Sunday Inspiration – More Amazing Birds

Rufous-capped Spinetail (Synallaxis ruficapilla) by Dario Sanches

Rufous-capped Spinetail (Synallaxis ruficapilla) by Dario Sanches

For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. (Luke 1:49 KJV)

Our Creator has given us so many birds to enjoy, that it is hard to pick them. So, today as you listen to another arrangement from Pastor Jerry’s special night a few weeks ago, you can view another slideshow of mixed avian friends. These are from the first four bird families, taxonomically, in the Passeriformes Order (Songbirds).

Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name, Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings: (Jeremiah 32:17-19 KJV)

Click to listen:

“Jesus What A Might Name” – Pastor Jerry Smith w/Choir and Orchestra

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NKJV)

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Birds of the World
Passeriformes Order
Acanthisittidae – New Zealand Wrens
Eurylaimidae – Broadbills
Pittidae – Pittas
Furnariidae – Ovenbirds

Good News

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Photos by Michael Woodruff

Red-breasted X Red-naped Sapsucker  By Michael Woodruff

Red-breasted X Red-naped Sapsucker By Michael Woodruff

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)

Thought I would share some of Michael Woodruff’s latest photos. He has been giving me permission to use his great photos for several years. The Lord created these birds and Michael has a great way of capturing their images for us to enjoy. Thanks, Michael.

Painted Redstart by Michael Woodruff

Painted Redstart by Michael Woodruff

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

And since we haven’t been on any birdwatching trips yet this year, you can enjoy photos from others. His Flickr photos can be see at:

Tropical Kingbird By Michael Woodruff

Tropical Kingbird By Michael Woodruff

Click to see Michael’s Pictures:

Michael Woodruff

Red-masked Parakeet by Michael Woodruff

Red-masked Parakeet by Michael Woodruff

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.” (Genesis 1:20 NKJV)

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Here are some articles where Michael’s photos have been used:

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Quotes from C. S. Lewis

Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher (Culicicapa ceylonensis) by W Kwong

Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher (Culicicapa ceylonensis) by W Kwong

In today’s Creation Moments article, A WONDROUS BUT TERRIFYING CREATION, these quotes from C. S. Lewis caught my interest. The article is actually about Louie Zamperini’s experiences, especially with nature.

C.S. Lewis writes about how our experience with the creation awakens within us a sense that there is more – something other, something beyond the natural world. He writes in Mere Christianity, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Lewis also observes in his book Miracles that we can only savor this world for the wonder that it really is when we appreciate it as the creation of a supernatural God. “Only Super-naturalists really see Nature…. To treat Nature as God, or as Everything, is to lose the whole pith and pleasure of her. Come out, look back and then you will see … this astonishing cataract of bears, babies, and bananas; this immoderate deluge of atoms, orchids, oranges, cancers, canaries, fleas, gases, tornadoes, and toads. How could you have ever thought this was ultimate reality? … The “vanity” (futility) to which she was subjected was her disease not her essence.”

Like all of us, Nature – though wondrous and awesome – is in need of redemption. The “essence” of Nature points us to her Awesome Maker. And the “disease” within her – the futility, corruption, and harsh cruelty – instructs us to anxiously long for our full redemption. As the Bible puts it,

“…the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature (the anxious longing of the creation) waits for the manifestation of the sons of God…. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:18-19, 22)

To see that article …

Like yesterday’s I’m Little but…., the hawk would not be trying to catch and eat the squirrel had it not been for the curse and our fallen world. It will be great when things are made right. The main question is, are you prepared for when that takes place?

The Gospel Message

Yellow Canary (Crithagra flaviventris) Male ©WikiC

Yellow Canary (Crithagra flaviventris) Male ©WikiC

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I’m Little but…..

Squirrel at a park in Daytona

Squirrel at a park in Daytona

Thought you might enjoy this sent to me by a friend. Not sure how it was done, but National Geographic was involved.

A couple of verses come to mind:

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; (1 Corinthians 1:27 KJV)

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:3 KJV)

If he watches out for these two, how much more does God watch out for us?

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Wordless Birds

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Redwing and Yellow Wing – Chapter 10

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) by Ray

Redwing and Yellow Wing

The Red-winged Blackbird and the Golden-winged Flicker.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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CHAPTER 10. Redwing and Yellow Wing.

Peter had come over to the Smiling Pool especially to pay his respects to Redwing the Blackbird, so as soon as he could, without being impolite, he left Mrs. Teeter sitting on her eggs, and Teeter himself bobbing and bowing in the friendliest way, and hurried over to where the bulrushes grow. In the very top of the Big Hickory-tree, a little farther along on the bank of the Smiling Pool, sat some one who at that distance appeared to be dressed all in black. He was singing as if there were nothing but joy in all the great world. “Quong-ka-reee! Quong-ka-reee! Quong-ka-reee!” he sang. Peter would have known from this song alone that it was Redwing the Blackbird, for there is no other song quite like it.

