Ian’s Irregular Bird – Painted Birds

In July I went on an overland bird-watching trip organised by a friend of mine in Melbourne. The main goal was finding arid country birds for two English birders. I tagged along to take some photos. We met up in Melbourne. Then we drove through Western Victoria to the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, along the Birdsville Track and through Western Queensland to Mt Isa. I flew home from there, while the others continued to the Gulf of Carpentaria and finally to Cairns, so that the English pair could fly back to London.
Australia has four species of bird called “Painted”, and we saw three of these on the trip, so I thought I’d do a Painted edition of the Irregular Bird. The first that we saw, and perhaps the one best deserving the moniker, is the Painted Buttonquail. It’s quite a work of art, meticulously and delicately decorated with a grey, rufous and black background highlighted with white streaks and spots. The result is both strikingly beautiful and brilliantly camouflaged against the woodland leaf litter where it occurs.
Buttonquails are strange quail-like birds related to waders rather than game birds. They are well represented in Australia with seven of the seventeen global species, the others being distributed throughout Asia, Africa and Southern Europe. They’re cryptic and hard to see, though the feeding habits of the Painted make it easier to find than the others. They search for food by rotating in a tight circle in leaf litter, like the pair in the second photo, leaving circular bare patches called “platelets”. Fresh platelets in an area known for them are a good indication that careful searching for them is justified.
Buttonquails are one of the groups of birds where there is a gender reversal in display, incubating the eggs and rearing the young. So the females are more brightly coloured. Note that the female on the right of this pair has brighter rufous plumage on the shoulders, and she is larger than her male partner.
The next painted species we encountered was this Painted Honeyeater in central Western Queensland. This is an inland species breeding mainly in Victoria and New South Wales. In winter it migrates north and can be found sparsely distributed through southern and Western Queensland and the eastern part of the Northern Territory. It’s paint job isn’t as carefully executed as in some of the other painted birds, though it has bold yellow stripes on the wings. delicate black streaks on the flanks and a pink bill.
Species number three was the Painted Finch, a striking bird of arid country such as spinifex with a wide mainly tropical distribution from Western Queensland through the Northern Territory to Western Australia. Both sexes are red and brown with black heavily daubed with white spots. The male, in front in the first photo, has more red than the female behind him. The bird in the second photo is also a female.
I’ve included the only other painted Australia bird, the Australian Painted-snipe, a bird of grassy wetlands. It’s rare and endangered owing to habitat loss and hard to find, though it turns up unexpectedly in different places.
The one in this photo is a male. Females are larger and more colourful, and you’re right: there’s a swapping of gender roles here too. It seems to be a habit among painted bird species, artistic license I suppose. Painted-snipes form their own family but they are thought to be related to Jacanas, which also swap roles. Maybe I should do an Irregular Bird on Australian Rainbow birds, though the sexes in these are almost identical and their preferences may be gender fluid for all we know.
Greetings
Ian

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: 0411 602 737 +61-411 602 737
Preferred Email: ianbirdway@gmail.com

Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au

Lee’s Addition:

Thanks, Ian for another irregular birding report. Looks like your birding trips are as irregular as ours are. (We have not been birding in months.)
What beautiful birds with designs and colors from their Creator. It is amazing that these colors also help protect them by blending them in with their surroundings. Thanks again for sharing your latest adventure with us.
“That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.” (Isaiah 41:20 KJV)
See all of Ian’s Articles:

Parrot Denies Evolution – Creation Moments

PARROT DENIES EVOLUTION

MaCaw by Dan at Gatorland

MaCaw by Dan at Gatorland

Listen

“And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven;.” Genesis 7:23a

According to evolution theory, birds should not have been around at the time of the dinosaurs. This is especially true of the parrot, which is supposed, by those who believe in evolution, to be a more highly-evolved bird.

A fossilized parrot’s beak was dug up 40 years ago, but ignored. It was recently rediscovered at the University of California, Berkeley, by a graduate student. The problem, for evolutionists, is that they date the rock in which the beak was found as coming from the Cretaceous period when the dinosaurs lived and birds had not yet evolved. X‑ray study of the fossilized beak shows that the beak has the same blood vessel and nerve channels as a modern parrot. But it is not just one parrot’s beak that has been found in rocks from the age of dinosaurs. Loons, frigate‑birds and other shore bird fossils have also been found in rock that was supposedly laid down during the time of the dinosaurs!

Fossils are remains of living things rapidly buried, we believe, at the time of the Genesis Flood.  However, it is perhaps not too surprising that bird fossils and dinosaur fossils are generally not found together; indeed, bird fossils in any part of the earth’s strata are extremely rare.  This is because while dinosaur bones are very robust, bird bones and beaks are extremely fragile and would not have survived the turmoil of the Genesis Flood.  The very few that have been fossilized tell us of very rapid and deep burial that would be expected during the Biblical Flood.

Prayer: I thank You, Lord, for making Your Word trustworthy in everything. Amen.

© 2022 Creation Moments.  (Used with permission)

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) by Lee

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) by Lee

Other Articles from Creation Moments

Wordless Birds – Toucan

Now That’s A Parrot – Squawkzilla

 

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.

A J Mithra’s Posts

A J Mithra

A J Mithra

Again, I’m still fixing the behind-the-scenes problems, and the delights of looking back over what has been posted.

I always enjoyed a j mithra’s articles. [he never wanted his name capitalized] He is now with the Lord, but what a legacy he left behind. Thankfully, we were able to enjoy many of them here.

His list of articles is under his name a j mithra in the left side menu. While looking through them and enjoying a few, one in particular is SUPER!

Take a look at his post Humming Birds – The Believing Believers… by a j mithra – I reposted it here for you to enjoy.

Here are a j mithra’s posts:

