Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Introduction

Sapphire Flycatcher (Ficedula sapphira) ©WikiC

I am currently attending a ladies Bible study class on Heaven. It is very interesting, and of course, when the mention of the various precious stones, with their beautiful colors came up, birds fluttered to mind. I have been accused of having a “bird brain.” [Always thinking about things in relation to birds.]

A huge question came to mind. Wonder if I could find birds whose names or colors closely reflected the names of those stones? Sounds like a simple premise. Right? Not so fast, as I am finding out.

Asian Emerald Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx maculatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Asian Emerald Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx maculatus) by Nikhil Devasar

First some of the verses that we were reading from Revelation Chapter 21:

“10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. (KJV)  [Yes, pearls are not stones]

Things go well with Gold, Jasper, Sapphire, Emerald, Topaz, Jacinth?, and Amethyst. What about chalcedony, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolyte, beryl [maybe], and chrysoprasus?

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) ©WikiC

King James Study Bible 21:9–21. These verses describe the beauty and glory of the holy Jerusalem. It is called Christ’s bride (cf. v. 2), a reference perhaps to the church as the city’s principal inhabitant. It is an expression of the glory of God. The wall shows its security and protection. Its gates show accessibility. Saved Israel is also present. It has dimensions of approximately 1,500 miles cubed. The gold and precious stones may be earthly materials glorified (cf. 1 Cor. 15:50–54). They depict the glory, beauty, and eternal quality of the city. Jasper is green, sapphire is blue, chalcedonyis green, emerald is green, sardonyx is red and white, sardius is bloodred, chrysolyte is yellow or gold, beryl is green, topaz is greenish gold or yellow, chrysoprasus is green, jacinth is bluish purple, and amethyst is purple quartz. The effect is a magnificent city of brilliant gold adorned with gems of every color. There appears to be only one street (cf. 22:2), also made of pure, radiant gold.

Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus_amethysticollis) ©WikiC

Stones, Precious
“Precious stones are frequently alluded to in Scriptures; they were known and very highly valued in the earliest times. The Tyrians traded in precious stones supplied by Syria. Eze_27:16. The merchants of Sheba and Raamah in south Arabia, and , doubtless, India and Ceylon, supplied the markets of Tyre with various precious stones. The art of engraving on precious stones was known from the very earliest times. Gen_38:18.
The twelve stones of the breastplate were engraved, each one, with the name of one of the tribes. Exo_28:17-21. It is an undecided question whether the diamond was known to the early nations of antiquity. The Authorized Version gives it as the rendering of the Hebrew word, yahalom, but it is probable that the jasper is intended.
Precious stones are used in Scripture, in a figurative sense, to signify value, beauty durability, etc., in those objects with which they are compared. See Son_5:14; Isa_54:11-12; Lam_4:7; Rev_4:3; Rev_21:10; Rev_21:21. [Smith’s Bible Dictionary]

Golden Tanager (Tangara arthus) ©WikiC

The Bible Knowledge Commentary says this of Revelation 21:19-21″

“The decorations of the foundations (with the apostles’ names inscribed on them) include 12 stones involving different colors. The color of the jasper is not indicated. The sapphire was probably blue; the chalcedony comes from Chalcedon, Turkey and is basically blue with stripes of other colors. The emerald is a bright green; the sardonyx is red and white; and the carnelian, called a “sardius” in the NASB, is usually ruby-red in color, though it sometimes has an amber or honey color. In Rev_4:3 the carnelian stone is coupled with the jasper to reflect the glory of God. The chrysolyte is a golden color, probably different from the modern chrysolyte stone which is pale green. The beryl is a sea green; the topaz is a transparent yellow-green; the chrysoprase is also green; the jacinth is violet in color; and the amethyst is purple. The stones together provide a brilliant array of beautiful colors. The gates resemble huge, single pearls, and the street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass (cf. Rev_21:18).
While the beauty of the city may have symbolic meaning, no clue is given as to the precise interpretation. Since it is reasonable to assume that the saints will dwell in the city, it is best to take the city as a literal future dwelling place of the saints and angels.”

