Volume 1 – #1 & #2 – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography Active

Volume #1 and #2 are now active again here. There are twenty articles to read. These were originally posted around 2012 here, but they were originally written in 1897. Birds Illustrated by Color Photography Volume 1, Number 1, January 1897 and Volume 1, Number 2, February 1897

When you look at the Vol1 #2 articles, there are old photos of advertisements back then (1897) that are quite interesting. I enjoyed re-reading these again while I was moving the post back. If you have the time, you just might enjoy these:

Ad for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Ad for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Volume 1, Number 1, January 1897 (Articles will be Green when re-activated on Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus)

The Nonpareil – Painted Bunting
The Resplendent Trogon
The Mandarin Duck
The Golden Pheasant
The Australian Grass Parrakeet
The Cock-Of-The-Rock
The Red Bird Of Paradise
The Yellow Throated Toucan
The Red-Rumped Tanager
The Golden Oriole

Volume 1, Number 2, February 1897

The Blue Jay
The Swallow-Tailed Indian Roller
The Red Headed Woodpecker and The Drummer Bird
Mexican Mot Mot
King Parrot Or King Lory
The American Robin – The Bird Of The Morning
The Kingfisher – The Lone Fisherman
The Red Wing Black Bird – The Bird Of Society
Blue Mountain Lory
The American Red Bird

These are being prepared. Stay Tuned!!

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

An Ad for Birds Illustrated, 1897

An Ad for Birds Illustrated, 1897

The Little Bird’s Song – McGuffey’s Third Reader

Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii) by Kent Nickell

Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii) by Kent Nickell

THE LITTLE BIRD’S SONG.

1. A little bird, with feathers brown,
Sat singing on a tree;
The song was very soft and low,
But sweet as it could be.

2. The people who were passing by,
Looked up to see the bird
That made the sweetest melody
That ever they had heard.

3. But all the bright eyes looked in vain;
Birdie was very small,
And with his modest, dark-brown coat,
He made no show at all.

4. “Why, father,” little Gracie said
“Where can the birdie be?
If I could sing a song like that,
I’d sit where folks could see.”

Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus) by Kent Nickell

Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus) by Kent Nickell

5. “I hope my little girl will learn
A lesson from the bird,
And try to do what good she can,
Not to be seen or heard.

6. “This birdie is content to sit
Unnoticed on the way,
And sweetly sing his Maker’s praise
From dawn to close of day.

“To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” (Psalms 30:12 NKJV)

7. “So live, my child, all through your life,
That, be it short or long,
Though others may forget your looks,
They’ll not forget your song.”

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) by Raymond Barlow

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) by Raymond Barlow

“All the earth shall worship You And sing praises to You; They shall sing praises to Your name.” Selah” (Psalms 66:4 NKJV)


Title: McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Reader, Author: William Holmes McGuffey
Release Date: January 23, 2005 [EBook #14766]

McGuffey’s Reader 3rd Grade – Bird Friends

3rd Grade – Humming Birds

McGuffey’s Third Grade Reader

All McGuffey’s Readers

*

Wordless Birds

ABC’s of the Gospel

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

 

The Sandpiper – Fourth Grade McGuffey’s Reader

Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) ©WikiC

Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) ©WikiC

McGuffey Readers were a series of graded primers for grade levels 1-6. They were widely used as textbooks in American schools from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, and are still used today in some private schools and in homeschooling.

Here is a story of The Eagle from the Fourth Grade Reader. (From Gutenberg) Pictures are current photos.

Fourth Grade McGuffey Reader

XLIX. THE SANDPIPER. 
By CELIA THAXTER.

1. Across the lonely beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I,
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
The scattered driftwood, bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I.

Rock Sandpiper (Calidris ptilocnemis) by Ian

2. Above our heads the sullen clouds
Scud, black and swift, across the sky;
Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds
Stand out the white lighthouses high.
Almost as far as eye can reach
I see the close-reefed vessels fly,
As fast we flit across the beach,
One little sandpiper and I.

Least Sandpiper at Fort DeSoto by Lee

Least Sandpiper at Fort DeSoto by Lee

3. I watch him as he skims along,
Uttering his sweet and mournful cry;
He starts not at my fitful song,
Nor flash of fluttering drapery.
He has no thought of any wrong,
He scans me with a fearless eye;
Stanch friends are we, well-tried and strong,
The little sandpiper and I.

