Here’s Seed for Thought

National Aviary - Outside feeder

National Aviary – Outside feeder

Here’s Seed for Thought

By James J. S. Johnson

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (Luke 8:11)Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. (1st Peter 1:23)

Luzon Bleeding-heart by Dan

Orni-Theology

God’s Word is like good seed – it transmits God’s very thoughts into new life.

If we have eyes to see it, the whole process of seed germination (in a sunflower, or in a human life) is a providential God-glorifying miracle, every time new life germinates.

Sunflowers for Bird Brains article by Dr James J S Johnson

Sunflowers by J J S Johnson

When I see sunflowers growing in farm-fields, or elsewhere, I often recall how God sometimes uses “accidental” plantings, caused by birds who occasionally drop sunflower seeds, thereby planting a new generation of sunflowers.

To illustrate, consider this poem, written almost 20 years ago.

BACKYARD BIRDS AND SUNFLOWER SEEDS

( © AD1997 James J. S. Johnson, used by permission )

Seeing hungry backyard birds
I filled a tray with seeds;
Sparrows, juncos dined in “herds”,
and jays arrived to feed;
Even cardinals, flashing red:
they came, they saw, they fed.

Bills gulped! seed-hulls popped!
Some seeds spilled! some seeds dropped!
Overhead, as some bird flew,
sunflower seeds did fall;
From green vines, they later grew,
seedlings, green and small.

Then out popped golden faces
Coloring grassy spaces;
Like baby suns of yellow,
Grinning — saying “hello”!
On green stalks they climb,
aiming to greet the sky;
Seed-packed in their prime,
picked by birds passing by.

Thus reaps my yard what jays did sow,
New seeds, from old, sunflowers grow.

Watch I, and think on what God made
How He designed such “mutual aid”…
In my backyard, I must surmise:
The Lord, Who did this, He is wise!

This poem was written when I lived in Carrollton, Texas, where I grew sunflowers by our backyard’s western fence, with the help of blue jay “planters” – but, of course, God gave the increase (1st Corinthians 3:7). (Those were the days, now like a faded dream gone by, when I taught ornithology and avian conservation at Dallas Christian College.)

Ruby-throated on Sunflower ©©Frank Boston

Ruby-throated on Sunflower ©©Frank Boston

When you see sunflowers — and birds who eat them, just remember this: those same birds, or their parents, may have “accidently” planted the seeds that germinated into the full-grown sunflowers that the birds now eat from!

Also, remember this also: God shows His wisdom and goodness everywhere you look, if you have the eyes to see it.

Furthermore, even more important, of course, is this: that “incorruptible seed” (to use Peter’s phrase) — that we call the Holy Bible – is the eternal Word of God, and He uses its truth to give us regenerated life in Christ!

><> JJSJ

Sparrows Eating From A Sunflower ©©Sagudino Flickr

Sparrows Eating From A Sunflower ©©Sagudino Flickr


Lee’s Addition:

Thanks again, Dr. Jim. Enjoyed your poem and the application. In fact, there is a stalk or two of corn growing under my feeder because of the birds. Had a Sunflower or two last summer growing under the feeders.

Oh, that we all would feast on His Word!

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) Male and Female ©WikiC

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) Male and Female ©WikiC

See:

Orni-Theology

James J.S. Johnson

*

Changed From The Inside Out

*

Sunday Inspiration – Crows and Jays

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) by Dan

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) by Dan

The Corvidae Family has 143 species, of which many are known to people around the world. A member of this family, the Raven is a well recognized Bird of the Bible. On our recent vacation, in Arizona we were able to see a wild Common Raven and a Stellar’s Jay for the first time. Was able to add these to my Life List of Birds on eBird.

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) Wild SD Zoo Day by Lee

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) Wild SD Zoo Day by Lee

Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) by Lee at Desert Museum AZ

Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) by Lee at Desert Museum AZ

The Corvidae Family not only has Crows, Ravens, and Jays, but the family also hosts; the Choughs, Treepies, Magpies, Bushcrow, Nutcrackers, Jackdaws, and the Rook.

