Falcated Duck at Zoo Miami

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) by Dan at ZM

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) by Dan at ZM

While we were on our latest visit to the Wings of Asia Aviary at Zoo Miami, the Falcated Duck caught my attention. We have seen it before, because there are photos of them, but for some reason, it was just another duck then. The sun caught its iridescent head and I started looking closer this time. Wings of Asia has one male and one female at this time.

These Falcated Duck (Teal) are just one more example of the variety and beauty the Lord gave His creatures when they were created.

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

Apparently when the male wears his breeding plumage, that green really shines.

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) ©WikiC

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) ©WikiC

I tried to get photos of his beautiful feathers at the back, but my photos aren’t the best, but maybe you can catch some of the great beauty that the Lord gave these Falcated Ducks.

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Falcated Ducks are mainly from Asia and belong to the Anatidae – Ducks, Geese and Swans Family. By the way, “falcate” means “curved or hooked like a sickle.” (Wordsmith)

Males and females have similar lengths at 19-21.5 in (46 to 53 cm.) Their weight can range from 422 to 770 grams, with males weighing more than their female counterparts. Wingspans range from 31-36 in (79 to 91 cm). The breeding male is unmistakable. Most of the body plumage is finely vermiculated grey, with the long sickle-shaped tertials, which give this species its name, hanging off its back. The large head is dark green with a white throat, and a dark green collar and bronzed crown. The vent region is patterned in yellow, black and white.

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) Female ©WikiC

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) Female ©WikiC

The female falcated duck is dark brown, with plumage much like a female wigeon. Its long grey bill is an aid to identification. The eclipse male is like the female, but darker on the back and head. In flight both sexes show a pale grey underwing. The blackish speculum is bordered with a white bar on its inner edge. Young birds are buffer than the female and have short tertials. Juveniles have plumage similar to females of the species.

The Anas falcata are known to have very striking and beautiful sickle feathers. This is in comparison with many other birds like swams and geese.

Medium dabbling duck with long black and white tertial feathers extending over black rump. Body white, black, gray in finely-scaled pattern. The crested iridescent head is green and purple-brown. White throat has black ring; black tail and black-green speculum are edged in white.

Breeds and winters in southeastern Asia but strongly migratory. Birds seen in North America beyond Alaska may be escaped captives from private collections or wild birds. Favors wetlands, lakes, ponds, rivers, estuaries, and marshes. Near-threatened in the wild. Most U.S. sightings occur between Pacific and Californian coasts, Baja peninsula, Mexico, India, and Canada. (From internet sources including WhatBird and Wikipedia)

Here’s a short clip I took of him washing his feathers at Zoo Miami.

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In 2011 a Falcated Duck family showed up at the Colusa Natiional Wildlife Refuge. Rare visitors from their normal range. It brought the photographers to catch the rare glimpse of these beautiful birds. Watch this video to see them in action,

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Falcated Duck – Audubon

Falcated Duck – WhatBird

Falcated Duck – Wikipedia

Falcated Duck Make Rare Appearance

Birds of the World – Anatidae – Ducks, Geese and Swans

Wordless Birds

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Here I Am

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

“Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily. (Psalms 102:2 KJV)

Dan and I just returned from a three-day birdwatching adventure. With almost 1,000 photos and videos to sort, name, and clean-up, I’ll have plenty to post.

The Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is becoming a favorite of mine, because they are so hard to find. The Lord has given them such camouflage and an ability to freeze when threatened, they are a challenge. We were fortunate this time while visiting the Wings of Asia aviary at Zoo Miami. By following the feeder, that enjoys the birds as much as just working there, he helped us find the new Tawny Frogmouth. They now have two of them. This new one is more active and alert. Could it be that the feeder had a cup with 4 mice in it?

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

We actually saw Tawny with his eyes open and I even got a short video of him opening that mouth that gives them their name.

I have written about this bird before, Zoo Miami’s Wings of Asia – Wow! – I, seeing this one, forces me to write again. They belong to the Podargidae – Frogmouths Family which has 16 species of Frogmouths.

Masters of Camouflage Related to Oilbirds, Whip-poor-wills, and Nighthawks, the Tawny Frogmouth’s excellent camouflage covering makes it look like dried leaves. When frightened, the bird freezes in plosition and, with its cryptic colorations, looks like broken bramches.” (Amazing Bird Facts and Trivia, p 135) Isn’t the Lord’s Wisdom fantastic?