As soon as Peter appeared in sight Redwing left his high perch and flew down to light among the broken-down bulrushes. As he flew, Peter saw the beautiful red patch on the bend of each wing, from which Redwing gets his name. “No one could ever mistake him for anybody else,” thought Peter, “For there isn’t anybody else with such beautiful shoulder patches.”

“What’s the news, Peter Rabbit?” cried Redwing, coming over to sit very near Peter.

“There isn’t much,” replied Peter, “excepting that Teeter the Sandpiper has four eggs just a little way from here.”

Redwing chuckled. “That is no news, Peter,” said he. “Do you suppose that I live neighbor to Teeter and don’t know where his nest is and all about his affairs? There isn’t much going on around the Smiling Pool that I don’t know, I can tell you that.”

Peter looked a little disappointed, because there is nothing he likes better than to be the bearer of news. “I suppose,” said he politely, “that you will be building a nest pretty soon yourself, Redwing.”

Redwing chuckled softly. It was a happy, contented sort of chuckle. “No, Peter,” said he. “I am not going to build a nest.”

“What?” exclaimed Peter, and his two long ears stood straight up with astonishment.

“No,” replied Redwing, still chuckling. “I’m not going to build a nest, and if you want to know a little secret, we have four as pretty eggs as ever were laid.”

Redwing the Blackbird, Speckles the Starling - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Redwing the Blackbird, Speckles the Starling – Burgess Bird Book ©©

Peter fairly bubbled over with interest and curiosity. “How splendid!” he cried. “Where is your nest, Redwing? I would just love to see it. I suppose it is because she is sitting on those eggs that I haven’t seen Mrs. Redwing. It was very stupid of me not to guess that folks who come as early as you do would be among the first to build a home. Where is it, Redwing? Do tell me.”

Redwing’s eyes twinkled.

     "A secret which is known by three
      Full soon will not a secret be,"

said he. “It isn’t that I don’t trust you, Peter. I know that you wouldn’t intentionally let my secret slip out. But you might do it by accident. What you don’t know, you can’t tell.”

“That’s right, Redwing. I am glad you have so much sense,” said another voice, and Mrs. Redwing alighted very near to Redwing.

Peter couldn’t help thinking that Old Mother Nature had been very unfair indeed in dressing Mrs. Redwing. She was, if anything, a little bit smaller than her handsome husband, and such a plain, not to say homely, little body that it was hard work to realize that she was a Blackbird at all. In the first place she wasn’t black. She was dressed all over in grayish-brown with streaks of darker brown which in places were almost black. She wore no bright-colored shoulder patches. In fact, there wasn’t a bright feather on her anywhere. Peter wanted to ask why it was that she was so plainly dressed, but he was too polite and decided to wait until he should see Jenny Wren. She would be sure to know. Instead, he exclaimed, “How do you do, Mrs. Redwing? I’m ever so glad to see you. I was wondering where you were. Where did you come from?”

“Straight from my home,” replied Mrs. Redwing demurely. “And if I do say it, it is the best home we’ve ever had.”

Redwing chuckled. He was full of chuckles. You see, he had noticed how eagerly Peter was looking everywhere.

“This much I will tell you, Peter,” said Redwing; “our nest is somewhere in these bulrushes, and if you can find it we won’t say a word, even if you don’t keep the secret.”

Then Redwing chuckled again and Mrs. Redwing chuckled with him. You see, they knew that Peter doesn’t like water, and that nest was hidden in a certain clump of brown, broken-down rushes, with water all around. Suddenly Redwing flew up in the air with a harsh cry. “Run, Peter! Run!” he screamed. “Here comes Reddy Fox!

Peter didn’t wait for a second warning. He knew by the sound of Redwing’s voice that Redwing wasn’t joking. There was just one place of safety, and that was an old hole of Grandfather Chuck’s between the roots of the Big Hickory-tree. Peter didn’t waste any time getting there, and he was none too soon, for Reddy was so close at his heels that he pulled some white hairs out of Peter’s tail as Peter plunged headfirst down that hole. It was a lucky thing for Peter that that hole was too small for Reddy to follow and the roots prevented Reddy from digging it any bigger.

For a long time Peter sat in Grandfather Chuck’s old house, wondering how soon it would be safe for him to come out. For a while he heard Mr. and Mrs. Redwing scolding sharply, and by this he knew that Reddy Fox was still about. By and by they stopped scolding, and a few minutes later he heard Redwing’s happy song. “That means,” thought Peter, “that Reddy Fox has gone away, but I think I’ll sit here a while longer to make sure.”

