Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) by S Slayton
While working on the El Carpintero – The Woodpeckers article, many Bible verses about “gathering” and “storing” things were found. Following are some of those verses with photos. There is also a video of an Acorn Woodpecker gathering his supply.
We have used the verse about birds teaching us, so let’s see what can be learned this time about gathering and storing. (Job 12:7)
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) with Hoard or Grainary WikiC
He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame. (Proverbs 10:5 NKJV)
Wise people store up knowledge, But the mouth of the foolish is near destruction. The rich man’s wealth is his strong city; The destruction of the poor is their poverty. The labor of the righteous leads to life, The wages of the wicked to sin. (Proverbs 10:14-16 NKJV)
Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) by Ray – They will store food for later use.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; (Proverbs 2:7 NKJV)
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) Collecting for Cache
For they do not know to do right,’ Says the LORD, ‘Who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.’ “ (Amos 3:10 NKJV)
We have been running all day, but wanted to share something with you. Keep watching those birds. You never know what they will be doing next.
I don’t believe the first two birds are giving a good example of this verse:
Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, (1 Timothy 6:18 NKJV)
and the second one:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NKJV)
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. (Psalms 91:4 KJV)
When we went to the Lowry Park Zoo yesterday and enjoyed seeing the normal birds and animals that our Lord has created for us to observe. The African Penguins need to be highlighted. One young immature penguin caught my attention. He or she was in the process of shedding it “peach fuzz.” (That is my term.)
The top photo shows a young penguin is already wearing a normal “coat of feathers.” Then I spotted a younger African Penguin standing next to its parent. Sizes of parent and youth were almost the same, but appearances were quite different.
African Penguin parent and young one by Lee LPZ
When it turned around, I thought, that is one that only a mother could love. :)
African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) by Lee LPZ
“The African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is also known as the Blackfooted Penguin. …They have a black stripe and black spots on the chest, the spots being unique for every penguin, like human fingerprints. They have pink sweat glands above their eyes. The hotter the penguin gets, the more blood is sent to these sweat glands so it may be cooled by the surrounding air, thus making the glands more pink. The males are larger than the females and have larger beaks,” (from Lowry Park Zoo Penguins) That is what that pink is above the eyes. They belong to the Spheniscidae – Penguins Family.
African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) by Lee LPZ
The African Penguin is a pursuit diver and feeds primarily on fish and squid. Once extremely numerous, the African Penguin is declining due to a combination of threats and is classified as endangered. It is a charismatic species and is popular with tourists in the region.
African Penguin wing with feathers appearing.
As their name suggests, African penguins live in Africa. They are mostly found on small islands off the coast of southern Africa. African penguins have two nicknames — black-footed penguins and jackass penguins. The first name comes from their black feet. The second comes from the sound they make. When African penguins call out, they shriek like donkeys.
African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) in transition
Chicks fledge at 60 to 130 days, the timing depending on environmental factors such as quality and availability of food. The fledged chick then go to sea on their own and return to their natal colony after a lengthy time period of 12–22 months to molt into adult plumage. When penguins molt, they are unable to forage as their new feathers are not waterproof yet; therefore they fast over the entire molting period, which in African Penguins takes about 20 days.
African Penguin molting it’s “Peach Fuzz” by Lee LPZ
“Baby African penguins have gray down feathers covering their entire bodies when they first break out of the shells. Then, their backs turn gray-blue and their bellies white. They don’t yet have white bands on their faces and black bands across their chests like their parents. Baby African penguins are helpless, so their parents do not leave them alone. There is always one parent staying home to take care of the young. The other goes out to catch fish and squid. Baby African penguins grow fast. In about 8-18 weeks, they are ready to bid their parents goodbye and live by themselves.” (edhelper.com)
It has been a long time coming, but a quick look at the reviews will show why. It’s very much more than just a field guide, though even the Field Guide/Bird Guide modules set new standards with very thorough descriptions, both illustrations and photos (including many of mine) of more than 900 bird species, sounds of more than 700 species, maps showing subspecies and seasonal variation and breeding and modules for Similar Birds, Identification, My Location, My Lists and Birding Sites. Check it out for yourself!
