“the red kite, the falcon, and the kite after their kinds;
(Deuteronomy 14:13 NKJV)
Snail Kite – Brinson Park Pier – St Cloud by Lee – 8/8/17
*** Update – Monday we drove over to Melbourne, FL for my six-week follow-up from my back surgery. All is progressing very well. Still need a walker yet. Thanks for your continued prayers. On the way back home on Tuesday, we stopped by Brinson Park Pier in St. Cloud to see what kind of birds were there. Never visited that park before. What a treat. A Snail Kite eating a snail. I have some great video that I’ll share soon. Snail Kites are Birds of the Bible, as are all Kites. Also, during the ride, we spotted two Northern Crested Caracaras. Another treat.
“Where the birds make their nests; The stork has her home in the fir trees.” (Psalms 104:17 NKJV)
Wow! While searching through the index of this blog, I realized that the “Sunday Inspiration” was started in January of 2014. I had no idea it has been that long ago. Also, I realized that we are just about back to where it began. Over the last three and a half years, you have been exposed to almost every family of birds in the world. They were randomly produced, then the Taxonomic order was begun with the Passerines, Singing and Perching Birds. It was finished up and then we started through taxonomically several months ago. Do you have any idea of the numbers of avian wonders that you have have been exposed to? Neither do I. :)
Currently, there are 10,681 species named with I.O.C., plus all the subspecies. I trust as you have seen their photos and listened to Christian music in the background, that it has been more pleasant than looking through guide books. :)
All of this has been said to let you know that if the “Sunday Inspiration” starts skipping over certain families, then it was already covered. The links to the skipped over ones will be listed. Most of you, like me, probably had no idea of what order the birds are listed in. We have all been learning as we have produced these Inspirations in order.
Marabou Stork LP Zoo by Lee
Storks are members of the Ciconiidae family and the only family in the Ciconiiformes Order. Storks are large to very large waterbirds. They range in size from the marabou, which stands 152 cm (60 in) tall and can weigh 8.9 kg (20 lb) the Abdim’s stork, which is only 75 cm (30 in) high and only weighs 1.3 kg (2.9 lb). Their shape is superficially similar to the herons, with long legs and necks, but they are heavier-set. There is some sexual dimorphism (differences between males and females) in size, with males being up to 15% bigger than females in some species (for example the saddle-billed stork), but almost no difference in appearance. The only difference is in the colour of the iris of the two species in the genus Ephippiorhynchus.
White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) by Ian
The bills of the storks are large to very large, and vary considerably between the genera. The shape of the bills is linked to the diet of the different species. The large bills of the Ciconia storks are the least specialised. Larger are the massive and slightly upturned bills of the Ephippiorhynchus and the jabiru. These have evolved to hunt for fish in shallow water. Larger still are the massive daggers of the two adjutants and marabou (Leptoptilos), which are used to feed on carrion and in defence against other scavengers, as well as for taking other prey. The long, ibis-like downcurved bills of the Mycteria storks have sensitive tips that allow them to detect prey by touch (tactilocation) where cloudy conditions would not allow them to see it. The most specialised bills of any storks are those of the two openbills (Anastomus.), which as their name suggested is open in the middle when their bill is closed.
Saddlebill Stork at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee
“Even the stork in the heavens Knows her appointed times; And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow Observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the judgment of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 8:7 NKJV)
The storks vary in their tendency towards migration. Temperate species like the white stork, black stork and Oriental stork undertake long annual migrations in the winter. The routes taken by these species have developed to avoid long distance travel across water, and from Europe, this usually means flying across the Straits of Gibraltar or east across the Bosphorus and through Israel and the Sinai. Studies of young birds denied the chance to travel with others of their species have shown that these routes are at least partially learnt, rather than being innate as they are in passerine migrants. Migrating black storks are split between those that make stopovers on the migration between Europe and their wintering grounds in Africa, and those that don’t.
