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.

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Creation Moments

More Interesting Things

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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.

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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

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Gideon

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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?

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Birds of the Bible

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Sarus Crane

Pacific Golden

Incredible Pacific Golden Plover

Gospel Message

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Sunday Inspiration – Cuckooshrikes

Black-faced Cuckooshrike (Coracina novaehollandiae)  by Ian

Black-faced Cuckooshrike (Coracina novaehollandiae) by Ian

Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)

The cuckooshrikes and allies in the Campephagidae family are small to medium-sized passerine bird species found in the subtropical and tropical Africa, Asia and Australasia. The roughly 92 species are found in eight (or nine) genera which comprise five distinct groups, the ‘true’ cuckooshrikes (Campephaga, Coracina, Lobotos, Pteropodocys and Campochaera) the trillers (Lalage), the minivets (Pericrocotus), the flycatcher-shrikes (Hemipus). The woodshrikes (Tephrodornis) were often considered to be in this family but are probably better placed in their own family, the Tephrodornithidae, along with the philentomas and the flycatcher-shrikes.

Pied Triller (Lalage nigra) ©WikiC

Pied Triller (Lalage nigra) ©WikiC

Overall the cuckooshrikes are medium to small arboreal birds, generally long and slender. The smallest species is the small minivet at 16 cm (6.3 in) and 6-12 grams (0.2-0.4 oz), while the largest is the south Melanesian cuckooshrike at 35 cm (14 in) and 180 grams (6 oz). They are predominantly greyish with white and black, although the minivets are brightly coloured in red, yellow and black, and the blue cuckooshrike of central Africa is all-over glossy blue. The four cuckooshrikes in the genus Campephaga exhibit sexual dimorphism, with males that have glossy black plumage and bright red or yellow wattles, the females having more subdued olive-green plumage. The genus Coracina is not monophyletic.

New Caledonian Cuckooshrike (Coracina analis) ©WikiC

New Caledonian Cuckooshrike (Coracina analis) ©WikiC

The majority of cuckooshrike are forest birds. Some species are restricted to primary forest, like the New Caledonian cuckooshrike, others are able to use more disturbed forest. Around eleven species use much more open habitat, one Australian species, the ground cuckooshrike being found in open plains and scrubland with few trees.

The ‘true’ cuckooshrikes are usually found singly, in pairs, and in small family groups, whereas the minivets, flycatcher-shrikes and wood-shrikes more frequently form small flocks. There is a considerable amount of variation within the family as a whole with regards to calls, some call very infrequently and some, principally the minivets, are extremely vocal.

(Info from Wikipedia with editing)

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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 1:20 KJV)

Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. (John 10:25 NKJV)

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:20 KJV)

Listen to the Hyssongs as you watch the interesting Cuckooshrike family whom the Lord created:

“There’s Something About That Name” © The Hyssongs

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More Sunday Inspirations

Birds of the World

Cuckooshrike – Wikipedia

Cuckoo-shrike – IBC

Cuckooshrikes – Birds of the World

Falling Plates

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Sunday Inspiration – Vangas and Friends

White-headed Vanga (Artamella viridis) ©WikiC

White-headed Vanga (Artamella viridis) ©WikiC

For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. (Psalms 50:10-11 ESV)

The Vangas (from vanga, Malagasy for the hook-billed vanga, Vanga curvirostris) are a group of little-known small to medium-sized passerine birds restricted to Madagascar and the Comoros. They are usually classified as the family Vangidae. There are about 21 or 22 species, depending on taxonomy. Most species are shrike-like, arboreal forest birds, feeding on reptiles, frogs and insects. Several other Madagascan birds more similar to Old World warblers, Old World babblers or Old World flycatchers are now often placed in this family. Vangas differ greatly in bill shape and have a variety of foraging methods. Their stick nests are built in trees. They do not migrate.