Rock Sandpiper (Calidris ptilocnemis) ©USFWS

4. Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night,
When the loosed storm breaks furiously?
My driftwood fire will burn so bright!
To what warm shelter canst thou fly?
I do not fear for thee, though wroth
The tempest rushes through the sky;
For are we not God’s children both,
Thou, little sandpiper, and I?

DEFINITIONS.—l. Sand’pi-per, a bird of the snipe family, found along the seacoast. Drift’wood. wood tossed on shore by the waves. Bleached, whitened. Tide, the regular rise and fall of the ocean which occurs twice in a little over twenty-four hours. 2. Scud, fly hastily. Shrouds, Winding sheets, dresses of the dead. Close’reefed, with sails contracted as much as possible. 3. Fit’ful, irregularly variable. Draper-y, garments. Scans, looks at care-fully. Stanch, firm. 4. Wroth, angry.

“I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.” (Psalms 55:8 NKJV)

You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:14 NKJV)

Title: McGuffey’s Fourth Eclectic Reader, Author: William Holmes McGuffey
Release Date: February 2, 2005 [EBook #14880], Language: English

McGuffey’s Fourth Grade Reader 

Wordless Birds – With Hummingbirds

Fourth Grade McGuffey’s Reader – The Eagle

Fourth Grade McGuffey Reader

“Does the eagle mount up at your command, And make its nest on high?” (Job 39:27 NKJV)

McGuffey Readers were a series of graded primers for grade levels 1-6. They were widely used as textbooks in American schools from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, and are still used today in some private schools and in homeschooling.

Here is a story of The Eagle from the Fourth Grade Reader. (From Gutenberg) Pictures are current photos.

Bald Eagle (close up) LP Zoo by Lee

Bald Eagle (close up) LP Zoo by Lee

XXIX. THE EAGLE. (84)

1. The eagle seems to enjoy a kind of supremacy over the rest of the inhabitants of the air. Such is the loftiness of his flight, that he often soars in the sky beyond the reach of the naked eye, and such is his strength that he has been known to carry away children in his talons. But many of the noble qualities imputed to him are rather fanciful than true.

2. He has been described as showing a lofty independence, which makes him disdain to feed on anything that is not slain by his own strength. But Alexander Wilson, the great naturalist, says that he has seen an eagle feasting on the carcass of a horse. The eagle lives to a great age. One at Vienna is stated to have died after a confinement of one hundred and four years.

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

3. There are several species of the eagle. The golden eagle, which is one of the largest, is nearly four feet from the point of the beak to the end of the tail. He is found in most parts of Europe, and is also met with in America. High rocks and ruined and lonely towers are the places which he chooses for his abode. His nest is composed of sticks and rushes. The tail feathers are highly valued as ornaments by the American Indians.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by AestheticPhotos

4. The most interesting species is the bald eagle, as this is an American bird, and the adopted emblem of our country. He lives chiefly upon fish, and is found in the neighborhood of the sea, and along the shores and cliffs of our large lakes and rivers.

5. According to the description given by Wilson, he depends, in procuring his food, chiefly upon the labors of others. He watches the fish hawk as he dives into the sea for his prey, and darting down upon him as he rises, forces him to relinquish his victim, and then seizes it before it again reaches the water.

Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) by Lee at Zoo Miami 2014

Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) by Lee at Zoo Miami 2014

6. One of the most notable species is the harpy eagle. This is said to be bold and strong, and to attack beasts, and even man himself. He is fierce, quarrelsome, and sullen, living alone in the deepest forests. He is found chiefly in South America.

