Sunday Inspiration – Christmas Birds

Two-barred Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)(White-winged) by Raymond Barlow

Two-barred Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)(White-winged) by Raymond Barlow

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (Matthew 2:1-2 KJV)

Today I am doing something a little different. Instead of a song, there is a short Christmas message from my pastor. This was given during the Camel Lot Christmas Musical that we had in 2012. It applies for today, as well. Listen to Pastor Nathan Osborne III as you watch some of the Lord Jesus Christ’s creation among the birds.

The birth of the Jesus, His death on the cross and His resurrection are all a part of Christmas.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our Pastor at the Christmas Camel Lot Musical – 2012

*

(Started adding Christmas colored birds, but then added newer photos from this year.)

Sunday Inspirations

Some Previous Christmas Articles

*

Falcated Duck at Zoo Miami

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) by Dan at ZM

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) by Dan at ZM

While we were on our latest visit to the Wings of Asia Aviary at Zoo Miami, the Falcated Duck caught my attention. We have seen it before, because there are photos of them, but for some reason, it was just another duck then. The sun caught its iridescent head and I started looking closer this time. Wings of Asia has one male and one female at this time.

These Falcated Duck (Teal) are just one more example of the variety and beauty the Lord gave His creatures when they were created.

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

Apparently when the male wears his breeding plumage, that green really shines.

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) ©WikiC

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) ©WikiC

I tried to get photos of his beautiful feathers at the back, but my photos aren’t the best, but maybe you can catch some of the great beauty that the Lord gave these Falcated Ducks.

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Falcated Ducks are mainly from Asia and belong to the Anatidae – Ducks, Geese and Swans Family. By the way, “falcate” means “curved or hooked like a sickle.” (Wordsmith)

Males and females have similar lengths at 19-21.5 in (46 to 53 cm.) Their weight can range from 422 to 770 grams, with males weighing more than their female counterparts. Wingspans range from 31-36 in (79 to 91 cm). The breeding male is unmistakable. Most of the body plumage is finely vermiculated grey, with the long sickle-shaped tertials, which give this species its name, hanging off its back. The large head is dark green with a white throat, and a dark green collar and bronzed crown. The vent region is patterned in yellow, black and white.

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) Female ©WikiC

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) Female ©WikiC

The female falcated duck is dark brown, with plumage much like a female wigeon. Its long grey bill is an aid to identification. The eclipse male is like the female, but darker on the back and head. In flight both sexes show a pale grey underwing. The blackish speculum is bordered with a white bar on its inner edge. Young birds are buffer than the female and have short tertials. Juveniles have plumage similar to females of the species.

The Anas falcata are known to have very striking and beautiful sickle feathers. This is in comparison with many other birds like swams and geese.

Medium dabbling duck with long black and white tertial feathers extending over black rump. Body white, black, gray in finely-scaled pattern. The crested iridescent head is green and purple-brown. White throat has black ring; black tail and black-green speculum are edged in white.

Breeds and winters in southeastern Asia but strongly migratory. Birds seen in North America beyond Alaska may be escaped captives from private collections or wild birds. Favors wetlands, lakes, ponds, rivers, estuaries, and marshes. Near-threatened in the wild. Most U.S. sightings occur between Pacific and Californian coasts, Baja peninsula, Mexico, India, and Canada. (From internet sources including WhatBird and Wikipedia)

Here’s a short clip I took of him washing his feathers at Zoo Miami.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In 2011 a Falcated Duck family showed up at the Colusa Natiional Wildlife Refuge. Rare visitors from their normal range. It brought the photographers to catch the rare glimpse of these beautiful birds. Watch this video to see them in action,

*

Falcated Duck – Audubon

Falcated Duck – WhatBird

Falcated Duck – Wikipedia

Falcated Duck Make Rare Appearance

Birds of the World – Anatidae – Ducks, Geese and Swans

Wordless Birds

*

Sunday Inspiration – Resting

Caribbean Dove (Leptotila jamaicensis) ©WikiC

Caribbean Dove (Leptotila jamaicensis) ©WikiC

But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. (Genesis 8:9 KJV)

And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; (Isaiah 32:17-18 KJV)

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. (Psalms 16:9 KJV)

Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) by J Fenton

Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) by J Fenton

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

Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. (Psalms 116:7 KJV)

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29 KJV)

Are we resting like we should, knowing that God Is In Control?