Pearl-spotted Owlet (Glaucidium perlatum) Breeding Room by Lee

Pearl-spotted Owlet (Glaucidium perlatum) Breeding Room by Lee

As you can see, it is going to take a while to figure out some of these colors to find possible matching bird colors and names. A friend mentioned that the colors were maybe the same as the ones in the rainbow. Sounds reasonable. When the Lord created the birds, He knew about the rainbow that was going to be given as a promise after the flood. He also knew the colors of the foundations of the New Jerusalem. So, why would he not use those colors in birds when He created them?

“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)

Stay Tuned!

Jackdaws and Valentines

Western Jackdaw (Coloeus monedula) ©WikiC

Western Jackdaw (Coloeus monedula) ©WikiC

Another blogger, who also enjoys writing about birds, shared this very interesting connection between Jackdaws and Valentine Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day by Grey Feather Photography

Clair starts off with:

“Did you know jackdaws are one of the few birds which truly mate for life?

Jackdaws form pairs as young birds and will then remain together for all of their lives in a partnership sometimes referred to…”

Click here to read the rest of this very interesting article, Happy Valentines Day


“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” (Ephesians 5:25 KJV)

Creation Moment’s – Let Birds Fly Across The Expanse

LET BIRDS FLY ACROSS THE EXPANSE

Genesis 1:20

“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”

On the fifth day of the Creation Week, God created swarms of sea creatures. He also created flying creatures. In Genesis 1:20, God says: “Let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” The birds were not, in fact, in the firmament. When the KJV translates the phrase as “in the open firmament”, the word open reminds us that the birds are simply seen against the background of the firmament, and are not in it. We heard in the previous Creation Moment that God created whole swarms of sea creatures. It could also be assumed that He created a very large variety of flying creatures.

This brings us to the fact that many translations tell us that God made birds. The KJV refers to fowl. The use of a word other than bird in the KJV is significant. The Hebrew word is ôph (עוֹף). There is another Hebrew word that means birds. It is tsippor(צִפּוֹר). In fact, the word ôph is much wider in meaning than birds and includes all flying creatures. For instance, in Leviticus 11:13-19, the bat is included at the end of a list of birds. But the collective word used in Leviticus 11:13 is ôph, not tsippor. So ôph does not really mean birds – it means flying creatures. Hence, the creation of flying creatures in Genesis 1:20 includes not only birds, but also bats, and, by implication, flying insects also – and pterosaurs – the flying dinosaurs.

Once again, we notice the efficiency and economy of the words used in Genesis 1, which gives far more information than at first we think.  

Prayer: Your wonderful book, the Bible, astonishes us again and again as it explains to us how and why You created this world. Thank You for the wide variety of creatures that You put in the world. Amen.

Ref: Sarfati, J. (2015), The Genesis Account, (Powder Springs, GA: CMI), pp. 223-225. Image: Adobe Stock Images, licensed to author.

©Creation Moments 2019, Used with permission.


A very interesting study of the creation of the “fowls/birds.” Would make for a good BIrds of the Bible article, but they beat me to it. :)

Eleventh Anniversary – What Next?

Snowy Egret Viera Wetlands – 12-31-2018 by Lee

The last three post, which were about this Eleventh Anniversary of Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus, are listed below. But what about the future of this adventure with Birds, the Bible, and Birdwatching? Do I stop, slow-down, or continue? All three of those choices have crossed my mind.

What would you, my readers, want me to do? What do I want to do? What would the Lord have me do?

Could I be like Paul and say, “And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;” (Philippians 1:25 KJV)?

Or like Paul told Timothy, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;”(2 Timothy 3:14 KJV)?

Not sure how much joy or learning has been imparted, but the effort has been there. I trust the past 11 years has had useful information and been a blessing to most of you. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing these articles, along with my other writers, and been blessed by the Lord for these efforts.

Limpkin (Aramus guarauna) at South Lake Howard Nature Park by Lee

Because of the issues with the last two back surgeries, my birdwatching adventures have slowed way down. That is part of the dilemma. The use of a walker or cane prevents some adventures. There are always zoos and places with boardwalks. So, hopefully the Lord still has some of His birds for me to watch and maybe get their photos. Doing articles about those listed below are much easier because they only require an “at home adventure.” :)

Oh! What Do I Do?  – Flamingo at Gatorland – 3-8-16 by Lee

Here are my questions to readers:

Do you mind if the “out in the field” birdwatching isn’t written about as much?

