Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo (Lophochroa leadbeateri) By Ian
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.” (Isaiah 40:28 KJV)
CREATOR, n. [L.]
1. The being or person that creates.
Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth. Eccl 12.
2. The thing that creates, produces or causes.
With its soft-textured white and salmon-pink plumage and large, bright red and yellow crest, it is often described as the most beautiful of all cockatoos. It is named in honour of Major Sir Thomas Mitchell, who wrote, “Few birds more enliven the monotonous hues of the Australian forest than this beautiful species whose pink-coloured wings and flowing crest might have embellished the air of a more voluptuous region.” Cacatuidae Family
“In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautifuland glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.” (Isaiah 4:2 KJV)
BEAU’TIFUL, a. bu’tiful. [beauty and full.]
1. Elegant in form, fair, having the form that pleases the eye. It expresses more than handsome.
2. Having the qualities which constitute beauty, or that which pleases the senses other than the sight; as a beautiful sound.
The beautiful firetail (Stagonopleura bella) is a common species of estrildid finch found in Australia. The species inhabits temperate shrubland habitats in Australia. The beautiful firetail mainly feeds on grass seed and Casuarina and Melaleuca seeds. Small insects and snails occasionally complement this herbivore diet. Estrildidae Family
American Avocet “Gone fishin” – photo by Ron Dudley
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalms 91:1 KJV)
ALMI’GHTY, a. [all and mighty. See Might.]
Possessing all power; omnipotent; being of unlimited might; being of boundless sufficiency; appropriately applied to the Supreme Being.
ALMI’GHTY, n. The Omnipotent God.
Avocets have long legs and they sweep their long, thin, upcurved bills from side to side when feeding in the brackish or saline wetlands they prefer. The plumage is pied, sometimes also with some red. Members of this genus have webbed feet and readily swim. Their diet consists of aquatic insects and other small creatures. Recurvirostridae Family
Today is the beginning of a new series for Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures. A good friend of mine, Rhonda Sawtelle, (Create a Positive Day), has been posting every day on her Facebook a different attribute of our Lord God. She has been going through them alphabetically. What if each day, we had a different attribute and a bird that starts with that same letter. My challenge is to try to at least get through the alphabet at least once. Maybe several rounds. Stay tuned!
Thankfully, the rhythms of our world are fairly predictable. Although the details differ, the overall cycles are regular:
While the earth remains, seedtimes and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)
Because of these recurring patterns migratory birds can depend on food being conveniently available when they migrate northward in the spring. In effect, “fast food” on the beach is a “convenience store” for famished feathered fliers.
For example, consider how the annual egg-laying (and egg-burying) activities of horseshoe crabs perfectly synchronize with the hunger of migratory shorebirds (e.g., red knots, turnstones, and sandpipers) that stopover on bayside beaches, for “fast food”, right where huge piles of crab eggs have just been deposited (and where some have been uncovered by tidewaters).
Horseshoe Crabs on Delaware Bay Beach
Photo by Gregory Breese / USF&WS
No need to worry about the birds eating too many crab eggs! – the egg-laying is so prolific (i.e., about 100,000 eggs per mother) that many horseshoe crab eggs are missed by the migratory birds, thus becoming the next generation of horseshoe crabs, plus the birds mostly eat the prematurely surfacing eggs that are less likely to succeed in life anyway!)
Timing is everything. Each spring, shorebirds migrate from wintering grounds in South America to breeding grounds in the Arctic. These birds have some of the longest migrations known. Delaware Bay is the prime stopover site and the birds’ stop coincides with horseshoe crab spawning. Shorebirds like the red knot, ruddy turnstone and semipalmated sandpiper, as well as many others, rely on horseshoe crab eggs to replenish their energy reserves before heading to their Arctic nesting grounds. The birds arrive in the Arctic before insects emerge. This means that they must leave Delaware Bay with enough energy reserves to make the trip to the Arctic and survive without food until well after they have laid their eggs. If they have not accumulated enough fat reserves at the bay, they may not be able to breed.
The world’s largest spawning population of horseshoe crabs occurs in Delaware Bay. During high tide, horseshoe crabs migrate from deep water to beaches to spawn. The female digs a nest in the sand and deposits between 4,000 and 30,000 eggs that the male will fertilize with sperm. A single crab may lay 100,000 eggs or more during a season. Horseshoe crab spawning begins in late April and runs through mid-August, although peak spawning in the mid-Atlantic takes place May 1 through the first week of June.