*

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“God’s Still In Control” ~ ©Hyssongs

*

More Sunday Inspirations

Hope for Hard Times

Is There a God?

*

Birds of Asia – Cotton Pygmy Goose

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) at Wings of Asia by Lee

 And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. (1 Kings 4:33 KJV)

Let me introduce you to another interesting avian friend from His Creator’s Hand. This is the Cotton Pygmy Goose or Cotton Teal (Nettapus coromandelianus) which is a small perching duck that breeds in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, southeast Asia and south to northern Australia.

Small individuals of this species are the smallest waterfowl on earth, at as little as 5.6 oz (160 g) and 10 in (26 cm). White predominates in this bird’s plumage. Bill short, deep at base, and goose-like.

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) PB Zoo by Lee

Male in breeding plumage is glossy blackish green crown, with white head, neck, and underparts; a prominent black collar and white wing-bar. Rounded head and short legs. In flight, the wings are green with a white band, making the male conspicuous even amongst the huge flying flocks of the lesser whistling duck, which share the habitat. Female paler, without either black collar and only a narrow or nonexistent strip of white wing-bar. In non-breeding plumage (eclipse) male resembles female except for his white wing-bar. Flocks on water bodies (jheels), etc.

The call is a peculiar clucking, uttered in flight

It is largely resident, apart from dispersion in the wet season, but Chinese birds make long-distance migrations to winter further south. It nests in tree holes, laying 8–15 eggs. The nesting season is July to September (SW. monsoon). Its nest is a natural hollow in a tree-trunk standing in or near water, sometimes lined with grass, rubbish and feathers. The eggs, are ivory white.

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) at Wings of Asia by Lee

This is an abundant species in Asia, although the slightly larger Australian race appears to be declining in numbers.

Found on all still freshwater lakes (jheels), rain-filled ditches, inundated paddy fields, irrigation tanks, etc. Becomes very tame on village tanks wherever it is unmolested and has become inured to human proximity. Swift on the wing, and can dive creditably on occasion.[citation needed] Found in ponds and lakes in southern Pakistan . However numbers are declining and it is definitely endangered.

Its food is chiefly seeds and vegetable matter, especially water lilies; also insects, crustaceans, etc. (From Wikipedia with editing)

I enjoyed watching this female Pygmy Goose floating and took a short video of her.

I just made a page for  Zoo Miami and the Wings of Asia under the Birdwatching Trips. There are most of the articles that have been written about our visits to the Zoo, but especially to the Wings of Asia Aviary. That is where we spend most of our time. This last trip was our fourth visit down to Miami to see those amazing birds.

*

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*

Cotton Pygmy Goose – Wikipedia

Cotton Pygmy Goose – Ducks of the World

Birds of the World

Birdwatching Trips

Zoo Miami and the Wings of Asia

Wordless Birds

*

An Old Friend In a New Home – Chapter 6

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) by Dan

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) by Dan

An Old Friend In a New Home

The Phoebe and the Least Flycatcher

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

*

CHAPTER 6. An Old Friend In a New Home.

Every day brought newcomers to the Old Orchard, and early in the morning there were so many voices to be heard that perhaps it is no wonder if for some time Peter Rabbit failed to miss that of one of his very good friends. Most unexpectedly he was reminded of this as very early one morning he scampered, lipperty-lipperty-lip, across a little bridge over the Laughing Brook.