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

Another book, (National Geographic, Bird Coloration, p 150-151). says this: “Some birds hide not by being hard to discern, but by appearing not to be birds. The birds that best mimic inanimate objects are found in two groups of distantly related nightjars, the potoos in the Neotropics and the frogmouths in tropical Asia and Australia. Species in both of these groups hunt flying insects at night and rest during the day. Potoos and frogmouths use a strategy to hide during the day that differs … They hide conspicuously in view. The strategy…is to look exactly like an extension of a branch on which the bird sit.”

“Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. (Psalms 143:9 KJV)

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

“They are named for their large flattened hooked bills and huge frog-like gape, which they use to capture insects. Their flight is weak. Their longer bristles which may exist to protect the eyes from insect prey.  Tawny frogmouths are large, big-headed birds that can measure from 13 to 21 in (34 to 53 cm) long….stocky and compact with rounded wings and short legs. They have wide, heavy olive-grey to blackish bills that are hooked at the tip and topped with distinctive tufts of bristles. Their eyes are large, yellow, and frontally placed, a trait shared by owls” (Wikipedia)

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This video is of two segments. The keeper tried to get him to come down and then we came back a second time. Several photographers were waiting to get a photo of him coming down, but I guess this calls for another excuse to visit the Wings of Asia.

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Podargidae – Frogmouths Family

Zoo Miami’s Wings of Asia – Wow! – I

Wings of Asia Aviary

Zoo Miami

Sunday Inspiration – Hide Thou Me

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Six Word Birds – The “V”

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) by Lee

White Pelicans on the Wing at Circle B Bar Reserve by Lee

Their Creator Gave Them The “V”

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Another Video at Birdwatching at Circle B Bar Reserve – 12/23/09

Birds of the Bible

Birds of the World

Wordless Birds

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Baby Elephant Receiving Help

Here is an interesting video that I thought you might enjoy. God has given animals an instinct to assist their own. Shouldn’t we as Christians also be ready and willing to help others?

Isa 41:6 Everyone helped his neighbor, And said to his brother, “Be of good courage!”

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Saw this on the lastest Dusky’s Wonders

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Birdwatching Term – Mobbing

 

Crow on Eagles Back ©©

Maybe A Little Too Close – Crow on Eagles Back ©©

Birdwatching Term – Mobbing

In the recent article, The Old Orchard Bully – Chapter 2, the whole group of birds united to chase off the Black Cat. That is called, “mobbing.”

Some ask why don’t the bigger birds fight back? Here are a few quotes from various sources:

“This behavior – like calling your family for help – is used by many bird species. The best time to observe mobbing is spring and early summer, when breeding birds are trying to protect their nests and young. Birds including swallows, blackbirds, and even these American Crows, seen here mobbing a Red-tailed Hawk, know that there is strength and power in numbers. And they’ve learned to join forces to protect themselves. Be sure to watch the video!”

Quote from Why Don’t Hawks Fight Back? :All agreed that if a red-tailed hawk reached out and grabbed a crow with its talons, that would be the end of the crow. Or as one of the professionals put it, in scientific terms, “the crow would be toast.” But although large raptors have the necessary weapons, the energy cost of pursuing or otherwise attempting to catch a crow is normally not worth it. Crows are agile creatures and would be very difficult to catch in flight. So a hawk typically ignores the crows or flies away.”

A Great Horned Owl being mobbed!

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Just as the Lord helps His Created critters, the Lord gives us promises about seeking His help:

But the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” (2 Kings 17:39 NKJV)

Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies. (Psalms 60:11-12 NKJV)

I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. (Psalms 18:37 NKJV)

O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. (Psalms 25:2 NKJV)

My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, And from those who persecute me. (Psalms 31:15 NKJV)

For I will not trust in my bow, Nor shall my sword save me. But You have saved us from our enemies, And have put to shame those who hated us. In God we boast all day long, And praise Your name forever. Selah (Psalms 44:6-8 NKJV)

Some interesting links about mobbing:

Why Don’t The Crows Fight Back? – Savannah River Ecology Lab

Small Birds Mob Big Ones – Bird Note, with audio

Mobbing – RSPB

The Superb Fairywren – The Corporate Mob ~ by a j mithra

Birdwatching Terms

Birdwatching Tips 

Watching Birds

Wordless Birds

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Lake Morton Birdwatching after Round-up

Green Heron at Lake Morton by Lee

Green Heron at Lake Morton by Lee

Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count. (Psalms 40:5 NASB)

We finally took some time to go see what birds were at Lake Howard. I was a little disappointed that the winter birds haven’t started arriving yet. It is either that, or the fact that they have been re-working the shoreline at the park. They are making it more “people-friendly,” but seem to be making it less “bird-friendly.” Trust that is not going to keep our Wood Ducks, Ring-neck Ducks and Ruddies away. None of them were present.