Would you like to see some of the original “Birds of the Bible” articles updated? [That can be handled easily.]

Which series would you like to see more articles about?

It would be nice and very helpful if you could leave some remarks. Maybe you even have an idea for a new series.

Please leave a comment if you can. If you are not a blogger, you can leave remarks at Lee@leesbird.com

Dr Jim (JJSJ) and Golden Eagle Feeding – Lake Morton by Lee

Previous Articles about this Eleventh Anniversary:

 

 

Eleventh Anniversary of Blogging About Birds – Part III

Firey-throated and Volcano Hummingbird ©Raymond Barlow

I trust the last two posts have been informative and a blessing. Eleventh Anniversary and Eleventh Anniversary II. It still amazes me how the Lord would choose to use us in even a small way. If you have followed Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures very long, you know I believe that all these beautiful birds are a gift from the Lord’s Creative hand. They did not evolve from some blob or a dinosaur. The Bible has given us too many proofs of this, unless you have chosen not to believe His Word. I have no problem believing the following verses:

“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” (Genesis 1:21-23 KJV)

Watching Birds at MacDill AFB Shore

Nor believing that Adam named those first critters, including the birds:

“Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:19-20 NKJV)

Of course today, the I.O.C. gets together with many ornithologist from around the world to name birds. Adam didn’t need a committee at that time. He was the only human present. Eve came after the naming. [They, IOC, have increased their numbers by over 400 newly named birds since the Birds of the World section was added.]

Black-capped Foliage-gleaner (Philydor atricapillus) by Dario Sanches

Black-capped Foliage-gleaner (Philydor atricapillus) by Dario Sanches

Back to the reviewing of the past eleven years. From the beginning, the Lord’s Word about the birds has been the main part as I tried to find the various birds mentioned in the Bible. From there is has grown in various ways, but always, God’s Words are mentioned. Almost all of our writers, that thankfully add to this blog, believe that these fantastic birds are from God’s Hand.

The Seventh Anniversary in 2015 revealed that there had been 1.3 million visits and there were over 1,100 followers. Wow! By then Golden Eagle, Dr. James J. S. Johnson and Emma Foster were writing articles. Enough to have their own page in the menu [left side].

Must have skipped the 8th and 9th anniversaries, but much was going on. The Birds of the Bible for Kids blog was being re-fired up and most of the articles were move back over to there.

Dust Storm in Texas in 1935 ©WikiC

The Tenth anniversary had me Really Kicking Up A Dust Storm, sometime during those years, somehow, this site was hacked. Many of the photos used in post were GONE. The “pipe dream” of having a photo of every bird in the world blew up. This really involved much work to fix all the broken links that caused. Now in the Birds of the World, the list of the birds are there, but with some photos at the end of the page. [This was the only way to fix hundreds of broken links.]

If you have a blog or are thinking about starting one, they are enjoyable, but there can be issues that can “spoil the vines. “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” (Song of Solomon 2:15 KJV) Do we throw in the towel, or do we continue? So far, we have continued. Else we wouldn’t be celebrating 11 years of blogging.

Hummingbird at Trumpet Vine ©Harold A Davis

The Lord has been very gracious. We have made many friends over the years because of this blog. I feel like I know some of you personally, even though we probably won’t meet until we arrive in heaven. Thanks for all the friendships that have developed over these many years. The Lord truly has been blessing.

Tomorrow, I hope to add at least one more post to this anniversary remembrances.

Wordless Birds – With Hummingbirds

 

 

Eleventh Anniversary of Blogging About Birds – Part II

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) by Dan

“Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,” (1 Chronicles 16:12 NKJV)

Yesterday, the Eleventh Anniversary of Blogging About Birds article mentioned our early beginnings for this blog. Today, I’d like to continue with what the Lord has enabled us to do. Over the years, there have been Anniversary articles written. Each one tried to update the latest events, but also, to look back and thank the Lord for His blessings. The Lord wants us to “Remember.” His blessings.

