Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. (Proverbs 15:16 KJV)
Our next families in our Passeriformes Order are small families. Because they are small in number does not mean they are small in beauty. I love the song, “Little Is Much When God Is In It.” Maybe because I am short. :) Sometimes these small groups are a result of the ornithologists not being sure which family to include them. As they (ornithologists) keep doing DNA studies, more shuffling in families will occur.
Our largest family, Viduidae, today has twenty species of Indigobirds, Whydahs, and a Cuckoo-finch. We saw our first Whydah at the National Aviary in Pittsburg, PA. It is appropriately called a Long-tailed Paradise Whydah. You can see its long tail, worn by males, in the photo. These are finch-like birds which usually have black or indigo predominating in their plumage.
All are brood parasites, which lay their eggs in the nests of estrildid finch species; most indigobirds use fire-finches as hosts, whereas the paradise whydahs chose pytilias. Unlike the cuckoo, the indigobirds and whydahs do not destroy the host’s eggs.
The Olive Warbler is the solo member of his family, (Peucedramidae), but there are several sub-species. This species breeds from southern Arizona and New Mexico, USA, south through Mexico to Nicaragua. It is the only bird family endemic to North America (including Central America).
It is an insectivorous species of coniferous forests. Though it is often said to be non-migratory, most New Mexican birds leave the state from November to late February. It lays 3–4 eggs in a tree nest”. (Wikipedia)
The Prunellidae – Accentors Family has thirteen members named Accentors and one Dunnock, of the genus, Prunella. All but the Dunnock and the Japanese Accentor are inhabitants of the mountainous regions of Europe and Asia; these two also occur in lowland areas, as does the Siberian Accentor in the far north of Siberia. This genus is not strongly migratory, but they will leave the coldest parts of their range in winter, and make altitudinal movements.
Their typical habitat is mountainous regions in an area far above the tree-line, but below the snow-line. The Himalayan accentor can be found as high as 17,000 ft above sea level when breeding, however, most accentors breed in scrub vegetation at lower levels. Most species migrate downwards to spend the winter, with only some being hardy enough to remain. Accentors spend the majority of their time in the undergrowth and even when flushed, stay low to the ground until reaching cover. (Wikipedia)
Skipping over the Wagtails and Pipits (covered next week), our last bird, the Przevalski’s Finch (Urocynchramus pylzowi), is again in a family by itself.
The Przevalski’s Finch or Przewalski’s Finch (Urocynchramus pylzowi) is an unusual passerine bird from the mountains of central-west China. The species is named for Nikolai Przhevalsky, the Russian explorer who described it. Its taxonomic affinities were unclear for a long time, giving rise to other common names, the Pink-tailed Bunting and the Przewalski’s Rosefinch. In 2000 it was proposed that it should in fact be regarded neither as a finch nor a bunting, but as the only member of the family Urocynchramidae,
Przewalski’s Finch is a small bird similar in appearance to the Long-tailed Rosefinch. The tail is long and – quite unlike in typical finches – graduated, with the outer feathers much shorter than the central ones. The sexes are sexually dimorphic, with the males having bright pink on the throat, breast and belly. Both sexes have brown streaked plumage on the back and wings. The bill is thinner than those of the rosefinches. (Wikipedia)
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:14 KJV)
“Little Prayers” ~ by the ©The Hyssongs
- More Sunday Inspirations
- Viduidae – Indigobirds, Whydahs – 20
- Peucedramidae – Olive Warbler – 1
- Prunellidae – Accentors – 13
- Urocynchramidae – Przevalski’s Finch – 1
Motacillidae – Wagtails, Pipits – Next Week