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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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!”

 

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“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!”

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More Sunday Inspirations

Gospel Message

Sharing The Gospel

Gideon

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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

**************************************************
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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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

**************************************************
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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Kookaburra Encounter

Laughing Kookabura by Dan

Laughing Kookabura by Dan

On our vacation several weeks ago we stopped back by the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida.  I had a neat Kookaburra Encounter.

Lee with Laughing Kookabura at Brevard Zoo by Dan

Lee with Laughing Kookabura at Brevard Zoo by Dan

The Laughing Kookaburra is in the aviary where the Lorikeets, Galahs and other birds are kept. When I came through a door, right there on the rail sat a young Laughing Kookaburra. I have seen them before, but never as close as this one. I got within inches of him/or her. I could have touched it, but was afraid of that beak.

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)

Here are some of the pictures we took.

Lee very close to Kookabura by Dan

Lee very close to Kookabura by Dan

I have to admit, I was thrilled. Just looking at one of the Lord’s creations so close. Wow! That one photo Dan took of me and the Kookaburra, my hand was within 5-6 inches from it. May I never lose my AWE at seeing and encountering the Lord’s critters.

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Other Kookaburra encounters:
Birdwatching at the Cincinnati Zoo I
Birds Of The Bible – Joy And Laughter
Birdwatching Adventure to Brevard Zoo in Viera, FL
Birdwatching at the National Aviary – Introduction
Alcedinidae – Kingfishers – Family

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Sunday Inspiration – Passerines

Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena) by Michael Woodruff

Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena) by Michael Woodruff

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. He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the service of man, That he may bring forth food from the earth, (Psalms 104:12-14 NKJV)

A passerine is any bird of the order Passeriformes, which includes more than half of all bird species. A notable feature of passerines is the arrangement of their toes (three pointing forward and one back) which facilitates perching. Sometimes known as perching birds or, less accurately, as songbirds, the passerines form one of the most diverse terrestrial vertebrate orders, with over 5,000 identified species. It has roughly twice as many species as the largest of the mammal orders, the Rodentia. It contains more than 110 families, the second-most of any order of tetrapods (after Squamata, the scaled reptiles).

The names “passerines” and “Passeriformes” are derived from Passer domesticus, the scientific name of the eponymous species (the house sparrow) and ultimately from the Latin term passer for Passer sparrows and similar small birds.

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“Sweet Hour of Prayer” by Sean Fielder (Faith Baptist)

Enjoy God’s creation as you watch and listen to Sean play. May we all pray and thank the Lord for all He has given from His Hand.

The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life. (Psalms 42:8 NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (Philippians 4:6 NKJV)

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Sunday Inspiration

PASSERIFORMES – Passerines

Sharing The Gospel

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Great Frigatebird

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Male by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Great Frigatebird ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 8/28/14

This week’s good news is that the ebook Where to Find Birds in Northern Queensland is now available on the iTunes store (in 51 countries). So if you have an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Mac (running OS X Maverick) this is for you! Here is the link: https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/where-to-find-birds-in-northern/id912789825?mt=11&uo=4. To make a connection with this week’s bird, the Great Frigatebird, here is a screen shot from iBooks to show you what you can expect. All the text items highlighted in purple and links to either other places in the book – typically places, birds or lists – or external websites. The images are the same size as the ones that are included in the bird of the week, so if you double-click, or double-tap, on them, you can enlarge them to full size.

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) by Ian

If you think about birds in northern Queensland, perhaps iconic rainforest species like the Cassowary or Victoria’s Riflebird come to mind. Fair enough, but there is much more to this region than rainforest, important though that is.The area also has wonderful wetlands, tropical savannah forest, mountain ranges, dry country habitats and, last but not least, the coast with its Barrier Reef, beaches, mangroves, mudflats, continental islands and coral cays. So it should be no surprise that over 400 species of birds occur here and you need a reference devoted to the region to do it justice. I’ve chosen a dramatic seabird to make the point.

The term ‘frigate’ was first applied in the 17th century to warships built for speed and manoeuvrability and frigates were often used by pirates to attach merchant shipping. Frigatebirds, also called Man o’ War Birds, got their name for their piratical habitats of harrying other seabirds like boobies and tropicbirds to make them drop their prey. In fact, studies have shown that piracy accounts for perhaps only 20% of their food, and they are expert fishers as well. They fish by snatching prey, such as squid and young turtles, from the surface of the sea or in flight, in the case of their favourite prey, flying fish.

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Female by Ian

Despite their naval name, frigatebirds are wonderfully adapted for flying and are poor swimmers to the extent that they are reluctant to land on water, as they can take off only in strong winds and their plumage is not waterproof. They have very light bones making up only 5% of the body, huge pectoral muscles, enormous wing area, long forked tails for rudders and streamlined bodies with small heads. Despite their size, they are very light, soar effortlessly in good winds and are very acrobatic. Female Great Frigatebirds, larger than males, are about 1m/40in long, have a wingspan to 2.3m/90in but weight only 1.2-1.6kg/2.6-3.5lb.