“Remember to magnify His work, Of which men have sung.” (Job 36:24 NKJV)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) by Dan

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) by Dan

Here are six of those years:

“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.” (Psalms 143:5 NKJV)

Actually, yesterday, I used a quotes from Jim Elliot, but was actually thinking of a quote I used in the Happy One Year Anniversary! article. This is what happens as you age. :) Both men were great missionaries and showed tremendous insight in their quotes.

“Our pastor just reminded us of a quote by William Carey, an English Missionary to India:

“Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.”

That article was reposted in 2017. Looking Back – Happy One Year Anniversary! – Repost

In 2010, the 2nd Anniversary rolled around and some quest writers were added. Also, Ian Montgomery started allowing his Bird of the Week articles to be posted. Also, the Plus section, Birds of the World, and Birds in Hymns started up. This is all covered in Second Anniversary of Blog

It appears that I forgot to produce a Third or Fourth year anniversary article. Plenty was going on. The number of visitors to this blog, for which I am thankful for everyone who visits every time, was up to 250,000 on Apr. 9, 2011. 500,000 visits by Mar. 1, 2012, and about 850,000 by the time the Fifth Anniversary rolled around. Formed by Him started around the beginning of 2012. Also, many very talented photographers allowed me the permission to use their photos. There has been a list of them in the right column for years.

White-throated Sparrow by Ray Barlow

In 2013, I remembered to produce a Fifth Blog Anniversary post. There I mentioned the second blog site, Birds of the Bible for Kids. That website was started to get back to the roots of the whole purpose of blogging. That is, introducing young people to the Birds that are mentioned in the Bible. Like this main blog, it also has had growing pains. It was started, then I killed it and moved all the articles over here. Then last year, I decided to restart it back up. Much of the ups and downs of doing the “kids blog” has been due to my health issues. Right now it is up and running, not full speed, but then, neither am I running at full speed. Though I am much improved from last summer’s back surgery. Let’s hope and pray that the young people’s blog starts producing more articles.

I forgot again on the Sixth anniversary of the blog, but WordPress reminded me. Never Give Up

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand. I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.” (Psalms 37:23-25 NKJV)

Enough for now. I trust you are enjoying seeing how the Lord leads in our lives. Who ever thought that six years into doing a blog would have lead me to that point. I’ll tell you more in the next part.

Whatever your talent or abilities, if you know the Lord as your Savior, let Him use you. This is just a little blog in the midst of millions, yet the Lord has been using it. That is what I read from your remarks. Thank you for visiting over the years.

Using Whatever Talent the Lord Has Given You written Sept 16, 2010

Eleventh Anniversary of Blogging About Birds

Wood Stork by Lee

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;” Job 12:7

The idea for the Birds of the Bible lessons began when we were members of Bethany Baptist Church in Avon Park, Florida. I used to carry a laptop into a junior Sunday School class, and for five minutes each week, present a different bird mentioned in the Bible.

Then, we moved up to Winter Haven and began attending Faith Baptist Church, where we are still members. For two years there was no outlet for me to present my birds. When Stephen, the assistant to the pastor, at that time, became aware of what I did, he offered me a chance to post on The Fountain. [The church’s blog] I have written about this before, but am still surprised at how the Lord has allowed me to continue this adventure for so long. On February 15th, 2019, it will be eleven years since this began.

The Fountain was/is on the Blogger platform where I cut my “blogging teeth.” They stopped using the blog in 2013, but have kept all their post. So, all my beginning blogs are still there, along with my learning process. Lee’s Birdwatching Adventure was begun so I could learn how to layout articles for the church blog.

My first blog in February, 2008: Birds of the Bible – Introduction (by Lee Dusing)

American White Pelicans at Lake Hollingsworth

On July 05, 2008, Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus was created on the WordPress platform, where it still is today. All those original articles were moved over to the new blog and removed from the old one. What they look like on the church’s blog is how they looked originally.

When all this began, it never crossed my mind that the Lord would allow it to grow to where it is today.  Our pastor is always challenging us to give the Lord whatever talent or ability we have. Let Him decide how it is to be used, and be willing to let Him use us.

