Pearly Gates and Pearly Birds

The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. (Revelation 21:21 NKJV)

With the Precious Stones of the Foundations of the New Jerusalem completed, it is interesting to look at the next verse. The twelve stones were mentioned in Revelation 21:19,20. Yet, in the next verse two more precious stones or minerals are mentioned; Gold and Pearls.

It says that each gate was all one pearl. As I told a friend recently, I would have liked to see the size of that oyster!

American Oystercatcher (Conserve Wildlife Foundation photo)

Better yet, to see an Oystercatcher pick it up THAT OYSTER, like this one. All kidding aside, can you image a pearl large enough to be a whole gate? That is amazing and only God, the Creator could do that.

We have already produced a few articles about Pearls:

Avian And Attributes – Pearl

Birds in Hymns – He The Pearly Gates Will Open

Freshwater clam with cultivated pearls ©WikiC

Freshwater clam with cultivated pearls ©WikiC

Pearled Treerunner (Margarornis squamiger) ©WikiC

“Heaven has gates; there is a free admission to all that are sanctified; they shall not find themselves shut out. These gates were all of pearls. Christ is the Pearl of great price, and he is our Way to God. The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. The saints in heaven tread gold under foot. The saints are there at rest, yet it is not a state of sleep and idleness; they have communion, not only with God, but with one another. All these glories but faintly represent heaven.” [Matthew Henry Concise Commentary]

Pearly-bellied Seedeater (Sporophila pileata) by Dario Sanches

The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:  Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. (Matthew 13:45,46 KJV)

None of the birds have Pearl as it’s last name, but here are birds that have Pearl at the beginning of their names:

Pearl Kite (Gampsonyx swainsonii)
Pearl-bellied White-eye (Zosterops grayi)
Pearl-breasted Swallow (Hirundo dimidiata)
Pearled Treerunner (Margarornis squamiger)
Pearl-spotted Owlet (Glaucidium perlatum)
Pearly Antshrike (Megastictus margaritatus)
Pearly Parakeet (Pyrrhura lepida)
Pearly-bellied Seedeater (Sporophila pileata)
Pearly-breasted Conebill (Conirostrum margaritae)
Pearly-breasted Cuckoo (Coccyzus euleri)
Pearly-eyed Thrasher (Margarops fuscatus)
Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant (Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer)

These birds were included because they like to catch oysters as their name implies:

Oystercatcher, African
Oystercatcher, American
Oystercatcher, Black
Oystercatcher, Blackish
Oystercatcher, Canary Islands
Oystercatcher, Chatham
Oystercatcher, Eurasian
Oystercatcher, Magellanic
Oystercatcher, Pied
Oystercatcher, Sooty
Oystercatcher, South Island
Oystercatcher, Variable

*

Wages or a Gift

Moorfowl is Fair, in Highland Heather

Red Grouse:  Moorfowl is Fair, in Highland Heather

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

“For the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains.” (1st Samuel 26:20b)

As noted in a previous blogpost, in “Fowl are Fair on Day 5”, the Holy Bible’s  “partridge” (which is mentioned in 1st Samuel 26:20) is a type of galliform (i.e., chicken/partridge/quail/pheasant/turkey/peafowl-like ground-dwelling bird.

Other examples of galliforms include the partridge-like birds we call “grouse”. (See also “Rock Partridges:  Lessons about Hunting and Hatching”.

RedGrouse-Scotland.SimplyBirds-and-Moths

RED GROUSE in Scotland   (Simply Birds and Moths photograph)

The RED GROUSE is a variety of fast-flying WILLOW PTARMIGAN, often camouflaged within Scotland’s heather scrublands, sporting reddish-brown plumage (with white feathered legs underneath, that somewhat resemble rabbit feet!), yet accented by scarlet “eyebrows”.   It is often hunted in Scotland, by humans as part of a regulated sport, as well as by birds of prey, to the extent that they are present in Scotland heather moors.