***

Title: McGuffey’s Fourth Eclectic Reader, Author: William Holmes McGuffey
Release Date: February 2, 2005 [EBook #14880], Language: English

McGuffey’s Fouth Grade Reader

ABC’s Of The Gospel

 

McGuffey’s Fifth Reader – VI – The Singing Lesson

Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus frantzii) by Ian

Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus frantzii) by Ian

The Project Gutenberg EBook of McGuffey’s Fifth Eclectic Reader by William Holmes McGuffey

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at gutenberg.net

Title: McGuffey’s Fifth Eclectic Reader Author: William Holmes McGuffey

VI. THE SINGING LESSON.

Jean Ingelow (b. 1830, d.1897) was born at Boston, Lincolnshire, England. Her fame as a poetess was at once established upon the publication of her “Poems” in 1863; since which time several other volumes have appeared. The most generally admired of her poems are “Songs of Seven” and “The High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire,” She has also written several successful novels, of which, “Off the Skelligs” is the most popular. “Stories Told to a Child,” “The Cumberers,” “Poor Mat,” “Studies for Stories,” and “Mopsa, the Fairy” are also well known. Miss Ingelow resided in London, England, and spent much of her time in deeds of charity.

1. A nightingale made a mistake;
She sang a few notes out of tune:
Her heart was ready to break,
And she hid away from the moon.
She wrung her claws, poor thing,
But was far too proud to weep;
She tucked her head under her wing,
And pretended to be asleep.

Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)

Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)

2. A lark, arm in arm with a thrush,
Came sauntering up to the place;
The nightingale felt herself blush,
Though feathers hid her face;
She knew they had heard her song,
She felt them snicker and sneer;
She thought that life was too long,
And wished she could skip a year.

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by Reinier Munguia

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by Reinier Munguia

3. “O nightingale!” cooed a dove;
“O nightingale! what’s the use?
You bird of beauty and love,
Why behave like a goose?
Don’t sulk away from our sight,
Like a common, contemptible fowl;
You bird of joy and delight,
Why behave like an owl?

4. “Only think of all you have done;
Only think of all you can do;
A false note is really fun
From such a bird as you!
Lift up your proud little crest,
Open your musical beak;
Other birds have to do their best,
You need only to speak!”

Thrush Nightingale (Luscinia luscinia) ©©SergeyYeliseev

Thrush Nightingale (Luscinia luscinia) ©©SergeyYeliseev

6. The nightingale shyly took
Her head from under her wing,
And, giving the dove a look,
Straightway began to sing.
There was never a bird could pass;
The night was divinely calm;
And the people stood on the grass
To hear that wonderful psalm.

Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus mexicanus) by Michael Woodruff

Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus mexicanus) by Michael Woodruff

6. The nightingale did not care,
She only sang to the skies;
Her song ascended there,
And there she fixed her eyes.
The people that stood below
She knew but little about;
And this tale has a moral, I know,
If you’ll try and find it out.

DEFINITIONS.—2. Saun’ter-ing, wandering idly, strolling. Snick’er, to laugh in a half-suppressed manner. 4. Crest, a tuft growing on an animal’s head. 5. Di-vine’ly, in a supreme degree. 6. Mor’al, the practical lesson which anything is fitted to teach.

NOTE.—The nightingale is a small bird, about six inches in length, with a coat of dark-brown feathers above and of grayish, white beneath. Its voice is astonishingly strong and sweet, and, when wild, it usually sings throughout the evening and night from April to the middle of summer. The bird is common in Europe, but is not found in America.

“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;” (Song of Solomon 2:12 KJV)

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
(Ephesians 5:19 KJV)

McGuffey’s Fifth Grade Reader

Wordless Birds

Social Distancing and Mask by Birds

This year we were privileged to see a small flock of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks land by our home. As we are constantly being reminded to “social distance” ourselves, I think someone must have informed this flock of Ducks.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks by Lee 3-15-20

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks by Lee 3-15-20

This is the way you normally see them:

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) ©WikiC

“All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25:32 NKJV)

Also, we have been told to wear mask, but this recent visiter, a Loggerhead Shrike seems to have the mask a little too high.

Loggerhead Shrike on hook – by Lee

Loggerhead Shrike on hook - by Lee Closeup

Loggerhead Shrike on hook – by Lee Closeup

“Help me understand Your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart.” (Psalms 119:34 HCSB)

Loggerhead Shrike on hook - by Lee Closeup

Loggerhead Shrike on hook – by Lee Closeup

Stay safe as we journey through this trying time.

