Sunday Inspiration – Pheasants and Allies V

Pheasants and their cousins have kept us interested for four weeks already. Today, even though there are 54 of these Avian Creations from our Lord left in this family, we will finish. The Pheasants and allies – Phasianidae Family has interesting and colorful members. With Partridges, Pheasants, Peafowls, Tragopan, Monals, and other members, the similarities are obvious, yet they all have their differences. One thing about their Creator, He enjoys variety. The Partridge is one of the many Birds of the Bible as listed in I Samuel 26:20 and Jeremiah 17:11. They are also on the clean fowl and are permissible to be eaten. I trust you have enjoyed seeing this large family of 187 members.

Painted Spurfowl (Galloperdix lunulata) by Nikhil

Galloperdix is a genus of three species of birds in the pheasant family, Phasianidae. These terrestrial birds are restricted to the Indian Subcontinent, with the Red Spurfowl and Painted Spurfowl in forest and scrub in India, and the Sri Lanka Spurfowl in forests of Sri Lanka. They share the common name “spurfowl” with the African members of the genus Pternistis.

Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) ©Arthur Grosset

Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) ©Arthur Grosset

The blood pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) is the only species in genus Ithaginis of the pheasant family. This relatively small, short-tailed pheasant is widespread and fairly common in the eastern Himalayas, ranging across India, Nepal, Bhutan, and China. The blood pheasant is the state bird of the Indian state of Sikkim.

Tragopan Wattles ©WikiC

Tragopan is a genus of bird in the family Phasianidae. These birds are commonly called “horned pheasants” because of two brightly colored, fleshy horns on their heads that they can erect during courtship displays. The scientific name refers to this, being a composite of tragus (billy goat) and the ribald half-goat deity Pan (and in the case of the satyr tragopan, adding Pan’s companions for even more emphasis). Their habit of nesting in trees is unique among phasianids.

Koklass Pheasant (Pucrasia macrolopha) by Nikhil Devasar

Koklass Pheasant (Pucrasia macrolopha) by Nikhil Devasar

The koklass pheasant is a medium-sized elusive bird confined to high altitude forests from Afghanistan to central Nepal, and in northeastern Tibet to northern and eastern China. Upper parts of male koklass pheasant are covered with silver-grey plumage streaked velvety-black down the centre of each feather, and it has the unique feature of a black head, chestnut breast and prominent white patches on the sides of the neck.

Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus) ©ArthurGrosset

A monal is a bird of genus Lophophorus of the pheasant family, Phasianidae. There are three species and several subspecies: Himalayan Monal, Sclater’s Monal, and the Chinese Monal.

Green Junglefowl (Gallus varius) ©WikiC

Green Junglefowl (Gallus varius) ©WikiC

Junglefowl are the four living species of bird from the genus Gallus in the Gallinaceous bird order, which occur in India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. These are large birds, with colourful male plumage, but are nevertheless difficult to see in the dense vegetation they inhabit. As with many birds in the pheasant family, the male takes no part in the incubation of the egg or rearing of the precocial young. These duties are performed by the drab and well-camouflaged female. The junglefowl are seed-eaters, but insects are also taken, particularly by the young birds.

One of the species in this genus, the red junglefowl, is of historical importance as the likely ancestor of the domesticated chicken, although it has been suggested the grey junglefowl was also involved. The Sri Lankan junglefowl is the national bird of Sri Lanka.

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) at Wings of Asia by Lee

The gallopheasants (genus Lophura) are pheasants of the family Phasianidae. The genus comprises 12 species and several subspecies.

White Eared Pheasant (Crossoptilon crossoptilon) ©©

White Eared Pheasant (Crossoptilon crossoptilon) ©©

The name Crossoptilon is a combination of the Greek words krossoi, meaning “fringe” and ptilon, meaning “feather”— a name Hodgson felt particularly applied to the white eared pheasant “distinguished amongst all its congeners by its ample fringe-like plumage, the dishevelled quality of which is communicated even to the central tail feathers”. All are large, sexually monomorphic and found in China.

Cheer Pheasant (Catreus wallichii) ©©

Cheer Pheasant (Catreus wallichii) ©©

Cheer Pheasants lack the color and brilliance of most pheasants, with buffy gray plumage and long gray crests. Its long tail has 18 feathers and the central tail feathers are much longer and the colour is mainly gray and brown. The female is slightly smaller in overall size.

Reeves's Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii) Memphis Zoo by Dan

Reeves’s Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii) Memphis Zoo by Dan

The genus Syrmaticus contains the five species of long-tailed pheasants. The males have short spurs and usually red facial wattles, but otherwise differ wildly in appearance. The hens (females) and chicks pattern of all the species have a rather conservative and plesiomorphic drab brown color pattern

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchius) by Robert Scanlon

The “typical” pheasant genus Phasianus in the family Phasianidae consists of twp species. The genus name comes from Latin phasianinus “pheasant-like” (from phasianus, “pheasant”).[1] Both Phasianus and “pheasant” originally come from the Greek word phāsiānos, meaning “(bird) of the Phasis”. Phasis is the ancient name of the main river of western Georgia, currently called the Rioni.

Lady Amherst’s Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) Zoo Miami by Lee

The genus name is from Ancient Greek khrusolophos, “with golden crest”. These are species which have spectacularly plumaged males. The golden pheasant is native to western China, and Lady Amherst’s pheasant to Tibet and westernmost China, but both have been widely introduced elsewhere.