The Red Grouse has been described as follows:

“The Red Grouse … of the British Isles [is] a race of the Willow Ptarmigan … coloured entirely chestnut-brown, winter as well as summer. [It] presses itself low to the ground when danger threatens. … [Its habitat is] open taiga, bushy tundra, marshes and moors with willow, birch and dwarf scrub; generally at lower altitudes than [other varieties of] Ptarmigan.  … [For food, it eat] leaves, buds and berries of dwarf shrubs, especially billberries, cranberries and crowberries; in winter buds and leaves of dwarf birch; in order to get at their food plants, the birds dig long tunnels in the snow.  Red Grouse eats mainly heather shoots.”

[Quoting Jürgen Nicolai, Detlef Singer, & Konrad Wothe, BIRDS OF BRITAIN & EUROPE (Harper Collins/Collin  Nature Guides, 2000; translated from German & adapted by Ian Dawson), page 144.]

Red Grouse, as well as other varieties of Willow Ptarmigan, are ground-fowl found in cool scrublands of Earth’s northern habitats, in lands as widespread as Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Canada, and Alaska. [See Wikipedia-posted range map of the Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus), with indigo blue showing year-round residency ranges.]

WillowPtarmigan.RangeMap-wikipedia


   Range Map for Willow Ptarmigans  (Wikipedia)

In fact, the Willow Ptarmigan is Alaska’s official state bird, specifically the winter-white-dominated Lagopus lagopus alascensis variety.

WillowPtarmigan-Alaska-variety.Wikipedia

Willow Ptarmigan (Alaska variety) in winter white   [Wikipedia/public domain]

The reddish-brown plumage of the RED CROUSE is well-suited for residing in the heather fields of Scotland. Of course, despite its helpful camouflage, the Red Grouse is a resident well known to Scottish Highland hunters!

“As the rail network opened up the Highlands in the late 19th century, so it because possible for many more people to come from the south to join shooting parties on moors specifically managed for red grouse.  . . . The long-term decline in grouse numbers  [especially Scotland’s RED GROUSE (Lagopus lagopus scotica), a Scottish variety of Willow Ptarmigan, a/k/a “Moorfowl”,  a ground-fowl accustomed to heather-moor habitat] began in the 1930s – way before birds of prey began to recover [in Scotland, from] egg collectors and keepers [i.e., wildlife-regulating game wardens].  This, in part, is related to the loss of high-quality moorland to [agricultural] grass as sheep densities have increased.”

[Quoting Niall Benvie, “Red Grouse”, in SCOTLAND’S WILDLIFE (National Trust of Scotland, via Aurum Press, 2004), page 28.]

RedGrouse-heather-moorland.ScottishNaturalHeritage

RED GROUSE in Scottish heather moorland   (Scottish Nature Heritage)

Of course, the Red Grouse is wild, so it is fair game – pardon the pun – to be photographed by nature photographers, such as Niall Benvie, Scottish author of THE ART OF NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY (and other similar books). Once Mr. Benvie was preparing to photograph a strolling Red Grouse, as he recalls:

 “I once met such a bird [i.e., a Red Grouse] in a quiet glen near [my] home.  As I edged my car closer [preparing my camera to take a photograph of the grouse], I was grateful that, for once, my subject [i.e., the Red Grouse who was approaching] wasn’t camera-shy.  I glanced in the rearview mirror only to see, to my dismay, a woman walking up the narrow road behind me.  As she passed the car I withdrew my camera and prepared to leave [ — assuming that her approach would frighten off the grouse, thus spoiling my opportunity to photograph the avian pedestrian].”

[Quoting Niall Benvie, “Red Grouse”, in SCOTLAND’S WILDLIFE (National Trust of Scotland, via Aurum Press, 2004), page 28.]

RedGrouse-on-Scottish-roadway.ScottishGamekeepersAssocn

RED GROUSE on Scottish roadway   (Scottish Gamekeepers Association photograph)

Of course, as a wildlife photographer, Niall Benvie is bothered by human intrusions into the “wild” world of this tranquil ground-fowl. If the Red Grouse doesn’t bother humans, why should humans interfere with the Red Grouse’s habitat in the Highlands?  Yet this perspective has its flaws, as the following anecdotal report (from Niall Benvie) illustrates.

“But the grouse, rather than [squawking] loudly and whirring off over the moor, began walking up the road to meet her. He [i.e., the Red Grouse] pecked furiously at her [shoe]-laces, and she bent down, picked him up and held him in her arms!  She was the local keeper’s wife [i.e., game warden’s wife], and [she] knew this first year bird well [and obviously the bird knew well that he could trust her to pick him up caringly].

