Wise Advice From The Birds – Via Email

Received this in an email. (From an older friend) The birds and sayings are thought-provoking.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth. (Psalms 71:9 KJV)

Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven? (Job 35:11 KJV)

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. (Psalms 25:5 KJV)

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. (Psalms 32:8 KJV)

*

Wordless Birds

*

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Cream-coloured Courser

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Cream-coloured Courser ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 9/27/14

A couple of weeks ago, I said that my two target birds in Dubai were Crab Plover – which featured last week – and Cream-coloured Courser. The latter had aroused my curiosity 50 years ago when I saw it on this page of the Field Guide to Birds of Britain and Europe. Tommy Pedersen (http://www.uaebirding.com) had said that the Coursers were “possible”, so there were no guarantees.

Cream-colored Courser (Cursorius cursor) by Ian

Cream-colored Courser (Cursorius cursor) by Ian

When we set off with Tommy, we had a few hours to fill in before the tide was optimal for the Crab Plovers, so we went first to the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Centre, then to the Al Asifa Endurance Stables to look for the Coursers. They were present at both, with over 30 at the Polo Centre and another 16 at the Stables. In fact, the first photo I took in Dubai was of a very distant Courser.

Cream-colored Courser (Cursorius cursor) by Ian

They were worth waiting 50 years for, and I think the illustration in the field guide didn’t do them justice. They’re called Coursers because they run rather than fly, second photo, the name being derived from the Latin verb currere, to run, and the generic name Cursorius means runner. The ‘sport’ of coursing – chasing hares, etc., on horse-back is derived from the same source, so there was a delightful irony in finding them at the two main equestrian locations in Dubai.​

Cream-colored Courser (Cursorius cursor) by Ian

When pressed they do take flight, third photo. In doing so, they show their striking dark wing tips and underwings and reveal similarity to pratincoles, the other members of the family Glareolidae. There is a photo of an Australian Pratincole in flight here if you want to compare them. The three taking off in the third photo seemed to be a family party as the bird in the centre is immature with patchy brown markings on the neck and only very pale stripes through the eye.

Cream-colored Courser (Cursorius cursor) by Ian

​Their preferred habitat is desert and semi-desert with or without sparse vegetation. Their breeding range includes much of North Africa and the Middle East. Many North African birds migrate across the Sahari to winter in the southern Sahara and at least part of the Middle East population migrates to Pakistan and NW India. They feed on insects and other invertebrates on the ground and will take locusts in flight. I couldn’t help but be struck by their resemblance both in colour and habitat to the Inland Dotterel of central Australia.

Cream-colored Courser (Cursorius cursor) by Ian

As promised a couple of weeks ago, I’ve started putting together a page on electronic books to provide assistance in choosing among different platforms. So far, I’ve finished the General Introduction. I still need to add more details on the actual process of purchasing ebooks from different vendors​ and I’ll let you know when that is available.

I’m still in Ireland. So far, I’ve been mainly catching up with family and friends. Next Tuesday we are going looking for Red Kites in Avoca, Co. Wicklow, so keep your fingers crossed for some photos! The Red Kite is one of the more successful Irish raptor reintroduction programs and there are now breeding populations in both the Republic, mainly Co. Wicklow south of Dublin, and in Co. Down in Northern Ireland. I do have a photo of one taken in Spain – but it would be good to get some genuine Irish ones, the real McCoy.

Greetings
Ian


Lee’s Addition:

He asked for water, she gave milk; She brought out cream in a lordly bowl. (Judges 5:25 NKJV)
He will not see the streams, The rivers flowing with honey and cream. (Job 20:17 NKJV)
When my steps were bathed with cream, And the rock poured out rivers of oil for me! (Job 29:6 NKJV)

Wow! I really like that color. It seems so rich. There are such neat birds in the Glareolidae family anyway. That last photo of the bird in flight looks like the Lord dipped its wings in paint. I am glad Ian was able to get these new photos and shared them with us.

Coloured or Colored? Again we have a difference in spelling. Ian uses one naming authority and here we use the I.O.C.’s naming. Same bird, same scientific name – Cursorius cursor. And the same beautiful bird from its Creator.

*

Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Glareolidae Family

Glareolidae – Coursers, Pratincoles

*

Sunday Inspiration – Creation

Fiordland Penguin (Eudyptes pachyrhynchus) by Ian

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 KJV)

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrews 11:3 KJV)

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Colossians 1:16 KJV)

“This Is My Father’s World” – Music by Sean Fielder

Sean made this for the FX (Faith EXtreme) group to help visualize how awesome our God portrays Himself in creation.

*

More Sunday Inspiration

Sean Fielder’s YouTube Page

Is There a God?

*

 

 

Wreathed Hornbills at Central Florida Zoo

Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) Central Florida Zoo by Lee

Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) Female Central Florida Zoo by Lee

Last week on the way over to the retreat in Daytona Beach, we stopped by the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. There were several interesting birds, especially the Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus). There was a male, female and a juvenile male there. More unique creations from our Creator.

