“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
As I sit in my backyard, enjoying some springtime sunshine while writing this script, my eyes are drawn to a pair of shapes, silhouetted against a bright sky, circling over the Cowlitz River. They look dark from where I am sitting, but I know that if they landed, they would not be so dark, and they would have white heads. They are eagles. A pair of them have been around this area since we moved here about three years ago.
I love the way that eagles seem to fly as if they are not flying. They catch the air currents, and their large outstretched wings enjoy a lift force which is not from their own muscles, but from those air currents. To maintain that height for so long by their own muscle power would be too tiring for such large, flying birds.
The way that these eagles soar is used in the Bible as a beautiful illustration of God’s grace. In Isaiah 40:31 we read:
“They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
One can imagine that getting into the air, and flying high would cause the eagle to lose energy. But then it can rest and renew its strength. The Lord reminds us, through the things that He has created, that we should wait upon Him and rely on His strength.
Prayer: Help us, Father God, to wait for You, and to renew our strength through the grace that You give us. Amen.
All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men [ανθρωπων], another flesh of beasts [κτηνων], another of fishes [ιχθυων], and another of birds [τηνων]. (1st Corinthians 15:39)
Q: Are today’s birds genealogical ‘cousins’ to reptiles, due to shared (evolutionary) ancestry?
A:No. (Not even close!) However, today’s birds and reptiles do share the same Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who created them (and their ancestors) to share the same earth, with us.
According to the evolutionary sequence of [imagined] events, birds are supposed to have evolved from reptiles.3
If that had occurred in the past, which it did not, it would mean that today’s birds—such as robins and roadrunners—would be distant ‘cousins’ of reptiles—such as cobras and crocodiles.
The Darwinian tale portrays today’s birds as winged dinosaurs who supposedly survived a global ‘extinction event’ that supposedly occurred about 66,000,000 years ago.1,2
Is there any eyewitness report supporting this magical scenario, or even evidence of any such timeframe? No and no.4,5
Although there are myriads of errors in this sensational speculation, only a few of which are mentioned here.
In particular, this pseudoscience scenario requires swallowing at least three invalid and drastic premises:
(1) the assumption that reptiles are not fundamentally different from birds;3 and
(2) the assumption that a secret agent (oxymoronically named “Natural Selection”, as if “its” naturalistic outcomes were intended) can accidently invent—and then successfully secure(i.e., genetically “lock down”)—such traumatic transitional transmogrifications;5 and
(3) the assumption that any such transitions’ biochemical and genetic details, in defiance of entropy’s universal destructiveness, repeatedly escaped thermodynamic reality.5
For starters, just imagine the first-listed problem, i.e., the complicated anatomical and physiological differences between birds and reptiles:
birds have hollow bones; reptiles, except for marrow cavities, have solid bones;
birds use air sacs for non-stop unidirectional (one-way) airflow through their lungs; most reptiles have two-way breathing systems;
birds are endothermic (warm-blooded), actively controlling their body “thermostats”; reptiles are mostly ectothermic (cold-blooded);
birds have muscle-controlled feathers; reptiles have dry skins or scales;
birds have four-chambered hearts; reptiles usually have three-chambered hearts;
most birds have major muscles anchored to their front, attached to a keeled sternum (breastbone), facilitating perching; reptiles’ main muscles anchor to their vertebral column (backbone), attached in arrangements conducive for standing, walking, and running.2
Don’t expect reptiles to accidentally change their genes to produce birds as descendants. As Fiona Smith says:
In other words, you don’t just put feathers on a reptile and then it can fly. There are a multitude of [essential] attributes, all working together, that make a bird fly.2
There is much more proof—to borrow Dr. Frank Sherwin’s observations—that birds have always (and only) been birds, and that reptiles have always (and only) been reptiles.
God created each bird, and each reptile, to be whatever He chose that creature to be–and it’s our privilege to see God’s magnificent creation and to learn about His magnificent majesty in the process (Revelation 4:11)!
1 For centuries evolutionists have proposed the notion that birds somehow evolved from reptiles, imagining “feathered dinosaurs” or dinosaur-like flying reptiles (like pterodactyls) as speculative ‘transitional’ animals. See, accord, R. Will Burnett, Harvey L. Fisher, & Herbert S. Zim, Zoology: An Introduction to the Animal Kingdom (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1958), pages 5-7, 13-17, 72-75; Herbert S. Zim & Ira N. Gabrielson, Birds: A Guide to the Most Familiar American Birds (New York, NY: Golden Press, 1964), pages 12-13.