Palawan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron napoleonis) M ©WikiC

Palawan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron napoleonis) M ©WikiC

The peacock-pheasants are a bird genus, Polyplectron, of the family Phasianidae, consisting of eight species. They are colored inconspicuously, relying on heavily on crypsis to avoid detection. When threatened, peacock-pheasants will alter their shapes utilising specialised plumage that when expanded reveals numerous iridescent orbs. The birds also vibrate their plume quills further accentuating their aposematism. Peacock-pheasants exhibit well-developed metatarsal spurs. Older individuals may have multiple spurs on each leg. These kicking thorns are used in self-defense.

Crested Argus (Rheinardia ocellata) ©WikiC

Little is known about this species in the wild. A shy and elusive bird, the crested argus is found in submontane Vietnam, Laos, and Malaysia in Southeast Asia. The diet consists mainly of invertebrates, mollusks, amphibians, small reptiles, bamboo shoots, leaves, fruits, and fungi

Great Argus (Argusianus argus) ©WikiC

The scientific name of the Great Argus was given by Carl Linnaeus in reference to the many eyes-like pattern on its wings. Argus is a hundred-eyed giant in Greek mythology. There are two subspecies recognized: Nominate argus of the Malay peninsula and Sumatra, and A. a. grayi of Borneo. William Beebe considered the two races to be distinct species, but they have since been lumped.

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

Pavo is a genus of two species in the pheasant family. The two species, along with the Congo peacock, are known as peafowl.

Congo Peafowl (Afropavo congensis) M F ©WikiC

Congo Peafowl (Afropavo congensis) M F ©WikiC

The Congo peafowl (Afropavo congensis), known as the mbulu by the Congolese, is a species of peafowl native to the Congo Basin. It is one of three extant species of peafowl, the other two being the Indian peafowl (originally of India and Sri Lanka) and the green peafowl (native to Burma and Indochina).

(Information from Wikipedia, with editing)

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“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16 NKJV)

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

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Sunday Inspirations

Sunday Inspiration – Pheasants and Allies I

Sunday Inspiration – Pheasants and Allies II

Sunday Inspiration – Pheasants and Allies III

Sunday Inspiration – Pheasants and Allies IV

Pheasants and allies – Phasianidae

Birds of the Bible

In Our Place

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Three Male Manakins Displaying – From Live Cam of Cornell

The following video, “Three males on the perch, 3/16/2017—Lance-tailed Manakin Cam” was taped yesterday.

“The male Lance-tailed Manakin has an interesting breeding display, unusual in that it is cooperative rather than competitive. Two males perch next to each other on a bare stick and jump up and down alternately, sometimes giving short flights. Groups of birds may perform together, with a different stick for each pair of displaying males. The female builds a cup nest in a tree; two brown-mottled cream eggs are laid, and incubated entirely by the female for about 20 days.

The lance-tailed manakin has a number of calls, including a Toe-LEE-do, a curry-ho, and a frog-like buzzing croak given by displaying males. These manakins eat fruit and some insects. (Wikipedia)

“You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth.” (Genesis 7:2-3 NKJV)

Lance-tailed Manakin (Chiroxiphia lanceolata) ©WikiC

From the email:

The Manakin Cam Returns

On the small Panamanian island of Boca Brava, male Lance-tailed Manakins are beginning to compete for mates—which they do by working together. You’ll have a front row seat when you watch our live cam.

The Cornell Lab has partnered with Dr. Emily DuVal to bring this live view of manakins to your screen. She has been studying these cooperative displays since 1999, unraveling the mystery of why males form alliances and work together to woo females—even though only one male typically gets to mate.

Here’s what to look for: The live cam shows a display perch used by one pair of males, within a larger area with up to 30 “alpha” males and their partners. Throughout the day, the males perform coordinated displays featuring leaps and butterfly-like flights on the display perch. Occasionally, a brownish female stops by to watch. If she seems interested and receptive, the beta male typically leaves the area and the alpha male starts displaying on his own.

Through much of the day the perch may appear empty; but you can often hear the sweet calls of the male manakins singing a duet, trying to entice a female to check out one of their meticulously maintained display perches (they also have two other display areas off-cam). When the manakins aren’t around, other species (like this antshrikethis wren, or even this wood-rail!) may wander into the frame, and in the mornings and evenings the roaring of howler monkeys echoes through the forest.

You also might want to watch the other videos listed on the Live Came site. Especially the Great Courtship Display and Dance by Alpha/Beta Male Pair

ENJOY!!

Sunday Inspiration – Guineafowl

Vulturine Guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum) by Lee

Vulturine Guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum) by Lee

“Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.” (Genesis 8:19 KJV)

Several Sundays ago, we started introducing you to the Galliformes Order. You have seen the Megapodes Family, the Chachalacas, Curassows and Guans Family, and today, you get to meet the members of the Guineafowl Family. The family name is Numididae, and there are four genera for only six species. They are all from the African continent.

The guineafowl (sometimes called guineahen) are a family of birds that are native to Africa, but the Helmeted Guineafowl has been domesticated, and both feral and wild-type birds have been introduced elsewhere.