Now Peter was sitting right under the Big Hickory-tree. After a while he began to hear faint little sounds, little taps, and scratching sounds as of claws. They seemed to come from right over his head, but he knew that there was no one in that hole but himself. He couldn’t understand it at all.

Finally Peter decided it would be safe to peek outside. Very carefully he poked his head out. Just as he did so, a little chip struck him right on the nose. Peter pulled his head back hurriedly and stared at the little chip which lay just in front of the hole. Then two or three more little chips fell. Peter knew that they must come from up in the Big Hickory-tree, and right away his curiosity was aroused. Redwing was singing so happily that Peter felt sure no danger was near, so he hopped outside and looked up to find out where those little chips had come from. Just a few feet above his head he saw a round hole in the trunk of the Big Hickory-tree. While he was looking at it, a head with a long stout bill was thrust out and in that bill were two or three little chips. Peter’s heart gave a little jump of glad surprise.

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) yellow-shafted ©WikiC

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) yellow-shafted ©WikiC

Yellow Wing!” he cried. “My goodness, how you startled me!”

The chips were dropped and the head was thrust farther out. The sides and throat were a soft reddish-tan and on each side at the beginning of the bill was a black patch. The top of the head was gray and just at the back was a little band of bright red. There was no mistaking that head. It belonged to Yellow Wing the Flicker beyond a doubt.

“Hello, Peter!” exclaimed Yellow Wing, his eyes twinkling. “What are you doing here?”

“Nothing,” replied Peter, “but I want to know what you are doing. What are all those chips?”

“I’m fixing up this old house of mine,” replied Yellow Wing promptly. “It wasn’t quite deep enough to suit me, so I am making it a little deeper. Mrs. Yellow Wing and I haven’t been able to find another house to suit us, so we have decided to live here again this year.” He came wholly out and flew down on the ground near Peter. When his wings were spread, Peter saw that on the under sides they were a beautiful golden-yellow, as were the under sides of his tail feathers. Around his throat was a broad, black collar. From this, clear to his tail, were black dots. When his wings were spread, the upper part of his body just above the tail was pure white.

“My,” exclaimed Peter, “you are a handsome fellow! I never realized before how handsome you are.”

Yellow Wing looked pleased. Perhaps he felt a little flattered. “I am glad you think so, Peter,” said he. “I am rather proud of my suit, myself. I don’t know of any member of my family with whom I would change coats.”

A sudden thought struck Peter. “What family do you belong to?” He asked abruptly.

“The Woodpecker family,” replied Yellow Wing proudly.

Bold points for questions at the bottom or for Christian traits.

Add A photo from the Collection of the Burgess Bird ones – Don’t forget to add a Featured Image.

Add Tags as appropriate

More story at photos as wanted – Add an audio below

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Listen to the story read.

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Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.” (Ezekiel 3:21 NKJV)

I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. (1 Corinthians 4:14 NKJV)

That was mighty nice of Redwing to warn Peter Rabbit. We need to listen when others warn us. Like, “don’t get too close to the fire” or “watch out for the cars!” We should also help others by warning them so they don’t get hurt. We need to tell others about Christ and warn them to not ignore His teaching.

Some questions to see if you remember the tale:

  • Who is our newest bird?
  • What does he have on his shoulders?
  • What does his song sound like?
  • Does Mrs. Redwing look like him? Describe her.
  • Why did Redwing warn Peter Rabbit?
  • What family does the Yellow Wing belong to?

Links:

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Links:

 

  Next Chapter (Drummers and Carpenters. Coming Soon)

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Savannah Sparrow by Ray Barlow

  

 

  Wordless Birds

 

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Sunday Inspiration – “Star” Birds

Star-throated Antwren (Rhopias gularis) ©WikiC

Star-throated Antwren (Rhopias gularis) ©WikiC

Today’s Sunday Inspiration is spotlighting the “Star” birds while Pastor Jerry and Reagan Osborne sing “Day Star.” This was sung when Pastor Jerry retired from the Music Ministry.

The “star” birds have “star” in their names. This includes Hillstars, Redstarts, Starlings, Starfrontlets, and a Whitestart.

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (2 Peter 1:19 KJV)

Believer’s Bible Commentary: “…The rising of the morning star (day star) pictures Christ’s coming for His saints. Thus the sense of the passage is that we should always keep the prophetic word before us, treasuring it in our hearts, for it will serve as a light in this dark world until the age is ended and Christ appears in the clouds to take His waiting people home to heaven.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Click to Listen

“Day Star” ~ Pastor Jerry Smith and Reagan Osborne at Faith Baptist Church

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Sunday Inspirations

Big Mighty God

Pastor Jerry Smith – Testimony

Good News

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Bird’s Egg Evolution – Creation Moments

Spur-winged Lapwing (Vanellus spinosus) Egg ©Wiki

Spur-winged Lapwing (Vanellus spinosus) Egg ©Wiki

BIRDS EGG EVOLUTION

“Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust, and forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.” (Job 39:14-15)

The creation is literally filled with millions of what those who believe in evolution call “happy coincidences.” But when you encounter millions of instances of what appears to be thoughtful design, the obvious conclusion is that there is a Designer. Take the example of bird eggs.

