Birdwatching Terms – About’s Bird Bill Parts

Bird Bill Parts From About

About's Bill-Parts ©Dan Pancamo/nigel

About’s Bill-Parts ©Dan Pancamo/nigel

Bird Bill Parts.  ©Dan Pancamo / nigel

The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. (Genesis 8:11 NASB)

A bird’s bill, also called a beak, is a critical piece of its anatomy, not only for foraging, defense, singing and other behaviors, but also for birders to make a proper identification. Depending on the bird, a bill can provide clues to far more than species: age, gender, diet and foraging behaviors can all be learned by studying a bill. By knowing the basic parts of a bill and the bird’s face and head immediately adjacent to the bill, birders can be better prepared to look for the subtle clues bills can reveal about every bird.

Overall Bill Features

Some of the most important aspects of a bird’s bill are not specific features, but the general jizz of the bill. When first studying bird bills, look for…

  • Size: How large does the bill appear in proportion to the bird’s head? Check for length as compared to the length of the head as well as the width of the bill and how that width may change along the bill’s length.
  • Shape: Bill shapes vary widely, from delicate triangles or thin, needle-like bills to thick, bulbous bills to sharply curved bills to radical shapes that include spoon-like tips or horny casques. When the shape is very unique, that can be a diagnostic clue for a bird’s identity even if other field marks cannot be seen.
  • Color: The color of a bill can be a clue for species, gender or age. Note the overall color as well as any specific markings, such as a colored tip or base, subterminal band or color differences between the top and bottom of the bill.

Specific Bill Parts

When birders can get a good look at a bill, there are a number of different parts that can yield clues about the bird’s identity, such as…

  1. Lores: While not part of the bill itself, the lores are the space between the base of a bird’s bill and the forward edge of its eyes. This area may be a different color or show a smudge or eye line that can be an identification clue.
  2. Nares: More commonly called the nostrils, the position of the nares as well as their size and shape are important to note for bird’s identities. In some types of birds, such as raptors, the nares are covered by a fleshy cere, while in others, such as many seabirds, elongated tube-like nares help filter seawater.
  3. Maxilla: Also called the upper mandible, the maxilla is the top half of a bird’s bill. Size, length and shape will vary, and some birds have knobs, fleshy wattles or other features that distinguish the maxilla.
  4. Culmen: Difficult to see on many bird species, the culmen is the center line drawn down the length of a bird’s maxilla. In some species, this can be a very distinct peak that divides the sides of the bill, while it may not be noticeable in other species.
  5. Tip: The tip of a bird’s bill may be different shapes, such as blunt or sharply pointed, depending on the bird’s general diet. Hooks are common at the tip of carnivorous birds’ bills, while many waterfowl have small bumps, called nails, on the tip of the maxilla.
  6. Mandible: The lower half of a bird’s bill is called the mandible or lower mandible. The color may vary from the maxilla either along the entire length or just at one end, and can be a great clue for identification. Some birds, such as many gulls, may show spots or other markings just on the mandible.
  7. Chin: Not directly part of the bill, the chin is the area of feathers immediately adjacent to the base of a bird’s mandible. In some species, the color of the chin may vary from the throat or face, providing a valuable identification clue.
  8. Gape: This is a fleshy area at the base of the bill where the upper and lower mandibles meet. In young birds, it is often enlarged or may seem so because the birds have not developed their mature feathers to help conceal it, and it may be brightly colored so their mouths are more noticeable when they beg for food. On some species, such as the bananaquit, the gape remains colorful on adult birds.
Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) by Raymond Barlow

Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) by Raymond Barlow

It can be difficult to see many of the subtle details of a bird’s bill, but understanding the different bill parts is a great way for birders to refine their identification skills and learn more about every bird they see.

Photo – Yellow-Billed Cuckoo (Above) © Dan Pancamo
Photo – House Finch (Below) © nigel

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This is a good introduction to the bird’s bill. Look for more articles on the individual parts of the beak.

From About Birding/Wild Birds – Bird Identification

More Birdwatching Terms 

Birdwatching Tips

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Crab Plover

Crab-plover (Dromas ardeola) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Crab Plover ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 9-22-14

Well your spiritual energy and goodwill did it again, helped physically, admittedly, by the excellent local bird guide Tommy Pedersen, a Dubai-based pilot from Norway who takes visitors birding in his spare time.