Spiritual Catastrophe
Do They?
Golden Bowerbird – From the Smallest
Clark’s Nutcracker
Bar-tailed Godwit – Self Control
What Would God Say of Us?
Cassowary Seed Spreaders
Is The Bride Ready?
Emu – The Model Father
Stork – The Kind Mother
Cedar Waxwing
The Feet
World Sparrow Days
Azores Bullfinch and the Holly Tree…
Hermit Warbler – The Worshiper..
Worthen’s Sparrow – Lost, but found..
Ovenbirds – Ground Singers
Master Builder’s Master Builders
Malleefowl’s Incubators
Hoatzin – The Stinker
White-Fronted Bee-eaters – The Life Guards
Kirtland’s Warbler Reveals…
The Eagle – The Loyal Mate
Atlantic Puffin – The Deep Sea-Diver
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – Chief Corner Stone’s Keystone
Thick-billed Murre – Did GOD Create Us To Fall?
Out of the Mouth of Babes…
The Purple Gallinule – The Awkward Beauty!
The Surrendered Anhinga
The Inspired and the Inspiring Rose-breasted Grosbeak
The American Dipper – The Intercessor
Araripe Manakin – The Indicator of Environmental Quality…
The White-crowned Sparrow – The Restorer
Flight 7
The Sage in the sagebrush…
Three-wattled Bellbird – The Noise Maker
Kagu – The High Profile Endemic Emblem
Wompoo Fruit Dove – The Seed Distributor
Birds, It’s Coffee-time
Long-wattled Umbrellabird – The Dawn Dancer..
Snowflake and the Eye
I Don’t Show Off – The Great Horned Owl
The Thirsty Sandgrouse…
Island Scrub Jays – The Ultimate Home-makers
The Mountain Bluebird – The Zealous Bridegroom
The Hummingbird – The Believer..
A Beauty from THE BEAUTY…
The Cerulean Warbler – The V I P …
A Beauty fro THE BEAUTY…
Cerulean Warbler – The V I P…
The Capercaillie – The Stethoscope
The Superb Fairywren – The Corporate Mob
The Space sharing seed storing Redpoll…
Montserrat Oriole – The Super Survivor
Macaw – The Beautician
The Black Skimmer – The Graceful Flier…
The Futuristic Whip-poor-wills….
Andean Cock-of-the-rock – The Changer…
Wattled Jacana – The Perfect Partner
Birds-Advertisers of Life
Worship – The God Pleaser
Birds – Purpose Filled Singers
Screeeeeeech
Renewing For Rapture
Blue Chaffinch – The High Dwellers
Birds – Watchers of Light
Scare Scarer
Disiplined Avian
Worship – Our Mating Song
Artic Terns – The Light Seekers
Yellow-rumped Cacique – The Trusted Watchman
Red-billed Leiothrix – The Rain Seekers…
Humming Birds – The Believing Believers… (Superb)
Birds – The Engineers..
Secretary Bird – The Walker
Swinhoe’s Pheasant – The Secret Agents..
Bobolink – Extraordinary Migrant…
Seeker…
Mrs. Mom…
The Launching Pad…
Light Rain..
Mysterious Sungrebe…
Tasty Household…
The Smooth-billed Ani – The Corporates…
Coppersmith Barbet – The Fruit-giver…
Macrocephalon Maleo – The Mute Missionary…
Oilbird – Mission With a Vision
Avian Worship…
The Little Spiderhunter – The Praising Pollinator
(Common) Pauraque — Big Mouth
Pompadour Continga – The Concealed Incubators…
The Apostlebird – The Ground Dwellers…
The Red-eyed Vireo – The Persistent Singer…
Goldcrest – The Royal Crown
Red-billed Quelea – Unity Unplugged
Cedar Waxwing – Fruit Passer…
The Broad-billed Prion – The well oiled night mates..
Island Scrub Jay – The Fallen One Yet The Chosen One..
Brown Thrasher – The Singing Assasin..
Red-breasted Goose – Wise Nester
American Goldfinch – The Latecomers..
White-fronted Bee-eater – The Community Developer..
Willow Flycatcher – The Solitary Singer
Baya Weaver – The Model Church
The Limpkin – Created Special..
The Christmas Bird?
Black Rosy Finch – The Grace Seeker..
The Black-throated Sparrow – The Desert Dwellers
Pollinators…
Stop Flying Solo…

Fly Light…
Is Eagle’s Weight Our Weight?
Oriental White-eye – The Grace Seeker..

Birds of the Bible – Hidden Covenant – Intro – Part 2 – Part 3

AJMithra's Photo of Green Bee-eater

AJMithra’s Photo of Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)

Videos by a j:
Fusion Unplugged by Boat-tailed Grackles
His Eye Is On The Sparrow
LoUiSiAnA oh LoUiSiAnA…

Nuggets Plus Series by ajmithra

Aj Mithra is now with our Lord

 

Sunday Inspiration Menu Update

Sandwich Tern Singing (calling) By Mike Bader

Opps! I forgot to add the latest Sunday Inspiration’s to the menu in the last post about that menu. [Now Updated]

Here is the rest of the Menu:

New World Quail ~ “Man of Sorrows” – Faith Baptist Choir

Pheasants and Allies I ~ “While the Ages Roll” ~ Men’s Quartet – Faith Baptist

Pheasants and Allies II ~ In the Garden” ~ Flute Solo Lauren D – Orchestra Concert

Pheasants and Allies III ~ “Hiding in the Shadow of the Rock” ~ Dr. Richard Gregory

Pheasants and Allies IV ~ “God’s Still In Control” ~ ©Hyssongs

Pheasants and Allies V ~ “How Can I Keep From Singing” ~ Three + One Quartet (Pastor Smith, Reagan, Jessie, and Caleb)

Loons and Penguins ~ “Day Star” – With Pastor Smith and Reagan Osborne

Austral Storm Petrels and Albatrosses ~ “I Am Determined to Live for the King” ~ Three-Plus-One Quartet – Faith Baptist

Northern Storm Petrels ~ “Bless The Lord Oh My Soul” ~ By Sean Fielder

Procellariidae Family – Petrel, Fulmar and Prion ~ “You Were There” ~ Three Plus One Quartet – Solo Reagan Osborne

Procellariidae – (Pterodroma – Gadfly) Petrels ~ “Jesus What a Mighty Name” ~ Pastor Smith with Choir and Orchestra

Procellariidae – Rest of Family ~ “Big Mighty God” ~ Three plus One Quartet

Grebe Family ~ “He is God” ~ by 3 Plus 1 Quartet, Faith Baptist

Procellariidae Family – Petrel, Fulmar and Prion ~ “You Were There” ~ Three Plus One Quartet – Solo Reagan Osborne

A New Day ~ “A New Day” ~ Ernesto Cortazar

Flamingos and Tropicbirds ~ “You Are the Everlasting God” ~ 3 Plus 1 Quartet – Faith Baptist

Storks ~ “Amazing Grace” and “I Love You” ~ Orchestra and Choir combined”

Ibises and Spoonbills I ~ “Stay Close To Me” ~ by the ©Hyssongs

Hamerkop, Shoebill, and Pelicans ~ “I Will Sing The Mighty Power of God” ~ ©Hyssongs

Frigatebirds, Gannets and the Booby ~ “My Faith Still Holds” ~ Faith Baptist Church Orchestra

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” (Ephesians 5:19-20 KJV)

Crows and Other Corvids are Really Smart Birds!

Crows and Other Corvids are Really Smart Birds!

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

FOREST RAVEN (Corvus tasmanicus): eBird.org / David Irving photo credit
HOODED CROW (World Life Expectancy photo)

“Every raven after his kind”   (Leviticus 11:15)

Who provides for the raven his food? When his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of food.   (Job 38:41)

Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; they neither have storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them; how much more are ye better than birds?   (Luke 12:24)

[quoting from the HOLY BIBLE]

There is, as Moses noted, a “kind” (i.e., genetically related family) of birds that we call “corvids”, crow-like birds, including ravens.  [In the English Bible (KJV), these birds are always called “ravens”.] 

These black (or mostly black – see Song of Solomon 5:11) omnivores are known to “crow”, often calling out a harsh KAWWWW!   Also famous for their “ravenous”appetites and eating habits, it is no wonder that the English labeled many varieties of these corvid birds as “ravens”.

The HOODED CROW (Corvus cornix) lives and thrives in the Great North – including Sweden, Finland, and Russia.  This I learned firsthand, on July 6th of AD2006, while visiting a grassy park near the Vasa Museum of Stockholm, Sweden.  The next day (July 7th of AD2006), it was my privilege to see another Hooded Crow in a heavily treed park in Helsinki, Finland.  Again, two days later (i.e., the 9th of July, AD2006), while visiting Pushkin (near St. Petersburg, Russia), I saw a Hooded Crow, in one of the “garden” parks of Catherine’s Palace.  Obviously, Hooded Crows appreciate high-quality parks of northern Europe!

HOODED CROW (Warren Photographic photo credit)

The physical appearance of a Hooded Crow is, as one bird-book describes, “unmistakable”.