“So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” (Genesis 1:21-23 NKJV)

Thank you Lord for letting me love you and your created critters, especially the birds of the air. Another saying our pastor uses is from Missionary Jim Elliot: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” There has been many hours given, and I won’t know until heaven to find out what rewards these efforts may have earned.

Looking through Jim Elliot’s quotes on that link, I found these also:

“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God. ― Jim Elliot

“God always gives his best to those who leave the choice with him.” ― Jim Elliot

“Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on earth!”― Jim Elliot

“Lord, make my way prosperous not that I achieve high station, but that my life be an exhibit to the value of knowing God.”― Jim Elliot

“I couldn’t have asked for more than God in deliberate grace has surprised me with!”― Jim Elliot

I am so thankful for the various writers that have contributed to this blog over the years. Two have already gone on to heaven, A J Mithra, and April Lorier. Currently, Ian Montgomery, Dr. James J. S. Johnson, Emma Foster, Golden Eagle, and others are contributing to the blog.

Again, all of these efforts would be of no avail, if you, the reader, had not stopped by to read these articles. Thank you for all your visits over the years. We trust you will continue to stop in to see what new Birdwatching Adventures we have written about.

One of my most favorite videos was on the Eagles post, which isn’t currently working on the Fountain post, The Birds of the Bible ~ Eagles

but here it is:

“Now my days are swifter than a runner; They flee away, they see no good. They pass by like swift ships, Like an eagle swooping on its prey.” (Job 9:25-26 NKJV)

Here are some of the first Birds of the Bible articles on The Fountain:

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

Looking through the Blog Archive [right side] on the Fountain, you will find others also.

Woodstock’s Mating Dance

Woodstock and Mating Dance ©Peanuts

Well, it’s mating time here in Florida for many of our Herons and Egrets. Not that Woodstock is in their family, but he made his efforts.

Great Egret by Dan at Gatorland

We haven’t been to Gatorland yet this year, but reports are coming in for the mating of some and the hatching of other birds over there.

Gatorland 4-2-15 by Lee

Thought you might enjoy seeing some of the previous year’s photos of mating rituals. Maybe Woodstock can improve his technique from seeing them.

Tricolored Heron on Rail at Gatorland

The birds even brighten up their faces (lore) for mating. Wonder what Woodstock’s beak would look like?

Snowy Egret at Gatorland by Lee

Snowy Egret at Gatorland

Tricolored Heron at Gatorland

Tricolored Heron at Gatorland

Great Egret at Gatorland by Lee

SNOWY EGRETS, showing off for the Dusings (Lee Dusing photo, at Gatorland, Forida)

Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.” (Psalms 104:17 KJV)

When they get through all that displaying, eventually, we should start seeing some of these around there.

Baby Great Egret at Gatorland 3-6-18

Now! To find the time to get over to Gatorland. It’s only about 50 miles away.

A few other Gatorland blogs:

Gatorland’s Taxi Service

Great Egret Preening at Gatorland

Baby Snowy Egrets at Gatorland

Gatorland From Dan’s Camera

Sharing The Gospel

Bird of the Moment: Satin and Leaden Flycatchers

Satin Flycatcher (Myiagra cyanoleuca) Male ©Ian Montgomery

Bird of the Moment: Satin and Leaden Flycatchers by Ian Montgomery

One day last October, I was doing the dishes in the upstairs kitchen and checking, as one does, bird activity in the two bird baths below when this unusual one arrived. I keep my binoculars on the kitchen window sill for moments like this and I was astonished to see that it was a male Satin Flycatcher, very rare in North Queensland.

Happily it stayed around long enough for me to grab the camera and get a few photo both at the bird bath and, second photo, in a nearby shrub before it flew away. Satin Flycatchers are notoriously difficult to distinguish from their close relatives Leaden Flycatchers but in the right light and at the right angle – i.e. from above – the overall satiny blue sheen is unmistakable.

Leaden Flycatcher last featured as bird of the week/moment in 2003 with this one photo below, so now is a good opportunity to review it and the question of distinguishing the two species. Graeme Chapman wrote an article – ‘Mixed Up Myiagras’ – on identifying Monarch Flycatchers in the June 2003 issue of Wingspan, the Birds Australia magazine and I’m going to quote extensively from that.

