Looking Back – Blog Anniversaries, and Why It Began

Kathy Wire, one of our faithful followers of this blog, left some suggestions for this series of Looking Back for reviewing the articles and blessings from these many posts. Here are those suggestions. They are all very appropriate, and hard to choose which one. 
  • Time Flies
  • On the Wings of Time
  • Wings of the Winds of Time
  • Hovering Over the Past
  • A Bird’s-Eye Overview (…of the Glory of God)

Drop a comment and help decide which to use. For today’s article, I stuck with “Looking Back.”

To begin this series, I found all the post that looked back over the Anniversaries of Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus. If you scan through them, you will discover why it was started and how the Lord has been blessing it over the years. As different writers began adding articles, photographers gave permission to use their photos, and linked their websites, the blog has continued to grow.

Beginning Post of Anniversaries of the Blog:

Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria) by Nikhil

Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria) by Nikhil

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) by Dan

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) by Dan

White-throated Sparrow by Ray Barlow

American Flamingo by Dan’ at Flamingo Gardens

Ring-necked Duck at Lake Morton by Dan

Ring-necked Duck at Lake Morton by Dan

Hooded Merganser Diving Duck, Georgia by William Wise

When I look back over these, and the many posts about the Lord’s Creation, especially His beautiful Avian Wonders, I am reminded:

“Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? Who can declare all His praise?” (Psa 106:2)

Stay Tuned! (I have some ideas for more series)

The Wise Owl

Why Egg-producing Woodpeckers Snack on Bones

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.  (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

RED-COCKADED WOODPECKER (Carolina Bird Club photo)

Woodpeckers are famous for eating insects—beetles, caterpillars, “grubs” (insect larvae), spiders, ants, etc.—as well as occasionally eating berries and other fruits.  But what about vitamins and minerals, how do woodpeckers get what they need? 

Consider this:  when you eat eggs—boiled, poached, or as omelets—do you discard the eggshells? Likewise, if you eat trout or turkey, do you recycle your fish or fowl bones?

Some birds and mammals eat broken eggshells or snail shells to get nutritionally valuable calcium.[1]  Also, some birds—such as Red-cockaded woodpeckers[2] and Alaskan sandpipers[3]—munch on bones, to get calcium, especially during breeding season.

Getting calcium (usually from calcium carbonate: CaCO3) is needful, of course, but how do birds know they need calcium, especially during the breeding season? 

A related question: how do expectant human mothers, who suddenly crave finfish or shellfish (or pickles, or Buffalo hot wings, or whatever) know that they need a nutritional change, while their physiologically transformed womb-factories busily build beautiful babies? 

God somehow provides an urge to eat certain foods that we need, when we need those foods—this is something we gained by so-called evolutionary “luck” or random “chance”!  In fact, successful reproduction of populations, whether they be human or animal, is something that is unfixable if reproduction is ever broken. (In other words, true extinction is forever—there are no second chances!)

Actually, calcium nutrition-satisfying behavior makes sense, biblically, because it helps Christ’s creatures to reproduce successfully, i.e., to “be fruitful and multiply”, so their kinds can “fill” (populate) Earth’s habitats. Thus, learning how creatures fulfill the Genesis Mandate helps us to “cast down” haughty imaginations (2nd Corinthians 10:4-5), such as the imaginations of Darwinists, who try to replace Christ with animistic “nature-creating-itself” mythology, masquerading falsely as “science” (1st Timothy 6:20)–as if inanimate “nature” could somehow “select” helpful results for promoting life on Earth!

During Creation Week (on Day #5, to be exact), the Lord Jesus Christ (as Creator[4]) commanded birds to reproduce (and “fill” environments); He also equipped them with what they need, to do so.  Many of the intricate details we are just now learning. 