The Abdim’s stork is another migrant, albeit one that migrates within the tropics. It breeds in northern Africa, from Senegal to the Red Sea, during the wet season, and then migrates to Southern Africa. Many species that aren’t regular migrants will still make smaller movements if circumstances require it; others may migrate over part of their range. This can also include regular commutes from nesting sites to feeding areas. Wood storks have been observed feeding 130 km (81 mi) from their colony. [Information from Wikipedia, with editing.]
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39 KJV)
In all the busyness of things, the anniversary of this blog, slipped by unnoticed. The 15th of February was the 9th Anniversary of Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus. Today, we are getting close to 1.7 million views since the blog was moved to WordPress in July of 2009. Am not sure how many hits were made to the original blog that started out on Blogger. But the Lord has be gracious.
We now have had visitors from 228 Countries. Wow! Who would have thought? I was excited in 2009 and I am still excited in 2017 at what the Lord had done with this blog.
I never imagined that the Lord would bless my efforts to this extent. From that start, I made a blog of my own on Blogspot.com so that I could learn how to post on the church’s blog. Once I began learning how to blog, it has been growing every since. Then in July, the blog was moved over to here at WordPress.com. This is a great place to host a blog/website (as I call it) and it is free.
Of course, Dan, my husband, has been our main photographer (Dan’s Pix), and we have been blessed with the permission to use the photos of some mighty fine photographers. Thank all of you for your expertise and permission. Check the sidebar out under Photography for links to the photographers.
Most importantly, Praise the Lord, for His blessings on this blog. Had the Lord not created everything, we would not have anything to write about, nor would we be here to write it.
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? … O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! (Psa 8:3,4,9 KJV)
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.
Great Blue Heron by Dan
I am not sure this was attempted as a “great thing,” but it was attempted to honor the Lord. That is a very great thing, and God has turned that attempt into a blog that has been visited over 10,000 times just since July. Many of those visits have come from around the world. Thank all of you for your visits.
Carey also said, “If I begin a thing I must go through with it!” This blog has been started and we trust we will continue to keep writing about God’s wonderful creation, especially His birds, and the joy of observing all God’s marvelous handiwork.
“Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.” (Matthew 26:34 KJV)
Happy New Year!!
“The Galliformes Order is the next order taxonomically. “The Galliformesare an order of heavy-bodied ground-feeding birds that includes turkey, grouse, chicken, New World quail and Old World quail, ptarmigan, partridge, pheasant, junglefowl and the Cracidae. The name derives from “gallus”, Latin for “cock” or “rooster”. Common names are gamefowl or gamebirds, landfowl, gallinaceous birds, or galliforms. “Wildfowl” or just “fowl” are also often used for the Galliformes, but usually these terms also refer to waterfowl (Anseriformes), [which we just finished] and occasionally to other commonly hunted birds. This group has about 299 species, one or more of which are found in essentially every part of the world’s continents (except for the innermost deserts and perpetual ice). They are rarer on islands, and in contrast to the closely related waterfowl, are essentially absent from oceanic islands—unless introduced there by humans. Several species have been domesticated during their long and extensive relationships with humans.”
“As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.” (Jeremiah 17:11 KJV)
“This order contains five families: Phasianidae (including chicken, quail, partridges, pheasants, turkeys, peafowl and grouse), Odontophoridae (New World quails), Numididae (guineafowl), Cracidae (including chachalacas and curassows), and Megapodiidae (incubator birds like mallee fowl and brush-turkeys). They are important as seed dispersers and predators in the ecosystems they inhabit, and are often reared as game birds by humans for their meat and eggs and for recreational hunting. Many gallinaceous species are skilled runners and escape predators by running rather than flying. Males of most species are more colorful than the females. Males often have elaborate courtship behaviors that include strutting, fluffing of tail or head feathers, and vocal sounds. They are mainly nonmigratory.” (Wikipedia with editing)
Peacock at Magnolia Plantation by Dan
“Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?” (Job 39:13)
Here are a few birds from each of the five families:
“The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.” (Psalms 105:40 KJV)
Many of these birds are mentioned in the Bible, so they are also listed in our Birds of the Bible articles. Over the following Sunday, these families will be presented in smaller articles with the slideshows as in the previous articles.