Bible Birds – Swallow-tailed Kites

Swallow-tailed Kite by S Slayton

Swallow-tailed Kite by S Slayton

and the red kite, the falcon, and the kite in their kinds, (Deuteronomy 14:13 NASB)

In the Birds of the Bible – Hidden Covenant Part 3, I mistakenly placed this photo of a Swallow-tailed Kite instead of a Swallow. I have since fixed my mistake. A J was talking about the Swallows observing the time of their coming and he used Jeremiah 8:7.

Even the stork in the heavens Knows her appointed times; And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow Observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 NKJV)

The reason I mixed them up is because right now, in this area, the Swallow-tailed Kites are being spotted. I have seen a single one three times and just the other day, Dan and I had two of them skim over the top of trees, right in front of us. They have been in the area for a month or so, and soon they will move on again. They “Observe the time of their coming.” Thus the mistake on my part.

They may be one of the Birds of Prey, but they were beautifully created by the Lord. They are so graceful and enjoyable to watch. I am always amazed at the Creator’s use of such variety in the birds and in all the other neat things around us.

God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (suitable, admirable) and He approved it. (Genesis 1:21 AMP)

According to the Audubon WatchList, “Two subspecies found in the Americas. Northern subspecies (Elanoides forficatus forficatus) breeds in small sections of seven southeastern U.S. states and in southern Mexico. Members of this group migrate to South America in the late summer. Southern subspecies (Elanoides forficatus yetapa) found through much of South America. The estimated U.S. population of approximately 10,000 birds now breeds in fragmented populations from South Carolina south to Florida and west to Louisiana/Texas border with largest known populations in northern Florida. Formerly bred north to Minnesota and west through Texas to Mexico. Significant populations remain in Florida and along the Pascagoula River in Mississippi.”

I really enjoy seeing these Kites because you just have to be looking in the right direction at the right time. Every time they have been spotted by us, they just sort of “appear” over the tops of the trees. They skim so low, that when they come over you, you either see them or you don’t.

Kites are of course one of our Bible Birds – (Glede and Kites). They are mentioned twice in Scripture in the list of “unclean” birds in Leviticus 11:14 and Deuteronomy 14:13. Each time “after its kind” is given. So, our Swallow-tailed Kite is one of those kinds and would like to introduce you to this amazing bird that is so neat to watch flying. When they spread that tail of theirs, it is just super neat.

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) ©Wikipedia

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) ©Wikipedia

(Sounds from xeno-canto)

The Swallow-tailed Kite is a member of the Accipitridae Family (Kites, Hawks & Eagles) Family in the Order Accipitriformes. They are considered Abundance Common according the Thayer Birding software.

They are 24 inches (60 cm) with a very long black forked tail, white head, chest, belly and leading portion of underwing. Their flight feathers are black and their back is also black.

They are a medium-sized, graceful, long-winged, long-tailed hawk with pointed wings, a short, dark, hooked bill. The males and females are similar.

Adults have a long, deeply forked tail. white head, neck, chest, underwing coverts, belly, and undertail coverts, a slate gray back and upperwings, black tail and flight feathers. Whereas the immature is duller than adult with fine streaks on head and breast and has a shorter, less deeply-forked tail than adult.

Thayer also says of their habitat and behavior – ” Wet open woodlands, bottomlands, wooded river swamps, marshes, wetlands, and along rivers, ponds and lakes. Agile and graceful in flight. Eats in flight by bending head and neck under body to eat prey held in talon. Will drink in flight, much like a swallow. Gregarious. Will sweep low over open fields and grasslands to catch food or soar very high for flying insects.”

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) by Africaddict

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) by Africaddict

The Swallow-tails like to breed in “Lowland forest, especially swampy areas extending into open woodland. 1 brood. Mating system is monogamous. Displays are In flight: easy sailing, curving chase often over water. On perch: mutual approach on horizontal limb, face-off, female quickly turns or backs under limb. They also do courtship feeding.

The nest is usually in treetop concealed by thick foliage and they place it on a foundation of preceding year’s nest. It consist of sticks, twigs, moss, pine needles, leaves, lichen. Lined with fine materials, few feathers. Both sexes help with nest construction.

The eggs are white, marked with browns, occasionally lavender, often concentrated at end. 1.8” (47 mm). Both sexes incubate.  with Incubation taking 28 days. Development is semialtricial (immobile, downy, eyes open, fed). Young are able to fly after 36-42 days. Both sexes tend young.