I really didn’t check the whole lake though. I have been having some leg issues and haven’t been birdwatching lately. In fact, I only crossed the street and birded right there by the shore. You might keep me in your prayers. Had a Doctor appointment today with encouraging word, especially that surgery most like can be avoided on my feet. Friday, another appointment to start some physical therapy for my left leg. It has been weak and causing me to “waddle” like the ducks. Never heard of a “Lee Duck” have you? Hope not.

Here are some of the photos taken Saturday by the shore of Lake Morton. There are still some swans in the pens after the recent yearly round-up of the swans. They gave them all vaccinations. Rounded up well over a hundred of them.

Mute Swan in pen at Lake Morton by Lee

Mute Swan in pen at Lake Morton by Lee

And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, (Leviticus 11:18 KJV)

I found this very interesting video from YouTube when they did the round-up in 2010.

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This link is to this year’s story about the Swan Round-up. (It has some neat photos)

http://www.theledger.com/article/20141001/NEWS/141009972/0/

Enjoy a slide show of some of what we saw.

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Wordless Birds

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Pelican Learns to Fly – YouTube

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) by Ray

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) by Ray

 

What an interesting video. Just had to share it.

I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am like an owl of the desert. (Psalms 102:6 NKJV)

They are mentioned 3 times in Scripture. Isaiah 34:11 and Zephaniah 2:14 and the previous verse.

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“Abandoned by his flock, Bigbird the pelican stumbled ashore after a storm and was taken in by the staff of Greystoke Mahale in Tanzania. Watch as Bigbird learns to fly for the first time.”

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Bible Birds – Pelicans

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(Found on Kid’s blog)

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Singing Dogs at Lowry Park Zoo

Singing Dogs at Lowry Pk Zoo

Singing Dog at Lowry Pk Zoo

Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. (Psalms 100:2 KJV)

On one of our trips to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL, the New Guinea Singing Dogs were enjoying themselves with a duet.

Here is the video of them chorus howling.

 

 

The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. (Isaiah 14:7 KJV)

The dogs were mentioned in Bali Myna and Singing Dogs. It also contains a video taken that day.

The New Guinea singing dog (also known as the New Guinea dingo, Hallstrom dog, bush dingo, New Guinea wild dog, and singer) is a wild dog once found throughout New Guinea. New Guinea singing dogs are named for their unique vocalization. Little is known about New Guinea singing dogs in their native habitat. There are only two confirmed photographs of wild singing dogs. Current genetic research indicates that the ancestors of New Guinea dingoes were probably taken overland through present day China to New Guinea by travelers

Compared to other species in its genus, the New Guinea singing dog is described as relatively short-legged and broad-headed. These dogs have an average shoulder height of 12–18 in (31–46 centimetres) and weigh 20–31 lb (9–14 kilograms). They do not have rear dewclaws.

Singing Dog Sign LPZ by Lee

Singing Dog Sign LPZ by Lee

The limbs and spine of Singers are very flexible, and they can spread their legs sideways to 90°, comparable to the Norwegian Lundehund. They can also rotate their front and hind paws more than domestic dogs, which enables them to climb trees with thick bark or branches that can be reached from the ground; however their climbing skills do not reach the same level as those of the gray fox.

The eyes, which are highly reflective, are almond-shaped and are angled upwards from the inner to outer corners with dark eye rims. Eye color ranges from dark amber to dark-brown. Their eyes exhibit a bright green glow when lights are shown in at them in low light conditions. These two features allow singing dogs to see more clearly in low light, a trait which is unusual in canids.

New Guinea singing dogs have erect, pointed, fur-lined ears. As with other wild dogs, the ‘ears’ perk or lay forward, which is suspected to be an important survival features for the species. The ears can be rotated like a directional receiver to pick up faint sounds. Singer tails should be bushy, long enough to reach the hock, free of kinks, and have a white tip.

