Albatrosses and Chickens:  Odd Examples of Avian Self-Defense

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Matthew 23:37
protective mother hen with chicks [International English Bible photo credit]

The Lord Jesus Christ once compared Himself, as a caring refuge to those who are at risk of mortal danger, to a poultry hen who protects her baby chicks with her own body. Many might under-estimate the toughness of a mother hen, when protecting her chicks, including one ill-fated fox noted below. But ,before considering such protective hens, an odd example of albatross self-defense is given below.

Self-defense can be asserted in many ways, but Southern Ocean albatrosses(1),(2) and French chickens(3)  provide odd illustrations of the old saying that “truth is sometimes stranger than fiction”.

WANDERING ALBATROSS showing wingspan ( > 9 feet ), Jaap Vink photo credit

First, the Wandering Albatross is an unintentional example—this is the same wide-winged bird that ICR recently reported as harnessing the wild winds that flow above the ocean waves near Antarctica.(4) Also, this illustration involves recklessly greedy and wasteful overfishing in international waters— a perennial problem previously reported by ICR.(5),(6)    After that, an illustration of chicken self-defense toughness.

On behalf of BBC News, Samantha Patrick reported on her satellite-related data-logging albatrosses, who spy on ocean-faring fish-poaching pirates who, ironically, are routinely guilty of harming albatrosses as by-catch casualties.(1)  The spy-like surveillance program began, she says, as an attempt to track the albatrosses who were vulnerable to fishing bycatch risks in the open ocean.

SEABIRDS congregating at fishing nets [Alessandro de Maddalena/Shutterstock image credit]

So many of these birds were dying as a result of getting caught in fishing lines that researchers started studying the overlap between albatrosses and fishing boats. Understanding where the birds came into contact with fisheries, and which birds followed boats the most, helped explain which parts of the population were most at risk of bycatch. It’s possible to map the distribution of boats using data transmitted from onboard monitoring systems, but these records are often only available around land and rarely in real time. … To try another approach, my colleagues and I developed data loggers that could be attached to an albatross. The logger detects the radar of boats, collecting information on where boats are in real time. The loggers took years to perfect and I can still remember the excitement of getting the first one back that had successfully detected a boat’s radar.(1)

[see Patrick cite below]

The high-tech surveillance provided by these wide-winged investigators enables treaty enforcers to locate those fishing boats who furtively poach in international waters, and who often recklessly endangering seabirds as by-catch casualties.

The wandering albatross can fly 10,000 km in a month, making these tireless birds ideal agents to catch the very same fish pirates that are killing albatrosses.  … They can fly 8.5 million kilometres (5.2 million miles) during their lifetimes – the equivalent of flying to the Moon and back more than 10 times. Their 3.5m wingspan is the same length as a small car and they can weigh as much as 24 puffins. Their body shape means they can effortlessly glide over the ocean waves, flying in some of the strongest winds on Earth. Now researchers have found that these seabirds may have promising careers in the fight against overfishing.(1)

[see Patrick cite below]

New technological approaches to improving remote surveillance of the oceans are necessary if we are to implement effective conservation. Of particular concern is locating nondeclared and illegal fisheries that dramatically impact oceanic ecosystems. Here, we demonstrate that animal-borne, satellite-relayed data loggers both detected and localized fishing vessels over large oceanic sectors. Attraction of albatrosses to fishing vessels [resulted in] … high proportions of nondeclared fishing vessels operating in international waters, as well as in some remote national seas. Our results demonstrate the potential of using animals as Ocean Sentinels for operational conservation.(2)

[see Weimerskirch cite below]
WANDERING ALBATROSS in flight [Critter Science photo credit]

So, how are albatrosses able to acts as surveillance spies, and as informants, to fishing quota treaty-enforcing authorities?  It wasn’t planned by the albatrosses. In fact, it wasn’t originally planned by the humans, either.

