Golden Eagles in Scotland – YouTube

 

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) - Grandfather Eagle by PastorBBC

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) – Grandfather Eagle by PastorBBC

“Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?” (Job 39:27 KJV)

I love watching Eagles. This video adds some views from the back of an Eagle. Worth watching.

The way of an eagle in the air;…” (Proverbs 30:19a KJV)

Birds of the Bible – Eagles

Standing Firm

Great Blue Heron standing in the water at Brevard Zoo

While at the Brevard Zoo last week, I was able to watch a wild Great Blue Heron standing in the river there. His feet, provided by our gracious Creator, caught my attention.

Great Blue Heron’s Feet – [wild] Brevard Zoo

This brings to mind several verses that has to do with “standing firm.”

“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15 NASB)

“Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11 NASB)

Over the years, I have been fascinated with the feet of birds. Especially the larger birds that have more height or weight to support in water, land, or on Lilly pads.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) Feet by Lee at PB Zoo

Black-bellied Whistling Duck Feet by Lee at PB Zoo

Giant Coot (Fulica gigantea) Loped Feet ©©Flickr

Giant Coot (Fulica gigantea) Loped Feet ©©Flickr

“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15 NASB)

Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) Feet Brevard Zoo by Lee

African Finfoot with puffy feet ©WikiC

African Finfoot with puffy feet ©WikiC

“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;” (Ephesians 6:13-15 NASB)

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) by Wiki

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) ©Wiki on Pads

“for now we really live, if you stand firm in the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 3:8 NASB)

All of these birds were given feet that are meant to meet their needs. The Lord has given us the “Armour of God,” Traditions/teachings of Godly preachers and teachers, preparations, etc. Then He tells us to Stand Firm, because He has provided just the right training for us, just as He has provided just the right feet for the bird’s situations.

Give Thanks – Crane

Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina pavonina) (West African) Brevard Zoo by Lee

“Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” (Psalms 106:1 NKJV)

Woodpeckers in the Waterman Bird Collection

BJU Bird Collection 2018-Display Case 3 – Woodpeckers and Shorebirds

“If a bird’s nest happens to be before you along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, with the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young;” (Deuteronomy 22:6 NKJV)

The next Display case of the Waterman Bird Collection contains Woodpeckers from the Picidae family and some shorebirds from the Scolopacidae Family. [Next post]

BJU Bird Collection 2018
– Woodpeckers

This post is about the five Woodpeckers; Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus), Black-backed Three-toed Woodpecker [now the Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus)], Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) and a Common Flicker [now the Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus).

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) 

BJU Bird Collection 2018 Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)  “The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the biggest, most striking forest birds on the continent. It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest. Look (and listen) for Pileated Woodpeckers whacking at dead trees and fallen logs in search of their main prey, carpenter ants, leaving unique rectangular holes in the wood. The nest holes these birds make offer crucial shelter to many species including swifts, owls, ducks, bats, and pine martens.”

Pileated Woodpecker by Lee at Circle B

Pileated Woodpecker by Lee at Circle B

Cool Facts – “The Pileated Woodpecker digs characteristically rectangular holes in trees to find ants. These excavations can be so broad and deep that they can cause small trees to break in half.” [Pileated Woodpecker – All About Birds]

American Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides dorsalis)

BJU Bird Collection 2018 BJU Bird Collection Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus)

American Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides dorsalis) – “Found in boreal forests and montane coniferous forests across North America. Because of its choice of habitat, it is infrequently seen by most people.” “The “Three-toed Woodpecker” was split in 2003 into the American Three-toed and Eurasian Three-toed woodpeckers. The two species are nearly identical in appearance, but differ in mitochondrial DNA sequences and in voice.”

American Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides dorsalis) by Daves BirdingPix

American Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides dorsalis) by Daves BirdingPix

Cool Fact “Most woodpeckers have four toes on each foot. The three-toed and Black-backed woodpeckers have only three. The loss of the fourth toe may help deliver stronger blows, but at the expense of climbing ability.” [American Three-toed_Woodpecker – All About Birds]

Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) Male – Waterman Bird Collection BJU

Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) – “The active little Downy Woodpecker is a familiar sight at backyard feeders and in parks and woodlots, where it joins flocks of chickadees and nuthatches, barely outsizing them. An often acrobatic forager, this black-and-white woodpecker is at home on tiny branches or balancing on slender plant galls, sycamore seed balls, and suet feeders. Downies and their larger lookalike, the Hairy Woodpecker, are one of the first identification challenges that beginning bird watchers master.”

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) Brevard Zoo by Dan

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) Brevard Zoo by Dan

Cool Facts – “In winter Downy Woodpeckers are frequent members of mixed species flocks. Advantages of flocking include having to spend less time watching out for predators and better luck finding food from having other birds around.” [Downy Woodpecker – All About Birds]

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

BJU Bird Collection 2018 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) – “On a walk through the forest you might spot rows of shallow holes in tree bark. In the East, this is the work of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, an enterprising woodpecker that laps up the leaking sap and any trapped insects with its specialized, brush-tipped tongue. Attired sharply in barred black-and-white, with a red cap and (in males) throat, they sit still on tree trunks for long intervals while feeding. To find one, listen for their loud mewing calls or stuttered drumming.”

