Artistic Birds – Lady Amherst’s Pheasant

Lady Amherst's Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae)

Lady Amherst’s Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae)

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives,” Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 [NKJV]

The Lady Amherst’s Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) is a bird of the  Galliformes Order and the family Phasianidae. The genus name is from Ancient Greek khrusolophos, “with golden crest”. The English name and amherstiae commemorates Sarah Amherst, wife of William Pitt Amherst, Governor General of Bengal, who was responsible for sending the first specimen of the bird to London in 1828.

7. Lady Amherst's Pheasant

7. Lady Amherst’s Pheasant

The species is native to southwestern China and far northern Myanmar, but has been introduced elsewhere. Previously, a self-supporting feral population was established in England, the stronghold of which was in West Bedfordshire. Lady Amherst first introduced the ornamental pheasant on her estates, near the Duke of Bedford’s Woburn Abbey, where the birds were also shot for game and interbred. However since late 2015 the species has been believed to be extirpated in Great Britain with no confirmed sightings since March 2015.

The adult male is 100–120 cm (23 in.) in length, its tail accounting for 80 cm of the total length. It is unmistakable with its nuchal cape white black, with a red crest. The long grey tail and rump is red, blue, dark green, white and yellow plumage. The “cape” can be raised in display. This species is closely related to the golden pheasant (C. pictus), but has a yellow eye, blue-green bare skin around it. The bill is horn-coloured and they had blue-gray legs.

Lady Amherst's Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) Female ©WikiC

Lady Amherst’s Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) Female ©WikiC

The female is much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage all over, similar to that of the female common pheasant (P. colchicus) but with finer barring. She is very like the female golden pheasant, but has a darker head and cleaner underparts than the hen of that species.

Despite the male’s showy appearance, these birds are very difficult to see in their natural habitat, which is dense, dark forests with thick undergrowth. Consequently, little is known of their behaviour in the wild.

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

They feed on the ground on grain, leaves and invertebrates, but roost in trees at night. Whilst they can fly, they prefer to run, but if startled they can suddenly burst upwards at great speed, with a distinctive wing sound. The male has a gruff call in the breeding season. [Wikipedia with editing]

Wow! What another beautiful artistic Avian Wonder from our Lord.

GALLIFORMES – Fowl, Quail, Guans, Currasows, Megapodes

Phasianidae – Pheasants & Allies

Artistic Work In Birds – Introduction

Wordless Birds

Our Missionaries – African Pied Wagtail

Brubru (Nilaus afer) ©Wiki My first guess

Years ago there were a few posts that featured some of the birds our missionaries see in their various locations. It was 2009 and 2010 actually. I even made a page to hold the different articles. What Our Missionaries See. It is located at the end of the Birds of the Bible list.

Recently, the thought of reviving that series has crossed my mind. Today, one of our Pastors, who moved on to a new position, has challenged me to ID a bird he keeps seeing in Uganda. Pastor Peter Brock is also a good friend who enjoys birdwatching. After three emails back and forth, and some photos, our mystery bird has been identified. At first I thought it was a Brubru, seen above.

Mystery Bird 1 by Pastor Pete

Mystery Bird 2 by Pastor Pete

He sent those two photos, then he got a better shot and sent this one.

Mystery Bird 3 by Pastor Pete

After this third photo, the search was back on to correct my first idea. How would you go about figuring out what bird he is seeing?

Back to Google, this was my search; “black and white bird with white brow in uganda” This search brought up some black and white birds, and the very first photo was:

African Pied Wagtail from Kenya http://www.ngkenya.com/fauna/birds.html

Aha!! That looks like his mystery bird. When I clicked that link, and looked down through those birds, the next link led me to a positive ID on this bird.

“Common bird of parks, lawns, pastures and farmland. Pumps long tail up and down as it forages along ground.” The link with that photo brought me to this beautiful African Pied Wagtail:

African Pied Wagtail from http://www.ngkenya.com

“Sharp black-and-white plumage and a long bobbing tail make this common bird farms and urban gardens easily recognizable.” [It is now that I figured it out.]

You can find out more about this beautiful avian wonder at African Pied Wagtail, Wikipedia, Kenya Natural History Guide, and HBAlive

We sense from Scripture, that challenging our minds is a good thing.