Mounted Bornean Bristlehead (Pityriasis gymnocephala), at the Muséum d'Histoire naturelle de Genève. ©WikiC

Mounted Bornean Bristlehead (Pityriasis gymnocephala), at the Muséum d’Histoire naturelle de Genève. ©WikiC

The Bornean Bristlehead (Pityriasis gymnocephala), also variously known as the bristled shrike, bald-headed crow or the bald-headed wood-shrike, is the only member of the passerine family Pityriaseidae and genus Pityriasis. It is an enigmatic and uncommon species of the rainforest canopy of the island of Borneo, to which it is endemic.

White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus amydrus) by Lee Zoo Miami

White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus amydrus) by Lee ZM

Woodswallows are soft-plumaged, somber-coloured passerine birds. There are 24 a single genus, Artamus, The woodswallows are either treated as a subfamily, Artaminae in an expanded family Artamidae, which includes the butcherbirds and Australian Magpie, or as the only genus in that family. The generic name, which in turn gives rise to the family name, is derived from the Ancient Greek artamos, meaning butcher or murder. The name was given due to their perceived similarity to shrikes, indeed a former common name for the group was “swallow-starlings”

Woodswallows are smooth, agile flyers with moderately large, semi-triangular wings. They are among the very few passerines birds that soar, and can often be seen feeding just above the treetops. One sedentary species aside, they are nomads, following the best conditions for flying insects, and often roosting in large flocks.
Although woodswallows have a brush-tipped tongue they seldom use it for gathering nectar.

Mottled Whistler (Rhagologus leucostigma) ©©Katerina Tvardikova

Mottled Whistler (Rhagologus leucostigma) ©©Katerina Tvardikova

The Mottled Whistler (Rhagologus leucostigma) is a species of bird whose relationships are unclear but most likely related to the woodswallows, boatbills and butcherbirds. It is monotypic within the genus Rhagologus and family Rhagologidae. It is found in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, where its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests

Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) by Clement Francis

Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) by Clement Francis

The Ioras (Aegithinidae) are a small family of four passerine bird species found in India and southeast Asia. The Ioras are small to medium small sized passerines, ranging from 11.5 to 15.5 cm (4.5–6.1 in) in length. Overall the males are larger than the females. These are reminiscent of the bulbuls, but whereas that group tends to be drab in colouration, the ioras are more brightly colored. The group exhibits sexual dimorphism in its plumage, with the males being brightly plumaged in yellows and greens. Unlike the leafbirds, ioras have thin legs, and their bills are proportionately longer. Calls are strident whistles; songs are musical to human ears.

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Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. (Mark 9:23 KJV)

Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (John 6:67-69 KJV)

Listen to the Hyssongs as you watch these five different families the Lord has created for us to enjoy.

“I Still Believe” – ©The Hyssongs

Sunday Inspirations

Birds of the World

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Gospel Presentation

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FEATHERED DINOSAURS from Creation Moments

Changyuraptor yangi (aka feathered dinosaur)©WikiC

Changyuraptor yangi (aka feathered dinosaur)©WikiC

FEATHERED DINOSAURS

“As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.” Isaiah 31:5

A new species of dinosaur has been found. Scientists are calling Changyuraptor yangi the biggest feathered dinosaur ever discovered. Here at Creation Moments, however, we’re calling it a feathered bird. Dinosaur-to-bird evolution is nothing more than a flight of fancy.

Changyuraptor yangi (aka feathered dinosaur) ©Stephanie Abramowicz

Changyuraptor yangi (aka feathered dinosaur) ©Stephanie Abramowicz

Naturally, USA Today, BBC News and many other news outlets are calling it a four-winged dinosaur. Changyuraptor yangi, they say, is a new species of dinosaur that offers “clues to the origin of flight – and the transition from feathered dinosaurs to birds.” Research scientists also say that “the new fossil possesses the longest known feathers for any non-avian dinosaur.”

Non-avian? No, we’re still calling them birds, and here’s why. For one thing, dinosaurs and other reptiles have scales, which are folds in their skin. Birds, on the other hand, have feathers which grow out of follicles. Scales and feathers are completely different. No known fossils, in fact, provide evidence of a transition from scales to feathers.

Furthermore, for a dinosaur to evolve into a bird, it would need to develop hollow bones, and it would need to gain powerful flight muscles and develop a new heart with four chambers rather than three.