This family of insect and seed-eating, ground-nesting birds resemble partridges, but with featherless heads, though both members of the genus Guttera have a distinctive black crest, and the Vulturine Guineafowl has a downy brown patch on the nape. Most species of guineafowl have a dark grey or blackish plumage with dense white spots, but both members of the genus Agelastes lack the spots (as do some domestic variants of the Helmeted Guineafowl). While several species are relatively well known, the Plumed Guineafowl and the two members of the genus Agelastes remain relatively poorly known. These large birds measure from 40–71 cm (16–28 inches) in length, and weigh 700–1600 (grams) or 1.5-3.5 (pounds)

White-breasted Guineafowl (Agelastes meleagrides) ©DrawingWikiC

White-breasted Guineafowl (Agelastes meleagrides) ©DrawingWikiC

The White-breasted Guineafowl (Agelastes meleagrides) is a medium-sized, up to 45 cm long, terrestrial bird of the guineafowl family. It has a black plumage with a small, bare red head, white breast, long black tail, greenish brown bill and greyish feet. The sexes are similar, although the female is slightly smaller than the male. They are distributed in subtropical West African forests of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The diet consists mainly of seeds, berries, termites and small animals.

Black Guineafowl (Agelastes niger) ©Drawing WikiC

Black Guineafowl (Agelastes niger) ©Drawing WikiC

The Black Guineafowl, (Agelastes niger), is a member of the guineafowl bird family. It occurs in humid forests in Central Africa where it is often heard but seldom seen. It is a medium-sized black bird with a bare pink head and upper neck. Little is known of its behaviour because it has been little studied. It is usually found in pairs or small groups and is a shy, elusive bird of the forest floor. It occurs in primary and secondary growth woodland, favouring parts with thick undergrowth but sometimes venturing out onto adjacent cultivated lands. It feeds on invertebrates such as ants, termites, millipedes and beetles, and also small frogs, seeds, berries and shoots. The nesting habits of this species are not known but the eggs are pale reddish brown, sometimes shaded with yellow or purple.

Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris) ©WikiC

Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris) ©WikiC

The Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris) is a large (53–58 cm) bird with a round body and small head. They weigh about 1.3 kg. The body plumage is gray-black spangled with white. Like other guineafowl, this species has an unfeathered head, in this case decorated with a dull yellow or reddish bony knob, and red and blue patches of skin. The wings are short and rounded, and the tail is also short. Various sub-species are proposed, differences in appearance being mostly a large variation in shape, size and colour of the casque and facial wattles.

Plumed Guineafowl (Guttera plumifera) ©Drawing WikiC

Plumed Guineafowl (Guttera plumifera) ©Drawing WikiC

The Plumed Guineafowl (Guttera plumifera) is a member of the guineafowl bird family. It is found in humid primary forest in Central Africa. It resembles some subspecies of the crested guineafowl, but has a straighter (not curled) and higher crest, and a relatively long wattle on either side of the bill. The bare skin on the face and neck is entirely dull grey-blue in the western nominate subspecies, while there are a few orange patches among the grey-blue in the eastern subspecies schubotzi.

Crested Guineafowl(Guttera pucherani) ©WikiC

Crested Guineafowl(Guttera pucherani) ©WikiC

The Crested Guineafowl (Guttera pucherani) is a member of the Numididae, the guineafowl bird family. It is found in open forest, woodland and forest-savanna mosaics in Sub-Saharan Africa. The plumage is overall blackish with dense white spots. It has a distinctive black crest on the top of its head, the form of which varies from small curly feathers to down depending upon subspecies, and which easily separates it from all other species of guineafowl, except the plumed guineafowl. The names “crested” and “plumed” are often misapplied across the species.

The species is monogamous with probable strong and long-lasting pair bonds. Courtship feeding is common, the author having seen a captive male run 5–10 metres to the hen to present some particular morsel. The nest is a well-hidden scrape in long grass or under a bush; eggs vary from nearly white to buff and a clutch is usually around 4 or 5.

Vulturine Guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum) ©WikiC

The Vulturine Guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum) is the largest extant species of guineafowl. Systematically, it is only distantly related to other guineafowl genera. Its closest living relative, the white breasted guineafowl, Agelastes meleagrides inhabit primary forests in Central Africa. It is a member of the bird family Numididae, and is the only member of the genus Acryllium. It is a resident breeder in northeast Africa, from southern Ethiopia through Kenya and just into northern Tanzania.

The vulturine guineafowl is a large (61–71 cm) bird with a round body and small head. It has a longer wings, neck, legs and tail than other guineafowl. The adult has a bare blue face and black neck, and although all other guineafowl have unfeathered heads, this species looks particularly like a vulture because of the long bare neck and head.

The slim neck projects from a cape of long, glossy, blue and white hackles. The breast is cobalt blue, and the rest of the body plumage is black, finely spangled with white. The wings are short and rounded, and the tail is longer than others in the family Numididae.

Domesticated Guineafowl, sometimes called pintades or gleanies, are a family of birds originating from Africa, related to other game birds such as the pheasants, turkeys and partridges; they have a long history of domestication, mainly involving the helmeted guineafowl.  (Most information from Wikipedia, with editing)

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“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” (Matthew 6:26 KJV)

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

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More Sunday Inspirations

GALLIFORMES – Fowl, Quail, Guans, Currasows, Megapodes

Sunday Inspiration – Galliformes Order Overview

Sunday Inspiration – Megapodiidae Family

Sunday Inspiration – Chachalacas

Sunday Inspiration – Guans

Sunday Inspiration – Curassows

Guineafowl Family

Gideon

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All Pages Updated For the I.O.C. Version 7.1

Longuemare's Sunangel (Heliangelus clarisse) ©Drawing WikiC

Longuemare’s Sunangel (Heliangelus clarisse) ©Drawing WikiC

The blog has been updated. All the new birds have been added, the indexes and pages are up to date. [I trust] Working behind the scenes on these blogs can be interesting at time. If the efforts put forth can assist you in finding a certain bird, then the task will have been worth it.

