Birds of the Bible – Heron Update

Tricolored Heron at Gatorland (5)

Tricolored Heron at Gatorland by Lee

And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:19 KJV)

Great Blue Heron 2

Great Blue Heron camouflaged by Lee

And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Deuteronomy 14:18 KJV)

The original Birds of the Bible – Heron article was posted on July 17, 2008. Seems like it’s time for an update and to keep our Heron family visible. Actually, some of the family members are very good at hiding or blending in with their surroundings. Their Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, designed them to be slim like the reeds they hide in, called camouflage, and gave them the ability to move back and forth again like reeds. Notice the Tricolored Heron in the first photo. Even though he is blue, the sky color reflecting in the water actually is helping keep him “hidden in plain view.”


CLASS – AVES, Order – PELECANIFORMES, Family – Ardeidae – Herons, Bitterns, Egrets


Here in central Florida we can see many Herons, such as the:
(Click link for photo from Dan’s website)
Great Blue Heron (L46″ Wingspan 72″)
Little Blue Heron (L24 Wingspan 40″)
Tri-colored Heron (L26 Wingspan 36″)
Green Heron (L18″ Wingspan 26)
Black-crowned Night Heron (L25″ Wingspan 26″)
Yellow-crowned Night Heron (L24″ Wingspan 42″)

Around the World the Ardeidae family, now with 72 species, includes Herons (46), Egrets (9) and Bitterns (15). From Thayer Birding Software, “Most herons nest in dense or dispersed colonies; a few species, including most bitterns, are solitary. Nests are platforms of interlocked sticks in trees or piles of vegetation in reeds or on the ground, built mainly or entirely by the female of material brought by the male.”

Most of the Herons rest and fly with their necks in an “S” curve. They can be seen along or in the edges of water fishing. Many stand perfectly still looking in the water and then thrust with a quick movement to either spear or catch their prey. You can see that in the video I posted yesterday.

This video of a Great Egret was watching something so intently. Also, notice how his neck sways like they do in the tall grass or reeds. Egrets are part of the Heron Family group.

Herons amaze me in how perfectly still they stand and wait. They seem so patient to me. Herons are on the “unclean” list of birds found in Leviticus 11:19 and Deuteronomy 14:18. Because they are so “patient” and “wait,” it reminds me of:

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. (Psalms 37:7 KJV)
And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. (Hebrews 6:15 KJV)
The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season (Psalms 145:15 KJV
And of course our great verse from last week:
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 KJV)

Hymns mention “waiting” and being “still” and “patient. Here is a favorite:

Be Still, My Soul by Katharina von Schlegel,
1697-Trans. By Jane L. Borthwick, 1813-1897

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev’ry change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Thro’ thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hast’ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

*

Birds of the Bible – Herons

Birds of the Bible

Ardeidae – Herons, Bitterns, Egrets

 

Birds of the Bible – Who Colored These Originally?

Blue Jay Photo Chopped in Rainbow Colors - From Pinterest by Richard SequinWho Colored These Originally?

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 KJV)

My Bible tells me in Genesis chapter 1 that God created everything, including all our avian wonders.

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) at Bok Tower By Dan'sPix

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) at Bok Tower By Dan’sPix

In fact, we are told specifically that on the fifth day of creation, God created the Birds:

Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day. (Genesis 1:20-23 NKJV)

When the birds were brought forth, judging from today, that they were beautifully arrayed. We can look around at the over 10,000 species today, in spite of being corrupted by the curse (Genesis 3), and see that they are magnificently arrayed in beautiful, fantastic colors and hues.

 

Nicobar Pigeon - False

Nicobar Pigeon – Falsely Colored

Nicobar Pigeon at Lower Park Zoo by Dan

Nicobar Pigeon at Lower Park Zoo by Dan

Then again in John 1:1-3 we see that the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the one who made them.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3 KJV)

All of that was stated to establish who the birds were created by. Now for the point of this article.

I belong to Pinterest which is a visual discovery tool that you can use to find ideas for all your projects and interests. You can find all kinds of photos and of course, many bird photos.

Now, the irritation, for me, is that lately many photos of birds have been “photo-shopped” or someone has used other editing software programs to change their colors. No harm intended, but the colors they are adding to the birds, messes up the beauty of their Creator’s original design and color for them.

False - A Rare Red Owl - Snopes_com

False – A Rare Red Owl – Snopes_com

Some people, who are not familiar with what the birds actually look like, may think that is the way they look in the wild. One such case fooled people into believing that a rare Red Owl actually exist. When the asked “Snopes” they found out the truth.