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) eggs ©WikiC

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) eggs ©WikiC

The shape of the egg makes it strong. This strength comes in handy in a busy nest. Mom and dad are coming and going, and they turn the eggs periodically during incubation. But all eggs are not equally egg shaped, and there is a pattern to their shapes. Birds like robins that build a nice, dish shaped nest tend to lay eggs that are more round in shape. Screech owls, which lay their eggs at the bottom of a hole in a tree, also have round shaped eggs. Birds like the killdeer barely build any kind of nest and lay eggs on the ground where almost-round eggs could roll away. For this reason, birds such as a kildeer lay much more sharply pointed eggs which are designed to pivot on their small end. Likewise, eggs that are laid where predators are not likely to see them are usually pale or solid in color, but eggs laid out in the open are camouflaged. Moreover, baby birds that hatch in protected nests, like the bluebird, tend to be naked, blind and helpless. But the unprotected killdeer hatchlings are ready to leave the nest within minutes of hatching.

All coincidences? It seems more scientific to say that here we have a few of the many fingerprints of our wise Creator!

Prayer:
I praise You, Father, for how Your glory is reflected in the creation. Amen.

Notes:
Jim Williams, “Bird basics: egg size, color and shape”, Star Tribune, 7/29/99, p. 8. Illustration: Long elliptical egg of a loon. (PD)

©Creation Moments, 2015 (Used with permission)

Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) Eggs ©WikiC

Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) Eggs ©WikiC


Lee’s Addition:

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (Psalms 90:12 KJV)

O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. (Psalms 104:24 KJV)

Another reminder of how great and wise our Creator is.

Different Eggs- Birds and Others - from Wikipedia

Different Eggs- Birds and Others – from Wikipedia

Incredible Chicken Egg
Birds of the Bible – Bird Egg Facts
Formed By Him – Bird Eggs

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – European Goldfinch

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) Female by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – European Goldfinch ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 1/21/15

Last week I mentioned that the Zebra Finch was an Estrildid or Grass Finch (family Estrildidae) without exploring the significance of this, so here is a taxonomically quite different finch, the European Goldfinch (family Fringillidae), to continue the subject. Choosing it was prompted by an email from some English friends of mine currently in New Zealand who expressed disappointment that most of the birds seemed to be ones introduced from the British Isles, naming in particular the Goldfinch. So here is a photo of one that I took in its native habitat, when staying with these friends in 2001 on Alderney one of the smaller inhabited Channel Islands off the coast of France.

It was introduced to Australia as well in the 1860s and is quite widespread in the southeastern mainland and on Tasmania. It’s an attractive bird with a canary-like song and like the Zebra Finch a popular cage bird. So it’s not surprising that homesick settlers introduced it. It does well in farmland, parks and gardens but not in native vegetation.

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) Male by IanThe sex of adult Goldfinches can be told from their plumage, even though they are very similar and most field guides don’t make the distinction. It’s a bit like those Spot the Difference puzzles, so here, second photo, is an Irish male to compare with the female in the first. The pale cheeks on the female are buff, those on the male white. The red bib on the female is rounded, on the male more rectangular. The female usually has a complete buff breast band; the male just has buff breast patches separate by white. The male is also whiter underneath. There are other subtle differences not apparent in these photos such as the amount of white on the tail.

PAS-Frin European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) Juvenile by IanYou can tell from their stout conical bills that they are seed-eaters, and any such vaguely sparrow-like bird is likely to be called a ‘finch’. In temperate zones seeds are available mainly in spring and autumn, so dietary versatility is needed. The male is chomping its way through the buds and flowers of Hawthorn and Goldfinches will also feed on invertebrates. Their favourite food is the seeds of thistles and their, by finch standards, relatively pointed bills are adapted to picking out seeds from among thorns, like the juvenile bird in the third photo in autumn. Its plumage, apart from the black and yellow wings, is mainly brown and streaked with no red or black on the head, and almost pipit-like.

The juveniles acquire the adult plumage during the first autumn moult, and the rather scruffy individual in the fourth photo is in mid-transition. This photo shows the very pointed bill, even if the owner is looking a bit doubtful about the even scruffier thistle head.