At low tide, adult crabs go back into the water but may return at the next high tide. Horseshoe crab spawning increases on nights with a full or new moon, when gravity is stronger and high tides are even higher. At the same time that migrating shorebirds arrive to rest and feed along Delaware Bay, horseshoe crab activity is high. While the crab buries its eggs deeper than shorebirds can reach, waves and other horseshoe crabs expose large numbers of eggs. These surface eggs will not survive, but they provide food for many animals. The shorebirds can easily feed on eggs that have surfaced prematurely.
Quoting Kathy Reshetiloff, “Migratory Birds Shore Up Appetites on Horseshoe Crab Eggs”, THE CHESAPEAKE BAY JOURNAL, 27(3):40 (May 2017).
Shorebirds and Horseshoe Crabs on Delaware Bay Beach
Photo by Larry Niles
Notice how it is the gravitational pull of the moon, as the moon goes through its periodic cycle, that causes the high and low tides – which facilitate the uncovering of enough horseshoe crab eggs to satisfy the needs of the migratory stopover shorebirds that pass through Delaware Bay. Notice how the moon provides a phenological “regulation” (i.e., the moon is physically ruling and correlating the interaction of the horseshoe crabs, the migratory shorebirds, and the bay’s tidewaters – in accordance with and illustrating Genesis 1:16-18).
At low tide, adult crabs go back into the water but may return at the next high tide. Horseshoe crab spawning increases on nights with a full or new moon, when gravity is stronger and high tides are even higher. At the same time that migrating shorebirds arrive to rest and feed along Delaware Bay, horseshoe crab activity is high.
Again quoting Kathy Reshetiloff, “Migratory Birds Shore Up Appetites on Horseshoe Crab Eggs”, THE CHESAPEAKE BAY JOURNAL, 27(3):40 (May 2017).
Map of Red Knot Winter Ranges, Summer Breeding Range, & Migratory Stopovers
Map by The Nature Conservancy, adapted from USF&WS map
So, you might say that these reproducing Horseshoe Crabs, and the myriads of migratory shorebirds, share phenological calendars because they’re all looney.
Palaces Are Known For Both Tattletales And Wagtails
Dr. James J. S. Johnson
Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. (Ecclesiastes 10:20)
Royal palaces are known to attract (and to house) some of God’s winged wonders, and Catherine’s Palace — one of the imperial Russian palaces — is no exception. (And not all palace-dwelling birds there are tattle-tales, although some are wagtails!)
Catherine’s Palace, front entrance exterior (Saint-Petersburg.com photograph)
Catherine’s Palace is a royal mansion – a “summer palace” — in Pushkin (a/k/a Tsarskoye Selo), about 19 miles south of St. Petersburg (f/k/a Leningrad), Russia, which my wife and I visited on July 9th of AD2006. The imposingly-humongous-yet-flourishingly-ornate, embellishment-heavy, exquisitely dignified architecture is classified as Rococo (i.e., late Baroque), and a ton of wealth is built into its many construction details and decorative displays. The palace was originally commissioned by Empress Catherine I (AD1717) but was extravagantly modified (during AD1752-AD1756) at the direction of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, Catherine’s daughter (who was 1 of Catherine’s 2 children who survived to adulthood, the other 10 dying young), and afterwards by Emperor Alexander I, Catherine’s grandson. Before German invaders destroyed the palace’s interior, during World War II, Russian archivists had documented the interior of the palace; those records were used (after the war) to repair and restore some, but not all, of this historic and opulent mansion.
Grand Hall, Catherine Palace, in Pushkin, Russia (Saint-Petersburg.com photograph)
Yet one of the most magnificent treasures, of Catherine’s Palace, survives to this very day — hidden in plain view — skipping merrily in the yards and fields adjacent to Catherine’s Palace: the WHITE WAGTAIL.
WHITE WAGTAIL1st summer female (Andreas Trepte / Wikipedia photograph)
The White Wagtail (Motacilla alba), a mostly grey bird (of a grey tone similar to that of many mockingbirds) with a black head (and bib) that contrasts with white “eye-mask” plumage, plus blue and white striping on its wings and tail-feathers. This small black-white-and-grey passerine, cousin to the pipits, is named for its most famous behavior: wagging its tail.
Slim black and white bird with a long, constantly wagging tail. Frequently seen beside water but equally in fields, farmyards, parks, [recreational] playing fields, roadsides, rooftops. The [subspecies variety called the] Pied Wagtail (race yarrellii) is resident [of the] British Isles, although a very few nest on adjacent continental coasts. Nominate White (race albus) nests throughout Europe [from the Iberian Peninsula to the Ural Mountains, including the Baltic Sea coastlands including Russia’s St. Petersburg – but only summering in the northern half of Europe], and is scarce but regular passage migrant to Britain (March-May / August / October).
