Redwing and Yellow Wing – Chapter 10

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) by Ray

Redwing and Yellow Wing

The Red-winged Blackbird and the Golden-winged Flicker.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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CHAPTER 10. Redwing and Yellow Wing.

Peter had come over to the Smiling Pool especially to pay his respects to Redwing the Blackbird, so as soon as he could, without being impolite, he left Mrs. Teeter sitting on her eggs, and Teeter himself bobbing and bowing in the friendliest way, and hurried over to where the bulrushes grow. In the very top of the Big Hickory-tree, a little farther along on the bank of the Smiling Pool, sat some one who at that distance appeared to be dressed all in black. He was singing as if there were nothing but joy in all the great world. “Quong-ka-reee! Quong-ka-reee! Quong-ka-reee!” he sang. Peter would have known from this song alone that it was Redwing the Blackbird, for there is no other song quite like it.

As soon as Peter appeared in sight Redwing left his high perch and flew down to light among the broken-down bulrushes. As he flew, Peter saw the beautiful red patch on the bend of each wing, from which Redwing gets his name. “No one could ever mistake him for anybody else,” thought Peter, “For there isn’t anybody else with such beautiful shoulder patches.”

“What’s the news, Peter Rabbit?” cried Redwing, coming over to sit very near Peter.

“There isn’t much,” replied Peter, “excepting that Teeter the Sandpiper has four eggs just a little way from here.”

Redwing chuckled. “That is no news, Peter,” said he. “Do you suppose that I live neighbor to Teeter and don’t know where his nest is and all about his affairs? There isn’t much going on around the Smiling Pool that I don’t know, I can tell you that.”

Peter looked a little disappointed, because there is nothing he likes better than to be the bearer of news. “I suppose,” said he politely, “that you will be building a nest pretty soon yourself, Redwing.”

Redwing chuckled softly. It was a happy, contented sort of chuckle. “No, Peter,” said he. “I am not going to build a nest.”

“What?” exclaimed Peter, and his two long ears stood straight up with astonishment.

“No,” replied Redwing, still chuckling. “I’m not going to build a nest, and if you want to know a little secret, we have four as pretty eggs as ever were laid.”

Redwing the Blackbird, Speckles the Starling - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Redwing the Blackbird, Speckles the Starling – Burgess Bird Book ©©

Peter fairly bubbled over with interest and curiosity. “How splendid!” he cried. “Where is your nest, Redwing? I would just love to see it. I suppose it is because she is sitting on those eggs that I haven’t seen Mrs. Redwing. It was very stupid of me not to guess that folks who come as early as you do would be among the first to build a home. Where is it, Redwing? Do tell me.”

Redwing’s eyes twinkled.

     "A secret which is known by three
      Full soon will not a secret be,"

said he. “It isn’t that I don’t trust you, Peter. I know that you wouldn’t intentionally let my secret slip out. But you might do it by accident. What you don’t know, you can’t tell.”

“That’s right, Redwing. I am glad you have so much sense,” said another voice, and Mrs. Redwing alighted very near to Redwing.

Peter couldn’t help thinking that Old Mother Nature had been very unfair indeed in dressing Mrs. Redwing. She was, if anything, a little bit smaller than her handsome husband, and such a plain, not to say homely, little body that it was hard work to realize that she was a Blackbird at all. In the first place she wasn’t black. She was dressed all over in grayish-brown with streaks of darker brown which in places were almost black. She wore no bright-colored shoulder patches. In fact, there wasn’t a bright feather on her anywhere. Peter wanted to ask why it was that she was so plainly dressed, but he was too polite and decided to wait until he should see Jenny Wren. She would be sure to know. Instead, he exclaimed, “How do you do, Mrs. Redwing? I’m ever so glad to see you. I was wondering where you were. Where did you come from?”

“Straight from my home,” replied Mrs. Redwing demurely. “And if I do say it, it is the best home we’ve ever had.”

Redwing chuckled. He was full of chuckles. You see, he had noticed how eagerly Peter was looking everywhere.

“This much I will tell you, Peter,” said Redwing; “our nest is somewhere in these bulrushes, and if you can find it we won’t say a word, even if you don’t keep the secret.”

Then Redwing chuckled again and Mrs. Redwing chuckled with him. You see, they knew that Peter doesn’t like water, and that nest was hidden in a certain clump of brown, broken-down rushes, with water all around. Suddenly Redwing flew up in the air with a harsh cry. “Run, Peter! Run!” he screamed. “Here comes Reddy Fox!

Peter didn’t wait for a second warning. He knew by the sound of Redwing’s voice that Redwing wasn’t joking. There was just one place of safety, and that was an old hole of Grandfather Chuck’s between the roots of the Big Hickory-tree. Peter didn’t waste any time getting there, and he was none too soon, for Reddy was so close at his heels that he pulled some white hairs out of Peter’s tail as Peter plunged headfirst down that hole. It was a lucky thing for Peter that that hole was too small for Reddy to follow and the roots prevented Reddy from digging it any bigger.

