Woodstock’s Migration Fear

As most of you are aware, the northern birds in this hemisphere, prefer to head south, but there are a few exceptions.

Common Cranes in Israel. Many species of crane gather in large groups during migration and on their wintering grounds

There are many stories of how far they migrate, how many flock together to travel together, and many other amazing feats that the Lord’s Avian Wonders perform this time of the year.

But there are a few exceptions, Woodstock being one of them:

Snoopy and Woodstock - migration fear

Snoopy and Woodstock – migration fear

“He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great.” (Psalms 115:13 KJV)

I would have loved to have had my camera handy the other morning. I was walking to the breakfast table and noticed a huge black bird through my glass sliding doors. It appeared that he was swooping up and going to land on the roof corner of our patio/lanai. I mentioned to Dan that I thought I had just seen a cormorant try to land on the roof.

While seated for breakfast, here came the bird again. This time I realized what I was seeing. [No camera handy, of course] It was a huge, immature Bald Eagle being chased by a angry Boat-tailed Grackle. Wow! He swooped up again.

Wild Immature Bald Eagle in Flight

Wild Immature Bald Eagle in Flight ©Pixers

This is similar to what it looked like underneath, but, it was a whole lot closer!!

“For thus saith the LORD; Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab.” (Jeremiah 48:40 KJV)

This happened one more time and the last time he was just about 20 to 25 feet from where I was seated. When he flew up the last time I had a great view of his head and then all those feathers under his wings as they were fully stretched out. Double WOW!

I came to the conclusion, that this must have been the first time it had been mobbed. [Even though it was just one bird.] Maybe he felt Mugged as Woodstock was worrying about.

P.S. Dan knee surgery was Monday and he is progressing quite well. Has pain, but it gets less each day. Thanks for the continued prayer.

Birds of the Bible – Deuteronomy 14:16-18 IV (WYC)

Rearmouse (Vespertilio murinus) ©WikiC

Rearmouse or Parti-colored Bat (Vespertilio murinus) ©WikiC

“16 a falcon, and a swan, and a ciconia,
17 and a dipper, a porphyrio, and a rearmouse, a cormorant,
18 and a calidris, all in their kind; also a lapwing and a bat.” Deuteronomy 14:16-18 Wycliffe Bible (WYC)

As we continue our investigation of the interesting interpretation of these three verses from Wycliffe’s Bible, we find another amazing critter. We have been looking at these verse in these recent blogs:

Normally, these verses would read something similar to this:

Deuteronomy 14:16-18 KJV
(16)  The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,
(17)  And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,
(18)  And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.

Or maybe the New American Standard’s Version:

Deuteronomy 14:16-18 NASB
(16) the little owl, the great owl, the white owl,
(17) the pelican, the carrion vulture, the cormorant,
(18) the stork, and the heron in their kinds, and the hoopoe and the bat.

Notice that all three versions us the bat in verse 18, yet now we find in Wycliff’s verse 17 a rearmouse mentioned.

According to information from the internet, the rearmouse is an archaic word used for a type of bat.

Parti-colored Bat (Vespertilio murinus) ©Flickr Rudo Jurecek

Parti-colored Bat (Vespertilio murinus) ©Flickr Rudo Jurecek

The parti-coloured bat or rearmouse (Vespertilio murinus) is a species of vesper bat that lives in temperate Eurasia.

Their twittering call, similar to a bird’s call, are to be heard particularly in the autumn during the mating season. The parti-coloured bat has a body size of 4.8–6.4 centimetres (1.9–2.5 in) with a wingspan of 26–33 cm (10–13 in), and a weight of 11–24 grams (0.39–0.85 oz). Its name is derived from its fur, which has two colours. Its back (dorsal side) is red to dark-brown, with silver-white-frosted hair. The ventral side is white or grey. The ears, wings and face are black or dark brown. The wings are narrow. The ears are short, broad and roundish. The highest known age is 12 years.

The Websters 1913 addition has this about it:

Reremouse
(1):
(n.) The leather-winged bat (Vespertilio murinus).
(2):
(n.) A rearmouse.

Parti-coloured bat or Rearmouse Wikipedia

This version, Wycliffe’s Bible Version, was taken from Bible Gateways site.

The Bat has already been written about in these two articles:

Birds of the Bible

What is the Gospel?

Whoa!! From My Window

View Though Patio Door

When I showed the first From My Window, you could see this is just a neighborhood with a small retention pond behind our home. Well, the latest photo, taken by Dan, came as a surprise.

While I was finishing up my breakfast, I noticed, what I thought was a crumpled up paper on the other side of the bank. I kept watching as it “floated” toward our side of the pond. As it got closer, I mentioned to Dan that it looked like two eyes. I stopped eating and walked to the door so I could watch closer.