The key field mark for distinguishing Leaden and Satin Flycatchers is the shape of the demarcation between the dark throat patch and the white breast and belly. In the male Leaden Flycatcher (above) the line curves upwards where the dark throat patch meets the wing producing a right angle or slightly acute angle in the white part. In the Satin Flycatcher, see the next two photos, the demarcation curves downward at the sides where it disappears below the wing and there is no sharp angle, rather a curve through a decidedly obtuse angle.

This is perhaps easier to see in the photo below, where the bird is obligingly lifting its wing as it preens.

To add to the problem, male Leaden Flycatchers have a bluish sheen on the throat patch and to a lesser extent on the head. Given the refractive, iridescent nature of such colours in feathers (optical structure rather than pigment) the actual colour produced depends on light conditions and angle. The Leaden Flycatcher in the photo below looks quite bluish (thought the back and wings are greyer) and could easily be mistaken for a Satin. Here the angle of the white area comes to the rescue and this bird is definitely a Leaden.

I haven’t mentioned females or juveniles yet: they’re even harder than the males. Females and juveniles of both species have reddish buff breasts but these are very variable in intensity and lack the clear demarcation with the white breast that comes to the aid of identifying males. In general, female Satins are darker overall than Leadens and have a bluish sheen on the head. But be warned, the heads of female Leadens can be slightly bluish too as in the photo below. I regret that I haven’t got a photo of a female Satin.

If all else fails, habitat, location and time of year are important. Satin Flycatchers breed in moist forests; in Tasmania (from which Leadens are absent) and Victoria this includes both inland and coastal forests but in New South Wales the Satin occurs only in damp wooded gullies in the high country along the Great Dividing Range. Given the problems of identification, there is uncertainty whether they breed in Southeast Queensland and Graeme Chapman couldn’t confirm breeding there.

John Young reported finding breeding pairs in Northern Queensland in highland rainforest (two pairs near Paluma, December 1984, and one pair at Wallaman Falls, November 1991) but it isn’t known whether this is part of its normal breeding range or even the same race as he reported the birds as being larger and darker than southern ones and the eggs being 20% larger.

Leaden Flycatchers occur in a wide variety of wooded habitats and may be found breeding in the same areas as Satin Flycatchers.

Leaden Flycatcher (Myiagra rubecula) Female in nest by Ian

Timing is important as the Satin Flycatcher is a migrant and winters mainly in New Guinea. The late Andrée Griffin lived in Paluma, about 40km from my place as the flycatcher flies, for many years and kept careful records of birds. She reported to Graeme Chapman that Satin Flycatchers arrived there each year on their way south at the beginning of October and were seen for about a fortnight. That date coincides well with my record of 12 October and Len Ezzy, a local birder, recorded one a week later at the Townsville Town Common. In 2016, I thought I saw a female Satin Flycatcher having a bathe in my pool on 22 September, but she didn’t hang around while I got the camera.

Flooded Creek by Ian – Townsville, Australia

For those of you who have heard the news about flooding in Townsville in general and Bluewater in particular on Wednesday, I’m happy to report that my house is high up enough above the creek to have been spared so far, unlike some unfortunate residents farther down the creek. Upper Bluewater has had over 900mm of rain in the last three days and it is hard to imagine it ever exceeding that. This is what Bluewater Creek looked like from just outside my house shortly after the flood peaked on Wednesday. The creek is normally invisible from here in a gorge about 200 metres away where the distant trees are.

Greetings – Ian


Ian’s Birds of the Moment come in quite unannounced. Never know when to expect something from “down under.” Yet, everytime, Ian has a very interesting bird/birds to introduce us to. Thank you, Ian for stopping by with another set of beautiful avian wonders.

The verses below remind us that the Lord provides for his critters and birds. In this case, the “hills” might have been a bit over filled.

“By them [streams] the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. He waters the hills from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works.” (Psalms 104:12-13 NKJV)

Ian’s Birds of the Week [Month, Moment]

Hope for Hard Times

Orni-Theology and Woodstock’s High-rise Nest

Woodstock’s High-rise Nest

Woodstock is not the only bird to live in a nest complex. Birds in this area, central Florida, have at least one bird, the Monk Parakeet, or Quaker Parakeet that makes an “apartment” nest.