“They are considered the most intelligent of the birds, and among the most intelligent of all animals, having demonstrated self-awareness in mirror tests (European magpies) and tool-making ability (crows, rooks)—skills until recently regarded as solely the province of humans and a few other higher mammals. Their total brain-to-body mass ratio is equal to that of great apes and cetaceans, and only slightly lower than in humans.

They are medium to large in size, with strong feet and bills, rictal bristles, and a single moult each year (most passerines moult twice). Corvids are found worldwide except for the tip of South America and the polar ice caps. The majority of the species are found in tropical South and Central America, southern Asia and Eurasia, with fewer than 10 species each in Africa and Australasia, and Australia.” (Wikipedia)

Could this intelligent family of created birds from the Creator’s Hand be the reason the Raven was chosen by Noah?

And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. (Genesis 8:6-7 KJV)

Enjoy these beautiful birds from their Creator:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“Peace Medley” ~ by Faith Baptist Choir

*

Sunday Inspirations

Birds of the Bible – Ravens

Corvidae – Crows, Jays Family

*

Lord Help Us!

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) Male and Female ©Crooks Bridge

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) Male and Female ©Crooks Bridge

Supreme Court rules 5-4 that same-sex couples can marry in all 50 states

Our Country has just decided to leave God totally out of our country. When a nation turns from God’s Truth, the Lord will no longer bless us like in the past. Shame on our country.

“Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. (Deuteronomy 11:26-28 NKJV)

*

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28 NKJV)

Swan Family ©USFWS

Swan Family ©USFWS

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
(Romans 1:17-32 NKJV)

*

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)

Sunday Inspiration – Monarchs

Black-faced Monarch (Monarcha melanopsis) by Ian

Black-faced Monarch (Monarcha melanopsis) by Ian

This Sunday we introduce you to the Monarchidae – Monarchs Family. This family of Passerines (songbirds) has 99 members that inhabit forest or woodland across sub-Saharan Africa, south-east Asia, Australasia and a number of Pacific islands. Only a few species migrate. Many species decorate their cup-shaped nests with lichen. Monarchids are small insectivorous songbirds with long tails.

The family is about equally divided between Monarchs and Flycatchers with a few other birds sprinkled in. Those other birds are Elepaio, Shrikebill, Magpie-lark and Torrent-lark. There are not many photos available to use, but if you click the different links on the Monarchidae – Monarchs Family page, you will taken to other sites to view those birds.

Pale-blue Monarch (Hypothymis puella) Female on nest ©WikiC

Pale-blue Monarch (Hypothymis puella) Female on nest ©WikiC

The monarch flycatchers are generally monogamous, with the pair bonds ranging from just a single season (as in the African paradise flycatcher) to life (the Elepaio). Only three species are known to engage in cooperative breeding; but many species are as yet unstudied. They are generally territorial, defending territories that are around 2 ha in size, but a few species may cluster their nesting sites closely together. The nests are in turn often aggressively defended by monarch flycatchers. In all species the nest is an open cup on a branch, fork or twig. In some species the nests can be highly conspicuous.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)


“He’s Looking on You” ~ by Dr. Richard Gregory

Jesus more than qualifies to be The Monarch and is Rightfully sitting on the Throne of God. There He is “looking on us.”

A monarch is the sovereign head of state in a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the most and highest authority in the state or others may wield that power on behalf of the monarch. Typically a monarch either personally inherits the lawful right to exercise the state’s sovereign rights (often referred to as the throne or the crown) or is selected by an established process from a family or cohort eligible to provide the nation’s monarch. (Wikipedia)

*

*

Vacation Bible School – 2015

Wednesday VBS2015 (19)

Opening Wednesday – Learning a Song

This year we are using Answers in Genesis’ Camp Kilimanjaro material for our Vacation Bible School. With over 200+ children signed up, we are staying busy. The theme is great and the lessons have been interesting so far.

A Lesson for the younger ones.