So, too, do we need a new heart to understand the things of God. We don’t evolve our old heart into a new one. Our new heart comes to us through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:
Thank You, Father, for sending the Holy Spirit so we can have a close and enduring relationship with You! Amen.

Notes:
Scientists discover largest four-winged dinosaur to date“, USA Today, 7/15/14. “Four-winged dinosaur is ‘biggest ever‘”, BBC News Science & Environment, 7/16/14. “A new raptorial dinosaur with exceptionally long feathering provides insights into dromaeosaurid flight performance,” Nature Communications, 7/15/14. Illustration: Changyuraptor yangi. Courtesy of Stephanie Abramowicz, Dinosaur Institute, NHM. Used for educational purposes under U.S. fair use doctrine.

Used with permission from Creation Moments©2015


Lee’s Addition:

Actually, there are several verses in Scripture that mention a creature with four wings. Ezekiel 1:6&8: 10:21 and this verse in Daniel 7:6 says:

“After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. (Daniel 7:6 NKJV)

Flying with four wings seems to be possible.

Now for some other rebuttal  articles from Christian Creation sources:

Plus

Falling Plates

Sunday Inspiration – Bushshrikes and Boatbills

Rosy-patched Bushshrike (Telophorus cruentus) ©WikiC

Rosy-patched Bushshrike (Telophorus cruentus) ©WikiC

And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. (Exodus 3:2-3 KJV)

This Sunday you get to meet two more families from the Song Birds (Passerines), the Malaconotidae – Bushshrikes Family with 50 members and the Machaerirhynchidae – Boatbills Family with only 2 species.

Orange-breasted Bushshrike (Chlorophoneus sulfureopectus) ©WikiC

Orange-breasted Bushshrike (Chlorophoneus sulfureopectus) ©WikiC

The Bushshrikes are smallish passerine bird species. They were formerly classed with the true shrikes in the family Laniidae, but are now considered sufficiently distinctive to be separated from that group as the family Malaconotidae.

This is an African group of species which are found in scrub or open woodland. They are similar in habits to shrikes, hunting insects and other small prey from a perch on a bush. Although similar in build to the shrikes, these tend to be either colorful species or largely black; some species are quite secretive.

Some bushshrikes have flamboyant displays. The male puffbacks puff out the loose feathers on their rump and lower back, to look almost ball-like.
These are mainly insectivorous forest or scrub birds. Up to four eggs are laid in a cup nest in a tree.

Yellow-breasted Boatbill (Machaerirhynchus flaviventer) by Ian

Yellow-breasted Boatbill (Machaerirhynchus flaviventer) by Ian

Boatbills or the Machaerirhynchus is a genus of passerine birds with affinities to woodswallows and butcherbirds. The two species are known as boatbills. The genus is distributed across New Guinea and northern Queensland. (Info from Wikipedia)

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Listen to a quartet sing as you watch these two beautifully created families of birds:

“We Shall See Jesus” ~ Margaret Hiebert, Pastor and Jill Osborne and Pastor Jerry Smith

Sunday Inspirations

Birds of the World

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Gospel Message

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Sunday Inspiration – Woodshrikes and Helmetshrikes

White-crested Helmetshrike (Prionops plumatus) ©WikiC

White-crested Helmetshrike (Prionops plumatus) ©WikiC

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:17 KJV)

The two families this week are the Woodshrikes from tropical Asia and the Helmetshrikes are birds of Africa. Both are from the PASSERIFORMES – Passerines Order, which are Songbirds. The Lord has given them all a song to sing. Trust you will enjoy seeing them and listening to our orchestra play about ‘Joy.”

Large woodshrike (Tephrodornis gularis) ©WikiC

Large woodshrike (Tephrodornis gularis) ©WikiC

Tephrodornithidae – Woodshrikes and allies – 8 Species – is a family of birds that includes the genera Hemipus, Tephrodornis and Philentoma. The family was proposed in 2006 on the basis of a molecular phylogenetic study by Moyle which showed a close relation between Hemipus and Tephrodornis. Some taxonomists argue for a broader treatment of the genera under the Vangidae

Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike (Prionops scopifrons) ©WikiC

Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike (Prionops scopifrons) ©WikiC

Prionopidae – Helmetshrikes – 8 Species –This is an African and south Asian group of species which are found in scrub or open woodland. They are similar in feeding habits to shrikes, hunting insects and other small prey from a perch on a bush or tree. Although similar in build to the shrikes, these tend to be colourful species with the distinctive crests or other head ornaments, such as wattles, from which they get their name.