[Quoting Chris Knightley, Steve Madge, & Dave Nurney, POCKET GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF BRITAIN AND NORTH-WEST EUROPE (London & New Haven, Yale Univ. Press, 1998), page 201. See also, accord, Lars Jonsson, BIRDS OF EUROPE, WITH NORTH AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST (Princeton University Press, 1993), page 372-373.]
WHITE WAGTAIL (Bengt Nyman photograph)
For me, the Wagtail’s characteristic tail-wagging reminds me of a happy pet dog, such as a French Poodle or Labrador Retriever. Every child should have happy memories of a happy dog’s companionship – I’m thankful that my childhood memories include such happy times. Wagtails themselves enjoy their own version of companionship; they are monogamous, sharing nest duties (e.g., constructing the nest together, taking turns to incubate their unhatched eggs, and taking turns feeding the hatchlings), and they defend their own family’s territory.
WHITE WAGTAIL with insect prey (Roy & Marie Battell / Moorhen.me.uk photograph)
What do wagtails eat? A mix of adult and larval insects (e.g., flies, midges, cranflies, mayflies, caterpillars, moths, dragonflies, beetles, aquatic insect larvae), spiders, earthworms, tiny fish fry (as it wades in shallow water), a few seeds, and sometimes small snails.
WHITE WAGTAILmale in shallow water (Ivan Sjögren photograph)
The White Wagtail also bobs his head while walking, somewhat like how city-dwelling pigeons do.
Walks or runs [sometimes making quick dashes] with nodding head, sudden lunges and flycatching leaps. In flight, can be picked out at distance by long tail and conspicuously dipping action, with distinct bursts of wingbeats. Flight call characteristic: a loud tchiz-ick; also utters an emphatic tsu-weeI. Lively, twittering song. In winter, forms large roosts in reedbeds, towns, etc.
[Quoting Chris Knightley, Steve Madge, & Dave Nurney, POCKET GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF BRITAIN AND NORTH-WEST EUROPE (London & New Haven, Yale Univ. Press, 1998), page 201.]
So, if you ever get to visit Catherine’s Palace, in Pushkin (outside of St. Petersburg), Russia, as we did on July 9th of AD2006, do enjoy all the golden glitter and ivory opulence — but don’t forget to also keep an eye open for a bird wagging its tail, maybe foraging on the manicured lawns nearby, or hunting near other less glamorous buildings — you might see an avian treasure, the White Wagtail! ><> JJSJ email@example.com
WHITE WAGTAIL hunting rooftop insects (Roy & Marie Battell / Moorhen.me.uk montage photo-blend)
CATHERINE’S PALACE: aerial view, Pushkin, Russia (Saint-Petersburg.com photograph)
BARNACLE GOOSE BIOGEOGRAPHY: WHAT’S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE MAY INCLUDE RELOCATING (AWAY FROM BREEDING GROUNDS TOO CLOSE TO RUSSIA’S H-BOMBTESTING SITE!)
Dr. James J. S. Johnson
BARNACLE GOOSE trio, swimming in Finland (photo credit: Kuvat / ArtBird)
And Solomon’s provision for one day was 30 measures of fine flour, and 60 measures of meal, 10 fat oxen, and 20 oxen out of the pastures, and 100 sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallow-deer, and fatted fowl. (1st Kings 4:22-23)
Are geese alluded to in Scripture, although not by the name “goose”?Maybe. King Solomon was famous for providing banquets on a daily basis, including “fatted fowl” – which likely included geese, according to British zookeeper-zoölogist George Cansdale:
[Consider the likely] possibility that domestic geese were the fatted fowl — Heb. barburim — supplied daily to Solomon’s table. . . . This wild goose [i.e., the Greylag Goose, mixed with all geese that hybridize with it] breeds naturally in N. and central Europe and may have first been domesticated there. It was kept, perhaps already fully domesticated, very early in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, probably as a resutl of trapping some of the many winter migrants. . . . [Although we don’t know] when they first reached Palestine … [carved] ivories of the eleventh century B.C. from Megiddo illustrate tame geese beiogn tended, and this is the century before Solomon, so there is no doubt that they were available [to King Solomon, who procured resources from neighboring regions in Europe, Asia, and Africa].
[Quoting George S. Cansdale, ALL THE ANIMALS OF THE BIBLE LANDS (Zondervan, 1976), page ; see contextual discussion at pages 178-180.]
The mostly-migratory Barnacle Goose is a favorite of many birdwatchers in northern Europe. It is more likley to be seen during its wintering months, unless one ventures above the Arctic Circle. (The exception is a Barnacle Goose population residing in Baltic Sea coastlands, which appears content to dwell there year-round – see range map below.)