*

Threatning to divide a baby – Solomon’s Wisdom

This year, as I have for several years, many of the photos posted to our VBS 2015 section of Facebook, were taken by me. This means that I have been busy this week. The photos posted to the site are just the tip of the iceberg. It takes time to sort through them and clean them up a tad.

Stephen stopping by for a cookie.

Dan decided not to do photos this year and has become part of the Kitchen Crew. I call them the Cookie Monster Crew. It takes a lot of cookies (2 apiece) to feed 200+ for 5 days. Plus, we have 85 workers stopping by to get their cookies and snacks. (I’d rather walk around and take photos.)

Dan in the Kitchen

All of this said, no work is being done on all the photos from our vacation this week. I did find a bird in one of the posters today. Think I’ll keep it to use on the blog from time to time.

Beware of Wild Animals

Beware of Wild Animals

That Cardinal doesn’t seem too dangerous.

Thanks for stopping by to see what sort of adventure is going on this week. Pray for us as we do the various task we all have to do and especially for those doing the teaching of the lessons. Pray that the children will see the truth in God’s Word and that some may come to know the Lord as their personal saviour.

Wednesday VBS2015 (95)

(Stephen and the Lord are the ones responsible for the beginning of Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures coming into existence. Fifth Blog Anniversary)

Facebook photos of VBS 2015

Gospel Message

*

Sunday Inspiration – Fantails

Rufous Fantail (Rhipidura rufifrons) by Ian

Rufous Fantail by Ian

Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 41:16 KJV)

This week’s Inspiration comes from the Rhipiduridae – Fantails Family. You can see by Ian Montgomery’s photo above where their name came from. This family of birds has 50 species. All but three are Fantails. The other three are the Willie Wagtail, Silktail, and the Pygmy Drongo.

Fantails are small insectivorous birds of Australasia, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent belonging to the genus Rhipidura in the family Rhipiduridae. Most of the species are about 15 to 18 cm long, specialist aerial feeders, and named as “fantails”, but the Australian willie wagtail, is a little larger, and though still an expert hunter of insects on the wing, concentrates equally on terrestrial prey.

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) on Wallaby by Ian Montgomery

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) on Wallaby by Ian

The willie (or willy) wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) is a passerine bird native to Australia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Bismarck Archipelago, and Eastern Indonesia. It is a common and familiar bird throughout much of its range, living in most habitats apart from thick forest. Measuring 19–21.5 cm (7 128 12 in) in length, the willie wagtail is contrastingly coloured with almost entirely black upperparts and white underparts; the male and female have similar plumage.

Silktail (Lamprolia victoriae) ©WikiC

Silktail (Lamprolia victoriae) ©WikiC

The silktail (Lamprolia victoriae) is a species of bird endemic to Fiji. It is the only member of the genus Lamprolia. This beautiful bird looks superficially like a diminutive bird of paradise but it is actually closely related to the fantails.

The pygmy drongo or Papuan drongo (Chaetorhynchus papuensis) is a species of bird endemic to the island of New Guinea. It is the only species in the genus Chaetorhynchus. The species was long placed within the drongo family Dicruridae, but it differs from others in that family in having twelve rectrices instead of ten. Molecular analysis also supports moving the species out from the drongo family, instead placing it as a sister species to the Silktail of Fiji, and both those species in the fantail family Rhipiduridae. Some authorities reference the bird as the pygmy drongo-fantail. (Information from Wikipedia)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For which cause I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (2 Timothy 1:6 LITV)

“So Send I You” – Men’s Quartet – Faith Baptist

*

*

Sunday Inspiration – Figbirds, Orioles and Drongos

Today we have the Figbirds, Orioles and Drongo which reside in two more Passerine families. The Pitohuis are included and are members in the Oriolidae – Figbirds, Orioles Family.

Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured. (Proverbs 27:18 KJV)

Black-naped Oriole LPZoo by Lee

Black-naped Oriole Lowry Park Zoo by Lee

The Old World Orioles (Oriolidae – Figbirds, Orioles) are an Old World family of passerine birds that has 38 members. The orioles and figbirds are medium-sized passerines, around 20–30 cm in length, with the females only slightly smaller than the males. The beak is slightly curved and hooked, and, except in the figbirds, as long again as the head. The plumage of most species is bright and showy, although the females often have duller plumage than the males do. The plumage of many Australasian orioles mimics that of friarbirds (a genus of large honeyeaters), probably to reduce aggression against the smaller orioles. The family is distributed across Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The few temperate nesting species are migratory, and some tropical species also show seasonal movements. Orioles are arboreal and tend to feed in the canopy.

Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus) ©WikiC

Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus) ©WikiC

The Dicruridae – Drongos has 25 species. These insectivorous birds are usually found in open forests or bush. Most are black or dark grey in colour, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails; some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright whilst perched, like a shrike. They flycatch or take prey from the ground. Some drongos, especially the greater racket-tailed drongo, are noted for their ability to mimic other birds and even mammals.

Two to four eggs are laid in a nest high in a tree. Despite their small size, they are aggressive and fearless, and will attack much larger species if their nest or young are threatened.

The word drongo is used in Australia as a mild form of insult tantamount to the term “idiot”. This usage derives from an Australian racehorse of the same name (apparently after the spangled drongo, Dicrurus bracteatus) in the 1920s that never won despite many starts. (Info from Wikipedia)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (Matthew 21:21-22 KJV)

Listen to The Hyssongs play and sing as you watch these two beautifully created families of birds:

“He Touched Me ” ~ ©The Hyssongs

Sunday Inspirations

Birds of the World

*

Pastor Jerry Smith – Testimony

*

Last Photos of Our Vacation

Laughing Gull at Hanna Park by Lee

Laughing Gull at Hanna Park by Lee

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. (Jer 17:7)

Yesterday we wrapped up our long vacation. We spent our last day birdwatching at the Hanna Park in Jacksonville, Florida. We have actually been on the road since May 3rd. A total of 32 days traveling. We left home and drove to San Diego, California (2,400+ miles) and back via a little different route. Our total trip amounted to just over 6,000 miles. We saw the Pacific and decided to end it at the Atlantic. We are calling this our belated 50th Anniversary Trip (2 years late).

With over 8,000 photos, I will have some tales to tell and birds to share (also lots of photos to toss) Some were taken while Dan was driving. Why is it just about the time you click the camera, a bump shows up?

Hanna Park by Lee

Hanna Park by Lee

I didn’t want to say too much while we gone for so long, but now I can start sharing our adventures. Also, apologies for not getting to your sites as frequently as prefered. The unread emails have been building up. Kept up as best I could, but still stayed behind. Also had many blogs pre-scheduled which helped.

Anyway, we have been to four zoos; Houston, San Diego, San Antonio, Jacksonville and two Living Desert Museum/Zoos. Plus lots of other interesting things and scenery. You already saw the Mississippi Welcome Center and the Large Roadrunner.

Sea Gull with feet in Atlantic at Hanna Park by Lee

Sea Gull with feet in Atlantic at Hanna Park by Lee

Our adventures were not just about birds. We saw 3 ships, Battleship Texas, USS Midway and USS Alabama, plus a couple of Aircraft Museums. We also had to readjust our schedule (never really had one) and route because of all the bad weather across Texas. Also had a Tornado Warning group sitting around the TV while in San Antonio. We were near the basement shelter, if needed. Added around 10 new Life Birds, but still analyzing photos for more.

Gull with feet in the Pacific by Lee

Gull with feet in the Pacific by Lee

The Lord has been very gracious to us while we were gone. We have had safe travels and avoided much of the bad weather. Many were praying for us while we have been traveling. Thank you for those prayers. We also met many nice people along the way. Some are now reading the blog.

As we traveled the Lord’s Hand in creation is so obvious. From birds, critters, plants and to the various terrains, there is so many blessings from Him. We are thankful to the Lord for His protection and blessings.