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) Juvenile by IanGetting around to the taxonomy at last, the various groups of finch-like birds have caused and still cause avian taxonomists many headaches, and I don’t want to trigger any more here. It is sufficient to say that the approximately 700 global species of finch-like birds belong to several separate lineages, currently separated at the level of family.

The Fringillidae to which the Goldfinch belongs, sometimes called the ‘true’ finches (by the Europeans of course) have an almost global distribution but are completely absent, naturally, from Australasia. The Estrildidae, which include all the native Australian grass finches, occur only in Africa, southern and southeast Asia and Australasia (but not New Zealand).

The African members belong to a group called Waxbills, the Asian ones are mainly Munias or Mannikins and the grass finches are predominantly Australian. The Estrildids occur mainly in tropical or sub-tropical regions, and only in Australia have some Firetails ventured into cooler areas: notably the Red-eared Firetail in SW Western Australia and the Beautiful Firetail in the SE mainland and Tasmania.

I’m in danger of getting carried away here, so I’ll stop. Here are some links if you want to explore their photos further: FringillidaeEstrildidae and I haven’t even mentioned the other finch-like birds such as the Sparrows  Buntings and New World SparrowsNew World OriolesWeaversTanagersCardinals

Greetings
Ian

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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: iTunesGoogle Play Kobo Books
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. (Genesis 7:14-15 NKJV)

More beautiful birds to check out from Ian. Thanks, Ian. If you check out his links, you will find some very nice photos.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week

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Babbler For Who?

Indian Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus horsfieldii) ©WikiC

Indian Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus horsfieldii) ©WikiC

bab·bler – ˈbab(ə)lər/ – noun

  • a person who babbles.
  • a thrushlike Old World songbird with a long tail, short rounded wings, and typically a loud discordant or musical voice.

While reading in Ecclesiastes recently, I saw the word “babbler.” Working on the Birds of the World lists, that word caught my attention. Ahh! Maybe I could write an article about the Babblers that I had seen in the list.

A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; The babbler is no different. (Ecclesiastes 10:11 NKJV)

Chestnut-faced Babbler (Zosterornis whiteheadi) ©WikiC

Chestnut-faced Babbler (Zosterornis whiteheadi) ©WikiC

What I did not know is that there are seven families that have “Babbler” birds in them. There are Ground Babblers, Wren Babblers, Thrush-Babblers, Scimitar Babblers, Jewel-babblers, Hill Babblers, Tit-Babblers, a Rail-babblers and regular just plain Babblers.

Then checking for more verses on “babblers,” I found two more. The verse above and this one both have a sort of negative meaning to the word.

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler. (Proverbs 20:19 ESV)

There is one more verse that will come later. First, what is a Babbler of the bird kind?

Rail-babbler (Eupetes macrocerus) by Peter Ericsson

Rail-babbler (Eupetes macrocerus) by Peter Ericsson

“The Old World babblers or timaliids are a large family of mostly Old World passerine birds. They are rather diverse in size and coloration, but are characterised by soft fluffy plumage. These are birds of tropical areas, with the greatest variety in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The timaliids are one of two unrelated groups of birds known as babblers, the other being the Australasian babblers of the family Pomatostomidae (also known as pseudo-babblers).

White-browed Babbler by Ian

White-browed Babbler by Ian (Australia)

Morphological diversity is rather high; most species resemble “warblers”, jays or thrushes. This group is among those Old World bird families with the highest number of species still being discovered.

Timaliids are small to medium birds. They have strong legs, and many are quite terrestrial. They typically have generalised bills, similar to those of a thrush or warbler, except for the scimitar babblers which, as their name implies, have strongly decurved bills. Most have predominantly brown plumage, with minimal difference between the sexes, but many more brightly coloured species also exist.

The systematics of Old World babblers have long been contested. During much of the 20th century, the family was used as a “wastebin taxon” for numerous hard-to-place Old World songbirds (such as Picathartidae or the wrentit). Ernst Hartert was only half-joking when he summarized this attitude with the statement that, in the passerines, (Wikipedia)

“Was man nicht unterbringen kann, sieht man als Timalien an.” (What one can’t place systematically is considered an Old World babbler)

They finally started trying to divide them into different groups and families. You will find those seven families below. Also, from the definition at the beginning, they are vocal with a “typically a loud discordant or musical voice.”

Nepal Wren-Babbler (Pnoepyga immaculata) by Nikhil Devasar

Nepal Wren-Babbler (Pnoepyga immaculata) by Nikhil Devasar

The last verse I found with “babbler” gives us a more positive emphasis. The Apostle Paul was in Athens and:

“Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean.” (Acts 17:16-20 NKJV)

Are we “babblers” for the Lord like Paul? When people listen to us (or read what we write), do they hear a loud “discordant sound” or a clear “musical note”? We have no control how the words are heard. Some may consider the Words of Jesus as just another belief system in the world, while others will hear the Words as joy to their souls. We are told to tell others about Christ. So, Who do we “Babble” for?

