Their Creator Gave Them The “V”
“He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. (Psalms 18:19 ESV)
“I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place. (Psalms 31:7-8 ESV)
Broadbills are one of my favorite birds. To me, they are adorable. So far, we have only seen the Green Broadbill and the Long-tailed Broadbill. Both have been at zoos.
Notice their eyes. They always look so alert and expressive.
“Jesus Loves Me” by Bonnie Standifer
This piece was written and played by Bonnie Standifer. Played at our Orchestra Concert in March of 2013 at Faith Baptist Church. You have never heard it played this way before. Bonnie is a very gifted arranger and pianist. (I’ve used her song before, but it is so fantastic.)
Broadbill - Wikipedia
The first photo shows part of Boumort National Reserve in the foothills of the Pyrenees in Catalonia about 40km southwest of Andorra. A reserve since 1991, It has an area of 13,000 hectares and is of special importance as one of the only places in Europe where all four European species of vultures breed. Three occur naturally, while the fourth, the Eurasian Black or Cinereous Vulture has been reintroduced, after becoming extinct in the Pyrenees in recent decades. I made arrangements to visit it through Steve West of Birding in Spain, including getting the necessary permit to photograph these birds, accommodation and transport.
As part of the conservation effort, the vultures are fed three times a week and I was taken to the feeding site by two rangers who had collected carcasses and meat off-cuts from farmers in the vicinity. The site is equipped with a spacious and comfortable hide, complete with toilet, and I was left there alone for the day after they had spread out the meat and carcasses in front of the hide. When we arrived there were already between one and two hundred vultures, almost all Griffons, soaring high above. I had been briefed beforehand that the first arrivals would be Griffons, with Eurasian Blacks arriving later in the morning when the crowds thinned, while the iconic Lammergeier could be expected, probably, in small numbers in the middle of the afternoon. The fourth species, the Egyptian Vulture is a summer visitor and had already departed for Africa.
Sure enough, as soon as the rangers left, large numbers of Griffons glided in and squabbled noisily over the food. Griffons feed mainly on muscles and viscera and attacked the carcasses and pieces of meat with great gusto. The bird in the second photo showing its skill at balancing on a rock on one foot and waving the other is an adult, recognisable by its white ruff, horn-coloured bill and pale wing coverts. The one in the third photo is a juvenile, with grey bill, coffee-coloured ruff and darker wings. Juveniles generally had a covering of short plumage on the head and neck, while the adults often had relatively bare necks.
The breeding range of the Griffon Vulture extends from Portugal in the west to northeastern India and southwestern Kazakhstan in the east. Spain is its main stronghold in the west with about 8,000 pairs and the species is not considered under threat.
These birds are huge and it was wonderful to observe them up close. The black bird in the fourth photo sneaking a mouthful from under the watchful eye of a Griffon is a Common Raven. This is the largest passerine in the world, with a length of up to 67cm/26in and wingspan of up to 130cm/51in, larger than a Common Buzzard, but completely dwarfed by the vulture. Griffons are up to 110cm/43in in length, with a wingspan of up to 280cm/110in and weighting up to 11kg/24lbs.
In the air, they glide effortlessly and powerfully and the enormous wings make the body appear quite small by comparison. They come into land looking like parachutists under square canopies but with the ponderous, unwavering stability of a large aircraft like a B747 or an A380. Look how elegantly and precisely the toes are arranged with all the poise of an Olympic diver, fifth photo.
It really was an extraordinary experience watching the spectacle of these amazing birds, even if their table manners left much to be desired. The large amount of food disappeared at a great rate and the crowds started to disperse, leaving the scene, one hoped, for the later, rarer and more picky species. To be continued…
Another neat adventure for Ian. Not sure I would want to be left all day by myself. Then again, Ian, is quite an adventurous birdwatcher and photographer. Patience is something he definitely has.
Thanks again, Ian, for sharing your adventure. I have a feeling you will soon tell us about some of those other Vultures that came to feed.
