A Pet Flamingo Named Mandy

A Pet Flamingo Named Mandy

by Emma Foster

Once there was a girl who owned a pet flamingo named Mandy. The girl’s name was Sarah and she lived in a big house with the rest of her family. One day her parents took her to a pet store across town where she saw a flamingo sitting in a bird-cage. Sarah was allowed to pick out one pet and she decided to pick out this flamingo. She named it Mandy. Mandy had one feather on her wing that was black and Sarah thought that was one of the reasons why Mandy was so special.

Today Mandy was sitting on Sarah’s father’s favorite recliner in the middle of the big family room. Mandy always loved sitting there because she had a good view out of one of the big windows. Sarah didn’t have any idea why she was sitting in the chair, but it was funny to see the cleaning lady come in with her duster and faint when she saw Mandy.

On this day the biggest window in the family room was wide open because it was a nice day outside and a small wind was blowing.

Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) ©Wiki

Mandy was sitting in Sarah’s father’s favorite recliner watching the sky when she saw birds fly by. Mandy decided to follow them and before Sarah could stop her, Mandy flew out of the window and out of sight. Sarah had never been sadder.

Sarah and her parents put up fliers around town looking for Mandy.

It was a week before Sarah passed by the zoo putting out fliers when she saw the flamingo exhibit. Inside the exhibit was Mandy! Sarah could tell because she had one black feather.

American Flamingos Many With Foot Up by Lee at Gatorland

Sarah was happy to see Mandy again, but she noticed that Mandy looked really happy with all the other flamingos. Sarah decided that Mandy should stay at the zoo with her new friends.

So, from then on, Sarah was sure to see Mandy the flamingo every day at the zoo.

The End


Lee’s Addition:

Thanks, Emma, for another bird tale. Mandy sounds like a nice pet, but sure she is enjoying being back with her friends. I could see why the cleaning lady would be shocked. Not many people have Flamingo as pets. But the Bible says:

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. (James 3:7-10 NKJV)

Check out Emma Foster’s other tales:

Kids, You Are Special
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Sunday Inspiration – Independence Day

Bald Eagle (close up) LP Zoo by Dan

Bald Eagle (close up) LP Zoo by Dan

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. (Psalms 16:5-6 ESV)

Here in the United States, yesterday was celebrated as “Independence Day” or more commonly called the “Forth Of July.” The Lord has blessed the country through the years because the people chose to look to the Lord, the Creator, for guidance. Today is another story, but that is not the point of this article.

We really should be celebrating “Dependence Day” to thank the Lord God for giving us the privilege to be born and/or live here.

So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. (Romans 9:16 ESV)

We are thankful for this country and while the Orchestra plays the “Military Medley” enjoy some of the sights of the Land of the Home and the Brave. These are just photos from some of our recent trips that make me appreciate our country. Many are military, but also museums, scenery from our great land of the free and nostalgia things from the past.

P.S. Other than the Eagles, I gave the birds a rest. :)

And He made from one [common origin, one source, one blood] all nations of men to settle on the face of the earth, having definitely determined [their] allotted periods of time and the fixed boundaries of their habitation (their settlements, lands, and abodes), So that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after Him and find Him, although He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being; (Acts 17:26-28a AMP)

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“Military Medley” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

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Sunday Inspirations

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Tombstone Shootout – Vacation

Tombstone AZ 2015 by Lee

After quickly passing through New Mexico, (NM Going West), Interstate 10 brings you to Arizona. While stopped at the Welcome Center, again to get maps and brochures, we were told to not miss stopping in Tombstone. We dove the about 25 miles south of I-10 to get there, but well worth the detour.

Have you not asked those who travel the road? … (Job 21:29a NKJV)

We both grew up watching “westerns” and even remember riding one of these as a kid. So, going to Tombstone brought back lots of memories.

Tombstone AZ 5-9-2015 (86)

They have a reenactment of the Shootout at OK Corral, so we watched it. I have a clip of the beginning of it, just to whet your taste. If you want to see it, go to Tombstone. At the end of the video is a Jester, or whatever you want to call him, entertaining some kids.