Unmistakable.  Head, wings and tail black, but body grey (can show pinkish cast in fresh plumage).

[Quoting Chris Kightley, Steve Madge, & Dave Nurney, POCKET GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF BRITAIN AND NORTH-WEST EUROPE (Yale University Press / British Trust for Ornithology, 1998), page 271.]

Like most large corvids, the Hood Crow is quite versatile in filling various habitats.

Wary, aggressive scavenger found in all habitats from city centre to tideline, forest to mountain top.  Generally seen in ones and twos, but the adage ‘crows alone, rooks in a flock’ unreliable; often accompanies other crows, and hundreds may gather at favoured feeding spots and roosts.  Watch for crow’s frequent nervy wing flicks whenever on ground or perched.  Calls varied.  Typically a loud, angry kraa, usually given in series of 2—6 calls.  Unlike Rook, pairs nest alone (usually in tree).

[Again quoting Kightley, et al., POCKET GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF BRITAIN AND NORTH-WEST EUROPE, page 271.]
CARRION CROW   (Ouiseaux-Birds photo)

Yet the HOODED CROW is not a genetically self-contained “species”, regardless of what taxonomists might wish about them.  They happily hybridize with other crows, especially the CARRION CROW [Corvus corone], whose international range the Hooded Crow overlaps.

CARRION CROWS + HOODED CROWS = HYBRIDS   (Bird Hybrids photo)

CARRION AND HOODED CROWS.  The familiar crow.  Two distinct races occur … [In the]British Isles and western Europe, Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) is common everywhere except north and west Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man and Europe east of Denmark, where it is replaced by Hooded (Corvus cornix).  Where breeding ranges overlap hybrids are frequent [emphasis added by JJSJ].

[Again quoting Kightley et al., page 271.]

The Carrion-Hooded Crow hybrids are also noted within a larger discussion (i.e., pages 224-228) of Corvid family hybrids, in Eugene M. McCarthy, HANDBOOK OF AVIAN HYBRIDS OF THE WORLD (Oxford University Press, 2006), at page 227. 

CORVIDS (Jelmer Poelstra / Uppsala University image credit)

Dr. McCarthy, an avian geneticist, has accumulated and summarized genetic research on Carrion-Hooded hybrids, especially examples observed in Eurasia:

Because the Carrion Crow has a split range … with the Hooded Crow intervening … there are two long contact zones, one extending from N. Ireland, through N. Scotland, to N.W. Germany, then S to N Italy, and another stretching from the Gulf of Ob (N Russia) to the Aral Sea.  … Even in the center of the [overlap] zone, only 30% of [these corvid] birds are obviously intermediate.  Due to hybridization these [corvid] birds are now sometimes lumped, but Parkin et al. (2003) recommend against this treatment since the two have obvious differences in plumage, as well as in vocalizations and ecology, and because hybrids have lower reproductive success than either parental type.  Hybrid young are less viable, too, than young produced from unmixed mating (Saino and Villa 1992).  Genetic variability increases within the hybrid zone (as has been observed in many other types of crossings).  Occasional mixed pairs occur well outside [the overlap range] zones (e.g., Schlyter reports one from Sweden).

[Quoting Eugene M. McCarthy, HANDBOOK OF AVIAN HYBRIDS OF THE WORLD (Oxford Univ. Press, 2006), at page 227.]

 Dr. McCarthy, on pages 224-228, lists several other examples of documented corvid hybridizations, including: Corvus capellanus [Mesopotamian Crow] X Corvus corone [Carrion Crow];  Corvus cornix [Hooded Crow] X Pica pica [Black-billed Magpie];  Corvus albus  [Pied Crow] X Corvus albicollis [White-necked Raven];  Corvus albus  [Pied Crow] X Corvus ruficollis [Brown-necked Raven];  Corvus albus [Pied Crow] X Corvus splendens [House Crow];  Corvus brachyrhynchos [American Crow] X Corvus caurinus [Northwestern Crow];  Corvus corax [Common Raven] X Corvus brachyrhynchos [American Crow];  Corvus corax [Common Raven] X Corvus corone [Carrion Crow];  Corvus corax [Common Raven] X Corvus cryptoleucus [Chihuahuan Raven];  Corvus corax [Common Raven] X Corvus levaillantii [Jungle Crow];  Corvus corax [Common Raven] X Corvus macrorhynchos  [Large-billed Crow];  Corvus corax [Common Raven] X Corvus ruficollis [Brown-necked Raven];  Corvus corone [Carrion Crow] X Corvus macrorhynchos  [Large-billed Crow];   Corvus daururicus [Jackdaw, a/k/a “Coloeus dauuricus”] X Corvus monedula [Jackdaw, a/k/a “Coloeus mondela”];  Corvus levaillantii [Jungle Crow] X Corvus macrorhynchos  [Large-billed Crow];  Pica nuttalli [Yellow-billed Magpie] X Pica pica [Black-billed Magpie];  plus it looks like an occasional Rook [Corvus frugilegus] joins the “mixer”, etc.   Looks like a good mix or corvids! 

Avian hybrids, of course, often surprise and puzzle evolutionist taxonomists, due to their faulty assumptions and speculations about so-called “speciation” – as was illustrated, during AD2013, in the discovery of Norway’s “Redchat”  —  see “Whinchat, Redstart, & Redchat:  Debunking the ‘Speciation’ Myth Again”, posted at https://leesbird.com/2017/12/12/whinchat-redstart-redchat-debunking-the-speciation-myth-again/ .

CORVID RANGES of the world (Wikipedia image credit)

Meanwhile, as the listed examples (of corvid hybridizations) above show, corvid hybrids are doing their part to “fill the earth”, including Hooded-Carrion Crows. 

Now that is are something to crow about!               ><> JJSJ    profjjsj@aol.com   

AUSTRALIAN MAGPIE (Gymnorhina tibicen) swooping to attack / CSIROscope photo credit

APPENDIX:  CROWS & OTHER CORVIDS ARE REALLY SMART BIRDS!

Crows, as well as other corvid birds (i.e., members of the Crow-Raven family), fascinate children. They should amaze adults, too, yet often we are too busy to take time to ponder and appreciate the God-given traits of the creatures who share our world.  Why should these birds capture our attention? They are alive!

Unlike plants, which are like biological machines (having no self-consciousness), higher-order animals like mammals and birds are truly alive, often displaying what might be called personalities. Although qualitatively distinct from humans—who are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27)—animals have what Scripture calls a “soul” (the Biblical Hebrew noun is nephesh—see Genesis 1:20-21; 1:24; 2:19; 9:10; 9:12; 9:15-16 & Leviticus 11:46. )  This “soul” (nephesh)—is something more than the bird’s (or other animal’s) physical body. A bird’s nephesh-lifedeparts at death, yet its physical body remains. Thus, there is a difference between a bird’s immaterial life and its material body, just as we humans have physical bodies distinct from our own immaterial selves. The bird’s “soul” is revealed by how he or she intelligently thinks, communicates, learns, and makes decisions—including problem-solving choices.

Although many avian (and other animal) behaviors exhibit preprogrammed responses to outside world conditions, not all such behaviors are instinctive. Some such behaviors reveal that God chose to give these creatures real intelligence, real  cleverness—demonstrated by abilities to learn new ideas, to fit new situations, and to solve practical problems of daily living.