Singing Dogs at Lowry Pk Zoo

Singing Dog at Lowry Pk Zoo

New Guinea singing dogs are named for their distinctive and melodious howl, which is characterized by a sharp increase in pitch at the start and very high frequencies at the end. According to observations the howling of these dogs can be clearly differentiated from that of Australian dingoes, and differs significantly from that of grey wolves and coyotes.

An individual howl lasts an average of 3 seconds, but can last as long as 5 seconds. At the start, the frequency rises and stabilizes for the rest of the howling, but normally shows abrupt changes in frequency.

New Guinea singing dogs sometimes howl together, which is commonly referred to as chorus howling. During chorus howling, one dog starts and others join in shortly afterward. In most cases, chorus howling is well synchronized, and the howls of the group end nearly simultaneously. Spontaneous howling is most common during the morning and evening hours. When they are kept with dogs that bark, Singers may mimic the other dogs. (Wikipedia with editing)

Do you sing?

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (Ephesians 5:19 KJV)

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See:

Birds Of The Bible – Joy And Laughter

Bali Myna at Lowry Park and Palm Beach Zoos

(Found this on the Kid’s Blog, never posted here.)

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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.

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More Sunday Inspiration

Sean Fielder’s YouTube Page

Is There a God?

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Peterson’s Field Guide Videos Updated

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) by Ray

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) by Ray

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. (Proverbs 9:9 KJV)

Peterson Field Guide-Videos

Finished updating the missing videos for the Peterson Field Guide videos. The Vodpod company stopped supporting its videos, which was unknown to me. All of these videos were on YouTube and are now working properly again.

They are very interesting and if you haven’t seen them or at least for a while, they are worth checking out. Here are some of the titles:

How-to Videos:

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. (Proverbs 9:9 KJV)

How to Identify Birds
Topography (Parts of the Bird)
Bird Songs and Sounds
Range Maps

Bird Families:

Common Loon
Atlantic Puffin
Ducks, Geese, Swans
Wood Duck
Shorebirds Overview
Shorebirds ID
Gulls and Terns
Heron, Egrets, Bitterns – Updated
Wild Turkey
Raptors Overview
Raptors ID
Bald Eagle
Peregrine Falcon
Owls
Greater Roadrunner
Hummingbirds
Woodpeckers
Red-Headed Woodpecker
Flycatchers
Northern Mockingbird
Thrushes
American Robin
Warblers
Meadowlarks
Finches
Northern Cardinal
Sparrows

Enjoy! Dust is still flying as I’m still searching for other broken Vodpod videos.

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Birds of the World – Laughingthrush and Allies

Red-tailed Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron milnei) and Black-throated Laughingthrush by Lee at Zoo Miami

Red-tailed Laughingthrush and Black-throated Laughingthrush by Lee at Zoo Miami

A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; (Ecclesiastes 3:4 NKJV)

Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh. (Luke 6:21 NKJV)

I trust you enjoyed seeing the Laughingthrush – Leiothrichidae family in the Sunday Inspiration – Laughingthrush article. From my first encounter with them, they have been a delight to watch. We have only seen them in Zoos, because they live in Southeast Asia and Indian Subcontinent.

(Black and White) Sumatran Laughingthrush (Garrulax bicolor) by Lee

(Black and White) Sumatran Laughingthrush (Garrulax bicolor) by Lee

The Laughingthrushes are the genus Garrulax and Trochalopteron of the Leiothrichidae family of passerine birds. They primarily occur in tropical Asia. These are rangy, medium-sized landbirds. These birds have strong legs and are quite terrestrial. This group is not strongly migratory, and most species have short rounded wings, and a weak flight.

A few, like the Streaked Laughingthrush occur in fairly open habitats, but most are jungle species, difficult to observe in the dense vegetation they prefer.

These are noisy birds, and the characteristic laughing calls are often the best indication that these birds are present. They frequently occur in groups of up to a dozen, and the rainforest species like the Ashy-headed Laughingthrush often occur in the mixed feeding flocks typical of tropical Asian jungle.