“There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen: (Job 28:7 KJV)
The Griffon Vulture is a Bird of the Bible as Vultures are mentioned. One version of the Bible lists a Griffon.
“Of birds these are they which you must not eat, and which are to be avoided by you: The eagle, and the griffon, and the osprey.” (Leviticus 11:13 DRB)
For a while Jenny Wren was too busy to talk save to scold Mr. Wren for spending so much time singing instead of working. To Peter it seemed as if they were trying to fill that tree trunk with rubbish. “I should think they had enough stuff in there for half a dozen nests,” muttered Peter. “I do believe they are carrying it in for the fun of working.” Peter wasn’t far wrong in this thought, as he was to discover a little later in the season when he found Mr. Wren building another nest for which he had no use.
Finding that for the time being he could get nothing more from Jenny Wren, Peter hopped over to visit Johnny Chuck, whose home was between the roots of an old apple-tree in the far corner of the Old Orchard. Peter was still thinking of the Sparrow family; what a big family it was, yet how seldom any of them, excepting Bully the English Sparrow, were to be found in the Old Orchard.
“Hello, Johnny Chuck!” cried Peter, as he discovered Johnny sitting on his doorstep. “You’ve lived in the Old Orchard a long time, so you ought to be able to tell me something I want to know. Why is it that none of the Sparrow family excepting that noisy nuisance, Bully, build in the trees of the Old Orchard? Is it because Bully has driven all the rest out?”
Johnny Chuck shook his head. “Peter,” said he, “whatever is the matter with your ears? And whatever is the matter with your eyes?”
“Nothing,” replied Peter rather shortly. “They are as good as yours any day, Johnny Chuck.”
(Chipping Sparrow singing ©xeno-canto.org by Ian Cruickshank)
Johnny grinned. “Listen!” said Johnny. Peter listened. From a tree just a little way off came a clear “Chip, chip, chip, chip.” Peter didn’t need to be told to look. He knew without looking who was over there. He knew that voice for that of one of his oldest and best friends in the Old Orchard, a little fellow with a red-brown cap, brown back with feathers streaked with black, brownish wings and tail, a gray waistcoat and black bill, and a little white line over each eye—altogether as trim a little gentleman as Peter was acquainted with. It was Chippy, as everybody calls the Chipping Sparrow, the smallest of the family.
Peter looked a little foolish. “I forgot all about Chippy,” said he. “Now I think of it, I have found Chippy here in the Old Orchard ever since I can remember. I never have seen his nest because I never happened to think about looking for it. Does he build a trashy nest like his cousin, Bully?”
Johnny Chuck laughed. “I should say not!” he exclaimed. “Twice Chippy and Mrs. Chippy have built their nest in this very old apple-tree. There is no trash in their nest, I can tell you! It is just as dainty as they are, and not a bit bigger than it has to be. It is made mostly of little fine, dry roots, and it is lined inside with horse-hair.”
“What’s that?” Peter’s voice sounded as it he suspected that Johnny Chuck was trying to fool him.
“It’s a fact,” said Johnny, nodding his head gravely. “Goodness knows where they find it these days, but find it they do. Here comes Chippy himself; ask him.”
Chippy and Mrs. Chippy came flitting from tree to tree until they were on a branch right over Peter and Johnny. “Hello!” cried Peter. “You folks seem very busy. Haven’t you finished building your nest yet?”
“Nearly,” replied Chippy. “It is all done but the horsehair. We are on our way up to Farmer Brown’s barnyard now to look for some. You haven’t seen any around anywhere, have you?”
Peter and Johnny shook their heads, and Peter confessed that he wouldn’t know horsehair if he saw it. He often had found hair from the coats of Reddy Fox and Old Man Coyote and Digger the Badger and Lightfoot the Deer, but hair from the coat of a horse was altogether another matter.