“Dear me! Dear me! Dear me!” cried rather a plaintive voice. Peter stopped so suddenly that he all but fell heels over head. Sitting on the top of a tall, dead, mullein stalk was a very soberly dressed but rather trim little fellow, a very little larger than Bully the English Sparrow. Above, his coat was of a dull olive-brown, while underneath he was of a grayish-white, with faint tinges of yellow in places. His head was dark, and his bill black. The feathers on his head were lifted just enough to make the tiniest kind of crest. His wings and tail were dusky, little bars of white showing very faintly on his wings, while the outer edges of his tail were distinctly white. He sat with his tail hanging straight down, as if he hadn’t strength enough to hold it up.

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

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

“Hello, Dear Me!” cried Peter joyously. “What are you doing way down here? I haven’t seen you since you first arrived, just after Winsome Bluebird got here.” Peter started to say that he had wondered what had become of Dear Me, but checked himself, for Peter is very honest and he realized now that in the excitement of greeting so many friends he hadn’t missed Dear Me at all.

Dear Me the Phoebe did not reply at once, but darted out into the air, and Peter heard a sharp click of that little black bill. Making a short circle, Dear Me alighted on the mullein stalk again.

“Did you catch a fly then?” asked Peter.

“Dear me! Dear me! Of course I did,” was the prompt reply. And with each word there was a jerk of that long hanging tail. Peter almost wondered if in some way Dear Me’s tongue and tail were connected. “I suppose,” said he, “that it is the habit of catching flies and bugs in the air that has given your family the name of Flycatchers.”

Dear Me nodded and almost at once started into the air again. Once more Peter heard the click of that little black bill, then Dear Me was back on his perch. Peter asked again what he was doing down there.

“Mrs. Phoebe and I are living down here,” replied Dear Me. “We’ve made our home down here and we like it very much.”

Peter looked all around, this way, that way, every way, with the funniest expression on his face. He didn’t see anything of Mrs. Phoebe and he didn’t see any place in which he could imagine Mr. and Mrs. Phoebe building a nest. “What are you looking for?” asked Dear Me.

“For Mrs. Phoebe and your home,” declared Peter quite frankly. “I didn’t suppose you and Mrs. Phoebe ever built a nest on the ground, and I don’t see any other place around here for one.”

Dear Me chuckled. “I wouldn’t tell any one but you, Peter,” said he, “but I’ve known you so long that I’m going to let you into a little secret. Mrs. Phoebe and our home are under the very bridge you are sitting on.”

“I don’t believe it!” cried Peter.

But Dear Me knew from the way Peter said it that he really didn’t mean that. “Look and see for yourself,” said Dear Me.

So Peter lay flat on his stomach and tried to stretch his head over the edge of the bridge so as to see under it. But his neck wasn’t long enough, or else he was afraid to lean over as far as he might have. Finally he gave up and at Mr. Phoebe’s suggestion crept down the bank to the very edge of the Laughing Brook. Dear Me darted out to catch another fly, then flew right in under the bridge and alighted on a little ledge of stone just beneath the floor. There, sure enough, was a nest, and Peter could see Mrs. Phoebe’s bill and the top of her head above the edge of it. It was a nest with a foundation of mud covered with moss and lined with feathers.

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) Nest ©WikiC

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) Nest ©WikiC

“That’s perfectly splendid!” cried Peter, as Dear Me resumed his perch on the old mullein stalk. “How did you ever come to think of such a place? And why did you leave the shed up at Farmer Brown’s where you have build your home for the last two or three years?”

“Oh,” replied Dear Me, “we Phoebes always have been fond of building under bridges. You see a place like this is quite safe. Then, too, we like to be near water. Always there are many insects flying around where there is water, so it is an easy matter to get plenty to eat. I left the shed at Farmer Brown’s because that pesky cat up there discovered our nest last year, and we had a dreadful time keeping our babies out of her clutches. She hasn’t found us down here, and she wouldn’t be able to trouble us if she should find us.”

“I suppose,” said Peter, “that as usual you were the first of your family to arrive.”