“And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised.” (Ecclesiastes 1:13 NKJV)

I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation,…” (Ecclesiastes 7:25a NASB)

Pastor Peter Brock now works with Reaching and Teaching International Ministries .

 

 

Tickle Me Tuesday – Dancing Birds I

Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata) ©NatGeo

Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata) ©NatGeo

Green Mumbles on his YouTube channel has a couple of video of male birds displaying for their female hopefuls. This is the first of two that he has done. Part II will be next week.

[Not fond of some of the music, but the birds are quite entertaining.]

“A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;” (Ecclesiastes 3:4 NKJV)

Tickle Me Tuesday Revived – Laughing Kookaburras

2015’s Tickle Me Tuesday’s

Wages or a Gift

Tickle Me Tuesday’s – Flamingos

“They send forth their little ones like a flock, And their children dance.” (Job 21:11 NKJV)

“All the days of the afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” (Proverbs 15:15 NKJV)

Flamingos or flamingoes /fləˈmɪŋɡz/ are a type of wading bird in the family Phoenicopteridae, the only bird family in the order Phoenicopteriformes. Four flamingo species are distributed throughout the Americas, including the Caribbean, and two species are native to Africa, Asia, and Europe.

The name “flamingo” comes from Portuguese or Spanish flamengo, “flame-colored”,

PHOENICOPTERIFORMES – Flamingos

Revived Tickle Me Tuesday’s

2015’s Tickle Me Tuesday’s

Peru’s Marvellous Hummingbird – Again

Marvelous Spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis)©©

Marvelous Spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis)©©

Peru’s Marvellous Hummingbird

(from Creation Moments)

In that day the LORD of hosts will be for a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people. (Isaiah 28:5)

In 1835, when scientists first saw Peru’s most unusual hummingbird, they were so overcome with its beauty that they gave it the name “Marvellous.” This little bird treats the eye to iridescent green, yellow, orange, and purple feathers. But its most unusual feature is its tail. While most birds have eight to twelve tail feathers, the Marvellous hummingbird has only four. Two of these are long, pointed, thorn-like feathers that don’t seem to help much in flying or landing. The other two feathers are truly marvellous. They are six inches long, three times the length of the bird’s two-inch body. On the end of these two long narrow feathers are large feather fans that nearly equal the surface area of its wings.

Marvelous Spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis) ©©

Marvelous Spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis) ©©

Astonishingly, the Marvelous hummingbird has complete control of these feathers. At rest, the bird perches with these two feathers hanging down an inch or so from its body, and then crossing them until they are horizontal. In flight and landing they provide remarkable maneuverability. During mating, the hummingbird moves them as semaphores. Interestingly enough, evolutionists admit that they are stumped as to why these unusual feathers should have evolved.

One look at our creation clearly shows that our Creator appreciates beauty. But even the beautiful Marvelous hummingbird is but a poor and cloudy hint of the beauty of our Creator Himself.

Prayer:
Dear Father, help me treat the beauty You have created as You would have me to do. Let me be filled with thanksgiving to You for it, and let it remind me that You are the source of all that is truly beautiful. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Notes:
Crawford H. Greenewalt. The Marvelous Hummingbird Rediscovered. National Geographic, Vol. 130, No. 1. P. 98-101.”

©Creation Moments 2014


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Lee’s Addition:

This was originally done in 2010, but needs to be re-blogged again. [Which I did in 2014, It’s now 2019, time for it again.] Also, the YouTube above was added. It is astonishing to watch the little bird in action. Thanks to one of our readers who found the video to add to their site. See The Vine Vigil.

The Marvellous Hummingbird is now the Marvelous Spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis). It is in the Hummingbird Family (Trochilidae) and is part of the Apodiformes Order.

Marvelous Spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis) ©WikiC-Gould_Troch._pl._161

Marvelous Spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis) ©WikiC-Gould_Troch._pl._161

The Marvelous (also Marvellous) Spatuletail (hummingbird), Loddigesia mirabilis, is a medium-sized (up to 5.9 in/15 cm long) white, green and bronze hummingbird adorned with blue crest feathers, a brilliant turquoise gorget, and a black line on its white underparts. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Loddigesia.

