Interesting Visitor To Our Feeder

House Finch on Feeder by Lee

House Finch on Feeder by Lee

Do you know what a House Finch looks like? We have been fortunate to have several families of these Finches visit our bird feeders lately. It is always enjoyable to have these little birds come by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. In fact, these little flying avian wonders come by for snacks also. In other words, keep your eye on the feeders.

You can check out the Identification of House Finches as All About Birds – House Finch ID

When a Finch with a different color lands on your feeder, you get excited and question yourself, “What is this?” This happened lately, and out came the bird guides and a search of the internet bird sites, like All About Birds and others.

This eye opener landed on our feeder last week:

Varient House Finch on Feeder by Lee

Variant House Finch on Feeder by Lee

Varient House Finch on Feeder by Lee

Variant House Finch on Feeder by Lee

“He gives to the beast its food, And to the young ravens [or Finches] that cry.” (Psalms 147:9 NKJV)

Varient House Finch on Feeder by Lee

Variant House Finch on Feeder by Lee

What happened to this fellow? Apparently, diet or what the bird eats, affects its color. “Male House Finches are generally red, but under certain certain circumstances they may be orange or yellow instead. Different subspecies may show color variations, but differences in color are also attributed to diet.” From this article, I Saw A House Finch That Was Orange Or Yellow Instead Of Red.

“Who provides food for the raven [or Finch], When its young ones cry to God, And wander about for lack of food?” (Job 38:41 NKJV)

Keep your eyes open while bird watching. You never know what might show up! Stay Tuned!

Who Paints The Leaves?

 

Words and Birds of Encouragement: Habitat Restoration

Self-isolation blues, financial troubles, loved ones fallen ill, fear of contracting coronavirus… these weights are burdening many. On top of that, we may be unable to congregate in our churches or visit our favorite birding spots. Although a pale substitute for both, I pray you are uplifted by this short series of Words and Birds of Encouragement. For what can be more encouraging than the birds of this world and words of the world to come! William

Snowy Egret wading in a salt marsh tidal flat at Mitchelville Fish Haul Beach Park on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. May 2019. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 2 Peter 3:10, 13

Things aren’t that bad (yet). But even if they were, and all upon this earth were destroyed, God has promised a divine habitat restoration project. Think of how our beautiful egrets and herons suffered, senselessly extirpated by plume hunters and habitat destruction. Yet human efforts restored their populations.

How much more our heavenly Creator will restore all things in the New Heaven and the New Earth… no matter how bad things become. Yes, we look forward to paradise with a new heaven and new earth, and with new bodies, but you can also have “new” here now: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Words and Birds of Encouragement: Overcomer

Self-isolation blues, financial troubles, loved ones fallen ill, fear of contracting coronavirus… these weights are burdening many. On top of that, we may be unable to congregate in our churches or visit our favorite birding spots. Although a pale substitute for both, I pray you are uplifted by this short series of Words and Birds of Encouragement. For what can be more encouraging than the birds of this world and words of the world to come! William

Male Yellow-rumped Warbler in bright breeding plumage. Athens, Clarke County, Georgia, USA. April 2018. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Revelation 2:7

We are called to make it through the days of trial and adversity. But we aren’t supposed to just grit our teeth and endure, coming out the other side angrier than we went in, like Godzilla breaking from the rubble of a building collapsed upon him. Instead, we are to be overcomers; we are to pass through trial and adversity with our testimony intact!

And to the overcomer there is a reward: like the Yellow-rumped Warblers that eat the late winter fruits of the holly and Wax Myrtle, we will dine upon the fruit of the tree of life in the paradise of God! This virus quarantine will end in a harvest of souls into the church as the doors re-open. So keep your chin up, overcomer, greater days approach… in this world and the next!


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Words and Birds of Encouragement: Reverse the Curse

Self-isolation blues, financial troubles, loved ones fallen ill, fear of contracting coronavirus… these weights are burdening many. On top of that, we may be unable to congregate in our churches or visit our favorite birding spots. Although a pale substitute for both, I pray you are uplifted by this short series of Words and Birds of Encouragement. For what can be more encouraging than the birds of this world and words of the world to come! William

Healthy male House Finch; Clarke County, Georgia. April, 2015. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse.” Revelation 22:1-3

Coronavirus is a curse. All viruses that bring sickness and death are a result of the curse. And that curse pronounced in Genesis 3 didn’t affect man alone, but “this thing all things devours: birds, beasts, trees, flowers.” I’ve seen the curse of disease first-hand as a House Finch confusedly flew through my backyard unable to find the feeder.

