrow - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Bully the English Sparrow, Chippy the Chipping Sparrow – Burgess Bird Book ©©

“Everybody does,” replied Johnny. “Everybody loves them as much as they hate Bully and his wife. Did you know that they are sometimes called Tree Sparrows? I suppose it is because they so often build their nests in trees?”

“No,” said Peter, “I didn’t. Chippy shouldn’t be called Tree Sparrow, because he has a cousin by that name.”

Johnny Chuck looked as if he doubted that, “I never heard of him,” he grunted.

Peter grinned. Here was a chance to tell Johnny Chuck something, and Peter never is happier than when he can tell folks something they don’t know. “You’d know him if you didn’t sleep all winter,” said Peter. “Dotty the Tree Sparrow spends the winter here. He left for his home in the Far North about the time you took it into your head to wake up.”

“Why do you call him Dotty?” asked Johnny Chuck.

“Because he has a little round black dot right in the middle of his breast,” replied Peter. “I don’t know why they call him Tree Sparrow; he doesn’t spend his time in the trees the way Chippy does, but I see him much oftener in low bushes or on the ground. I think Chippy has much more right to the name of Tree Sparrow than Dotty has. Now I think of it, I’ve heard Dotty called the Winter Chippy.”

“Gracious, what a mix-up!” exclaimed Johnny Chuck. “With Chippy being called a Tree Sparrow and a Tree Sparrow called Chippy, I should think folks would get all tangled up.”

“Perhaps they would,” replied Peter, “if both were here at the same time, but Chippy comes just as Dotty goes, and Dotty comes as Chippy goes. That’s a pretty good arrangement, especially as they look very much alike, excepting that Dotty is quite a little bigger than Chippy and always has that black dot, which Chippy does not have. Goodness gracious, it is time I was back in the dear Old Briar-patch! Good-by, Johnny Chuck.”

American Tree Sparrow by Ray

American Tree Sparrow by Ray

Away went Peter Rabbit, lipperty-lipperty-lip, heading for the dear Old Briar-patch. Out of the grass just ahead of him flew a rather pale, streaked little brown bird, and as he spread his tail Peter saw two white feathers on the outer edges. Those two white feathers were all Peter needed to recognize another little friend of whom he is very fond. It was Sweetvoice the Vesper Sparrow, the only one of the Sparrow family with white feathers in his tail.

“Come over to the dear Old Briar-patch and sing to me,” cried Peter.

Sweetvoice dropped down into the grass again, and when Peter came up, was very busy getting a mouthful of dry grass. “Can’t,” mumbled Sweetvoice. “Can’t do it now, Peter Rabbit. I’m too busy. It is high time our nest was finished, and Mrs. Sweetvoice will lose her patience if I don’t get this grass over there pretty quick.”

“Where is your nest; in a tree?” asked Peter innocently.

“That’s telling,” declared Sweetvoice. “Not a living soul knows where that nest is, excepting Mrs. Sweetvoice and myself. This much I will tell you, Peter: it isn’t in a tree. And I’ll tell you this much more: it is in a hoofprint of Bossy the Cow.”

“In a WHAT?” cried Peter.

“In a hoofprint of Bossy the Cow,” repeated Sweetvoice, chuckling softly. “You know when the ground was wet and soft early this spring, Bossy left deep footprints wherever she went. One of these makes the nicest kind of place for a nest. I think we have picked out the very best one on all the Green Meadows. Now run along, Peter Rabbit, and don’t bother me any more. I’ve got too much to do to sit here talking. Perhaps I’ll come over to the edge of the dear Old Briar-patch and sing to you a while just after jolly, round, red Mr. Sun goes to bed behind the Purple Hills. I just love to sing then.”

“I’ll be watching for you,” replied Peter. “You don’t love to sing any better than I love to hear you. I think that is the best time of all the day in which to sing. I mean, I think it’s the best time to hear singing,” for of course Peter himself does not sing at all.

(Vesper Sparrow singing ©xeno-canto.org by Chris Parrish)

That night, sure enough, just as the Black Shadows came creeping out over the Green Meadows, Sweetvoice, perched on the top of a bramble-bush over Peter’s head, sang over and over again the sweetest little song and kept on singing even after it was quite dark. Peter didn’t know it, but it is this habit of singing in the evening which has given Sweetvoice his name of Vesper Sparrow.

“Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” (Psalms 100:2 KJV)

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Listen to the story read.

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  • Who was the first new Sparrow we meet?
  • What were they busy doing?
  • Their nest was being built with what material?
  • What was the one thing needed to finish their nest?

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  • Who was the next Sparrow that showed up?
  • Why did it confuse Johnny Chuck?
  • Why did the name “Dotty” fit for that sparrow?
  • Was Dotty or Chippy larger?

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  • Sweetvoice is what kind of Sparrow?
  • What were these Sparrows making their nest out of?
  • Where was their nest?
  • When does Sweetvoice like to sing?

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Are you busy doing the things that need to done? Do you sing? Most thought better of Chippy than Bully. Are more like Chippy or Bully?

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
(Ephesians 5:19-20 KJV)

Links:

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Links:

 

  Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Savannah Sparrow by Ray Barlow

  

 

  Wordless Birds

 

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Bible Birds – Swan Introduction

Bible Birds – Swan Introduction

Swan (Cygnus olor)II at Bok Tower By Dan'sPix

Swan (Cygnus olor)II at Bok Tower By Dan’sPix

“And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,” (Leviticus 11:18 KJV)

“The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,” (Deuteronomy 14:16 KJV)

Swans are mentioned in these two verses in the KJV Bible. Some other versions list it as another bird. For now, let us learn about the beautiful Swans that the Lord created.

Both of the Swan verses above are found in the “do not eat” list that the Lord gave to the “children of the LORD your God.” Who would want to eat such great looking birds?

Swans are in the Anatidae Family which includes Ducks, Geese and Swans. There are seven species which include these:

Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba) ©AGrosset – Zoo Miami’s by Lee
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) by Dan – Video by Nick – Article
Black-necked Swan (Cygnus melancoryphus) by Bob-Nan
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) by Dan
Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) by DavesBP
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) by DavesBP
Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) by Ian

Some Interesting Facts:

  • The Trumpeter Swan has the most contour feathers of any bird. (25,216) That doesn’t count the downy feathers.
  • Swans can fly as fast as 60 miles per hour!
  • A male swan is called a cob, and a female swan is called a pen.
  • A baby swan is called a cygnet.
  • The largest species, including the mute swan, trumpeter swan, and whooper swan, can reach length of over 1.5 m (60 inches) and weigh over 15 kg (33 pounds). Their wingspans can be almost 3 m (10 ft).

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Bible Birds – Swan

Birds of the Bible – Swan

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Black Swan

Anatidae – Ducks, Geese and Swans Family

Wordless Birds

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