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Eupetidae – Rail-babbler – 1

Pellorneidae – Fulvettas, Ground Babblers – 40+ Wren Babblers, Thrush-Babbler, Scimitar Babbler, Babblers

Pnoepygidae – Wren-babblers – 5 Wren-babblers

Pomatostomidae – Australasian Babblers – 5 Babblers

Psophodidae – Whipbirds, Jewel-babblers and Quail-thrushes – 4 Jewel-babblers

Sylviidae – Sylviid Babblers – 6 Hill Babblers, Thrush-Babblers, and Babblers

Timaliidae – Babblers – 55 Scimitar Babblers, Wren-Babblers, Tit-Babblers and Babblers

Orni-Theology

Sharing The Gospel

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Birds, But No Birdwatching

First Birds of 2015 - 1 BT Grackle

First Birds of 2015 – 1 Boat-tailed Grackle

Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? (Luke 12:24 NKJV)

Well, we are over half way through January of 2015 and we still haven’t “gone” on a birdwatching trip. I have been seeing birds in my yard and neighborhood and on short trips to the doctor, store, or church. These have all been occasional sightings. Haven’t even kept a list, except in my head.

As I have visited some of your sites and others, your 2015 list of birds is becoming quite impressive, at least for some of you.

On New Years morning I awoke with a sore throat. I now have been dealing with my second round of bronchitis since November. (Just can’t seem to shake it.) My 2015 list of birds has been “grounded.” Can’t seem to get it off to a start. Yet, the birds seen in 2015 are growing.

My First Bird of 2015 was a Boat-tailed Grackle that visited the feeders. Followed close behind were Mourning Doves and Red-winged Blackbirds. Woke up with a sore throat, so that was my birdwatching adventure of the new year so far. (From Birds of the Bible – Eye Hath Not Seen)

First Birds of 2015 - 1 BT Grackle-2 M Dove-3 Redwing Blkbd (19)c

First Birds of 2015 – 1 BT Grackle-2 M Dove-3 Redwing Blkbd -through kitchen window

The Grackles, Morning Doves and Red-wings started the year off. Since then the White Ibises strolled through the yard, the Downy Woodpecker checked out the tree next door (which was chopped down 2 days ago), the Sandhill Cranes walked down the street, and overhead I saw Black and Turkey Vultures flying by. With a gap between two houses across the street, I have seen the Great Egret, Great Blue Heron and some UFO fly over the pond there.

While riding we have seen a Bald Eagle, Anhingas, Double-crested Cormorants, and others. Luckily, we have over 500 Lakes in Polk County, so we pass several (on purpose) as we are out. We had to drive right by Circle B, our favorite birding spot here, on the way to the doctor. Well over 100 Vultures were resting in the trees that morning.

The Lord has been great in letting me enjoy His created critters even though in fewer numbers than I would prefer. Some times we need to slow down and just rest, I guess, and take things as they come. I am thankful to be getting better (I think) and am keeping my eyes open to enjoy what is given to me.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17 KJV)

First Birds of 2015 - 1 BT Grackle-2 M Dove-3 Redwing Blkbd (3)c

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)

2015 List so far:

  • Grackles
  • Morning Doves
  • Red-winged Blackbirds
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Sandhill Cranes
  • Great Egret
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Bald Eagle
  • Anhingas
  • Double-crested Cormorants
  • Osprey
  • Pigeons
  • Common Moorhens
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Blue Jay
  • White-winged Doves
  • Eurasian Collared Doves
  • Common Nighthawk

Looking forward to doing some “real” birdwatching soon. Your prayers will be appreciated as I continue to fight bronchitis. Am starting to get “cabin fever.” Went to church a week ago when Pastor Jerry had his special day, for which I am thankful, but it caused me to re-lapse. Oh, well! It was worth it and you will get to hear more of that music in later articles.

Pastor Jerry Smith – Testimony

Sunday Inspiration – Big Mighty God

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Sunday Inspiration – Big Mighty God

Caracara - Dan's Flamingo Gardens Photos

Caracara – Dan’s Flamingo Gardens Photos

“keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Jude 1:21 NKJV)

“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV)

Last Sunday, our Music Director of 31 years “semi” retired. The music all day was fantastic, even more so than normal. So with new music to use for the blog, today’s selection, “Big Mighty God” caused me to start formulating this blog while they were still singing it.

We do have a Big Mighty Creator that has formed all these gorgeous and not so gorgeous birds. In His wisdom, each avian creation was given just what they need to provide for themselves, find a mate, raise new generations, and sing and just be there for us to enjoy.