House Finch Eye Disease infection.

But God promises a reverse of the curse and a restoration of paradise! One day, we will walk along the river among the fruiting trees. We, and all the other creatures, bird and beast alike, will be free of disease. Without a coronavirus face mask to block our view, we will adoringly look upon the Lamb seated upon the throne!


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Count It All Joy!

Joyful Greenbul (Chlorocichla laetissima) Flickr Dave Curtis

Our pastor had another encouraging message for our Wednesday night service. One day we will be able to attend a regular prayer meeting again, but, thankfully, our church is using YouTube and other means of keeping the Lord’s Word before us. This week was no exception.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:2-6 NKJV)


I trust you will enjoy Pastor Osborne’s message.

Wordless Birds

 

Words and Birds of Encouragement: Paradise

Self-isolation blues, financial troubles, loved ones fallen ill, fear of contracting coronavirus… these weights are burdening many. On top of that, we may be unable to congregate in our churches or visit our favorite birding spots. Although a pale substitute for both, I pray you are uplifted by this short series of Words and Birds of Encouragement. For what can be more encouraging than the birds of this world and words of the world to come! William

Orange-crowned Warbler; Walton County, Georgia. December, 2019. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

“Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’” Luke 23:43

What will paradise be like? Let your imagination roll… sunsets without haze and smog; rivers and lakes without floating trash; streets filled with smiling people free of anger and worry; and clear, wide blue skies filled with the flight of birds… and no window strikes! And even better, we will walk in the cool of the garden with our Lord and Savior whose blood re-opens the door to Eden.  It will be paradise for all! It may not be today (but then again, it may!). Even so, come, Lord Jesus.


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Words and Birds of Encouragement: Breathtaking Beauty

Self-isolation blues, financial troubles, loved ones fallen ill, fear of contracting coronavirus… these weights are burdening many. On top of that, we may be unable to congregate in our churches or visit our favorite birding spots. Although a pale substitute for both, I pray you are uplifted by this short series of Words and Birds of Encouragement. For what can be more encouraging than the birds of this world and words of the world to come! William

Painted Bunting; Pickney Island National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

“’What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’—the things God has prepared for those who love Him—these are the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10

Think of the breathtaking joy you experienced upon spotting a new, beautiful life-bird. That was me when taking my first photo of a vibrant Painted Bunting. I could barely hold the camera still and nearly fumbled for the shutter button in excitement! Now, imagine the joy as you open your eyes in the hereafter and get your first glimpse of heaven! Breathtaking amazement and vibrant color beyond compare; unending joy and delight; eternal fellowship with our Savior! True, nobody here has seen it. But God has revealed it by His Spirit… and by His creation. If a birders first spotting of a bunting can be so breathtaking, imagine heaven!


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Chicken, Magpie, and Easter Greetings

*

“Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” For centuries, Christians have used this greeting to celebrate Resurrection Day, better known as Easter.1 Ironically, there are two birds that can remind us of the historicity and importance of Christ’s rising from the dead, three days after His death and burial.

CHICKENS

Amazingly, the Lord Jesus once compared His own willingness and ability to care and protect humans to that of a chicken—specifically, a mother hen—who uses her own body to protectively care for her own hatchling baby chicks.2 How good it is to belong to the Lord Jesus Christ forever! When He offers to take us in and protect us, we should be eager and grateful to accept His care and security.

But we more closely associate a male chicken (rooster) with the arrest, trials, torture, and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

Readers might have already guessed that male chickens are associated with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection because of the rooster who crowed after Peter ignominiously denied the Lord Jesus, thrice, in fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy.3 In fact, this incident is so important that it is reported by all four gospel writers.3

For example, Mark reports this disappointing failure of Peter, involving the tattletale fowl, a sad chapter in the life of the usually bold apostle: Peter’s triple failure to stand up for Christ, as predicted by Christ Himself. This display of Peter’s imperfect courage and loyalty (even though his inward belief never failed) is linked to the twice-crowing of a rooster.

A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.4

What a sad note to end with! Except, as proven three days later, that wasn’t really the end.5

MAGPIES

Most people are unlikely to guess that magpies—such as the Australian magpie (Cracticus tibicen6)—can be associated with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. How so?