For a long time Peter sat in Grandfather Chuck’s old house, wondering how soon it would be safe for him to come out. For a while he heard Mr. and Mrs. Redwing scolding sharply, and by this he knew that Reddy Fox was still about. By and by they stopped scolding, and a few minutes later he heard Redwing’s happy song. “That means,” thought Peter, “that Reddy Fox has gone away, but I think I’ll sit here a while longer to make sure.”

Now Peter was sitting right under the Big Hickory-tree. After a while he began to hear faint little sounds, little taps, and scratching sounds as of claws. They seemed to come from right over his head, but he knew that there was no one in that hole but himself. He couldn’t understand it at all.

Finally Peter decided it would be safe to peek outside. Very carefully he poked his head out. Just as he did so, a little chip struck him right on the nose. Peter pulled his head back hurriedly and stared at the little chip which lay just in front of the hole. Then two or three more little chips fell. Peter knew that they must come from up in the Big Hickory-tree, and right away his curiosity was aroused. Redwing was singing so happily that Peter felt sure no danger was near, so he hopped outside and looked up to find out where those little chips had come from. Just a few feet above his head he saw a round hole in the trunk of the Big Hickory-tree. While he was looking at it, a head with a long stout bill was thrust out and in that bill were two or three little chips. Peter’s heart gave a little jump of glad surprise.

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) yellow-shafted ©WikiC

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) yellow-shafted ©WikiC

Yellow Wing!” he cried. “My goodness, how you startled me!”

The chips were dropped and the head was thrust farther out. The sides and throat were a soft reddish-tan and on each side at the beginning of the bill was a black patch. The top of the head was gray and just at the back was a little band of bright red. There was no mistaking that head. It belonged to Yellow Wing the Flicker beyond a doubt.

“Hello, Peter!” exclaimed Yellow Wing, his eyes twinkling. “What are you doing here?”

“Nothing,” replied Peter, “but I want to know what you are doing. What are all those chips?”

“I’m fixing up this old house of mine,” replied Yellow Wing promptly. “It wasn’t quite deep enough to suit me, so I am making it a little deeper. Mrs. Yellow Wing and I haven’t been able to find another house to suit us, so we have decided to live here again this year.” He came wholly out and flew down on the ground near Peter. When his wings were spread, Peter saw that on the under sides they were a beautiful golden-yellow, as were the under sides of his tail feathers. Around his throat was a broad, black collar. From this, clear to his tail, were black dots. When his wings were spread, the upper part of his body just above the tail was pure white.

“My,” exclaimed Peter, “you are a handsome fellow! I never realized before how handsome you are.”

Yellow Wing looked pleased. Perhaps he felt a little flattered. “I am glad you think so, Peter,” said he. “I am rather proud of my suit, myself. I don’t know of any member of my family with whom I would change coats.”

A sudden thought struck Peter. “What family do you belong to?” He asked abruptly.

“The Woodpecker family,” replied Yellow Wing proudly.

Bold points for questions at the bottom or for Christian traits.

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Listen to the story read.

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Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.” (Ezekiel 3:21 NKJV)

I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. (1 Corinthians 4:14 NKJV)

That was mighty nice of Redwing to warn Peter Rabbit. We need to listen when others warn us. Like, “don’t get too close to the fire” or “watch out for the cars!” We should also help others by warning them so they don’t get hurt. We need to tell others about Christ and warn them to not ignore His teaching.

Some questions to see if you remember the tale:

  • Who is our newest bird?
  • What does he have on his shoulders?
  • What does his song sound like?
  • Does Mrs. Redwing look like him? Describe her.
  • Why did Redwing warn Peter Rabbit?
  • What family does the Yellow Wing belong to?

Links:

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Links:

 

  Next Chapter (Drummers and Carpenters. Coming Soon)

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Savannah Sparrow by Ray Barlow

  

 

  Wordless Birds

 

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Sunday Inspiration – “Star” Birds

Star-throated Antwren (Rhopias gularis) ©WikiC

Star-throated Antwren (Rhopias gularis) ©WikiC

Today’s Sunday Inspiration is spotlighting the “Star” birds while Pastor Jerry and Reagan Osborne sing “Day Star.” This was sung when Pastor Jerry retired from the Music Ministry.

The “star” birds have “star” in their names. This includes Hillstars, Redstarts, Starlings, Starfrontlets, and a Whitestart.

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (2 Peter 1:19 KJV)

Believer’s Bible Commentary: “…The rising of the morning star (day star) pictures Christ’s coming for His saints. Thus the sense of the passage is that we should always keep the prophetic word before us, treasuring it in our hearts, for it will serve as a light in this dark world until the age is ended and Christ appears in the clouds to take His waiting people home to heaven.”

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“Day Star” ~ Pastor Jerry Smith and Reagan Osborne at Faith Baptist Church

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Sunday Inspirations

Big Mighty God

Pastor Jerry Smith – Testimony

Good News

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The Hodge-Podge Writing Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

Sentence #1

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

Sentence #2

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

Sentence #3

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

Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) by Ian

Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) by Ian

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

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

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

(PS Just thought of another sentence:)

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

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

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

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

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Bird’s Egg Evolution – Creation Moments

Spur-winged Lapwing (Vanellus spinosus) Egg ©Wiki

Spur-winged Lapwing (Vanellus spinosus) Egg ©Wiki

BIRDS EGG EVOLUTION

“Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust, and forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.” (Job 39:14-15)

The creation is literally filled with millions of what those who believe in evolution call “happy coincidences.” But when you encounter millions of instances of what appears to be thoughtful design, the obvious conclusion is that there is a Designer. Take the example of bird eggs.