WHOA!!

Finally, my suspicions were verified. A back popped up behind those eyes. AN ALLIGATOR!!!

Alligator in pond between the yards. By Dan

Dan’s camera was handy, but he didn’t have his zoom lens on. So this is the best we could do. Here is the photo after I cropped it.

Alligator in pond between the yards. Zoomed By Dan

Alligator in pond between the yards. Zoomed By Dan

It was not a very large one, maybe four or five feet long. Just a guess. I have been watching for it since Thursday, but so far haven’t seen it again.

We have noticed all the ducks that were around the pond have disappeared. They must have flown off to one of the other ponds in the neighborhood. Playing it safe. I doubt that the gator could have eaten all of them in one day. We saw the ducks on Wednesday.

I did watch an Anhinga swimming with just his head up today. Typical for the Anhingas, but he came out after a while without getting eaten. Plus, a Great Blue Heron safely fished along the bank today. So, maybe Mr. Beedie Eyes [as I have named him] has left.

Stay Tuned!!

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Galatians 5:14-15 NKJV)

“Then he said to them, “The LORD had better be with you when I let you and your little ones go! Beware, for evil is ahead of you.” (Exodus 10:10 NKJV)

 

Wow!! Two Million And Counting!!

Snowy Egret Viera Wetlands – 12-31-2018 by Lee

“Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O LORD, And I will sing praises to Your name.” (Psalms 18:49 NASB)

Thank You!!, Thank You!! again for all visits and views of this blog. Last night (Oct 31, 2019) sometime the counter flipped over the Two Million mark on the visitor counter on the left side of the blog.

2 Million Views

2 Million Views

Here’s a closer view:

Close-up of Two Million Views

Close-up of Two Million Views

On October 20th in 2013, we hit the One Million Mark. See:

Thank You – One Million And Counting!

Now, here we are just a tad over 6 years to the two million mark. Who ever thought that we would still be blogging after all these years. We have now been using WordPress for over 11 years, and the blog is almost 12 years old. It was begun in February 2008, but when it was moved to WordPress the counter was reset.

I am so thankful to the Lord for letting this blog be used to present His beautifully Created birds. Also, without you readers, it would not have been successful. Thank You for every visit, pages viewed, and the many comments. Those comments have come many times when I was thinking of quitting and giving up. But, just when I needed a little extra encouragement, along came a comment that was perfectly timed to keep me going.

Red-crested Turaco at Brevard Zoo by Lee

After these many years, we have met so many people from around the world, and many have become personal friends. [At least I consider you personal friends.]

Also, those that write for the blog have made great contributions: James J.S. Johnson. or Dr. Jim, as I call him; Emma Foster and her Emma’s Stories, have been two of the newest writers used during this six year span. Also, Golden Eagle drops by occasionally. Our Ian Montgomery has provide numerous post from his birding adventures.

“God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:21-22 NASB)

Thank you, Lord, for giving us so many birds to learn and write about. Thank you, readers, for every visit to this blog. I trust that the Lord will allow me the wisdom, strength, and curiosity about the Avian Wonders from His Hand to keep writing about them.

Stay Tuned!

Feeding White Ibises at Lake Morton, by Lee [Dr. J.J.S. Johnson, Baron, and Dan]