Further complicating matters, successful reproduction requires a harmony of physical traits (biochemically regulated by genetics/epigenetics) with decision-based behaviors (which rely upon learning, by the non-physical “soul” of a bird).  The details of successfully blending physical body systems, with non-physical learned behaviors, is one of the “wonders without number” (Job 9:10) that we can admire God for, as we reverently study how God’s creatures live.[5] 

Of course, when creatures purposefully search local habitats for needed nutrients—including vital minerals like calcium—they exhibit continuous environmental tracking (CET), as they hunt and select what they need from their territory.  Thus, Christ equipped animals to actively select what they need, from their habitats—it is not true that habitats “select” or “shape” passive animals.[6]

So, what can we learn from our Lord Jesus Christ’s red-cockaded woodpeckers (Picoides borealis), that recycle calcium from collected bone fragments, consuming bone flakes just before and when they are laying eggs?

The females took bone fragments from raptor pellets located on the ground. … Small bone fragments were consumed at the pellets whereas larger pieces were taken to a tree trunk (by flight) where they were pecked and mandibulated. … Pieces of bone were cached by placing them between scales of [tree-trunk] bark and then hammering them with the bill until they were wedged. We confirmed that bones were cached by recovering two pieces of bone from trees and by observing birds recover cached bones, handle them and cache them elsewhere.2

Repasky, Blue, & Doerr article cited in endnote 2 (below)

Selecting and ingesting bone-pecked calcium is targeted and purposeful—not random—because mother woodpeckers seek and extract calcium from bone fragments during breeding seasons (hiding bone fragments for later “snacks”), mostly ignoring those bones when they cease producing eggs2,4,5—amazing! 

Darwinian trial-and-error “luck” cannot explain how these wise woodpeckers know to hunt and ingest calcium-rich bone flakes, timed to egg-producing seasons.4,5  However, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Mastermind of purposeful timing for all of His creation (Ecclesiastes 3:1), including female red-cockaded woodpeckers.

RED-COCKADED WOODPECKERS (James Audubon watercolor — public domain)

REFERENCES



[1] E.g., Mary Straus, “Calcium in Homemade Dog Food”, WHOLE DOG JOURNAL (May 28, 2019), at http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/food/calcium-in-homemade-dog-food/ (calcium from eggshells). See also Samuel L. Beasom & Oliver H. Pattee, “Utilization of Snails by Rio Grande Turkey Hens”, JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT, 42:916-919 (1978). 

[2] Richard R. Repasky, Roberta J. Blue, & Philip D. Doerr, “Laying Red-cockaded Woodpeckers Cache Bone Fragments”, THE CONDOR, 93(2):458-461 (1991).  Red-cockaded woodpeckers resemble 4 other American woodpeckers, the Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, and Nuttall’s Woodpecker.  It appears that Red-cockaded Woodpeckers can hybridize with Hairy Woodpeckers (Picoides villosus), which in turn hybridize with Ladder-backed Woodpeckers (Picoides scalaris), which hybridize with Downy Woodpeckers (Picoides pubescens) and with Nuttall’s Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii). See Eugene M. McCarty, HANDBOOK OF AVIAN HYBRIDS OF THE WORLD (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006), pages 107-108.

[3] Stephen F. MacLean, Jr., “Lemming Bones as a Source of Calcium for Arctic Sandpipers (Calidris spp.)”, IBIS (INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AVIAN SCIENCE), 116:552-557 (1974).

[4] See John 1:1-10 & Colossians 1:16-17 & Hebrews 1:1-2, etc. 

[5] “Although qualitatively distinct from humans—who are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27)—animals have what Scripture calls a “soul” (Hebrew nephesh). … But the resourcefulness of animals should not surprise us. Proverbs [30:24-28] informs us that God wisely installed wisdom into animals—even small creatures like ants, conies, locusts, and lizards.  Literally, these animals are “wise from receiving [God’s] wisdom.”7 Fascinating!” Quoting James J. S. Johnson, “Clever Creatures: ‘Wise from Receiving Wisdom’”, ACTS & FACTS, 46(3):21 (March 2017). 

[6] Randy J. Guliuzza, “A New Commitment to Deep Research”, ACTS & FACTS, 50(9):4-5 (September 2021).

RED-COCKADED WOODPECKER (Carolina Bird Club photo)

Looking Back Through 2022 and Before

Bald Eagle flying by Dave's BirdingPix

Bald Eagle flying by Dave’s BirdingPix

As we head into the new year, 2023, many like to look back over the last year. They find many good memories and blessings, plus a few not so pleasant ones. Many of you liked and made remarks about the Christmas Bird Review series (that was just completed).  It seems you do not mind looking back.