The discovery came about by accident when researchers at the Centre d’études biologiques de Chizé in France were investigating bycatch in fishing lines and nets – when fishers unintentionally snare animals they weren’t trying to catch, like albatrosses.  …  In the past few decades, countries implemented cross-border policies to directly address the causes of bycatch, particularly for albatroses and petrels, which have been severely affected. With onboard human observers or electronic devices tracking activity, albatross bycatch rates have fallen dramatically on monitored vessels.  But what about illegal fishing boats? Military vessels and aircraft patrol the Southern Ocean looking for criminal fishers, but there are no observers or monitoring to ensure these boats are using methods to protect albatrosses, and without these, we know that bycatch rates are very high.(1)

[see Patrick cite below]

Eventually the idea of harnessing albatrosses with high-tech sensors was thought of, originally as a way to track the movements of the albatrosses themselves. However, when the albatrosses gave information on undocumented fishing boats, making it much easier to locate and catch poachers, the playing field of the poaching-at-sea industry was suddenly tilted in favor of law enforcement.

Boats that are legally fishing are generally registered and licensed, and so must adhere to laws regarding where and when they fish, and what and how much they can catch. Monitoring fishery activity around land masses is one thing, but beyond these limits, the open ocean is deemed international waters and doesn’t come under the jurisdiction of a single nation. Patrolling this enormous area by ship or air is rarely effective.  But what if there were 100 officers that could cover 10,000km each in a 30-day stretch? Meet the albatross ocean sentinels who patrol the seas for illegal fishers. Wandering albatrosses breed on remote islands around Antarctica. These are usually only accessible by boat, and researchers must brave the “furious 50s” of the Southern Ocean – powerful winds found between the latitudes of 50 and 60 degrees – to get there, across some of the roughest seas in the world.(1)

[see Patrick cite below]
WANDERING ALBATROSS chick on island coast [Alain Ricci / Wikimedia Commons photo credit]

It wasn’t long before it was discovered that some of the boats were fishing without disclosing their identities, i.e., illegally—they did not want to be recognized for who they really were.

But when we combined the data collected by the loggers with a global map, we could see the location of all boats with an active Automatic Identification System (AIS). This radar allows vessels to detect each other, preventing collisions. Our study found that over 20% of boats within French waters didn’t have their AIS on, rising to 35% in international waters. Since the AIS is intended to keep vessels safe, it’s likely that these vessels operating without it in international waters were doing so to avoid detection, and so could be fishing illegally.(1)

[see Patrick cite below]

So now the surveilling albatrosses can report the radar of undocumented fishing boats, with that information being relayed on to law-enforcement authorities who then know where to find the poachers.

ALBATROSSES WEARING RADAR USED TO CATCH POACHERS! [Angkutan dari Berita.Blogspot.com image credit]

As a result, the albatross data had unintentionally revealed the potential extent and scale of illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean. It’s difficult to imagine a human patrol boat being able to cover enough area to efficiently track illegal fisheries. But each wandering albatross could potentially cover the same area of ocean as a boat, and when its logger detects a fishing boat with its AIS turned off, it can relay that information to the authorities, who can alert nearby vessels to investigate. … This [can] help conserve fish stocks, protect albatrosses and other seabirds, and manage the marine ecosystem as a whole. As ocean sentinels, it turns out that albatrosses have a unique ability to collect the data needed for their own conservation.(1)

[see Patrick cite below]

So the Wandering Albatross, fitted with satellite-relayed data loggers, exemplify self-defense by unintentionally calling the law when they spot (and report) undocumented fish poachers at sea—who are the same poachers famous for carelessly killing albatrosses as bycatch.

But what about chickens? How can they illustrate self-defense?

Consider the proverbial fox entrusted with guarding the henhouse.  Except in one French henhouse, however, where the results were quite unexpected.

“Chickens kill fox . . . ” [STARCTMAG.com photo credit]

Chickens in a poultry farm in northwest France are suspected of killing a fox who tried to sneak into their coop.(3)

[see “The Local — France” cite below]

Yes, you read that right—it was the chickens who killed the home-invading fox.

The young predator [fox] is thought to have entered the henhouse at an agricultural school at dusk last week and become trapped inside by light-controlled automatic hatch doors that close when the sun goes down. Students at Le Gros Chene school in Brittany discovered the body of the animal when making their rounds to check on the chickens the following morning. “There, in the corner, we found this dead fox,” Pascal Daniel, head of farming at the school, [reported]. “There was a herd instinct and they attacked him with their beaks.”(3)

[see “The Local — France” cite below]

So, being “hen-pecked” can be fatal! Wow! Chickens in Brittany are tough—respect their space—they do defend themselves. It seems that even in the world of nature, after the Fall, self-defense must be practiced, one way or another. 

