Sunday Inspiration – Worthy of Thanksgiving

Dr Jim, Golden Eagle and Dan at Lake Morton

Dr Jim, Golden Eagle and Dan at Lake Morton

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

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

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

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

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

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“Worthy of Worship” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

WORTHY OF WORSHIP
(York/Blankenship)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trust you have a great Thanksgiving week.

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Sunday Inspirations

Family: Building a Home God’s Way

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Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed – Chapter 5

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) ©WikiC

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) ©WikiC

Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed

The Bluebird and the Robin

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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

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

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

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

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

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

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

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

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

“Can you hear them?” asked Peter.

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

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

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

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

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Listen to the story read.

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

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

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

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

 

Links:

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Links:

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

 

  Next Chapter (An Old Friend In a New Home. Coming Soon)

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Savannah Sparrow by Ray Barlow

  

 

  Wordless Birds

 

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Fly With An Open Bible

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

Fly With An Open Bible by Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle ©PD

Golden Eagle ©PD

Boys and girls of all ages this is GOLDEN EAGLE circling in for a landing on this beautiful world that Jesus Christ created. To learn anything, to understand anything, we must have an open Bible! The other day, I heard of a 24 year-old lady that had never read the Word of God. She had no idea that the rainbow had any meaning whatsoever. Do you know the meaning behind the rainbow?  Get your Bible out and open it to Genesis chapter 9. There you will find the meaning to the rainbow.

You humans should thank God that you can read and appreciate beauty. Although I write these things once in a while, you do know that birds cannot really write and read. However, God created you to do those things and so much more.

“Blessed (happy) is the man…his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” Psalm 1:1-3

The Word of God will bring you true success. It is no accident that you are presently reading this article. I have chosen to write this and you have chosen to read it. However, even though we both have a free will and can do what we want to do, Jesus Christ is in control of every single thing that happens in the entire Universe. He is in control of everything that you and I do, say, and think! Why even a sparrow doesn’t fall out of a tree without the Heavenly Father.

The Key to True Knowledge

The Key to True Knowledge

The question for you to answer is this: ARE YOU SAVED? You are either saved or lost. This has nothing to do with are you good or bad because the Bible says that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) You’re made in the “image of God” and you will live forever somewhere according to the Bible. You can go to Heaven if you trust Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. When Jesus died on the cross, He shed His blood and paid for your sins as your substitute. He stood in our place and took the punishment from God the Father so that you could be forgiven! You must personally accept Jesus by faith. You know, no one can eat your breakfast for you. You individually eat your breakfast and then your body makes use of the food to give you energy for the day. You must personally receive Jesus into your life!

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name…” (John 1:12)

Golden Eagle has learned a few things as I have soared over this planet. You must study things with an open Bible. The Bible tells us where the first humans came from! You know that scientist have landed a washing machine size robot on a comet the other day. That thing has been flying around for 10 years and just arrived at its destination! That shows us how big this universe is. The comet is over 300 million miles away from Earth. The people who sent that robot to the comet are trying to find out the answer to the question: WHERE DID WE COME FROM. And that is a great question. But, they will never find the answer until they open their Bibles and begin to read the first few chapters in the book of Genesis. God created Adam on the sixth day of Creation week. He took the elements in the earth, the dust of the earth and “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)

When you study Science or History or God or whatever, you need to open your Bible and see what God has to say!

The Earth rotates around the sun. We should rotate around Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The sun gives light to the earth and Jesus is the Light of the world. Tonight, you will fall asleep and in the morning you will wake up. That is God’s way of trying to teach us that sleep is like death, but you wake up in the morning and that is like the resurrection day!

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) by Margaret Sloan

Monarch Butterfly by Margaret Sloan

A worm goes into a cocoon and comes out a beautiful butterfly! Metamorphosis, a change teaches us that Jesus Christ will give us a new body in the future if we are saved! Humans sweat because of Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden! The Earth is covered with water because of Noah’s flood. In fact, four-fifths of the Earth is covered with water if you count the oceans, the seas, the rivers, the streams, and the lakes!