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) eggs ©WikiC

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) eggs ©WikiC

The shape of the egg makes it strong. This strength comes in handy in a busy nest. Mom and dad are coming and going, and they turn the eggs periodically during incubation. But all eggs are not equally egg shaped, and there is a pattern to their shapes. Birds like robins that build a nice, dish shaped nest tend to lay eggs that are more round in shape. Screech owls, which lay their eggs at the bottom of a hole in a tree, also have round shaped eggs. Birds like the killdeer barely build any kind of nest and lay eggs on the ground where almost-round eggs could roll away. For this reason, birds such as a kildeer lay much more sharply pointed eggs which are designed to pivot on their small end. Likewise, eggs that are laid where predators are not likely to see them are usually pale or solid in color, but eggs laid out in the open are camouflaged. Moreover, baby birds that hatch in protected nests, like the bluebird, tend to be naked, blind and helpless. But the unprotected killdeer hatchlings are ready to leave the nest within minutes of hatching.

All coincidences? It seems more scientific to say that here we have a few of the many fingerprints of our wise Creator!

Prayer:
I praise You, Father, for how Your glory is reflected in the creation. Amen.

Notes:
Jim Williams, “Bird basics: egg size, color and shape”, Star Tribune, 7/29/99, p. 8. Illustration: Long elliptical egg of a loon. (PD)

©Creation Moments, 2015 (Used with permission)

Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) Eggs ©WikiC

Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) Eggs ©WikiC


Lee’s Addition:

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (Psalms 90:12 KJV)

O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. (Psalms 104:24 KJV)

Another reminder of how great and wise our Creator is.

Different Eggs- Birds and Others - from Wikipedia

Different Eggs- Birds and Others – from Wikipedia

Incredible Chicken Egg
Birds of the Bible – Bird Egg Facts
Formed By Him – Bird Eggs

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Babbler For Who?

Indian Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus horsfieldii) ©WikiC

Indian Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus horsfieldii) ©WikiC

bab·bler – ˈbab(ə)lər/ – noun

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

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

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

Chestnut-faced Babbler (Zosterornis whiteheadi) ©WikiC

Chestnut-faced Babbler (Zosterornis whiteheadi) ©WikiC

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

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

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

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

Rail-babbler (Eupetes macrocerus) by Peter Ericsson

Rail-babbler (Eupetes macrocerus) by Peter Ericsson

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

White-browed Babbler by Ian

White-browed Babbler by Ian (Australia)

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

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

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

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

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

Nepal Wren-Babbler (Pnoepyga immaculata) by Nikhil Devasar

Nepal Wren-Babbler (Pnoepyga immaculata) by Nikhil Devasar

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

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

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

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Eupetidae – Rail-babbler – 1

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

Pnoepygidae – Wren-babblers – 5 Wren-babblers

Pomatostomidae – Australasian Babblers – 5 Babblers

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

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

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

Orni-Theology

Sharing The Gospel

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Birds, But No Birdwatching

First Birds of 2015 - 1 BT Grackle

First Birds of 2015 – 1 Boat-tailed Grackle

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)

Well, we are over half way through January of 2015 and we still haven’t “gone” on a birdwatching trip. I have been seeing birds in my yard and neighborhood and on short trips to the doctor, store, or church. These have all been occasional sightings. Haven’t even kept a list, except in my head.

As I have visited some of your sites and others, your 2015 list of birds is becoming quite impressive, at least for some of you.

On New Years morning I awoke with a sore throat. I now have been dealing with my second round of bronchitis since November. (Just can’t seem to shake it.) My 2015 list of birds has been “grounded.” Can’t seem to get it off to a start. Yet, the birds seen in 2015 are growing.

My First Bird of 2015 was a Boat-tailed Grackle that visited the feeders. Followed close behind were Mourning Doves and Red-winged Blackbirds. Woke up with a sore throat, so that was my birdwatching adventure of the new year so far. (From Birds of the Bible – Eye Hath Not Seen)

First Birds of 2015 - 1 BT Grackle-2 M Dove-3 Redwing Blkbd (19)c

First Birds of 2015 – 1 BT Grackle-2 M Dove-3 Redwing Blkbd -through kitchen window

The Grackles, Morning Doves and Red-wings started the year off. Since then the White Ibises strolled through the yard, the Downy Woodpecker checked out the tree next door (which was chopped down 2 days ago), the Sandhill Cranes walked down the street, and overhead I saw Black and Turkey Vultures flying by. With a gap between two houses across the street, I have seen the Great Egret, Great Blue Heron and some UFO fly over the pond there.

While riding we have seen a Bald Eagle, Anhingas, Double-crested Cormorants, and others. Luckily, we have over 500 Lakes in Polk County, so we pass several (on purpose) as we are out. We had to drive right by Circle B, our favorite birding spot here, on the way to the doctor. Well over 100 Vultures were resting in the trees that morning.