The Hornbill names can be confusing because there is a Wrinkled, Writhed, and the Wreathed Hornbills along with the others. The one here at Central Florida Zoo was the Wreathed..It was hard to get a decent photo because of the size of the fencing/wires on the cages. So, the photos were about a good as I could get shooting in Program mode. I tossed quite a few photos because of the fencing. :))

Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) Adult Male Central Florida Zoo by Lee

The Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus), also known as the Bar-pouched Wreathed Hornbill because of the black line on the pouch or chin. It is a species of hornbill found in forests from far north-eastern India and Bhutan, east and south through mainland Southeast Asia and the Greater Sundas, except Sulawesi. It is 75–100 cm (30–39 in) long. Males weigh from 4.0 lb (1.8 kg) to 8.0 lb (3.65 kg), and females weigh from 3.0 lb (1.36 kg) to 6.0 lb (2.7 kg). Both sexes are similar to the respective sexes of the closely related plain-pouched hornbill, but the wreathed hornbill can be recognized by the dark bar on the lower throat (hence the alternative common name, bar-pouched). Though commonly considered monotypic, evidence suggests some geographical variation in the appearance. (Wikipedia with editing)

They belong to the Bucerotidae – Hornbills Family which has 59 species. “These birds have large down-curved bills and many have a large growth on the upper bill called a casque.  These bills come in many striking shapes and colors.  They also have what appears to be eyelashes, but they are not made of hair, they are small feathers that serve the same function.” (Central FL Zoo)

Fun Facts (From Zoo Atlanta)

Males can be easily distinguished from females by the color of their throats. The male’s throat skin is yellow; the female’s is blue. – Males and females pair for life. – The specialized knobs on the tops of the birds’ beaks are known as casques. These are believed to function as signals of dominance and gender.

 You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth. (Genesis 7:2-3 NASB)

I find their beak so interesting. In light of yesterday’s article, Birdwatching Terms – About’s Bird Bill Parts, I have included some cropped photos pointing out the different parts of the beak. Also, I like their eyelashes which are actually feathers, but act like our eyelashes.

*

Bucerotidae – Hornbills

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Birds of the World

Wreathed Hornbill - Wikipedia

Wreathed Hornbill – Central Florida Zoo

Wreathed Hornbill –  AvianWeb

Is There A God?

*

 

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.

*

Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Dromadidae – Plovers Family

Dromadidae – Crab-plover Family – Here

*

Sunday Inspiration – “Love” Birds

Black-cheeked Lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis) ©WikiC

Black-cheeked Lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis) ©WikiC

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,(Galatians 5:22 KJV)But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (Ephesians 2:4 KJV)

Dan and I have just returned from three days at an Art of Marriage Retreat at Daytona Beach. Along with almost 20 couples, we were encouraged and given suggestions on ways to improve our marriages. Marriage is under great attack by society, but as Christians, it is very important and much help is given in God’s Word.

We had a great time, other than a fire alarm at 3:30 am. We all had to leave our rooms and depart the resort. Praise the Lord, it was a false alarm. Our first morning found us on the beach enjoying the sunrise and having devotions together. Because of this emphasis, the “love” birds came to mind. Hope you don’t mind. Also, some photos from the retreat are included. Yes, after 51 years together, room for more improvements were taken to heart.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Ephesians 5:25 KJV)

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (Ephesians 5:33 KJV)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“Oh The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” Special by Christina

*

More Sunday Inspirations

*

 

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

*

Sunday Inspiration – Out To Sea

Sooty Albatross (Phoebetria fusca) by Daves BirdingPix

Sooty Albatross (Phoebetria fusca) by Daves BirdingPix

Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, And declare His works with rejoicing. Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters, They see the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep. (Psalms 107:21-24 NKJV)

Those who go out to sea are able to see many of the birds that spend most of their lives on the wing. The oceans do not always remain calm, but their Creator has created them to survive many varied conditions. How about us? As things come into our lives, they are not always comfortable to us. If we are placing our faith in the Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, we can sing the last verse of the hymn below:

O soul, sinking down ’neath sin’s merciless wave,
The strong arm of our Captain is mighty to save;
Then trust Him today, no longer delay,
Board the old ship of Zion, and shout on your way:
“Jesus saves! Jesus saves!”
Shout and sing on your way: “Jesus saves!”

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


*

“Ship Ahoy” ~ by Dr. Richard Gregory

And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, (2 Chronicles 13:12a KJV)

I was drifting away on life’s pitiless sea,
And the angry waves threatened my ruin to be,
When away at my side, there I dimly descried,
A stately old vessel, and loudly I cried:
“Ship ahoy! Ship ahoy!”
And loudly I cried: “Ship ahoy!”

’Twas the “old ship of Zion,” thus sailing along,
All aboard her seemed joyous, I heard their sweet song;
And the Captain’s kind ear, ever ready to hear,
Caught my wail of distress, as I cried out in fear:
“Ship ahoy! Ship ahoy!”
As I cried out in fear: “Ship ahoy!”

The good Captain commanded a boat to be low’red,
And with tender compassion He took me on board;
And I’m happy today, all my sins washed away
In the blood of my Savior, and now I can say:
“Bless the Lord! Bless the Lord!”
From my soul I can say: “Bless the Lord!”

O soul, sinking down ’neath sin’s merciless wave,
The strong arm of our Captain is mighty to save;
Then trust Him today, no longer delay,
Board the old ship of Zion, and shout on your way:
“Jesus saves! Jesus saves!”
Shout and sing on your way: “Jesus saves!”

*

More Sunday Inspirations

Gospel Message

Sharing The Gospel

Gideon

*

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

**************************************************
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!

*

Antipodean Albatross – Ian’s

Ian’s Diomedeidae Family

Albatross – CreationWiki

Diomedeidae – Albatrosses Family

Ian’s Pratincole Family. 

*

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.

*

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*

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

*

More Sunday Inspirations

Faith Baptist Church

Gospel Presentation

*

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

**************************************************
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)

*

Ian’s Bird of the Week

Penguin Family at Birdway

Spheniscidae – Penguins Family

*

 

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.

*