Helmetshrikes are noisy and sociable birds, some of which breed in loose colonies. They lay 2-4 eggs in neat, well-hidden nests.

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But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:8-9 NKJV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (Galatians 5:22 KJV)

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. (Psalms 51:8 KJV)

Listen to the Faith Baptist Orchestra play as you watch these two beautifully created families of birds:

” I’ve Got Joy” ~ by the Faith Baptist Orchestra

Sunday Inspirations

Birds of the World

Tephrodornithidae – Wikipedia

Tephrodornithidae – Le quide ornitho

Helmetshrike – Wikipedia

Helmetshrikes – Bird Families of the World

Wordless Birds

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“Flag That Bird!” (Part 3)

“Flag that bird!”  (Part 3)

 As birds flying [‘aphôth = “winging” in air], so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also He will deliver it; and passing over He will preserve it. (Isaiah 31:5)

Luzon Bleeding-heart by Dan

Orni-Theology

Some birds are known for perching – we call them passerines.  Some wade in shoreline tidewaters – we call them waders.  Some birds don’t even fly at all – the flightless penguins only “fly” underwater!  Many other birds, however, we rarely see doing anything but flying — winging in the air (to use the Biblical Hebrew’s word-picture). Today’s featured creature, the Great Frigatebird, is truly a bird of flight – it is conspicuous in the air, and its wings are both acrobatic and enormous. Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Female by Ian In Flag those Birds! (Part 1)”,  we considered 4 “banner birds”  –  besides globally popular eagles  –  that appear on national flags:  Belgium’s Wallonian Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus); Portugal’s Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis); Burma’s Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus); and Dominica’s Sisserou Parrot (Amazona imperialis). In Flag those Birds! (Part 2)”,  we considered 2 more “banner birds”:  the British Antarctic Territory’s Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri), and the Saint Helena Plover, a/k/a Saint Helena’s skinny-legged “Wirebird” (Charadrius sanctaehelenae). As promised, this mini-series is continuing with more “flagged birds”, this time, with the Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor), the soaring seabird officially featured on the flag of Kiribati, a Pacific Ocean nation. God willing, we will subsequently review Papua New Guinea’s bird of paradise (on the flag of Papua New Guinea), the ubiquitous dove (on Fiji’s flag, as well as on the royal standard of Tonga), the black swan of Western Australia,  the white piping shrike of South Australia,  the condor of Bolivia;  and Uganda’s crested crane. So for now, let us consider the frigatebird, which appears on the flag of Kiribati. In case you haven’t visited Kiribati yet, the Republic of Kiribati is an archipelago  —  a cluster of islands — located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  Specifically it is comprised of 34 islands, one of which (Banaba) is a “raised coral” island, and the rest of which are reef islands or atolls. The term “middle” (in the phrase “middle of the Pacific”) is fitting, because Kiribati straddles the equator and the International Date Line. To avoid confusion about what “day” it is, — because it would be awkward for neighboring islands to be simultaneously experiencing different “days” on the calendar (e.g., some government offices were closed, observing Sunday, while others were open for business, observing Monday!), — the International Date Line is indented, so that now the Kiribati Islands are, technically speaking, Earth’s farthest frontal time zone (called “UTC+14”, meaning “Universal Time Coordinated”, a/k/a Coordinated Universal Time, f/k/a Universal Time [UT] or Greenwich Mean Time [GMT], — so UTC+14 is 14 hours ahead of the time observed in Greenwich, London,  at the Royal Observatory).   Sorry for taking so much time on this digression’s details. 