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) by Daves BirdingPix

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) by Daves BirdingPix

Cool Facts – “Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have been found drilling sapwells in more than 1,000 species of trees and woody plants, though they have a strong preference for birches and maples.”[Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – All About Birds]

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

BJU Bird Collection 2018 Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) – “Northern Flickers are large, brown woodpeckers with a gentle expression and handsome black-scalloped plumage. On walks, don’t be surprised if you scare one up from the ground. It’s not where you’d expect to find a woodpecker, but flickers eat mainly ants and beetles, digging for them with their unusual, slightly curved bill. When they fly you’ll see a flash of color in the wings – yellow if you’re in the East, red if you’re in the West – and a bright white flash on the rump.”

Northern Flicker cropped by Lee at S. Lk Howard Ntr Pk

Northern Flicker cropped by Lee at S. Lake Howard Nature Pk

Cool Fact – “Although it can climb up the trunks of trees and hammer on wood like other woodpeckers, the Northern Flicker prefers to find food on the ground. Ants are its main food, and the flicker digs in the dirt to find them. It uses its long barbed tongue to lap up the ants.” [Northern Flicker – All About Birds]

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Picidae family

PICIFORMES Order

Some of the Previous Woodpecker Posts:

Wordless Woodpecker – Yellow-Fronted

 

Ravin’ about Corvid Hybrids: Something to Crow About!

Ravin’ about Corvid Hybrids:

Something to Crow About!

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

HoodedCrow.WorldLifeExpectancy-photoHOODED CROW   (World Life Expectancy photo)

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

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

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

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

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

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

HoodedCrow.WarrenPhotographic

HOODED CROW   (photo credit:  Warren Photographic)

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

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

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

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

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

[Again quoting Kightley, Madge, & Nurney, POCKET GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF BRITAIN AND NORTH-WEST EUROPE, page 271.]

CarrionCrow.YvesThonnerieux-OuisseauxBirds

CARRION CROW   (Yves Thonnerieux / Ouiseaux-Birds photo)

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

Carrion-Hooded-Crows-mixing.BirdHybrids-photo

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

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

[Again quoting Kightley, Madge, & Nurney, POCKET GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF BRITAIN AND NORTH-WEST EUROPE, page 271.]

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

Corvids.JelmerPoelstra-UppsalaUniv-image

CORVIDS   Jelmer Poelstra / Uppsala Univ. image

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

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

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

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

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

CorvidRanges.Wikipedia

CORVID RANGES of the world   (Wikipedia map)

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

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


 

Pleasant Surprise – Hawks and Owls

BJU Waterman Bird Collection Hawks Display 2018

“Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?” (Job 39:26 KJV)

The next upper display case had Hawks and Owl specimen. The three Hawks give a size perspective of those hawks. The largest is the Red-Shouldered Hawk, then the Northern Harrier (female), and the Broad-Winged Hawk.

BJU Waterman Bird Collection Hawks and Owls Display 2018

“And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,” (Deuteronomy 14:15-16 KJV)

The Owls went from small to the large Great Horned Owl being the largest. The two small owls are the Boreal Owl, and the Common Screech Owl. Out of the five species, we have only seen the Red-shouldered Hawk, the Harrier and a Great Horned Owl in the wild. Again, I think these birds look pretty good, considering how long they have be preserved. [Before 1910]

Hawks and Owls are both mentioned in Scripture and are therefore – Birds of the Bible. Birds of the Bible – Hawks and Birds of the Bible – Owls. Did you notice their coloration? Most sleep during the day and the Lord, their Creator, has provided them with a camouflage that helps many of them look like bark on trees.

Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) Tail

Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) Tail by Lee

[My favorite “bark” covered bird is the Tawny Frogmouth. We see them in the zoos.] Back to this article.

Here are some very informative articles with great photos about these birds from WhatBird and All About Birds. The WhatBird links have sounds to which you can listen.

Red-shouldered Hawk BJU Bird Collection 2018

  • The Red-shouldered Hawk and the Barred Owl occupy the same range in the eastern United States. They prefer the same moist woodland habitats and eat similar animals. The hawk is active during the day, and the owl is active at night. [WhatBird]

Red-shouldered Hawk  All About Birds

Northern Harrier BJU Bird Collection 2018

  • Unusual among hawks, Northern Harriers use their sense of hearing to help locate prey. They have an owl-like facial disk to help with directional hearing and soft feathers for a quieter flight. [WhatBird]

Northern Harrier  All About Birds

Broad-Winged Hawk BJU Bird Collection

  • During migration, weather and geography cause these birds to concentrate into groups that number in the thousands. These large groups are referred to as “kettles.” [WhatBird]

Broad-Winged Hawk  All About Birds

Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus) BJU Collection

  • The Boreal Owl is also known as Tengmalm’s Owl, after the Swedish naturalist Peter Gustaf Tengmalm. [WhatBird]

Boreal Owl  All About Birds

Screech Owl (Megascops asio) BJU Bird Collection 2018

  • The Eastern Screech Owl was first described by Carolus Linnaeus, in 1758. They have also been called the Common Screech Owl, Ghost Owl, Dusk Owl, Little-eared Owl, Spirit Owl, Whickering Owl, Little Gray Owl, Mottled Owl, Mouse Owl, Cat Owl, Shivering Owl, and Little Horned Owl.” [WhatBird]

Eastern Screech-Owl  All About Birds

Great-Horned Owl BJU Bird Collection

  • A group of owls has many collective nouns, including a “bazaar”, “glaring”, “parliament”, “stooping”, and “wisdom” of owls. [WhatBird]

Great Horned Owl  All About Birds

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Birds of the Bible – Hawks

Birds of the Bible – Owls

Accipitriformes – Order, Accipitridae – Family (Kites, Hawks & Eagles)

STRIGIFORMES (Owls) Order

What will you do with Jesus?