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield. (Psa 5:11-12)

*

*

Sunday Inspiration – Shrikes and Vireos

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) by ©Wiki

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) by ©Wiki

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

Shrikes are passerine birds of the family Laniidae. The family is composed of thirty-three species in three genera. The family name, and that of the largest genus, Lanius, is derived from the Latin word for “butcher”, and some shrikes are also known as “butcher birds” because of their feeding habits. They are fairly closely related to the bush-shrike family Malaconotidae.

Most shrike species have a Eurasian and African distribution, with just two breeding in North America (the loggerhead and great grey shrikes). There are no members of this family in South America or Australia, although one species reaches New Guinea. The shrikes vary in the extent of their ranges, with some species like the great grey shrike ranging across the northern hemisphere to the Newton’s fiscal which is restricted to the island of São Tomé. They inhabit open habitats, especially steppe and savannah. A few species of shrike are forest dwellers, seldom occurring in open habitats. Some species breed in northern latitudes during the summer, then migrate to warmer climes for the winter.

Shrikes are medium-sized birds, up to 50 cm (20 in) in length, with grey, brown, or black and white plumage. Their beaks are hooked, like that of a bird of prey, reflecting their predatory nature, and their calls are strident.

Shrikes are known for their habit of catching insects and small vertebrates and impaling their bodies on thorns, the spikes on barbed-wire fences or any available sharp point. This helps them to tear the flesh into smaller, more conveniently sized fragments, and serves as a cache so that the shrike can return to the uneaten portions at a later time.

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) by Anthony 747

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) by Anthony 747

By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. (Psalms 104:12 NKJV)

The vireos make up a family, Vireonidae, of small to medium-sized passerine birds (mostly) restricted to the New World. They are typically dull-plumaged and greenish in color, the smaller species resembling wood warblers apart from their heavier bills. They range in size from the Chocó vireo, dwarf vireo and lesser greenlet, all at around 10 centimeters and 8 grams, to the peppershrikes and shrike-vireos at up to 17 centimeters and 40 grams.

Most species are found in Middle America and northern South America. Thirteen species of true vireos occur farther north, in the United States, Bermuda and Canada; of these all but Hutton’s vireo are migratory. Members of the family seldom fly long distances except in migration (Salaman & Barlow 2003). They inhabit forest environments, with different species preferring forest canopies, undergrowth, or mangrove swamps.

Males of most species are persistent singers. Songs are usually rather simple, monotonous in some species of the Caribbean littoral and islands, and most elaborate and pleasant to human ears in the Chocó vireo and the peppershrikes. (Info from Wikipedia)

*

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; (Genesis 28:3 KJV)

And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, (Genesis 48:3 KJV)

Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. (Revelation 11:17 KJV)

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. (Revelation 15:3 KJV)

Listen to Nell Reese play as you watch these two beautifully created families of birds:

“El Shaddai” – by Nell Reese

“El Shaddai” means “God Almighty”

Sunday Inspirations

Birds of the World

Shrike – Wikipedia

Vireo – Wikipedia

Sharing The Gospel

*

PENGUINS WITH SUNGLASSES – (Re-post)

Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) by Daves BirdingPix

Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) by Daves BirdingPix

PENGUINS WITH SUNGLASSES

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (Hebrews 1:3)

Have you ever gone outside on a bright, sunny day and been almost blinded by the light? Then imagine what it must be like for penguins to go about their lives with the intense glare of polar sunlight reflecting off a snowy or watery landscape.

Penguins, of course, can’t slip on a pair of sunglasses, but they don’t need to. These marvelous birds have an external eye fluid that filters out blue and ultraviolet wavelengths from the solar spectrum. This gives them clear vision while protecting their eyes from harm. As you might have guessed, eagles, falcons, hawks and other birds of prey also have this fluid.

Inspired by these birds, scientists have been able to develop an orange-colored dye and filter that duplicates the penguin’s retinal fluid. The orange dye has been used to produce orange-tinted sunglasses which provide improved vision in bright sunlight and on foggy days.