I’ve just been down to Bowen and Ayr checking out locations and taking photos for the digital version of Jo Wieneke’s Where to Find Birds in North-east Queensland, and have visited beaches and mudflats I had waders on the brain when I was considering the choice of this week’s bird. So when I noticed in my iPad version of Pizzey and Knight, that the 2009 record of an American Golden Plover at Boat Harbour NSW – second photo – had been accepted by the BirdLife Australia Rarities Committee (Pizzey and Knight is very thorough!) I thought Aha, let’s do a comparison of Pacific and American Golden Plovers.
American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica) by Ian 1
Waders in non-breeding plumage are often rather drab and very confusing for identification but some of them are sartorially quite splendid when breeding. To see Northern Hemisphere waders in breeding plumage, Australian birders need to be either lucky just before the birds leave Australia in March or follow them to their breeding grounds. I first photographed the American Golden Plovers beside an icy lake in Barrow on the northern tip of Alaska in June 2008, first photo. Gorgeous birds they are with striking black and white and gold spangled upper parts and black bellies and faces with a broad white band along the sides of the neck and upper breast.
In March the following year, I was in Sydney and visited my accountant in Sutherland at a time when there was an unconfirmed report of a non-breeding American Golden Plover at nearby Boat Harbour on the Kurnell Peninsula near Botany Bay. This bird was in a flock of about 30 Pacific Golden Plovers, the species that is the common one in Australia in the southern summer/northern winter. Non-breeding Golden Plovers are notoriously difficult to separate from one another and at that stage 5 out of 7 reports of American Golden Plovers submitted to the Rarities Committee had been rejected. Having both species together made it much easier, as one bird stood as clearly different from the others, with much greyer plumage and white rather than buff facial markings (comparing photos 2 and 4).
American Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica) by Ian 2
Plumage is variable, of course, and not enough for definite identification in this case. The situation was complicated by the Pacific Golden Plovers beginning to change into breeding plumage. The bird in the third photo, for example, is in nearly complete breeding plumage, though the black plumage still has grey patches. In this plumage, the most obvious field mark is the white band along the neck and breast. In the Pacific, it is narrower and much more extensive than the band in the American one and extends down the side of the lower breast to the undertail coverts.
Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) by Ian 3
There are differences in size too, the American being larger, heavier-billed and relatively shorter-legged but these are variable too and only reliable if you have birds in the hand and a statistically large sample. So, at the end of the day, the committee wanted to know about relative lengths of tails, primary and tertiary wing feathers of resting birds. These can be judged from photos as well as in the hand and the submitters of the rarity report included one of my photos. The wing tips of Pacific Golden Plovers do not extend much beyond the tail, but the wing tips of American ones extend about 50mm beyond it.
Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) by Ian 4
So, those are the lengths you need to go both literally and figuratively sometimes to identify rare birds! The Pacific Golden Plover nests mainly in northern Russia but its breeding range does extend to western Alaska and overlaps with that of the American Golden Plover, so there is no doubt that they are separate biological species. If all this seems a bit arcane, don’t worry: just enjoy the photos. Golden Plovers of any hue are lovely birds and I always enjoy seeing them.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. (Proverbs 25:11 KJV)
Thanks, Ian, for more lessons on how to identify birds, especially these two plovers. I have had the privilege of seeing the American Golden Plover, but not the Pacific one. It does look like specks of gold on their wings. The only bird mentioned with golden feathers in the Bible is the dove.
Though you lie down among the sheepfolds, You will be like the wings of a dove covered with silver, And her feathers with yellow gold.” (Psalms 68:13 NKJV)
Ian didn’t mention their songs, but here are the two from xeno-canto. Both by Andrew Spencer.
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)
All week I have been posting articles of Thanksgiving, since yesterday was Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. So today, in that same thankful attitude, I am just going to share some of my most favorite birds. These are not necessarily birds we have seen, but super birds that the Lord created. I am especially thankful for my husband who enjoys our avian friends as well as I do.
Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla) and Dan Taken at the Brevard Zoo
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3 KJV)
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl) by Judd Patterson I love all the birds in the Hummingbird family
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)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) by Dan What a paintbrush the Lord must have!
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: (1 Timothy 4:4 KJV)
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:20 KJV)
This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:24 KJV)
Today we finally were able to get a little birdwatching in. I have been sick for the last 3 weeks fighting bronchitis and felt well enough to enjoy some time with our avian friends at Lake Morton. Lake Morton is in Lakeland, Florida. It is one of the few places around where people feed the birds. You can hardly get out of your car and cross the street before they start heading your way. The local birds have been “well-trained.”
Lee at Lake Morton by Dan
Off we went, with a few tidbits in hand and my new hat. Since the skin cancer cells were removed from my neck recently, I was told to stay out of the direct sunlight.
Most of the normal residents were hanging out. There were lots of Mallards, American White Ibises, Boat-tailed Grackles, plus some Great Blue Herons, Anhingas, Great Egrets, Mute and Black Swans, and the Bald Eagle made His appearance.
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at Lake Morton by Lee
Some of our winter visitors were hanging out also. There were lots of American Coots
American Coot (Fulica americana) at Lake Morton by Lee
There were many Ring-necked Ducks – The Male
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) Male at Lake Morton by Lee
And the Female
Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) Female at Lake Morton by Lee
If you look at that first photo up close, way out in the middle of the lake you will see small ducks. This is a good as I could zoom in on them. They were Ruddy Ducks. Well over 50 of them on the lake floating around.
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) at Lake Morton by Lee
Also, way off across the lake were two American White Pelicans with the usual Double-crested Cormorants swimming along with them. Again, this is zoomed way in.
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) with DC Cormorants at Lake Morton by Lee
I also caught an Anhinga setting along the shore.
Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) at Lake Morton by Lee
The Ring-billed Gulls are back down and this one seems to be a younger one.
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) at Lake Morton by Lee
All in all, for about a 35-40 minute visit to the lake, we enjoyed checking out these and several more I didn’t mention. The Lord gave us good weather until it started sprinkling. Then I made a fast retreat to the car. No since getting sick again.
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: (Isaiah 55:10 KJV)
Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus) by Daves BirdingPix
And David said to Jonathan, “Indeed tomorrow is the New Moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king to eat. But let me go, that I may hide in the field until the third day at evening. (1 Samuel 20:5 NKJV)
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. (Psalms 27:5 KJV)
Nacunda Nighthawk (Podager nacunda) by R Scanlon
And do not hide Your face from Your servant, For I am in trouble; Hear me speedily. (Psalms 69:17 NKJV)
Australian Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles cristatus) by Ian
Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. (Psalms 143:9 KJV)
Collared Nightjar(Caprimulgus enarratus) by Dave’s BirdingPix
And when Absalom’s servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said unto them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 17:20 KJV)
American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) by Daves BirdingPix
Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. (Proverbs 1:28-30 KJV)
Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought. (Isaiah 41:12 KJV)
Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) by J Fenton
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. (Amos 8:11-12 KJV)
Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (Luke 15:8-10 KJV)
Pallid Scops Owl (Otus brucei) by Nikhil Devasar
Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. (John 7:34 KJV)
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (Romans 7:18 KJV)
Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) on nestby Nikhil Devasar
If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. (Deuteronomy 30:10-11 KJV)
Pale-yellow Robin (Tregellasia capito) in nest by Ian
And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. (Isaiah 45:3 KJV)
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) on nest by Kent Nickell
Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. (Isaiah 48:6 KJV)
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: (1 Corinthians 2:7 KJV)
Buff-banded Rail (Gallirallus philippensis) by Lee
rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:4 NKJV)
When the Lord created the birds, some of them he made very beautiful to look at, others he made very hard to find. He did that for their protection. Either way, He loves them and cares for them. How much more does he care for us, love us and protect us?