As you listen and watch the birds (and a few friends), I trust you realize that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator, has provided just as well and even better for you.

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Click to Listen

“Big Mighty God” –  3+1 – Pastor Jerry, Reagan Osborne, Caleb & Jessie Padgett (Reagan flew in from Calif. for the special day)

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Sunday Inspirations
Pastor Jerry Smith – Testimony
Good News

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Longbill and Teeter – Chapter 9

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) ©WikiC

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) ©WikiC

Longbill and Teeter

The Woodcock and the Spotted Sandpiper.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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CHAPTER 9. Longbill and Teeter.

From the decided way in which Jenny Wren had popped into the little round doorway of her home, Peter knew that to wait in the hope of more gossip with her would be a waste of time. He wasn’t ready to go back home to the dear Old Briar-patch, yet there seemed nothing else to do, for everybody in the Old Orchard was too busy for idle gossip. Peter scratched a long ear with a long hind foot, trying to think of some place to go. Just then he heard the clear “peep, peep, peep” of the Hylas, the sweet singers of the Smiling Pool.

“That’s where I’ll go!” exclaimed Peter. “I haven’t been to the Smiling Pool for some time. I’ll just run over and pay my respects to Grandfather Frog, and to Redwing the Blackbird. Redwing was one of the first birds to arrive, and I’ve neglected him shamefully.”

When Peter thinks of something to do he wastes no time. Off he started, lipperty-lipperty-lip, for the Smiling Pool. He kept close to the edge of the Green Forest until he reached the place where the Laughing Brook comes out of the Green Forest on its way to the Smiling Pool in the Green Meadows. Bushes and young trees grow along the banks of the Laughing Brook at this point. The ground was soft in places, quite muddy. Peter doesn’t mind getting his feet damp, so he hopped along carelessly. From right under his very nose something shot up into the air with a whistling sound. It startled Peter so that he stopped short with his eyes popping out of his head. He had just a glimpse of a brown form disappearing over the tops of some tall bushes. Then Peter chuckled. “I declare,” said he, “I had forgotten all about my old friend, Longbill the Woodcock. He scared me for a second.”

Longbill the Woodcock - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Longbill the Woodcock – Burgess Bird Book ©©

“Then you are even,” said a voice close at hand. “You scared him. I saw you coming, but Longbill didn’t.”

Peter turned quickly. There was Mrs. Woodcock peeping at him from behind a tussock of grass.

“I didn’t mean to scare him,” apologized Peter. “I really didn’t mean to. Do you think he was really very much scared?”

“Not too scared to come back, anyway,” said Longbill himself, dropping down just in front of Peter. “I recognized you just as I was disappearing over the tops of the bushes, so I came right back. I learned when I was very young that when startled it is best to fly first and find out afterwards whether or not there is real danger. I am glad it is no one but you, Peter, for I was having a splendid meal here, and I should have hated to leave it. You’ll excuse me while I go on eating, I hope. We can talk between bites.”

“Certainly I’ll excuse you,” replied Peter, staring around very hard to see what it could be Longbill was making such a good meal of. But Peter couldn’t see a thing that looked good to eat. There wasn’t even a bug or a worm crawling on the ground. Longbill took two or three steps in rather a stately fashion. Peter had to hide a smile, for Longbill had such an air of importance, yet at the same time was such an odd looking fellow. He was quite a little bigger than Welcome Robin, his tail was short, his legs were short, and his neck was short. But his bill was long enough to make up. His back was a mixture of gray, brown, black and buff, while his breast and under parts were a beautiful reddish-buff. It was his head that made him look queer. His eyes were very big and they were set so far back that Peter wondered if it wasn’t easier for him to look behind him than in front of him.

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) on nest © USFWS

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) on nest © USFWS

Suddenly Longbill plunged his bill into the ground. He plunged it in for the whole length. Then he pulled it out and Peter caught a glimpse of the tail end of a worm disappearing down Longbill’s throat. Where that long bill had gone into the ground was a neat little round hole. For the first time Peter noticed that there were many such little round holes all about. “Did you make all those little round holes?” exclaimed Peter.

“Not at all,” replied Longbill. “Mrs. Woodcock made some of them.”

“And was there a worm in every one?” asked Peter, his eyes very wide with interest.

Longbill nodded. “Of course,” said he. “You don’t suppose we would take the trouble to bore one of them if we didn’t know that we would get a worm at the end of it, do you?”

Peter remembered how he had watched Welcome Robin listen and then suddenly plunge his bill into the ground and pull out a worm. But the worms Welcome Robin got were always close to the surface, while these worms were so deep in the earth that Peter couldn’t understand how it was possible for any one to know that they were there. Welcome Robin could see when he got hold of a worm, but Longbill couldn’t. “Even if you know there is a worm down there in the ground, how do you know when you’ve reached him? And how is it possible for you to open your bill down there to take him in?” asked Peter.