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) pair ©Flickr Len Blumin

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) pair ©Flickr Len Blumin

Interestingly, Kiribati’s time-of-day matches that of Hawaii – but it is deemed one “day” ahead on the calendar.  (Hawaii’s time zone is very “late” in the Earth’s rotational “day”,  a fact that I recall because I worked with some lawyers who took advantage of that once — when a contract option deadline appeared to be lost, because locking in a particular contract option required a signature before 5:00pm on a certain day, but no time zone was specified – the solution was to FAX the contract papers to the Hawaii office and have them signed there, before it was 5:00pm Hawaii time!). Previously Kiribati was within (and almost synonymous with) the Gilbert Islands, just west of the old “date line” – when it was a British colony.  (In fact, the name “Kiribati” is how the native language says “Gilberts”.)   And, if you think that is confusing, you should check out how “daylight saving time” (which may locally vary from “UTC” time, during parts of the year) is applied in the central Pacific Ocean and to some of the neighboring island nations, such as Tonga, Samoa, and Tokelau!

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Male ©WikiC

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Male ©WikiC

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor).  The Great Frigatebird is found soaring above tropical oceans all over the world.  Because it is almost always seen at sea, it is not surprising that English sailors (centuries ago) called it the “man-of-war”, a term that indicated a fast-sailing oceanic warship, the same kind of ship that the French called a “frigate” (la frégate). If you ever watch a frigatebird in the air, contextualized by a background (or foreground) that provides distance indexing – as I once did (a Magnificent Frigatebird “cousin”, actually, near the shoreline of Grand Cayman, one of the Cayman Islands), – you too will be impressed with the frigatebird’s speedy flight maneuvers.  In fact, its habit of stealing food (such as fish) from other seabirds is so well-known that the bird might have been better labeled the “pirate-bird”.   Why?  Frigatebirds often harass seagulls carrying fish, in the air, repeatedly, until the seagull drops – abandons – his or her piscatorial food-catch, in order to escape the threatening frigatebird.  As the bullied victim (seagull) flees the scene of the crime, empty-beaked, the buccaneering frigatebird swoops down after the plummeting food, snatching it out of the air before it drops into the water. The physical appearance of a frigatebird is not to be easily forgotten.  Frigatebirds are mostly black, with long angular wings, with a long sharply forked tail that looks pointed when “closed”.  (Males are almost all black, except for the red gular pouch (described below); the females have a white “bib” covering most of the neck-to-chest area (but have no gular pouch).  Frigatebirds “have long, thin, hooked bills and the males [each] possess an inflatable gular pouch which can be blown up to form a huge scarlet ball during courtship”.  [Quoting Marc Dando, Michael Burchett, & Geoffrey Waller, SeaLife, a Complete Guide to the Marine Environment (Smithsonian Institute Press, 1996), page 248.]  The male’s bright red “gular pouch” is a skin-covered (i.e., featherless) inflatable throat sac that connects the lower half of the bird’s beak down to and below the bird’s neck.  This inflatable throat sac, quite conspicuous during breeding season, is showcased during courtship displays, swelling into a balloon-like inflation (like a bullfrog), for a timeframe that may exceed 15 minutes!  The noise produced by this throat sac “sound-box” is the frigatebird’s rattling equivalent to yodeling.

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Male Displaying ©WikiC

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Male Displaying ©WikiC

The Great Frigatebird is usually seen soaring above ocean waters, or swooping through the air near island beaches, looking (“on the fly”) for a meal.  In fact, frigatebirds are rarely seen on land during daylight, though they must use land for sleeping and for nesting activities, such as laying and hatching their eggs.  [See www.icr.org/article/why-we-want-go-home/ — citing Tony Soper, Oceans of Birds (London:  David & Charles Press, 1989), pages 82-83.] Oceanographer Tony Soper describes the winged magnificence of this oceanic flier:  “Frigatebirds live up to their reputation [i.e., “frigate” = seafaring warship] with spectacular manoeuvres in aerial pursuit and piracy, stalling and turning with total control in a way which outclasses any competition.  Supremely aerial seabirds, they can hang seemingly motionless in the sky for hours [gliding], waiting to pounce.  The air is their daytime medium, they alight on the water only at their peril, for they have small oil glands and their plumage is not waterproof. … They are equally at a disadvantage on dry land, for their legs are short and hopelessly inadequate for walking.  They must shuffle and climb to a point from which they can take off [and “land” on a rising thermal air current, as if it was an elevator].  By night they roost on a tree or bush which offers a convenient launch-pad when the sunrise brings a thermal lift.  They have huge wings, up to 7ft. (2.1m) in span….  With their shapely wings they float effortlessly in dynamic soaring flight, plunging only to retrieve food items from the surface or to snatch a flying fish.  Sometimes they chase other seabirds to relieve [i.e., rob] them of their catch. “   [Quoting Tony Soper, Oceans of Birds (London:  David & Charles Press, 1989), pages 82-83.] Frigatebirds congregate in breeding colonies, often near colonies of other seabirds (such as cormorants, pelicans, and boobies), not infrequently mooching food collected by their avian neighbors.