As [Benjamin] Beck tells us in his book Animal Tool Behavior, [a crow] was fed partly on dried mash, which its keepers were supposed to moisten. But sometimes (being merely human) they forgot. The crow, undaunted, would then pick up a small plastic cup that had been provided as a toy, dip it into a water trough, carry the filled cup across the room to the food, and empty the water onto the mash. “If the water was spilled accidently,” Beck writes, “the crow would return to the trough for a refill rather than proceed to the food pan with an empty cup.” The bird was not taught to do this. “The [problem-solving] behavior appeared spontaneously,” Beck reports

[Quoting from Candace Savage, Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays (San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1997), pages 2-4.]
Australian Magpie (Wikipedia photo)

For another example of a corvid bird—in this case a magpie—demonstrating problem-solving intelligence, consider how Australian magpies deal with the unforeseeable problem of a human-imposed GPS “backpack”, which hinders its avian wearer similar to the inconvenience of a human wearing an “ankle bracelet”: 

Here, we describe one such study trialling [i.e., trial-experimenting] a novel harness design for GPS tracking devices on Australian Magpies Gymnorhina tibicen. Despite previous testing demonstrating the strength and durability of the harness, devices were removed within minutes to hours of initial fitting. Notably, removal was observed to involve one bird snapping another bird’s harness at the only weak point, such that the tracker was released. 

[Quoting from Joel Crampton, Celine H. Frère, & Dominique A. Potvin, “Australian Magpies Gymnorhina tibicen Cooperate to Remove Tracking Devices”, Australian Field Ornithology, 39:7-11 (2022).]

Likewise, some corvid birds (such as scrub jays)—acting like helpful “first responders”—are known to rescue distressed “birds of [the same] feather”, when a predator is threatening one of their own kind.

What if a large predatory bird attacks a small bird (or its nest of hatchlings)? Oftentimes, in such situations, the imperiled bird’s alarm-cry is followed by a “mob” attack. In effect, a vigilante-like “posse” of small birds chase and peck the predator, so the predator quickly flees to avoid the group counter-attack.  This has often been observed in corvid birds—the family of crows—such as Eurasia’s Siberian jay.

Jays sometimes gang up on owls and hawks, their primary predators, in an activity called “mobbing.” Uppsala University research [in Sweden] on Siberian jays, slated to appear in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences, investigated the specifics of how jays communicate when mobbing predators. The study found that these birds have “over 25 different vocalisations” which combine to form “over a dozen different calls [while mobbing], some of which are specific for owls and other [sic] for hawks.”

[Quoting from Brian Thomas, “Jay Talking”, Creation Science Update (June 29, 2009), posted at www.icr.org/article/jay-talking — quoting from a Uppsala University press release, “Siberian Jays Use Complex Communication to Mob Predators”, dated June 8, 2009]

Many other examples of problem solving by resourceful animals could be given. Domesticated livestock, family pets, wildlife, and laboratory-tested animals come up with clever solutions to the challenges of daily living to secure food, water, air, shelter, rest, information, and reproductive success. But the resourcefulness of animals should not surprise us.

Proverbs informs us that God wisely installed wisdom into the minds of corvid birds, as well as many other animals—even small creatures like ants, conies, locusts, and lizards.  To literally translate what Proverbs 30:24 [chakâmîm mechukkâmîm] says about such animals, they are “wise from receiving [God’s] wisdom.”  Truly amazing display — of God’s creativity and love for life !       

   ><> JJSJ     profjjsj@aol.com

father Australian Magpie (Corvus tibicen) feeding juvenile magpie (Wikipedia / Toby Hudson photo credit)

[P.S.: this blogpost updates and expands upon an earlier post on November 7th A.D.2018.]

Sunday Inspiration Menu

As you know, there is a menu along the left side which has links to many of the articles categorized to help you find interesting topics. One of those menus is Sunday Inspiration. We enjoyed producing these over the years and trust they were informative and a blessing.

I just finished updating this page and hopefully fixed the broken links and minor problems. Here is that same Sunday Inspiration Menu to help you find some of the ones you missed.

American Yellow Warbler (Dendroica aestiva) singing by J Fenton

American Yellow Warbler (Dendroica aestiva) singing by J Fenton

Sunday Inspiration is an attempt at showing God’s Creative Hand with a slideshow of different Families of Birds or a theme, such as Stone Birds. Also, music from sources that have provided permission.

Trust you enjoy seeing these birds and hearing Christian music to give you a Sunday Inspiration.

Eagles – “Don’t Give Up”  ©The Hyssongs

Laughingthrush – “My Faith Still Holds” by Faith Baptist Orchestra

Hummingbirds – “Come Thou Fount” by Faith Baptist Orchestra

Stone Birds – “Jesus Rolled Back The Stone” ©Hyssongs

Turacos – “Redeemed Medley” by Faith Baptist Choir

Woodpeckers – “Jesus Love Me” ©Bonnie Standifer

Owls – “How Great Thou Art” @Sean Fielder

Thrushes – “I Love You Lord” by Faith Baptist Orchestra

Great Egrets in Breeding Plumage – “I’ve Got Joy” by Faith Baptist Orchestra

Sparrows – “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” – Don Marsh Orchestra

Tanagers – Your Grace is Sufficient” by Courtney Love – Flute

Feet “Just A Closer Walk With Thee” – ©The Hyssongs

Palm Birds – Hosanna (Messiah Has Come) and Messiah – (Solo by Lisa Brock) from the Easter Musical 2013 by Faith Baptist Choir.

Easter – Faith Baptist Orchestra playing at the Easter Service in 2012

Jays and Cousins – “Bless The Lord Oh My Soul” © Sean Fielder

Mother’s Day – “Stay Close To Me” © The Hyssongs

Singing Birds – “Singing” by Dr. Richard Gregory

Sunrise Gives A Big Surprise – “Military Service Medley” – Faith Baptist Orchestra

Old Rugged Cross (Cross and Hill Birds) – “The Old Rugged Cross” – Faith Baptist Orchestra

Herons – “Peace Medley”  by Faith Baptist Choir

Rock Birds – “Hiding in the Shadow of the Rock” ~ © Dr. Richard Gregory

Birds and Peace – “I’d Rather Have Jesus” – © Sean Fielder

Sparrows II – “His Eye Is On The Sparrow ” – by Kathy Lisby

Thirst – “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing – ©Sean Fielder

“King” Birds – “The King is Coming” – Faith Baptist Choir and Orchestra. Intro by Pastor Osborne and “The King is Coming” – ©Hyssongs

Hornbills – “I Sing The Mighty Power Of God” ~ by the ©Hyssongs

Bitterns ~ “Hide Thou Me” ~ by the ©Hyssongs

Hawks – “I Will Pilot Thee” ~ by Dr. Richard Gregory

Sunbirds – “Temporary Home” – Flute played by Courtney Love (artist Carrie Underwood)

Smiling – “Smile On Me Gracious Lord” – Special by Amy, Dakota and Christina

Batis and Wattle-eye – “There Shall Be Showers of Blessing”. Hymn – from Faith Baptist Church

Passerines – “Sweet Hour of Prayer” – by Sean Fielder (Faith Baptist)

Crown Birds – “All Hail The Power of Jesus Name” – Faith Baptist Orchestra

On The Sea – “Ship Ahoy ~ by Dr. Richard Gregory

“Love” Birds – “Oh The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” Special by Christina

Creation ~ “This is My Father’s World” – YouTube Video with Sean Fielder Playing

I’ll Be A Friend – “I’ll Be A Friend To Jesus” ~ by Men’s Quartet – Faith Baptist Church