[Quoting Niall Benvie, “Red Grouse”, in SCOTLAND’S WILDLIFE (National Trust of Scotland, via Aurum Press, 2004), page 28.]

RedGrouse-Northumberland.HawsenBurn-wikipedia
RED GROUSE in Northumberland field   (Hawsen Burn photograph)

Although that one-year-old Red Grouse was “wild”, it obviously remembered some kind of kindness form the game warden’s wife.

So much for condemning the meddling “interference” of kind-hearted humans!


 

It’s A Wrap – New Jerusalem’s Twelve Foundation Stones

12 Foundations of the New Jerusalem ©YouTube

It’s A Wrap – New Jerusalem’s Twelve Foundation Stones.

“10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.” (Revelation 21:10, 18-20)

On February 16th, this journey or series was started. The last foundational stone, Amethyst, was introduced on April 11th. Trust you have enjoyed this series as much as I did putting it together. For those of you who have followed along, are you as amazed as I am about how beautiful the foundations of the New Jerusalem are going to be? Wow!

What was presented is no way near as beautiful as what we will be seeing in person. It was a human attempt to try to present these gorgeous stones and our fabulously Created Avian Wonders from our Lord. Here is a review of what the different stones are and the articles that went with this series.

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Jasper

Kaleidoscope Jasper from Oregon ©WikiC

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys) ©WikiC

Heavens New Jerusalem and Birds – Sapphire

Sapphire Gem ©WikiC

Sapphire Flycatcher (Ficedula sapphira) ©WikiC

Heavens New Jerusalem and Birds – Chalcedony

Lavendar Blue Chalcedony ©Mineral_net

Lavender Waxbill (Estrilda caerulescens) ©WikiC

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Emerald

Emerald from (Muzo Mine Boyaca Colombie) ©WikiC

Coppery-headed Emerald by Ray

Coppery-headed Emerald by Ray

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Colors

How Are We Reflecting God’s Light?

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Sardonyx

Red onyx – Handicraft ©WikiC

Two-barred Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)(White-winged) by Raymond Barlow

Two-barred Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)(White-winged) by Raymond Barlow

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Sardius

Sardius Stone ©Pinterest

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) - ©WikiC

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) – ©WikiC

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Chrysolite

Chrysolite Forsterite-Olivine ©WikiC

Yellow-green Grosbeak (Caryothraustes canadensis) ©WikiC

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Beryl

Three Colors of Beryl ©WikiC

Beryl-spangled Tanager (Tangara nigroviridis cyanescens) ©BirdPhotos.com

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Topaz

Topaz From Brazil-©NaturhistorischesMuseum-WikiC

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) ©WikiC

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Chrysoprase

Chrysoprase_(Australia) ©WikiC

Green-honeycreeper by Wilds

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Jacinth

Jacinth from Pakistan ©WikiC

Red Pileated Finch (Coryphospingus cucullatus) ©WikiC

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds –  Amethyst

Amethyst cut ©WikiCLor

Amethyst Woodstar (Calliphlox amethystina) by Dario Sanches male

Amethyst Woodstar (Calliphlox amethystina) by Dario Sanches male

Will you be there to see the glorious event happen?

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.” (Revelation 21:1-6 NKJV)

Good News Tracts

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Amethyst

Amethyst cut ©WikiC

Amethyst Woodstar (Calliphlox amethystina) by Dario Sanches male

Amethyst Woodstar (Calliphlox amethystina) by Dario Sanches male

“The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, …. the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.” (Revelation 21:19a-20 NKJV)

We have finally arrived at the last of the precious stones that will makeup the twelve foundations of New Jerusalem. I trust you have enjoyed finding out about these stones and birds that are similar in color or name. There have been many close matches and some where I missed trying to figure out what to use. Yet, you still had a chance to meet some beautiful and interesting birds from our Creator.