The Longuemare’s Sunangel was a subspecies of the Amethyst-throated Sunangel, which has now been raised to full species status. This is just one of the new additions. See The Newest I.O.C. Updates – Version 7.1.

Colossians reminds us in several verses to do our best. That has been a goal of our blog here to provide the most accurate information we can obtain. The Lord Created these marvelous flying wonders for us to observe, read and learn about, and we want to do it the best we can.

Longuemare's Sunangel (Heliangelus clarisse) ©Pinterest

Longuemare’s Sunangel (Heliangelus clarisse) ©Pinterest

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Colossians 3:17 KJV)

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” (Colossians 3:23 KJV)

Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus_amethysticollis) ©WikiC

Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus_amethysticollis) ©WikiC

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The Newest I.O.C. Updates – Version 7.1.

Birds of the World

ORDER

Family

Species Index
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Sunday Inspiration – Curassows

Wattled Curassow (Crax globulosa) by Lee at National Aviary

Wattled Curassow (Crax globulosa) by Lee at National Aviary

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)

Today we will finish up the Cracidae family by introducing you to the last 15 species. The are the Curassows in four genera. I love their curly hairdo on most of them. We see them in the different zoo quite frequently. “Curassows are one of the three major groups of cracid birds. Three of the four genera are restricted to tropical South America; a single species of Crax ranges north to Mexico.

Nocturnal Curassow (Nothocrax urumutum) ©WikiC

Nocturnal Curassow (Nothocrax urumutum) ©WikiC

The Nocturnal Curassow (Nothocrax urumutum) is the only one in his genus. They are found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical swamps.

gal-crac-razor-billed-curassow-mitu-tuberosum-birdphotos-com

The next genus of Curassows are the Mitu, of which there are four. They are found in humid tropical forests in South America. Their plumage is iridescent black with a white or rufous crissum and tail-tip, and their legs and bills are red. The genders are alike. These are the Crestless, Alagoas, Salvin’s, and the Razor-billed Curassows.

Helmeted Curassow (Pauxi pauxi pauxi) Northern - Peggy ©WikiC Denveri Zoo

Helmeted Curassow (Pauxi pauxi pauxi) Northern – Peggy ©WikiC Denveri Zoo

The next Genus Pauxi – are called Helmeted Curassows. The Helmeted, Horned and Sira Curassows make up this group. They are  terrestrial black fowl with ornamental casque on their heads. All are found in South America.

Bare-faced Curassow (Crax fasciolata) ©WikiC

Bare-faced Curassow (Crax fasciolata) ©WikiC

The last genus in this Cracidae Family are the Crax. Seven of them finish off with their curly hairdos. “Crax is a genus of curassows in the order Galliformes, a clade of large, heavy-bodied, ground-feeding birds. They are known from tropical South America with one species, the great curassow, ranging northwards through Central America as far as Mexico. The currasows in this genus are noted for their sexual dimorphism; males are more boldly coloured than females and have facial ornamentation such as knobs and wattles. They are also characterised by curly crests and contrastingly-coloured crissums.” (Most information from Wikipedia with editing)

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“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV)

“Its About The Cross” ~ Quartet FBC

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More Sunday Inspirations

The Other Articles About the Cracidae Family:

Chachalacas, Curassows & Guans Family

Gospel Message

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The Newest I.O.C. Updates – Version 7.1

Large Cactus Finch (Geospiza conirostris) ©WikiC

Large Cactus Finch (Geospiza conirostris) is now the Ground Finch ©WikiC

“My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:” (Proverbs 24:21 KJV)

Updates

Below are summaries of  quarterly updates  to the IOC World Bird List. We  strive to track taxonomic advances in ornithology in a timely way.  All of the updated information and species changes are included in the latest version of the list on this website.

Please click on one of the tabs on the pull down Updates Menu above for particular sets of  updates, i.e. Species, Subspecies etc. Also see edits of the nomenclature authorities.

Version 7.1 (Jan 8, 2017 )

The IOC World Bird List 7.1 contains 10,672 extant species (and 156 extinct species)  classified in 40 Orders,  238 Families (plus 2 Incertae Sedis) and 2,294 Genera.  The list also includes 20,344 subspecies, their ranges and  authors.

Changes include:

SPECIES ADDED:                13  including one extinct (San Cristobal Flycatcher)

SPECIES DELETED:             0

ENGLISH NAMES:                3

TAXONOMY:                          10  including resequence of Ratites, Draft revision of Orders.

The IOC was busy at work putting out their newest version, and we were too incumbered [crashed computer, bronchitis, on-line course] to really get to it. I trust this blog will be updated in the next few days to reflect these changes.

These are the 13 new birds added:

Foveaux Shag
Merida Sunangel
Longuemare’s Sunangel
White-throated  Wedgebill
Scarlet Flycatcher
Darwin’s Flycatcher
San Cristobal Flycatcher
Double-collared Crescentchest
Chinese Rubythroat
Mediterranean Flycatcher
Genovesa Ground Finch
Vampire Ground Finch
Genovesa Cactus Finch

"Geoffroy’s

Three had their names changed:

Stewart [Island] Shag (Leucocarbo chalconotus) to Otago Shag
Wedge-billed Hummingbird  (Schistes geoffroyi) to Geoffroy’s Wedgebill
Large Cactus Finch (Geospiza conirostris Espanola) to Ground Finch

They also changed the sequence of the first six Orders. They were in this order:

Tinamous – Tinamidae
Ostriches – Struthionidae
Rheas – Rheidae
Cassowaries – Casuariidae
Emu – Dromaiidae
Kiwis – Apterygidae

Now they will be in this order:

Ostriches – Struthionidae
Rheas – Rheidae
Kiwis – Apterygidae
Cassowaries – Casuariidae
Emu – Dromaiidae
Tinamous – Tinamidae

Stay tuned!