2 “Birds are incredible flying (and occasionally non-flying) machines. The Creator has designed these creatures with specialized flight apparatus, an amazing respiratory system, not to mention unbelievable migration and navigation abilities.” Sherwin, Frank J., “A ‘One-Hundred-Million-Year-Old Bird’ Is Still a Bird”, Creation Science Update (posted June 20, 2006). See also James J. S. Johnson, “Wandering Albatross: Wide Wings on the Winds”, Creation Science Update (July 2, 2020), citing Job 39:26-27 as illustrating God’s bioengineering that enables heavy birds to efficiently use wind current for launching their heavier-than-air bodies into the sky.
3 Smith, Fiona. 2015. Evidence for Creation: A Tour through Some East-Australian Zoos (Fremantle, Western Australia: Vivid Publishing), pages 164-165 (quotation), 251. The late Fiona Smith (now in Heaven with her Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ), an Australian professional geoscientist and science educator, graduated ICR’s School of Biblical Apologetics, during 2015 with a Master of Christian Education degree (joint major in Biblical Education & Apologetics).
4 Regarding the need for reliable eyewitnesses, to learn the real truth about unique events of the no-longer-observable past, see James J. S. Johnson, “There’s Nothing Like an Eyewitness”, Acts & Facts, 45(12):20 (December 2016).
5 Regarding the ubiquitous and inescapable destructiveness of biochemical entropy, see James J. S. Johnson, “Infinite Time Won’t Rescue Evolution”, Acts & Facts. 47(6):21 (June 2018). The phrase “natural selectin” is a misleading bait-and-switch term, because the action of “selection” necessarily requires a selector who can think (i.e., utilize information while exercising intelligence), prefer/favor one outcome as more valuable than another (i.e., make value judgments), and make/implement action-oriented decisions (i.e., make volitional choices). Regarding the mystical-animistic role that Darwinian selectionists imagine inanimate “nature” as playing, in order to “favor” or “select” a series of genetic mutations for producing phenotypically survivability-“fit” outcomes, see Randy J. Guliuzza, “Darwin’s Sacred Imposter: The Illusion that Natural Selection Operates on Organisms”, Acts & Facts, 40(9):121-15 (September 2011).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Jim Johnson (“JJSJ”), shown here with a Roger Tory Peterson bird-book (in St. Petersburg, Florida, birdwatching in the backyard of Chaplain Bob & Marcia Webel), was first taught this post’s main facts by Mrs. Thelma Bumgardner, his 2nd grade teacher (a true creation science educator), at Damascus Elementary School in Maryland. During the half-century thereafter Jim has enjoyed learning about birds–and, more importantly, about the Lord Jesus Christ (the Creator or birds and everything else, including us!)–and have acquired some relevant formal education (including college degrees with concentrations on the ecology and zoology of birds)–and a lot of birding adventures (including one that almost cost him his life). Due to the kind patience, WordPress-savvy knowledge/skills and accomplishments, and ever-ready technical expertise of Professor Lee Dusing (who owns, operates, and prolifically posts on Leesbird.com, as she indefatigably role-models what Christian ornithologists should be like), Jim has been able to occasionally post articles, for the past few years, on this Christian birdwatching blog. To God be the glory!
Over the last few weeks, we have had constant visiting Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in our back yard. After taking many pictures of them and their antics, I realized that they will make another great bird for our Wordless Bird posts.
The Wordless Book Colors are:
Black (or Dark) – Wings and Eyes
Gold – Lore
Red – Beak
White – Wings, Neck and Head
Green – Grass
Sometimes we need visual items to help us remember God’s Truths. He created these beautiful Whistling Ducks, so why not learn from them.
Our hearts areblack or darkwith sin. People like dark of night to do evil deeds many times.
Goldare how the streets of heaven are made.
Christ gave His blood on the cross to pay for our sins.
When we accept the Lord into our hearts, they become clean or white.
We are supposed to grow as a Christian, as the greengrass.