BARNACLE GOOSE RANGE MAP(Cartographic credit: Wikipedia Commons)
In my sporadic wanderings, during years past, specifically on July 7th of AD2006 – I saw several Barnacle Geese (Branta leucopsis) strolling about in Kaivopuisto Park, by the Helsinki Harbor, in Finland.
BARNACLE GOOSE pair, in Kaivopuisto Park, Helsinki, Finland(photo credit: Juha Matti / Picssr)
This migratory goose, which during the summer is common in (and near) Helsinki’s Kaivopuisto Park (where I saw some loitering and lounging on the park grass), has been described as follows:
An immaculate, sociable little goose, only slightly larger than a Mallard. Tiny bill and a white face peering out of black ‘balaclava’ diagnostic. Unlike the much larger Canada Goose, black extends over [its] breast and body is grey (not brown). All [seasonal] plumages similar, but juvenile duller with plain, unbarred flanks. Feral or escaped [e.g., from British zoos] birds are also frequent at inland sites in England [e.g., Leeds Castle, in Kent, where I visited in AD2003], often [mixed] with Canadas [i.e., with Canada Geese].
[Quoting Chris Knightley, Steve Madge, & Dave Nurney, POCKET GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF BRITAIN AND NORTH-WEST EUROPE (London & New Haven, Yale Univ. Press, 1998), page 31.]
BARNACLE GOOSE at Leeds Castle, Kent, England(photo credit: Thomas Cogley)
Like other geese, these birds know how to use their voices:
Noisy, even when feeding, their high-pitched, yelping barks [!] reaching a crescendo as the shimmering flock rises – sounds not unlike a pack of chasing hounds.
[Quoting Knightley, Madge, & Nurney, POCKET GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF BRITAIN AND NORTH-WEST EUROPE, page 31.] These geese are herbivores — feeding mostly on grasses, leaves, roots, tubers, aquatic plants, and/or agricultural crops (such as grains grown in northern Europe’s farmlands), and their digestive processes adi in seed dispersals. Predators of Barnacle Geese – especially during the breeding season — include Peregrine Falcons, Arctic Foxes, and Polar Bears.
Besides Sweden’s (and other) Baltic coastlands, these cool-weather-loving geese habitually summer in the Arctic’s far north, including breeding grounds in Iceland, Svalbard, Greenland, and Russia’s arctic archipelago Novaya Zemla (and on the Siberian coast just south of Novaya Zemla).
Students of the Cold War can appreciate that Novaya Zemla was a scary place to be on October 30th of AD1961, when the USSR tested its RDS-220 hydrogen bomb “Ivan” (a/k/a Tsar Bomba (Russian Царь-бомба, i.e., “Tsar Bomb”), the largest man-made explosion detonated in world history.
Explosion of Soviet Union’s “Царь-бомба”Hydrogen Bomb
seen from 100 miles away (public domain)
Based on migratory habits the Barnacle Gees were likely absent when the blast occurred — but what was it like, during the next spring, when the geese would have migrated north, to their usual breeding grounds in Novaya Zemla? Some emigrants of the Novaya Zemla-breeding population of Barnacle Geese, however, relocated to and colonized (from their ancestral breeding grounds in Russia’s Novaya Zemla) various coastlands around the Baltic Sea’s northern shores, i.e., they now summer upon islands or coastlands of Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Estonia (and afterwards winter within and near the Netherlands).
Meanwhile, during winter, other Barnacle Goose populations (such as those that breed in Iceland or Greenland) migrate to the much milder “Western Isles” of Scotland (i.e., the Hebrides, e.g., Islay) — or on the western coast of Ireland — or in the Solway Firth region of the England-Scotland border.
BARNACLE GOOSEparent & goslings(photo credit: Joe Blossom / Arkive.org )
Of course, many “species” of geese descend from the ancestral pairs of goose-kind that survived the Genesis Flood aboard Noah’s Ark. Consider, for example, the photograph below (by David Appleton), showing a goose standing in grass of Holkham Park (in Norfolk, England) — which appears to be a Barnacle Goose X Greylag Goosehybrid.
Barnacle/Greylag Goose hybrid, Norfolk, England (photo credit: David Appleton)
Meanwhile, if I was a Barnacle Goose – and thank God that He created me to be me, instead! – I’d prefer Helsinki’s Kaivopuisto Park as my year-round home habitat, rather than summer in Novaya Zemla. (As far as I’m concerned, let the Arctic Ocean polar bears have that arctic archipelago!) ><> JJSJ firstname.lastname@example.org
“Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” (Isaiah 62:3 KJV)
While at the Brevard Zoo last week, we were able to take photos and this video of the Red-crested Turaco up close and personal. They opened up a remodeled section of the zoo. The aviary in there has several Red-crested Turacos. I have tried for years to get a good photo of a Turaco, but they have always been behind cage wires. This beautiful bird was in with the Cockatiels, Galahs, Laughing Kookaburra, and some ducks in the free-flying aviary. Many people were feeding the birds with juice, so the birds come right close. Actually, some land on the hand of the one with the juice.