Many people were dressed up and after talking to several of them, not all were workers in the different businesses. Some where just townspeople who dress and come to town to just be part of the “happenings” like this man and his dog.

Local residents

Local residents

Thinking back, we never took a single photo of a bird in Tombstone. Either they were not around or we were just too busy seeing all the sites. Not to worry, there are plenty more bird photos to come. Stay turned! :)

“The very mention of Tombstone brings to mind images of the lawless Old West, gunfights at the O.K. Corral, epic feuds between the Earps and the Mclaurys and Clantons, Gold Rush fever and the promise of silver and gold. The heritage of the American West is still alive here today, where historic saloons, post offices and the famous Boot Hill cemetery stand restored and painstakingly preserved alongside more modern, tourist-focused recreations of period architecture.” From TripAdvisor

As Christians, we have a different type of “Fight” to get involved in:

The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:14 NKJV)

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12 NKJV)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8 NKJV)

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Tombstone, Arizona – Wikipedia

Tombstone Web

In case you missed the last few Vacation articles:

Good News

 

 

Mount Cristo Rey – Vacation

Leaving El Paso, Texas

Leaving El Paso, Texas

We finally arrived in El Paso, Texas, (May 9th) spent the night and then headed to New Mexico. On the way out of El Paso, I was just taking a few photos when we saw a cross on top of a mountain.

Cross on a mountain - El Paso, Texas

Cross on a mountain – El Paso, Texas (Bird Flying By)

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV)

That caught my eye and then we started wondering how they got it way up there.

Cross on a mountain - El Paso, Texas

Cross on a mountain – El Paso, Texas

As we continued on I-10, we came to the spot where we saw the answer to that. It is not the best photo, but can you see the back and forth road up the side?  Would not want to be the one who built that “road.”

Road up mountain

Road up mountain

And then zoomed in:

Road up mountain - cropped

Road up mountain – cropped

What I didn’t know until this article was being written is that the cross is more than what it appeared to us. It is actually a cross with a statue of Jesus Christ on it. It is also in New Mexico, not Texas as we thought, though we were seeing it from Texas. (El Paso is at the western tip of Texas where New Mexico and Mexico all meet.) Also, these facts have changed this blog from scenery to about an interesting site.

“Summary: At the top, there is a statue of Jesus Crist. It is the largest such statue in the world. At 42.5 feet, it is larger than the one in the Andes Mountains by 1 foot. The project was begun on 29 Oct 1933, and completed 6 years later on 29 Oct 1939.” (From)

“One of the most iconic images in El Paso is the statue of Mount Cristo Rey — the Christ of the Rockies. The magnificent monument overlooks three states and two nations”

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (Galatians 6:14-15 KJV)

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)

I am so glad that Christ is no longer on the cross, but died, resurrected Himself and is now with the Father interceding for those of us who have accepted Him as our Personal Savior.

Gospel Message

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Moving On – Vacation – Part 3

White-eared Catbird (Ailuroedus buccoides) Houston Zoo by Lee

White-eared Catbird (Ailuroedus buccoides) Houston Zoo by Lee

We have many more Houston Zoo photos to share, but for now, let’s move on with our vacation. In Birdwatching Along the Way, the last statement was “Vacation Goal #1 – Met.” We had arrived at Houston and visited with my niece and went to the Houston Zoo.

On Thursday of that week, May 7th, we were suppose to drive up to Dallas. On Friday, we were to visit James J S Johnson, who writes on this blog, at the Institute for Creation Research. Also, I was looking forward to meeting Ernesto E. Carrasco, and seeing his Noah’s Ark Model. (Ernesto and I follow each other’s blog.). This was to be “Vacation Goal #2″.

During the month of May, Dallas had tremendously bad weather. They had tornadoes and flood warnings most of that month. The weather was turning bad even in Houston, so, with a call to Dr. Jim, we all agreed that it would be best to not come up to Dallas, at least at this time. Vacation Goal #2 – NOT Met!

