Sunday Inspiration – Seven Small Families

As we continue through our Passerines, we come to seven families that have very few members in them. Just because their numbers are few, their Creator has not failed to give each a niche to fill and the ability and design to do so. They are all small birds, like the song, “His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” these bird are no less ignored by the Lord.

Dapple-throat (Arcanator orostruthus) ©WikiC

Dapple-throat (Arcanator orostruthus) ©WikiC

I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God. (Psalms 69:3 NKJV)

The Dapple-throat and allies – Modulatricidae  family only has three species; Spot-throat, Dapple-throat and the Grey-chested Babbler. Internet says they are from Africa and that its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. That is about the only information given.

Cape Sugarbird (Promerops cafer) ©WikiC

Cape Sugarbird (Promerops cafer) ©WikiC

More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (Psalms 19:10 NKJV)

The Sugarbirds make up a small family, Promeropidae, of passerine birds which are restricted to southern Africa. The two species of sugarbird make up one of only two bird families restricted entirely to southern Africa, the other being the rock-jumpers Chaetopidae. In general appearance as well as habits they resemble large long-tailed sunbirds, but are possibly more closely related to the Australian honeyeaters. They have brownish plumage, the long downcurved bill typical of passerine nectar feeders, and long tail feathers.

Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella) at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella) at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

“You shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue.” (Exodus 28:31 NKJV)

The two Fairy-bluebirds are small passerine bird species found in forests and plantations in tropical southern Asia and the Philippines. They are the sole members of the genus Irena and family Irenidae, and are related to the ioras and leafbirds.

These are bulbul-like birds of open forest or thorn scrub, but whereas that group tends to be drab in colouration, fairy-bluebirds are sexually dimorphic, with the males being dark blue in plumage, and the females duller green.

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) by Ian

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) by Ian

And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about. (Exodus 25:24 KJV)

Regulidae – Goldcrests, kinglets family has only six members. The kinglets or crests are a small group of birds sometimes included in the Old World warblers, but are frequently given family status because they also resemble the titmice. The scientific name Regulidae is derived from the Latin word regulus for “petty king” or prince, and comes from the coloured crowns of adult birds. This family has representatives in North America and Eurasia.

Spotted Elachura (Elachura formosa) ©Ramki Sreenivasan

Spotted Elachura (Elachura formosa) ©Ramki Sreenivasan

The Spotted Elachura (Elachura formosa (Elachuridae) is the only bird in its family they discovered recently through DNA studies. It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. This species is found in undergrowth and dense thickets of this type of forest, with a preference for thick fern ground cover, mossy rocks and decaying trunks of fallen trees and brushwood (often near stream or creek) long grass and scrub.

Violet-baked Hyliota (Hyliota violacea) ©WikiC

Violet-baked Hyliota (Hyliota violacea) ©WikiC

Hyliotidae – Hyliota found in Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and plantations. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher at Circle B Reserve by Lee

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher at Circle B Reserve by Lee

Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall be dissolved and vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner [like gnats]. But My salvation shall be forever, and My rightness and justice [and faithfully fulfilled promise] shall not be abolished. [Matt. 24:35; Heb. 1:11; II Pet. 3:10.] (Isaiah 51:6 AMP)

(Wrens skipped until next week ) Our last group of very small birds are from the Polioptilidae – Gnatcatchers. The 18 species of small passerine birds in the gnatcatcher family occur in North and South America (except far south and high Andean regions). Most species of this mainly tropical and subtropical group are resident, but the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher of the USA and southern Canada migrates south in winter. They are close relatives of the wrens. (Wikipedia)

 

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