Longbill chuckled. “That’s easy,” said he. “I’ve got the handiest bill that ever was. See here!” Longbill suddenly thrust his bill straight out in front of him and to Peter’s astonishment he lifted the end of the upper half without opening the rest of his bill at all. “That’s the way I get them,” said he. “I can feel them when I reach them, and then I just open the top of my bill and grab them. I think there is one right under my feet now; watch me get him.” Longbill bored into the ground until his head was almost against it. When he pulled his bill out, sure enough, there was a worm. “Of course,” explained Longbill, “it is only in soft ground that I can do this. That is why I have to fly away south as soon as the ground freezes at all.”

“It’s wonderful,” sighed Peter. “I don’t suppose any one else can find hidden worms that way.”

“My cousin, Jack Snipe, can,” replied Longbill promptly. “He feeds the same way I do, only he likes marshy meadows instead of brushy swamps. Perhaps you know him.”

Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata) at Circle B by Dan

WWilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata) at Circle B by Dan

Peter nodded. “I do,” said he. “Now you speak of it, there is a strong family resemblance, although I hadn’t thought of him as a relative of yours before. Now I must be running along. I’m ever so glad to have seen you, and I’m coming over to call again the first chance I get.”

So Peter said good-by and kept on down the Laughing Brook to the Smiling Pool. Right where the Laughing Brook entered the Smiling Pool there was a little pebbly beach. Running along the very edge of the water was a slim, trim little bird with fairly long legs, a long slender bill, brownish-gray back with black spots and markings, and a white waistcoat neatly spotted with black. Every few steps he would stop to pick up something, then stand for a second bobbing up and down in the funniest way, as if his body was so nicely balanced on his legs that it teetered back and forth like a seesaw. It was Teeter the Spotted Sandpiper, an old friend of Peter’s. Peter greeted him joyously.

“Peet-weet! Peet-weet!” cried Teeter, turning towards Peter and bobbing and bowing as only Teeter can. Before Peter could say another word Teeter came running towards him, and it was plain to see that Teeter was very anxious about something. “Don’t move, Peter Rabbit! Don’t move!” he cried.

“Why not?” demanded Peter, for he could see no danger and could think of no reason why he shouldn’t move. Just then Mrs. Teeter came hurrying up and squatted down in the sand right in front of Peter.

“Thank goodness!” exclaimed Teeter, still bobbing and bowing. “If you had taken another step, Peter Rabbit, you would have stepped right on our eggs. You gave me a dreadful start.”

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) ©USFWS

Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) ©USFWS

Peter was puzzled. He showed it as he stared down at Mrs. Teeter just in front of him. “I don’t see any nest or eggs or anything,” said he rather testily.

Mrs. Teeter stood up and stepped aside. Then Peter saw right in a little hollow in the sand, with just a few bits of grass for a lining, four white eggs with big dark blotches on them. They looked so much like the surrounding pebbles that he never would have seen them in the world but for Mrs. Teeter. Peter hastily backed away a few steps. Mrs. Teeter slipped back on the eggs and settled herself comfortably. It suddenly struck Peter that if he hadn’t seen her do it, he wouldn’t have known she was there. You see she looked so much like her surroundings that he never would have noticed her at all.

“My!” he exclaimed. “I certainly would have stepped on those eggs if you hadn’t warned me,” said he. “I’m so thankful I didn’t. I don’t see how you dare lay them in the open like this.”

Mrs. Teeter chuckled softly. “It’s the safest place in the world, Peter,” said she. “They look so much like these pebbles around here that no one sees them. The only time they are in danger is when somebody comes along, as you did, and is likely to step on them without seeing them. But that doesn’t happen often.”

Listen to the story read.


Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) Eggs ©WikiC

Lee’s Addition:

“You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion… (Psalms 31:20 NKJV)

“Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,… (Psalms 64:2a NKJV)

Our Lord created these birds with a neat bills to help them feed and also great colors to help them stay hidden from danger.

These birds all belong to the Scolopacidae – Sandpipers, Snipes Family. There are 96 species in this family.

Questions to answer:

  • What is Longbill’s first reaction at danger?
  • Can you describe Longbill’s tail, neck and eyes?
  • What is special about his bill?
  • Who is Longbill’s cousin?
  • Where does he like to catch worms?
  • Who is Tweeter?
  • Why did she stop Peter Rabbit?

Links:

 

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Links:

Redwing the Blackbird, Speckles the Starling - Burgess Bird Book ©©Thum

 

  Next Chapter Redwing and Yellow Wing

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

Savannah Sparrow by Ray Barlow

  

 

  Wordless Birds

 

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