Every snowflake is different, every blade of grass is different, every bird is different! And each one of you are unique and different. That is how God has made you! We could talk about this forever! In fact, God’s people in Heaven will talk about this and learn about God and His Universe forever. You will have a real body and be in a real Heaven with real GOLDEN STREETS!

“AND THE BUILDING OF THE WALL OF IT WAS OF JASPER: AND THE CITY WAS PURE GOLD, LIKE UNTO CLEAR GLASS…AND THE STREET OF THE CITY WAS PURE GOLD, AS IT WERE TRANSPARENT GLASS. (Revelation 21)

The question you need to ask yourself is this: will you be in Heaven with Jesus Christ in that day? And remember we are only one heartbeat away from eternity. Why not ask Jesus to save you this very moment? “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

Thanks for flying with me. And thanks for having an open Bible! Read some of God’s Word today! I would love to fly to the comet later today, but I know I will not be able to get beyond the atmosphere, so I might just head back to my roost for the night and gaze into the starry heavens. You never know what you might see! Have a great one…

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Golden Eagle

Wordless Birds

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Northern Goshawk

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) by IanIan’s Bird of the Week – Northern Goshawk  by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 11/17/14

I got so absorbed in recounting my experiences in Catalonia, that I forgot to mention that I’ve been home in North Queensland for several weeks.

The piece about the effects of diclofenac prompted some interesting responses. It was pointed out that it causes kidney not liver failure in vultures, my apologies, and that a safe and effective substitute in both humans and livestock is the anti-inflammatory meloxicam. It’s sold here as Mobic, which I take sometimes when I wayward spinal disc misbehaves. I also received a link to this article by the Vulture Conservation Foundation which has managed to get the EU to do an investigation into the effects of diclofenac: http://www.4vultures.org/our-work/campaigning-to-ban-diclofenac-in-europe/.

On the second day of our stay in raptor country in the Pyrenees with Birding in Spain we – my sister Gillian joined me for this one – were taken by Steve West to a hide at a Northern Goshawk feeding station before sunrise – goshawks are earlier risers than I am normally and are shy. Here the goshawks are fed regularly on chicken carcasses and fresh pigeon, the product of a culling programme by the local council. It was a misty, chilly, gloomy morning – sunrise was the time of day rather than an event – and the first bird to arrive, the adult female in photos 1 and 2, was barely visible. The second photo was taken at 1/3 of a second exposure at 1600 ISO and my tripod, inconvenient for travel, proved its worth yet again.

Adult females are more strongly barred and much larger than males (to protect succulent-looking nestlings). This one is partially spreading its wings and tail near the food in a posture that looks like a rudimentary ‘mantling’ display. This is usually used by hawks as a threat display to discourage other ones from interfering with their prey. In this case, I suspect it was signalling the presence of food to the juvenile goshawk, third photo, who appeared shortly afterwards. First year juvenile Northern Goshawks are brown with buff, almost cinnamon underparts and are streaked rather than barred. Similar juvenile plumages occur in other close relatives in the Accipiter genus such as the Brown Goshawk (A. fasciatus) and Collared Sparrowhawk (A. cirrocephalus), both common in Australia; see http://www.birdway.com.au/accipitridae/brown_goshawk/source/brown_goshawk_32464.htm and http://www.birdway.com.au/accipitridae/collared_sparrowhawk/source/collared_sparrowhawk_62859.htm for examples of their juvenile plumage. Note, incidentally the ‘beetle-brow’ characteristic also of the Brown Goshawk that gives the larger goshawks their fierce expression.

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) by IanThe adult female moved aside and let the juvenile have the pigeon prey and the juvenile then adopted the possessive mantling display with spread wings and tail and fluffed-out feathers of the mantle, just below the neck.

Mother, I presume, tackled a piece of chicken carcass and carried it down onto the ground closer to the hide, but partially obscured by dried grass and other vegetation.