That thought started me thinking about a new series that we could begin. “Looking Back – “, “Reviving the Past – “, or some other name to give it. ANY IDEAS?

Hornbill at Brevard Zoo by Dan Aug-2014

Many of you have chosen to follow this blog through many years, and some have just begun following us.

  • How did this all begin? Purpose?
  • When did it begin?
  • What topics have we covered?
  • What Birds have we highlighted?
  • Who have been the writers and photographers over the years?

As many know, I have been dealing with medical issues which have slowed our birding adventures down considerably. I still watch birds, but on a more limited basis. Having just received a new computer, and trying to transfer photos over to it, I have been finding photos that could be used to update or enhance updates.

I especially am thinking about the original purpose, which was to show and thank the Lord for all the Birds of the Bible.

“I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people.” (Psalm 35:18)

This is from the main page Menu. As of today (Dec 30, 2022), that number is:

  • 2,371,257 visits

THANKS TO VISITORS

Moved to WordPress
00,000 – July 05, 2008
50,000 – Oct 10, 2009
100,000 – Apr 5, 2010
150,000 – Sep 6, 2010
200,000 – Dec 30, 2010
250,000 – Apr 9, 2011
300,000 – June 29, 2011
350,000 – Sep 19, 2011
400,000 – Nov 18, 2011
450,000 – Jan 21, 2012
500,000 – Mar 1, 2012
600,000 – May 24, 2012
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800,000 – Dec 16, 2012
900,000 – Ap 13, 2013
1,000,000 – Oct 20, 2013
2,200,000 – Jun 5, 2021

So, what are your thoughts? Please leave a comment, or at least a like. And even a suggestion for a series title.

Thanks for all your visits, likes, and remarks over the years.

Good News

Christmas Birds – Our Favorites (2022)

Wood Duck by Dan at Lake Hollingsworth

Here is a new Christmas Birds. These are some of my favorite photos of the Lord’s Creatures that we have taken over the years. I would most likely put them in the Ornament or just Favorites category. (This just a sampling)

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2Co 9:15) “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9);

We have the Greatest gift of Christ as the Savior, and as the Creator of all these beautiful birds that we have had the privilege to see, some up very close.
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“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1Jn 4:7-11)

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“Jesus Loves Me” by Bonnie Standifer

This piece was written and played by Bonnie Standifer. Played at our Orchestra Concert in March of 2013 at Faith Baptist Church. You have never heard it played this way before. Bonnie is a very gifted arranger and pianist. (I’ve used her song before, but it is so fantastic.)

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See the original article – Christmas Birds – Ornaments

The Christmas Birds (Revisited 2022)

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Christmas Birds – Ornaments – (Revisited 2022)

Long-tailed Broadbill (Psarisomus dalhousiae) babies ©WikiC coracii

Long-tailed Broadbill (Psarisomus dalhousiae) babies ©WikiC coracii

Here are the last of the Christmas Birds. The colors and designs would be pretty in ornaments. But most of all, they are superb examples of the Lord’s omniscient creative designs.

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:.. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:10-12, 14 KJV)

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Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. (1 Peter 3:3-4 KJV)

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Music to listen to while viewing the photos. “Ring The Bells” – Men’s Quartet – Faith Baptist 2012

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See the original article – Christmas Birds – Ornaments

The Christmas Birds (Revisited 2018)

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Christmas Birds – Gold and Silver (Revisited 2022)

Silver-eared Mesia (Leiothrix argentauris) by Ian

Silver-eared Mesia (Leiothrix argentauris) by Ian

This time the Silver and Gold are both found on the birds. When the Lord created all the beautiful and colorful birds, He did not lack using variety.

“Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.” (Proverbs 8:10 KJV)

How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! (Proverbs 16:16 KJV)

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“knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:18-20 NKJV)

Joy To The World played by the Faith Baptist Orchestra 2012

The Christmas Birds 2013 so far:

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Who Paints The Leaves?