The Lord has been great in letting me enjoy His created critters even though in fewer numbers than I would prefer. Some times we need to slow down and just rest, I guess, and take things as they come. I am thankful to be getting better (I think) and am keeping my eyes open to enjoy what is given to me.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17 KJV)

First Birds of 2015 - 1 BT Grackle-2 M Dove-3 Redwing Blkbd (3)c

And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. (Psalms 55:6 KJV)

2015 List so far:

  • Grackles
  • Morning Doves
  • Red-winged Blackbirds
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Sandhill Cranes
  • Great Egret
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Bald Eagle
  • Anhingas
  • Double-crested Cormorants
  • Osprey
  • Pigeons
  • Common Moorhens
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Blue Jay
  • White-winged Doves
  • Eurasian Collared Doves
  • Common Nighthawk

Looking forward to doing some “real” birdwatching soon. Your prayers will be appreciated as I continue to fight bronchitis. Am starting to get “cabin fever.” Went to church a week ago when Pastor Jerry had his special day, for which I am thankful, but it caused me to re-lapse. Oh, well! It was worth it and you will get to hear more of that music in later articles.

Pastor Jerry Smith – Testimony

Sunday Inspiration – Big Mighty God

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Longbill and Teeter – Chapter 9

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) ©WikiC

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) ©WikiC

Longbill and Teeter

The Woodcock and the Spotted Sandpiper.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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CHAPTER 9. Longbill and Teeter.

From the decided way in which Jenny Wren had popped into the little round doorway of her home, Peter knew that to wait in the hope of more gossip with her would be a waste of time. He wasn’t ready to go back home to the dear Old Briar-patch, yet there seemed nothing else to do, for everybody in the Old Orchard was too busy for idle gossip. Peter scratched a long ear with a long hind foot, trying to think of some place to go. Just then he heard the clear “peep, peep, peep” of the Hylas, the sweet singers of the Smiling Pool.

“That’s where I’ll go!” exclaimed Peter. “I haven’t been to the Smiling Pool for some time. I’ll just run over and pay my respects to Grandfather Frog, and to Redwing the Blackbird. Redwing was one of the first birds to arrive, and I’ve neglected him shamefully.”

When Peter thinks of something to do he wastes no time. Off he started, lipperty-lipperty-lip, for the Smiling Pool. He kept close to the edge of the Green Forest until he reached the place where the Laughing Brook comes out of the Green Forest on its way to the Smiling Pool in the Green Meadows. Bushes and young trees grow along the banks of the Laughing Brook at this point. The ground was soft in places, quite muddy. Peter doesn’t mind getting his feet damp, so he hopped along carelessly. From right under his very nose something shot up into the air with a whistling sound. It startled Peter so that he stopped short with his eyes popping out of his head. He had just a glimpse of a brown form disappearing over the tops of some tall bushes. Then Peter chuckled. “I declare,” said he, “I had forgotten all about my old friend, Longbill the Woodcock. He scared me for a second.”

Longbill the Woodcock - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Longbill the Woodcock – Burgess Bird Book ©©

“Then you are even,” said a voice close at hand. “You scared him. I saw you coming, but Longbill didn’t.”

Peter turned quickly. There was Mrs. Woodcock peeping at him from behind a tussock of grass.

“I didn’t mean to scare him,” apologized Peter. “I really didn’t mean to. Do you think he was really very much scared?”

“Not too scared to come back, anyway,” said Longbill himself, dropping down just in front of Peter. “I recognized you just as I was disappearing over the tops of the bushes, so I came right back. I learned when I was very young that when startled it is best to fly first and find out afterwards whether or not there is real danger. I am glad it is no one but you, Peter, for I was having a splendid meal here, and I should have hated to leave it. You’ll excuse me while I go on eating, I hope. We can talk between bites.”

“Certainly I’ll excuse you,” replied Peter, staring around very hard to see what it could be Longbill was making such a good meal of. But Peter couldn’t see a thing that looked good to eat. There wasn’t even a bug or a worm crawling on the ground. Longbill took two or three steps in rather a stately fashion. Peter had to hide a smile, for Longbill had such an air of importance, yet at the same time was such an odd looking fellow. He was quite a little bigger than Welcome Robin, his tail was short, his legs were short, and his neck was short. But his bill was long enough to make up. His back was a mixture of gray, brown, black and buff, while his breast and under parts were a beautiful reddish-buff. It was his head that made him look queer. His eyes were very big and they were set so far back that Peter wondered if it wasn’t easier for him to look behind him than in front of him.

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) on nest © USFWS

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) on nest © USFWS

Suddenly Longbill plunged his bill into the ground. He plunged it in for the whole length. Then he pulled it out and Peter caught a glimpse of the tail end of a worm disappearing down Longbill’s throat. Where that long bill had gone into the ground was a neat little round hole. For the first time Peter noticed that there were many such little round holes all about. “Did you make all those little round holes?” exclaimed Peter.

“Not at all,” replied Longbill. “Mrs. Woodcock made some of them.”

“And was there a worm in every one?” asked Peter, his eyes very wide with interest.