Amethyst ©WikiC

Amethyst. A clear quartz crystal that ranges in color from a faint purple tint to an intense purple. [NKJV MacArthur Study Bible]

Amethyst ©WikiC

Amethyst It is a pale-blue crystallized quartz, varying to a dark purple blue. It is found in Persia and India, also in different parts of Europe. [Easton Bible Dictionary]

Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus_amethysticollis) ©WikiC

Amethyst. (Hebrew, achlamah). A subspecies of quartz of a bluish-violet color. Mention is made of this precious stone, which formed the third in the third row of the high priestly breastplate, in Exo_28:19; Exo_39:12. It occurs also in Rev_21:20.

Violet-backed Starling (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster)-(Amethyst) ©©

Amethyst (Gr.: amethustos)—its color is purple. Although the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia lists it as a ruby, Robertson gives the color as purple. [J. Vernon McGee]

Hartlaub's Turaco (Tauraco hartlaubi) ©WikiC

Hartlaub’s Turaco (Tauraco hartlaubi) ©WikiC

White-crested Turaco (Tauraco leucolophus) ©WikiC

Other Articles In This Series:

Good News Tracts

Bird of the Moment – White-eared Monarch

White-eared Monarch (Carterornis leucotis) © Ian

In February we had the Satin Flycatcher as bird of the moment. This is a generally uncommon member of the Monarch Flycatcher (Monarchidae) that I’d had trouble photographing until one obligingly turned up at my bird bath last October. Here is another member of the family that is also elusive, the White-eared Monarch. It’s generally rather uncommon and it tends to stay out of sight in the foliage of tall trees so spotting it is hard and photographing it is more so.

Its movements are not well understood but it tends to move from the highlands to coastal areas in winter and is mainly a winter visitor in the Townsville region. In Where to Find Birds in North-east Queensland Jo Wieneke particularly recommends the Nelly Bay end of the Nelly Bay to Arcadia walking track along Gustav Creek on Magnetic Island, where the trees are not very tall, for this and other Monarchs and Fantails.

White-eared Monarch (Carterornis leucotis) © Ian

It so happened that we were staying on Mandalay Avenue within walking distance of the start of the track last July for the weekend workshop of the North Queensland Recorder Society so I checked out the walking track before the workshop began. Sure enough, I found all the species listed in the the ebook including a couple of pairs of White-eared Monarchs so the photographic drought was at an end.

White-eared Monarch (Carterornis leucotis) © Ian

The birds I saw on that occasion were all adults. The juveniles look confusingly different with plumage in varying shades of grey rather than black and white so I’ve included a distant photo of a juvenile taken from a boat on the Daintree River north of Cairns. If nothing else it illustrates the difficulty of finding these birds in thick foliage.

White-eared Monarch (Carterornis leucotis) Juvenile © Ian

It’s geographical range comprises the ranges and coasts of eastern Queensland from Cape York to just south of the New South Wales border north of the Tweed River. It’s rarer in the southern part of the range so North-eastern Queensland is the best place to look for it.

For the taxonomists, it is the only Australian member of a small genus whose other members are the striking Golden Monarch (C. chrysomela) of New Guinea, which is orange-yellow and black, and the White-naped and Tanimbar Monarchs (C. pileatus and C. castus, sometimes treated as a single species) of the Moluccas and Lesser Sundas east of New Guinea. These latter two look much more like the White-eared Monarch than the Golden Monarch both in colour and patterning, posing an interest problem for the bio-geographers.

Since publishing Diary of a Bird Photographer Volume 2 I’ve merged Volumes 1 and 2 and plan to publish the combined work at the end of this year, including all the 2019 Birds of the Moment. My more immediate aim was to produced a combined taxonomic index making it easy for me to see which species have been covered since 2002 and which are candidates for future BIrds of the Moment. This combined volume will be a free update to purchasers of Volume 2. Sales so far have been slow so if you want to encourage me with the Bird of the Moment, I’d encourage you to show your interest and take advantage of this offer.

Ian’s Birding Ebook

Birdway Store on Payhip

A couple of purchasers have expressed a preference for the earlier bank transfer and Dropbox download, so if you rather do that too, just let me know Ian@birdway.com.au or ianbirdway@gmail.com and I can also arrange download through the website as an alternative to Dropbox. I’ve had inquiries about giving the ebooks as gifts: contact me if you wish to do so.