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) by IanThe sixth photo shows the juvenile somewhat later with the remains of the pigeon. This was a very large bird too, as you can perhaps judge from its appearance, so I concluded that it was female too. ‘Huge’ is perhaps a better description, as the Northern Goshawk is easily the world’s largest of the nearly 50 or so species of Accipiter – (typical hawks comprising larger goshawks and smaller sparrowhawks, though ‘hawk’ is also used in North America to name other raptors such as those in the genus Buteo aka ‘Buzzard’ in British English). The female is up to 65cm/26in in length with a wingspan of up to 120cm/47in and a weight of up to 2.0kg/4.5lb, comparable in size with many Buzzards. All the Accipiter hawks tackle relatively large prey, mainly birds and some mammals. They hunt by surprise and pursuit and have rounded wings, long tails and fast reflexes for great manoeuvrability in forests. I suspect that Linnaeus used the specific moniker ‘gentilis’ in the sense of ‘noble’ rather than ‘gentle’. ‘Goshawk’ comes from the Old English ‘göshafoc’ meaning goose hawk, no mere chicken hawk.

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) by IanThis was another species that had aroused my interest in my field guide as an Irish teenager, and hadn’t seen before this trip. It’s a very rare vagrant in Ireland and was then only an occasional breeder in Britain though widespread if uncommon elsewhere in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Since then it has become re-established in Britain with a breeding population of 300-400 pairs.

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) by IanBoth birds lightened their load, as many raptors do, before taking flight, as the juvenile is doing in the seventh photo. There’s a photo on the website of the female doing the same thing: http://www.birdway.com.au/accipitridae/northern_goshawk/source/northern_goshawk_161882.htm. Even nobles have to perform basic functions: don’t stand behind or below a well-fed raptor :-).

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: iTunes; Google Play Kobo Books
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

“And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, the kite, and the falcon after its kind; every raven after its kind, the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind; (Leviticus 11:13-16 NKJV)

What a beautiful family of birds. Ian always has such great photos and adventures to share with us. Thanks, Ian.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week

Birds of the Bible – Peregrine Falcon and Goshawk

Ian’s Accipitridae Family

Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks and Eagles

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Sunday Inspiration – Variety

The photos this week are from the Pin It (Pinterest) website. Thought sharing some of their great variety of bird photos would be enjoyable to watch. The ones selected do not even begin to show the photos they have in the various topics.

As mentioned in the latest article by Emma Foster, the Lord gives varying gifts, just as the Lord created the birds with such variety. May we use our varied talents to serve our Fantastic Lord and Creator.

“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:3-8 NASB)

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“For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? (1 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV)

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“The Love Of God” – ©The Hyssongs

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Sunday Inspirations

Assurance: The Certainty of Salvation

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Swallow-tailed and Palkachupa Cotinga

PAS-Coti Swallow-tailed Cotinga (Phibalura flavirostris)  ©WikiC

PAS-Coti Swallow-tailed Cotinga (Phibalura flavirostris)
©WikiC

While working on the latest I.O.C. Version 4.4 update (which is now complete), this bird caught my attention.

Wikipedia has this in their article about this neat bird: “The swallow-tailed cotinga (Phibalura flavirostris) is a species of passerine bird. As suggested by its common name, it has traditionally been considered a member of the cotinga family. Following the recent removal of several members from this family (now placed in Tityridae), the placement of this aberrant species is unclear. It is therefore considered incertae sedis by SACC.”

What this means that in a recent previous update, they took this bird out of the Cotinga family and placed it in an Uncertain Family holding place “Incertae Sedis” by itself. Now with this update, they put this one back in with the Cotingas, but have given it the “Phibalura” genus name. (Okay, so what is so interesting about that?)