The most famous variety of this “butcherbird,” formerly called the “piping shrike” or “white-backed crow shrike,” is now called the white-backed magpie (Cracticus tibicen telonocua). But many call it the Australian magpie because it appears on the official state flag of South Australia.

Whatever you want to call it, it is famous for its flute-like call, entertaining with a complex repertoire of vocalizations. The black-and-white opportunist has habituated to human-dominated habitats, such as the agricultural fields of farms, gardens, and even wooded parklands.6

The Australian magpie is not timid. It will defend its territory against raptors trespassing therein, such as brown goshawks. The Australian magpie is not a picky eater. Its diet includes both plants and animals. Its preferred diet, however, is dominated by a variety of larval and adult invertebrates, such as insects (like ants, moths, beetles, bees, wasps, cockroaches) and arachnids (like spiders and stinger-wielding scorpions!), as well as earthworms and millipedes. The Australian magpie is also known to eat some small vertebrates, such as mice, skinks, frogs, and toads.6

Some compare the problem-solving resourcefulness and the brash cockiness of this bird to the national reputation displayed by many Aussie ex-patriots.

The Australian magpie is quite a clever problem-solver. It has been observed breaking off the stingers of bees and wasps before swallowing such dangerous bugs!7

By now you’ve likely guessed why this bird reminds us of Resurrection Day—the Australian magpie’s power to neutralize a dangerous stinger.

But insect or arachnid stingers are nothing compared to the powerful sting of death. Yet, Christ’s bodily resurrection on the third day defeated death’s “stinger.”

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.8

Hallelujah! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

References
1. Morris, H. M. 2006. Christ Is RisenDays of Praise. Posted on ICR.org April 16, 2006, accessed April 7, 2020.
2. Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34. Cansdale, G. S. 1976. All the Animals of the Bible Lands. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 163-165.
3. Matthew 26:34, 26:74-75; Mark 14:30, 14:68-72; Luke 22:34, 22:60-61; John 13:38, 18:27.
4. Mark 14:72.
5. Matthew 12:39-40; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4Romans 10:9Psalm 16:9-10.
6. Taxonomists have also labeled the Australian Magpie as the Australian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen (meaning “trumpeting bare-nose”). Regarding the physical and behavioral traits of the Australian Magpie, see Veltman, C. J., and R. E. Hickson. 1989. Predation by Australian Magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) on Pasture Invertebrates: Are Non-territorial Birds Less Successful? Australian Journal of Ecology. 14(3): 319-326; Cake, M., A. Black, L. Joseph. 2018. The Generic Taxonomy of the Australian Magpie and Australo-Papuan Butcherbirds Is Not All Black and White. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club. 138(4): 346-359; Brown, E. D., and C. J. Veltman. 1987. Ethnogram of the Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) in Comparison to Other Cracticidae and Corvus Species. Ethology (International Journal of Behavioural Biology). 76(4): 309-333. This author also appreciatively thanks Fiona Smith, M.C.Ed.—ICR SOBA graduate and Australian creation science educator/author—for her help with research and perspectives on Australian magpies.
7. Dr. Amy L. Adams notes: “Magpies will walk along the ground searching for food by overturning debris or probing their bills into the dirt. They eat insects, larvae and other invertebrates. Magpies are known to remove the stingers of wasps and bees before eating them.” Adams, A. 2016. Gymnorhina tibicen Australian MagpieMuseums Victoria Collections. Posted on collections.museumvictoria.com, accessed April 7, 2020.
8. 1 Corinthians 15:53-57, quoting Messianic prophecy in Hosea 13:14.

*Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.


James J. S. Johnson Articles Here

Article at I.C.R. https://www.icr.org/article/chicken-magpie-and-easter-greetings/

He Is Not Here!

“He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (Matthew 28:6 NKJV)

Like many of you, we watched our Easter Services via YouTube, or you may have watched by however your church chose to keep your members encouraged through watching/meeting for this Easter. This “Social Distancing,” is keeping us from our normal services, handshakes, and hugs from our friends. I miss my many friends.

Our pastor had a great message for today, and thought I would share it with you. Faith Baptist Church of Winter Haven has a YouTube site with all the services and additions we are not able to attend in person. I am thankful for these and want to share two of them here. This first one is the Easter Service today with our pastor.

This next one is the “Pastor Jerry’s Musings” He is one of our associate pastors. Enjoy!

He is Risen! He Has Risen Indeed!