“Certainly. Of course,” replied Dear Me. “We always are the first. Mrs. Phoebe and I don’t go as far south in winter as the other members of the family do. They go clear down into the Tropics, but we manage to pick up a pretty good living without going as far as that. So we get back here before the rest of them, and usually have begun housekeeping by the time they arrive. My cousin, Chebec the Least Flycatcher, should be here by this time. Haven’t you heard anything of him up in the Old Orchard?”

“No,” replied Peter, “but to tell the truth I haven’t looked for him. I’m on my way to the Old Orchard now, and I certainly shall keep my ears and eyes open for Chebec. I’ll tell you if I find him. Good-by.”

“Dear me! Dear me! Good-by Peter. Dear me!” replied Mr. Phoebe as Peter started off for the Old Orchard.

Perhaps it was because Peter was thinking of him that almost the first voice he heard when he reached the Old Orchard was that of Chebec, repeating his own name over and over as if he loved the sound of it. It didn’t take Peter long to find him. He was sitting out on the up of one of the upper branches of an apple-tree where he could watch for flies and other winged insects. He looked so much like Mr. Phoebe, save that he was smaller, that any one would have know they were cousins. “Chebec! Chebec! Chebec!” he repeated over and over, and with every note jerked his tail. Now and then he would dart out into the air and snap up something so small that Peter, looking up from the ground, couldn’t see it at all.

Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus) by Raymond Barlow

Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus) by Raymond Barlow

“Hello, Chebec!” cried Peter. “I’m glad to see you back again. Are you going to build in the Old Orchard this year?”

“Of course I am,” replied Chebec promptly. “Mrs. Chebec and I have built here for the last two or three years, and we wouldn’t think of going anywhere else. Mrs. Chebec is looking for a place now. I suppose I ought to be helping her, but I learned a long time ago, Peter Rabbit, that in matters of this kind it is just as well not to have any opinion at all. When Mrs. Chebec has picked out just the place she wants, I’ll help her build the nest. It certainly is good to be back here in the Old Orchard and planning a home once more. We’ve made a terribly long journey, and I for one am glad it’s over.”

“I just saw your cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Phoebe, and they already have a nest and eggs,” said Peter.

“The Phoebes are a funny lot,” replied Chebec. “They are the only members of the family that can stand cold weather. What pleasure they get out of it I don’t understand. They are queer anyway, for they never build their nests in trees as the rest of us do.”

“Are you the smallest in the family?” asked Peter, for it had suddenly struck him that Chebec was a very little fellow indeed.

Chebec nodded. “I’m the smallest,” said he. “That’s why they call me Least Flycatcher. I may be least in size, but I can tell you one thing, Peter Rabbit, and that is that I can catch just as many bugs and flies as any of them.” Suiting action to the word, he darted out into the air. His little bill snapped and with a quick turn he was back on his former perch, jerking his tail and uttering his sharp little cry of, “Chebec! Chebec! Chebec!” until Peter began to wonder which he was the most fond of, catching flies, or the sound of his own voice.

Presently they both heard Mrs. Chebec calling from somewhere in the middle of the Old Orchard. “Excuse me, Peter,” said Chebec, “I must go at once. Mrs. Chebec says she has found just the place for our nest, and now we’ve got a busy time ahead of us. We are very particular how we build a nest.”

“Do you start it with mud the way Welcome Robin and your cousins, the Phoebes, do?” asked Peter.

 

“Mud!” cried Chebec scornfully. “Mud! I should say not! I would have you understand, Peter, that we are very particular about what we use in our nest. We use only the finest of rootlets, strips of soft bark, fibers of plants, the brown cotton that grows on ferns, and perhaps a little hair when we can find it. We make a dainty nest, if I do say it, and we fasten it securely in the fork made by two or three upright little branches. Now I must go because Mrs. Chebec is getting impatient. Come see me when I’m not so busy Peter.”