There had been some doubt as to whether he’d be free to help us, as he was just returning from a trip to Milan. I cc’d the last bird of the week to him and got a delightful reply just as I was packing in Bluewater on Monday morning:

So, I arrived in Dubai at 5:00 am, checked into my hotel at 7:00 am and at 11:00 am Tommy arrived, collected me and Madeleine – who’d just arrived from Hamburg – in his large and comfortable 4WD and off we went. The tide wasn’t quite right for the Crab Plovers so we did a few other things first – more about those in the next bird of the week – eventually ending up at the coastal sand and mudflats of Khor al-Beida, north of Dubai city. Here, there were about 40 Crab Plovers moving through the shallows on an in-coming tide.

Crab-plover (Dromas ardeola) by Ian

​I did a gradual, crouching trudge across the mudflat in 42º heat to try to get as close as possible to them. They let me get closer than I had expected, photos one and two, before eventually taking flight, third photo. As you can see they are very striking birds and the name ‘Plover’ doesn’t quite do them justice, either in appearance or taxonomically. Apart from the heavy dagger-shaped bill, they are more like avocets and similar in size with a length 40 cm/16 in. The bill resembles that of a Beach Stone-curlew, presumably a case of convergent evolution reflecting their crustacean diet.

Crab-plover (Dromas ardeola) by Ian

The fourth photos shows a close-up of one of the birds in flight. You can see that it is moulting heavily with many of the flight feathers missing in mid-replacement. This seemed to be the case with all of them, and a reluctance to fly may have had more to do with my close approach than my crouching/stalking skills.

Crab-plover (Dromas ardeola) by Ian

Taxonomically, the species show no very close affinities with other waders so the Crab Plover is the sole member​ of its own family (‘monotypic’), the Dromadidae. This is placed in the order Charadriiformes – Plovers & Allies – sitting between the Oystercatchers (Haemopodidae) and the Avocets & Stilts (Recurvirostridae). I feign indifference to making additions to my life list, but adding and photographing a whole new family is a different matter. The last time that happened to me was three years ago with Diving-Petrels on the Sub-antarctic trip.​

I arrived in Ireland yesterday and am spending a relaxing and enjoyable time with family. Yesterday evening I went blackberry picking with my sister along a country lane near where she lives in Clogherhead, Co. Louth. That was admirable therapy for the future-shock resulting from the glittering excesses of downtown Dubai.

Greetings
Ian


Lee’s Addition:

If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty; (Job 8:5 KJV)

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 KJV)

We love to seek out new species, to us at least. I am glad that Ian was able to find his Plover that was on his list. I guess we will have to wait until next week to see if he found his Cream-coloured Courser that he was also searching for. See last week’s Bird of the Week.

Ian sure gets about in his search for avian encounters. But what a beauty he found this time to share with us. I am glad Ian shares his photos with us. The Lord sure has created some neat birds. I like the clean look of these Crab-plovers all dressed in white and black. (The IOC list them as Crab-plovers. No matter what you call them, they are the Dromas ardeola.)

Seeking the Lord should always be our number one priority.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Dromadidae – Plovers Family

Dromadidae – Crab-plover Family – Here

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Why Use The Birds of the World?

Green-billed Toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus) ©WikiC

Green-billed Toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus) ©WikiC

The list of all the Birds of the World are updated about every four months. Which we try to keep up with their (I.O.C.) newest lists.

You are probably wondering why you would need it. Let me share some things about it and then give you some ideas how it my be handy for one of your school projects.

The I.O.C. is actually the International Ornithological Committee. “Ornithological” basically means those who study birds or bird related. They maintain a list of all the birds around the world. They set standards of how to name them, what scientific classification to place the birds in, and divide them into Orders and Families, etc.

They are needed because we may call a bird by one name, yet someone in a different country or area may call it by a different name. They realize that those two names belong to the same bird. It is a very hard task to keep track of all those 10,000 plus birds, but that is what they try to do.

They give every bird an English name as a standard. Then they also want every one to spell the words the same. For instance, some people spell the “Grey” or “Gray” to mean the same color. To keep things simple, all the birds are spelled as “Grey.” That is just one example.