Greetings,
Ian


Lee’s Addition:

Ian’s comment, in the first paragraph, caught my interest. “It’s generally rather uncommon and it tends to stay out of sight in the foliage of tall trees so spotting it is hard and photographing it is more so.” It brought to mind the verses of trusting in the shadow of God’s protection.

“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.” (Psalms 36:7 NKJV)

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalms 91:1 NKJV)

Ian’s “Moment” wasn’t so long this time. Thanks, Ian, for another interesting article about a beautiful bird.

Ian’s last Bird of the Moment was about the Gentoo Penguin.

Ian’s Bird of the Week Articles

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Jacinth

Jacinth ©WikiC

Purple Finch-male.photo-MoDept Conservation

“The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, …. the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.” (Revelation 21:19a-20 NKJV)

 

Jacinth from Pakistan ©WikiC

Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) ©Arthur Grosset

Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) ©Arthur Grosset

Jacinth. Today this stone is a transparent zircon, usually red or reddish-brown. The one John saw was blue or shining violet in color. [NKJV MacArthur Study Bible]

Jacinth from Pakistan ©WikiC

Red Pileated Finch (Coryphospingus cucullatus) ©WikiC

Jacinth – The word υακινθος, signifies hyacinth, and this, as a colour, is a deep purple. In Rev_9:17the horsemen had breastplates of fire, jacinth, and brimstone, which seem to imply flashes of coloured light. In Rev_21:20 the jacinth garnishes the eleventh foundation of the heavenly Jerusalem. It is supposed by some to be the same as the ligure. The Greek word occurs in the LXX in Ex 25:4 26:1 , &c., but is translated ‘blue.’ [Concise Bible Dictionary]

Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) Cincinnati Zoo 9-5-13 by Lee

Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) by Lee

Jacinth. A precious stone, forming one of the foundations of the walls of the new Jerusalem. Rev_21:20. Called hyacinth, in the Revised Version. This is simply a different English rendering of the same Greek original. It is probably identical with the lighure of Exo_28:19.
The jacinth or hyacinth is a red variety of zircon, which is found in square prisms of a white, gray, red, reddish-brown, yellow or pale-green color. The expression in Rev_9:17, “of jacinth,” is descriptive simply of a dark-purple color. [Smith Bible Dictionary]

Purple Glossy Starling of Tanzania aka Purple Starling

Jacinth Properly a flower of a reddish blue or deep purple (hyacinth), and hence a precious stone of that colour… (Rev_21:20). [Easton Bible Dictionary]

Reddish Egret in a rural Pondshore at Summer Rekefest

Jacinth (Gr.: huakinthi)—its color is violet. It is the color of the hyacinth. Pliny gives the color as violet. [J. Vernon McGee]

Other Articles In This Series:

Wages or a Gift?

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Chrysoprase

Chrysoprase_(Australia) ©WikiC

“The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, …. the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.” (Revelation 21:19a-20 NKJV)

Green-honeycreeper by Wilds

We are now up to the tenth precious stone layer of the New Jerusalem. Wow!! So far, all the colors of the stones and birds have been beautiful. And remember, the colors we have been showing, will be so much more spectacular in heaven!

Fruit Green Apple

Green Apples

Chrysoprase (n.) An apple-green variety of chalcedony, colored by nickel. It has a dull flinty luster, and is sometimes used in jewelry.

Golden-fronted Leafbird (Chloropsis aurifrons) by Nikhil Devasar

Golden-fronted Leafbird (Chloropsis aurifrons) by Nikhil Devasar

Chrysoprasus Golden leek, a precious stone of the colour of leek’s juice, a greenish-golden colour (Rev_21:20). [Easton’s Bible Dict.]

Purple Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes caeruleus) Female ©WikiC

CHRYSOPRASE, CHRYSOPRASUS Light-green variety of chalcedony mentioned as one the gems in foundation wall new Jerusalem… [ILumina]

Chryzopraz – Szklary, (Poland) ©WikiC

Revelation 21:20 “a chrysoprase is greenish and transparent, with gold specks;” [John Wesley notes]

Golden-eared Tanager (Tangara chrysotis) ©WikiC

While searching the Birds of the World database, the first part of this stone’s name, “chrysop” listed many birds with a yellow color, but none with Chrysoprase. So, enjoy the birds, whether are a perfect match or not. All 10,700 plus of the birds are a fantastic gift for us from their Creator.