And, in the case of God’s wonderful Wandering Albatrosses(4), you might say that the albatrosses are now “appealing to Caesar” (as Paul did in Acts 25:10-11), defensively, without even knowing it!(7)

WANDERING ALBATROS pair [Samantha Patrick photo credit]

References

  1. Patrick, S. 2020. The Albatrosses who Catch Pirates on the High Seas. BBC News (July 8, 2020), posted at https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200708-the-albatrosses-who-catch-pirates-on-the-high-seas .
  2. Weimerskirch, H., J. Collet, A. Corbeau, et al. 2020. Ocean Sentinel Albatrosses Locate Illegal Vessels and Provide the First Estimate of the Extent of Nondeclared Fishing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (February 11, 2020), posted at https://www.pnas.org/content/117/6/3006 .  
  3. Staff writer. 2019. Furious French Chickens Team Up to Henpeck Fox to Death. The Local – France (March 13, 2019), posted at https://www.thelocal.fr/20190313/gallic-chickens-team-up-to-peck-french-fox-to-death .
  4. Johnson, J. J. S. 2020. Wandering Albatross; Wide Wings on the Winds. Creation Science Update (July 2, 2020), posted at https://www.icr.org/article/wandering-albatross-wide-wings-on-the-winds .
  5. The North Atlantic Ocean has been lamentably depleted of its codfish, due to overfishing promoted by the evolution-friendly “science” teaching of Thomas Huxley, Charles Darwin’s ally.  See Thomas, B. 2009. Huxley Error Led to Cod Calamity. Acts & Facts. 38(8):17, posted at https://www.icr.org/article/huxley-error-led-cod-calamity .
  6. The North Pacific Ocean’s populations of Alaska Pollock have been shrinking dramatically, due to fraudulent under-reporting of pollock catch statistics—not due to “global warming”.  See Johnson, J. J. S. 2018. Something Fishy about Global Warming Claims. Acts & Facts. 47(3):21, posted at https://www.icr.org/article/something-fishy-about-global-warming .
  7. When the apostle Paul appealed to Caesar he was acting in self-defense, with the potential of a counterattack, because if Caesar became angry at Pauls’ accusers—a foreseeable scenario—Caesar could rule that the false accusers be put to death. See Acts 25:9-12.  Self-defense is also illustrated in Esther 8:11 and 9:1-22.

Time To Rest

Limpkin and Dan at South Lake Howard Reserve – 2017

We believe it is time to rest from our labors at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus. This blog has attempted over the years to present the Lord’s Avian Wonders from many different perspectives. It has been a delight to present these fantastic birds in such different views, thanks to some very talented photographers. Also, to have different writers adding such information from so many places and ways of thinking about the birds of the world.

Is the blog shutting down? NO! NO! NO!

We have so many informative and useful posts to be explored that are great reading and references. (This is from remarks of our readers over the years.) I, Lee, am working behind the scenes trying to improve the Menu structures that was developed along the way. I’m trying to clean up broken links to sites that are no longer active, and make it easier to find information, photos, videos, and stories about our wonderfully created birds.

Snowy Egret and Lee Gatorland by Dan -2015

Also, Dan and I are getting older, 82 and 78, so we are starting to feel it. Our birdwatching adventures have just about slowed to a crawl. We do move a bit faster than that though. :)  It’s time! We have tried to do our best in honoring our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Great Creator.

“I (we) have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” (2 Timothy 4:7 KJV)

Thought you might like a look at a bit of the history of Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures. The blog was moved over here to WordPress on July 5. 2008 (almost 14 years ago). It had started a few months earlier on another platform.

Boat-billed Heron over Dan’s Shoulder by Lee at LPZ

As of today, we have had almost 2,292,000 visitors. We have had 8-10 writers, besides myself, writing articles. I am so thankful for all of them, especially the regulars whom you can find in the side menu. Plus, all the photographers who have contributed so many fantastic photos to be used here.