Lee’s Addition:

The family that the Phoebe and the Least Flycatcher belong to is the Tyrant Flycatchers – Tyrannidae Family. It is a very large family, but most do not live here in North America.

How does the story describe Dear Me the Phoebe?

  • What does he like to eat?
  • Where is his nest?
  • What is the nest made out of?
  • Why did he get back before the others in his family?

The Least Flycatcher is called Chebec. Do you know why?

  • Why did he get back later than Dear Me?
  • How is Chebec’s nest different from Dear Me’s?
  • Chebec is the largest or smallest member of the Flycatcher family?

*

Listen to the story read.

*

The birds of the air have their resting-places by them (trees), and make their song among the branches. (Psalms 104:12 BBE)

Links:

*

Links:

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

 

  Next Chapter (The Watchman of the Old Orchard. Coming Soon)

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Savannah Sparrow by Ray Barlow

  

 

  Wordless Birds

 

*

Bird of the Week – Bonelli’s Eagle

Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata) by Ian

This is the last in this series of raptor photos from the Pyrenees: Bonelli’s Eagle taken at another feeding station managed by Birding in Spain. Like last week’s Northern Goshawk feral pigeons from a local council culling programme are used to attract the eagles. It’s brown and white plumage reminded me rather of the similarly sized Osprey particular that of the male, first photo, which is paler than the female. In size it has a length of up to 73cm/28in, a wingspan to 180cm/71in and weights up to 2.4kg/5.3lbs. That makes it much smaller than most of the other Aquila eagles, such as the Golden and Wedge-tailed but larger than the Little Eagle of Australia.

View From The Hide in Spain by Ian

View From The Hide in Spain by Ian

There the resemblance to ospreys ends, as Bonelli’s Eagle is found in hilly or mountainous country in warm regions and eats mammals and birds – in Spain it eats mainly rabbits and partridges. The second photo shows the view from the hide. The stone wall on the left is where the food is tied in place, as is done with the goshawks to prevent them from carrying the food away. The bird arrived quite promptly after set up: you can see in the first photo that the reflection of the sun in its eye is just above the horizon.

Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata) by Ian

The third photo is another one of the male with the remains of a pigeon. On the back just below the neck a white spot is visible – this is a diagnostic feature of adult Bonelli’s Eagles and fairly conspicuous in flight though the birds arrived and departed so quickly from the rocky ridge in front of the hide that I didn’t get any decent flight shots.

Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata) by Ian

They were fast eaters too. The fourth photo was taken 25 minutes after the third: very little of the pigeon remains and the crop of the bird is quite full. The adult goshawk also took about half an hour to demolish a pigeon, but the immature goshawk took the best part of two hours and remained long after the adult had left. Despatching prey at speed would appear to be a skill that takes raptors a bit of practice. Both these photos show the feathered legs or ‘boots’, characteristic of ‘true’ eagles. They’re not exclusive to eagles though. The goshawks had impressive trousers too as do some falcons such as the Brown Falcon of Australia.

Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata) by Ian

Once fed, the male seemed more aware of what was going on around it and in the fifth photo is peering at the hide, presumably in response to the sound of the camera shutter.

Meanwhile, the female, sixth and seventh photos, was getting stuck into the other pigeon. She was a fine-looking bird too, larger than the male, with hazel eyes and identifiable by much stronger streaks on the breast. The female had much darker trousers, seventh photo, but I don’t know whether that’s generally the case or peculiar to this bird.

Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata) by Ian Female

Bonelli’s Eagle is widely but sparsely distributed through southern Europe, northern Africa, parts of the Middle East, South and Southeastern Asia as far east as Timor. The European population is about 900 pairs, of which about 700 are in Spain. They are sedentary, keeping to their large home ranges throughout the year. Satellite tracking in Spain has shown an average home range of 200sq km/77sq miles with a core range of about 45sq km/17 sq miles.

Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata) by Ian Female

The generic name ‘fasciata’ comes from the Latin fascia meaning stripe, band or sash. It’s usually used in birds to refer to horizontal bands or barring but maybe Veillot, the taxonomist responsible, was referring to the barring on the ‘trousers’ rather than the streaks on the breast. Veillot, Jean Pierre that is, was an important French avian taxonomist, 1748-1831, who extended the three-level Linnaean classification of order-genus-species into order-tribe-family-genus-species in his Analyse d’une nouvelle Ornithologie Elémentaire (1816). Franco Andrea Bonelli was, unsurprisingly, an Italian ornithologist 1784-1830 and discovered both this eagle and Bonelli’s Warbler in 1815. He worked at the Natural History Museum in Paris 1810-11 before returning to Italy to take up the position of Professor of Zoology at the University of Turin. Interestingly, he published his main works in French.

What would we do without Wikipedia?
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:

They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey. (Job 9:26 KJV)

Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat. (Habakkuk 1:8 KJV)

What an amazing set of photos of this magnificent Eagle. Thanks again, Ian, for sharing these fantastic glimpses of the Bonelli’s Eagle. Pretty fast eaters, it appears.

This Eagle is a member of the Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks and Eagles Family and a Bird of the Bible also. Eagles are mentioned over thirty times in the Bible, plus they are included in the various “birds of prey” verses.

*

Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Eagle Family pages

Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks and Eagles Family

Birds of the Bible – Eagle

*

Sunday Inspiration – Hide Thou Me

Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus) by Daves BirdingPix

Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus) by Daves BirdingPix

“For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. (Psalms 27:5 ESV)

Considering yesterday’s blog, the song, “Hide Thou Me” came to mind. This song was used before, but it is so appropriate. Today’s Inspiration features the birds in the Frogmouth and Potoo families. You will see how the Lord has provided for them to HIDE through their behavior and coloration He has given them.

Saw this on one of our follower’s blog, Third Eye View:

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed. ~Albert Einstein

*

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31 KJV)

We will not hide them 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. (Psalms 78:4 KJV)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*

But the LORD has been my defense, And my God the rock of my refuge. (Psalms 94:22 NKJV)

“Hide Thou Me” – ©Rejoice! by the Hyssongs

Hide thou me
Ohh rock of ages
Hide thou me
Ohh rock of ages

Hide thou me
No other refuge
Can save but thee
Through this old world

*

Sunday Inspirations

Here I Am

Podargidae – Frogmouths Family

Nyctibiidae – Potoos Family

Gospel Message

*

Here I Am

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

“Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily. (Psalms 102:2 KJV)

Dan and I just returned from a three-day birdwatching adventure. With almost 1,000 photos and videos to sort, name, and clean-up, I’ll have plenty to post.

The Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is becoming a favorite of mine, because they are so hard to find. The Lord has given them such camouflage and an ability to freeze when threatened, they are a challenge. We were fortunate this time while visiting the Wings of Asia aviary at Zoo Miami. By following the feeder, that enjoys the birds as much as just working there, he helped us find the new Tawny Frogmouth. They now have two of them. This new one is more active and alert. Could it be that the feeder had a cup with 4 mice in it?

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

We actually saw Tawny with his eyes open and I even got a short video of him opening that mouth that gives them their name.

I have written about this bird before, Zoo Miami’s Wings of Asia – Wow! – I, seeing this one, forces me to write again. They belong to the Podargidae – Frogmouths Family which has 16 species of Frogmouths.

Masters of Camouflage Related to Oilbirds, Whip-poor-wills, and Nighthawks, the Tawny Frogmouth’s excellent camouflage covering makes it look like dried leaves. When frightened, the bird freezes in plosition and, with its cryptic colorations, looks like broken bramches.” (Amazing Bird Facts and Trivia, p 135) Isn’t the Lord’s Wisdom fantastic?