There are committees all over the world working on the birds of the area they live in, then those committees get together to combine all the list to make one big list. That is what was just updated.

On our Birds of the World section, you will find the birds listed by Orders (40 main classifications), then by Families (240 groups of closely related birds). The reason all of that is not duplicated here would be very time-consuming. There are hundreds of pages and thousands of photos on that site.

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) by Dan

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) by Dan

Projects for school or your own information:

You know the name of a bird’s name, but need to find  the Species name,  Go to the Species Index to find these choices:

If you know that it called Madagascan something, go to the First Name of Bird  index and choose the “M” page

If you know it is a Duck, go to the Last Name of Bird  index and choose the “D – Last Name” page.

The Families have four indexes to help you find the Families of birds.

When you find your bird in the right family, almost every bird has a link to a photo or video.

I will share more tips on how to use those indexes in another article.

Another reason is because we believe the Lord created all the beautiful birds and He should get all the credit.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 NKJV)

So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:21 NKJV)

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Sandhill Crane Greeting

Sandhill Cranes in side yard

Sandhill Cranes in side yard

Today, when we looked out in our side yard, we were greeted by two Sandhill Cranes walking around. Grabbed the camera and here are some of the photos that I took. I have been so busy working on the blog, that we haven’t taken the time to go birdwatching. So, our great Lord just sent me some of His beauties.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. (Psalms 34:8 KJV)

Sandhill Standing Guard Crop

Sandhill Standing Guard Crop

They stroll through here from time to time, but haven’t seen them for a while. As usual, one stands guard, while one eats. Some how our flat feeder came off the hook and they found it. :))

Sandhill Cranes in side yard

Sandhill Cranes in side yard

He, the guard came over and was trying to encourage her to finish up.

Sandhill Cranes in side yard

Sandhill Cranes in side yard

Zoomed in on his beak and was surprised to find so much dirt in it. They do a lot of probing in people’s yards and are considered pests by some. Not me, I love them coming to visit. They can probe all they want, just as long as they let me take their photo.

Sandhill Crane Beak Crop

Sandhill Crane Beak Crop

 

Here are the photos that were taken this morning.

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Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me. (Isaiah 38:14 KJV)

Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 KJV)

Birds of the Bible – Cranes

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Birdwatching Term – Frontal Shield

White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera) Cropped ©WikiC

White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera) Cropped ©WikiC

Frontal Shield

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. (Psalm 91:4 KJV)

The Coot article  mentioned the shield. “Coots have prominent frontal shields or other decoration on the forehead…”

What is a “frontal shield”?

The place above the upper beak (upper mandible) has a platelike area. It is made of a fleshy material. When the Lord created those birds that have the shield, He gave them each a different looking shield. It is neat to see the variety that the shields have. I am sure that the bird uses them to know which are their kind.

Below are some photos of the various Frontal Shields on the birds. There are more birds that have shield, but this just a sample of these unique birds.

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You have also given me the shield of your salvation: and your right hand has held me up, and your gentleness has made me great.
(Psalms 18:35 AKJV)

See:

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Child’s Book of Water Birds – Re-visited

Child's Book of Water Birds - Book Cover

The Child’s Book of Water Birds

Revisited

An anonymous writer wrote the Child’s Book of Water Birds in 1855. You can see how Project Gutenberg published it as an e-book. (Public Domain) CLICK HERE

Below are the links to my “Re-visited” versions here. Moved these over from the Birds of the Bible for Kids blog and can be found in the Kid’s Section under Watching Birds.

The six different birds were written to a very young reader. I trust you will enjoy reading them for yourself or to your children or grand-children. They can be used to introduce you/them to birds.

Here are my versions of the Six Birds:

The Swan

Childs Bk of Water Birds swan

The Coot

Childs Bk of Water Birds coot

The Dabchick

Childs Bk of Water Birds dabchick

The Teal

Childs Bk of Water Birds teal

The Goose

Childs Bk of Water Birds goose

The Oystercatcher

Childs Bk of Water Birds oystercatcher

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The Bible tells us that we are to

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 KJV)

Introducing children to the amazing birds the Lord has created is a tiny step to help with that training. Introducing them to the Lord Jesus Christ, is the major step.