Feeding White Ibises at Lake Morton [Dr. JJS Johnson, Baron (Golden Eagle), and Dan], by Lee – 2016

Here are some more statistics, if you are interested:

  • Comments – 8,201
  • Posts – 3945
  • Pages – 1207 (more to come as I work on the structure to help find information)
  • 10.8 gigabytes of Media (photos, videos, music, etc.)
  • Branched out to make a Birds of the Bible for Kids blog and have now brought those articles back under this umbrella. (These are helpful for younger readers.)

Lee at Lake Morton by Dan – 2013

As I work through setting our blog up for the future, I trust you will continue to stop by and enjoy these posts, photos, and other blessings. [I used my most favorite picture of Dan for the featured image.]

This is not the last article coming out, but they will be less frequent than previously posted.

STAY TUNED!

50 Stunning Hummingbird Pictures – B & B

Ruby-throated Hummingbird by Ray's Wildlife

Ruby-throated Hummingbird by Ray’s Wildlife

“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)

You have got to check out this interesting article from Birds & Blooms!!

50 Stunning Hummingbird Pictures You Need To See

Still haven’t been doing much birdwatching lately, except through my back door. So, I trust you will enjoy these great photos. We have had some nice photos of hummingbirds here over the years, but these are all right together.

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) Male ©WikiC

Some of our previous Hummingbird articles:

Ten Beautiful Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds See Colors Over (Beyond) the Rainbow

How Much Are You Being Monitored? A Hummingbird Lesson

Hummingbird from John 10:10 Project

Tickle Me Tuesday – Hummingbirds

Peru’s Marvellous Hummingbird – Again

Creation Moments – Double Life of the Hummingbird

Hummingbirds in Ultra Slow Motion

Hummingbird Families – Firecrowns

Calliope Hummingbirds – North America’s Smallest

Wordless Birds – Hummingbirds

Birds of the Bible – How Many Sparrows?

House Sparrow by Ray

While working on updating the indexes to the Birds of the Bible-Sparrows, I came across an interesting question. How many Sparrows are mentioned in the Bible? I discovered a previous search I had started from the Bible Gateway website.

The Young’s Literal Translation found 6 verses mentioning Sparrows.

Psalm 84:3 – “a sparrow

Hosea 11:11- “a sparrow

Matthew 10:29 – “two sparrows

Matthew 10:31 – “many sparrows

Luke 12:6 – “five sparrows

Luke 12:7 – “many sparrows

House Sparrows visiting National Aviary Parrot Show by Lee

House Sparrows visiting NA Parrot Show Outside by Lee

Okay, so what, you might ask? One, it challenges you to actually study what’s in the Word of God. It is also nice to see what the Bible actually says about the Sparrows and how that impacts us. Try using a website like e-sword.net or Biblegateway.com, and do a little investigation of these questions:

In Psalm 84:3, where was the sparrow and what was she doing?

Hosea 11:22, why was the sparrow trembling?

Matthew 10:29 and 31, what assurance can we get from that verse?

Luke 12:6, who remembers the sparrows?

Luke 12:7, what has been numbered? What about fear?

Female Chipping Sparrow bird feeding three baby Chipping Sparrow nestlings, Athens, Clarke County, GA. by William Wise

These are just some of the previous posts about these little Avian Wonders:

To find out more about Sparrows:
Birds of the Bible – Sparrow I
Birds of the Bible – Sparrow II
Birds of the Bible – More Value
Birds of the Bible – Little Brown Jobs
Birds of the Bible – Worry and Sparrows
Birds of the Bible – Lord Who Is There
Eye of the Beholder – House Sparrows
Sparrows Peterson’s Video
His Eye Is On The Sparrow (Birds in Hymns)
The Eyed Sparrow
Mighty God, While Angels Bless Thee (Birds in Hymns)
The Birds, the Economy, and My Provider – by April Lorier
Sparrows and God Care – by April Lorier
Ian’s Bird of the Week – Masked Finch
World Sparrow Days – by a j mithra
Worthen’s Sparrow – Lost, but found… – by a j mithra
White-crowned Sparrow – The Restorer – by a j mithra
Renewed Day by Day: Signs of Spring
Sparrow Quote from The Life Project ~ from Don Merritt
Sunday Inspiration – Old World Sparrows
Sunday Inspiration – Sparrows
Sunday Inspiration – Sparrows II
Emberizidae’s – Buntings
Emberizidae – Part II
Emberizidae Family Allies I
Emberizidae Family Allies II