Two more examples:

False - Curl-crested Aricari from Pinterest by Virainova

False – Curl-crested Aricari from Pinterest by Virainova

False - Flicker from Pinterest by Spykee

False – Flicker from Pinterest by Spykee

Now for the real birds in nature. Also, do you realize how easy they would be for birds of prey to catch these? They would stand out boldly in the crowd and would be the first captured. Only a Wise Creator, would provide for the safety of the birds by their proper coloration.

Curl-crested Aracari (Pteroglossus beauharnaesii) ©WikiC

Curl-crested Aracari (Pteroglossus beauharnaesii) ©WikiC

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) red-shafted F-left M-right ©WikiC

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) red-shafted F-left M-right ©WikiC

I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. (Psalms 50:11 NKJV)

Again, I am not condemning those who color their birds in photos, as long as they don’t try to “pass them off” as the “real” bird.

God’s Wisdom, Majesty, and Knowledge cannot be improved upon.

I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.’ (Isaiah 45:5-7 NKJV)

*

Birds of the Bible

More False Colored Birds

Who Paints The Leaves?
*

The Amazing Mosquito Hawk Video

Dragonfly cropped by Lee at Circle B

Dragonfly cropped by Lee at Circle B

“Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, And spread its wings toward the south?
(Job 39:26 NKJV)

Flight is a big problem for those who believe that we owe our existence to evolution. Birds, mammals, reptiles, insects, and even some fish fly or at least glide through the air in controlled flight. So many different creatures fly that evolutionists must say that flight evolved several different times.

The dragonfly is among the best fliers in the animal kingdom. The dragonfly can beat its four wings in unison or separately depending on the maneuver it wants to make. Dragonflies can fly at speeds up to 25 miles an hour and even faster. They can hover, take off backward and even make an unbanked turn. The dragonfly eats small insects, including mosquitoes, earning it the nickname “mosquito hawk.” A dragonfly can see a gnat from three feet away, fly to it, capture it and return to its original position in just over one second! One third to one half of its body mass is made up of flight muscles. Its two eyes have a total of 60,000 lenses and are situated so that its range of vision is nearly 360 degrees.

Dragonfly by Raymond Barlow

Dragonfly by Raymond Barlow

Dragonflies not only appear in the fossil record fully formed, but in much greater variety than today. One fossilized dragonfly was the size of a crow! Even the United States Air Force has studied the dragonfly to learn how it flies. The dragonfly is no product of natural selection. It is clearly a specially designed creature whose Designer understands flight better than we do. This Designer is our Creator God.

Prayer: I thank You, dear Father, for the beauty and wonder of the dragonfly. You are truly to be glorified! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Notes: Richard Conniff, “The Lord of Time”, Reader’s Digest, 6/99, p. 142. Photo: Close-up of a dragonfly head. Courtesy of Victor Korniyenko. (CC-BY-SA 3.0)

©Creation Moments Published on Jan 23, 2015

This topic from Creation Moments has been posted before, but this time they did it with a video. Trust you will find this amazing. Our Lord has shown his Great Wisdom again in the Dragonflies design.

Teach Your Children The Right Passwords!

Teach  your  children  the  right  passwords!

~ by James J. S. Johnson

Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) Juvenile and Female ©WikiC

We will not hide them [“them” refers to God’s prophetic words – see verses 1-3] from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength, and his wonderful works that He hath done.  For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our [fore]fathers, that they should make them known to their children,  that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born [יִוָּלֵ֑דוּ — niphâl imperfect form of the verb yâlad], who should arise and declare [וִֽיסַפְּר֥וּ — piêl imperfect form of the verb sâphar] them to their children, that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and [that they] might not be as their [fore]fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.   Psalm 78:4-8

Superb Fairywrens teach their children to use passwords, but how?

In this fallen world even bird families have troubles.

One kind of family problem, confronted by many bird parents, is the problem of “brood parasites”, which is really a sneaky kind of “home invasion”.

Brood parasitism” is not a problem of parasitic worms or bugs.  Rather, this is a different kind of parasite – a bold “home invasion” parasite – a “foster child”, from another bird family, who was dropped into a “host” family.  The “host” family is thereafter burdened (unless and until the newcomer is evicted from the nest) with the cost of nurturing the intruding stranger who “moved in” without an invitation.  Worse, the invasive “foster child” often competes with the legitimate nestling birds for food and shelter, sometimes even competing aggressively.

PAS-Icte Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) ©WikiC

Male Brown-headed Cowbird  (Molothrus ater) ©WikiC

One of the best-known examples of such “brood parasitism” practices is those of the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater), an icterid (i.e., member of the blackbird family) with a head that is distinctively chocolate-brown in color.

“A small, black-bodied [and iridescent-plumed] bird, a bit larger than a House Sparrow, with a brown head and a rather finchlike bill.  Females are nondescript gray [like the hue of female grackles] with a finchlike bill.