West Texas from phone camera 5-7-15

West Texas from phone camera 5-7-15

The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness. (Psalms 72:3 KJV)

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (Matthew 5:14 KJV)

Dan and I decided to continue on west, taking the lower Interstate 10 route through west Texas and maybe try to get to Dallas on our return trip. We never did make it to Dallas. We were challenged coming back through lower Texas on our return trip because of the storms and flooding. Whoops! I’m getting ahead of myself. More about that later.

Let me tell you, Texas is one long state! I-10 across Texas, according to Wikipedia is – Length‎: ‎878.6 mi (1,414.0 km). You do not scoot across it in one day!

West Texas Speed Limit sign from phone camera 5-7-15

West Texas Speed Limit sign from phone camera 5-7-15

We were surprised to see this speed limit sign at 80 MPH. Never seen one that high. 70 or 75 maybe, but 80, not seen before. Forgot to put the camera up front, but grabbed the phone.

We ran 70, but, considering that there are miles and miles of open area, it is understandable why Texas has it this high out here. We got as far as Sonora, Texas and then on Friday we had some interesting things to investigate.

Roadrunner in Ft Stockton TX  by Lee

Roadrunner in Ft Stockton TX by Lee

I’ve already written about My Western Greater Roadrunners that we saw in Fort Stockton. That was on Friday, May 8th. At Fort Stockton, there is actually an old fort that was originally called Camp Stockton, now Fort Stockton.

Welcome to Historic Fort Stockton

Welcome to Historic Fort Stockton

“Military presence began here with the establishment of Camp Stockton in 1858 by troops of the 1st and 8th Infantry, US Army. It was named for Commodore Robert Field Stockton, a naval officer who distinguished himself during the Mexican War. This first site was southwest of the present location, near the present Courthouse.

The post protected travelers and settlers on the numerous roads and trails that made use of the abundant water supply of Comanche Springs. It was here that these trails crossed the Comanche War Trail.”

Below are some photos from Sonora and Fort Stockton. More tales to come before we leave Texas headed West. Next “Vacation Goal” – San Diego, California. On the way!

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Fort Stockton

Fort Stockton, Texas – Wikipedia

Birdwatching Along the Way

My Western Greater Roadrunners

Ernie’s Musings

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Meerkats at Houston Zoo

Meerkats at Houston Zoo by Lee

Meerkats at Houston Zoo by Lee

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11 KJV)

I know this blog is about birds, but the “Plus” in the name lets me show other critters. Every since the Meerkats where on the Animal Planet TV series several years back, they have been another favorite of mine. (I have LOTS of favorites) The enclosure for the Meerkats at the Houston Zoo was one of the nicer ones we have seen. They seemed to be right comfortable with their surroundings.

We were able to watch them through a glass wall, which gave great views of them. They were created to blend in with their habitat and they do it quite well. What care the Lord provides for His critters and their protection.

From the Houston Zoo’s Meerkat page.

Meerkats belong to the mongoose family and are also known as slender-tailed mongooses. These animals have a tolerance for venom, which is why they can eat scorpions and venomous snakes.


  • Scientific Name: Suricata suricatta
  • Range: Angola, Botswana, South Africa, and Namibia
  • Status in the Wild: Not Threatened
  • Location in the Zoo: Natural Encounters
  • Cool Animal Fact A group of meerkats is called a “mob” or a “gang.”

Here are most of the photos taken of these cute Meerkats:

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3 KJV)

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More Vacation Blogs

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Sunday Inspiration – Crows and Jays

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) by Dan

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) by Dan

The Corvidae Family has 143 species, of which many are known to people around the world. A member of this family, the Raven is a well recognized Bird of the Bible. On our recent vacation, in Arizona we were able to see a wild Common Raven and a Stellar’s Jay for the first time. Was able to add these to my Life List of Birds on eBird.