 

Good News Tracts – Various Topics

New Duck In The Yard

Wood Duck among Black-bellied Whistling Ducks by Lee

Yesterday we added a new bird to our backyard list. He tried to hide, but with a look like that, it’s hard to do. So finally, he came out of hiding. Some of those Whistling Ducks don’t seem to be too happy with him being there. [I was very happy! :) ]

Wood Duck in our yard. 1-17-22

We’ve written about this beautiful bird before, but usually, we have seen them over in Lakeland on their lakes. So, this was a treat to be able to have him visit us.

When I see this duck, I think about how the Lord when he created these Avian Wonders must have had a delight in decorating this Wood Duck. What clear lines!

Wood Duck’s Crested Head and Back

I have to admit that the Duck had a bit of an attitude. While he was strutting around, ever so often he would throw his head like he was trying to flip that long “bonnet” of his. [my term] I tried to capture it on video, but I was only able to capture it once.

Several verses came to mind about this encounter with our beautiful duck:

The first photo, where he was sort of hidden behind the others.

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16 KJV)

We should not be afraid to let our Christianity be seen. Also, the look on the faces reminds me of how some people react to us when we do accept the Lord as our Savior.

Other Information:

All About Birds – Wood Duck

While putting these links about Wood Ducks here, I discovered that a Wood Duck and it’s mate HAS been here. I was surprised.

  1. Our Ducky Backyard
  2. Wood Duck
  3. Paintbrush Birds – Wood Ducks
  4. Lee’s One Word Monday – 3/28/16

Zebra Finch Duets and Bird Origins – I.C.R.

PAS-Estr Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia by Ian

“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come,…” (Song of Solomon 2:12 KJV)

What an interesting and informative article about the creation of Zebra Finches and their singing duets. Bryian Thomas, PH.D. from the Institute For Creation Research wrote “Finch Duets Open Surprising Window on Bird Origins

The Zebra Finches appears to have a pattern of singing that goes against what evolutionists suppose is to be the normal behavior of Finches.

“A male finch sings to females while courting, but then quiets down after finding his mate. According to evolution, finches have no reason to continue to communicate at that point, since they’ve already ensured that their genes will be passed on to a new generation. Thus, researchers were surprised to find that wild zebra finches sing to each other only after becoming a couple.”

Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) by Ian

Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) by Ian

He also discusses how these songs are thought to have happened through natural selection, but….

“For male finches to sing their songs, they have to have a fully-formed system of pulmonary tubing, valves, musculature, and integrated skeletal structures. Then, the larynx (many birds have two) has to be located near the mouth and properly “wired” to the correct areas of the brain. All of that would still be useless, however, without the instinctive knowledge required to compose a song, or without the females’ ears being tuned to their specific tones. To consider this seamless array of parts as a product of just nature is imaginative–not scientific.”

A very good article to continue reading at “Finch Duets Open Surprising Window on Bird Origins“.

“Zebra finches are active and colorful birds from Australia, and they choose a mate for life.” Thankfully, Ian has provided us with great photos of the unique Avian Wonders.

PAS-Estr Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia by Ian

See Also:

Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) ©WikiC

Sharing The Gospel

Birds of the Bible – Foundation Reviews in 2022

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) by Dan

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) by Dan

Wow! Looking over the previous articles that have been written through the years on our blog, I thought it would be nice to read through some of our many posts.

To build a house, you need a foundation. To build a blog, you need a foundation. So, our foundation from the beginning for Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus, has always been this:

“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11 NKJV)

He created our world, universe, us, and all His Avian Wonders, which we like to write about. We love to write about His birds and how we can learn from them. We’ve done our best, with a few stumbles here and there, but we have tried to honor Him through it all. He has been gracious to send me extra writers, photographers, and friends along this journey.

My thanks to Him, these extra hands to assist, my husband, and all of you who have visited us along the way.