Red-crested Turaco at Brevard Zoo by Lee
According to Wikipedia [with editing]: “The red-crested turaco (Tauraco erythrolophus) is a turaco from a group of African near-passerines. It is a frugivorous bird endemic to western Angola. Its call sounds somewhat like a jungle monkey.
The national bird of Angola is the striking, endemic red-crested turaco. It occurs quite commonly along the length of the Angolan escarpment and adjacent forested habitats.
Here is the video that I took of this avian wonder from Our Creator:
I preloaded this blog, because I wanted to use it to give an update on my surgery. My back had rods and screws placed between the S1 to L2 and L4-L2 on the other set of pedicules. I am now in a Rehabilitation Hospital trying to regain strength. I only pre-scheduled the blog though July 1st.
Not sure when next article will be released.
I am in pain, but it is getting better. My legs are very weak, but improving. The Lord has been with all the way. Your prayers and thoughts are a great comfort.
“and for a long time birds and hedgehogs, and ibises and ravens shall dwell in it: and the measuring line of desolation shall be cast over it, and satyrs shall dwell in it. (Isaiah 34:11 Brenton)”
The family Threskiornithidae includes 34 species of large wading birds. The family has been traditionally classified into two subfamilies, the ibises and the spoonbills; however recent genetic studies are casting doubt on the arrangement and revealing the spoonbills to be nested within the ibises.
Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) by Ian
Members of the family have long, broad wings with 11 primary feathers and about 20 secondaries. They are strong fliers and, rather surprisingly, given their size and weight, very capable soarers. The body tends to be elongated, the neck more so, with rather long legs. The bill is also long, decurved in the case of the ibises, straight and distinctively flattened in the spoonbills. They are large birds, but mid-sized by the standards of their order, ranging from the dwarf olive ibis (Bostrychia bocagei), at 45 cm (18 in) and 450 g (0.99 lb), to the giant ibis (Thaumatibis gigantea), at 100 cm (39 in) and 4.2 kg (9.3 lb).
They are distributed almost worldwide, being found near almost any area of standing or slow-flowing fresh or brackish water. Ibises are also found in drier areas, including landfills.
All ibises are diurnal; spending the day feeding on a wide range of invertebrates and small vertebrates: ibises by probing in soft earth or mud, spoonbills by swinging the bill from side to side in shallow water. At night, they roost in trees near water. They are gregarious, feeding, roosting, and flying together, often in formation.
African Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) by Lee at LPZoo
Threskiornis is a genus of ibises, wading birds of the family Threskiornithidae. They occur in the warmer parts of the Old World in southern Asia, nest in a tree or bush and lay two to four eggs. They occur in marshy wetlands and feed on various fish, frogs, crustaceans and insects. The species in this genus are the; African sacred ibis, T. aethiopicus, Malagasy sacred ibis, T. bernieri, Reunion ibis T. solitarius (extinct), Black-headed ibis, T. melanocephalus, Australian white ibis, T. moluccus, Solomons white ibis, T. m. pygmaeus, and theStraw-necked ibis, T. spinicollis.
The bird genus Pseudibis consists of two South-East Asian species in the ibis subfamily, Threskiornithinae. The giant ibis is also sometimes placed in this genus. Red-naped Ibis, Pseudibis papillosa andWhite-shouldered Ibis, Pseudibis davisoni. The white-shouldered ibis is critically endangered.
Southern Bald Ibis (Geronticus calvus) by Dan at Lowry Park Zoo
The small bird genus Geronticus belongs to the ibis subfamily (Threskiornithinae). Its name is derived from the Greek gérontos (γέρωντος, “old man”) in reference to the bald head of these dark-plumaged birds; in English, they are called bald ibises.
Geronticus contains two living species. The northern bald ibis (G. eremita) has a neck crest of elongated feathers. It is a Critically Endangered species found around the Mediterranean. Its range had expanded after the last glacial period to the Alps of Germany and even a bit further north, but it was rendered extinct there mainly due to habitat destruction and unsustainable hunting. The southern bald ibis (G. calvus) with a red crown patch but no crest is classified as Vulnerable and is found in subtropical southern Africa.
Nipponia– The crested ibis (Nipponia nippon), also known as the Japanese crested ibis or toki (トキ?), variously written in kanji as 朱鷺, 鴇, 鵇 or 鴾, and written in hanzi as 朱䴉 or 朱鷺, is a large (up to 78.5 cm (30.9 in) long), white-plumaged ibis of pine forests. Its head is partially bare, showing red skin, and it has a dense crest of white plumes on the nape. This species is the only member of the genus Nipponia.