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor palmerstoni) Female by Ian

The male Great Frigatebird, first photo, is the only all-black frigatebird occurring in Australia – the other all-black males are the Magnificent Frigatebird of Atlantic Ocean and the eastern Pacific and the Ascencion Frigatebird of the east Atlantic. Frigatebirds are unusual among seabirds in drinking freshwater if they can get it, and this male is drinking at the mouth of freshwater stream on Christmas island by snatching a beak-full of water in flight. Frigatebirds also bathe in flight by splashing into the surface of the water and flying off. You can also see its red gular pouch. This is inflated to enormous size to impress females during courtship. I haven’t got a photo of displaying Great Frigatebird, but you can see a Magnificent Frigatebird doing so here: Magnificent_Frigatebird.

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor palmerstoni) Juvenile by Ian

Female Great Frigatebirds have white breasts and care needs to be taken in distinguishing them from other female and juvenile frigatebirds – Lesser Frigatebirds of both sexes have white ‘spurs’ in the axil of the underwing, and Christmas Island Frigatebirds of both sexes, have white bellies. Birds in Indian Ocean waters in Australia belong to the nominate race minor, distinguished by the females having pink eye-rings, second photo. Birds in the Pacific belong to palmerstoni and usually have blue eye-rings, third photo, though doubt exists as to the validity of the races and the reliability of the fieldmarks.

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor palmerstoni) Juvenile by IanBecause of their need for consistent winds, frigatebirds are restricted to tropical waters where they can rely on the trade winds. Adults are sedentary and remain close to their roosting sites and breeding colonies, mostly on small isolated islands. Non-breeding birds and immature birds are pelagic and move over huge distances. Trade winds are unusual in that they form cumulus clouds and hence thermals over water both by day and night, and frigatebirds make great use of these to soar as high as the cloud base and will fly at night if conditions are right. Pelagic frigatebirds use the front of storms to move around and can cope with high winds very well. This is why they appear in coastal areas after cyclones and are supposed to be called ‘rain-brothers’ by Australian aborigines, though I haven’t been able to verify this.

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor palmerstoni) Juvenile by IanThe range of the Great Frigatebird includes the tropical Pacific, southern tropical Indian and western Atlantic Oceans. In Australia it breeds colonially on islands along the outer Great Barrier Reef, in the Coral Sea and on Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean, usually in mangroves. The juvenile in photos five and six was photographed on East Diamond Islet, about 600km east of Cairns http://www.satelliteviews.net/cgi-bin/w.cgi?c=cr&UF=34304&UN=456541&DG=ISL. Breeding birds form pair bonds and both parents share in the incubation and feeding of the young. The young develop very slowly. This is thought to adapt them to periods of starvation when the adults have trouble finding food, and remain under parental care for many months.

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Female attacking Red-tailed Tropicbird by IanThe last photo shows a hapless Red-tailed Tropicbird near Christmas Island being harried by a female Great Frigatebird who has grabbed it by the tail-streamers. Frigatebirds hang out near seabird colonies waiting for birds carrying prey or with full crops returning to feed their young. It’s hard enough work being a parent without having to put up with this!

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


Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Male Displaying ©WikiC

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Male Displaying ©WikiC

Lee’s Addition:

but those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 HCSB)

Thanks again, Ian, for introducing us to another interesting bird. We have seen the Magnificent Frigatebirds here in Florida, but these Great ones are also amazing. That fact about only 5% of their weight being the bone structure is another fantastic design from their Creator.

Frigatebirds belong to the Fregatidae – Frigatebirds Family which only has five species in it.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Lesser Frigatebird

Fregatidae – Frigatebirds Family

Great Frigatebird – Wikipedia

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Pale-headed Rosella

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Pale-headed Rosella ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 8/24/14

The bird of the week is the Pale-headed Rosella, which I’ll get to in a second, but this is a Special Edition as Where to Find Birds in Northern Queensland is at last being published. That is to say, it has been published on Google Play but not yet on the Apple iBook store. That will take a little longer as there are bureaucratic obstacles to be over come. These involve registering Birdway Pty Ltd with the US Inland Revenue and then Apple confirming the registration with the IRS. The first part was easy but the second seems harder as it takes a while for the registration to soak through and finally emerge in the IRS online databases. Anyway, I’ll let you know, loudly, when that happens. In the meantime, you can find it on Google at https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=CblRBAAAQBAJ.

Where To Find Birds in Northern Queensland by Ian

Where To Find Birds in Northern Queensland

End of commercial!

The Pale-headed Rosella, is the widespread and familiar Rosella of Queensland, though it range does extend as far as northern New South Wales. There, and in southeastern Queensland, its range overlaps with the closely related Eastern Rosella and they sometimes interbreed.

The ones in the first two photos were taken outside my house. The first bird is feeding on the seeds of weeds, plenty of those here, and the second is feeding on the fruit of wild passionfruit, another weed, also called stinking passionfruit (Passiflora foetida) as the foliage emits a strong odour when crushed. They’re lovely birds, rather unobtrusive though their soft twittering calls reveal their presence, and I’ll always get pleasure from seeing them. They’re usually in pairs of family parties. The plumage is variable: the bird in the first photo has a much intense blue breast than the second one, but the field guides are tight-lipped about whether the plumage of the sexes differs.