The spend their winters from Colombia and Venezuela S. Marsh drainage, deforestation, and shooting are responsible for reduction in population and range.

Miscellaneous notes; Occasionally nest in loose colonies of a few pairs. Bathe and drink by skimming water surface like swallow. Occasionally soar at great heights. Up to 200 pieces used in nest, carried individually, may require up to 800 miles of flight. Formerly known as American Swallow-tailed Kite; changed by AOU in 1996.

From Thayer Birding Software, The Birder’s Handbook, Wikipedia, and other internet sources.

See also:

Originally posted in 2018 on Birds of the Bible For Kids Blog)

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Bible Birds – Osprey Introduction

and the osprey

Bible Birds – Osprey Introduction

“But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey,” (Deuteronomy 14:12 KJV)

The Osprey is another bird on the “Do Not Eat” list. Here in central Florida, we see Ospreys quite frequently. Their nest are usually noticeable on platforms placed for them. On a road between Eagle Lake and Bartow, (which I have renamed “Osprey Road”) there is a nest in the V structure of almost every power distribution pole. There are at least 15-20 nests in about a mile or so. The Ospreys will show up after the first of the year and stay for about 4 months while they breed and raise their young.

Osprey Family by Phillip Simmons

The Osprey is in a family by itself. They are widely distributed around the world. They are closely related to the Hawk and the Falcon. They are 21-24 inches long with a wingspan of 54-72 inches. The females are slightly larger and both look alike. Their diet is almost entirely fish, but they do eat small rodents and birds. When fishing, they fly 30 to 100 feet above the water and will hover when they find a fish. They will plunge into the water with their feet under them to catch the fish. “Rises from water with fish gripped in both feet, pauses in midair to shake water from plumage, and to arrange fish with the head pointed forward, which reduces its resistance to air, flies with it to” perch or nest to feed young. Can carry up to four or more pounds.

God has designed the Osprey with several interesting features. Their feet have four equal length toes with “long, strong claws, curved about one-third of a circle, and completely round.” “The lower surface, or pads, of the toes are covered with spicules, which help it hold slippery fishes; also, it is the only hawk that has outer toe reversible as in owls; this enables it to grasp its prey with two toes in front, tow in back. Its plumage is compact, which helps blunt its impact and reduces wetting when it plunges into the water.”

All quotes from (The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds).

More Bible Birds

Bible Birds – Osprey

Birds of the Bible – Ospreys

(Originally posted in 2018 on Birds of the Bible For Kids Blog)

Bible Birds – Storks at Zoo Tampa

Yellow-billed Stork (Mycteria ibis) LPZ

“Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.” (Psalms 104:17 KJV)

Bible Birds – Storks at Zoo Tampa

Birds mentioned in the Bible include the Storks. The Yellow-billed Stork is closely related to the Wood Stork. [Bible Birds – Wood Storks]

The Yellow-billed Stork has a very yellow beak and like other storks, it is quite long. They live in “Africa South of Sahara, Madagascar; straggles into Palearctic Africa in Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt.”

These storks are 90–105 cm (35–41 in) tall and have a wingspan 150–165 cm (59-65 in). Males average larger. Non breeding adult has plumage and bare parts duller. Immature duller, especially bare.

Here are some photos of the Yellow-billed Stork taken at Zoo Tampa recently:

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Stork

 

The Three Sparrows by Emma Foster

The Three Sparrows

By Emma Foster

Three Sparrows ©Tony Northrup

Three sparrows, Tip, Tap, and Top, once lived on a college campus, inside a dormitory courtyard. They had built a nest under the metal stair railing leading up to the second floor. They flew out into the courtyard every day to search for food or continue building their nests. Usually however, the three of them preferred to watch the students.Eagle on Pumpkin - Stencil

As fall approached, the birds noticed the cooler weather outside. The leaves started to change color and fall, and more students sat outside in their hammocks to study. One evening, Tip, Tap, and Top noticed how many of the students gathered outside, carrying pumpkins into the courtyard. The students sat down in circle and began carving pumpkins. The three sparrows watched as some of the students cut the top off the pumpkins, took the insides out, and drew faces on the pumpkins. Some of the students even brought paint to paint flowers and birds and other designs on the pumpkins. Top’s favorite pumpkin was one with an eagle painted on it, which he believed to be a very majestic sparrow that resembled himself.