A brood parasite, the Cowbird lays its eggs in the nests of other birds.”

A Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) chick being fed by a Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia Capensis)

A Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) chick being fed by a Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia Capensis)

[Quoting from Roger Tory Peterson, PETERSON FIRST GUIDE TO BIRDS: A Simplified Field Guide to the Commonest Birds of North America (Houghton Mifflin, 1986), page 102.]

But cowbirds of North America are not the only birds that abuse the (involuntary) charity care of avian “foster parents”;  cuckoos (such as the Common Cuckoo of Eurasia) are known for the same “externalizing” of their parenting costs, producing nestling competitions that result in “changeling” conflicts.

“Once a brood parasite [mother] has managed to slip her egg into a host’s nest, her reproductive role is essentially over.  She leaves each chick to fend for itself, in a [bird] family that did not choose to raise it.

There’s no reason to feel [too] sorry for the uninvited foster chick, however; it is the unwitting adoptive parents that might soon face an unexpected brutality—the ruthless slaying of all their own offspring.

Many brood parasites, such as cuckoos, immediately dispatch of their nest mates [i.e., the children of the caring bird parents who built and maintain the nest that is now compromised] as soon as they hatch by summarily tossing them over the side of the nest.  [So much for refugee gratitude!]

Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) Egg in Eastern Phoebe Nest ©WikiC

Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) Egg in Eastern Phoebe Nest ©WikiC

African Honeyguides use far deadlier methods to eliminate their [nest] fellows.  Equipped from birth with hooks at the tips of their mandibles, they efficiently wield these needle-sharp barbs against their defenseless nest mates.

Cowbirds do not employ such direct methods, yet they just as effectively eliminate the competition.  Their companions often die of starvation because the larger, more aggressive cowbird grabs all the food [delivered by the nestling-caring parent birds].  It is a wonder that the adults still feed the chick when they realize the disparity in size.  Yet in most cases, the adults accept it [i.e., the cowbird “foster child”], even if it appears double the size of its foster parent and requires twice the care of its [foster] siblings.

Long-tailed Paradise Whydah by Dan

Long-tailed Paradise Whydah by Dan

Not all brood parasites oust their nest mates.  Parents of the whydah family choose species that closely resemble them, such as waxbills.  Not only do the eggs match in coloration, but the chicks resemble their hosts as well.  They even have the same markings in their gaping mouths which signal hunger to an observing adult.  Whylahs blend in with their adopted families instead of destroying them.”

[Quoting from Sharon A. Cohen, BIRD NESTS (Harper Collins, 1993), page 110.]

So cowbird “parenting” is a short-lived experience, somewhat like clandestinely depositing a newborn on the front steps of an orphanage, trusting that the baby will be nurtured (successfully) by others.  But is this surreptitious forced-fostering habit a guarantee of avian reproductive success, at the populational level?

“At first, you may wonder why more birds are not parasites—after all, parasites don’t need to build a nest [for raising their babies], and once they have laid eggs there is no more to it [i.e., to parenting responsibilities on a daily basis]; but there are hidden costs [and risks] to being a [brood] parasite, mainly that the [child-abandoning] bird gives up control over its eggs and young.

Female cowbirds lay an average of forty eggs per year, but only two or three [on average] mature to adulthood.”

[Quoting from Donald Stokes & Lillian Stokes, A GUIDE TO BIRD BEHAVIOR, VOLUME II (Little Brown & Company, 1983), page 213.]

So what does this have to do with avian parents teaching “passwords” to their natural progeny? 

Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) by Ian

Male Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) by Ian

Consider this amazing news about the Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) of Australia, which is forced to react to the “child-abandonment” brood parasitism habits of the Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo. (Chrysococcyx basalis).

Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx basalis) by Tom Tarrant

Male Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx basalis) by Tom Tarrant

The Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo deposits its somewhat elongated pink-white egg, with rust-colored spots, into the nest of a fairywren.  The rust-speckled egg looks like a fairywren egg, confusing the fairywren nest owners of its true biogenetic identity.  (This is an avian version of family “identity fraud!)  The fairywren’s upside-down-dome-shaped nest is often dark inside, so visual confusion about which eggs really belong there is common – hence Horsfield’s bronze cuckoos often get by with their “changeling” deceptions, recruiting fairywren parents into fostering cuckoo eggs that hatch into cuckoo nestlings.

After a dozen days of incubation, in a fairywren nest, a bronze cuckoo chick hatches – 2 days before the hatching of fairywren eggs.  The “older” nestling often ejects the fairywren eggs from the nest, displacing the rightful “heirs”.  (What kind of “refugee gratitude” is that?!)