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) Wild SD Zoo Day by Lee

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) Wild SD Zoo Day by Lee

Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) by Lee at Desert Museum AZ

Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) by Lee at Desert Museum AZ

The Corvidae Family not only has Crows, Ravens, and Jays, but the family also hosts; the Choughs, Treepies, Magpies, Bushcrow, Nutcrackers, Jackdaws, and the Rook.

“They are considered the most intelligent of the birds, and among the most intelligent of all animals, having demonstrated self-awareness in mirror tests (European magpies) and tool-making ability (crows, rooks)—skills until recently regarded as solely the province of humans and a few other higher mammals. Their total brain-to-body mass ratio is equal to that of great apes and cetaceans, and only slightly lower than in humans.

They are medium to large in size, with strong feet and bills, rictal bristles, and a single moult each year (most passerines moult twice). Corvids are found worldwide except for the tip of South America and the polar ice caps. The majority of the species are found in tropical South and Central America, southern Asia and Eurasia, with fewer than 10 species each in Africa and Australasia, and Australia.” (Wikipedia)

Could this intelligent family of created birds from the Creator’s Hand be the reason the Raven was chosen by Noah?

And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. (Genesis 8:6-7 KJV)

Enjoy these beautiful birds from their Creator:

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“Peace Medley” ~ by Faith Baptist Choir

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Sunday Inspirations

Birds of the Bible – Ravens

Corvidae – Crows, Jays Family

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Wonga Dove and Taveta Weavers at Houston Zoo

Wonga Pigeon (Leucosarcia melanoleuca) Houston Zoo by Lee

Wonga Pigeon (Leucosarcia melanoleuca) Houston Zoo by Lee

And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. (Psalms 55:6 KJV)

Thought I’d share two videos and some photos of the Wonga Dove and the Taveta Weavers. They were in the Tropical Bird House which had enclosures with a glass in front of them and not a cage (YEAH!)

Tropical Bird House Houston Zoo by Lee

Tropical Bird House Houston Zoo by Lee

The Wonga Dove was calling and could be heard everywhere in the Bird House. One video is of the dove calling and the weavers next door. You will hear the sound of the dove even while videoing the weavers.

Taveta Weaver (Ploceus castaneiceps) Houston Zoo by Lee

Taveta Weaver (Ploceus castaneiceps) Houston Zoo by Lee

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)

The second video is of the Guira Cuckoos. Forgot to add it to that article. Houston Zoo – Vacation – Part 2-B

Here are the photos of these two species of birds:

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Houston Zoo’s Four-eyed Fish

Four-eyed Fish Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” (Genesis 1:20 NKJV)

I tried so hard to get a decent photo of the most amazing fish that I’ve ever heard of. Talk about a fantastic Creator. These fish have Four Eyes (actually pupils), thus they are called the Four-eyed Fish or Cuatro Ojos. They were at the Houston Zoo. (again a chain-link fence was in the way)

The best article found about these comes from Creation Ministries. “One of the strangest fish in the world is Anableps anableps,commonly called the ‘four-eyed fish’ because of the unique configuration of its eyes. These are large and bulging, like those of a frog, and are located on the top of its head so that it swims with its eyes half in and half out of the water.”

Four-eyed Fish ©WikiC

These eyes allow the fish to see insects and danger above the water, but also, they can watch below for food or danger. What a design!

Wikipedia has this diagram and explanation:

Four-eyed Fish diagram ©WikiC

Four-eyed Fish diagram ©WikiC

The Four-eyed fish eye. 1.Underwater retina 2.Lens 3. Air pupil 4. Tissue band 5. Iris 6. Underwater pupil 7. Air retina 8. Optic nerve

“Four-eyed fish have only two eyes, but the eyes are specially adapted for their surface-dwelling lifestyle. The eyes are positioned on the top of the head, and the fish floats at the water surface with only the lower half of each eye underwater. The two halves are divided by a band of tissue and the eye has two pupils, connected by part of the iris. The upper half of the eye is adapted for vision in air, the lower half for vision in water.  The lens of the eye also changes in thickness top to bottom to account for the difference in the refractive indices of air versus water.”

Just had to share these amazing fish. Trust you find these informative also.

