Formed By Him – Rock Birds and The Rock – I

Waves on Rocks - Point Lobos State Reserve by Daves BP

Waves on Rocks – Point Lobos State Reserve by Daves BP

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. (Psalms 18:2 KJV)

When the Lord created the world and all that is therein, He created the rocks and hills and the birds that He created were well adapted to live in those places. Birdwatchers through the years have observed them in this habitat of rocks, stones, cliffs, and other high rocky places. Just as Adam named the first birds, ornithologists (bird people) are still naming birds.

Searching through the latest IOC 2.7 List of Birds, I found 50 birds with “Rock” in their names. Searching the Bible for the word “Rock”, I found around 130 verses referring to a “rock” or “The Rock.” Here is a blend of the birds and some of the Scriptures verses that show the mighty Hand of God at work and the neat “Rock Birds” Formed by Him.

Here is a list of the first 25 birds with “Rock” in their name in taxonomic order with a few words about them :

Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) by Daves BirdingPix

Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) by Daves BirdingPix

Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) – It is a sedentary species which breeds across arctic and subarctic Eurasia and North America (including Greenland) on rocky mountainsides and tundra.
Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca)©AGrosset  – This is a resident breeder in dry, open and often hilly country. It nests in a scantily lined ground scrape laying 5-21 eggs. The Rock Partridge takes a wide variety of seeds and some insect food.

The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. (Psalms 18:46 KJV)

strong>Rock Bush Quail (Perdicula argoondah)© – is a species of quail found in parts of peninsular India.  They are found in small coveys and are often detected only suddenly, when they burst out into flight en masse from under vegetation.

Southern Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) by Bob-Nan

Southern (Western) Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) by Dave’sBirdingPix- Their common name refers to the fact that, unlike many other penguins which get around obstacles by sliding on their bellies or by awkward climbing using their flipper-like wings as aid, Rockhoppers will try to jump over boulders and across cracks. This behaviour is by no means unique to this species however – at least the other “crested” penguins of the genus Eudyptes hop around rocks too. But the Rockhopper’s congeners occur on remote islands in the New Zealand region, whereas the rockhopper penguins are found in places that were visited by explorers and whalers since the Early Modern era. Hence, it is this particular species in which this behavior was first noted.
Northern Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes moseleyi)© – Same as above

Rock Shag (Phalacrocorax magellanicus) by Daves BirdingPix

Rock Shag (Phalacrocorax magellanicus) by Daves BirdingPix

Rock Shag (Phalacrocorax magellanicus) – The Rock Shag usually nests on ledges on steep, bare, rocky cliffs. It normally lays 3 eggs, though nests of from 2 to 5 eggs have been seen. Nesting colonies range is size from 5 pairs to nearly 400.

Rock Kestrel (Falco rupicolus) ©©SteveCrane

Rock Kestrel (Falco rupicolus) – It does not require woodland to be present as long as there are alternate perching and nesting sites like rocks or buildings. It will thrive in treeless steppe where there are abundant herbaceous plants and shrubs to support a population of prey animals.

Rock Sandpiper (Calidris ptilocnemis) by Ian

Rock Sandpiper (Calidris ptilocnemis) – They nest on the ground either elevated on rocks or in lower damp location. The males makes several scrapes; the female choose one and lays 4 eggs. Both the male and female take the responsibility for incubation. Birds migrate south to rocky ice-free Pacific coasts in winter.

Now Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until the late rains poured on them from heaven. And she did not allow the birds of the air to rest on them by day nor the beasts of the field by night. (2 Samuel 21:10 NKJV)

Rock Pratincole (Glareola nuchalis) – This species shows a preference for exposed emergent rocks in large rivers and streams, sometimes also frequenting mud and sandbars by lagoons. Eggs are laid directly into shallow depressions, cracks, and on the flat tops of bare rocks surrounded by deep and sometimes fast-flowing water, or on rock ledges and under overhangings. Most nests are found within a metre or two of the water level. (Bird Life)

Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon (Petrophassa rufipennis) by Ian

Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon (Petrophassa rufipennis)by Ian  – found in deep sandstone gorges, rocky gullies & cliffs in the area from the Katherine Gorge to Oenpelli in the Northern Territory of Australia. – See Ian’s Bird of the Week
White-quilled Rock Pigeon (Petrophassa albipennis)by Ian  – Found only among the cliffs, gorges & boulder strewn sloped regions of the Kimberley Division of Western Australia & adjacent Northern Territory east to the Flora River & Stokes Range.