According to Donald DeYoung’s book Discovery of Design, many welders now use orange-colored masks that are safer and more transparent than the old-style dark masks that made it difficult for them to see. There is also the hope that orange-tinted glasses may someday help patients suffering from visual loss due to cataracts or macular degeneration.

When engineers and designers look at nature to design new products and product improvements, they are looking at intelligent designs, not the products of chance and billions of years. The “sunglasses” worn by penguins were designed by their Creator!

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I am filled with gratitude that You have given me not only eyes to see the world around me but spiritual eyes that can see the truths in Your Word! Amen.

Notes:
“Penguin Eye – Sunglasses”, Discovery of Design, D. DeYoung and D. Hobbs, pp. 112-113, Master Books, Second Printing, 2012. Photo: Courtesy of Flip619. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

(Used with permission of Creation Moments)


Lee’s Addition:

Wisdom is in the sight of him who has understanding, But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth. (Pro 17:24)

It continues to amaze me that men keep discovering so many useful things in the design of the critters that the Lord has created, yet refuse to honor or acknowledge Him. That eye protection is just another example of the Lord’s love and care of His Creation.

*

Creation Moments

More Interesting Things

*

 

 

 

Sunday Inspiration – Whistlers and Avian Friends

Whitehead (Mohoua albicilla) ©WikiC

Whitehead (Mohoua albicilla) ©WikiC

But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. (1 John 2:5 KJV)

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1 John 5:3 KJV)

Mohoua is a small genus of three bird species endemic to New Zealand. Their taxonomic placement has presented problems: They have typically been placed in the Pachycephalidae family (whistlers), but in 2013 it was established that they are best placed in their own family, Mohouidae.

All three species display some degree of sexual dimorphism in terms of size, with the males being the larger of the two sexes. Mohoua are gregarious and usually forage in groups . They also forage in mixed species flocks at times, frequently forming the nucleus of such flocks. Social organization and behavior is well documented for all three Mohoua species; cooperative breeding has been observed in all three species and is common in the Whitehead and Yellowhead. The three species of this genus are the sole hosts for the Long-tailed Cuckoo which acts as a brood parasite upon them, pushing their eggs out of the nest and laying a single one of its own in their place so that they take no part in incubation of their eggs or in raising their young.

Varied Sittella (Daphoenositta chrysoptera) Male by Ian

Varied Sittella (Daphoenositta chrysoptera) Male by Ian

The three Sittellas are in the Neosittidae family. are small passerines which resemble nuthatches in appearance.[1] The wings are long and broad, and when spread have clearly fingered tips. The family has a generally weak flight, which may explain their inability to colonize suitable habitat on islands like Tasmania. The legs are short but they have long toes, but in spite of their lifestyle they show little adaptation towards climbing. They have short tails and are between 10–14 cm in length and 8–20 g in weight, with the black sittella tending to be slightly larger and heavier. The bill is dagger shaped in the case of the black sittella and slightly upturned in the varied sittella. The plumage of the black sittella is mostly black with a red face; that of the varied sittella is more complex, with the numerous subspecies having many variations on the theme. The calls of sittellas are generally simple and uncomplicated. The sittellas are social and generally restless birds of scrub, forests and woodlands. In Australia they generally avoid only the dense rainforest, whereas in New Guinea this is the only habitat they inhabit, avoiding only lowland forest.

Wattled Ploughbill (Eulacestoma nigropectus) ©Drawing WikiC

Wattled Ploughbill (Eulacestoma nigropectus) ©Drawing WikiC

The Wattled Ploughbill is a small, approximately 14 cm long, olive-brown songbird with a strong, thick, wedge-shaped black bill, used to plough into dead tree branches, bark and twigs in search for its insects diet. The sexes are different. The male has black underparts, black wings and a large circular pink wattle on the cheek. The female has olive-green plumage and pale olive below. Only the adult male has wattles.

The only member of the monotypic genus Eulacestoma and family Eulacestomidae, the wattled ploughbill is distributed and endemic to central mountain ranges of New Guinea. The diet consists mainly of insects.