A Peruvian endemic, this species is found in the forest edge of the Río Utcubamba region. It was first reported in 1835 by the bird collector Andrew Matthews for George Loddiges. The Marvellous Spatuletail is unique among birds, for it has just four feathers in its tail. Its most remarkable feature is the male’s two long racquet-shaped outer tail feathers that cross each other and end in large violet-blue discs or “spatules”. He can move them independently.

Information gathered from Creation Moments, Wikipedia, and YouTube.

Wordless Birds



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Artistic Birds – Galliformes Order – Monal

1. Himalayan Monal

Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus)

In the Artistic Birds – Galliformes Order I, you were introduced to some of the birds the Bare-faced Curassow, Crested Guineafowl, Gambel’s Quail, and the beautifully designed Golden Pheasant.

The Himalayan Monal definitely can be described by this verse, relating to the design of the tabernacle.

“He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work of the engraver and the designer and the tapestry maker, in blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen, and of the weaver—those who do every work and those who design artistic works.” (Exodus 35:35 NKJV) [emphasis added]

If you missed the introduction, we are referring to the Master Designer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus) by Nikhil

“The Himalayan monal (Lophophorus impejanus), also known as the Impeyan monal and Impeyan pheasant, is a bird in the pheasant family, Phasianidae. It is the national bird of Nepal, where it is known as the danphe, and state bird of Uttarakhand, India, where it is known as the monal. It was also the state bird of Himachal Pradesh until 2007. The scientific name commemorates Lady Mary Impey, the wife of the British chief justice of Bengal Sir Elijah Impey.

Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus) ©WikiC

It is a relatively large-sized pheasant. The bird is about 70 centimetres long. The male weighs up to 2380 grams and the female 2150. The adult male has multi coloured plumage throughout, while the female, as in other pheasants, is more subdued in colour. Notable features in the male include a long, metallic green crest, coppery feathers on the back and neck, and a prominent white rump that is most visible when the bird is in flight. The tail feathers of the male are uniformly rufous, becoming darker towards the tips, whereas the lower tail coverts of females are white, barred with black and red.

Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus) Female ©WikiC

The female has a prominent white patch on the throat and a white strip on the tail. The first-year male and the juvenile resemble the female, but the first-year male is larger and the juvenile is less distinctly marked.

Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus) ©Arthur Grosset

The Himalayan monal’s native range extends from Afghanistan and Pakistan through the Himalayas in India, Nepal, southern Tibet, and Bhutan.[1] In Pakistan, it is most common in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and has also been recorded in Kaghan, Palas Valley, and Azad Kashmir.[3] It lives in upper temperate oak-conifer forests interspersed with open grassy slopes, cliffs and alpine meadows between 2400 and 4500 meters, where it is most common between 2700 and 3700 meters. It descends to 2,000 m (6,600 ft) in the winter. It tolerates snow and digs through it to obtain plant roots and invertebrate prey.

GALLIFORMES – Fowl, Quail, Guans, Currasows, Megapodes

Phasianidae – Pheasants & Allies

Artistic Work In Birds – Introduction

Wordless Birds

Artistic Birds – Galliformes Order I

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) WikiC

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) WikiC

As mentioned, these “Artistic Birds” will be presented in “sort of” the Taxonomic Order. The first few orders do not have any particularly “artistic” birds. They were mostly created to blend in with their environment. Most likely for protection. These first Orders are:

But when we arrive at the Galliformes Order, the Creator’s Artistically Colorful Hand appears on many of these birds. There are five families in this Order.

[Clicking on these links have many photos of those in the families. Scientific and English links are identical.]

Megapodiidae ~~~ (English) – Megapodes – Not very colorful
(Scientific) –Cracidae ~~~ (English) – Chachalacas, Curassows & Guans – This group has fancy “hairdos” and throat pouches

Bare-faced Curassow (Crax fasciolata) Female ©WikiC

Bare-faced Curassow (Crax fasciolata) ©BirdPhotos

Bare-faced Curassow (Crax fasciolata) ©BirdPhotos

(Scientific) – Numididae ~~~ (English) – Guineafowl – Crested Guineafowl is the only one of note.

Crested Guineafowl (Guttera pucherani) ©WikiC

(Scientific) – Odontophoridae ~~~ (English) – New World Quail – Quails have artistic markings that help them blend in for protection. My favorite that shows an Artistic design is the Gambel’s Quail with this “painted” lines and that fancy feather.