“It isn’t hair from the coat of a horse that we want,” cried Chippy, as he prepared to fly after Mrs. Chippy. “It is long hair from the tail or mane of a horse that we must have. It makes the very nicest kind of lining for a nest.”
Chippy and Mrs. Chippy were gone a long time, but when they did return each was carrying a long black hair. They had found what they wanted, and Mrs. Chippy was in high spirits because, as she took pains to explain to Peter, that little nest would not soon be ready for the four beautiful little blue eggs with black spots on one end she meant to lay in it.
“I just love Chippy and Mrs. Chippy,” said Peter, as they watched their two little feathered friends putting the finishing touches to the little nest far out on a branch of one of the apple-trees.
“Everybody does,” replied Johnny. “Everybody loves them as much as they hate Bully and his wife. Did you know that they are sometimes called Tree Sparrows? I suppose it is because they so often build their nests in trees?”
“No,” said Peter, “I didn’t. Chippy shouldn’t be called Tree Sparrow, because he has a cousin by that name.”
Johnny Chuck looked as if he doubted that, “I never heard of him,” he grunted.
Peter grinned. Here was a chance to tell Johnny Chuck something, and Peter never is happier than when he can tell folks something they don’t know. “You’d know him if you didn’t sleep all winter,” said Peter. “Dotty the Tree Sparrow spends the winter here. He left for his home in the Far North about the time you took it into your head to wake up.”
“Why do you call him Dotty?” asked Johnny Chuck.
“Because he has a little round black dot right in the middle of his breast,” replied Peter. “I don’t know why they call him Tree Sparrow; he doesn’t spend his time in the trees the way Chippy does, but I see him much oftener in low bushes or on the ground. I think Chippy has much more right to the name of Tree Sparrow than Dotty has. Now I think of it, I’ve heard Dotty called the Winter Chippy.”
“Gracious, what a mix-up!” exclaimed Johnny Chuck. “With Chippy being called a Tree Sparrow and a Tree Sparrow called Chippy, I should think folks would get all tangled up.”
“Perhaps they would,” replied Peter, “if both were here at the same time, but Chippy comes just as Dotty goes, and Dotty comes as Chippy goes. That’s a pretty good arrangement, especially as they look very much alike, excepting that Dotty is quite a little bigger than Chippy and always has that black dot, which Chippy does not have. Goodness gracious, it is time I was back in the dear Old Briar-patch! Good-by, Johnny Chuck.”
Away went Peter Rabbit, lipperty-lipperty-lip, heading for the dear Old Briar-patch. Out of the grass just ahead of him flew a rather pale, streaked little brown bird, and as he spread his tail Peter saw two white feathers on the outer edges. Those two white feathers were all Peter needed to recognize another little friend of whom he is very fond. It was Sweetvoice the Vesper Sparrow, the only one of the Sparrow family with white feathers in his tail.
“Come over to the dear Old Briar-patch and sing to me,” cried Peter.
Sweetvoice dropped down into the grass again, and when Peter came up, was very busy getting a mouthful of dry grass. “Can’t,” mumbled Sweetvoice. “Can’t do it now, Peter Rabbit. I’m too busy. It is high time our nest was finished, and Mrs. Sweetvoice will lose her patience if I don’t get this grass over there pretty quick.”
“Where is your nest; in a tree?” asked Peter innocently.
“That’s telling,” declared Sweetvoice. “Not a living soul knows where that nest is, excepting Mrs. Sweetvoice and myself. This much I will tell you, Peter: it isn’t in a tree. And I’ll tell you this much more: it is in a hoofprint of Bossy the Cow.”
“In a WHAT?” cried Peter.
“In a hoofprint of Bossy the Cow,” repeated Sweetvoice, chuckling softly. “You know when the ground was wet and soft early this spring, Bossy left deep footprints wherever she went. One of these makes the nicest kind of place for a nest. I think we have picked out the very best one on all the Green Meadows. Now run along, Peter Rabbit, and don’t bother me any more. I’ve got too much to do to sit here talking. Perhaps I’ll come over to the edge of the dear Old Briar-patch and sing to you a while just after jolly, round, red Mr. Sun goes to bed behind the Purple Hills. I just love to sing then.”