Bostrychia is a genus of ibises in the family Threskiornithidae. Member species are found in many countries throughout Africa.
It contains the following five species:Wattled ibis (Bostrychia carunculata), Hadada ibis (Bostrychia hagedash), Olive ibis (Bostrychia olivacea), São Tomé ibis (Bostrychia bocagei), Spot-breasted ibis (Bostrychia rara)
Buff-necked Ibis (Theristicus caudatus) by Dario Sanches
Theristicus is a genus of birds in the family Threskiornithidae. They are found in open, grassy habitats in South America. All have a long, decurved dark bill, relatively short reddish legs that do not extend beyond the tail in flight (unlike e.g. Eudocimus and Plegadis), and at least the back is grey. They are the Plumbeous ibis, Theristicus caerulescens, Buff-necked ibis, Theristicus caudatus, Black-faced ibis, Theristicus melanopis, Andean ibis, Theristicus branickii,
Mesembrinibis– The green ibis (Mesembrinibis cayennensis), also known as the Cayenne ibis, is a wading bird in the ibis family Threskiornithidae. It is the only member of the genus Mesembrinibis.
This is a resident breeder from Honduras through Nicaragua, Costa Rica and western Panama, and South America to northern Argentina. It undertakes some local seasonal movements in the dry season.
Bare-faced Ibis (Phimosus infuscatus) by Robert Scanlon
Phimosus – The bare-faced ibis (Phimosus infuscatus), also known as the whispering ibis, is a species of bird in the family Threskiornithidae, in the monotypic genus Phimosus.
It is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Its natural habitat is swamps. The Bare-faced Ibis is either dark brown or a blackish color. It is called the Bare-faced Ibis because it does not have any feathers on its face. It has a long Decurved bill that’s pinkish to reddish brown. The skin on its face is usually a reddish color and it also has long orangely colored beak with pink legs. The total length of the ibis ranges between 45 and 50 cm.
Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) by Dan at LPZoo
Eudocimus is a genus of ibises, wading birds of the family Threskiornithidae. They occur in the warmer parts of the New World with representatives from the southern United States south through Central America, the West Indies, and South America.
There are just two species in this genus, American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) and Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber)
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) by Dan’s Pix
Plegadis is a bird genus in the family Threskiornithidae. The genus name derives from Ancient Greek plegados, “sickle”, referring to the distinctive shape of the bill. Member species are found on every continent except Antarctica as well as a number of islands. The glossy ibis is easily the most widespread of the three species. Plegadis contains the following three species: Glossy Ibis, Plegadis falcinellus, , White-faced Ibis, Plegadis chihi, Puna Ibis, Plegadis ridgwayi.
Lophotibis– The Madagascan ibis (Lophotibis cristata), also known as the Madagascar crested ibis, white-winged ibis or crested wood ibis, is a medium-sized (approximately 50 cm long), brown-plumaged ibis. It has bare red orbital skin, yellow bill, red legs, white wings and its head is partially bare with a dense crest of green or gloss blue and white plumes on the nape. The Madagascan Ibis is the only member of the genus Lophotibis.
Roseate Spoonbill at Flamingo Gardens by Lee
Platalea– Spoonbills are a group of large, long-legged wading birds in the family Threskiornithidae, which also includes the ibises. The genus name platalea derives from Latin and means “broad”, referring to the distinctive shape of the bill. Six species are recognised, all either placed in a single genus or three genera. They are most closely related to the Old World ibises; Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor, African Spoonbill Platalea alba, Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia, Yellow-billed Spoonbill Platalea flavipes, and our local Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja.
All spoonbills have large, flat, spatulate bills and feed by wading through shallow water, sweeping the partly opened bill from side to side. The moment any small aquatic creature touches the inside of the bill—an insect, crustacean, or tiny fish—it is snapped shut. Spoonbills generally prefer fresh water to salt but are found in both environments. They need to feed many hours each day.
“And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” (Hebrews 10:21-23 KJV)
A blog I enjoy following by Alois Absenger from Germany, had a gorgeous Woodpecker photo a few day ago. It is titled, Buntspecht. When I asked Alois what was the name of the woodpecker, he answered that it was a “Buntspecht”. With a chuckle, I decided to find out the English name of this beautiful avian wonder.
Pied-Billed Grebe at Lake Hollingsworth, Lakeland, FL by Dan
“The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.” (Psalms 111:2 KJV)
Our inspirations today come from the Podicipedidae Family, which is the only family in the Podicipediformes Order. All 23 species are called a Grebe. [This is a switch from many families.] Within the family there six genera: Tachybaptus (6), Podilymbus (2), Rollandia (2), Poliocephalus (2), Podiceps (9) and the Aechmophorus (2). Of these species, three have become extinct; the Alaotra Grebe, Atitlan Grebe, and the Colombian Grebe. “Grebes are a widely distributed order of freshwater diving birds, some of which visit the sea when migrating and in winter.”