Very Majestic Sparrow Pumpkin

Very Majestic Sparrow Pumpkin

Later that night, after the sun set, Tip hopped off the second-floor railing to examine the pumpkins more closely. Out of all three sparrows, Tip could spot small details the best, which was why it was his job to find food most of the time. While Tip flapped by all the pumpkins, he noticed something pink and something else shiny sitting on the opposite side of the courtyard.

Tip flew to the object and recognized it as something the students carried around with them to identify themselves and to get into their rooms. Tip called for Tap and Top. Tap, the strongest sparrow who was in charge of building the nests, carried it back with him to the nest. But just as they got the wallet back to the nest and looked at the picture on the ID, Tip noticed the same girl come out of one of rooms looking for the wallet in the courtyard, while her friend held the door open so she could get back inside. Tip told Tap to hurry and return it, but when Tap flew back with the wallet, he wasn’t fast enough. The girl returned to her room just as Tip and Top tried to help carry the wallet. Top, however, flew so fast that the lanyard slipped out of his beak and he ran into the door, causing a massive thump.

Tip, Tap, and Top tried to think of a new plan. Top suggested running into the door to get the girl’s attention, while Tap argued that they should just leave the wallet by the door. Tip, on the other hand, had an idea to use the key to get into the room. With Top’s help, he brought the wallet to the door then had Top hold the wallet steady while he inserted the key. Tap flew against the door as best he could, but the door’s weight only let him open it a few inches. Tip yanked the key out with his beak, and he and Top dropped the wallet inside. However, only part of the wallet made it through.

Tip, Tap, and Top all panicked when they heard the girl coming. Tap lifted the top of the pumpkin by the door, and the three of them sneaked inside.

Once the coast seemed clear, and the girl found her wallet (though she had no idea what the commotion was about), Tip, Tap, and Top returned to their nest. From then on, they agreed that was the last time Tip could do any exploring whenever students carved pumpkins. However, they did all agree that pumpkins seemed comfortable to live in. Once winter arrived, they decided, they would each pick their own pumpkin to nestle into before it grew too cold for them in their nest.


Lee’s Addition:

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a difficult time.” (Proverbs 17:17 HCSB)

These sparrows were definitely trying to be helpful.

I think I like these three adventurous sparrows. Who knows, maybe Tip, Tap, and Top will become another series of stories for Emma. We have all enjoyed the adventures of Reginald the Turkey Commander.

Emma’s Stories

Wordless Birds

Ian’s Bird of the Moment – Isla de la Plata

If you remember that far back, the last Irregular Bird was on the birds of Christmas Island. Here is another tropical island, Isla de la Plata (Silver Island) in the eastern Pacific just off the coast of Ecuador. Unlike Christmas Island, it isn’t remote, just a 40km/25mile boat trip from Puerto Lopez. So it doesn’t have any endemic birds, but it does have nesting colonies of interesting seabirds. I visited it in October 2005 with Jo Wieneke. She was on her way to the Galapagos, while I was on my way back to Australia on a round the world fare.

Isla de la Plata, Ecuador

It’s relatively small, about 5km/3miles long from northwest to southeast, uninhabited, with the only building – at Drake Bay, above – being the information centre of the national park (Machalilla) of which it is part. Like Christmas Island, it is surrounded by cliffs and the only beach of note is at Drake Bay, the landing place for visitors and the start of a network of walking tracks around the island.