“I’ll be watching for you,” replied Peter. “You don’t love to sing any better than I love to hear you. I think that is the best time of all the day in which to sing. I mean, I think it’s the best time to hear singing,” for of course Peter himself does not sing at all.
(Vesper Sparrow singing ©xeno-canto.org by Chris Parrish)
That night, sure enough, just as the Black Shadows came creeping out over the Green Meadows, Sweetvoice, perched on the top of a bramble-bush over Peter’s head, sang over and over again the sweetest little song and kept on singing even after it was quite dark. Peter didn’t know it, but it is this habit of singing in the evening which has given Sweetvoice his name of Vesper Sparrow.
“Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” (Psalms 100:2 KJV)
Listen to the story read.
Are you busy doing the things that need to done? Do you sing? Most thought better of Chippy than Bully. Are more like Chippy or Bully?
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
(Ephesians 5:19-20 KJV)
Next Chapter (Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed. Coming Soon)
“And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,” (Leviticus 11:18 KJV)
“The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,” (Deuteronomy 14:16 KJV)
Swans are mentioned in these two verses in the KJV Bible. Some other versions list it as another bird. For now, let us learn about the beautiful Swans that the Lord created.
Both of the Swan verses above are found in the “do not eat” list that the Lord gave to the “children of the LORD your God.” Who would want to eat such great looking birds?
Swans are in the Anatidae Family which includes Ducks, Geese and Swans. There are seven species which include these:
Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba) ©AGrosset – Zoo Miami’s by Lee
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) by Dan – Video by Nick – Article
Black-necked Swan (Cygnus melancoryphus) by Bob-Nan
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) by Dan
Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) by DavesBP
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) by DavesBP
Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) by Ian
Some Interesting Facts:
We have been attacked repeatedly lately by an Angry Bird. A Northern Mockingbird has decided that he has a rival inside our windows. As the sun shines on different windows during the day, he attacks those windows with vigor.
Apparently he has been thinking about starting another family and is trying to clear the area of competitors. He starts at early light and attacks the bird (his imaginary enemy) at one of the two bedroom windows. Then he goes out front and sits in the palm tree by the Florida room windows. Lo and behold, his enemy arrives and he starts attacking that window. It even has a screen on it. Later in the day, about mid-morning his “enemy” shows up in the side window of our living room.
I put some stick-on Christmas tree decorations on the back window, but he still sees his enemy and bangs on the windows. You just have to chuckle.
As most of you already know, our Northern Mockingbird is seeing his own reflection in the windows. I told Dan yesterday that the Angry Bird is “His own worst enemy!” He is causing his own problems. If he would just relax, (and stay away from the windows) things would be okay.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (James 1:22-24 NKJV)
How many times are we “our own worst enemy?” We make big “to-dos” about nothing. Or we think we have an issue when we really don’t have one. Sometimes we cause our own problems.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:33-34 NKJV)
One of the passages that mentions “face to face” that I like is:
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:11-13 NKJV)
Our angry Mockingbird is definitely not showing love.
Have a great day and remember to put your trust in the Lord and not in things you think you see.
A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath Day. It is good to give thanks to the LORD, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night, (Psalms 92:1-2 NKJV)
Even though our vacation didn’t go according to “our” schedule, the Lord gave us some great blessings. He, the Lord, had a way of placing the right people in our path to help us. Only He could orchestrate those encounters. May we never forget to give the Lord credit for his blessings to us.
We were able to still see Patriots Point and Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, Merritt Island NWR, Brevard Zoo and the Viera Wetlands and the nearby Click Ponds. The slide show has some photos from those places.