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

They’re more forthcoming about the plumage of juveniles, as these often show traces of red or darker feathers on the head, like the one coming down for a drink in the third photo.

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

There are two races of the Pale-headed Rosella, a northern paler one on Cape York and south to about Cairns, and a southern darker one south of Townsville with a 300km/200mile band of intergrading between Cairns and Townsville. Originally these were described as two different species, the northern one being the Blue-cheeked Rosella, Platycercus adscitus, the southern one the Pale-headed Rosella, P. palliceps. When they were lumped together, the earlier name adscitus took priority, so the northern race is the nominate one and the southern darker one is race palliceps – unfortunately, given that it is the more intensely coloured. Adscitus means ‘approved’ or ‘accepted’, though exactly what was approved or accepted, I don’t know.

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

The Townsville birds in the first three photos belong to palliceps. The two, photographed together at Lake Eacham southwest of Cairns, are much closer the nominate race. The yellow is much paler overall, particularly on the back and the upper breast is mainly pale yellow, rather than blue, but there is a blue patch on the lower cheek. The bird in the fifth photo has clear traces of red on the forehead and is a juvenile; the one in the fourth photo has pinkish traces and may be a young bird too.

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) by Ian

The taxonomy of Rosellas in general has been controversial and is still unsettled. Some authorities maintain that the Pale-headed, the Eastern Rosella and the Northern Rosella all belong to a single species even though they look quite different. Whatever, they’re lovely birds, and the good news is that the Pale-headed Rosella has benefitted from European settlement and the clearing of dense forests – they prefer more open areas.

Links:
Pale-headed Rosella 
Eastern Rosella 
Northern Rosella 

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


Lee’s Addition:

Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! (Job 19:23 KJV)

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: (2 Timothy 4:7 KJV)

Glad they finally have their book published. I know that Ian has been working on this for some time. It is always a great feeling when a project is completed.

Also, the Pale-headed Rosella is a beautiful bird. Another great creation from their Creator. I especially like that first photo.

Rosellas are members of the Psittacidae – Parrots Family. You can see Ian’s photos of this family by clicking here.

See:

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Sunday Inspiration – Batis and Wattle-eye

Brown-throated Wattle-eye (Platysteira cyanea) ©WikiC

Brown-throated Wattle-eye (Platysteira cyanea) Male ©WikiC

 

Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; (Psalms 33:18 KJV)

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. (Psalms 119:18 KJV)

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3 KJV)

Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. (Isaiah 40:26 KJV)

The Platysteiridae Family has these neat little Wattle-eyes and Batis, plus two Shrike-flycatchers and a Shrike. The family has a total of 33 species. I spotted these while working on the update and decided to share them. Their eyes are what draws your attention to them. They are cute little birds that show again the Creator’s variety.

The Platysteiridae are small to medium sized passerines. They have short legs and an upright stance while perched. The tail length is variable, with the Dyaphorophyia wattle-eyes and batises having short tails and the Platysteria wattle-eyes and shrike-flycatchers possessing longish tails. The bill is flat and hooked at the end, and generally wide with well-developed rictal bristles. With the exception of a few batises the plumage of the family is sexually dimorphic. Overall the family has white undersides and dark, speckled upperparts, with many species sporting a band across the chest. A few wattle-eyes depart from this pattern and possess brightly coloured plumage. The plumage on the back of some genera are erectile, giving the family the alternative name of puffback flycatchers. The iris of the batises and the black-and-white shrike-flycatcher is brightly coloured and used in communication, becoming more brightly coloured when the adults are excited. In the wattle-eyes the supra-orbital wattles above the eyes, which give them their name, are used for communication. In addition the family is highly vocal, giving a range of whistles, harsh calls and duets. (Wikipedia)

 

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“There Shall Be Showers of Blessing”. Hymn – at Faith Baptist Church

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Platysteiridae – Wattle-eyes, Batises

Sunday Inspiration

Birds of the World – Families

4 Things God Wants You to Know

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Dusky’s and In Love With Words

Burrowing Owl from Dusky's Wonders

Burrowing Owl from Dusky’s Wonders

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31 KJV)

Wanted to share with you two blogs I follow.

Sandra Conner’s, In Love With Words, had a neat post about a truck that  was crying. It is worth reading.

In Love With Words - Crying Truck and Virginia Creeper

In Love With Words – Crying Truck and Virginia Creeper

Virginia Creeper wasn’t beautiful and was generally considered a nuisance wherever she grew. But she had a kind heart, and when she heard sobbing out by the alley, she crawled over to investigate. She found Barney, the discarded garbage truck, soaking the ground with his tears……..

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS – 8/22/14 — ‘LOVE GROWS ON YOU’

I love it! Hope you do also.

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Owl from Dusky's Wonders

Owl from Dusky’s Wonders

Also Dusky’s Wonders released a new set of neat bird photos again today. Check those out.

I am still working on the IOC Version 4.3 Update. All the pages are completed and now I am working on the Indexes. Majority of the work is done. Stay tuned.

Birds of the World

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