Republic of Kiribati, adopted AD1979 ©PD

The frigatebird appears to be soaring in sunrise-dominated sky above the ocean waters, in the colorful flag of Kiribati, with the three white stripes representing the three island subsets of Kiribati, the Gilbert Islands, Phoenix Islands, and some of the Line Islands.   (The national coat-of-arms is similar.) Earlier, when Kiribati belonged to the British colony of “Gilbert and Ellice Islands”, the colonial flag included the image of a yellow frigatebird (within a coat-of-arms emblem) soaring in the sunrise above ocean waters.

Gilbert and Ellice Island, as a British colony, AD1937 ©PD

Kiribati is a nation that celebrates its past, including its providential heritage as a colony Christianized by the British.  Its official public holidays not only include Easter (celebrating the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ) and related days (“Good Friday”, “Holy Saturday”, and “Easter Monday”)), as well as Christmas (celebrating the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ), but also “Gospel Day” (a moveable holiday scheduled on or near July 11th), to celebrate the coming of the Christian faith to these Pacific islands, thanks to God sending Christian missionaries.  Now that’s a day worth celebrating! (See Romans 10:20.) Other national holidays celebrate elderly men (“Unimwane Day”), elderly women (“Unaine Day”),  youth (“Youth Day”), servants (“Boxing Day” – for giving boxed Christmas presents to men and women who serve), and women in general (“International Women’s Day”).   So why not have a holiday to celebrate the value of men in general?  Maybe the omission should be compared to the difference between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, as they are celebrated in most churches.  On Mother’s Day the typical sermon raves about how wonderful and precious mothers are (and they are applauded, given roses, etc.),  —  but on Father’s Day the typical sermon castigates men for being such sorry fathers, failing, failing, and failing yet again to carry their paternal responsibilities properly — why won’t they do a better job?  (Yet consider this related fact about ingrates:  God the Heavenly Father, Who never fails, knows the ugly ingratitude of billions of humans who fail to appreciate His wonderful, caring providences.  The Lord Jesus was a “man of sorrows”, the Holy Spirit is sometimes “grieved”, and surely God the Father is often disappointed.) The next scheduled bird, on this mini-series list, is the Bird of Paradise, but that bird must wait for another day.  Please stay tuned (and don’t forget Mother’s Day)!

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“Flag That Bird!”  (Part 1)

“Flag That Bird!”  (Part 2)

More Articles by James J. S. Johnson

Orni-Theology

Fregatidae – Frigatebirds Family

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Plus – Melipona Bee Defies Evolution

Melipona Bee ©WikiC

Melipona Bee ©WikiC

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Colossians 1:16-17 KJV)

While reading an article from Sage Brush’s “The Vine Vigil” he included this video from exploration films:

To find out more about this relationship between bees and the vanilla bean plus other videos, go to:

God’s Creation – Vanilla Beans and Melipona Bees

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. (Psalms 148:5 KJV)

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Just realized this little jewel has been written about before, but Sage Brush’s article is very interesting.

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Tickle Me Tuesday – Laughing Kookaburras

Kookaburra at Brevard Zoo by Dan

Kookaburra at Brevard Zoo by Dan

…God has made me to laugh; all who hear will laugh with me. (Genesis 21:6 AMP – emphasis by me)

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter [Job] and your lips with joyful shouting. (Job 8:21 AMP)

While at the Lowry Park Zoo, we were able to hear and video the Laughing Kookaburras. They will put a smile on your face and a tickle in your heart. We have featured them before, but thought they should be featured again.