Birds of the World

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ANCIENT HUMMINGBIRDS WERE QUITE MODERN – Repost

Ruby-throated Hummingbird by Ray's Wildlife

Ruby-throated Hummingbird by Ray’s Wildlife

ANCIENT HUMMINGBIRDS WERE QUITE MODERN from Creation Moments

“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.” (Genesis 1:20)

Today, hummingbirds are found only in North, Central and South America. Of course, since Noah’s Ark landed in the mountains of Ararat, they had to cross Europe and the Atlantic or Asia to get there. However, until now, there was no evidence for this migration.

Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) by Raymond Barlow

Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) by Raymond Barlow

Ancient Hummingbirds Were Quite Modern Scientists have now discovered two hummingbird fossils in a clay pit in southwestern Germany. These tiny fossils are remarkable in many ways. Until now, evolutionists claimed the earliest hummingbird fossils to be one million years old. The new fossils are said to be 30 to 34 million years old. While we would not agree with the evolutionary dating, we would expect the hummingbird fossils in Europe or Asia to predate those in the New World. Even more interesting is that the fossils suggest that these older birds are fully functional hummingbirds. Their wing bones are like those of modern hummingbirds, which suggest that they could hover and fly backward just like the hummingbirds we know today. Their beaks were twice as long as their skulls, suggesting that they drank nectar just like modern hummingbirds. In other words, there is no sign of any evolutionary development, another fact we would expect.

While the evidence for the history of hummingbirds is what we would expect, we do not need scientific evidence to uphold scriptural truth. We have God’s Word on it.

Prayer:
I thank You, Lord, for the beauty of Your creation, which remains beautiful, despite our sin. Amen.

Notes:
Science News, 5/8/04, p. 292, S. Perkins, “Ancient Buzzing.”
Creation Moments ©2016 (used with permission)

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More Creation Moment Articles

Copper-rumped Hummingbird (Amazilia tobaci) by Ian

Copper-rumped Hummingbird (Amazilia tobaci) by Ian

 

Blessings From The Lord

Dr. Jim, (James J. S. Johnson) shared this with me and I thought you also might enjoy seeing the Lord’s Hand at work in the cold climate.

“Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.” (Psalms 77:14 KJV)

Trust you are being thankful this week for all the Lord’s Blessings

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Sunday Inspiration – More Anatidae Swimmers

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys ©WikiC

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys ©WikiC

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. (Gen 1:21-22 KJV)

Today we only have 22 more Anatidae family members to show you, but it will take 14 different genera to present them. The largest and the first genus, with 7 species, is the Shelducks.

Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) at Wing of Asia by Dan

Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) at Wing of Asia by Dan

Shelducks are large birds in the Tadorna genus. Many consider them as intermediate between geese and ducks in size. The sexes are colored slightly differently in most species, and all have a characteristic upperwing coloration in flight: the tertiary remiges form a green speculum, the secondaries and primaries are black, and the coverts (forewing) are white. Their diet consists of small shore animals (winkles, crabs etc.) as well as grasses and other plants.

The genus name comes from the French name Tadorne for the common shelduck. It may originally derive from Celtic roots meaning “pied waterfowl”, essentially the same as the English “shelduck”

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)  at Wings of Asia by Lee

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah)
Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)
South African Shelduck (Tadorna cana)
Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides)
Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata)

  • Paradise Shelducks of New Zealand often have one mating partner for life.

Crested Shelduck (Tadorna cristata)

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) by Ian

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) by Ian

Each of the next 5 Ducks and Teals are the only ones in their genus.

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) ©WikiC

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) ©WikiC

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)

Salvadori's Teal (Salvadorina waigiuensis) ©Drawing WikiC

Salvadori’s Teal (Salvadorina waigiuensis) ©Drawing WikiC

Salvadori’s Teal (Salvadoran waigiuensis)

Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)

Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)

  • Ducks have been domesticated as pets and farm animals for more than 500 years, and all domestic ducks are descended from either the mallard or the Muscovy duck. Mallards, especially, are easy to crossbreed with other types of ducks, and mallards often hybridize with all types of ducks at local ponds.
White-winged Duck (Asarcornis scutulata) by Nikhil

White-winged Duck (Asarcornis scutulata) by Nikhil

White-winged Duck (Asarcornis scutulata)

Hartlaub's Duck (Pteronetta hartlaubii) ©WikiC

Hartlaub’s Duck (Pteronetta hartlaubii) ©WikiC

Hartlaub’s Duck (Pteronetta hartlaubii)

Two of my favorite Ducks, which we get to see often, are the Wood and Mandarin Ducks in the Aix genus. The Wood Ducks are local to us and are a treat to see their evidence of the Master’s Hand. Their cousin, the Mandarin Ducks are in many zoos and Lakeland, FL (right near here) placed some in one of their lakes.

Wood Duck and Mandarin Duck

Wood Duck and Mandarin Duck

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)

Maned Duck (Chenonetta jubata) ©AGrosset

Maned Duck (Chenonetta jubata) ©AGrosset

The Maned Duck is again an only species in its genus, the Chenonetta.
Maned Duck (Chenonetta jubata)

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) by Lee

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) by Lee

The Pygmy Geese are only three, but are in two different genera. The Nerthus and the Nettapus.
African Pygmy Goose (Nerthus auritus)
Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus)
Green Pygmy Goose (Nettapus pulchellus)

The last four for today are in four genera, and include two Teals and two Ducks.