As I start this article, we have only seen about three or four of these family members. The most popular in this area is the Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps). All About Birds had these two “Cool Facts“:
“The Latin genus name for “grebe” means “feet at the buttocks”—an apt descriptor for these birds, whose feet are indeed located near their rear ends. This body plan, a common feature of many diving birds, helps grebes propel themselves through water. Lobed (not webbed) toes further assist with swimming. Pied-billed Grebes pay for their aquatic prowess on land, where they walk awkwardly.
Pied-billed Grebe [and other Grebe] chicks typically leave the nest the first day after hatching and spend much of their first week riding around on a parent’s back. They usually spend most of their first 3 weeks on or near the nest platform.”
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) by Ian 4
Grebes are small to medium-large in size, have lobed toes, and are excellent swimmers and divers. Although they can run for a short distance, they are prone to falling over, since they have their feet placed far back on the body. Bills vary from short and thick to long and pointed, depending on the diet, which ranges from fish to freshwater insects and crustaceans. The feet are always large, with broad lobes on the toes and small webs connecting the front three toes. The hind toe also has a small lobe. Recent experimental work has shown that these lobes work like the hydrofoil blades of a propeller.
Grebes have narrow wings, and some species are reluctant to fly; indeed, two South American species are completely flightless. They respond to danger by diving rather than flying, and are in any case much less wary than ducks. Extant species range in size from the least grebe, at 120 grams (4.3 oz) and 23.5 cm (9.3 inches), to the great grebe, at 1.7 kg (3.8 lbs) and 71 cm (28 inches).
The North American and Eurasian species are all, of necessity, migratory over much or all of their ranges, and those species that winter at sea are also seen regularly in flight. Even the small freshwater pied-billed grebe of North America has occurred as a transatlantic vagrant to Europe on more than 30 occasions.
Tachybaptus is a genus of small members of the grebe family birds. The genus name is from Ancient Greek takhus “fast” and bapto “to sink under”. It has representatives over much of the world, including the tropics.
is a genus of birds in the Podicipedidae family, containing the extinct Atitlán grebe (Podilymbus gigas) and the pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps).The genus name is derived from Latin Podilymbus, a contraction of podicipes (“feet at the buttocks”, from podici-, “rump-” + pes, “foot”)—the origin of the name of the grebe order—and Ancient Greek kolymbos, “diver”.
Poliocephalus is a small genus of birds in the grebe family. Its two members are found in Australia and New Zealand. They are: Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus) and New Zealand Grebe (Poliocephalus rufopectus).
Podiceps is a genus of birds in the grebe family. The genus name comes from Latin podicis, “vent” and pes, “foot”, and is a reference to the placement of a grebe’s legs towards the rear of its body.It has representatives breeding in Europe, Asia, North, and South America. Most northern hemisphere species migrate in winter to the coast or warmer climates.
Aechmophorus is a genus of birds in the grebe family. It has two living representatives breeding in western North America; the Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) and Clark’s Grebe (Aechmophorus clarkii).
The western grebe has a straight bill with a dull green-yellow color as opposed to the Clark’s grebe, which has a slightly upturned, bright orange-yellow bill. In both species the male has a longer and deeper bill than that of the female, making it a distinguishing feature. All species of grebes display the pattern of lobed feet. A tough skin surrounds each toe separately, providing more surface area for effective swimming. This form increases the power of propulsion per stroke and reduces drag when the bird is recovering.
Western and Clark’s grebes take part in a courtship display known as mate feeding. This occurs regularly between a mated pair during the period prior to hatching of nestlings. In both species mate feeding appears to peak shortly before egg laying and involves the male providing large quantities of food to the begging female. Pairs will also engage in a spectacular display, by rearing up and “rushing” across the surface of the water side by side, making a loud pattering sound with their feet.
“He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.” (Psalms 111:4 KJV)
“The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.” (Psalms 93:4 KJV)
Today’s Sunday Inspiration will bring us through the last 49 members of the Procellariidae Family. These include Petrels in the Pseudobulweria (5), Procellaria (5), and Bulweria (3) genera, plus 4 Diving Petrels in the Pelecanoides genus. The final group of Shearwaters are in the Calonectris (4), Ardenna (7), and Puffinus (21) genera
Tahitian Petrel (Pseudobulweria rostrata) by Ian
“The Pseudobulweria are generally largish darkish petrels, but may have white undersides. They are long-winged and fly about with rather leisurely wingbeats and soar a lot. Though they are attracted by chum, Pseudobulweria petrels are not particularly prone to following ships. They often approach floating prey from downwind, picking it up without landing on the water or during a brief landing in which the wings are kept raised.”