Palkachupa Cotinga (Phibalura boliviana) ©©Benjamin-Skolnik_U

Palkachupa Cotinga (Phibalura boliviana) ©©Benjamin-Skolnik_U

Continuing Wikipedia: “Currently, it is monotypic within the genus Phibalura, but it has been suggested that the taxon boliviana should be considered a separate species, the Bolivian swallow-tailed cotinga or Palkachupa cotinga (P. boliviana). The nominate taxon (P. f. flavirostris) is found in Atlantic forest in south-eastern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and Argentina (Misiones only). The taxon boliviana, which only was rediscovered in 2000 (after 98 years without any records), is restricted to the vicinity of Apolo in Bolivia. Both populations are threatened by habitat loss.”

“Eighty percent of the Palkachupa Cotinga’s habitat has been destroyed by clearing and burning forest for firewood and pasture; unfortunately, this destruction is ongoing. Parts of the cotinga’s former range are now completely treeless. Nesting success in remaining habitat is low; predation by jays and severe weather are the biggest causes of breeding failure.” (American Bird Conservancy)

It appears that the sub-species of the Swallow-tailed, the now added Palkachupa disappeared from sight for over 98 years. I find that amazing, but considering where it lives, is understandable. That brings to mind some promises from these bird’s Creator.

1) He promised to provide for them. The Lord takes care of many things without man’s help.

Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. (Genesis 1:30 NKJV)

And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.’ (Deuteronomy 11:15 NKJV)

They give drink to every beast of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst. By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. He waters the hills from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. (Psalms 104:11-13 NKJV)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NKJV)

2) We can learn from them – to trust their Creator who knows exactly where they are. We or the bird may be out of sight of man, but never from God. The Bible says the Lord will never leave us.

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

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5 KJV)

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”(Revelation 4:11 NKJV)

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Articles about the Swallow-tailed

Birds of the World

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Interesting Things – A Few Questions For Evolutionists

Interesting Things from Smiley Central

“He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong.” Job 5:13

Why do giraffes have long necks or kangaroos have pouches? Evolutionists answer that natural selection has favored the development of certain characteristics while discouraging and eliminating other features. But if this is what happened, we who believe in creation have a few questions.

Giraffe skeleton on exhibit at The Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (PD)

Giraffe skeleton on exhibit at The Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (PD)

Giraffes have long necks, say evolutionists, because conditions favored the development of long-necked creatures that could feed on higher parts of the tree. But then many other grazing animals live side by side with giraffes and manage to get by. The horse, according to evolutionary explanations, has crowned teeth in order to survive in its environment. And yet the cow, with its uncrowned teeth, survives quite well in the same environment.

Some evolutionists say that plants developed berries so that their seeds, inside the berries, would be carried far and wide by hungry birds, thus ensuring the plants’ survival. Why then did some plants develop poisonous berries? And if the maternal instinct evolved to preserve the next generation, why do creatures like the stickleback fish, seahorse, and midwife toad, to name a few, leave total care of the young to the male?

The truth is that natural selection does not offer a clear and consistent explanation for the living world. The diversity of the created world does not bear witness to evolutionary principles, but to the artistry of our Creator God.

Prayer:

Dear Father, You confound those who are wise in their own hearts and give wisdom and clear vision to those Whom You have made pure through the blood of Christ. Let the wisdom and vision I seek be that which You provide. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Notes:
Photo: Giraffe skeleton on exhibit at The Museum of Osteology, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (PD)
©Creation Moments 2014

Listen to this article from Creation Moments

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Fantastic Week-end

Purple Gallinule Reaching Circle B

Purple Gallinule Reaching Circle B

We greatly enjoyed this past week-end. Dr. James J. S. Johnson, from Institute For Creation Research, who writes for this blog, came to speak at our church. We had not met him personally and so this was a time of getting to know him.

Dan and I, Dr. Jim (my name for him) and Golden Eagle (Baron) went birdwatching on Saturday. We took him to our favorite birding spot here, Circle B Bar Reserve. We saw 31 species, several “life birds” for him and one “life bird” for me, an Orange-crowned Warbler.