What can fairywrens do about this parasitic (and quasi-predatory) menace?

Is there a way to avoid the involuntary “home invasion” of such Trojan horses?

Yes, there are a few defensive habits that help to protect the fairywren from such home hijackings, including:

(1) nesting in fairywren colonies – so that teamwork is employed to drive off trespassing cuckoos when cuckoos fly near the fairywrens’ nesting colony;

(2) females attend their nests with vigilance, usually, limiting the opportunities that stealthy cuckoos have to access unattended fairywren nests;

(3) when female fairywren recognize a “changeling” in the nest, prior to laying any fairywren eggs therein, the fairywren female may abandon that (cuckoo) egg and build herself a new nest elsewhere;

(4) female fairywrens “teach” their eggs vocal “passwords” to use, to prompt being fed by their mother.  It is this last habit that demonstrates communication from (fairywren) mother to child, before the chick is hatched from its egg!

A few years ago, Diane Colombelli-Négrel, Sonia Kleindorfer, and colleagues from Flinders University in Australia discovered a remarkable way one bird fights back against brood parasites. Female superb fairywrens teach their embryos a “password” while they’re still in their eggs. Each female’s incubation call contains a unique acoustic element. After they hatch, fairywren chicks incorporate this unique element into their begging calls to ask for food. Colombelli-Négrel, Kleindorfer, and colleagues showed that chicks whose begging calls most resembled their mothers’ incubation calls received more food. But the brood parasites of the fairywren, Horsfield’s bronze-cuckoos, produced begging calls that did not so closely resemble the parental password.

[Quoting  Mary Bates, “To Beat a Parasite, Birds Teach their Young a Secret Password”, posted at http://www.wired.com/2014/06/to-beat-a-parasite-birds-teach-their-young-a-secret-password/ , accessed 11-23-AD2015.]

If fairywrens observe cuckoos in the neighborhood they become more diligent in their efforts to teach the “please-feed-me” passwords to their unhatched progeny, increasing the likelihood that the babies will successfully beg for food (using the vocal “password”) when they soon become hatchling chicks.

In a new study, Colombelli-Négrel, Kleindorfer, and colleagues again looked at the relationship between superb fairywrens and Horsfield’s bronze-cuckoos to see if a greater threat of brood parasitism would cause the fairywren to up its teaching efforts.

First, the researchers recorded calls from 17 fairywren nests in South Australia. They found the similarity between the mother’s password and the chick’s begging call was predicted by the number of incubation calls produced by the mother: If females made many incubation calls, their chicks ended up producing more similar begging calls.

Next, the researchers conducted a playback experiment at 29 nests. They broadcast either the song of Horsfield’s bronze-cuckoo or a neutral bird. After the cuckoo calls, but not after the neutral bird calls, female fairywrens made more incubation calls to their embryos. In other words, female fairywrens that heard a cuckoo near their nest increased their efforts to teach their password to their embryos.  Colombelli-Négrel and Kleindorfer say their results provide a mechanism for how fairywrens could get better at decision-making and lower the probability of committing an acceptance error for a cuckoo chick or a rejection error for one of their own chicks.  ‘When there are cuckoos in the area, you should call more to your eggs so that they have a higher call similarity after hatching and you can decide if the offspring is yours,’ Colombelli-Négrel and Kleindorfer wrote in an email. ‘We show a mechanism that starts in the nest and involves active teaching and sensorimotor learning in embryos.’”  [again quoting Mary Bates, supra]

This is truly amazing!  Anyone who is not amazed at how God programmed parenting skills into Superb Fairywrens is blind to the facts.

Also, by analogy, there may be a lesson for humans:  be careful about vulnerabilities to intrusive “foster children” that are “accepted” without informed consent  —  your own legitimate children may be put unfairly at risk.

Meanwhile, just as fairywrens teach “passwords” to their children, so should we humans.  But it is much more than “please feed me!” that we must teach our children, and our children’s children.

The vital “words of life” that we must teach, repeatedly, as the words of God, the Scriptures without which there is no real life, because mankind cannot live by physical bread alone, but by every Scriptural saying – every word that proceeds from God (Matthew 4:4).

We will not hide them [“them” refers to God’s prophetic words – see verses 1-3] from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength, and his wonderful works that He hath done.  For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our [fore]fathers, that they should make them known to their children,  that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born [יִוָּלֵ֑דוּ — niphâl imperfect form of the verb yâlad], who should arise and declare [וִֽיסַפְּר֥וּ — piêl imperfect form of the verb sâphar] them to their children, that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and [that they] might not be as their [fore]fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.   Psalm 78:4-8

<> JJSJ

*

Orni-Theology

Maluridae – Australasian Wrens

James J. S. Johnson’s Articles

*

The Death Knell of Christianity? (Re-post)

THE DEATH KNELL OF CHRISTIANITY?