Gambel's Quail (Callipepla gambelii) ©WikiC

Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii) ©WikiC

(Scientific) – Phasianidae ~~~ (English) – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies – This family is loaded with Artistic Birds, so, today here is just one of the beauties. More posts will present more of the Lord’s Hand at work in the design of these birds. What a Creator!

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) Male ©© NotMicroButSoft

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) Male ©© NotMicroButSoft

It is native to forests in mountainous areas of western China, but feral populations have been established in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, the Falkland Islands, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.[3] In England they may be found in East Anglia in the dense forest landscape of the Breckland as well as Tresco on the Isles of Scilly.

Golden Pheasant Magnolia Plantation by Lee Charleston 2014

The adult male is 90–105 cm (35–41 in) in length, its tail accounting for two-thirds of the total length. It is unmistakable with its golden crest and rump and bright red body. The deep orange “cape” can be spread in display, appearing as an alternating black and orange fan that covers all of the face except its bright yellow eye with a pinpoint black pupil.

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) ©WikiC

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) ©WikiC

to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of artistic workmanship.” (Exodus 35:32-33 NKJV) [These were workers that were given special gifts to work on the tabernacle. Wonder if any of them had seen “artistic birds” to help them visualize what their works?]

Click this link to see a full photo of this bird. When it comes up, click it again. Wow!

  Full Length Photo


GALLIFORMES – Fowl, Quail, Guans, Currasows, Megapodes

Artistic Work In Birds – Introduction

Artistic Birds – Frigatebirds

Wordless Birds

Artistic Birds – Frigatebirds

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Male ©WikiC

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Male ©WikiC

Bezalel was given much wisdom and understanding to help in the construction of the Tabernacle. He then was given the ability to train others to help. They were given abilities to help do the work also. Today, as Christians, we each are given talents and gifts to help in building the Church. Are we using those abilities?

“and He has filled him [Bezalel] with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of artistic workmanship. “And He has put in his heart the ability to teach, in him and Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work of the engraver and the designer and the tapestry maker, in blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen, and of the weaver—those who do every work and those who design artistic works.” (Exodus 35:31-35 NKJV)

When the Lord created the birds, He especially used His Ultimate Creative Ability. As mentioned in the Introduction to this new series, Artistic Work In Birds, we will looking for those birds which seem to have been painted/designed with great markings and other characteristics.

Frigatebirds

Frigatebirds (also listed as “frigate bird”, “frigate-bird”, “frigate”, “frigate-petrel”) are a family of seabirds called Fregatidae which are found across all tropical and subtropical oceans. The five extant species are classified in a single genus, Fregata. All have predominantly black plumage, long, deeply forked tails and long hooked bills. Females have white underbellies and males have a distinctive red gular pouch, which they inflate during the breeding season to attract females. Their wings are long and pointed and can span up to 2.3 metres (7.5 ft), the largest wing area to body weight ratio of any bird.

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor palmerstoni) Female by Ian

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor palmerstoni) Female by Ian

Able to soar for weeks on wind currents, frigatebirds spend most of the day in flight hunting for food, and roost on trees or cliffs at night. Their main prey are fish and squid, caught when chased to the water surface by large predators such as tuna.

Now that is design and engineering! The Great and Magnificent Frigatebirds have a distinctive red gular pouch, and it had a few paint strokes added to make it more attractive. [I guess]

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Male Displaying ©WikiC

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) ©WikiC

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) ©WikiC

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) ©WikiC

Starting off with a simple bird, also, will be working way through the birds sort of in Taxonomic order.

Frigatebirds – Wikipedia

Artistic Work In Birds – Introduction

Wages or a Gift

Avian and Attributes – Sun

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

To Him who made great lights, For His mercy endures forever— The sun to rule by day, For His mercy endures forever; The moon and stars to rule by night, For His mercy endures forever.” (Psalms 136:7-9 NKJV)

SUN, n.
1. The splendid orb or luminary which, being in or near the center of our system of worlds, gives light and heat to all the planets. The light of the sun constitutes the day, and the darkness which proceeds form its absence, or the shade of the earth, constitutes the night. Psalm 136.
2. In popular usage, a sunny place; a place where the beams of the sun fall; as, to stand in the sun, that is, to stand where the direct rays of the sun fall.
3. Any thing eminently splendid or luminous; that which is the chief source of light or honor. The natives of America complain that the sun of their glory is set.
I will never consent to put out the sun of sovereignty to posterity.
4. In Scripture, Christ is called the sun of righteousness, as the source of light, animation and comfort to his disciples.
5. The luminary or orb which constitutes the center of any system of worlds. The fixed stars are supposed to be suns in their respective systems.
Under the sun, in the world; on earth; a proverbial expression.
There is no new thing under the sun. Ecclesiastes  1.