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(I know, I kind of took a few liberties with the photos. This was one of the harder challenges.)

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Christmas Birds – Gold (Revisited 2022)

Golden Tanager (Tangara arthus goodsoni) ©BirdPhotos.com

Golden Tanager (Tangara arthus goodsoni) ©BirdPhotos.com

Hope you have been enjoying the updated Christmas Birds. This is another new one to the series. Gold is in the names of birds and their goldish-yellow colors are plentiful.

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:9-11 KJV)

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Then entered in those Wise Men three,
Full reverently upon the knee,
And offered there, in His presence,
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

The Christmas Birds 2022 so far:

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Wordless Birds

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Christmas Birds – Silver – (Revisited 2022)

 

Silver-breasted Broadbill (Serilophus lunatus) by Peter Ericsson

Silver-breasted Broadbill (Serilophus lunatus) by Peter Ericsson

This year I am adding Silver Birds to our collection of Christmas Birds. Grey and white sometimes look like silver when in certain light. Some of them are also used.

The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psalms 12:6-7 KJV)

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saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
(Matthew 2:2 NKJV)

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Listen to Silver Star by Horatio R. Palmer (1834-1907) as you view the slideshow. I have inserted the words to this song at the bottom. Never heard it before, but the words are great.

The Christmas Birds 2022 so far:

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Silver Star

On the brow of night there shines a silver star,
On the brow of night there shines a silver star,
And the wise men gaze on its heav’nly rays,
Till they find the King, whose throne they sought afar,
In the Babe of Bethlehem.

Refrain

Silver star, holy light,
Shine afar, o’er the night,
Till the world shall come where the young Child lay,
And enter the gates of the newborn day.

’Tis the lamp of God high hanging in the air,
’Tis the lamp of God high hanging in the air,
And it guides our feet thro’ the royal street;
There is sweet soul-rest for those who seek it there,
From the Babe of Bethlehem.

Refrain

Silver star, holy light,
Shine afar, o’er the night,
Till the world shall come where the young Child lay,
And enter the gates of the newborn day.

Bring your gifts of gold, of frankincense and myrrh,
Bring your gifts of gold, of frankincense and myrrh,
For the King we own is on David’s throne;
Let the holy Child your best affections stir;
’Tis the Babe of Bethlehem.

Refrain

Silver star, holy light,
Shine afar, o’er the night,
Till the world shall come where the young Child lay,
And enter the gates of the newborn day.

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Christmas Birds – Red and Green (Revisited 2022)

 

Red-winged Parrot (Aprosmictus erythropterus) by Ian

Red-winged Parrot (Aprosmictus erythropterus) by Ian

Here is the third Christmas Birds slideshow. While searching the photos for the Red Birds and the Green Birds, I kept coming across birds that were Red and Green. Here are some more of the neat birds that the Creator gave us to enjoy. Trust you are enjoying seeing the birds by their colors. It has been enjoyable for me to look through all the great photos the photographers we use here have provided. I have one more Christmas Birds to show you, but you will have to wait until tomorrow.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:13-14 KJV)

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Music to listen to while viewing the photos from Birds In Christmas Hymns – Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

See the Original Christmas Birds – Red and Green

The Christmas Birds 2022 so far:

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Gospel Message

Christmas Birds – Green (Revisited 2022)

Green-crowned Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula) Reinier Munguia

Green-crowned Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula) Reinier Munguia

This is the second set of Christmas Birds. This time the Green Birds are featured. Hope you enjoyed the Christmas Birds – Red.

Again the Lord created these birds and colored them for their protection and to show off to their mates. There are many more that could be shown, but you may want to find some yourself.

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. (Isaiah 40:28 NKJV)

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Here is the Music as Choir Entered for the Cantata (looped)

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See the original Christmas Birds – Green

The Christmas Birds 2013 so far:

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Christmas Birds – Red (Revisited in 2022)

Scarlet Myzomela (Myzomela sanguinolenta) by Ian

Scarlet Myzomela (Myzomela sanguinolenta) by Ian

Now that Christmas is just over a week away, it’s time to see some of the birds that have “traditional” Christmas colors. Today’s color will be birds that have some sort of red on them. Other colors will be shown during the week. I have added new photos this year and some new colors later in the week.