At Calvary – “At Calvary” – (Trio – Margaret H, Sue W, Pastor Jerry) and Faith Baptist Choir

One Day Too Late – “One Day Too Late” – Men’s Quartet + 1 – Faith Baptist Church

Veteran’s Day – “Military Service Medley” – Faith Baptist Orchestra

Variety ~ ”The Love Of God” – ©The Hyssongs

Worthy of Thanksgiving ~ “Worthy of Worship” – Faith Baptist Orchestra

Hide Thou Me ~ “Hide Thou Me” – ©Hyssongs

Resting ~ “God’s Still In Control” – ©Hyssongs

Christmas Birds ~ Christmas Message from Pastor Osborne III

What A Savior ~ excerpt from this year’s Christmas Program at Faith Baptist

Flamingo Gardens ~ “In The Garden” – Faith Baptist Orchestra

Let Everything Praise ~ “God Is Great.” ©The Hyssongs

Big Might God ~ “Big Mighty God” – 3+1 – Pastor Jerry, Reagan Osborne, Caleb & Jessie Padgett

Star Birds ~ “Day Star” ~ Pastor Jerry Smith and Reagan Osborne at Faith Baptist Church

Beginning of Passeriformes Order (Songbirds) For The Sunday Inspiration

More Amazing Birds ~ “Jesus What A Might Name” – Pastor Jerry w/Choir and Orchestra

Ant Birds ~ “He Looked Beyond My Fault” ~ ©The Hyssongs

Everlasting God ~”Everlasting God” – Pastor Jerry, Reagan Osborne, Caleb & Jessie Padgett

Flycatchers ~ “Amazing Grace” – Orchestra and “I Love You, Written in Red” – Choir (Faith Baptist Church)

Give Thanks ~ “Give Thanks” ~ sung by Mark Quijano, his YouTube Channel

There is a Redeemer ~ “There is a Redeemer,” played by Nell Reese at Faith Baptist Church

Australian Birds ~ “How Can I Keep From Singing” – Pastor Jerry Smith, Jessie and Caleb Padgett and Reagan Osborne

Honeyeaters ~ “Blood of Jesus Medley” ~ Faith Baptist Church Choir

Worthy ~ “Worthy” ~ Faith Baptist Choir and Orchestra

Variety II ~ “Just A Little Talk With Jesus” – Vegter Six

Whipbirds, Wattle-eyes and Allies – ” Be Thou My Vision and Battle Hymn of the Republic” ~ played by Sean Fielder

Woodshrikes and Helmetshrikes ~ ” I’ve Got Joy” ~ by the Faith Baptist Orchestra

Bushshrikes and Boatbills ~ “We Shall See Jesus” ~ Margaret Hiebert, Pastor and Jill Osborne and Pastor Jerry Smith

Vangas and Friends ~ “I Still Believe” – ©The Hyssongs

Cuckooshrikes ~ “There’s Something About That Name” ©The Hyssongs

Whistlers and Avian Friends ~ “”The Love of God” ~ Dr. Richard Gregory

Shrikes and Vireos ~ “El Shaddai” – by Nell Reese

Figbirds, Orioles and Drongos ~ “He Touched Me” -~ ©The Hyssongs

Fantails ~ “So Send I You” – Men’s Quartet – Faith Baptist

Monarchs ~ “He’s Looking on You” ~ by Dr. Richard Gregory

Crows and Jays ~ “Peace Medley” ~ by Faith Baptist Choir

Independence Day ~ “Military Medley” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

From Mud to Beauty ~ “I Heard The Voice of Jesus” ~ By Sean Fielder

Australian Robin and Friends ~ “Hiding in the Shadow of the Rock” ~ © Dr. Richard Gregory

Deep Love of Jesus ~ “Oh The Deep, Deep, Love of Jesus” ~ Megan Fee and Jill Foster

Tits, Chickadees and Penduline Tits ~ “Just a Little Talk With Jesus Makes It Right” ~ Vegter Quartet (together for Vi’s 90th Birthday)

Larks ~ “His Eye Is On The Sparrow ” – by Kathy Lisby, Faith Baptist Church

Bulbuls ~ “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us” ~ played by Megan Fee and Jill Foster

Swallows and Martins ~ “If I Don’t Have Love” ~ by Jessie Padgett – Special at Faith Baptist

Wren-babblers – Crombecs and Bush Warblers – “Bow The Knee” ~ Sheila Vegter and Jacob (her son who is playing the piano and singing)

Little Beauties From The Lord ~ “Beautiful Saviour (Fairest Lord Jesus)”) ~ by Kid’s Choir at Faith Baptist

Reed Warblers ~ “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross” ~ by Miss Anna Pletcher (12 years old) on piano

Grassbirds and Allies ~ “The Church’s One Foundation” – Megan Fee, Cody Hancock & Dakota Hancock ~ at Faith Baptist

Worth The Lamb ~ “Worthy The Lamb” ~ Choir at Faith Baptist Church

Cisticolas and Singing ~ “How Can I Keep From Singing?” ~  by the Trio + 1 (Pastor Jerry, Reagan Osborne, Caleb & Jessie Padgett) Faith Baptist

Fulvettas, Ground Babblers ~ “Everything’s Fine” ~ ©Hyssongs

Laughingthrush – Leiothrichidae Family ~ “Ten Thousand Joys” ~ Choir – Lisa Brock – Jessie Padgett (Faith Baptist)

Sylviid Babblers ~ “I Stand Amazed” ~ Faith Baptist Choir

White Eyes ~ “Come, Look To Jesus” ~ Played by Jill Foster at Faith Baptist (during Communion)

Seven Small Families ~ “All Hail The Power” – Faith Baptist Orchestra

Wrens ~ “He is Everything To Me” – Men’s Ensemble – Faith Baptist

Nuthatches and Creepers ~ “How Deep Is Your Love?” – Played by Jill Foster (Faith Baptist)

Mockingbirds and Thrashers ~ “I Am Loved” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

Starlings, Mynas and Rhabdornis ~ “Once Upon A Tree” ~ Choir – and – “Sing To Jesus” ~ Angel Long & Jessie Padgett

Oxpeckers and Thrushes ~ “I Heard The Bells With Peace On Earth” – with Jessie Padgett, Angel Long and the FX Girls

Chats and Old World Flycatchers I ~ “Wise Men Still Seek Him” – Trio and Choir

Chats and Old World Flycatchers II ~ “The Birthday of a King” ~ by Dr. Richard Gregory, now in Glory

Chats and Old World Flycatchers III ~ O Come, O Come Emmanuel”  by Meagan Fee on Violin and Jill Foster accompanying

Dippers, Leafbirds and Flowerpeckers ~ Faith Medley” – Faith Baptist Choir

Sunbirds and Spiderhunters ~ “The Fountain” Harp — 9-year-old Alisa Sadikova – Video

Old World Sparrows ~ “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” – Don Marsh Orchestra

Weavers and Allies ~ “Jesus What A Might Name” – Pastor Jerry w/Choir and Orchestra

Waxwings and Allies I ~ “My Jesus I Love Thee” – by Meagan Fee (didn’t work 1st time-fixed)