The Gospel Message

Easter Sunrise Gathering

“Praise the Lord from the earth, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted.” Psalms 148

Tow-weeee!” Before the worship team even plucked its first note, an Eastern Towhee had already begun the Easter Sunrise worship service. It was 2017 and our first sunrise service on a wooded patch of land our church bought for a future building site.

An Eastern Towhee on Easter Sunday; Clarke County, Georgia. April, 2017. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

Later that afternoon, I wrote, “We gathered for a peaceful sunrise service in the woods this morning at 6:30 AM. During the short sermon, the birds also gathered and provided a musical background. The morning serenade of birds under the tall Loblolly Pine Trees is a perfect setting to worship Jesus Christ the risen Creator. This was our church’s first outdoor sunrise service… and hopefully not the last.

But this solemn Easter we are unable to gather with our brothers and sisters to celebrate resurrection day. Feelings of deep sorrow surface within many, and anger even boils in some. There may even be those that defy the virus and isolation orders to unwisely gather in large groups for communion.

But as they say, “the show must go on!” So this year, we will continue the traditions: my wife, two daughters and I will “gather online” with church family during our live-streaming church service. And I will also rise before down to hear the gathering of the birds as they sing their morning worship songs to the Risen Savior in my own backyard sunrise service. For was it not He that said…

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands…” Acts 17:24

Happy Easter! Jesus has risen!

-William Wise


P.S. Normally I put my short bio right here. But instead I want to once again thank Lee for giving me the opportunity to be a guest author on her website, http://www.leesbird.com. It has been an honor to be brought on board and given the trust to post content. Let us all take a minute in the comment section below to wish Lee and her husband good health and a Happy Easter, and to thank her for bringing us delightful Christian Bird Blogs for so many years. Thank you Lee!

Bird’s Eye View

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

Have you ever desired to fly like a bird or soar like an eagle? To see entire, sweeping landscapes and distant horizons all from one vantage point? Who wouldn’t! We imagine having the outstretched wings and keen eyes of the hawk; an image that personifies true freedom; a freedom other land-bound creatures covet.

Red Tailed Hawk profile; Walton County, Georgia. August 1, 2017. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

If able to fly, we’d have that proverbial “Birds’ Eye View” on the world… and that appeals to us! A drone photographer wrote, “One of the great advantages a drone offers is that it can get where we cannot…All of a sudden we can be transmuted into a bird and cross frontiers to reach our goal.” A soaring bird has a much greater field of view than us earthbound pedestrians. The bird’s eye view sees beyond the immediate moment.

And the “bird’s eye view” speaks of something even beyond birds; it speaks of an omniscient God with a much higher vantage point than ours… outside of time and space, in fact. A recent evangelist to my congregation spoke, “God has a bird’s eye view of our lives. He knows where He is trying to take us. He knows what lies ahead.” From His perspective, God’s view sees more than the moment we are struggling in.

Bird’s Eye View — Close up photo of Great Blue Heron. December 18, 2018. Walton County, Georgia. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

From His vantage point, God sees well beyond this time of crisis. And a view from higher up will change your outlook on our current trials and past failures. Instead of stopping us, we see these rough patches as teaching moments along the road to help us move forward. The evangelist concluded, “This is just a small portion of your life. But use it to move on.”

So even if you’ll never learn to fly, you have the ability to know a God who knows all the road ahead of you! You’ll find peace in sharing His view that this too shall pass.


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Today’s Visitor To The Feeder – House Finch

Male House Finch 3-28-20 by Lee

Well, as we all stay home and keep our distances, what is there to do? Like many of you, it seems that the chores around the house seem to take up more time. Cooking, especially seems more time consuming. An occasional meal out, saves time, but, that isn’t happening. At least around here.

We have pretty well stayed close to home. Drive through McDonald’s was a treat.

Thankfully, the birds have not changed their behavior and keep stopping by for free handouts. Today’s visitors were a pair of House Finches. They just started stopping by recently.

Female House Finch 3-28-20 by Lee

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

I also had a “baby dinosaur” stop by. Actually, it is some sort of chameleon or lizard. I have no idea.

Baby Dinosaur - Chamilian or Lizard by Lee 3-28-20

Baby Dinosaur – Chameleon or Lizard by Lee 3-28-20

Baby Dinosaur - Chamilian or Lizard by Lee 3-28-20

Baby Dinosaur – Chameleon or Lizard by Lee 3-28-20

There have be a few other stopping by and giving us something to do. Stay Tuned!

 

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