When the Lord created the birds (fowls), He used many different colors, most for the protection of the bird (to blend in) or for display to attract a mate (to stand out).

We trust you enjoy the photos and that you are blessed as you consider the bird’s Creator, Who came to earth as a babe in a manger, so that He might redeem us from our sin. “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3)

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:7-8 KJV)

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Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18 KJV)

Music to listen to while viewing the photos from Birds In Christmas Hymns – Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne

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Christmas Birds – Revisited (2022)

  • Red
  • Green
  • Red and Green
  • Silver
  • Silver and Gold
  • Ornaments

Original Christmas Birds in 2009

Gospel Message

Christmas Birds – Revisited in 2022

I thought it might be enjoyable to bring back a series of Christmas Birds  that were first published in 2010 and reposted in 2013. [Who can remember back then? :) ]  I hope you will enjoy seeing them again, or for the first time.

Christmas White-eye (Zosterops natalis) by Ian

Christmas White-eye (Zosterops natalis) by Ian

Luke 2:15-20 KJV

(15) And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

(16) And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

(17) And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

(18) And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

(19) But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

(20) And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Flag of Christmas Island

Flag of Christmas Island©WikiC

While searching to find birds to write about with a Christmas theme, I came across the Territory of Christmas Island which belongs to Australia. It is in the Indian Ocean and only has a population of 1,403 residents who live in a number of “settlement areas” on the northern tip of the island.

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Abbott's Booby (Papasula abbotti) by Ian

Abbott’s Booby (Papasula abbotti) by Ian

The island’s geographic isolation and history of minimal human disturbance has led to a high level of endemism (or state of being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation or other defined zone, or habitat type, and found only there) among its flora and fauna, which is of significant interest to scientists and naturalists. 63% of its 135 square kilometres (52 sq mi) is an Australian national park. There exist large areas of primary monsoonal forest.

Christmas Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi) by Ian

Christmas Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi) by Ian

Christmas Island is a focal point for sea birds of various species. Eight species or subspecies of sea birds nest on the island. The most numerous is the Red-footed Booby that nests in colonies, in trees, on many parts of the shore terrace. The widespread Brown Booby nests on the ground near the edge of the seacliff and inland cliffs. Abbott’s Booby nests on tall emergent trees of the western, northern and southern plateau rainforest. The Christmas Island forest is the only nesting habitat of the Abbott’s Booby left in the world. The endemic Christmas Island Frigatebird (listed as endangered) has nesting areas on the north-eastern shore terraces and the more widespread Great Frigatebirds nest in semi-deciduous trees on the shore terrace with the greatest concentrations being in the North West and South Point areas. The Common Noddy and two species of bosuns or tropicbirds, with their brilliant gold or silver plumage and distinctive streamer tail feathers, also nest on the island.

Christmas Imperial Pigeon (Ducula whartoni) by Ian Montgomery

Christmas Imperial Pigeon (Ducula whartoni) by Ian Montgomery

Of the ten native land birds and shorebirds, seven are endemic species or subspecies. This includes the Christmas Island Thrush, and the Christmas Island Imperial Pigeon. Some 86 migrant bird species have been recorded as visitors to the Island.

Christmas Boobook (Ninox natalis) by Ian

Christmas Boobook (Ninox natalis) by Ian

The list of birds from the I.O.C., which I use, lists five birds starting with Christmas. The Christmas Boobook (or Christmas Island Hawk-Owl), Christmas Frigatebird, Christmas Imperial Pigeon, Christmas Shearwater, and the Christmas White-eye.

Christmas Shearwater (Puffinus nativitatis) ©WikiC

Christmas Shearwater (Puffinus nativitatis) ©WikiC

Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) by Bob-Nan

Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) by Bob-Nan

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Some information from Wikipedia and other internet sources.

See Also:

Christmas Island – Wikipedia

(This was originally posted at Christmas time 2010 and again 2013)

(Starting the 17th, there is a series of Christmas Birds coming.)

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