** Some how I forgot to finish this Sunday Inspiration. We took our vacation several months ago. The song Sean is playing, “It Is Well With My Soul” seems to be even more appropriate today. I have been dealing with a walking and now pain issue. I start two days a week of physical therapy next week for almost two months. As I told the therapist Friday, “even though I am dealing with all this, I am trying to maintain a good attitude.” How can I do that? Because, It Is Well With My Soul.” I know the forgiveness for my sins because of the Lord Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for my sins and yours. Have you asked for His forgiveness? Please keep me in your prayers and Sean, also. He needs it more as he is dealing with Lymphoma.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17 KJV)
“It Is Well With My Soul” by Sean Fielder
The morning after the fight between Jenny and Mr. Wren and Bully the English Sparrow found Peter Rabbit in the Old Orchard again. He was so curious to know what Jenny Wren would do for a house that nothing but some very great danger could have kept him away from there. Truth to tell, Peter was afraid that not being able to have their old house, Jenny and Mr. Wren would decide to leave the Old Orchard altogether. So it was with a great deal of relief that as he hopped over a low place in the old stone wall he heard Mr. Wren singing with all his might.
The song was coming from quite the other side of the Old Orchard from where Bully and Mrs. Bully had set up housekeeping. Peter hurried over. He found Mr. Wren right away, but at first saw nothing of Jenny. He was just about to ask after her when he caught sight of her with a tiny stick in her bill. She snapped her sharp little eyes at him, but for once her tongue was still. You see, she couldn’t talk and carry that stick at the same time. Peter watched her and saw her disappear in a little hole in a big branch of one of the old apple-trees. Hardly had she popped in than she popped out again. This time her mouth was free, and so was her tongue.
“You’d better stop singing and help me,” she said to Mr. Wren sharply. Mr. Wren obediently stopped singing and began to hunt for a tiny little twig such as Jenny had taken into that hole.
“Well!” exclaimed Peter. “It didn’t take you long to find a new house, did it?”
“Certainly not,” snapped Jenny “We can’t afford to sit around wasting time like some folk I know.”
Peter grinned and looked a little foolish, but he didn’t resent it. You see he was quite used to that sort of thing. “Aren’t you afraid that Bully will try to drive you out of that house?” he ventured.
Jenny Wren’s sharp little eyes snapped more than ever. “I’d like to see him try!” said she. “That doorway’s too small for him to get more than his head in. And if he tries putting his head in while I’m inside, I’ll peck his eyes out! She said this so fiercely that Peter laughed right out.
“I really believe you would,” said he.
“I certainly would,” she retorted. “Now I can’t stop to talk to you, Peter Rabbit, because I’m too busy. Mr. Wren, you ought to know that that stick is too big.” Jenny snatched it out of Mr. Wren’s mouth and dropped it on the ground, while Mr. Wren meekly went to hunt for another. Jenny joined him, and as Peter watched them he understood why Jenny is so often spoken of as a feathered busybody.
For some time Peter Rabbit watched Jenny and Mr. Wren carry sticks and straws into that little hole until it seemed to him they were trying to fill the whole inside of the tree. Just watching them made Peter positively tired. Mr. Wren would stop every now and then to sing, but Jenny didn’t waste a minute. In spite of that she managed to talk just the same.
“I suppose Little Friend the Song Sparrow got here some time ago,” said she.
Peter nodded. “Yes,” said he. “I saw him only a day or two ago over by the Laughing Brook, and although he wouldn’t say so, I’m sure that he has a nest and eggs already.”
Jenny Wren jerked her tail and nodded her head vigorously. “I suppose so,” said she. “He doesn’t have to make as long a journey as we do, so he gets here sooner. Did you ever in your life see such a difference as there is between Little Friend and his cousin, Bully? Everybody loves Little Friend.”
Once more Peter nodded. “That’s right,” said he. “Everybody does love Little Friend. It makes me feel sort of all glad inside just to hear him sing. I guess it makes everybody feel that way. I wonder why we so seldom see him up here in the Old Orchard.”