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. (Isaiah 40:28 NKJV)

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Houston Zoo – Vacation – Part 2-B

You were shown the Blue-chinned Macaws and five different Turacos in Houston Zoo – Vacation – Part 2. Now to show you some more of the neat birds from the Lord’s Creative Hand.

The next set of birds were outside and most were still damp from the rain.

Grey-winged Trumpeter and Racquet-tailed Rollers Exhibit

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Grey-winged Trumpeter’s Beautiful Feathers Houston Zoo by Lee

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Racket-tailed Roller (Coracias spatulatus) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Racket-tailed Roller (Coracias spatulatus) Houston Zoo by Lee

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I kept trying to get a photo of the “racket-tail”, but he never really got in the right position. This was a new species to see for me.

Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

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Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

We have seen both the Cuckoos and the Malkohas before, but the Cuckoos were closer to us this time.

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Then a couple of favorites, the Kookabura, except this time it was a Blue-winged Kookabura, and a Micronesian Kingfisher.

Micronesian Kingfisher by Dan

Micronesian Kingfisher by Dan

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Blue-winged Kookaburra – What you looking at?  by Lee

Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Dan

Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Dan

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** Updated 6/27/15 **

Forgot about this video:

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Houston Zoo – Vacation – Part 2

From the last post, Birdwatching Along The Way – Vacation – Part 1, you know we arrived in Houston on Tuesday, the 5th. On Wednesday, we headed over to see their Houston Zoo. The weather was starting to turn “yukkie” and it was overcast. This made for making photos a challenge, at least for the outside exhibits. More about that weather later.

Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

The Houston Zoo is a very nice zoo with lots of the Creator’s Avian Friends to check out along with the other Critters from the Lord. Not sure where to begin, so, let’s start with the entrance. As you can tell, it had been raining, but stopped in time for us to visit.

Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

That fact, overcast skies, was the beginning of some of the challenges ahead. I have previously told of challenges with the fencing and cage material between us and the critters. Most of them are fine, but with birds, the bars or mesh can really get to be a challenge. Houston Zoo was loaded with those obstacles to keep me from getting any “perfect shots.” You photographers know exactly what I am referring to. Dan just gave me his “finished” photos that I can use and he was frustrated with how many didn’t turn out. Maybe I should just put all his up here and spare you the agony of seeing mine. :)

I informed him that many of the ones he isn’t going to let me use are better than most of mine. (He is a bit of a perfectionist.) Oh, the joys of a birdwatcher and a photographer marriage. Sure makes for some interesting discussions. Back to the Zoo.

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Sign Houston Zoo by Lee

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Sign Houston Zoo by Lee

When you enter the zoo, the first birds we saw were the Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis). We have seen Blue and Gold Macaws, but these are not seen as often in zoos. The challenge began.

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

When I tried to zoom in the fence was still in the way.

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

Never say never. Not the best, but you can tell that they are Blue-throated Macaws. Yeah!

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) Houston Zoo by Lee

Don’t worry, I’m not going to do that for every bird I tried to get photos of. If I did, this would be a loooonnngggg post. I took over 800 photos just at this zoo. Many of those are the signs like up above. I do that so I can try to put the right name on the right bird. I used to try to write them down, but it is much easier to take a photo. plus the signs are usually near the bird and time taken.

Livingstone’s Turaco (Tauraco livingstonii) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Mine (can see the bars on it’s chest):

Livingstone's Turaco (Tauraco livingstonii) Sign Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Livingstone’s Turaco (Tauraco livingstonii) Sign Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Now a good one by Dan:

Livingstone's Turaco (Tauraco livingstonii) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Dan

Livingstone’s Turaco (Tauraco livingstonii) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Dan

The Livingstone’s Turaco “is named after Charles Livingstone an English missionary that lived in Africa.” The Turaco Family has 23 species and the Houston Zoo has at least 5 species. In fact, I added at least four new birds to my Life List of All The Birds We Have Seen in this family:

Fischer’s Turaco (Tauraco fischeri) HZ, Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata) HZ, Livingstone’s Turaco (Tauraco livingstonii) HZ, Western Plantain-eater (Crinifer piscator) HZ, Red-crested Turaco (Tauraco erythrolophus) and the White-bellied Go-away-bird (Corythaixoides leucogaster) which we had seen at the National Aviary. (Will see some of these again later in the trip).