Monk Parakeet and Nest

Monk Parakeet and Nest – Near South Lake Howard Nature Park

We used to own two Monk Parakeets, so I was familiar with them when we moved here. In South Florida, where we lived in the past, they were wild there also. In fact, Bandi, our first Monk parakeet had been shot out of the tree next door by teenagers. Some neighbor kids brought her to me and long story short, her wing had to be amputated. So, she never went back to the wild.

Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) Hoppy & Bandi

Hoppy in front, Bandi in back – Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)

Hoppy, our second one, had a broken leg, which our vet fixed up. That is the bandage on his leg. Back to the High-rise.

Sociable Weaver nest (Philetairus socius) © Ingo Arndt-NPL

The Sociable Weaver (Philetairus socius) is a great example of building a “Highrise.” [from 16 Most Amazing Bird Nest ]

Weaverbirds Nests are Like Huts has a great photo of an elaborate “homestead.” Also, it is a very interesting article about how they make the nest.

Sociable Weaver nest (Philetairus socius) ©Dillon Marsh

Then again, maybe Woodstock would like to visit the Montezuma Orpendola and select one of the higher nest apartments.

Montezuma Oropendola (Psarocolius montezuma) Nest Complex ©WikiC

There are many more examples of how the Lord, in His Wisdom, has given the birds the knowledge to build these nest and also, to know that “community” can aid in their protection.

The book of Ecclesiastes has great words of wisdom from Solomon when he refers to one person, versus two or more:

“There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labors, Nor is his eye satisfied with riches. But he never asks, “For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?” This also is vanity and a grave misfortune. Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:8-12 NKJV)


Extreme Cold For Zoo Birds

House Finch in Snow ©WikiC

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;” (Job 12:7 NKJV)

The last few days, the northern states of the United States and Canada have been experiencing extreme cold temperatures. Watching the news today, our Manatees, here in Florida, are heading in to the warmer waterways. But how about the birds?

Checking articles about how the Zoos protect their avian wonders during this severe cold snap, there were several interesting things that are being done to protect the birds.

In Chicago, they actually closed the “Lincoln Park Zoo …closed at 3 p.m. on Tuesday and was to remain shut on Wednesday, when temperatures are expected to reach a daytime high of around 14 degrees below zero. Brookfield Zoo planed to close its doors Wednesday and Thursday.” [edited to make it past tense, written Jan 28, 2019]

“To ensure the safety of our animals and staff, the zoo will only have a skeleton crew on site who will provide basic core functions, including animal care and to check on the facilities,” said Stuart Strahl, president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, in a statement.

That zoo has closed just three other times in its 85-year history: Feb. 2, 2011, due to a snowstorm; and Sept. 14, 2018 and April 18, 2013, because of significant flooding.”

“Lincoln Park Zoo spokesperson Jillian Braun said the zoo has closed just one other time due to extreme weather in recent memory. ”

Chicago Zoos to Close in Anticipation of Extreme Cold

Swallows Keeping Warm in Cold and Snow ©WTTW

Another article by the same source “Shiver, Fluff and Cuddle: How Birds Keep Warm in the Winter

Even the Penguins in Canada aren’t too sure about this cold weather. See:

These Zoo Penguins Are Clearly Not Enjoying Canada’s Cold Winter

“The Calgary Zoo in Alberta had to bring its penguins inside after the weather dropped to -25 degrees below zero Celsius.

Calgary Zoo – Gentoo Penguins ©Inside Edition

The zoo’s 51 Gentoo penguins, Humboldt penguins, king penguins and rockhopper penguins, are usually brought in at some point every year.

“The keepers are able to call the penguins in and they have an instinct to want to be indoors when it gets that cold as well. We do this every winter when the temperature plummets to where it was a few days ago,” a zoo official told InsideEdition.com. “They are cold weather birds, but the temperatures were colder than they prefer.”

Another Zoo, Saskatoon zoo works to keep animals safe in extreme cold weather, says, “The species that might be tropical or from regions that never see minus temperatures have to come inside at the beginning of the winter season.”