Ian’s Bird of the Moment – Sunbittern

Ian’s Bird of the Moment – Sunbittern

by Ian Montgomery

I’ve recently returned from a three week trip to South America with Trish, a close, birding friend of mine from Townsville. Our main destination was the Pantanal in western Brazil, a wetland famous for birds and jaguars, where we spent two weeks. On the way back to Australia we had a five day stopover in Santiago, Chile, fortunately before the recent unrest started. The red marker on the map below indicates the city of Cuiabá in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. This is the usual gateway to the Pantanal and is serviced by regular, direct flights from São Paulo on the east coast.
brazil.jpg
The Pantanal floods an area of perhaps 150,000 square kilometres southwest of Cuiabá during the wet season, November to March, and then gradually drains south during the dry season via the Paraguay River. As it does so, the wildlife becomes increasingly concentrated in the remaining water, providing the best opportunities for viewing wildlife from about July until October. Road access is provided by the Transpantaneira, a 150 km gravel road which runs through the northern Pantanal from Poconé, 100km south of Cuiabá, to Porto Jofre as on the map below.
cuaiaba_porto_jofre.jpg
The Transpantaneira was planned as an overland route to Bolivia, but only got as far as the rather wide Rio São Laurenço at Porto Jofre. The road has about 150 bridges of variable quality. These are steadily being upgraded to cater for the tourist traffic but some of the remaining wooden bridges – the one below is one of the worst – aren’t for the faint-hearted. Rather than take an expensive guided tour, we made our own arrangements, renting an SUV in Cuiabá, booking accommodation at three wildlife lodges via the internet and acquiring a working knowledge of Brazilian Portuguese.
transpantaneira_6886-ps.jpg
Two of these lodges, or Pousadas in Portuguese, were in the northern part south of Poconé and were primarily birding lodges, while the third, the Jaguar Lodge, about 40 km north of Porto Jofre, provided opportunities for boat trips from Porto Jofre to view Jaguars in the area named the Parque Estadual Encontro das Aguas on the second map (“Meeting of the Waters State Park”).
sunbittern_203029-pp.jpg
Trish and I had overlapping priorities: top of her list was perhaps the Jaguar as some years ago she had done field work on Lions and Leopards in Africa; my list had about twelve species of birds selected on various criteria including beauty, strangeness and taxonomic uniqueness. Right at the top of my list was the Sunbittern which qualified on all criteria. I’ll say a bit more about its taxonomy later but it first attracted my attention in 2015 when I found out that the only (and rather distant) relative of the Kagu of New Caledonia is the Central and South American Sunbittern.
sunbittern_203368-pp.jpg
Our first lodge was the Pousada Rio Claro, named after the river on which it was situated. The lodge offered two-hour boat trips on the river and for a relatively modest extra fee, private boat trips were available so we did two of those. We had the same boatman on both but it wasn’t until the second one that we managed to convince him that our main target was the Sunbittern. After one and a half hours of diligent searching in riverside vegetation, sharp-eyed Trish spotted one (first photo) hunting for food in a dense and gloomy swamp beside the river and our skilful boatman managed to approach it silently so that I could get photos. Missão comprida, as they say in Portuguese.
sunbittern_206468-pp.jpg
Later that day, we went for a drive along the Pantaneira and stopped at a muddy pond beside the road to see what was around. To our great surprise, a Sunbittern wandered out of the surrounding vegetation in full sunlight (second photo), proving once again that difficult to find birds have a habit of appearing readily once the spell has been broken by seeing the first.  In size, 43-48 cm/17-19 in long, they were smaller and more delicate-looking than I’d expected. Their intricately patterned plumage is very beautiful and wonderfully cryptic. The vertical bars on the body and the horizontal lines on the head break up its outline in a remarkable way both in the shade of the forest and in bright sunlight.
sunbittern_206483-pp.jpg
They feed on a variety of aquatic prey, both vertebrate and invertebrate. Their technique is stealth (third photo) followed by a lighting strike (fourth photo) which is wonderful to watch.
sunbittern_205409-pp.jpg
The Sunbittern normally appears cryptic but when it spreads its wings, in flight or in display, it reveals the spectacular pattern on the flight feathers that gives it its name. These are like huge eyes – similar to the wings of some butterflies – and are used both as threat display and in courtship. We found that Sunbitterns are reluctant to fly and when disturbed tend to walk away and hide in dense vegetation. The fifth photo shows one in flight and provides a glimpse of the wings, but it wasn’t until towards the end of our stay in the Pantanal that I managed to get a photo of one spreading its wing in preparation for flight (sixth photo).
sunbittern_206435-pp.jpg
The classification of the Sunbittern has historically been a headache for taxonomists. Morphologically, it bears some resemblance to herons and rails (which aren’t related to each other) and has traditionally been placed in the order Gruiformes which includes the Cranes, Rails and Bustards. Recent studies (e.g. Hackett et al. 2008) which combine the fields of evolution and genomics (the study of  genes) have found that the Sunbittern and the Kagu (below) belong to the same ancient lineage which arose during the same epoch as the other major groups of birds. Consequently, a new order has been created, the Eurypygiformes, containing two families each with a single species, the Eurypgidae (Sunbittern) and the Rhynochetidae (the Kagu). The two species don’t look very similar, but the Kagu also has a banded pattern on the wings used in display.
kagu_166992.jpg
Unlike the flightless, endangered Kagu, endemic to New Caledonia, the Sunbittern is widespread through Central and South America from Guatemala to Bolivia and Brazil in suitable habitats combining forest and water. The Pantanal, incidentally, is near the southern end of its distribution. How one species ended up in New Caledonia and the other in the Americas is an interesting problem for biogeographers.
Greetings
Ian

Ian’s Birds of the “Moment” always surprise me. When he wrote all the Birds of the Week posts, he was very regular. Now?? Whenever the “moment” arrives, I am delighted. So, here is his latest. The Sunbittern is also a favorite of ours. Especially, when the one at Lowry Park Zoo (Zoo Tampa now) opened its wings up for a good view.