Crested Bellbird (Oreoica gutturalis) ©WikiC

Crested Bellbird (Oreoica gutturalis) ©WikiC

Oreoicidae is a newly recognized family of small insectivorous songbirds, formerly placed in the Old World warbler “wastebin” family. It contains 3 species, all in different genera. Rufous-naped Whistler, Crested Pitohui and Crested Bellbird.

Australian Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis) by Ian

Australian Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis) by Ian

The Whistler family has 56 species. The family Pachycephalidae, collectively the whistlers, includes the whistlers, shrikethrushes, shriketits, pitohuis and crested bellbird, and is part of the ancient Australo-Papuan radiation of songbirds. Its members range from small to medium in size, and occupy most of Australasia. Australia and New Guinea are the centre of their diversity, and in the case of the whistlers, the South Pacific islands as far as Tonga and Samoa and parts of Asia as far as India. The exact delimitation of boundaries of the family are uncertain.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 KJV)

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:8-10 KJV)

Listen to Dr. Richard Gregory sing as you watch these five beautifully created families of birds:

“The Love of God” ~ Dr. Richard Gregory

Sunday Inspirations

Birds of the World

*

Gideon

*

Birds of the Bible – Not Seeing Or Hearing

While reading in Isaiah lately, I came across this verse:

“Seeing many things, but you do not observe; Opening the ears, but he does not hear.” (Isaiah 42:20 NKJV)

When Dan and I visit aviaries, we spend quite a bit of time in them. Yes, we are birdwatchers and do photography, but it still amazes me the ones who come in, look around as they walk through, and then leave. They may be in there five minutes. We are there for 30, 45, 60 minutes or longer, depending on the size of the aviary.

Me and my big mouth causes me to speak up and point out birds they just walked by and never saw. Most times it is appreciated, but there are times when the kids (especially) only want to see the “big” animals. Well, a 6 foot Sarus Crane is “big.”

Sarus Crane (Grus antigone) by Lee at Wings of Asia

Sarus Crane (Grus antigone) by Lee at Wings of Asia

Sarus Crane (Grus antigone) by Lee at Wings of Asia

Sarus Crane (Grus antigone) by Lee at Wings of Asia

Also, some people don’t even hear the birds chirping and singing. Sometimes we all get so wrapped up in what we are thinking or doing, we forget to look, see, and hear what the Lord has created for us to enjoy. I am so glad for creationist scientist and organizations which study birds and animals. They see so many marvelous things in the way the Lord made the animals and birds, Even fish, other critters and especially the human body.

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) by Nikhil Devasar

Pacific Golden Plover by Nikhil Devasar Flies to Hawaii from Alaska without the help of its parents.

Back to the verse, Isaiah 42:20. I like this from John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible:

Isaiah 42:20
Seeing many things, but thou observest not,…. The Scribes and Pharisees, saw Christ in the flesh; they saw the miracles he did; they saw the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers cleansed, the deaf hear, and the dead raised; yet they did not give note to these things, and keep them in their minds, and regard them as clear proofs of his being the Messiah:

opening the ears, but he heareth not; they heard John Baptist preach, the forerunner of Christ, and the testimony he bore of him; they heard Christ himself and his apostles; they sometimes opened their ears, and seemed to listen and hear with attention, and wonder at what they heard; and some would own, that never man spake like Jesus; and yet understood not his speech, and hardened their hearts against him; they saw many things with their bodily eyes, but perceived them not with the eyes of their understandings; they heard with their ears, but understood not in their hearts; for their eyes were shut and their ears heavy, Isa_6:9.

May we, that know the Lord as our Savior, keep our eyes and ears open to God’s Word. May we see His creation and realize, what was spoken in Isaiah 46:9-10:

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (Isaiah 46:9-10 KJV)

God created it all and He has prophesied things that would transpire, which many have already come true, like the prophesies of the Lord Jesus Christ coming and dying as our Savior. Plus many, many more fulfilled prophecies.

Are we seeing and hearing?

*

Birds of the Bible

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Sarus Crane

Pacific Golden

Incredible Pacific Golden Plover

Gospel Message

*