Brazilian Teal (Amazonetta brasiliensis) ©WikiC

Brazilian Teal (Amazonetta brasiliensis) ©WikiC

Brazilian Teal (Amazonetta brasiliensis)

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys) by Dan at Zoo Miami

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys) by Dan at Zoo Miami

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys)

Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides) ©WikiC

Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides) ©WikiC

Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides) EXTINCT

Bronze-winged Duck (Speculanas specularis) ©WikiC

Bronze-winged Duck (Speculanas specularis) ©WikiC

Bronze-winged Duck (Speculanas specularis)

One of the comments made last week mentioned that they didn’t realize how many Ducks and family members there are. Here are a couple of “Duck Facts”:

The duck is a number of species in the Anatidae family of birds. They are related to swans and geese.

  • Ducks are mostly aquatic birds living in both fresh water and sea water and found on every continent except for Antarctica.
  • A male duck is called a drake, a female duck a hen, and a baby duck a duckling.
  • Ducks are omnivores. They feed on aquatic plants, small fish, insects, worms, grubs and more. People often feed domesticated ducks bread.
  • Diving ducks and sea ducks search for food fairly deep underwater. To be able to stay underwater more easily, diving ducks are quite heavy.
  • Dabbling ducks feed on the surface of water, on land, or by ducking their head underwater. Along the edge of their beak is a comb-like structure called a pecten, that enables them to hold slippery food and filter nutrients out of the water.

These Facts are from Fun Duck Facts for Kids (and adults)

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There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen: (Job 28:7 KJV)

“God’s Greatness Medley” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

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More Sunday Inspirations

Anatidae – Ducks, Geese and Swans Family

Sunday Inspiration – Whistling, White-backed Ducks, and Geese

Sunday Inspiration – Geese and Swans

Sunday Inspiration – Duck and Geese

Hope for Hard Times

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Mystery Bird Solved at Zoo Miami

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Mystery Bird at Zoo Miami by Lee

“My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.” (Pro 6:20-21 KJV)

Finally sat down and started naming my photos from our latest trip to Zoo Miami’s Wings of Asia Aviary. Since we spent the whole day, just in that Aviary, except for lunch, the photos are not in any order. Ducks especially have a way of swimming by and then another, then back they come again. Most of you photographers know how it is. And as I’ve always stated, I wish the Lord had hung name tags on birds so we could more easily identify them. :o)

I was fortunate to receive a list of the current birds from the workers, which has been a huge help. With at least 500 birds and 88 species in one aviary, it can get complicated putting names on the right birds.

I had gone through these photos before I came to the one above:

Lady Amherst's Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) Zoo Miami by Lee

Lady Amherst’s Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) Zoo Miami by Lee

Now there is a beautifully designed avian wonder from the Creator. More about this bird later.

The Siamese Fireback is also in the Pheasant family.

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) Zoo Miami by Lee

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) Zoo Miami by Lee

So, when our mystery bird showed up, which family do you think I kept looking through? The Pheasants and allies – Phasianidae Family. I searched high and low.

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Guess what this bird is!

Can you guess what this bird is?

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Mystery Bird and a Red-vented Bulbul at the Zoo

I about fell out of my computer chair when I found out.

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Maybe a close up of the face will help. Zoo Miami by Lee

Our Mystery Bird turns out to actually be a Pigeon!!!. This is a Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) [Green-naped Pheasant Pigeon] as Zoo Miami calls it.

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

I Just Couldn’t Believe THIS IS A PIGEON!!!!!

“The pheasant pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) is a genus of large terrestrial pigeon found in the primary rainforests of New Guinea and nearby islands. It ranges primarily over hilly and lower mountain areas, but can also be found in lowlands.

There are four species, [actually subspecies] which differ primarily in the presence or absence of a small crest and in the colour of the nape. The two best known are the western nominate (O. nobilis) with a greenish nape and O. n. aruensis from the Aru Islands with a white nape. [We saw this at the Cincinnati Zoo] The two remaining species, O. n. cervicalis from the eastern part of its range and O. n. insularis from Fergusson Island, have a grey nape and a black nape (concolour with the remaining black neck) respectively.” [Wikipedia with editing]

COL-Colu Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Cincinnati Zoo 2016 - Lee (2).JPG

Pheasant Pigeon [White-naped]  (Otidiphaps nobilis) Cincinnati Zoo 2016 – Lee

Pheasant Pigeon – Wikipedia

 

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Crimson Finch

pas-estr-crimson-finch-neochmia-phaeton-by-ian-1Ian’s Bird of the Week – Crimson Finch ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 11/10/16

Crimson Finch featured as bird of the week a little over eight years ago, but I’ve decided to have it again as a pair appeared in my backyard several weeks ago, the first time I’ve seen any in Bluewater.

Shortly earlier, I’d seen what looked like a female Satin Flycatcher having a splash in the pool. Satin Flycatchers are rare in North Queensland, though they do show up sometimes on migration. This one didn’t hang around for a photo while I got the camera, so I headed off around the property looking for it. Female Satin Flycatchers are notorious difficult to separate from their slightly duller cousins, female Leaden Flycatchers, so a photograph is essential not only for identification but also to convince anyone else.

Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) Female by Ian

I didn’t find the Flycatcher, but I found the Crimson Finches, male in the first photo and female in the second, feeding on some unseasonable Guinea Grass. We’ve had an odd dry season with not much but sufficient rain at intervals to confuse some of the local plants – Guinea Grass usually seeds here at the end of the wet season (April). In North Queensland, Crimson Finches are usually found in dense grassland near wetlands, and these two were only about 50m from Bluewater Creek, which was still running at the time.

Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) Fledgling by Ian

A couple of weeks later I photographed this very young Crimson Finch at the Townsville Town Common. When I approached, it was being fed by an adult male, who flew off leaving the young bird to its fate. You can see the very pale gape, typical of very young birds. Young Crimson Finches just have a reddish flush in the wings and tail.

Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) Male by Ian

A few days after seeing the pair of Crimson Finches in the backyard, a male Crimson Finch obligingly appeared beside the pool when I was having a swim. I thought the plumage was more intensely coloured and with strong white spots on the flanks than the male member of the earlier pair – more like the one in the fourth photo. I wondered whether they were different individuals, with the first one being younger than the second. The one in the fourth photo was taken on a trip to the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia in 2009.

Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) X Star Hybrid by Ian

On that same trip, I photographed this odd-looking individual at Kununurra. We decided that it was a hybrid between a Crimson Finch and a Star Finch, both of which were present at the time and both of which belong to the same genus, Neochmia, which includes two other Australian species: Red-browed and Plum-headed Finches.

I don’t really keep a yard list as such. If I did, the day I found the Crimson Finches would have been notable. Apart from the possible Satin Flycatcher, later that afternoon I flushed a female King Quail. This time I was armed not with the camera but a brush cutter as part of the fire season preparations.

Several weeks later I had the rest of the long grass cut by a man with a tractor. After he had finished, I went down to inspect the result and spotted a Blue-winged Kookaburra pouncing on something in the cut grass. This proved to be the King Quail, which flew off at high speed pursued by the Kookaburra. The Quail landed safely in some long grass and the Kookaburra perched in a nearby tree. If you ever tried to flush a quail a second time, you’ll know how elusive they are on the ground, so I hope the Kookaburra didn’t have quail for lunch.

Greetings
Ian


Lee’s Addition:

“Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” (Mat 13:32 KJV)

Thanks again, Ian for another beautiful avian wonder for us to enjoy. That hybrid is quite interesting also. We have seen the Star Finch before, but this is an interesting mix. Also, glad you are putting these Birds of the Week out again.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Birdway Finch photos

Estrildidae – Waxbills, Munias and allies

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“E”is for Egrets and Emus: “E” Birds”, Part 2

“E” is for Egrets and Emus: “E Birds”, Part 2
James J. S. Johnson

“Blessings are upon the head of the just, but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.” (PROVERBS 10:6)

Is that an egret, standing on top of my head?*

Photo credit:  Marcia Webel (St. Petersburg, Florida)

(*Actually, the egret was perching upon branches behind me, not atop my head.)

It is a blessing to use our heads, to watch birds, such as egrets.

As noted in Part 1 of the “E” Birds “E” is for Eiders, Eagles, (of which there are many varieties), Eagle-owls, Egrets, Emus, Eagle-owls, Egrets, Euphonias, Elaenias, Eremomelas, Elepaios, Earthcreepers, and Emerald hummingbirds — plus whatever other birds there are, that have names that begin with the letter E.

In this Part 2 (reviewing “E” birds), 2 categories of “E” birds are considered: Egrets and Emus.

snowyegret-gatorlandflorida-ad2016

Snowy Egret at Gatorland by Lee

EGRETS

Regarding Egrets, see, e.g., Lee Dusing’s “Egrets and Heron Catching the Gator Taxis” as well as her “Baby Snowy Egrets at Gatorland”.

It is truly amazing to see egrets seeking food, at Florida’s Gatorland, while presumptively and precariously perched atop the backs of drifting/semi-submerged alligators. As ornithologist Lee Dusing once observed:

Most times these alligators and birds get along fine. People are tossing food to them and so they abide each other. It is amazing how different critters get along. I can only imagine how it must have been when they were first created. There was no desire of the gators to eat the birds. Today, under the curse, it is a totally different situation.

[Quoting Lee Dusing’s “Egrets and Heron Catching the Gator Taxis”, See also my report on how Cattle Egrets practice “mutual aid” with various terrestrial herbivores, in “Cattle Egrets, Cattle, and Other Herbivore Neighbors”.

Since those egrets have been described, as just noted, previously, not much will be added here, regarding them, except for a few comments regarding their distribution, i.e., regarding the ranges they inhabit.

greatwhiteegrets-by-bencemate

Great White Egrets (photo by Bence Mate)

The Great White Egret (Ardea alba) is well-known in North America, as the range map below shows, but most of America only hosts this tall egret during the winter months.

greatwhiteegret-range-map-wikipedia

Great White Egret range map (Wikipedia)
Yellow = breeding; Green = year-round; Blue = wintering

Breeding occurs mostly in the Mississippi River watershed corridor states, with a swath of the Southwest and southern coasts providing year-round habitat of this long-legged shorebird.

A tall and stately bird, the Great [White] Egret slowly stalks shallow [waters of] wetlands looking for small fish [or frogs, or snakes, etc.] to spear [or grab] with its long sharp bill. Nests in colonies of up to 100 birds. Now protected [legally], they were hunted to near extinction in the 1800s and early 1900s for their long white plumage.

[Quoting Stan Tekiela, BIRD OF TEXAS FIELD GUIDE (Cambridge, MN: Adventure Publications, 2004), page 371.]