Other Articles In This Series:

Wages or a Gift?

Feathers – From Creation Moments

Genesis 1:20

“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”

The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes feathers as “the component structure of the outer covering and flight surfaces of all modern birds”, and goes on to say: “Unique to birds, feathers apparently evolved from the scales of birds’ reptilian ancestors”.

Yet, Wikipedia does not believe feathers are unique to birds because they state in many articles that most, if not all, dinosaurs also had feathers, stating dogmatically: “Several non-avian dinosaurs had feathers on their limbs that would not have functioned for flight”. Even the Britannica article goes on to show a picture of a feathered dinosaur.

Perhaps it is easier for evolutionists to believe that dinosaurs evolved into birds if dinosaurs also had feathers. But this merely moves, rather than solves, the problem that evolutionists have in trying to establish how feathers evolved in the first place. Britannica and Wikipedia both suggest that feathers evolved from reptilian scales; yet, Wikipedia reminds us that feathers “are considered the most complex integumentary structures found in vertebrates”.

The barbs on feathers have to fit exactly into the barbules – which would be a remarkable coincidence for a chance random process. Moreover, scales, being simple structures, would have to divide over generations, in many various ways, to produce feathers. The minimum estimate is for eight evolutionary steps, none of which have been found in real life. The point must be understood – it is not that feathers are too complicated to evolve, but rather that the complexity of alleged intermediate forms is impossible to replicate without design.

Prayer: Thank You for the marvelous design we see in structures such as feathers. It is as if they bear Your signature, Lord, and point towards Your creativity of design. Amen.

Ref: Encyclopaedia Britannica, accessed 6/30/2018. Image: Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 3.0.

Creation Moments ©2019 Used with permission


Lee’s Addition:

Feathers from Britannica

Feathers really are a work of art from The Creator!

Malayan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron malacense) Feathers ©WikiC

Malayan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron malacense) Feathers ©WikiC

Peacock Feather

Peacock Feather

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) Feathers - Brevard Zoo

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) Feathers – Brevard Zoo by Lee

“Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?” (Job 39:13 KJV)

“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” (Psalms 91:4 KJV)

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Topaz

Topaz ©Flickr James St John

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) ©WikiC

“The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, …. the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.” (Revelation 21:19a-20 NKJV)

Topaz is a bit more common than Sardonyx, Sardius, and Chrysolite. Plus, there are birds with Topaz in their names. So this ninth stone of the foundation of the New Jerusalem should be easier to discover. Topaz is mentioned in five verse in the Bible: Exodus 28,17, 39:10; Job 28:19 [topaz of Ethiopia], Ezekiel 28:13, and our verse above – Revelation 21:20.

Quartz-Topaz-gem ©WikiC

Topaz – TO’PAZ, n. [Gr.] A mineral, said to be so called from Topazos, a small isle in the Arabic gulf, where the Romans obtained a stone which they called by this name, but which is the chrysolite of the moderns. The topaz is of a yellowish color. It sometimes occurs in masses, but more generally crystallized in rectangular octahedrons. Topaz is valued as a gem or precious stone, and is used in jewelry. It consists of silex, fluoric acid and alumin, in the following proportions; alumin 57 parts, silex 34, and fluoric acid 7 or 8.
Of topaz there are three subspecies, common topaz, shorlite and physalite. [Webster Dictionary 1828]

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) Reflection ©Flickr Budgora

Topaz – topazion (G5116) is mentioned in Rev_21:20, as the ninth of the foundation stones of the wall of the heavenly Jerusalem; the stone is of a yellow color (though there are topazes of other colors) and is almost as hard as the diamond. It has the power of double refraction, and when heated or rubbed becomes electric. [Vines New Testament]

Fiery Topaz (Topaza pyra) ©WikiC

Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan (Cropped by Lee)

Topaz From Brazil-©NaturhistorischesMuseum-WikiC

Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan

Ruby-Topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) male ©WikiC

Crimson Topaz (Topaza pella) ©WikiC

Bird-Wings-Wing-Colored-Ara-Parrot-©Maxpixel

Other Articles In This Series:

What will you do with Jesus?