Wordless Birds

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Ian’s Stamp of the Week – Antipodean Albatross

Ian’s Stamp of the Week – Antipodean Albatrosses ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 9/13/14

The reference to Stamp of the Week in the subject line isn’t a typo: I’m celebrating the issue of a stamp set by New Zealand Post on 3 September which includes a photo of mine in the design of one of the stamps.

Antipodean Albatross (Diomedea antipodensis) Stamp by Ian

Here is the original photo, taken north of Macquarie Island when we were returning to Hobart at the end of a Subantarctic Islands trip in November 2011 that started in Dunedin. This was the same trip on which I photographed the Fiordland Penguins that featured as last week’s bird.

Antipodean Albatross (Diomedea antipodensis gibsoni ) by Ian

If you’re not familiar with Antipodean Albatrosses and think it looks like a Wandering Albatross, you may be relieved to hear that it’s all a matter of taxonomy and reflects the recent split of the Wandering Albatross into four species, one of which is the Antipodean. In fact this same taxon, for want of a better word, was bird of the week in November 2006 as Wandering Albatross after I’d photographed some on a pelagic trip off Wollongong south of Sydney. If we follow this split, and BirdLife Australia does, then most of the erstwhile Wandering Albatrosses in Australian waters are Antipodean and breed on the islands south of New Zealand, mainly Antipodes Island, Campbell Island and Adams Island in the Auckland Islands.

Antipodean Albatross (Diomedea antipodensis) by Ian

The Antipodean is one of the smaller of the Wandering Albatross group but they are still enormous: up to 117cm/46in in length with a wing span to 3.3m/11ft and weighing up to 8.6kg/19lbs. Look carefully at the second Albatross photo and you’ll see a grey and black Broad-billed Prion completely dwarfed by the Antipodean Albatross. The prion is about 30cm/12in in length with a wingspan of 60cm/2ft. You can get an impression of the size in the third photo taken on that Wollongong trip – look at the bow wave!

ntipodean Albatross (Diomedea antipodensis) by Ian

The Antipodean Albatross itself comes in two varieties, the nominate Antipodean which breeds on Antipodes and Campbell Island and ‘Gibson’s Albatross’ which breeds in the Auckland Islands Group. The various Wandering Albatross species all look rather similar and are difficult to identify in the field. They vary in size and they differ in the rate and extent of development of white plumage in adult birds – juveniles are mainly brown. The ones in the first two photos are very white and are probably older males of the race gibsoni. The bird swimming in the third photo shows less development of white plumage – not the darkish cap and the dark vermiculations on the neck, breast and shoulder and may be a younger male or female and could be either nominate Antipodes or Gibson’s: all too hard.

Antipodean Albatross (Diomedea antipodensis)  Stamp by Ian

Antipodean Albatross (Diomedea antipodensis) Stamp by Ian

Here is the complete set of stamps. New Zealand Post wanted to pay me to use the albatross photo, but I so like the idea of having one of mine used in a stamp that they agreed to send me first day covers and a presentation pack instead and that arrived yesterday. Antipodean Albatrosses rate as Vulnerable/Endangered because of their few nesting sites and long-line fishing which leads to the death of adult birds as by-catch. The total population is perhaps 16,000 pairs but there is hope that the population has stabilised after significant declines at the end of the 20th century.

Anyway, I’m off to Dublin via Dubai on Monday to visit family and friends. I’m spending 3 nights in Dubai having found it, to my complete astonishment, ranked as #75 in a book on the top 100 places in the world to go birding. Because of its location at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula, it’s an important staging post for birds migrating from Asia to Africa in the northern spring and autumn migrations (i.e. now). I have two target species: the Crab Plover and the Cream-coloured Courser. The first because it’s an unusual and beautiful black and white wader in a family all to itself and the unusual looking and named Courser – a member of the Pratincole family – because it caught my eye in my Field Guide to the Birds of Britain in Europe when I was a teenager in Ireland half a century ago, below. So, I need your spiritual energy and goodwill to help me. You haven’t failed me in the past!

This was supposed to be a short bird of the week as I really should be packing but I almost forgot to mention that Where to Find Birds in Northern Queensland is now available through Kobo Books. I really like the Kobo ebook reader: I have it on both my Mac computer and my iPad/iPhone but Kobo reader software is also for Android tablets and phones, Blackberries and Windows computers and phone. A friend of mine has expressed concern over the complexity of ebook software/apps, devices/computers and methods of purchase/download etc. so I’m preparing a page to add to the existing one on publications on the website: http://www.birdway.com.au/publications.htm which already has links to Apple, Google Play and Kobo Books and a little bit about the differences. Something to do on the plane.