Another familiar white-feathered egret, in America, is the Snowy Egret.
The Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) is a small-scale heron with snowy white plumage, famous for its “golden slippers”.

snowyegret-wikipedia

Snowy Egret (Wikipedia)

Like the resourceful Cattle Egret (mentioned above — see coverage of this wide-ranged and herbivore-helping egret,) the Snowy Egret is small in size, as herons and egrets go. However, unlike the Cattle Egret, its feathers are all white, and its feet are a mustard-yellow (or goldenrod yellow) in color.  The Snowy Egret is a wetland bird – preferring swamps (including mangrove swamps), pondshores, marshlands (including saltmarshes), island shores, and estuaries (including tidal mudflats).

As shown below, the Snowy Egret has a breeding range that includes some patches of America, mostly in part of the Northwest and in the drainage basin of the Mississippi River. Also, the Snowy Egret is a year-round resident of America’s Atlantic coast and America’s Gulf of Mexico coast.

snowyegret-range-map-wikipedia

Snowy Egret range map (Wikipedia)
Yellow = breeding; Green = year-round; Blue = wintering

 More than a century ago the Snowy Egret (as well as the Flamingo, the Roseate Spoonbill, various cranes, ducks, geese, swans, other members of the heron-egret family, doves, as well as insectivorous passerine migrants, etc.) was wastefully being hunted for its fancy feathers, jeopardizing the entire American population — until the Migratory Bird Treaty was enacted (and was enforced).

Regarding the Migratory Bird Treaty’s historic importance, see “Looking Back 100 Years, at the Migratory Bird Treaty: A Bird’s-eye View of How It was Hatched”.

Great White Egret, Snowy Egret, White Ibis,Roseate Spoonbill, and
Great-tailed Grackle, flying over coastal marshland (Photo credit: Eric Ripma)

Thankfully, populations of egrets (and other long-legged, long-necked birds, such as cranes, herons, flamingo, roseate spoonbill, ibis, etc.) have rebounded, since passage (100 years ago) and enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty.

EMUS

Regarding Australia’s Emu (as well as regarding other ratites, including the smallest ratite — New Zealand’s kiwi), see ornithology professor Lee Dusing’s “Sunday Inspiration: Ostrich, Rhea, Cassowary, Emu & Kiwi”.

Also, for a close-up (albeit abrupt) perspective on an Emu, see “Lee’s Five Word Friday: 9/16/16”.

Emu (Dromaius novahollandiae) in the wild (Wikipedia)

The Emu is the second-largest (non-extinct) bird, by height; only the Ostrich is taller. By weight the Emu is the world’s third-largest bird, weighing less than the Ostrich and anther ratite “cousin”, the double-wattled Southern Cassowary.

The Emu has an over-all height of about 180 cm. (70”); to the top of the back it measures about 100 cm. (40”); it can weigh up to 55 kg. (120 lbs.) and have a beak up to 12 cm. long (5”). The body is very bulky, the coloring of the plumage brownish. The feet have three toes [each]. … The nest [typically located in scrubby steppe grassland habitat] is a hollow in the ground near a shrub, and it is covered with leaves, grass, et cetera. Various females lay 15-25 eggs, which are incubated by the male for 52-60 days [during with time the male loses a lot of weight, due to not eating], depending on the interruptions made by the male to find food and water. The nestlings, which have a distinctive white and brown-striped plumage, achieve complete development and sexual maturity within 2 or 3 years. The Emu can run at speeds of up to 50 kph. (30 mph.).

[Quoting Gianfranco Bologna, SIMON & SCHUSTER’S GUIDE TO BIRDS (Simon & Schuster, 1981; edited by John Bull), page 143.]

Since the Emu was described previously (as noted in the previous sentence), no more will be added here, other than to note that the Emu’s native range covers most of Australia. (Also, emus have been, and now are, raised commercially in America, for their meat, for oil, or sometimes as part of investment scams.)

emu-range-map-wikipedia

Emu range map (Wikipedia)

In recent years I have observed, in the wild, many varieties of Egrets – especially Great White Egret, Snowy Egret, and Cattle Egret. Also, on a few occasions I have observed (very close up) domesticated Emus – and they are not fully “tame” even when they are “domesticated”. All of these birds, which range in size, are marvels in motion — examples of God’s super-genius bioengineering.

Whenever we look at such feathered creatures, we should be amazed, and we should admire God’s handiwork, — because God has given us the ability to use our minds (which are somehow linked to the physical “hardware” of our heads, especially our eyes and brains). In a sense, we have such birds “on our heads”, as we think through the blessings God has given, due to Him creating such birds.

So, if our minds are renewed to proper reverence of God, as the Creator of all creation (Revelation 4:11), our “heads” can empirically accept and analyze these visual blessings, as feathered exhibits displaying God’s glory.

Blessings are upon the head of the just, but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.” (PROVERBS 10:6)

God willing, the next contribution to this alphabetic series will be some “F birds” – perhaps some of these: Fairywrens, Falcons, Fantails, Fernbirds, Fieldwrens, Figbirds, Finches, Firetails, Fiscals, Flamebacks, Flamingos, Flatbills, Flowerpeckers, Flycatchers, Foliage-gleaners, Forktails, Francolins, Friarbirds, Frigatebirds, Frogmouths, Fruiteaters, Fulmars, Fulvettas, etc.! Meanwhile, enjoy using your eyes (and the rest of your head) to appreciate the blessings and privileges of daily life, including opportunities to observe God’s avian wonders, like egrets and emus.

><> JJSJ