This is a simple version of our Wordless Birds, but the truth is still the same.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
“Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.” (Daniel 4:33 NASB)
In the Birds of the Bible, we’ve written about this verse before Birds of the Bible – Hair Like Eagles Feathers, but it came up again today. In our devotions this morning, we read chapter 8 of Daniel. Along with the reading from it, we were reading our notes from various Study Bibles.
Actually, the original article covers most of this about the king, but we read an interesting fact about his behavior. The fact that Nebuchadnezzar was eating grass like cattle is amazing.
This is from the King James Study Bible for Daniel “4:33. Two important questions arise from this incident: (1) Could it happen to a man? and (2) Could it have happened to Nebuchadnezzar? The answer to both questions is Yes. There is a mental illness known as zoanthropy in which a man thinks and acts like an animal. It is also called boanthropy, more specifically, when a man thinks of himself as an ox. In answer to the second question, this illness is not mentioned in Nebuchadnezzar’s annals, but one would not expect such a humiliating experience to be chronicled. On the other hand, his long reign of 43 years (605–562 b.c.) is more than long enough to include the lengthy sickness.”
The best part of this Bible story of Nebuchadnezzar, is how this ends. He come to his senses, and looks toward heaven, as we all should:
Daniel 8:34 “But at the end of [ae]that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my [af]reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;
For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account, But He does according to His will among the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can [ag]fend off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’
36 At that time my [ah]reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were [ai]restored to me for the honor of my kingdom, and my state counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my [aj]sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me.37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are [ak]true and His ways [al]just; and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” (Links and scripture from Bible Gateway)
“Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalms 103:5 KJV)
“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.” (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)
Gier eagleHeb. raham = “parental affection,” Leviticus 11:18 ; Deuteronomy 14:17 ; RSV, “vulture”), a species of vulture living entirely on carrion. “It is about the size of a raven; has an almost triangular, bald, and wrinkled head, a strong pointed beak, black at the tip, large eyes and ears, the latter entirely on the outside, and long feet.” It is common in Egypt, where it is popularly called “Pharaoh’s chicken” (the Neophron percnopterus), and is found in Palestine only during summer. Tristram thinks that the Hebrew name, which is derived from a root meaning “to love,” is given to it from the fact that the male and female bird never part company.
“The Egyptian vulture is a small Old World vulture and the only member of the genus Neophron. It is widely distributed; the Egyptian vulture is found from the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa to India.”
“It is widely distributed; the Egyptian vulture is found from the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa to India. The contrasting underwing pattern and wedge-shaped tail make it distinctive in flight as it soars in thermals during the warmer parts of the day. Egyptian vultures feed mainly on carrion but are opportunistic and will prey on small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They also feed on the eggs of other birds, breaking larger ones by tossing a large pebble onto them.”
“The use of tools is rare in birds and apart from the use of a pebble as a hammer, Egyptian vultures also use twigs to roll up wool for use in their nest. Egyptian vultures that breed in the temperate regions migrate south in winter while tropical populations are relatively sedentary.” Wikipedia
Whatever this bird is called, I still wouldn’t want to eat it.
Have you ever heard of someone described as being “wise as an owl”? I suppose, more than anything else, that the owl’s large head and wide-open eyes mark him out as a symbol of wisdom. In any case, he is a remarkable bird, wonderfully designed and fitted by the wisdom and power of the Creator for his peculiar life. At night he is able to see far better than in the day; and in the day he is able to safely hide himself from his enemies.
Can you see in the dark?
Are you wise like the owl? Are you able to see in the night? Do you wonder what I mean? Let me try to tell you…
You see, sin has produced spiritual darkness in this world—a darkness so great that when Jesus was here as the Light of the world, “men loved darkness rather than Light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). And what did they do? They crucified Him because they did not want Him; they did not love Him. They did not see Him to be the Son of God who came to shed His blood and to die so that sinners like you and me might be saved.
Let me ask you: Do you know Him as the Son of God who died for you? Do you love Him? If so, then you, like the owl, have wide-open eyes in this time of night caused by the Lord Jesus Christ’s absence from this world. If you do not, then BE WISE and trust Him as your Saviour. Then you will be able to say with the blind man who Jesus healed, “One thing I KNOW, that, whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25).
White-fronted Scops Owl (Otus sagittatus) by MAMuin
Are you safe from the enemy?