“That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 NKJV)”

Sun Parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis) at Parrot Mtn by Lee

SUN, v.t. To expose to the sun’s rays; to warm or dry in the light of the sun; to insolate; as, to sun cloth; to sun grain.
–Then to sun thyself in open air.

Sun Lark (Galerida modesta)

Sun Lark (Galerida modesta)

The Sun Lark (Galerida modesta) or Nigerian Sun Lark is a species of lark in the family Alaudidae. It inhabits a broad horizontal area south of the Sahel, ranging from Guinea to South Sudan. Its natural habitats are dry savannah and subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland. (Wikipedia)

Sun Parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis) ©WikiC

The Sun Parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis), also known in aviculture as the Sun Conure, is a medium-sized, vibrantly colored parrot native to northeastern South America. The adult male and female are similar in appearance, with predominantly golden-yellow plumage and orange-flushed underparts and face. Sun parakeets are very social birds, typically living in flocks. They form monogamous pairs for reproduction, and nest in palm cavities in the tropics. Sun parakeets mainly feed on fruits, flowers, berries, blossoms, seeds, nuts, and insects. (Wikipedia)

More Avian and Attributes

Birds whose first name starts with “S”

Good News

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[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]

 

Birds and Forest Fires

Black-backed Woodpecker ©Flicker Michael Woodruff

Black-backed Woodpecker ©Flicker Michael Woodruff

All About Birds re-published an article about how Forest Fires affect wildlife and people from Living Bird magazine.

I found it to be very interest how so abundantly birds, wildlife and plants revive after a forest fire. This article was about the Rice Ridge Fire burn in the Swan Mountains of Montana. They show many of the birds that are now coming back and abounding.

“You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth. May the glory of the LORD endure forever; May the LORD rejoice in His works. He looks on the earth, and it trembles; He touches the hills, and they smoke.” (Psalms 104:30-32 NKJV)

One avian wonder especially pointed out is the Black-backed Woodpecker.

Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) by Daves BirdingPix

“The black-backed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) also known as the Arctic three-toed woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker (23 cm (9.1 in) long) inhabiting the forests of North America.

Their breeding range is boreal forest across Canada, Alaska, the north-western United States, as well as northern Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Upper Michigan. In particular the species is a burnt-forest specialist, feeding on the outbreaks of wood-boring beetles that feed on recently burnt trees. The most important wood boring beetles taken are in the families Cerambycidae and Buprestidae, along with engraver beetles and Mountain pine beetle. Most food is obtained by pecking, a smaller proportion is obtained by gleaning off branches. Black-backed woodpeckers are generally non-migratory but historically have undertaken intermittent irruptions.

Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) by Ian

Nest excavation occurs in April and May; a fresh nest is drilled each year into the sapwood of dead trees. Abandoned nests are used by other species of bird to nest in. The female lays three or four eggs, and incubation duties are shared between both parents, although the male alone incubates during the night. Upon hatching the altricial chicks are brooded until the nestling phase. Both parents feed the chicks, which take about 24 days to fledge.

Nest excavation occurs in April and May; a fresh nest is drilled each year into the sapwood of dead trees. Abandoned nests are used by other species of bird to nest in. The female lays three or four eggs, and incubation duties are shared between both parents, although the male alone incubates during the night. Upon hatching the altricial chicks are brooded until the nestling phase. Both parents feed the chicks, which take about 24 days to fledge.

Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) by Ian

Black Backed Woodpecker

There are times when it is good to have things “renewed.”