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
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted. (Isaiah 52:13 NASB)

Wow! Our Ian is famous. That is quite an honor! I was thinking of Ian as well as the Albatrosses when I picked the verse.

The Albatrosses are a members of the Diomedeidae – Albatrosses Family. There are 21 species in the family. (From CreationWiki) “Albatrosses have very long wings and large bodies. Their bills are hooked and they possess separate raised tubular nostrils. Their bodies range from sizes between 76 and 122 centimeters long (2.5 to 4 feet); and their wingspan ranges from 3 to 6 meters across(9.8 to 19.7 feet). The wings are usually darkly colored on the upper side and are pale colors or white on the underside. Albatross wings allow it to take advantage of the abundant winds across the surface of the sea. The birds make use of the fact that friction with the sea slows some of the wind down so that right above the surface of the water, the wind is relatively weak and slow. Then, as the bird climbs up from the surface, the speed and strength of the wind increases as well (around 50 feet or 15 meters above the surface of the water the albatrosses will reach their full flight speed).

Albatrosses’ wings are designed for a specified type of gliding. Being very long and somewhat thin in width, the wings are used best in the albatrosses’ cycle of flight. This cycle allows the bird to move great distances without once flapping it wings. What a great Creator!

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Antipodean Albatross – Ian’s

Ian’s Diomedeidae Family

Albatross – CreationWiki

Diomedeidae – Albatrosses Family

Ian’s Pratincole Family. 

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Bible Birds Finally Moved Here

Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) by Ray

Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) by Ray

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. (Psalms 90:17 KJV)

Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening. (Psalms 104:23 KJV)

Been working most of the day, moving the Bible Birds pages to here at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures. It has been a challenge, but with dust still flying, they are now here.

I posted an article on the Birds of the Bible For Kids blog explaining the move of those articles. You might want to read that article because it affects this blog.

Changes On The Way

Wrinkled Hornbill (Aceros corrugatus) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Wrinkled Hornbill (Aceros corrugatus) Brevard Zoo by Lee

You can find the Bible Birds listed in the Kid’s Section. The side menu is now working also for that section. (I think it’s correct). Just hover your mouse over the Kid’s Section and you will see the Bible Birds, along with the Watching Birds, Bird Tales and Scripture Alphabet of Animals sections.

Now that the Bible Bird pages are here, I can start improving them and the regular Birds of the Bible sections.

Thanks you for being patient while things are being moved around and I trust you will see much improvement soon. As mentioned in the Changes on the Way article, “Our purpose is to Glorify Our Lord and show forth His great creation through His Birds and other Critters.”

There is still lots of work ahead, as other sections are moved to this blog. Just wanted to let you know why things are changing and dust is flying still. I have another big challenge coming next, but that will have to hold for now.

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Golden Eagle – Fly Like A Bird?

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

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Golden Eagle ©PD

Golden Eagle ©PD

Hi boys and girls! This is Golden Eagle. I have been away for quite a while. However, I have returned and wanted to touch base with each of you for a few short moments. I hope you are enjoying your journey on planet Earth. Everyone that is born gets to start out on this marvelous journey called life. This is a gift from our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s Word, the Bible, says

“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth…”

This journey leads to God’s Heaven if you are SAVED! People get saved by trusting what Jesus Christ did on the cross about 2,000 years ago. Jesus died on an old wooden cross to pay for all the bad things we do like telling lies. The bad things we do are called sins in the Bible, but God wants to forgive you of all your sins if you will accept Jesus into your heart by faith. “For whosoever shall call (ask) upon the name of the Lord (Jesus) shall be saved.”(Romans 10:13) Why do many kids and even adults like birds so much? You know eagles can see at great distances. Sometimes, from my perch, high up in the trees I see people looking at me through funny looking glasses. I think you call them binoculars? I think you guys like us because we can FLY. Birds are not tied down to this Earth like people are! We can use our wings and sore to new heights above. You guys are tied down to Earth because of gravity. Our wings not only help us to fly. Birds are colorful and many of us sing songs pretty good as well. In the Book of beginnings called Genesis you can read about the beginning of everything, including birds! On the fifth day of God’s Creation week He created birds.