Fischer’s Turaco (Tauraco fischeri) Houston Zoo by Lee

White-bellied Go-away-bird (Corythaixoides leucogaster) Houston Zooby Lee

White-bellied Go-away-bird (Corythaixoides leucogaster) Houston Zooby Lee

The Go-away-bird reminds me of a verse:

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” (Matthew 14:16 NKJV)

Western Plantain-eater (Crinifer piscator) Houston Zoo

Western Plantain-eater (Crinifer piscator) Houston Zoo

Ross's Turaco (Musophaga rossae) Houston Zoo by Lee

Ross’s Turaco (Musophaga rossae) Houston Zoo by Lee

Red-crested Turaco (Tauraco erythrolophus) by Dan

Red-crested Turaco (Tauraco erythrolophus) by Dan

Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata) Houston Zoo

Great Blue Turaco (Corythaeola cristata) Houston Zoo

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Birdwatching Along The Way – Vacation – Part 1

Great Crested Flycatcher outside motel in Tallahassee

Great Crested Flycatcher outside motel in Tallahassee

We left home on Sunday afternoon, May 3rd and drove to Tallahassee, Florida. As I normally do, I kept a list of birds as were riding and I turned these into eBird. While traveling 70 mph, I usually don’t see anything except the larger birds, so the numbers are not spectacular.

Here is a summary of that day:

White Ibis 6, Black Vulture 2, Turkey Vulture 4, Red-tailed Hawk 2, Sandhill Crane 1, American Crow 4, Common Grackle 1, Boat-tailed Grackle 2. When we stopped for the night, we spotted a Northern Mockingbird, Northern Cardinal, a Brown Thrasher and Great Crested Flycatcher which I was able to get a photo of. (12 species)

Great Crested Flycatcher outside motel in Tallahassee

Great Crested Flycatcher outside motel in Tallahassee

It took the second photo to finally put the ID together. Flycatchers can be a challenge (to me), but the underside helped me ID this bird.

Not bad for a first day. The second day, we drove to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which was one of our longest driving days. Our first goal of the vacation was to be in Houston, Texas by Tuesday, May 5th, which is 1,000 miles from home.

I listed these birds with eBird for the 2nd day, May 4th. A total of 14 species – Great Blue Heron 1, Great Egret 1, Cattle Egret 2,Turkey Vulture 6, Osprey 1, Bald Eagle 1, Great Crested Flycatcher 1, American Crow 2, Fish Crow 1, Tree Swallow 1, Barn Swallow 1, Brown Thrasher 1, Common Grackle 2 and 2 Boat-tailed Grackles. Not much for 500 miles of riding.  Most of the interesting birds that day were the ones at the Welcome Center which I wrote about.

See the Birds at the Mississippi Welcome Center

On Tuesday, we had an easier day and decided to stop by the Battleship Texas. It is located in the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site. Dan was in the Navy and if there is a Ship Museum we usually visit it. While we were looking around it, as normal for me, if there is a bird nearby, my attention gets diverted. “Birdwatching Adventure” kicks in and I’m off to capture the birds with the camera. The ship will still be there, but birds have a way of moving on.

Here is a list of the birds seen while visiting the Battleship Texas on May 5th. (eBird report): Neotropic Cormorant  2, Brown Pelican  1, Great Egret  1, Black Vulture, Bonaparte’s Gull  1, Laughing Gull  2, Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  3, Cliff Swallow  10, Northern Mockingbird  1, European Starling  4, House Sparrow  2.

Here are some of those photos of the ship and the birds I tried to photograph.

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We were close to Houston and arrived safely at my niece’s house later that day. Vacation Goal #1 – Met.

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. (Psalms 4:8 NKJV)

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Some of the other articles that mention our vacation:

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