Isla de la Plata, Ecuador Shore

The Bay is named after Sir Francis Drake who, as captain of the Golden Hind, was here in 1579, plundering Spanish ships carrying plundered native treasure. There is debate over whether the name ‘Plata’ refers to silver in Drake’s possession or the white, guano-covered cliffs and if you are interested you can check up on the history of Drake’s adventures around Isla de la Plata here.
Brown/Peruvian Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis/thagus) by Ian
Anyway, back to birds. Puerto Lopez, the departure port for day trips to the island is a fishing village and is notable for plenty of Pelicans, lounging around on the colourful fishing boats waiting for a free feed. This part of the coast of Ecuador marks the transition from the northern Brown Pelican (Birdway) to the southern Peruvian Pelican (Birdway). The latter has been treated in the past as a subspecies of the Brown but the two are now regarded as different species. These ones look intermediate to me and I’ve given up trying to pin them down to one species or the other. In any case, it was lovely to get a close-up view of these spectacular birds.
SUL-Suli Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) by Ian
Isla de la Plata is often referred to as the Poor Man’s Galapagos as it costs only about 40USD to visit it and shares some of the iconic species of the Galapagos such as the Blue-footed Booby. These were to be found nesting on the walking tracks and appeared quite undisturbed by human visitors. The male in the first photo is displaying to the stationary female by walking around her and showing off his blue feet. Foot colour is very important to boobies. She looks completely unimpressed, perhaps because he is too young and his feet aren’t blue enough yet.
Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) by Ian4
The next pair clearly have what it takes and the male on the left has blue enough feet to melt the heart of any prospective mate. The sexes look similar but females are generally bigger and the irises of males appear whiter as female irises have a dark inner ring around the pupil. I tend to think of the Blue-footed Booby as mainly a Galapagos specialty but in fact it’s breeding range includes Baja California in Mexico and along the coast from Panama to northern Peru.
SUL-Suli Nazca Booby (Sula granti) Portrait by Ian
Like Christmas Island, Isla de la Plata has three species of nesting boobies. The second is the Nazca Booby, a black and and white booby with orange bill and eyes. It bears more than a striking resemblance to its close relative the Masked Booby (Birdway), which it replaces in the eastern Pacific where its main population centre is also the Galapagos Archipelago. The Nazca used to be treated as a subspecies of the Masked, which occurs in tropical and subtropical water around the world including offshore islands around Australia. The main field mark distinguishing the Nazca is the coral pink, rather than yellow, bill but there are also morphological differences including smaller size and longer wings and tail.
SUL-Suli Nazca Booby (Sula granti) by Ian
Bill colour differs between the sexes: the bird in the background in the second photo has a pinker bill and is female. Nazca Boobies have khaki feet, hardly something to get excited about, but there’s no accounting for differences in taste.
SUL-Suli Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) by Ian
The third species of Booby is the Red-footed, another species with a pantropical distribution and which we encountered on Christmas Island. There, the birds were of the white morph; here they are of the brown morph. The one in the photo is an adult bird (juveniles don’t, of course, have red feet) at its nest.
One might wonder ecologically why various species of booby have such overlapping distributions. It seems that they differ in the feeding habits. Blue-footed Boobies feed mainly on schooling sardines, anchovies and mackerel and feed gregariously, often diving in unison, and also feed on flying-fish. The diet of Nazca Boobies varies by location but includes larger schooling fish and flying-fish. Red-footed Boobies feed mainly on flying-fish and squid and often feed at night when squid come to the surface.
Male Magnificent Frigatebird by Ian
Christmas Island boasts three of the five species of Frigatebird, including the endemic Christmas (Island) Frigatebird, the Lesser and the Great. Isla de la Plata has only one, the Magnificent, but this is the largest of the five species by way of compensation. Adult males have entirely black plumage making them difficult to distinguish in the field from the Great. Males of the latter have a brown wing-bar, but so do a few male Magnificent. Female Magnificent Frigatebirds are similar to female Great but are larger and have a white nucal collar (below).
Magnificent Frigatebird Family by Ian
The Magnificent Frigatebird is closely related to the Great and both it and the fifth species, the Ascencion Island Frigatebird, used to be treated as races of the Great. The Great also occurs in the eastern Pacific but it is mainly an offshore species and does not breed on Isla de la Plata, though both breed in the Galapagos so their ranges are not exclusive. The distribution of the Magnificent is mainly the tropical and subtropical eastern and western coasts of the Americas, with a relict population on Cape Verde Island off the west coast of Africa.
Red-billed Tropicbird by Ian
Christmas Island has two of the three global species of Tropicbird: the Red-tailed and the golden morph of the White-tailed. Isla de la Plata has the third: the Red-billed Tropicbird. This is probably the least numerous of the three species with three subspecies in the northwestern Indian Ocean; the Atlantic south of the equator; and, the most common and widespread subspecies off Cape Verde, in the Caribbean and the eastern Pacific. Adult birds retain the barred plumage on the back and wings that is otherwise characteristic of juvenile birds. With a wingspan to 106cm/42in and length, including tail streamers, to 105cm/41in , this is the largest of the three species. It feeds mainly on flying fish, usually by diving but will also take them in flight.
Isla de la Plata has a very small population, less than 20 pairs, of the only tropical Albatross, the Waved Albatross, but unfortunately we didn’t see any. It breeds mainly on Hood Island in the Galapagos with a population of less than 20,000 pairs. The population has declined in recent decades owing to mortality as bycatch by fishing vessels and is classified as critically endangered.
Croaking Ground-dove by Ian
The island is rather arid with scrubby vegetation and didn’t seem to support many species of terrestrial birds. We did however see White-tipped Doves (Birdway) and Croaking Ground-Doves. I photographed the Croaking Ground-Dove above when we were having breakfast in Puerto Lopez a couple of days after our visit to Isla de la Plata.
Long-tailed Mockingbird by Ian
The only passerines we saw were Long-tailed Mockingbird and Collared Warbling-Finch. The Long-tailed Mockingbird has a mainly coastal distribution in Ecuador and Peru and is a close relative of the Chilean Mockingbird (Birdway).
Collard Warbling-Finch by Ian
The Collared Warbling-Finch isn’t a finch but a member of the Thraupidae family (Birdway) which comprises a rather heterogeneous collection of birds including most, but not all, of the Tanagers. It has a similar distribution to the Long-tailed Mockingbird along the coast of Ecuador and Peru. The bird in the photo is a male; females have streaked, brownish plumage without the black breast-band or black markings on the head.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our virtual tours of two tropical islands. I have a couple of very cold islands, one in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern, in mind as candidates for the next two Irregular Birds.
Greetings
Ian