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.”

“I think that evolution is absolutely the death knell of Christianity.” No, those aren’t my words. These words were spoken by atheist Frank Zindler, and they make it very clear what the origins debate is really all about. It is nothing less than the front line in the battle between two incompatible faiths.

American atheist Frank ZindlerIn step-by-step fashion, Zindler described how he reached that conclusion. “The most devastating thing that biology did to Christianity,” he said, “was the discovery of biological evolution.” In other words, he starts out by declaring that evolution has been proven, which, as you know, is very far from the truth.

He goes on to say that evolution means that Adam and Eve never really existed. In his own words, “Now that we know that Adam and Eve never were real people, the central myth of Christianity is destroyed.

And why is that? He continues, and I quote: “If there never was an Adam and Eve, there never was an original sin. If there never was an original sin, there is no need of salvation. If there is no need of salvation, there is no need of a savior. And I submit that puts Jesus, historical or otherwise, into the ranks of the unemployed.

Yes, atheists foolishly think that evolution is the death knell of Christianity. In reality, biology – with its established fact that life comes only from life – points directly to our Creator. Biology is actually the death knell of atheism and evolution.

Prayer:
“Lord Jesus, I pray that You will use me to he lp others see that life comes only from life and that the original Life that started it all was You! Amen.”

Notes:

Frank Zindler quote taken from debate with William Lane Craig held in 1993 at Willow Creek Community Church. Photo: American atheist Frank Zindler.

©Creation Moments 2015 (with permission)
*

That is very interesting. I can’t believe how they (evolutionist) just say something is true and that’s it. It is settled, as far as they are concerned. No evidence, no proof, just declare it’s true. My Bible says that God created it and He says He is truth. Science shows many evidences of the Universal Flood and a catastrophe, but evolutionist won’t believe it, because they have “declared” that God doesn’t exist.

The big question for all of us, is who are you going to believe?

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32 KJV)

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17 NKJV)

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: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 1:19-25 KJV)

*

Who Says God Doesn’t Have A Sense of Humor!

Received this in an e-mail and thought you also would enjoy it. Not sure who to give the credit to for the photos, but I know Who to give the credit to for creating them. Thank You, Lord.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3 KJV)

What a wonderful world!
“May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you,
a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you,
Laughter to cheer you.
Faithful friends near you.
And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.” —
An Irish Blessing

Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.


Lee’s Addition:

The Bible says it this way, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (1 Timothy 6:6-8 KJV)

Golden Eagle’s Adventure Continues… Welcome Boys and Girls!

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

Golden Eagle ©PD

Golden Eagle ©PD

Hi everybody! This is Golden Eagle and I am very excited today! I got up this morning and flew around one of the beautiful lakes in my home state of Florida! The Bible says that God sends the rain and the sunshine on the good people and the bad people. God treats us all with GRACE and kindnesses!

Genesis 6:8 says that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” That’s the first time the Bible mentions grace and the last time? It’s in the last verse of the Bible: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Rev 22:21)

This ADVENTURE all started in the mind of our Creator God (the Lord Jesus Christ). Hey young people, ponder the lakes, the streams, and the rivers. Ponder the rocks, the minerals, and oh yes, the gold and silver. Ponder the butterflies, the animals, and the insects. Ponder the planets, the Earth, the stars, and the sun. Ponder the Milky Way Galaxy and our beautiful Solar System. Ponder mankind, life, and all that it means. Ponder God and His created Universe.

Hubble Ultra Deep Field with Scale Comparison ©©

Hubble Ultra Deep Field with Scale Comparison ©©

ALL OF THIS AND SO MUCH MORE CAME FROM THE MIND OF GOD. The Universe shows us what was in the mind of God in eternity past!

God has a PLAN for this Universe, for our Solar System, and for our Planet, Earth. He has a PLAN for your life and for my life. We are going to get to live FOREVER with God if we are saved! Are you saved? The answer is either yes or no.

Sunrise over Lake

This morning as I flew around my hometown lake I saw the sunrise in beautiful colors of splendor. I saw the sky turn different shades of red and pink. I saw the colors reflected in the glass like mirror of the still and smooth lake surface. I saw the birds fly in a V-shape formation. The white ibises were just beautiful. I flew around the lake for a number of minutes and the minutes turned into an hour.

Circle B Bar White Pelicans

Circle B Bar White Pelicans

Every moment we get closer to God. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7) We have come from God and we are going back to God.