Longbill nodded. “Of course,” said he. “You don’t suppose we would take the trouble to bore one of them if we didn’t know that we would get a worm at the end of it, do you?”

Peter remembered how he had watched Welcome Robin listen and then suddenly plunge his bill into the ground and pull out a worm. But the worms Welcome Robin got were always close to the surface, while these worms were so deep in the earth that Peter couldn’t understand how it was possible for any one to know that they were there. Welcome Robin could see when he got hold of a worm, but Longbill couldn’t. “Even if you know there is a worm down there in the ground, how do you know when you’ve reached him? And how is it possible for you to open your bill down there to take him in?” asked Peter.

Longbill chuckled. “That’s easy,” said he. “I’ve got the handiest bill that ever was. See here!” Longbill suddenly thrust his bill straight out in front of him and to Peter’s astonishment he lifted the end of the upper half without opening the rest of his bill at all. “That’s the way I get them,” said he. “I can feel them when I reach them, and then I just open the top of my bill and grab them. I think there is one right under my feet now; watch me get him.” Longbill bored into the ground until his head was almost against it. When he pulled his bill out, sure enough, there was a worm. “Of course,” explained Longbill, “it is only in soft ground that I can do this. That is why I have to fly away south as soon as the ground freezes at all.”

“It’s wonderful,” sighed Peter. “I don’t suppose any one else can find hidden worms that way.”

“My cousin, Jack Snipe, can,” replied Longbill promptly. “He feeds the same way I do, only he likes marshy meadows instead of brushy swamps. Perhaps you know him.”

Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata) at Circle B by Dan

WWilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata) at Circle B by Dan

Peter nodded. “I do,” said he. “Now you speak of it, there is a strong family resemblance, although I hadn’t thought of him as a relative of yours before. Now I must be running along. I’m ever so glad to have seen you, and I’m coming over to call again the first chance I get.”

So Peter said good-by and kept on down the Laughing Brook to the Smiling Pool. Right where the Laughing Brook entered the Smiling Pool there was a little pebbly beach. Running along the very edge of the water was a slim, trim little bird with fairly long legs, a long slender bill, brownish-gray back with black spots and markings, and a white waistcoat neatly spotted with black. Every few steps he would stop to pick up something, then stand for a second bobbing up and down in the funniest way, as if his body was so nicely balanced on his legs that it teetered back and forth like a seesaw. It was Teeter the Spotted Sandpiper, an old friend of Peter’s. Peter greeted him joyously.

“Peet-weet! Peet-weet!” cried Teeter, turning towards Peter and bobbing and bowing as only Teeter can. Before Peter could say another word Teeter came running towards him, and it was plain to see that Teeter was very anxious about something. “Don’t move, Peter Rabbit! Don’t move!” he cried.

“Why not?” demanded Peter, for he could see no danger and could think of no reason why he shouldn’t move. Just then Mrs. Teeter came hurrying up and squatted down in the sand right in front of Peter.

“Thank goodness!” exclaimed Teeter, still bobbing and bowing. “If you had taken another step, Peter Rabbit, you would have stepped right on our eggs. You gave me a dreadful start.”

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) ©USFWS

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) ©USFWS

Peter was puzzled. He showed it as he stared down at Mrs. Teeter just in front of him. “I don’t see any nest or eggs or anything,” said he rather testily.

Mrs. Teeter stood up and stepped aside. Then Peter saw right in a little hollow in the sand, with just a few bits of grass for a lining, four white eggs with big dark blotches on them. They looked so much like the surrounding pebbles that he never would have seen them in the world but for Mrs. Teeter. Peter hastily backed away a few steps. Mrs. Teeter slipped back on the eggs and settled herself comfortably. It suddenly struck Peter that if he hadn’t seen her do it, he wouldn’t have known she was there. You see she looked so much like her surroundings that he never would have noticed her at all.

“My!” he exclaimed. “I certainly would have stepped on those eggs if you hadn’t warned me,” said he. “I’m so thankful I didn’t. I don’t see how you dare lay them in the open like this.”

Mrs. Teeter chuckled softly. “It’s the safest place in the world, Peter,” said she. “They look so much like these pebbles around here that no one sees them. The only time they are in danger is when somebody comes along, as you did, and is likely to step on them without seeing them. But that doesn’t happen often.”

Listen to the story read.


Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) Eggs ©WikiC

Lee’s Addition:

“You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion… (Psalms 31:20 NKJV)

“Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,… (Psalms 64:2a NKJV)

Our Lord created these birds with a neat bills to help them feed and also great colors to help them stay hidden from danger.

These birds all belong to the Scolopacidae – Sandpipers, Snipes Family. There are 96 species in this family.

Questions to answer:

  • What is Longbill’s first reaction at danger?
  • Can you describe Longbill’s tail, neck and eyes?
  • What is special about his bill?
  • Who is Longbill’s cousin?
  • Where does he like to catch worms?
  • Who is Tweeter?
  • Why did she stop Peter Rabbit?