What an amazing Creator these Avian Wonders have to provide so much for them. “Procellaria is a member of the family Procellariidae and the order Procellariiformes. As members of Procellariiformes, they share certain characteristics. First they have tubular nostrils called naricorns. This feature gives them their common name, tubenoses. The opening to the nostril is located differently in some birds. These birds have the opening on top of the upper bill. Second, they produce a stomach oil that contains wax esters and triglycerides. This oil fills two functions. When predators threaten the birds or their chick or egg, they spit the substance on them. This substance has an awful smell, and mats the feathers down, degrading their usefulness. Also, they can digest the wax esters for a high energy source of food, during long flights or the period of time that they are incubating their egg or caring for their young. They also have a uniquely structured bill, with seven to nine distinct horny plates. Finally, they have a salt gland that is located above their nasal passages and helps desalinate their body, as they drink seawater. They excrete the salty waste out their nose.” [Quote from Wikipedia, bolding mine]
Calonectris is a genus of seabirds. The genus name comes from Ancient Greek kalos, “good” and nectris, “swimmer”. Calonectris shearwaters are long-distance migrants. The genus comprises three large shearwaters. There are two other shearwater genera. Puffinus, which comprises about twenty small to medium-sized shearwaters, and Procellaria with another four large species. The latter are usually named as petrels, although they are thought to be more closely related to the shearwaters than to the other petrels.
The species in this group are long-winged birds, dark brown or grey-brown above, and mainly white below. They are pelagic outside the breeding season. They are most common in temperate and cold waters. These tubenose birds fly with stiff wings, and use a shearing flight technique to move across wave fronts with the minimum of active flight. Their flight appears more albatross-like than the Puffinus species.
Ardenna is a genus of seabirds that “comprises a group medium-sized shearwaters. The species were for a long time included in the genus Puffinus but this genus was split based on the results of a phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA. The genus had been introduced by Ludwig Reichenbach in 1853, although the name was first used to refer to a seabird by Italian naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi in 1603.”
Puffinus – “The species in this group are long-winged birds, dark brown or black above, and white to dark brown below. They are pelagic outside the breeding season. They are most common in temperate and cold waters. These tubenose birds fly with stiff wings, and use a shearing flight technique to move across wave fronts with the minimum of active flight. Some small species, such as the Manx shearwater, are cruciform in flight, with their long wings held directly out from their bodies.
Many are long-distance migrants, perhaps most spectacularly the sooty and short-tailed shearwaters, which perform migrations of 14,000 km or more each year. Puffinus shearwaters come to islands and coastal cliffs only to breed. They are nocturnal at the colonial breeding sites, preferring moonless nights to minimise predation. They nest in burrows and often give eerie contact calls on their night-time visits. They lay a single white egg.”
Common Diving Petrel (Pelecanoides urinatrix) by Daves BirdingPix
Diving Petrels in the Pelecanoides
The diving petrels are seabirds in the bird order Procellariiformes. There are four very similar species all in the family Procellariidae and genus Pelecanoides (Lacépède, 1799), distinguished only by small differences in the coloration of their plumage and their bill construction. They are only found in the Southern Hemisphere.
Diving petrels are auk-like small petrels of the southern oceans. The resemblances with the auks are due to convergent evolution, since both families feed by pursuit diving, although some researchers have in the past suggested that the similarities are due to relatedness. Among the Procellariiformes the diving petrels are the family most adapted to life in the sea rather than flying over it, and are generally found closer inshore than other families in the order.
“Bulweria is a genus of seabirds in the family Procellariidae named after English naturalist James Bulwer. The genus has two extant species, Bulwer’s petrel (B. bulwerii) and Jouanin’s petrel (B. fallax). A third species, the Olson’s petrel (Bulweria bifax), became extinct in the early 16th century; it is known only from skeletal remains. Bulwer’s Petrel ranges in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, whereas Joaunin’s Petrel is confined to the northwestern Indian Ocean. Olson’s Petrel is known from the Atlantic.”
[Most information from Wikipedia]
“The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.” (Psalms 50:1 KJV)
Sandhill Cranes – Adult and Juvenile in our yard 8/27/10
The latest I.O.C. Birds of the World Version 7.2 is now completed on this site. [As far as I know] Just finished updating all the Indexes for the birds by the First Name and by the Last Name. I trust this will continue to assist in finding just that bird you are looking for. [I find it easier to find the birds on Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures, than out in the field trying to find them. :0) ]