Rock Parrot (Neophema petrophila) by Ian

Rock Parrot (Neophema petrophila) by Ian- Rocky islands and coastal dune areas are the preferred habitats for this species, which is found from Robe, South Australia westwards across coastal South and Western Australia to Shark Bay.

New Zealand Rockwren (Xenicus gilviventris) ©WikiC

New Zealand Rockwren (Xenicus gilviventris) by KentNickell – it is a poor flier, rarely flying more than two metres off the ground or for distances or more than 30 m. It is highly terrestrial, feeding in low scrub and open scree and rockfalls in alpine areas. 

There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. (1 Samuel 2:2 KJV)

Rock Earthcreeper (Ochetorhynchus andaecola)© – It is found in Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland and subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland.

Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus) by SanDiegoZoo

Guianan Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola rupicola)©©lolodoc – They are found in tropical and subtropical rainforests close to rocky areas, where they build their nests.
Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus) by SanDiegoZoo – Same as above

Rockwarbler (Origma solitaria)by Ian- Nest©©nimpitja – The Rockwarbler is 14 cm in length. It is usually seen hopping erratically over rocks whilst flicking its tail. Its preferred habitat is woodlands with sandstone or limestone. Its distribution is central eastern New South Wales.

The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. (Psalms 18:46 KJV)

White-necked Rockfowl (Picathartes gymnocephalus)© – They have unfeathered heads, and feed on insects and invertebrates picked from damp rocky areas. Both species are totally non-migratory, being dependent on a specialised rocky jungle habitat. White-necked, also known as the White-necked Picathartes, is found in rocky forest areas at higher altitudes from Sierra Leone to Ghana. It has grey upperparts, white underparts and a yellow head with a black patch on each side.
Grey-necked Rockfowl (Picathartes oreas)© – Same as above, plus, It nests in caves and on rock cliffs and needs specific habitat requirements, such as overhanging rock for protection from the elements and often it needs a seasonal river below to protect from predators.

Cape Rockjumper (Chaetops frenatus) ©WikiC

Cape Rockjumper (Chaetops frenatus)©WikiC – These are small birds with mostly brown and red plumage. Both species have long, white tipped black tails, black throats, broad white submoustachial lines, rufous or orange bellies and rumps and grey and black patterned backs and wings.[1] The iris is red and the bills and legs are black. Their wings are very small and they do not fly very often. They spend most of their lives running and jumping among rocks and grasses while hunting insects. A range of insects are taken, including caterpillars, moths, grasshoppers, beetles and flies. In addition to insects other prey include lizards and geckos, amphibians, scorpions, annelid worms and spiders.
Drakensberg Rockjumper (Chaetops aurantius)©WikiC – Same as above

Rock Martin (Ptyonoprogne fuligula) by Ian

Rock Martin (Ptyonoprogne fuligula)by Ian  – The Rock Martin (Ptyonoprogne fuligula) is a small passerine bird in the swallow family that is resident in Africa, and in southwestern Asia east to Pakistan. It breeds mainly in the mountains, but also at lower altitudes, especially in rocky areas and around towns, and, unlike most swallows, it is often found far from water. It is 12–15 cm (4.7–5.9 in) long, with mainly brown plumage, paler-toned on the upper breast and underwing coverts, and with white “windows” on the spread tail in flight. The sexes are similar in appearance, but juveniles have pale fringes to the upperparts and flight feathers. The northern subspecies are smaller, paler, and whiter-throated than southern African forms, and are sometimes split as a separate species, the “Pale Crag Martin”. The Rock Martin hunts along cliff faces for flying insects using a slow flight with much gliding. Its call is a soft twitter.

This martin builds a deep bowl nest on a sheltered horizontal surface, or a neat quarter-sphere against a vertical rock face or wall. The nest is constructed with mud pellets and lined with grass or feathers, and may be built on natural sites under cliff overhangs or on man-made structures such as buildings, dam walls, culverts and bridges. It is often reused for subsequent broods or in later years. This species is a solitary breeder, and is not gregarious, but small groups may breed close together in suitable locations. The two or three eggs of a typical clutch are white with brown and grey blotches, and are incubated by both adults for 16–19 days prior to hatching. Both parents then feed the chicks. Fledging takes another 22–24 days, but the young birds will return to the nest to roost for a few days after the first flight.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalms 61:2 KJV)

The article is quite long so I am breaking it into two Parts. To see the second half – CLICK HERE

Information mostly from Wikipedia, but other internet sources quoted also.

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