Ian Montgomery,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: 0411 602 737 +61-411 602 737
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au

Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au

Lee’s Addition:

I am always amazed and tickled by these Blue-footed and Red-footed Boobies. Along with all the many critters and birds the Lord created, it sometimes shows his sense of humor.
“So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” (Genesis 1:21-23 NKJV)

Bible Birds – Masked Lapwing

CHA-Char Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) at Lowry Park Zoo 3-27-2018

Both times the Lapwing is mentioned in the Bible, it is in the “Do Not Eat” lists in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:19 KJV)
And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Deuteronomy 14:18 KJV)

We were at Zoo Tampa (new name of Lowry Park Zoo) several years ago. We saw the Masked Lapwing again and I always enjoy that look he has. The Yellow mask make him quite attractive, don’t you think?

“The masked lapwing is the largest representative of the family Charadriidae. It measures from 30 to 37 cm (12 to 15 in) in length and has a wingspan of 75–85 cm (30–33 in). The nominate subspecies (V. m. miles) weighs 191–300 g (6.7–10.6 oz), while the southern race (V. m. novaehollandiae) is larger and weighs 296–412 g (10.4–14.5 oz). The subspecies from northern Australia and New Guinea (V. m. miles) has an all-white neck and large yellow wattles with the male having a distinctive mask and larger wattles. The subspecies found in the southern and eastern states of Australia and in New Zealand (V. m. novaehollandiae), and often locally called the spur-winged plover, has a black neck-stripe and smaller wattles. (Note that the northern-hemisphere spur-winged plover is a different bird.)

The birds have a wide range of calls which can be heard at any time of the day or night: the warning call, a loud defending call, courtship calls, calls to its young, and others. Since this bird lives on the ground it is always alert and even though it rests it never sleeps properly.” [Wikipedia – Masked Lapwing]

A masked lapwing blinking the left eye (the nictitating membrane is used rather than the eyelids). Note origin of the membrane from the medial canthus. Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) Eye ©WikiC

It is always amazing to see the different ways the Lord created His birds. Even how this Lapwing blinks show design and not something that just happened.

We see them frequently in many Zoos. Next time you are visiting a zoo, see if they have the Lapwings. If you are living in Australia or New Zealand, you can look for them in the Wild.

Bible Birds – Lapwings

Bible Birds

Wordless Birds