Are you wise like the owl? Are you able to safely hide yourself in the day? Again, do you wonder what I mean? Let me tell you…
This is the daytime of God’s salvation and grace, but do you know that the enemy of your soul stalks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour? Who is that, do you ask? It is none other than Satan, the Devil, who has many deceitful tricks to make you fall into his hands. You are no match for his power nor his cunning, so you need a refuge from him—a hiding place for your soul. Is there such a hiding place? Yes! The Hiding Place is the same One who gives light so the wise may see. It is the Lord Jesus Christ (Psalm 32:7). He is referred to as the ROCK of our Salvation (Psalm 95:1)—the place of strength, safety and security. He defeated the Devil at the Cross where He was smitten for our sins, and became the “Rock of Ages” cleft for sinners. Your safety depends solely upon hiding in Him. There is no other salvation for you than in the Lord Jesus. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
How to be wise
BE WISE! Come to the Lord Jesus Christ NOW! How do you come? Come just as you are, confessing to Him that you are a sinner, and tell Him you believe He died for your sins on Calvary. He will then become your Saviour.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
You will then have in Jesus Christ a Light in the darkness, and a Hiding Place from danger and judgment for time and eternity. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).
“Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust,and forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.”
Ostriches are certainly comical looking birds. Whenever I see a picture of one, it certainly makes me smile. Mind you, if you meet one up close, you might not laugh so much because they can cause a lot of damage with their legs, and particularly with their feet. But where ostriches come to our notice, as biblical Christians, is that many people think that the Bible is completely mistaken about ostriches, and, therefore, these supposed errors invalidate Scripture.
The main contentious verse is in Job 39. In this chapter, God is telling Job about the various things that He has created to silence Job and show him that his complaints are irrelevant. In verses 14 and 15, the accusation is that the ostrich is pictured as stupid for leaving its eggs in the sand and accidentally crushing them. Then, we are told, the Bible tells us that the mother ostrich forgets, or even neglects, her young.
Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee
Actually, much of this is based on a false anthropomorphism. We should not expect that an animal is going to show human characteristics. In any case, the mother ostrich does tend to leave her young because the care of newly hatched chicks seems to be the job of the father ostrich, so there is no error in what the Bible is claiming.
So when were ostriches created? They are clearly birds, but they appear designed to live on land. We must assume, therefore, that God made them on Day Six.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your wisdom in creation, and, like Job, we must stand with our mouths stopped, in awe at Your greatness. Amen.
Again, the birds have been returning home. It’s fall, and time for the winter birds to arrive down here in Florida. Since birdwatching, for “real”, has slowed down outside my windows, the birds have been returning in droves here on my computer. In the last few days, I was able to reactivate almost 50 more articles for the “Birds Illustrated by Color Photography” series. To be honest, I had forgotten how much work had gone into producing these. Trust you will take some time to look through many of these. There are some really interesting birds sounds and videos in quite a few of them.
Enjoy, and Stay Tuned! as they continue to return back to our Kid’s Section. These are actually for “Kids of All Ages”!
“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.” (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)
Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) male by Raymond Barlow
Volume #1 and #2 are now active again here. There are twenty articles to read. These were originally posted around 2012 here, but they were originally written in 1897. Birds Illustrated by Color Photography Volume 1, Number 1, January 1897 and Volume 1, Number 2, February 1897
When you look at the Vol1 #2 articles, there are old photos of advertisements back then (1897) that are quite interesting. I enjoyed re-reading these again while I was moving the post back. If you have the time, you just might enjoy these:
Ad for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897
“Does the eagle mount up at your command, And make its nest on high?” (Job 39:27 NKJV)
McGuffey Readers were a series of graded primers for grade levels 1-6. They were widely used as textbooks in American schools from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, and are still used today in some private schools and in homeschooling.
Here is a story of The Eagle from the Fourth Grade Reader. (From Gutenberg) Pictures are current photos.
Bald Eagle (close up) LP Zoo by Lee
XXIX. THE EAGLE. (84)
1. The eagle seems to enjoy a kind of supremacy over the rest of the inhabitants of the air. Such is the loftiness of his flight, that he often soars in the sky beyond the reach of the naked eye, and such is his strength that he has been known to carry away children in his talons. But many of the noble qualities imputed to him are rather fanciful than true.