Links:

 

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Links:

Redwing the Blackbird, Speckles the Starling - Burgess Bird Book ©©Thum

 

  Next Chapter Redwing and Yellow Wing

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

Savannah Sparrow by Ray Barlow

  

 

  Wordless Birds

 

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Pastor Jerry Smith – Testimony

This is an excerpt from a Sacred Music Evening celebrating Pastor Jerry Smith’s 31 years of Music Ministry at Faith Baptist Church on 1/11/2015 (Sunday). This was at the end of an hour and a half of his favorite songs.

Pastor Jerry sings “Five Rows Back”, “Amazing Grace” and then the final Choir and Orchestra play “The Power of the Cross.”

Please listen to the words from him and the songs.

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(Pastor Jerry can be contacted through Faith Baptist Church.)

See:

Sharing the Gospel and Pointing Someone to Christ in the Scripture

ABC’s of the Gospel

Christmas Gospel Presentation

I’m Thankful for Pastor Jerry (by Stephen Simpson)

 

This will be posted with other articles used as links at the end of articles. Those are intended to help readers realize that:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17 KJV)

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Old Clothes and Old Houses – Chapter 8

Eastern Wood Pewee (Contopus virens) by Raymond Barlow

Eastern Wood Pewee (Contopus virens) by Raymond Barlow

Old Clothes and Old Houses

The Wood Peewee and Some Nesting Places.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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CHAPTER 8. Old Clothes and Old Houses.

“I can’t stop to talk to you any longer now, Peter Rabbit,” said Jenny Wren, “but if you will come over here bright and early to-morrow morning, while I am out to get my breakfast, I will tell you about Cresty the Flycatcher and why he wants the cast-off clothes of some of the Snake family. Perhaps I should say WHAT he wants of them instead of WHY he wants them, for why any one should want anything to do with Snakes is more then I can understand.”

With this Jenny Wren disappeared inside her house, and there was nothing for Peter to do but once more start for the dear Old Briar-patch. On his way he couldn’t resist the temptation to run over to the Green Forest, which was just beyond the Old Orchard. He just HAD to find out if there was anything new over there. Hardly had he reached it when he heard a plaintive voice crying, “Pee-wee! Pee-wee! Pee-wee!” Peter chuckled happily. “I declare, there’s Pee-wee,” he cried. “He usually is one of the last of the Flycatcher family to arrive. I didn’t expect to find him yet. I wonder what has brought him up so early.”

It didn’t take Peter long to find Pewee. He just followed the sound of that voice and presently saw Pewee fly out and make the same kind of a little circle as the other members of the family make when they are hunting flies. It ended just where it had started, on a dead twig of a tree in a shady, rather lonely part of the Green Forest. Almost at once he began to call his name in a rather sad, plaintive tone, “Pee-wee! Pee-wee! Pee-wee!” But he wasn’t sad, as Peter well knew. It was his way of expressing how happy he felt. He was a little bigger than his cousin, Chebec, but looked very much like him. There was a little notch in the end of his tail. The upper half of his bill was black, but the lower half was light. Peter could see on each wing two whitish bars, and he noticed that Pewee’s wings were longer than his tail, which wasn’t the case with Chebec. But no one could ever mistake Pewee for any of his relatives, for the simple reason that he keeps repeating his own name over and over.

Wood Pewee of Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

“Aren’t you here early?” asked Peter.

Pewee nodded. “Yes,” said he. “It has been unusually warm this spring, so I hurried a little and came up with my cousins, Scrapper and Cresty. That is something I don’t often do.”

“If you please,” Peter inquired politely, “why do folks call you Wood Pewee?”

Pewee chuckled happily. “It must be,” said he, “because I am so very fond of the Green Forest. It is so quiet and restful that I love it. Mrs. Pewee and I are very retiring. We do not like too many near neighbors.”

“You won’t mind if I come to see you once in a while, will you?” asked Peter as he prepared to start on again for the dear Old Briar-patch.

“Come as often as you like,” replied Pewee. “The oftener the better.”

Back in the Old Briar-patch Peter thought over all he had learned about the Flycatcher family, and as he recalled how they were forever catching all sorts of flying insects it suddenly struck him that they must be very useful little people in helping Old Mother Nature take care of her trees and other growing things which insects so dearly love to destroy.

But most of all Peter thought about that odd request of Cresty’s, and a dozen times that day he found himself peeping under old logs in the hope of finding a cast-off coat of Mr. Black Snake. It was such a funny thing for Cresty to ask for that Peter’s curiosity would allow him no peace, and the next morning he was up in the Old Orchard before jolly Mr. Sun had kicked his bedclothes off.

Jenny Wren was as good as her word. While she flitted and hopped about this way and that way in that fussy way of hers, getting her breakfast, she talked. Jenny couldn’t keep her tongue still if she wanted to.

“Did you find any old clothes of the Snake family?” she demanded. Then as Peter shook his head her tongue ran on without waiting for him to reply. “Cresty and his wife always insist upon having a piece of Snake skin in their nest,” said she. “Why they want it, goodness knows! But they do want it and never can seem to settle down to housekeeping unless they have it. Perhaps they think it will scare robbers away. As for me, I should have a cold chill every time I got into my nest if I had to sit on anything like that. I have to admit that Cresty and his wife are a handsome couple, and they certainly have good sense in choosing a house, more sense than any other member of their family to my way of thinking. But Snake skins! Ugh!”