This ADVENTURE that God has planned for us is truly exiting. We will get to reign with Jesus for a thousand years on this very Earth. Some of you will be in charge of two or five or ten cities! Now is the time to prepare for what God has in store for us! It all starts with you admitting that you are a sinner and excepting what Jesus has done for us on the cross. He shed His precious blood to wash away our sins. Accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord and you will have entered this amazing journey that God has planned for us, all because of His GRACE.

Kids keep in touch and the Golden Eagle will fly in with exciting new developments in this adventurous journey. A journey that will lead to the God of the Universe and His amazing Heaven!!!

(Re-post of Bibleworld Adventure’s The Adventure Continues… Welcome Boys and Girls!)

Bibleworld Adventures is the new home of Golden Eagle and other interesting articles about Christian different topics.

*

Golden Eagle Articles Here

*

EGGS-ELLENT EXAMPLES OF DESIGN

“And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig about thee, and thou shalt take thy rest in safety.” (Job 11:18)

Over the years, Creation Moments has brought you countless examples of plants and animals that appear to have been designed because they really were designed! Nowhere is this easier to see than in the design of bird eggs.

African jacana chickAs we mentioned on an earlier program, the shape and coloring of bird eggs are no accident. God designed them that way for a specific purpose. Today we’re going to mention two other design features seen in some bird eggs.

SmileyCentral.com

Interesting Things from Smiley Central
The first are the eggs of the African jacana. These long-legged shorebirds build a flimsy nest that floats on water. When the male jacana lands in the nest to incubate the eggs, the whole nest sinks into the water. It’s a good thing, then, that God created the eggs to be waterproof. This is a design feature the eggs must have had from the very beginning.

Common Murre (Uria aalge) colony ©USFWS

Common Murre (Uria aalge) colony ©USFWS

Or take the eggs of the common murre. According to BBC Earth, “The eggshells have cone-like structures that make the eggs ‘self-cleaning’.” This is useful, they say, because murre colonies are tightly packed and the eggs get showered in bird droppings. “When water lands on an egg, its water-repelling shell causes the water to gather into spherical drops” which then roll off the egg and clean it.

We could mention many other design features of bird eggs, and we will share these with you in the future. But we close today’s program with praise to the God of creation who cares for all of His creatures – especially you and me!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, my heart overflows with praise when I look at Your creation and think about what You accomplished in just six days! You are awesome in every way! Amen.

Notes:”The 13 birds with the most amazing eggs,” BBC Earth. http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150319-the-birds-with-super-powered-eggs. Photo: African jacana chick. Courtesy of Magnus Manske. (CCA 2.0 Generic)

Used with permission of Creation Moments ©2015

*

African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus) by Lee

African Jacana (Actophilornis africanus) by Lee

*

Are Dinosaurs Extinct? (Re-post)

Here is an interesting Creation Moments Minute from Creation Moments:

I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. (Job 30:29 KJV)

We see these quite frequently in the Zoos. Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa has one we have watched, but he usually just lays there and looks around. The one in the video surprised me that they can run that fast.

This one was taken at the Palm Beach Zoo in Florida last year.

Kamodo Dragon Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

Kamodo Dragon Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. (Isaiah 43:20 KJV)

*

*

Birds of the Bible – Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

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)

After posting the photos of the Cactus Wrens (The Chase Begins…), I realized that you weren’t told much about these birds. After researching them; I decided they deserve to be a Birds of the Bible bird.

Why? Not because they are named specifically, but because of the way the Lord Jesus created these wrens to live in the desert environment and to survive there.

Cactus Wren Desert Mus-Tucson by Lee 37

Cactus Wren Desert Mus-Tucson by Lee 37

For one thing, they sort of blend in with their surroundings which helps protect them, camouflage. Hanging out in those spiked plants give them another great advantage.

Cactus Wren at nest ©WikiC by BigWheel55

Cactus Wren at nest ©WikiC by BigWheel55

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)

One of the favorite places they like to make their nest is in the Cholla cactus. It is very spiny and keeps predators at bay. We saw several nests. An interesting thing about their nest show wisdom given them by the Creator. “Cactus wrens build nests that are the size and shape of a football with an opening at one end. They will construct this nest out of grasses and other annual plants, but can also include scraps of cloth and other woven fibers that they find. They will build this nest (and many others) usually in cholla, but also in palo verde, acacias, saguaros, or the hanging pot in your backyard.” (Fact Sheet)

Cholla Cactus by Lee

Cholla Cactus by Lee

Nest in a Cholla Cactus at Desert Museum by Lee

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

The nest always have a roof over them. “Domed with tunnel-shaped entrance, made of coarse grass or plant fibers. Lined with feathers.” They also make a perch or doorstep at the opening. They need the dome or roof to shield the hatchlings and themselves from the heat and sun of the day. At night, the feathers and other linings help preserve the body heat. As you may know, desert have large temperature swings each day. Sounds like wise advise for humans in a desert also.