2. He has been described as showing a lofty independence, which makes him disdain to feed on anything that is not slain by his own strength. But Alexander Wilson, the great naturalist, says that he has seen an eagle feasting on the carcass of a horse. The eagle lives to a great age. One at Vienna is stated to have died after a confinement of one hundred and four years.
3. There are several species of the eagle. The golden eagle, which is one of the largest, is nearly four feet from the point of the beak to the end of the tail. He is found in most parts of Europe, and is also met with in America. High rocks and ruined and lonely towers are the places which he chooses for his abode. His nest is composed of sticks and rushes. The tail feathers are highly valued as ornaments by the American Indians.
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by AestheticPhotos
4. The most interesting species is the bald eagle, as this is an American bird, and the adopted emblem of our country. He lives chiefly upon fish, and is found in the neighborhood of the sea, and along the shores and cliffs of our large lakes and rivers.
5. According to the description given by Wilson, he depends, in procuring his food, chiefly upon the labors of others. He watches the fish hawk as he dives into the sea for his prey, and darting down upon him as he rises, forces him to relinquish his victim, and then seizes it before it again reaches the water.
Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) by Lee at Zoo Miami 2014
6. One of the most notable species is the harpy eagle. This is said to be bold and strong, and to attack beasts, and even man himself. He is fierce, quarrelsome, and sullen, living alone in the deepest forests. He is found chiefly in South America.
Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus frantzii) by Ian
The Project Gutenberg EBook of McGuffey’s Fifth Eclectic Reader by William Holmes McGuffey
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at gutenberg.net
Jean Ingelow (b. 1830, d.1897) was born at Boston, Lincolnshire, England. Her fame as a poetess was at once established upon the publication of her “Poems” in 1863; since which time several other volumes have appeared. The most generally admired of her poems are “Songs of Seven” and “The High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire,” She has also written several successful novels, of which, “Off the Skelligs” is the most popular. “Stories Told to a Child,” “The Cumberers,” “Poor Mat,” “Studies for Stories,” and “Mopsa, the Fairy” are also well known. Miss Ingelow resided in London, England, and spent much of her time in deeds of charity.
1. A nightingale made a mistake;
She sang a few notes out of tune:
Her heart was ready to break,
And she hid away from the moon.
She wrung her claws, poor thing,
But was far too proud to weep;
She tucked her head under her wing,
And pretended to be asleep.
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)
2. A lark, arm in arm with a thrush,
Came sauntering up to the place;
The nightingale felt herself blush,
Though feathers hid her face;
She knew they had heard her song,
She felt them snicker and sneer;
She thought that life was too long,
And wished she could skip a year.
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by Reinier Munguia
3. “O nightingale!” cooed a dove;
“O nightingale! what’s the use?
You bird of beauty and love,
Why behave like a goose?
Don’t sulk away from our sight,
Like a common, contemptible fowl;
You bird of joy and delight,
Why behave like an owl?
4. “Only think of all you have done;
Only think of all you can do;
A false note is really fun
From such a bird as you!
Lift up your proud little crest,
Open your musical beak;
Other birds have to do their best,
You need only to speak!”
6. The nightingale shyly took
Her head from under her wing,
And, giving the dove a look,
Straightway began to sing.
There was never a bird could pass;
The night was divinely calm;
And the people stood on the grass
To hear that wonderful psalm.
Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus mexicanus) by Michael Woodruff
6. The nightingale did not care,
She only sang to the skies;
Her song ascended there,
And there she fixed her eyes.
The people that stood below
She knew but little about;
And this tale has a moral, I know,
If you’ll try and find it out.
DEFINITIONS.—2. Saun’ter-ing, wandering idly, strolling. Snick’er, to laugh in a half-suppressed manner. 4. Crest, a tuft growing on an animal’s head. 5. Di-vine’ly, in a supreme degree. 6. Mor’al, the practical lesson which anything is fitted to teach.
NOTE.—The nightingale is a small bird, about six inches in length, with a coat of dark-brown feathers above and of grayish, white beneath. Its voice is astonishingly strong and sweet, and, when wild, it usually sings throughout the evening and night from April to the middle of summer. The bird is common in Europe, but is not found in America.
“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;” (Song of Solomon 2:12 KJV)
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
(Ephesians 5:19 KJV)