Now, what has been written about the Foundations? Let’s take a look:

White Pelicans in Flight - Circle B Bar by Dan

White Pelicans in Flight – Circle B Bar

Birds of the Bible – Foundation #1 (2009) and then Foundation #1 Updated (2015)

These two posts explain about the beginning of birds and how they came to be here.

Fischer’s Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri) by W Kwong

Birds of the Bible – Foundation #2 (2009) and then Foundation #2 Updated (2015)

In Genesis Chapter 2, the birds and animals were named, but what happened in Chapter 3 caused the birds to be cursed and death now became a reality to them and others. But there is hope.

Noah’s Ark ©©Flickr elmada

Birds of the Bible – Foundation #3 (2009) and then Foundation #3 Updated (2015)

Now we find God has a plan to preserve the life of some of the people, animals, and the birds by having them enter the Ark.

Ernesto Carrasco’s Noah’s Ark Model

Birds of the Bible – Foundation #4 (2009) and then Foundation #4 Updated (2016)

What did the birds encounter as they came off the ark and afterwards?

Rainbow-clouds.© Readers Digest

Rainbow-clouds ©Readers Digest

Birds of the Bible – Foundation #5 (2009) – Not Updated Yet (Stay tuned)

This post presents many of the “theories” about where birds came from, versus how the creationist view where and how the Avian Wonders of this world came into being.

We trust you will enjoy reading (or re-reading_ through these Foundation of the Birds of the Bible posts.

Western Tanager: Red, Yellow, Black and White

Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Introduced Here In 2008

ln honor of the Top 100 Bird Blogs and Websites For Ornithologists and Bird Lovers rating they gave us, [#20] here is a copy of that very first blog on Feb. 16, 2008.

American White Pelicans at Lake Hollingsworth

American White Pelicans at Lake Hollingsworth

Goal: To encourage your understanding and help you form a mental picture of the fowls or birds of the air found in scripture.

God has created the fowls and birds and they are mentioned throughout the Bible. When you read the name of a bird, does a mental picture come to view or do you just keep reading without a thought to what you just read? Sure, you know some of them, like the Eagle or a Sparrow, but how about a Bittern, Ossifrage, Hoopoe, or Lapwing? Not just their names are important, but how about the illustrations that use birds to teach lessons? God’s care, strength, provision and other lessons are taught with birds as the examples.

Wood Stork

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

So, let’s get started with:

The Birds of the Bible

“Then God said, ‘Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.’ 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.” Gen 1: 20-23

Here we see that God created the birds on day five of creation and that “it was good.”

“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.” Gen 2:19-20a

Adam was given the privilege of giving all the “critters” their names. Were there as many varieties of birds then as now? There have been changes within the species (kinds), but not evolution (changing from one kind to another kind).

Depending on which copy of the Bible you use, here are some of the names of birds mentioned in the Bible. These will be introduced in following blogs. Not necessarily in the following order.
; Chicken; Cormorant; Crane; Cuckoo; Dove; Eagle; Falcon; Glede; Hawk; Hen; Heron; Hoopoe; Kite; Lapwing; Night Hawk; Osprey; Ossifrage; Ostrich; Owl; Partridge; Peacock; Pelican; Pigeon; Quail; Raven; Sparrow; Stork; Swallow; Swan; Vulture


House Sparrows visiting National Aviary Parrot Show by Lee

House Sparrows visiting NA Parrot Show Outside

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26 NKJV)

Now it is 2022, and time to revisit these wonderful Birds of the Bible. Because of the Covid situation, we haven’t really been birdwatching much in almost two years. Yet, that doesn’t mean it’s time the “throw in the towel”, or the blog, in this case. So, we plan on writing more Birds of the Bible articles about the different Avian Wonders found in the Bible. Trying to bring in fresh material as we review the previous birds that we have written about. We will even ask some of our current writers like Dr. J. J. S. Johnson (Dr. Jim) and William Wise to join in.  Will also try to update the all the links to these articles.

STAY TUNED!

What An Honor – Top 100 Bird Blogs and Websites

Eagles Wings – From Creation Moments

Isaiah 40:30-31

“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.