For You, O Lord, have made me glad by Your works; at the deeds of Your hands I joyfully sing. (Psalms 92:4 AMP)

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy, yes, sing praises! (Psalms 98:4 AMP)

and

Then were our mouths filled with laughter, and our tongues with singing. Then they said among the nations, The Lord has done great things for them. The Lord has done great things for us! We are glad! (Psalms 126:2-3 AMP)

See also:

Unless, I change my mind or someone sends me a link to some birds in a “Tickle Me” action, this will probably be the last one for now. While trying to find some videos to use or photos, I became frustrated while searching for appropriate items for this blog. Either evolution, cuss words, or innuendos were used, that I choose not to share. Call me “old-fashioned” or whatever, but we try to honor the Lord on this site.

Here are the Tickle Me Tuesday that were produced. This post will become a link on the menu under PLUS, so all of them can be found again, if you choose. Typing “Tickle Me” in the search will also bring them all back up.

Other Tickle Me Tuesday’s

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Sunday Inspiration – Whipbirds, Wattle-eyes and Allies

As you have been viewing the Sunday Inspirations lately, we have been going through the Passerines or Passerfiormes Order in taxonomic order. So far, I have shown you 30 families, which makes us almost a forth of the way through the 125 Passerine families.

Today’s families are the Psophodidae – Whipbirds, Jewel-babblers, Quail-thrushes Family with 16 members and the Platysteiridae – Wattle-eyes, Batises Family with 33 species.

Whipbirds, Jewel-babblers, Quail-thrushes that make up the Psophodidae family are native to Australia and nearby areas. They occur in forest, generally replacing each other at different altitudes. The painted quail-thrush is also found in the forests of New Guinea.The other quail-thrushes are restricted to Australia where they are found in drier habitats, occurring in open forest, scrub and on stony ground.[8] None of the species are thought to be threatened but one subspecies of the spotted quail-thrush is possibly extinct.

The whipbirds and wedgebills are all found in Australia, occurring in a range of habitats from rainforest to arid scrub. The western whipbird is considered to be near-threatened because of habitat loss and fires while the Papuan whipbird is classed as data deficient..

They are terrestrial birds which fly fairly weakly and prefer to squat or run when disturbed. They forage on the ground feeding mainly on insects and other invertebrates.[9] In the desert, quail-thrushes also eat some seeds. They build a cup-shaped nest among shrubs or on the ground. Two or three eggs are laid.

Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus) by Ian

Eastern Whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus) by Ian

Here is the song of the Eastern Whipbird. It sounds like someone snapping a whip.

Brown-throated Wattle-eye (Platysteira cyanea) ©WikiC

Brown-throated Wattle-eye (Platysteira cyanea) Male ©WikiC

The Platysteiridae Wattle-eyes, Batises Family are a favorite of mine because of their eyes. They are a family of small stout birds living in trees, primarily of the woodlands and forests of sub-Saharan Africa. The family contains the wattle-eyes, batises and shrike-flycatchers. They were previously classed as a subfamily of the Old World flycatcher family Muscicapidae.

These insect-eating birds are found in usually open forests or bush. They hunt by flycatching, or by taking prey from the ground like a shrike. The nest is a small neat cup low in a tree or bush. The most important component of the diet of all species is insects, although spiders, millipedes and scorpions are also taken, and there are even records of small lizards being consumed.

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For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He ponders all his paths. (Proverbs 5:21 NKJV)

My son, give me your heart, And let your eyes observe my ways. (Proverbs 23:26 NKJV)

The humble shall see this and be glad; And you who seek God, your hearts shall live. (Psalms 69:32 NKJV)

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

” Be Thou My Vision and Battle Hymn of the Republic” ~ played by Sean Fielder

Sunday Inspirations

Passeriformes Birds so far:

Birds of the World

Cinclosomatidae or Psophodidae Family – Wikipedia

Platysteiridae – Wattle-eye – Wikipedia

Good News

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