“Because he likes damp places with plenty of bushes better,” replied Jenny Wren. “It wouldn’t do for everybody to like the same kind of a place. He isn’t a tree bird, anyway. He likes to be on or near the ground. You will never find his nest much above the ground, not more than a foot or two. Quite often it is on the ground. Of course I prefer Mr. Wren’s song, but I must admit that Little Friend has one of the happiest songs of any one I know. Then, too, he is so modest, just like us Wrens.”
Peter turned his head aside to hide a smile, for if there is anybody who delights in being both seen and heard it is Jenny Wren, while Little Friend the Song Sparrow is shy and retiring, content to make all the world glad with his song, but preferring to keep out of sight as much as possible.
Jenny chattered on as she hunted for some more material for her nest. “I suppose you’ve noticed,” said she, “that he and his wife dress very much alike. They don’t go in for bright colors any more than we Wrens do. They show good taste. I like the little brown caps they wear, and the way their breasts and sides are streaked with brown. Then, too, they are such useful folks. It is a pity that that nuisance of a Bully doesn’t learn something from them. I suppose they stay rather later than we do in the fall.”
“Yes,” replied Peter. “They don’t go until Jack Frost makes them. I don’t know of any one that we miss more than we do them.”
“Speaking of the sparrow family, did you see anything of Whitethroat?” asked Jenny Wren, as she rested for a moment in the doorway of her new house and looked down at Peter Rabbit.
Peter’s face brightened. “I should say I did!” he exclaimed. “He stopped for a few days on his way north. I only wish he would stay here all the time. But he seems to think there is no place like the Great Woods of the North. I could listen all day to his song. Do you know what he always seems to be saying?”
“What?” demanded Jenny.
“I live happ-i-ly, happ-i-ly, happ-i-ly,” replied Peter. “I guess he must too, because he makes other people so happy.” (listen-©xeno-canto)
Jenny nodded in her usual emphatic way. “I don’t know him as well as I do some of the others,” said she, “but when I have seen him down in the South he always has appeared to me to be a perfect gentleman. He is social, too; he likes to travel with others.”
“I’ve noticed that,” said Peter. “He almost always has company when he passes through here. Some of those Sparrows are so much alike that it is hard for me to tell them apart, but I can always tell Whitethroat because he is one of the largest of the tribe and has such a lovely white throat. He really is handsome with his black and white cap and that bright yellow spot before each eye. I am told that he is very dearly loved up in the north where he makes his home. They say he sings all the time.”
“I suppose Scratcher the Fox Sparrow has been along too,” said Jenny. “He also started sometime before we did.”
“Yes,” replied Peter. “He spent one night in the dear Old Briar-patch. He is fine looking too, the biggest of all the Sparrow tribe, and HOW he can sing. The only thing I’ve got against him is the color of his coat. It always reminds me of Reddy Fox, and I don’t like anything that reminds me of that fellow. When he visited us I discovered something about Scratcher which I don’t believe you know.”
“What?” demanded Jenny rather sharply.
“That when he scratches among the leaves he uses both feet at once,” cried Peter triumphantly. “It’s funny to watch him.”
“Pooh! I knew that,” retorted Jenny Wren. “What do you suppose my eyes are make for? I thought you were going to tell me something I didn’t know.”
Peter looked disappointed.
The heart of the wise instructs his mouth And adds persuasiveness to his lips. Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. (Proverbs 16:23-24 NASB)
Listen to the story read.
Jenny seems to be in a kinder mood in this chapter. She has kind words about three different Sparrows. Can you name them?
What kind of sparrow was Little Friend? What kind of songs does he sing? Where does he like to live? What color cap does he have?
Our second sparrow is pictured at the top. Where was Whitethroat headed? What color is his cap? What does his song sound like? (When people use word to descrbe a song, that is called – Mnemonics.
Who is the largest sparrow? What color is Scratcher’s coat? Why is he called “Scratcher”?