“But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NKJV)

Information about  the Black-backed Woodpecker from [Wikipedia]

Old Flames: The Tangled History of Forest Fires, Wildfire, and People

All About Birds – Black-backed Woodpecker

Wordless Woodpeckers

Now That’s A Parrot – Squawkzilla

Meet ‘Squawkzilla,’ the massive prehistoric parrot scientists say terrorized other birds

A reconstruction of Heracles inexpectatus, the New Zealand parrot. The team initially thought the fossils belonged to a giant eagle. Photograph: Brian Choo/Flinders University

“Fossils of the largest parrot ever recorded have been found in New Zealand. Estimated to have weighed about 7kg (1.1st), it would have been more than twice as heavy as the kākāpo, previously the largest known parrot.” (The Guardian)

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) ©WikiC showing whiskers around beak

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) ©WikiC showing whiskers around beak

“Palaeontologists have named the new species Heracles inexpectatus to reflect its unusual size and strength and the unexpected nature of the discovery.

Prof Trevor Worthy of Flinders University in Australia, the lead author of the research published in the journal Biology Letters, said: “Once we decided it was something new and interesting, the challenge was to figure out what family it was from.

“Because no giant parrots have been found previously, parrots were not on our radar – thus it took some time to differentiate all other birds essentially from parrots to conclude that the unique suite of characters was definitive of a parrot.”

Paul Scofield, a senior curator of natural history at Canterbury Museum, said the fossil had been excavated in 2008, and initially the team had thought the bones were part of a giant eagle.”

From the Washington Post: “The large bones, believed to be the bones of an ancient eagle, flew under the radar for a decade. It was during a research project in the lab of Flinders University paleontologist Trevor Worthy that a graduate student rediscovered the bones. After that, a team of researchers began reanalyzing the findings earlier this year, according to the BBC.

“It was completely unexpected and quite novel,” Worthy, the study’s lead author, told National Geographic. “Once I had convinced myself it was a parrot, then I obviously had to convince the world.”

Kea (Nestor notabilis) by Ian #1

Kea (Nestor notabilis) by Ian

Researchers concluded that the bird probably couldn’t fly and consumed what was along the ground and easy to reach, according to National Geographic. But that might not have been enough to satiate the giant parrot.

It’s possible the bird had more carnivorous ways, like another New Zealand parrot, the kea, which has been known to attack and subsequently munch upon living sheep, the magazine reported.


Keas, the world’s only alpine parrots, are native to New Zealand’s South Island. (Erin E. Williams for The Washington Post)

Michael Archer, a co-author of the research and paleontologist at the University of New South Wales, told National Geographic that heracles might have even been eating other parrots, giving way to a nickname: “Squawkzilla.”

Archer told Agence France-Presse the bird had “a massive parrot beak that could crack wide open anything it fancied.”

Heracles probably won’t be the final unforeseen fossil from the St. Bathans area, Worthy told AFP. The researchers have turned up many surprising birds and animals over the years.

“No doubt there are many more unexpected species yet to be discovered in this most interesting deposit,” Worthy said.”

Washington Post Article about Heracles inexpectatus.

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) ©Dept of Conservation-To See Relative Size

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) ©Dept of Conservation-To See Relative Size

Of course, those of us on this blog do not believe in millions of years, but that the Lord created everything, including this humongous Parrot. National Geographic says “The flightless ‘squawkzilla’ stood three feet tall and was twice the weight of the kakapo, the heaviest parrot alive today.”

“Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.” (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)

Other’s with the same basic information:

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) ©Dept of Conservation

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) ©Dept of Conservation

Save The Parrots

Seagulls and Family Circus

Today’s Family Circus caught my attention and decided to see what could be found to go with it. This video from Cornell Lab of Ornithology tells about how the gulls signal each other over territory. If you ignore a few references to evolution, it is quite interesting.

“How can aggressive, predatory, and cannibalistic birds coexist in crowded breeding colonies? Explore the lives and territorial interactions of Herring and Great Black-backed gulls in a breeding colony on Maine’s Appledore Island.” [From the video page]

Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) by J Fenton

Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) by J Fenton

They seem to have quite a communication system. Reminds us of a few verses:

“But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” (Matthew 5:37 KJV)

“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” (James 5:12 KJV)


A few days ago, I posted this on the Bird of the Bible for Kids. Am in need of some feedback as to whether this might be a series. The McGuffey’s Readers were used in our schools to teach reading. There are quite a few good stories that mention birds. A few of those were posted.

My question: Would you look at them and possibly leave a comment? Yea or Nea.

I’m looking for “communications” on how to proceed. Thanks, Lee

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