Waxwings and Allies II ~ “My Jesus I Love Thee” – by Meagan Fee at Faith Baptist

Some Small Families ~ “Little Prayers” – by the ©The Hyssongs

Wagtails and Pipits ~ “Glorious Love” – Choir, Orchestra, Solo by Pastor Jerry

Finches I ~ “Mercies Anew” ~ by Lisa Brock, accompanied by Jill Foster

Finches II ~ “My Faith Has Found A Resting Place” ~ ©Artisans in Brass (Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs-Album) Used with permission

Finches III ~ “Shout To The North and the South” ~ by Faith Baptist Church Choir

Finches IV ~ “Once Upon A Tree” ~ by Faith Baptist Church Choir

New World Warblers – I ~ “How Can I Keep From Singing?” ~ Pastor Jerry Smith, Reagan, Caleb and Jessie

New World Warblers – II ~ “Heavenly Sunlight” ~ by Artisans in Brass

Three Small Families ~ “I’ll Be a Friend to Jesus” ~ Faith Baptist Quartet

Icteridae Family I ~ I’ll Stand Up and Say So” – by the ©The Hyssongs

Icteridae Family II ~ “It Is Well With My Soul” ~ by Sean Fielder

Icteridae Family III ~ “Stay Close To Me” ~ ©Hyssongs

Emberizidae’s – Buntings ~ “Triumphantly The Church Will Rise” ~ Faith Baptist Men’s Quintet

Emberizidae – Part II ~ “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” ~ by Kathy Lisby at Faith Baptist

Emberizidae Family Allies I ~ “Be Thou My Vision” ~ by Ladies and Girls Choir on Mother’s Day

Emberizidae Family Allies II ~ “Worthy The Lamb” – Faith Baptist Choir and Orchestra

Thraupidae – Tanagers and Allies I – “My Jesus I Love Thee” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

Thraupidae – Tanagers and Allies II – “My Faith Still Holds” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

Thraupidae – Tanagers and Allies III – “Jesus Paid It All” – Men’s Father’s Day Choir and “While The Ages Roll” –  Men’s Quartet

Thraupidae – Tanagers and Allies IV – “El Shaddai” ~ by Nell Reese

Thraupidae – Dacnis, Honeycreepers, Conebills ~ “Amazing Grace” and “I Love You, Written in Red” – – Orchestra & Choir (Faith Baptist Church)

Thraupidae – Flowerpiercers, Sierra Finches, Plus ~ “Your Grace is Sufficient” ~ Special by Courtney Love – Flute

Inca, Warbling and Various Finches ~ “Quiet Rest” and “Sweet Hour of Prayer” ~  by Kathy Lisby – Nell Reese acc. on piano.

Thraupidae Tanagers and Allies  VIII ~ “And Can It Be” – Sung by Angel Long and acc. Sean Fielder*

Thraupidae Tanagers and Allies Finale ~ “Hallelujah For The Cross” ~ by Jessie Padgett

Calcariidae – Longspurs and Snow Buntings ~ “House on A Rock” ~ by the Summer Kid’s Choir

Cardinalidae Family of Cardinals Plus ~ “Written in Red” – Orchestra & Choir

Cardinalidae Wrap-up ~ “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” ~ Choir and Orchestra

Passeriformes Review I ~ “To Win My Soul” – Sung by Jessie Padgett”

Passeriformes Review II ~ “Were You There, When They Crucified My Lord” – Communion Music – Organ & Piano

Passeriformes Review III ~ “Ship Ahoy ~ by Dr. Richard Gregory

Beginning of the Bird Orders – Tinamiformes ~ “Praise Medley” by ©The Hyssongs

Ostrich, Rhea, Cassowary, Emu & Kiwi ~ “Hosanna, Messiah Has Come” ~ Choir and Solo by Lisa Brock

Anseriformes I ~ Screamer and Magpie Goose ~ “Jesus Wrought A Miracle of Love” ~ Solo by Paul Ebright

Whistling, White-backed Ducks and Geese ~ “I’d Rather Have Jesus” ~ by Faith Baptist Orchestra

Geese and Swans ~ “Moment By Moment” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

Ducks and Geese ~ “I Will Rise” ~ Margaret and Sue, accompanied by Amy – cello and Jill – Keyboard

More Anatidae Swimmers ~ “God’s Greatness Medley” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

Anas Genus ~ “Ship Ahoy”~ from “Great is Thy Faithfulness” by Dr. Richard Gregory

Diving Ducks and Allies ~ “How Can I Keep Singing” ~ The 3+1 Trio (Pastor Jerry, Reagan Osborne, Caleb and Jessie Padgett)”

The Last of the Anatidae Family ~ “Birthday of the King” ~ Dr. Richard Gregory

Christmas At Faith 2016 ~

Galliformes Order Overview ~ “You are Worthy” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

Megapodiidae Family ~ “El Shadaih” ~ Played by Nell Reese

Chachalacas ~ “Quiet Rest* and “Sweet Hour of Prayer” ~ by Kathy Lisby – Nell Reese acc”

Guans ~ “Hide Thou Me” ~ ©The Hyssongs (with permission)

Curassows ~ “Its About The Cross” ~ Quartet FBC

Guineafowl ~ “Don’t Give Up” ~ ©The Hyssongs (Used With Permission of the Hyssongs)

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!

Ian’s Irregular Bird – Solitary Sandpiper

You may remember from the last Irregular Bird (Green Sandpiper) that the plan is to work through all the waders in the genus Tringa, the Shanks and relatives, in the order used by the IOC, below.  This is the next one the Solitary Sandpiper.

It’s fairly similar to the Green Sandpiper and they were originally treated as a single species. In fact, they are easy to distinguish in flight as the Green Sandpiper has a white rump and a tail with side to side barring, while the central feathers of the rump and tail of the Solitary Sandpiper are brown creating a longitudinal stripe. These features are visible under the flight feathers in the first photo and shown in a drawing later.
Solitary Sandpiper by Ian
In practice you can also use their ranges as the Green Sandpiper occurs in Eurasia and Africa, while the Solitary Sandpiper is an American species. It nesting range is almost entirely in Canada and Alaska.  It migrates through the United States and winters in Mexico, Central America, and in northern, central and eastern South America as far south as Peru in the west and northern Argentina in the east.
I haven’t got photos of either species in flight so here is a crude drawing to illustrate the difference in flight pattern. Don’t take too much notice of anything except the different rumps, tail and length of the legs. The latter are longer and protrude farther beyond the tail in the Solitary Sandpiper. So, if you’re a dedicated twitcher, as I am now, keep a beady eye out for something special if you are in a place where either or both of these birds don’t usually occur. There are a few records of Green Sandpipers in northern Australia and a few records of Solitary Sandpiper in Siberia and Western Europe.
Solitary Sandpiper by Ian
There isn’t much difference among the plumages of breeding adults, non-breeding adults, and juveniles though there is less streaking in juveniles and the spots on breeding adults are whiter, rather than buff and more conspicuous. I think the bird in the second photo in Trinidad is a juvenile, the one in the third photo in Brazil is an adult but I don’t know about the one in the first photo. If you’re an expert on the plumages of Solitary Sandpipers, I’d be happy to get your opinion: ianbirdway@gmail.com.
Solitary Sandpiper by Ian
Actually, I misidentified the two in Trinidad as Spotted Sandpipers in non-breeding plumage but maybe I had Spotted Sandpiper on the brain as I’d seen the one in the third photo in Tobago eleven days earlier. Non-breeding Spotted Sandpipers don’t have spots (go figure, as they say), just a little barring on the wings but they have conspicuous long white eyebrow stripes and shorter, much yellower legs, so I lack a reasonable excuse for the confusion.
Spotted Sandpiper by Ian
Like their Eurasian cousins, Solitary Sandpipers breed in trees and shrubs using the old nests of thrushes. It so happens that the range of perhaps the commonest thrush in North America, the American Robin, overlaps the range of the Solitary Sandpiper in Canada and Alaska. The Robin, despite its name which is based on colour not taxonomy, is a Thrush and a close relative of the Eurasian Blackbird and is the most likely candidate as a provider of nests, though not much is known about the breeding behaviour of the Sandpiper.
American Robin by Ian
So how does the Solitary Sandpiper get its name? Amazingly, unlike most waders which believe in safety in numbers, it migrates either alone or in small groups and often appear at stopovers or at the destination in ones or twos. It migrates mostly at night. I don’t know whether juvenile birds instinctively know where to go or whether the adults teach them. The mind boggles at what we don’t know about bird migration.
Jeff Larsen sent me this lovely photo of two birds together in Washington state, so they’re clearly not completely antisocial. He calls them Solitary Chickens, which appeals to me and he gave me permission to share this photo with you.
Solitary Sandpiper by Ian
Solitary Sandpipers are birds of freshwater and are usually found on small ponds or in marshy areas, even in winter. We spotted the one in Brazil in a roadside pond in the Pantanal.
Next time we’ll talk about the Tattlers, two rather similar species that are next on the IOC list.
Greetings
Ian