The Birders at Circle B Bar Reserve

The Birders at Circle B Bar Reserve

After we left there, we went to Lake Morton. I wanted two things to happen, but it didn’t. Was hoping to let them feed the Wood Stork over there and see a Wood Duck. Not to be. We saw one Wood Stork, but he must have already been fed. We did get to feed some of our other friends there. All total, we saw at least 19 species there. Also, the Lord prepared a great day for us. (Rained good part of Sunday, but Saturday was beautiful.)

Feeding White Ibises at Lake Morton

Dr Jim Feeding White Ibises at Lake Morton

While describing our trip later, I misused the word “boring” which got mistaken. What I meant was that compared other visits to those two places, the number of species were less than normal. Birdwatching adventures are never “boring.” How can they when you are out enjoying the Lord’s great creation? Amazing! Fabulous! Superb! Those are better words.

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; (Job 12:7 NKJV)

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:11 NKJV)

As Dr. James told us in his presentations, the Lord uses so much variety, provision, and design in each of His created beings, humans included. If we just slow down, God’s hand can clearly be seen. (my paraphrase) Just with the birds, the wing structure, specialized beaks, programmed travels, interconnection between bird and plant, and on and on. Oh, Praise the Lord!

Anhinga Lake Morton by Dan

Anhinga Lake Morton by Dan

 

I am including the list of birds seen at both places. Also, a short video of a Snowy Egret using his foot to stir up something to eat. Wonder how that habit came about? Could it be that the Lord programmed that in it because of promising to provide for them?

“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)

Also, Dr. Johnson’s talks showed slides with examples of these points. (From an excerpt)

Witnesses for God’s Truth – “This presentation reviews 5 different kinds of witnesses for God’s truth, each of which takes away excuses from anyone who pretends to have no witness of God and His glory:  (1) the physical creation, including our own physical bodies; (2) the uniqueness of humanity; (3) Scripture; (4) Christ’s incarnation; and (5) one more witness that we all are accountable for, and this one is quite scary!”

Lessons from the Zoo -  “Did you know that the animal kingdom, in all of its diversity, reveals God’s creative genius and glory in uncountable ways?  Why does God like and create variety in creation? How do the various animals living today, as well as other animals (like dinosaurs) which lived in earlier times, confirm the Bible’s account of creation – and refute Darwin’s evolutionary “natural selection” idea? This presentation provides a series of examples of big and little animals that display God’s handiwork in amazing ways. Mammals, reptiles, insects, spiders, fish, shellfish, jellyfish, and more!

Tricolored-Snowy-Great Egret-White Ibis at Circle B

Tricolored-Snowy-Great Egret-White Ibis at Circle B

Circle B Bar Reserve, Polk, US-FL
Nov 8, 2014 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Us, Dr J and Baron - 31 species

Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Anhinga
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill  6
Black Vulture  50
Turkey Vulture  50
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk
Purple Gallinule
Common Gallinule
Stilt Sandpiper
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Gray Catbird
Orange-crowned Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Boat-tailed Grackle

Lake Morton, Polk, US-FL
Nov 8, 2014 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM
Us, Dr J. and Baron - 18 species (+1 other taxa)

Mute Swan
Black Swan
Black-necked Swan
Muscovy Duck (Established Feral)
Mallard (Domestic type)
Blue-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Anhinga
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
White Ibis
Common Gallinule
American Coot
Laughing Gull
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
Blue Jay
Palm Warbler
Boat-tailed Grackle

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Lammergeier (Missió Complerta!)

Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) or Lammergeier by Ian

Newsletter ~ 11/7/14

Now, at last, here is the one that I wanted to photograph above all else when in the Pyrenees: the Lammergeier, or Bearded Vulture.

As with other species that have featured in the bird of the week such as the Black Woodpecker and Cream-coloured Courser, my interest or perhaps obsession was stimulated by my Petersen et al. Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe in the early 1960s. Unlike the woodpecker and the coursers, the European vultures were represented not on the coloured plates but in monochrome drawings. If anything, that made them more mysterious and elusive though two of them came spectacularly to life in 1963 when I saw Griffon and Egyptian Vultures during a family holiday in the Pyrenees. The Lammergeier, the mythical bone-breaker seemed destined to remain just that, as I knew it was very rare in Europe, extinct in the Alps, and found only over the highest mountain ranges. Even the name seemed straight out of Wagner’s Ring Cycle along with the Valkyries.

Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) or Lammergeier by Ian

I had been warned by the reserve rangers that the Lammergeiers would appear, if at all, in the afternoon after the Griffons had had their fill and I also knew that they were shy, would initially cruise over the area without landing and could easily be put off by the movement of a large telephoto lens. So the suspense was great, and it was a thrill when the first immature bird landed some distance away just before midday. They kept on the fringes and it wasn’t until about 2:30pm they came close enough for decent photos. The bird in the second and third photo is an older immature bird – they take six or seven years to mature – and the feathers of the breast and legs are getting paler. It also has the red eye-ring of the adult.

Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) or Lammergeier by Ian

In flight, fourth photo, they look quite different to other vultures with their back-swept rather pointed wings and long paddle-shaped tail. The thick plumage on the crown and neck sets them apart from typical vultures too, and when perched they hold their bodies in a horizontal eagle-like stance, presumably to keep their tails off the ground.

Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) or Lammergeier by Ian

Their shape plus the whitish head of the adult is quite distinctive so it was an exciting moment when I saw the first one soaring in the distance over the mountain range that overlooked the feeding station. Much later, they started checking out the feeding area without landing. I was too wary of alerting them by movement so I took the fourth photo of an adult in flight much later.

Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) or Lammergeier by Ian

Eventually, just before 3pm, the first adult landed, though like the juveniles, the adults stayed on the fringes as well and it wasn’t until 4:30pm that they came closer pick over the remains of the food carcasses and the real photography began.

Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) or Lammergeier by Ian

The black bird on the left of the fifth photo is a Common Raven and it seems to be imitating the stance of the larger bird and saying ‘I’m a champion too’. It’s much closer to the camera which makes it look larger than it actually is. Thirteen seconds later the Lammergeier took flight right over the Raven’s head – it had to duck – as if to say ‘we’ll see who’s boss’, and the relative proportions are more obvious. The wing-span – to 280cm/110in – is similar to that of Griffon and Cinereous Vultures, but the tail makes it much longer – to 125cm/49in. Females are heavier than males, to 7kg/15lb, but both sexes are lighter than the other vultures.

Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) or Lammergeier by Ian

The Lammergeiers wait until the others have finished because their food of choice is bones and bone marrow. In fact these make up 85% of the diet making them unique among birds and probably also vertebrates. The one in the sixth photo has found the favourite morsel, the digits of a cloven-hoof herbivore such as sheep and goats. Smaller bones ones are swallowed whole, larger ones – up to 4kg in weight – are dropped onto regularly used rocky areas called ossuaries to smash the bones. The usual pattern of the birds here was to scout around for suitable food, carry it off and then return perhaps 20 minutes later. They’re called ‘quebrando huesos’ (breaking bones) in Spanish. They’ll also take live prey such as tortoises, which get the same treatment. Legend has it that the Greek playwright Aeschylus was killed around 456 BC by an eagle – clearly a Lammergeier – dropping a tortoise on his bald head, mistaking it for a rock.

Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) or Lammergeier by Ian

Conservation efforts have seen the Pyrenean population grow from 75 pairs in 1993 to 125 pairs in 2008 and the species has been successfully re-introduced to the Alps. It also occurs in eastern Africa, South Africa and Central Asia. Estimates of the global population range from 2000 to 10,000 individuals. Until recently, it was not considered globally threatened until recent declines outside Europe and it is now classified as near threatened. The greatest concern is the veterinary use of the anti-inflammatory and pain-killing drug Diclosfenac. Highly toxic to vultures, causing liver failure, it has been solely responsible for the 99% decline in vulture populations in India, where it is now banned.