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) by Raymond Barlow

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) by Raymond Barlow

“By the way, where does Cresty build?” asked Peter.

In a hole in a tree, like the rest of us sensible people,” retorted Jenny Wren promptly.

Peter looked quite as surprised as he felt. “Does Cresty make the hole?” he asked.

“Goodness gracious, no!” exclaimed Jenny Wren. “Where are your eyes, Peter? Did you ever see a Flycatcher with a bill that looked as if it could cut wood?” She didn’t wait for a reply, but rattled on. “It is a good thing for a lot of us that the Woodpecker family are so fond of new houses. Look! There is Downy the Woodpecker hard at work on a new house this very minute. That’s good. I like to see that. It means that next year there will be one more house for some one here in the Old Orchard. For myself I prefer old houses. I’ve noticed there are a number of my neighbors who feel the same way about it. There is something settled about an old house. It doesn’t attract attention the way a new one does. So long as it has got reasonably good walls, and the rain and the wind can’t get in, the older it is the better it suits me. But the Woodpeckers seem to like new houses best, which, as I said before, is a very good thing for the rest of us.”

Who is there besides you and Cresty and Bully the English Sparrow who uses these old Woodpecker houses?” asked Peter.

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by J Fenton

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by J Fenton

“Winsome Bluebird, stupid!” snapped Jenny Wren.

Peter grinned and looked foolish. “Of course,” said he. “I forgot all about Winsome.”

“And Skimmer the Tree Swallow,” added Jenny.

“That’s so; I ought to have remembered him,” exclaimed Peter. “I’ve noticed that he is very fond of the same house year after year. Is there anybody else?”

Again Jenny Wren nodded. “Yank-Yank the Nuthatch uses an old house, I’m told, but he usually goes up North for his nesting,” said she. “Tommy Tit the Chickadee sometimes uses an old house. Then again he and Mrs. Chickadee get fussy and make a house for themselves. Yellow Wing the flicker, who really is a Woodpecker, often uses an old house, but quite often makes a new one. Then there are Killy the Sparrow Hawk and Spooky the Screech Owl.”

Peter looked surprised. “I didn’t suppose THEY nested in holes in trees!” he exclaimed.

“They certainly do, more’s the pity!” snapped Jenny. “It would be a good thing for the rest of us if they didn’t nest at all. But they do, and an old house of Yellow Wing the Flicker suits either of them. Killy always uses one that is high up, and comes back to it year after year. Spooky isn’t particular so long as the house is big enough to be comfortable. He lives in it more or less the year around. Now I must get back to those eggs of mine. I’ve talked quite enough for one morning.”

“Oh, Jenny,” cried Peter, as a sudden thought struck him.

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ray

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ray

Jenny paused and jerked her tail impatiently. “Well, what is it now?” she demanded.

“Have you got two homes?” asked Peter.

“Goodness gracious, no!” exclaimed Jenny. “What do you suppose I want of two homes? One is all I can take care of.”

“Then why,” demanded Peter triumphantly, “does Mr. Wren work all day carrying sticks and straws into a hole in another tree? It seems to me that he has carried enough in there to build two or three nests.”

Jenny Wren’s eyes twinkled, and she laughed softly. “Mr. Wren just has to be busy about something, bless his heart,” said she. “He hasn’t a lazy feather on him. He’s building that nest to take up his time and keep out of mischief. Besides, if he fills that hollow up nobody else will take it, and you know we might want to move some time. Good-by, Peter.” With a final jerk of her tail Jenny Wren flew to the little round doorway of her house and popped inside.


Lee’s Addition:

“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)

Listen to the story read.

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  • What is Peter Rabbit still trying to find?
  • Has he found out why it is need for yet?
  • Who is our newest arrival?
  • Is he on time or early?
  • What does Pewee’s bill look like?
  • Is tail longer or shorter than his wings?
  • Can you find and name the birds listed that use tree holes?
  • Were the birds friendly and kind in this chapter?

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)

“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)

Links:

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Links:

Longbill the Woodcock - Burgess Bird Book ©©Thum

 

  Next Chapter (Longbill and Teeter.)

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Savannah Sparrow by Ray Barlow

  

 

  Wordless Birds

 

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Sunday Inspiration – Let Everything Praise

Sandwich Tern Singing (calling) By Mike Bader

Sandwich Tern Singing (calling) By Mike Bader

Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. (KJV)

Let everything that has breath and every breath of life praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) (AMP)

Let every living creature praise the LORD. Shout praises to the LORD! (CEV)

This week the Hyssongs came to our Young At Heart (55 plus) gathering and sang for us. They did a fantastic program of song and praise to our Lord. Last year when they came, they gave me permission to use their music in these Sunday Inspirations. (They are copyrighted and need permission-please, do not copy)

I have purchased their latest CD ~ “Right Time – Right Place” and wanted to share this song, “God Is Great.” Trust you will enjoy their song, what it says, and enjoy our avian friends and some others singing their praise.