Google Groups “Birdway” group.
Write to him at ian@birdway.com.au, or visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/Birdway


Lee’s Addition:

Here is the next Sandpiper in Ian’s “Tringa” series. He has promised more. Stay tuned.
He mentions the sameness of these birds:
“But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.” (Psalms 102:27 KJV)
See:

Ian’s Bird of the Week

Good News

Ian’s Irregular Bird – Green Sandpiper

The last irregular bird, Nordmann’s Greenshank, could have had a sub-heading of The Joys of Twitching. In it, I confessed to being a Twitcher at heart, discarding the respectable facade of “Wildlife Photographer”. Here follows the justifications, or at least illustrations of why it can be enjoyable. The background to this particular obsession/passion was the fact that, worldwide, there are thirteen species of Tringa sandpipers, or Shanks, characterised by different coloured legs. I had reasonable photos of all of them except the rarest, Nordmann’s Greenshank, since 2008 (when I photographed the second last one, the Willet of North America). That is, the seven-year itch twice over.
If you are, or ever were, a stamp collector, you would know the feeling. Suppose the following stamps are from a set of 13 stamps of Queen Victoria, including the first ever stamp, the Penny Black and imagine you have all of them except the rarest, the iconic Two Penny Blue, issued shortly after the first ever stamp, The Penny Black, in May 1840.
Imagine the thrill when you finally lay your hands on one, as I did in the 1960s. This one is a rather daggy example, but it is one from the original two plates issued until February 1841 and lacking white lines under “POSTAGE” and above “TWO PENCE”. The much commoner later series called ‘white lines added issue’ continued until 1858.  I’m still a kid at heart, and the subtlety of distinguishing different series of Two Penny Blues has a similar appeal to separating Common and Nordmann’s Greenshank.CHA-Scol victoria0730-01
Alternatively, maybe you were or are a card player. Suppose you’re playing a game in which you the best hand is an entire suit of cards, say a complete Straight Flush, as opposed to a mere Royal Straight Flush in Poker, but you lack the Queen.
At long last, after fourteen nail-biting years, you finally get the missing card. I’ve chosen the Queen as it’s number twelve (if you have the Ace as the first rather than the last in the suit) and Nordmann’s Greenshank is also the twelfth Tringa if you follow the IOC classification of birds. Continuing the metaphor, I’ve chosen Spades as the Queen of Spades is the most valuable card in the game Hearts. The metaphor fails if you go any further, because in Hearts, a vicious game which we loved as kids, the aim is not to win points and to force your opponents to get a high score, It’s Whist in reverse. Clearly, I also have a passion for Queens.

After that it’s just a question of whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. An introvert gets a deep personal satisfaction from achieving a complete collection, an extrovert gets a sense  of triumph in beating the competition. Of course, you may be a bit of both: I’m mainly an introvert, but publishing all this stuff as the Irregular Bird, showing off obviously, is characteristic of extroverts.

So, back to Tringas. Waders (birdway) are fascinating birds, not least because many of them migrate extraordinary distances. As a consequence, they’re of special interest to twitchers when avian GPSs go awry and they end up in strange places. Many species, however, are hard to distinguish in non-breeding plumages, which is how we usually see them in temperate and tropical latitudes except just before the migration back to the breeding zones. Most, but not all, of the Shanks are fairly easy to identify because of their coloured legs; many of them having corresponding common names as you can see in the IOC table. Four of them, comprising the two Redshanks and the two Tattlers, have featured as Irregular Birds in the past, so I want to do a series on the remaining eight and I’ll do them in the IOC order shown in the table at the beginning of this article. The first is the Green Sandpiper.

Green Sandpiper by Ian

The breeding range of the Green Sandpiper stretches right across northern Eurasian from Norway to Siberia and it winters mainly in tropical Africa, South and Southeast Asia, around the Mediterranean and, to a lesser extent in Western Europe. It’s mainly a bird of fresh water marshy areas even in the non-breeding zones. I’ve photographed it only once, in India in 2003, though I had seen it in England in the 1960s before I came to Australia.It’s even rarer in Australia than Nordmann’s Greenshank with only one confirmed record, near Darwin in 1998. There are a few unconfirmed records but care needs to be taken to distinguish it from the closely related Solitary Sandpiper of America and the Wood Sandpiper.
In fact, I mistakenly identified the Indian bird as a Wood Sandpiper, reasonably common in Australia and also a fresh water species, and posted it as such to the website, and only years later did the twitcher in me take a closer look and realise happily that it was actually a Green Sandpiper. Distinguishing features of the Green Sandpiper include larger size, bulkier appearance, short white eye-stripe ending at eye, longer bill, shorter, greenish legs, sharp gradation from streaked breast to white belly and, particularly in breeding plumage like this one, darker, greener rather than brown upper parts.

Green Sandpiper by IanI mentioned when discussing the unusual arboreal nest building habits of Nordmann’s Greenshank that the Green and Solitary Sandpipers also nest in trees, but use the old nests of thrushes.  Coincidentally the name Tringa comes from a description of a thrush-sized waterbird by Aristotle (“trungas”). He didn’t distinguish it further but later authors have suggested it was a sandpiper, a Wagtail Motacilla or a Dipper Cinclus. Thanks very much. While we’re at it, ochropus means pale-yellow footed, while the specific identifier of Normann’s Greenshank, guttifer, means spotted, which isn’t very illuminating either. Aristotle preceded the taxonomic and evolutionary ideas of Linnaeus and Darwin, and “thrush-like waterbird” is a reasonable description, except for the length of the legs. He was interested in biology, classified 500 species of animals in the work later known by philosophers as the Scala Naturae and would have been familiar with the Song Thrush, below, in Greece. The Scala Naturae was approved by the Christian Church (and probably all others) as it is hierarchical in form with man at the top, towering above all the lower species.