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

Another book, (National Geographic, Bird Coloration, p 150-151). says this: “Some birds hide not by being hard to discern, but by appearing not to be birds. The birds that best mimic inanimate objects are found in two groups of distantly related nightjars, the potoos in the Neotropics and the frogmouths in tropical Asia and Australia. Species in both of these groups hunt flying insects at night and rest during the day. Potoos and frogmouths use a strategy to hide during the day that differs … They hide conspicuously in view. The strategy…is to look exactly like an extension of a branch on which the bird sit.”

“Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. (Psalms 143:9 KJV)

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

“They are named for their large flattened hooked bills and huge frog-like gape, which they use to capture insects. Their flight is weak. Their longer bristles which may exist to protect the eyes from insect prey.  Tawny frogmouths are large, big-headed birds that can measure from 13 to 21 in (34 to 53 cm) long….stocky and compact with rounded wings and short legs. They have wide, heavy olive-grey to blackish bills that are hooked at the tip and topped with distinctive tufts of bristles. Their eyes are large, yellow, and frontally placed, a trait shared by owls” (Wikipedia)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*
This video is of two segments. The keeper tried to get him to come down and then we came back a second time. Several photographers were waiting to get a photo of him coming down, but I guess this calls for another excuse to visit the Wings of Asia.

*

Podargidae – Frogmouths Family

Zoo Miami’s Wings of Asia – Wow! – I

Wings of Asia Aviary

Zoo Miami

Sunday Inspiration – Hide Thou Me

*

Lizzy and the Penguin Catapult

Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) ©WikiC

Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) ©WikiC

Lizzy and the Penguin Catapult ~ by Emma Foster

Once there was a penguin named Lizzy who lived with many other penguins in cold Antarctica.

As the penguins traveled through the winter, Lizzy watched with great interest all the eggs that lay on the penguin dad’s feet. Lizzy was too young to go fishing with all the mother penguins that year, so she was traveling with the father penguins to someplace slightly warmer.

Emperor with egg on feet ©WikiC

Emperor with egg on feet ©WikiC

Eventually all of the penguins came to an enormous, icy lake that was too large to go around. The penguin parents huddled together and decided to build a catapult out of some wood they brought with them to build their homes. The catapult would shoot penguins one at a time over the lake. The penguins decided this because the dad penguins could not cross the lake with eggs; and, if they all traveled across it at once, the ice might break. The penguins decided the eggs would be safe because there was a lot of snow on the other side of the lake which would cushion their landing.

Gentoo Penguin - Paradise Bay

Gentoo Penguin – Paradise Bay

Lizzy helped build the catapult and it wasn’t long before it was finally completed.

The first penguin had to be launched by the catapult, but no penguin was willing to do it. Lizzy was a brave penguin and decided to go first.

The catapult was launched, and Lizzy flew through the air. She was actually flying!

Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) by Bob-Nan

Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) by Bob-Nan

Lizzy landed softly and safely in the snow on the other side of the lake and waved to the other penguins. One by one, the rest of the penguins catapulted over the lake with the eggs. When they were all safely on the other side, they traveled to their new home.

The End


Lee’s Addition:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (Philippians 4:6 NKJV)

Thanks, Emma, for another delightful story. Lizzy is one brave little Penguin and also willing to help out.

I am sure the penguins, even though not humans, were thankful to their Creator for taking care of them.

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind? (Job 12:7-10 NKJV)

*

See more of Emma’s Bird Tales

*

ABC’s Of The Gospel

*

Thanksgivings From The Past

Tree Swallows Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge by jeremyjonkman on Flickr From Pinterest

Tree Swallows Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge by jeremyjonkman on Flickr From Pinterest

“Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. (2 Corinthians 9:11 KJV)

While thinking about a post for this Thanksgiving, I looked back to see what had been written in the past. Wow! Had forgotten so many have been posted. From way back in 2008, the first year of the blog until last year when I got wound up and posted several. So, today, the day before Thanksgiving, it’s time to bring those back out to review. Part of Thanksgiving is remembering all our blessings from the past.