They do have some predators. “Coachwhips and other whipsnakes are able to navigate their way through the cactus and often will take eggs or nestlings. Adult birds can be food for coyotes, hawks, fox, bobcats or domestic cats.” (Wikipedia)

“It is a bird of arid regions, and is often found around yucca, mesquite or saguaro; it nests in cactus plants, sometimes in a hole in a saguaro, sometimes where its nest will be protected by the prickly cactus spines of a cholla or leaves of a yucca.” (Wiki)

The thing that does reveal were they are is when they sing:

It is not the fanciest song, but they sound happy when they sing. I can’t sing well, but I enjoy singing. The Bible says were are to make a joyful noise.

“The Cactus Wren is the largest North American wren, at 18–23 cm (7.1–9.1 in) long. Unlike the smaller wrens, the cactus wren is easily seen. It has the loud voice characteristic of wrens. The cactus wren is much less shy than most of the family. Its marked white eyestripe, brown head, barred wings and tail, and spotted tail feathers make it easy to identify. Like most birds in its genus, it has a slightly curved bill. There is little sexual dimorphism.

The cactus wren primarily eats insects, including ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and wasps. Occasionally, it will take seeds, fruits, small reptiles and frogs. Foraging begins late in the morning and is versatile; the cactus wren will search under leaves and ground litter and overturn objects in search of insects, as well as feeding in the foliage and branches of larger vegetation. Increasing temperatures cause a shift in foraging behavior to shady and cooler microclimates, and activity slows during hot afternoon temperatures. Almost all water is obtained from food, and free-standing water is rarely used even when found” (Wikipedia) Another source mentioned that when the Gila Woodpecker pecks the cactus, it causes it to seep liquid. The Cactus Wren drinks this also for fluid. That is another great provision provided by their Creator.

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

The Cactus Wren has the honor of being the State Bird of Arizona.

INTERESTING FACTS: The cactus wren is very protective of its nesting area. They have been known to attack squirrels, other birds, and even people who have gotten too close to their nests. They are not as shy as other wrens and, in fact, have been known to fly into open windows of cars or homes out of curiosity. (50States.com)

*

*

Antelope Ground Squirrels at Houston Zoo

Antelope Ground Squirrel at Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Antelope Ground Squirrel at Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

These Antelope Ground Squirrels at the Houston Zoo were just adorable. Never heard of them before, let alone seen any. They were in a building that had birds in it, of course, and they caught my attention. They landscape their displays and enclosures at the Houston Zoo very well. The squirrels had plenty of room to roam around in and they seemed quite content. Could it be because they didn’t need to worry about predators

Antelope Ground Squirrel Sign Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by LeeAccording to this sign, Antelope Ground Squirrel is found in Arizona and New Mexico and use a variety of vocalizations to tell each other which type of predator is approaching. Isn’t their Creator amazing to give them this ability? Let’s go see what else we can find out about these cute little critters:

They need to scratch,

They need to scratch,

Sorry, that was a small joke, but he did scratch just as I took his/her picture.  :)

Antelope Ground Squirrel Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee (1)

About half of their place at the zoo.

They had lots of room to roam.

“Antelope squirrels or antelope ground squirrels of the genus Ammospermophilus are sciurids found in the desert and dry scrub areas of south-western United States and northern Mexico. They are a type of ground squirrel and are able to resist hyperthermia and can survive body temperatures over 40 °C (104 °F).
There are currently four recognised species in the world, with one subspecies:

  • Harris’s antelope squirrel, A. harrisii, found in Arizona, New Mexico, and Sonora in Mexico.
  • The San Joaquin antelope squirrel or Nelson’s antelope squirrel, A. nelsoni, found in the San Joaquin Valley, California.
  • Texas antelope squirrel, A. interpres, found in Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico.
  • The white-tailed antelope squirrel, A. leucurus, found in the southwestern United States and the Baja California peninsula.
  • The subspecies of the Espíritu Santo antelope squirrel, A. insularis, found on Isla Espíritu Santo.