They are small to medium sized birds. They have strong legs, and many are quite terrestrial. They typically have generalised bills, similar to those of a thrush. Most have predominantly brown plumage, with minimal difference between the sexes, but many more brightly coloured species also exist. This group is not strongly migratory, and most species have short rounded wings, and a weak flight. They live in lightly wooded or scrubland environments, ranging from swamp to near-desert. They are primarily insectivorous, although many will also take berries, and the larger species will even eat small lizards and other vertebrates. (Wikipedia)

The Sumatran Laughingthrush (Garrulax bicolor), also known as the Black-and-white Laughingthrush, is a member of the Leiothrichidae family. It is endemic to highland forest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, The laughingthrushes are a family of mostly Old World passerine birds. They are rather diverse in size and coloration. These are birds of tropical areas, with the greatest variety in Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. The entire family was previously included in the Timaliidae.

 

From the Life List of All Birds We Have Seen (Not up to date), here are the family members we have seen so far.

Laughingthrushes (Family Leiothrichidae)

White-crested Laughingthrush (Garrulax leucolophus) by Lee Miami WA

White-crested Laughingthrush (Garrulax leucolophus) by Lee Miami WA

FUN FACT – White-crested Laughing Thrushes are noisy, social birds who occasionally burst into loud calls that sound just like laughter. (National Aviary)

White-crested Laughingthrush (Garrulax leucolophus) MZ NA WA

Sumatran Laughingthrush (Garrulax bicolor) by Dan at  Wing of Asia ZM

Sumatran Laughingthrush (Garrulax bicolor) by Dan at Wing of Asia ZM

Sumatran Laughingthrush (Garrulax bicolor) WA by Dan

Blue-crowned Laughingthrush (Garrulax courtoisi) at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

Blue-crowned Laughingthrush (Garrulax courtoisi) at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

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Black-throated Laughingthrush (Garrulax chinensis) ProofShot

Black-throated Laughingthrush (Garrulax chinensis) ProofShot – Zoo Miami by Lee

Black-throated Laughingthrush (Garrulax chinensis) WA by Lee

Spotted Laughingthrush (Garrulax ocellatus) WA

Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush (Garrulax mitratus) WA

(Spectacled) Red-winged Laughingthrush (Garrulax formosus) WA

Red-tailed Laughingthrush  by Dan at Wings of Asia Zoo Miami

Red-tailed Laughingthrush by Dan at Wings of Asia Zoo Miami

Red-tailed Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron milnei) WA by Dan

Red-faced Liocichla (Liocichla phoenicea) Proof shot by Lee Riverbanks Zoo

Red-faced Liocichla (Liocichla phoenicea) Proof shot by Lee Riverbanks Zoo

Red-faced Liocichla (Liocichla phoenicea) WA RZ by Lee

Red-billed Leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea) by Dan's Pix at National Aviary

Red-billed Leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea) by Dan’s Pix at National Aviary

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Sunday Inspiration – Laughingthrush

Laughingthrushes (Family Leiothrichidae)

Life List of All Birds We Have Seen

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Circle B After Recent Rains

On Wednesday morning, July 16th, we decided to go out to Circle B Bar Reserve and see how the water levels were doing. We have had quite a bit of rain recently and figured that it had to be better than last time. It was quite dry then.

We were not disappointed. The marsh actually looked like a marsh for a change. There weren’t too many birds, but then again this time of the year most are up north.

Removing the huge fallen Oak tree at Circle B

Removing the huge fallen Oak tree at Circle B

If the clouds are full of rain, They empty themselves upon the earth; And if a tree falls to the south or the north, In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie. He who observes the wind will not sow, And he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything. (Ecclesiastes 11:3-5 NKJV)

We were greeted at the parking lot by a crew working on a huge oak tree that had fallen. They were removing it. Sure glad no cars had been parked there at the time it came down.

Western Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) With Fish

Western Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) With Fish

We managed to see quite a few Ospreys, one eating a huge fish up in a tree. There were at least five Tricolored Herons, one of them a juvenile, a Snowy Egret, two Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, some Common Gallinules, an Anhinga and lots of Black and Turkey Vultures circling overhead.

 

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) Juvenile Circle B by Lee

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) Juvenile Circle B by Lee

It was hot, humid, and it began to sprinkle, so we left after about 50 minutes or so. None the less, it is always enjoyable to get out and enjoy the Lord’s creations. I am also thankful that the Lord gave the rain recently to fill up the marsh again and water to drink. We had cool water in the car and did it ever “hit the spot.”

Here are some of my photos and videos that I took.

How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation. (Daniel 4:3 KJV)

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