Did Birds’ Lungs Evolve? – Creation Moments

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) ©Lucas Texas

Job 39:26-27

“Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south? Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?”

I remember buying a foot pump to inflate the tires on my first car. My choice was between two pumps. On the cheaper model, the foot operated a piston entering a cylinder in which the air would be compressed and forced through a tube into the tire. When the foot was lifted, valves prevented air getting back into the cylinder from the tire, and, instead, dragged air in from the outside. Each depression of the foot repeated this operation. In a sense, the lungs of mammals and reptiles would resemble two such pumps side by side.

The second model featured two pistons and cylinders angled in opposite directions. Pressing with the foot began the first stage of tire compression as before, but on releasing the foot, the second cylinder pushed air into the tire while the first refilled with external air. The next foot depression allowed cylinder 2 to refill while cylinder 1 pumped. Thus, there was air pumped into the tire on both depression and release of the foot. The two cylinders worked in tandem, in opposite directions. This second continuous pump is like the two lungs in a bird.

Birds Lungs ©Creation Moments PD

Even some well-known evolutionary scientists have pointed out how impossible it would be for one mechanism to evolve into the other because the transitional form would not be able to process air for breathing at all, and would suffocate. So bird lungs could not have evolved from dinosaurs, but, instead, are designed by God for exactly their purpose.

 Prayer: Father, when we think about birds, as with all other animals, we acknowledge that You have made them fit for purpose, to be able to live and work the way that You have designed them to do. Amen.

Ref: Quick, D.E and Ruben, J.A., Cardio-Pulmonary Anatomy in Theropod Dinosaurs: Implications From Extant Archosaurs, JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY 270:1232–1246 (2009), pp. 1232-1246.  Image: Public Domain.

Source: Did Birds’ Lungs Evolve?

See Interesting Things for more articles like this.

Bad Feather Day

“He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.” (Psalms 135:7 KJV)

First Woodstock had a Ruffled Feather, now he is grumbling because he is having a Bad Feather Day.

We were at Gatorland on Friday last week and it was quite winding. Some of their feathers were whipping in the breeze also. I did not see Snoopy there with a can of “Feather Spray”. Those bird just had to preen and get thing straighten out.

Great Egret on a windy day at Gatorland by Lee

Great Egret on a windy day at Gatorland

Great Egret on a windy day at Gatorland

Cattle Egret in Breeding Plumage and Wind

Cattle Egret in Breeding Plumage and Wind

Cattle Egret in Breeding Plumage and Wind and not happy about it. Where’s the Feather Spray?

Great Blue Heron before gust on a windy day at Gatorland

Great Blue Heron with gust on a windy day at Gatorland

Great Blue Heron with gust on a windy day at Gatorland

Wind is mentioned over a hundred times in the Bible. Here are two verse that show who is in control of the wind:

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” (Psalms 1:1-4 KJV)

“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:39-41 KJV)

Smoothing A Ruffled Feather

All Our Gatorland Birdwatching Trips

 

Lee’s Ancestry Adventures Blog

Broken Limb/Branch off of Tree

“O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” (Psalms 71:17-18 KJV)

Thought you might be interested in a new blog that I have started. It is in the infancy of a blog. As many of you know, I have been dealing with back problems. It has slowed our birdwatching down quite a bit. Though we did get to Gatorland Friday and will write about it soon.

Lee’s Ancestry Adventure was started a few days ago and the goal is to write about efforts and joys in attempting to trace my ancestors. Here is an excerpt from the About page:

“My family has a great heritage. We have some famous and not so famous ancestors. This blog will attempt to introduce you to some of them. Also I hope to reveal the trials and challenges of trying to trace them.

One of my goals along the way is to find out about their way of life, occupations, and whether they were religious. Especially, find out if they knew the Lord as Savior. If so, I look forward to meeting them in Heaven one day.”

I have been setting up a menu structure that will give a place to have links to the different branches of my family tree. All of this is in the beginning stages.

So far there are five articles posted. Please stop by and see what you think. Are you working on your ancestors? I always welcome advice.

I trust you will swing by and take a look. As this develops and the great-great-greats get added, it just might be that we are distant cousins. Or maybe, not so distant.

Stay Tuned!