Dunlins in Snow

The St. Louis Zoo in Missouri says, “On one of the coldest days in over 20 years, employees at the St. Louis Zoo are busy making sure animals are being cared for and protected from the dangerously cold weather….

“A lot of times you’ll see those animals adapted to cold weather actually being more active in the cooler weather than you would in the summer heat,” Anne Tieber, curator of birds. In the historic buildings that house the birds, monkeys, and reptiles, zookeepers keep the temperature around 70 degrees, with a little of humidly for the tropical plants and some animals.”

“One surprisingly warm place the zoo is the Penguin and Puffin Coast, the building is kept at a balmy 45 degrees year-round.  So, right now it seems incredibly warm to the 7 degrees outside but flips to feeling cold in the summer.”

Enjoy these articles, plus a few more that tell how the wild birds also survive these extreme cold days and nights.

Chicago Zoos to Close in Anticipation of Extreme Cold

Shiver, Fluff and Cuddle: How Birds Keep Warm in the Winter

These Zoo Penguins Are Clearly Not Enjoying Canada’s Cold Winter

Saskatoon zoo works to keep animals safe in extreme cold weather

St. Louis Zoo in Missouri

More:

COLD-WEATHER SKILLS OF FEATHERED FRIENDS – Zoo Atlanta

Keeping Warm in Winter is for the Birds

Do Animals Hate the Bitter Cold?

How Does Extreme Winter Weather Affect Wildlife?

How Canada’s zoos protect their animals from the bitter cold

Wordless Birds

 

Avian and Attributes – Star

Star Finch (Neochmia ruficauda) ©WikiC

“I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult. (Numbers 24:17 NKJV)

Avian and Attributes: Star

STAR, n.
1. An apparently small luminous body in the heavens, that appears in the night, or when its light is not obscured by clouds or lost in the brighter effulgence of the sun. Stars are fixed or planetary. The fixed stars are known by their perpetual twinkling, and by their being always in the same position in relation to each other. The planets do not twinkle, and they revolve about the sun. The stars are worlds, and their immense numbers exhibit the astonishing extent of creation and of divine power.

5. In Scripture, Christ is called the bright and morning star, the star that ushers in the light of an eternal day to his people. Revelations 22. Ministers are also called stars in Christs right hand, as, being supported and directed by Christ, they convey light and knowledge to the followers of Christ. Revelations 1. The twelve stars which form the crown of the church, are the twelve apostles. Revelations 12.
6. The figure of a star; a badge of rank; as stars and garters.
The pole-star, a bright star in the tail of Ursa minor, so-called from its being very near the north pole.
Star of Bethlehem, a flower and plant of the genus Ornithogalum. There is also the star of Alexandria, and of Naples, and of Constantinople, of the same genus.
STAR, v.t. To set or adorn with stars or bright radiating bodies; to bespangle; as a robe starred with gems.

Star Finch (Neochmia ruficauda) Female front-Male back ©WikiC

Star Finch (Neochmia ruficauda), an estrildid finch, between 4.5—5 inches in length, with crimson fore-parts of the head and a scarlet bill. The upper and lower plumage is yellow-green, white spotted on the underparts, the belly more yellow. The upper tail coverts are scarlet, tail feathers are brownish scarlet. The female has less crimson on the head, and generally duller than the male, the immature star finch is olive to brownish with a grey face and head.

Found in northern coastal regions of Australia, occurring at sparsely wooded habitat of tall grass or rushes around creeks and swamps

Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) X Star Hybrid by Ian

saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:2 NKJV)

Star-chested Treerunner (Margarornis stellatus)

Star-chested Treerunner (Margarornis stellatus)

The Star-chested Treerunner (Margarornis stellatus or Fulvous-dotted Treerunner is a species of bird in the family Furnariidae. It is found in Colombia and Ecuador.

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:10-11 NKJV)

Star-spotted Nightjar (Caprimulgus stellatus) ©WikiC

“For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:17-21 NKJV)

Star-throated Antwren (Rhopias gularis) ©WikiC

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:16-17 NKJV)

Avian and Attributes