On the subject of passion and obsession, I’ve decided that the difference is mainly one of perception. A person might think they (in deference to gender fluidity) have a passion for another person and, if not reciprocated, the other party might regard it as an obsession. My cousin in Ireland suggests that obsessions have a negative effect, so maybe it’s more than just perception. Either way, I’ll continue the passion for Tringas next time with the closely related but geographically distinct (“allopatric”), thrush-nest-using, Solitary Sandpiper of America.
You can’t reply directly to these emails, so if you want to write to me, use my email address below. I’ve recently had occasional problems with receiving emails to ian@birdway.com.au, so ianbirdway@gmail.com is preferable.
Greetings,
Ian


Ian Montgomery,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: 0411 602 737 +61-411 602 737
Preferred Email: ianbirdway@gmail.com

Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au

Lee’s Addition:

Seems that Ian is getting active again with his birdwatching. He, like the rest of us, was quite for awhile during all these lockdowns. I have another of his articles coming soon. Stay tuned.
“As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place.” (Proverbs 27:8 KJV)
See:

Ian’s Bird of the Week

Good News

Black-headed Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls: Birdwatching in the Scottish Hebrides, Part 4

Black-headed Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls: Birdwatching in the Scottish Hebrides, Part 4

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. 

(Habakkuk 2:14)
Black-headed Gull (BirdGuides.com photo credit)
Great Black-backed Gull (National Audubon Society photo credit)

The islands of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides are a familiar territory for various seagulls, including two in particular: (1) the largest seagull, the low-sounding “laughing” Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus); and (2) a much smaller yet loud-“laughing” Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus, a/k/a Chroicocephalus ridibundus).

Great Black-backed Gulls are large (more than 2’ long, with wingspan about 5’ wide; often males weigh up to 4 or 5 pounds, while females weigh slightly less), deserving their nickname “King of Gulls”. Thanks to God-given toughness these gulls can survive and thrive in coastlands of the North, breeding in parts of Russia, Scandinavia, along Baltic coasts, the British Isles, Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, plus the Atlantic seacoasts of Canada and America’s New England shorelines.  In winter many of these gulls migrate south.

In Nornian, the ancient Old Norse-derived language of the Shetland Islands, the Great Black-backed Gull was once called swaabie, from swartbak, meaning “black back”whereas in AD1758 Karl (“Linnaeus”) von Linné taxonomically designated theseseagulls as Larus marinus, denoting a marine seagull/seabird (from Greekλάῥος). In a previous study (titled “Birdwatching at Staffa, near Iona: Puffins, Shags, and Herring Gulls”), the Great Black-backed Gull was noted as a prominent predator of Atlantic puffins, yet this gull avoids puffins who nest near humans. 

BLACK-HEADED GULL perching (Nat’l Audubon Society photo credit)

However, it is not just the Atlantic puffins that must beware the apex-predatory pursuits of Black-backed Gulls, because these gulls also prey on terns and many other birds, as well as almost any other organic food smaller than themselves, living or nonliving, if they can swallow it.  Accordingly, these scavenging gulls are attracted to garbage dumps filled with human wastes, as well as to egg-filled nests of smaller birds, plus available rodents (e.g., rats) and lagomorphs (e.g., rabbits).  Likewise, these bullies practice “klepto-parasitism”, i.e., aerial bullying-based robberies of food from other birds—when accosted by Great Black-backed Gull, the smaller birds drop their food—as the Great Black-backed Gull chases the dropping food, to capture it in the air, the robbery victim flies away to safety. 

During the winter months these gulls spend less time over land, because the sea itself then offers better opportunities for food—especially lots of fish!  Any fish who are close to the ocean’s surface are at risk when these gulls scout for catchable food. In fact, quantitative studies of their stomachs show that marine fish (such as herring) are the primary diet of Great Black-backed Gulls, although they also eat other birds (like herring gulls, murres, puffins, terns, Manx shearwaters, grebes, ducks, and migrant songbirds), plus small mollusks (like young squid), crustaceans (like crabs), marine worms, coastline insects and rodents, as well as inland berries, and lots of garbage and carrion (found in places as diverse as saltmarshes, landfills, parking lots, airport runways, piers, fishing docks, surface ocean-waters, etc.). 

[See William Threlfall, “The Food of Three Species of Gull in Newfoundland”, Canadian Field-Naturalist, 82:176-180 (1968). See also, accord, Kirk Zufelt, “Seven Species of Gulls Simultaneously at the Landfill”, Larusology (http://Larusology.blogspot.com/2009/11/7-species-of-gulls-simultaneously-at.html ), posted Nov. 15, 2009.]

BLACK-HEADED GULL with “ankle bracelet” (Oslo Birder photo credit)

Like the above-described Great Black-backed Gull, the gregarious (i.e., colony-dwelling) Black-headed Gull is notorious for its omnivorous scavenging and often-predatory habits, opportunistically frequenting oceans, intertidal beaches and estuarial coastlands, marshlands and other inland wetlands, lakes, rivers, and even agricultural fields. These gulls, as breeding adults, sport dark-chocolate (almost black) heads.

Black-headed Gulls can soar high in the air, swim in the ocean, and walk along a sandy beach—they are equally comfortable moving to wherever they want to go to.  These noisy seagulls sometimes appear to “laugh” when they call.  Like other seagulls, they enjoy eating fish—sometimes they dip their heads under the tidewater surface, while swimming.  When scouting along a coastal beach, these gulls probe for coastline critters (which they probe for and snatch).  Also, they are fast enough to capture flying insects, which they catch “on the wing”. 

BLACK-HEADED GULL
(Shells of Florida’s Gulf Coast photo credit)

Gulls come in many varieties, plus some of these varieties are known to hybridize. For example, Great Black-backed Gulls (Larus marinus) hybridize with Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus). Black-headed Gulls (Larus ridibundus) often hybridize with Mediterranean Gulls (Larus melanocephalus), and also with Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla) and Common Gull (Larus canus).  Other hybrids exist, too, and many of these gull hybrids have been verified by genetics (i.e., DNA parentage verification).

><> JJSJ   profjjsj@aol.com

[ As a boy this author watched seagulls, both inland and at seacoasts, with wonder. God made them all! A half-century later, I still watch seagulls (and many other birds) with wonder.  “He (God) does great things beyond searching out … and wonders without number.”  (Job 9:10) — God shows how wonderful He is! ]

Black-headed gull - Norfolk Wildlife Trust
BLACK-HEADED GULLS with breeding plumage (Kevin Woolner/Norfolk Wildlife Trust photo credit)

Birds of the Bible – Out of the Ground

NORTHERN FLICKER (red-shafted form)
photo credit: Evergreen State College

“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)

During our devotions this morning, Dan and I were reading John chapter 9. It tells about the Lord healing the blind man. Also, how the religious rulers doubted his story, and wanted to know if he had really been blind. They called the parents in, and questioned them. The temple rulers were especially upset because Jesus had healed the man on the Sabbath. Many of you know this story.

“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.”
(John 9:1-7 NKJV) [Bolding mine]

Here is a comment from my Chronological Life Application Study Bible (KJV, p 1350)

John 9:6 When Jesus spit on the ground and made mud in order to repair the man’s eyes, he was working with original materials. Gen2:7 states that God formed Adams body from the dust of the Ground. Jesus was demonstrating a creator’s awareness of the materials he first used to shape the human body”

I had never made that connected in that story before, but it is another view of the fact that our Creator WAS here on earth in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord for all His creation, and especially the birds, which we enjoy so much. Along with all the other parts of His Creation.

Birds of the Bible

Good News