Horrifyingly, this drug has recently been approved for veterinary use in Spain and Italy. This insanity jeopardises the wonderful conservation efforts being carried out. BirdLife International has rallied to the cause, see http://www.birdlife.org/worldwide/news/vultures-africa-and-europe-could-face-extinction-within-our-lifetime-warn, and funds are being raised here https://www.justgiving.com/stop-vulture-poisoning-now/.

Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) or Lammergeier by Ian

I’m going to donate. If we think that because there are no vultures in Australia, it’s someone else’s problem, it’s not unfortunately quite so simple. There is recent evidence that Diclosfenac is toxic to Aquila eagles too. That includes the Wedge-tailed Eagle and this drug is approved for veterinary use here (e.g. ‘Voltaren’ for horses) and widely prescribed for human use. Studies have shown that it increases the risk of strokes in humans http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-09-14/study-links-voltaren-to-strokes/2260424. Photographing Lammergeiers is a personal missió complerta (Catalan for misión completa). A much more important mission accomplished will be the global banning of this completely unnecessary and dangerous drug – there are safe alternatives.

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: iTunes; Google Play Kobo Books
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

“But these you shall not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, (Deu 14:12 NKJV)
“And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; (Lev 11:14 KJV)

Wow! What great photos of the Bearded Vulture/a.k.a. Lammergeier. Ian uses the one name, but I.O.C. uses the Bearded names. What ever you call it, it is a neat looking bird, especially being a vulture.

This bird is one of the Birds of the Bible and we have written about them before, but Ian’s photos, will help visualize it it even more.

“The Lammergeier, the mythical bone-breaker” listed by Ian reminded me of this article: Birds of the Bible – Name Study ~ Ossifrage that uses the term “bone-breaker”

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Working On The New Update to I.O.C.

Sulawesi Hornbill (Penelopides exarhatus) LPZoo 3-8-12 by Lee

Sulawesi Hornbill (Penelopides exarhatus)LPZoo by Lee

They have come out with the latest Update and I am again working on updating the blog. This time they added only 13 new species, deleted 2, and made 3 changes to names. But, as lately, they threw another family up in the air to rearrange it. This time it was the Hornbill-Bucerotidae family. It was really reshuffled and they changed some of the genus around.

Here are the new additions:

  • Aztec Rail (Rallus tenuirostris) – Was Subspecies of King Rail
  • Mangrove Rail (Rallus longirostris) – The Old Clapper Rail
  • Clapper Rail (Rallus crepitans) – New Clapper Rail
  • Ridgway’s Rail (Rallus obsoletus) - Formerly California Clapper
  • Sooty Barbet (Caloramphus hayii)- Was Subspecies
  • Blue-eared Barbet (Megalaima duvaucelii) – Removed M. d. australis Subspecies
  • Palkachupa Cotinga (Phibalura boliviana) – Was Subspecies of Swallow-tailed Cotinga
  • Riparian Antbird (Cercomacra fuscicauda)- Was Subspecies
  • Bougainville Whistler (Pachycephala richardsi) – Was Subspecies
  • Black-eared Warbler (Basileuterus melanotis) – Was Subspecies
  • Tacarcuna Warbler (Basileuterus tacarcunae) - Was Subspecies
  • Yungas Warbler (Basileuterus punctipectus)- Was Subspecies
  • Roraiman Warbler (Myiothlypis roraimae)- Was Subspecies
  • Pale Baywing (Agelaioides fringillarius)- Was Subspecies

Deleted:

  • Norfolk Ground Dove
  • White-throated Whistler

Hard to find data yet on these because sites are being updated, just as this one is. Will update when all the 4.4 Version is complete.

Also: Sorry there has not been as many articles lately, but have been dealing with several health issues. The Bronchitis is almost over, now have stitches from skin cancer removal. Physical Therapy is helping. Praise the Lord, it could be a lot worse. It is just that everything came close together. Also, Praise the Lord for the way He created the human body.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. (Psalms 139:14 NKJV)

Birds of the World

Hornbill-Bucerotidae Family

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Barn Swallows, a Nostalgic Reminder of Home

Barn Swallow (same)

Barn Swallow (same)

Barn Swallows, a Nostalgic Reminder of Home

by James J. S. Johnson

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.  (James 4:14-15).