“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl (birds) that may fly above the earth in the open firmament (space) of heaven.”

In fact, evolution teaches that modern-day birds have evolved from the dinosaurs. That’s not true, dinosaurs and birds were created at the same time! Birds were created to fly in the open space of Heaven, that’s in the air where the heavens meet the lands. In Isaiah 40:30-31 the Bible says that even kids get tired. But,

“even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait (trust) upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles…”

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

Hey, boys and girls did you know that if you get saved you will be able to fly in the future just like birds! After Jesus died He rose again and went back to Heaven in the clouds! One time Jesus even walked on water. I tried that once and got my feathers so wet that I couldn’t fly for days. That was not a fun time for me. The Bible says in Psalm 90 that our life is “soon cut off, and we fly away.” Wouldn’t you want to fly like the birds someday? Hey, if you could do me a favor? Do you think that you could start reading your own Bible each day? So many things to learn, so many places to go, and so many things to do! If you want me to come back, me – the Golden Eagle, would you let me know? Thanks for a little bit of your time. Maybe we can take this journey of life together, what do you guys and gals think?

See Yah!!!

Goldie

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Golden Eagle

Wordless Birds

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Sunday Inspiration – Crown Birds

White-crowned Sparrow ©WikiC

White-crowned Sparrow ©WikiC

but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:31 NKJV)

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 NKJV)

And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. (1 John 3:23 NKJV)

Trust you will enjoy many of the Lord’s Birds that have crowns. Many more could have been added, but this is a fair sampling.

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“All Hail The Power of Jesus Name” – Faith Baptist Orchestra

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More Sunday Inspirations

Faith Baptist Church

Gospel Presentation

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Fiordland Penguin

Fiordland Penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus) by IanIan’s Bird of the Week – Fiordland Penguin ~ Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 9-5-14

I was talking with a friend the other day about visiting New Zealand and my experience with photographing Fiordland Penguin in Milford Sound, so here it is as bird of the week and a change from Where to Find Birds in Northern Queensland. It was my main reason for visiting Milford Sound, better known perhaps for its spectacular scenery and natural beauty, but if you go looking for wildlife then you find yourself in wonderful places anyway.

I camped the previous night in my rented campervan at Cascade Creek in Fiordland National Park, the nearest camping site to Milford Sound. It’s still a fair drive, so atypically I got up before dawn when the temperature was 3ºC to get to the sound early enough to get on the first tourist boat, as I’d been told that this provided the best chance of seeing the penguins. The boat I went on was one of the smaller ones so there were only a dozen or so passengers. I had a chat with the crew as departed and they were optimistic about finding the penguins.

Fiordland Penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus) by Ian

Within ten minutes of leaving, they had located a nesting pair on the rocky shore. Very obligingly, they reversed the boat to what seemed perilously close to the rocks so that I could get some photos. The first photo shows one of them near the entrance to its nesting burrow, while the second is its mate wandering over the rocks closer to us.

Fiordland Penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus) by Ian

I was very glad I’d make the early start, as we didn’t see many more penguins, though we did come across the party in the third photo about 20 minutes later. The bird in the foreground with the pale cheeks is a juvenile. An easier place to see them is Taronga Zoo in Sydney where their glass-sided tank provides great views of them at their best: they’re much more elegant gliding effortlessly through the water than hobbling around on rocks.

Fiordland Penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus) by Ian

The wild population is estimated at about 3000 pairs and has suffered from predation by introduced mammals and the native Weka  which has been introduced to some islands where the penguins breed. I did see Wekas at Milford Sound, but I don’t know whether they are a problem there. The Fiordland Penguin is closely related to the Snares and Southern Rockhopper Penguins.

Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) by Ian

While on the subject of animals that are expert swimmers and clumsy on land, I’ve just completed a new gallery of turtles and their relatives on the website. It contains a rather motley collection that I’ve stumbled across when birding, including the marine Green Turtle, above, four Australian and an American freshwater species, a South African and an Asian tortoise. This Green Turtle was grazing on the mooring cable, visible on the right, on a visit Michaelmas Cay off Cairns last year with my sister Gillian from Ireland. I’m going on a visit to Ireland in ten days time. Next week I’ll tell you more about my plans and some of the birds that I hope to bring your way.