All are somewhat similar in appearance and behavior. They are around 14–17 centimetres (5.5–6.7 in) long with a 6–10 centimetres (2.4–3.9 in) tail, and weigh 110–150 grams (3.9–5.3 oz). The tail is somewhat flattened. They have a single white stripe on both flanks and none on the face. They live in burrows, which they dig for themselves. They are diurnal, and do not hibernate (though they become less active during the winter), so they are fairly easily seen.” (Wikipedia)

Antelope Ground Squirrel Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee (2)

This one looks like a youngster, so they are following the Lord’s command to fill the earth:

Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. (Genesis 8:17 KJV)

Antelope Ground Squirrel by Lee

Antelope Ground Squirrel by Lee

“Antelope squirrels are commonly found in dry, shrubby areas of the southern United States into Mexico. These areas are sandy with rocky areas that provide soil that can be burrowed into for shelter and to escape the heat of the day. The temperatures in these regions can exceed 37.8 °C (100.0 °F) during the day and require special adaptations by the ground squirrels to survive. During the night, temperatures in these desert and dry areas may dip below freezing which again requires adaptations to survive. There is very limited free-standing water supply. These regions often suffer from long bouts of drought.” (Wikipedia) Could it just be that again their Creator created them for this big swing in temperature?

Here are all the photos taken of this adorable cute little critters:

I know these aren’t birds, but I am sure there are some birds out there that know all about them.
*

 

Ian’s Bird of the Week ~ Pilotbird

Ian’s Bird of the Week ~ Pilotbird ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 3/31/15

The primary targets in East Gippsland were the Sooty and Masked Owls, but there were several daytime birds on the wanted list too. One of these was the Pilotbird, a smallish – 17cm/7in long – brown, ground-dwelling bird of the mountain ranges and dense coastal scrub of southeastern Australia from just south of Sydney almost to Melbourne. I’d seen one only once before, near Mittagong in New South Wales 16 years ago, but that encounter was only a glimpse and no photography was involved.

Pilotbird (Pycnoptilus floccosus) by Ian

It’s an unobtrusive bird and easy to overlook, unless you know its flutey, far-carrying call, sometimes rendered as ‘guinea-a-week’. My Victorian friends knew a good spot for it in coastal scrub and we found one there with relative ease, returning the following day (first photo) to get better photos. It rummages around in thick undergrowth looking for invertebrates. The second photo has a red dot showing the exactly location, beyond the sinuous brown branch, so you can appreciate that we are lucky to be able to see anything much of it in the photo. It has unusual buff dark-edged feathers on the breast, giving it a scaly appearance. The plumage is apparently dense and silky as reflected in its scientific name: Pycnoptilus means thick-feathered, and floccosus is derived from the Latin floccus and means ‘full of flocks of wool’, which, I must admit, left me not much the wiser.

Pilotbird (Pycnoptilus floccosus) by Ian

Pilotbird (Pycnoptilus floccosus) location by Ian

It’s common name Pilotbird arises from the bird frequently associating with Superb Lyrebirds, taking advantage of the digging habits of the latter (third photo) to snatch up revealed invertebrates. Some sources say the name Pilotbird comes from the similar habit of Pilotfish which associates with large marine predators such as sharks; other say that the Pilotbird by its call led early settlers looking for food to lyrebirds. I prefer the first explanation. Lyrebirds are very vocal in their own right and don’t need another species to advertise their presence. Lyrebirds are perhaps the world best mimics and are known to mimic Pilotbirds, and it would be easy to imagine that this attracted Pilotbirds in the first place and they then learned that this was an easy way to get dinner. We did in fact see several Superb Lyrebirds dashing across the roads of the forests where the owls lived, though the coastal scrub didn’t strike me as good lyrebird habitat.

Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae by Ian

This photo of the lyrebird digging vigorously reminded me both of Scrub-turkeys and Chowchillas (fourth photo) and I wondered whether the Pilotbird had a behavioural counterpart in the forests of Northeastern Queensland. The Pilotbird is usually placed in the Acanthizidae, the family of thornbills and their allies (though it shows some affinities with the bristlebirds Dasyornithidae), so I checked up on the Fernwren (fifth photo) another brown, rummaging Acanthizid endemic to the Wet Tropics.

Chowchilla (Orthonyx spaldingii  by Ian

Sure enough, HBW (Handbook of Birds of the World) reports that the Fernwren “sometimes associates with Orange-footed Scrubfowl (Megapodius reinwardt) and Chowchilla (Orthonyx spaldingii), following in close proximity and catching prey disturbed by their feeding actions”. The Orange-footed Scrubfowl is, of course, a cousin of the Brush-turkey.

Fernwren 9Oreoscopus gutturalis)  by Ian

So maybe this week’s bird of the week should be entitled ‘small brown rummaging birds of the forest floors of eastern Australia’.

Greetings
Ian

**************************************************
Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Bird Photos http://www.birdway.com.au/
Where to Find Birds in Northern Queensland: iTunes; Google Play Kobo Books
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; (Psalms 31:3 ESV)

Teach me to do Your will; for You are my God; Your Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. (Psalms 143:10 MKJV)

What great protection colorations these birds have received from their Creator. I am sure when the birds of prey are in the area, rummaging types of birds are very thankful for their less colorful outfits.

*

*