Luzon Bleeding-heart by Dan

Orni-Theology

As daylight slid slowly into nighttime darkness, one warm summer evening in Sweden, I thought I recognized the sleek silhouettes of swallows, flitting and zooming here and there, like aerial fighter pilots, catching hapless insects in the air.  It was too dark, and they were too fast, to positively confirm them as Barn Swallows, but surely that’s what they were.  Little hatchlings, waiting hungrily in mud-nests nearby, likewise appreciated the aerial insect-grabbing of their caring parents.  The day would come, in time, when the hungry nestlings would do the same for their progeny.

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) baby by Neal Addy Gallery

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) baby by Neal Addy Gallery

In Europe one of the common summer migrants is the Swallow (Hirunda rustica), known in America as the Barn Swallow, due to their habit of nesting colonies near the roofs of barns, stables, and other wooden buildings.  Barn swallows are easily recognized by their long tail streamers, narrow and pointed wings, iridescent blue-black upper feather coat, contrasting with a white underside sporting a rusty orange forehead and chin-throat bib.  (The sexes are similar except that the female has shorter tail streamers.)   Like other swallows, the barn swallow is mostly insectivorous, catching bugs on the fly, as it darts and arcs with graceful flight patterns, powered by deep wing-beats.  [See Jürgen Nicolai, Detlef  Singer, & Konrad Wothe, Birds of Britain and Europe (Harper Collins, AD1994; translated by Ian Dawson), page 170.]

One of the most nostalgic folk songs of Scandinavia (especially Sweden) is Hälsa dem därhemma  (“Greet those at Home” – audio and bilingual lyrics at http://treasures2.weebly.com/haumllsa-dem-daumlrhemma.html ), a song about a young sailor aboard a ship, as night falls, homesick for his family and homeland, who sees a flight of migratory swallows.  In song the homesick sailor asks the little swallows (“lilla svala”) to give greetings to “those at home”, including his father, mother, and little brother – and even the green fields that the sailor left behind.  To those of us who have heard it sung, many times and in many places, the emotional recall of days (and homes) gone by pull at our hearts and memories, as we too can think of loved ones we have left behind, one way or another, as we have traveled our life journeys in this busy world.

If swallows could transmit greetings, from us to loved ones now out of reach, what greetings would that be?  The New Testament epistle of James reminds us that we have no control on the day that unfolds us, much less on the many tomorrows that approach our horizons.  But the future is not “up for grabs” – it belongs to God.  It is good to know that our great God sovereignly rules the world — and us therein.

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.  (James 4:14-15).

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) baby by Neal Addy Gallery

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) baby by Neal Addy Gallery

Life has many changes.  Homes come and go.  People come and go  —  even loved ones.

But God is always there and He changes not (Malachi 3:6).  And He prepares a place for us, as a permanent and perfect Home, for that day appointed for our Earth-leaving, which is the day of our true Home-going/Home-coming.  And yet, we are already Home, now, if we belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, because God Himself is our permanent home.  What a wonderful privilege it is to be created by Him, redeemed by Him, and to belong to Him (and to His loved ones) now and forever.

It’s okay to be homesick,  –  and to appreciate the migratory swallows that go “home” each year,  – but our true home awaits us, in Christ, and there are many mansions there (John 14:2-3).  Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.  ><> JJSJ

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Orni-Theology

Hirundinidae – Swallows, Martins

Birds of the Bible – Swallows

Gospel Message

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Fantastic Close-up – Wow!

A friend just posted this to my Facebook and I have to share it. It is from Imgur.

I don’t even need six words. Only one will do.

Wow!!!

“Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.
(Psalms 77:14 KJV)

Green-Crowned Brilliant photographed by Chris Morgan