Happy Thanksgiving was written in 2008. (I actually still had some color in my hair.)  :))

Thanksgiving Turkey was in 2009. This is about turkeys.

Birds of the Bible – Thanksgiving written in 2010. It is about things I am thankful for.

Thankful For The Lord’s Birds  from an article on the Fountain in 2011.

Happy Thanksgiving Turkey was posted in 2012. It is actually a re-post of the 2009 article.

Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis) by Dario Sanches

Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis) by Dario Sanches

Then last year, I got carried away and produced one-a-day for six days.

Old Testament Thanksgiving – 2013  – Thanksgiving verses from the Old Testament with photos.

New Testament Thanksgiving – 2013 – Thanksgiving verses from the Old Testament with photos.

Birds in Hymns – Honor and Glory, Thanksgiving and Praise - A Thanksgiving Hymn

Thanksgiving For Young People – Thanksgiving from a younger person’s perspective.

Happy Thanksgiving Day – 2013 - Blessings from 2013.

Thankful For The Birds – Title says it all. With photos and a slideshow.

And now this year, so far we have:

Reginald, Turkey Commander by Emma Foster

*

I can see I am going to be challenged to come up with something for tomorrow. But the following verse assures me, there are still many blessings to recount. Your visits to the blog are a great blessings.

Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV)

Until Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, Lord bless!

*

Who Paints The Leaves?

*

Sunday Inspiration – Worthy of Thanksgiving

Dr Jim, Golden Eagle and Dan at Lake Morton

Dr Jim, Golden Eagle and Dan at Lake Morton

Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. (1 Chronicles 16:8-9 KJV)

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. (1 Chronicles 16:34 KJV)

As we enter into the Thanksgiving Holiday week, with visits with family and friends, meals to prepare and eat, parades and games to watch, don’t forget to be thankful for our Creator of all this. He is Worthy of our Thanksgiving and Worship.

I am thankful for all the fantastic friends we have met through this blog (you, the readers). I am also thankful for those that contribute to the blog, like James J. S. Johnson (Dr. Jim) and Golden Eagle (Baron Brown) with which we recently went on a birdwatching adventure. Thankful for our other contributors as well.

Finally cleaned up the photos from that adventure and many are in the slideshow. Definitely thankful for all the birds the Lord gave us. He is “Worthy of Worship”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“Worthy of Worship” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

WORTHY OF WORSHIP
(York/Blankenship)

Worthy of Worship, worthy of praise,
Worthy of honor and glory,
Worthy of all the glad songs we can sing,
Worthy of all of the offerings we bring.

You are worthy, Father, Creator.
You are worthy, Savior, Sustainer.
You are worthy, worthy and wonderful;
Worthy of worship and praise.

Worthy of reverence, worthy of fear,
Worthy of love and devotion;
Worthy of bowing and bending of knees,
Worthy of all this, and added to these…

You are worthy, Father, Creator.
You are worthy, Savior, Sustainer.
You are worthy, worthy and wonderful;
Worthy of worship and praise.

Almighty Father, Master, and Lord,
King of all kings and Redeemer,
Wonderful Counselor, Comforter, Friend,
Savior and Source of our life without end.

You are worthy, Father, Creator.
You are worthy, Savior, Sustainer.
You are worthy, worthy and wonderful;
Worthy of worship and praise.

Trust you have a great Thanksgiving week.

*

Sunday Inspirations

Family: Building a Home God’s Way

*

Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed – Chapter 5

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) ©WikiC

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) ©WikiC

Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed

The Bluebird and the Robin

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

*

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

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

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

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

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

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

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

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

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

“Can you hear them?” asked Peter.

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

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

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

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

*

Listen to the story read.

*

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

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

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

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

 

Links:

*

Links:

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

 

  Next Chapter – An Old Friend In a New Home

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Savannah Sparrow by Ray Barlow

  

 

  Wordless Birds

 

*