Jenny is using nice words about the sparrows this time. Don’t you like to have good words spoken about you? Do you use nice words when talking about someone?
Read the two verses and think about how the Lord wants your speech.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. (Psalms 19:14 NKJV)
Bonus – A Fox Sparrow Scratching
Next Chapter – Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty.
In the recent article, The Old Orchard Bully – Chapter 2, the whole group of birds united to chase off the Black Cat. That is called, “mobbing.”
Some ask why don’t the bigger birds fight back? Here are a few quotes from various sources:
“This behavior – like calling your family for help – is used by many bird species. The best time to observe mobbing is spring and early summer, when breeding birds are trying to protect their nests and young. Birds including swallows, blackbirds, and even these American Crows, seen here mobbing a Red-tailed Hawk, know that there is strength and power in numbers. And they’ve learned to join forces to protect themselves. Be sure to watch the video!”
Quote from Why Don’t Hawks Fight Back? :All agreed that if a red-tailed hawk reached out and grabbed a crow with its talons, that would be the end of the crow. Or as one of the professionals put it, in scientific terms, “the crow would be toast.” But although large raptors have the necessary weapons, the energy cost of pursuing or otherwise attempting to catch a crow is normally not worth it. Crows are agile creatures and would be very difficult to catch in flight. So a hawk typically ignores the crows or flies away.”
A Great Horned Owl being mobbed!
Just as the Lord helps His Created critters, the Lord gives us promises about seeking His help:
But the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” (2 Kings 17:39 NKJV)
Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies. (Psalms 60:11-12 NKJV)
I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. (Psalms 18:37 NKJV)
O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. (Psalms 25:2 NKJV)
My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, And from those who persecute me. (Psalms 31:15 NKJV)
For I will not trust in my bow, Nor shall my sword save me. But You have saved us from our enemies, And have put to shame those who hated us. In God we boast all day long, And praise Your name forever. Selah (Psalms 44:6-8 NKJV)
Some interesting links about mobbing:
Why Don’t The Crows Fight Back? – Savannah River Ecology Lab
Small Birds Mob Big Ones – Bird Note, with audio
Mobbing – RSPB
The Superb Fairywren – The Corporate Mob ~ by a j mithra
There once was a stork named Norman. Every morning from a high spot in a tree he would watch the children from a nearby neighborhood walk down the street to the bus stop. The bus stop was right next to the zoo, which was where Norman lived.
His favorite part of the day, though, was when some of the kids came to the baseball field to practice. The field was right next to the zoo, and Norman enjoyed the game of baseball so much he decided to join the team.
The coaches were a little shocked at first to see that a stork was trying out for the team, but they decided to give Norman a chance. Norman was given his very own baseball bat, and he stepped up to the plate.
The first time Norman swung at the ball he missed, and a fifth grade boy yelled, “Strike one!” Norman hit the ball the second time, and flew to first base. It was then that Norman learned that you weren’t supposed to fly in baseball, and you had to make sure your baseball bat didn’t go flying as well.
Norman didn’t make it to first base anyway. One of the boys grabbed the ball off the ground and threw it to another boy at first base. The coach said that Norman was out, but Norman was still welcome on the team.
The first game was that Saturday. It was the last inning and Norman was up to bat. The bases were loaded.
The other team’s pitcher threw the ball, Norman swung the bat, and the ball sailed up into the sky. It was a home run! Norman and his team won the game, and Norman was allowed to stay on the baseball team.
Where the birds make their nests; The stork has her home in the fir trees. (Psalms 104:17 NKJV)
Thanks, Emma, for another delightful story, this time about Norman.
Emma is a teenager now, and I suggested she write us another story. This is her latest. See her other ones in the Guest Author section.
Norman might be that friendly Stork that hangs out at Lake Morton I encountered recently. Didn’t see a baseball cap though.
Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count. (Psalms 40:5 NASB)
We finally took some time to go see what birds were at Lake Howard. I was a little disappointed that the winter birds haven’t started arriving yet. It is either that, or the fact that they have been re-working the shoreline at the park. They are making it more “people-friendly,” but seem to be making it less “bird-friendly.” Trust that is not going to keep our Wood Ducks, Ring-neck Ducks and Ruddies away. None of them were present.
I really didn’t check the whole lake though. I have been having some leg issues and haven’t been birdwatching lately. In fact, I only crossed the street and birded right there by the shore. You might keep me in your prayers. Had a Doctor appointment today with encouraging word, especially that surgery most like can be avoided on my feet. Friday, another appointment to start some physical therapy for my left leg. It has been weak and causing me to “waddle” like the ducks. Never heard of a “Lee Duck” have you? Hope not.
Here are some of the photos taken Saturday by the shore of Lake Morton. There are still some swans in the pens after the recent yearly round-up of the swans. They gave them all vaccinations. Rounded up well over a hundred of them.
And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, (Leviticus 11:18 KJV)
I found this very interesting video from YouTube when they did the round-up in 2010.
This link is to this year’s story about the Swan Round-up. (It has some neat photos)
Enjoy a slide show of some of what we saw.
Hey, boys and girls, Golden Eagle here. How have you been since last time? Do you ever wonder why the Universe is here? Why is the Earth here? Why are we alive? Is there something after death? Will I see my departed loved ones again? What is my purpose for existence? Where did my conscience come from? Questions are great and never be afraid to ask your parents or teachers the hard questions.
I am not a parrot! I am a high-flying eagle, but I am a little bit familiar with the Bible, the Word of God. In Revelation 4:11 the Bible says that Jesus “hast created ALL THINGS, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Even the animals can teach us things, if we want to learn. Do you know, a small feathered fowl just landed on my perch? I’ll be back in a minute. I need to send my feathered friend on a mission, in order to reclaim my perch.
“But ask now the beasts (animals), and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air (the birds), and they shall teach thee. Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee; and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.” What will these things teach us? WHO KNOWETH NOT IN ALL THESE THAT THE HAND OF THE LORD HATH WROUGHT THIS? IN WHOSE HAND IS THE SOUL OF EVERY LIVING THING, AND THE BREATH OF ALL MANKIND.” Jesus Christ has created everything.
From the colors of the rainbow to the spots on a lady bug, Jesus created it all! Some of you have watched Disney’s Tinker Bell movies. They have water fairies, and color fairies, and Spring fairies, etc. But did you know?
Fairies are not real, but God’s angels are real!
There are Angels for the wind. (Revelation 7:1) “I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth…”
“And I heard the angel of the waters say…” There is a water angel!
“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun…” (Revelation 16:8)
Jesus Christ created visible and invisible things! In every blade of grass, there is a lesson about photosynthesis. Our DNA is packed full with information from God. Your DNA had the information for the color of your eyes, the color of your hair, the thickness of your bones, and how tall you will eventually reach.
Water floats when it freezes! Did you ever wonder why? Most things, when they change from a liquid to a solid get heavier, but not water. Water gets lighter, and ice floats in your glass! Why? Because Jesus designed it that way, so in the winter the lakes don’t freeze solid! The ice freezes on top of the lake and fish and plants can continue to live in the winter time.
Every snowflake is different. Did you ever wonder why? “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?” (Job 38:22-23) You know, snow helped George Washington in the battle for America’s Independence from England. Napoleon was turned back from Russia because of the cold and snow.
You see, there are so many things to learn. The greatest of all is the learn about the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One-true Living God. Everything was made for Him! He wants you to get saved, and then to live for Him. When you do that, you will begin to fulfill the purpose God intended you to have.
Us birds, we have our place in God’s economy! And boys and girls, you have your place. Read the Bible every day to find out more. Sometimes, birds are smarter than you think. Maybe, if someone calls you a “bird-brain” in the future, that might be a compliment!
This is Golden Eagle flying off! See Ya…
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