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
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth! (Psalms 8:8-9 NKJV)

What an interesting bird to switch to. The Fiordland Penguins are neat looking with that eyebrow stripe and those feathers at the end of it. Penguins definitely “pass through the paths of the seas.” Also, did you notice he was out there in 3C, that is 37.4F for us North Americans. (Brrr!)

Penguins are members of the Spheniscidae – Penguins Family which has 18 members. Ian has photos of half of the Penguin Family on his Birdway site. The Fiordlands are “medium-sized, yellow-crested, black-and-white penguins, growing to approximately 60 cm (24 in) long and weighing on average 3.7 kg (8.2 lbs), with a weight range of 2 to 5.95 kg (4.4 to 13.1 lb). It has dark, bluish-grey upperparts with a darker head, and white underparts. It has a broad, yellow eyebrow-stripe which extends over the eye and drops down the neck. Most birds have three to six whitish stripes on the face.” (Wikipedia)

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Ian’s Bird of the Week

Penguin Family at Birdway

Spheniscidae – Penguins Family

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Bible Birds – Cuckoo Introduction

Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira) at NA by Dan at National Aviary

Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira) at NA by Dan at National Aviary

Bible Birds – Cuckoo’s Introduction

The “Cuckoo” or old English”Cuckow” is found in these verses:

and the owl, and the night-hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after its kind, (Leviticus 11:16 YLT)

And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, (Deuteronomy 14:15 KJV)

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the word used has several meanings and so some Bibles call the bird a Cuckoo or Cuckow, some a Gull. For now, we are introducing you to Cuckoos.

1) a ceremonially unclean bird

  • 1a) cuckow, gull, seagull, sea-mew
  • 1b) maybe an extinct bird, exact meaning unknown

Did you think Cuckoos only live in Clocks?

No, there actually is a bird called a Cuckoo. It belongs to a family Cuculidae – Cuckoos. There are 149 species in the family. Not only Cuckoos, but Coucals, Anis, Couas, and Malkohas are family members.

Here are some descriptions of North American Cuckoos: (from Color Key to NA Birds)

Mangrove Cuckoo

Mangrove Cuckoo

Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor). Underparts uniformly rich buff; above grayish brown, crown grayer; ear-coverts black; tail black, outer feathers broadly tipped with white.

Range.—Northern South America, north through Central America, Mexico and Greater Antilles (except Porto Rico?) to Florida and Louisiana, migrating south in fall.

Maynard Cuckoo (C. m. maynardi). Similar to Mangrove Cuckoo, but underparts paler, the throat and forebreast more or less ashy white.

Range.—Bahamas and (eastern?) Florida Keys. (2012 Now Mangrove Cuckoo)

Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) Neal Addy Gallery

Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) Neal Addy Gallery

Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus). Length 12.2 in. Ads. Below white; lower mandible largely yellow, tail black, outer feathers widely tipped with white. Notes.Tut-tuttut-tuttut-tuttut-tutcl-uckcl-uckcl-uckcl-uckcl-uckcl-uckcowcowcowcowcowcow, usually given in part.

Range.—Eastern North America; breeds from Florida to New Brunswick and Minnesota; winters in Central and South America.

California Cuckoo (C. a. occidentalis). Similar to Yellow-billed Cuckoo but somewhat grayer and larger; the bill slightly longer, 1.05 in.

Range.—Western North America; north to southern British Columbia; east to Western Texas; winters south into Mexico.

Black-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus) by Jim Fenton

Black-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus) by Jim Fenton

Black-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus erythrophthalmus). Length 11.8. Ads. White below; bill black; tail, seen from below, grayish narrowly tipped with white; above, especially on crown, browner than Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Notes. Similar to those of Yellow-billed Cuckoo, but softer, the cow notes connected.

Range.—Eastern North America; west to Rocky Mountains; breeds north to Labrador and Manitoba; winters south of United States to Brazil.

Cuckoo Sound with Pictures (From Poland)

Sort of sounds like the clock doesn’t it?

We will tell you more about the Cuckoo in the next Bible Birds – Cuckoo article.

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