Laughing Kookabura at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee 12-26-14

Laughing Kookabura at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee 12-26-14

Here are a few quotes about Psalm 150 from two commentaries:

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD! (NKJV)

Constable – Psalms 150

The inspired poet called on every person to praise Yahweh for His powerful deeds and supreme greatness (10 times out of the 13 uses of “praise” in this psalm). This psalm serves as a final doxology, bringing the collection of psalms to a solemn and joyful conclusion.

“The conclusion of the Psalter is this extravagant summons to praise, which seeks to mobilize all creation with a spontaneous and unreserved act of adoration, praise, gratitude, and awe. There are no ‘bases’ given; no reason needs to be given.” [Note: Brueggemann, p. 167.]

Biblical Illustrator – “IV. By whom (verse 6). Here the psalmist reaches the climax in his exhortation; he has exhausted language; he can particularize no more; he rushes to the culmination; he demands a universal outburst of adoration; he calls upon all in whom the breath of life is to help swell the “hallelujah chorus!” O what a thrilling crash of melody! what a volume of perfect harmony, when animate and inanimate creation, with all creatures, rising rank upon rank, order above order, species above species, purged from corruption, delivered from all evil, and attuned to the euphony of the skies—when “everything that hath breath,” the consecrated breath Divine—“shall join in one harmonious song, and crown Him Lord of all!” (J. O. Keen, D. D.)”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Let everything that breathes praise Jehovah. Praise Jehovah! (LITV-TSP)

Todo lo que respira alabe á JAH. Aleluya. (SRV)

(Click to Play)

Let Everything Praise ~ “God Is Great.” ©The Hyssongs

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Sunday Inspirations

“King” Birds

Hornbills

Bitterns

Hide Thou Me

Resting

Sharing The Gospel

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Alternative Bird Lists

Various Lists

Various Lists

“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Number every firstborn male of the sons of Israel from a month old and upward, and make a list of their names. (Numbers 3:40 NASB)

Saw this on Alternative Life List from About, which was a side-link from Keeping a Life Yard List.

“Many birders keep a life list, but the guidelines for what birds count on a life list that will be accepted by organizations or competitions can be strict. Fortunately, there are many alternative ways to keep a life list, from serious to silly, and each one adds a new dimension to enjoying the record-keeping side of birding.

Here are some of the List they suggest:

  • Geographic Lists:
  • Seasonal Lists:
  • Photographic Lists:
  • Subspecies Lists
  • Sound Lists
On Way to Lowry Pk Zoo - Crossed County line at 8:42

On Way to Lowry Pk Zoo – Crossed County line at 8:42

Then they list Silly Options For Fun Life Lists:

  • Captive Birds: (See them often)
  • Extinct Birds: (That might be a little difficult)
  • Taxidermy Birds: (Don’t do too many museums)
  • Hollywood Birds: (That might be interesting, you hear them in the backgrounds a lot)
  • Book Birds: (Yep, not too hard)
  • Dream Birds: (That would be hard if you don’t dream much – Wish Birds might be better)
  • Missed Birds: (That might be REAL easy)

I think I need to keep a Captive Bird List (my Zoos, Aviaries, Wildlife Rehabs and other places that have birds that are not free to leave.)

The Photographic Life List also sounds interesting. (I have plenty of “proof shots”)

eBird Report

eBird Report

Do you keep a list of birds? I do, but am not always faithful to record them. As we go on trips, I record all the birds I see as Dan drives. I include even the county, time, temp, and whether clear, cloudy, etc. I use eBird to keep North American birds, but again, don’t always log my findings until later. (or when I re-find my notepad)

Here are photos of some list written on trips and outings. You can tell if I forgot my Notepad, I am resourceful.

My List of ALL the Birds I Have Seen is really a combination of many of these.

I have written about Birdwatching Lists before, but found that article interesting and thought you might like to see how I do some of the listing. As you can see, it is not very scientific. Sometimes I draw a marking or shape to help ID it later. Now days, I try to capture my unknowns with my camera. Easier than drawing and I get to keep my eye on the bird.

What ever way you keep a list or lists is up to each one. The main thing is to get out and enjoy the beautiful birds the Lord has created for us to enjoy. I would rather miss getting something on my list, than missing the opportunity to watch the bird as long as possible. For some birds will only give you a glimpse of itself before it dashes away.

Finding a verse to use that had the word “list” in it required me to use my e-Sword again. Looking at different versions I was able to find some The KJV used, “number of their names,” the CJV used “determine how many there are,” DRB used “shalt take the sum of them” and the CRV used probably the best for this, “Write their names on a list”

Check out some other articles we have written about this:

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Flamingo Gardens – Dan’s Photos

Just got copies of Dan’s photos from our trip to Flamingo Gardens in Davie, Florida. We were there a little over of a month ago, but he is busy and with the Holidays, he finally fixed them, converted them to JPG’s, gave them to me and now have something to use for a blog. You can always find his great photos at Dan’s Pix.

So, thought I would share them with you in a gallery of just his photos. I will spare you from mine, this time. I had wanted them for the Eyes of the Heart blog, but didn’t get them finished until after I posted it. Maybe I can do an “Eyes Part 2 with these eyes, hmmm?

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

Dan is not a professional photographer, nor am I a great birdwatcher, but we both thoroughly enjoy going out to see the Lord’s Creative hand at work.

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