Author: Paul F. Taylor

Ref:  With Wings Like Eagles , accessed 4/24/2020. Image: David R. Tribble, CC BY-SA 4.0 International.

© 2021 Creation Moments. Eagles Wings [Used with permission]

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Who Paints The Leaves?

Birdwatching and Blessings – Anoles and Geckos

Baby Dinosaur - Chamilian or Lizard by Lee 3-28-20

Baby Dinosaur – Chameleon or Anole by Lee 3-28-20

Birdwatching and Blessings – Anoles and Geckos

Most mornings while we are eating and watching out our back door, we not only see the various birds, but, being in Florida, there are always Anoles around. Many call the green anoles Chameleons, but our brown one are just Anoles. I have been trying to get a good photo of them showing their dewlap, which is a fold of skin. But this video does a better job.

While reading our devotional of Zechariah 8 this morning, the Gecko was mentioned. The anoles and geckos both have this characteristic.

“Geckos have some of the stickiest feet in nature. They can hang their entire body weight off one toe, and climb up nearly any wall, no matter how slick or polished.

Biologists and engineers looking to duplicate the gecko’s abilities in synthetic glues have recently uncovered its secret. It uses million of tiny foot hair ends to adhere to surfaces through weak molecular attractive forces. Each foot hair ends in about a thousand even tinier pads at its tip. These pads are arranged in precise geometric sizes and shapes and determine the level of stickiness. The total adhesive power of an average gecko would support 280 pounds!”

“As sticky as geckos’ feet are, Gods faithfulness is even “stickier.” He never lets us go, and His promises endure forever…..” (From Today in the Word, 2003)

Anole with dewlap showing by Lee

Anole with dewlap showing just outside door – Lee

Church Signs:

What does God have in common with an object in the car mirror? Both are closer than they appear.

Spring forward with the Lord so you won’t fall back into sin.

We are each a masterpiece, a piece of the master.

Truths To Consider:

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
(Proverbs 18:24 KJV)
“Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.” (Psalms 119:90 KJV)

Previous:

Save The Parrots

BIRDS DIDN’T EVOLVE FROM REPTILES

NO: BIRDS DID NOT ‘EVOLVE’ FROM REPTILES

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)!


References

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!

BIRDS DIDN’T EVOLVE FROM REPTILES

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/1/21

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in yard

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in yard

While we were eating breakfast, I was making a list of the birds that were out our back door. You have seen many of the photos, and posts about these Breakfast Blessings. Yet, like Tuesday, we were just eating and watching the antics of our Avian Wonders. There is always a squabble or two going on over something, one standing watch guard, as the rest are eating, seeing a new injury, or a bird that hasn’t stopped  or flown by lately. What a delight!

Also, in our reading of Scripture, there is always a passage, or verse that catches your attention. Plus, I have a daily calander this year that has sayings from Church Signs. Humm! What if I tie all three of these into a series for the blog? So, after thinking along that trail, here is the first attempt at writing a new series.

Birdingwatching and Blessings – 6/1/21

We were blessed with having a parade of birds come into view while having our breakfast this morning. A couple of Mourning Doves landed first, and then two Loggerhead Shrikes landed on the feeder hook. First time we have spotted two of them. The Black-Bellied Whistling Duck couple showed up next to check out the ground feeders. They are becoming quite regular visitors. Mornings and in the evening. Three Boat-tailed Grackles landed across the water, and flew over to harrass the Whistling Ducks.

The neighborhood Muscovy ducks waddled and strutted around, while a Green Heron landed by the water. He looked around a minute or two, and then flew off. I walked outside to put some more seed in the feeders, when I heard and saw a Killdeer fly by. Had it not been calling, I would have missed seeing it. As I was walking back in the house, when I turned to close the door, a Tricolored Heron landed by the water. Not bad for a span of about 30 minutes!! [No photos for any of this.]

Church Signs:

Here are two to start us off:

Fix another person’s crown without telling the world it was crooked.

Failure and success are on the same road. Success is just further down that road.

Truths To Consider:

God’s Steadfast Love and Compassion
“Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.  He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18-19)

What a great promise!

Stay tuned as this series is developed. Lord’s Blessing on you.

[P.S. It’s dated two days ago because that is when these birds were spotted and the series idea began to grow.]