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.| (Psalms 96:6 NASB)

“How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!” (Romans 10:15 NASB)

More of Ian’s Birds of the Week, Moment

Good News

Tickle Me Tuesday – Owls With A Message

My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word.” (Psalms 119:148 NKJV)

Most of us don’t need coffee to open our eyes, but some do. Owls would not need to worry about being awake during the night watches, because that is when they are most active.

Just thought you might enjoy a few “tickles” from the Owl family members.

Coffee Owls ©Pinterest

Try This – Boreal Owl ©Robbie George Photos

“At the noise of the stamping hooves of his strong horses, At the rushing of his chariots, At the rumbling of his wheels, The fathers will not look back for their children, Lacking courage,” (Jeremiah 47:3 NKJV)

Moist Owlet ©Pinterest

Owl You Need Is Love ©Pinterest

“But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;” (1 Thessalonians 4:9 NKJV)

Owls and a Kitten ©Pinterest

Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NASB)

Birds of the Bible – Deuteronomy 14:16-18 III (WYC)

Framed Purple Gallinule by Dan

Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica) by Dan

“16 a falcon, and a swan, and a ciconia,
17 and a dipper, a porphyrio, and a rearmouse, a cormorant,
18 and a calidris, all in their kind; also a lapwing and a bat.” Deuteronomy 14:16-18 Wycliffe Bible (WYC)

Now here is an interesting interpretation of these 3 verses. We are going to look at these verse in a few blogs. Normally, these verses would read something similar to this:

Deuteronomy 14:16-18 KJV
(16)  The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,
(17)  And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,
(18)  And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.

Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) ©WikiC

Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) ©WikiC

or like this:

Deuteronomy 14:16-18 NKJV
(16)  the little owl, the screech owl, the white owl,
(17)  the jackdaw, the carrion vulture, the fisher owl,
(18)  the stork, the heron after its kind, and the hoopoe and the bat.

Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) by Bob-Nan

Or maybe the New American Standard’s Version:

Deuteronomy 14:16-18 NASB
(16) the little owl, the great owl, the white owl,
(17) the pelican, the carrion vulture, the cormorant,
(18) the stork, and the heron in their kinds, and the hoopoe and the bat.

Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) ©WikiC parent and chick

In the first post about the Wycliffe translation, the Dipper was mentioned. Part II was about the Circonia or Stork. Now, let’s look at the third bird – Part III in these verses from the Wycliffe’s

“The Porphyrio is the swamphen or swamp hen bird genus in the rail family. It includes some smaller species which are usually called “purple gallinules”, and which are sometimes separated as genus Porphyrula or united with the gallinules proper (or “moorhens”) in Gallinula. The Porphyrio gallinules are distributed in the warmer regions of the world.”

“The genus Porphyrio was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 with the western swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) as the type species. The genus name Porphyrio is the Latin name for “swamphen”, meaning “purple”.

Another point about this name Porphyrio that the name used for the Order and the Family use a similar name:

Check out a previous article in more depth about these birds: Name Study of the Swamphen or Waterhen

This version, Wycliffe, was taken from Bible Gateways site.

Birds of the Bible

Wordless Birds

Birds of the Bible – Deuteronomy 14:16-18 II (WYC)

Storm's Stork (Ciconia stormi) ©©SanDiegoShooter

Storm’s Stork (Ciconia stormi) ©©SanDiegoShooter

“16 a falcon, and a swan, and a ciconia,
17 and a dipper, a porphyrio, and a rearmouse, a cormorant,
18 and a calidris, all in their kind; also a lapwing and a bat.” Deuteronomy 14:16-18 Wycliffe Bible (WYC)

Now here is an interesting interpretation of these 3 verses. We are going to look at these verse in a few blogs. Normally, these verses would read something similar to this:

Deuteronomy 14:16-18 KJV
(16)  The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,
(17)  And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,
(18)  And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.

or like this:

Deuteronomy 14:16-18 NKJV
(16)  the little owl, the screech owl, the white owl,
(17)  the jackdaw, the carrion vulture, the fisher owl,
(18)  the stork, the heron after its kind, and the hoopoe and the bat.

Or maybe the New American Standard’s Version:

Deuteronomy 14:16-18 NASB
(16) the little owl, the great owl, the white owl,
(17) the pelican, the carrion vulture, the cormorant,
(18) the stork, and the heron in their kinds, and the hoopoe and the bat.

In the first post about the Wycliff translation, the Dipper was mentioned.

Since names change sometimes in translations, our new one seems to be a bit strange. This is not as hard to figure out. Ciconia is the Latin name used to for a genus of Storks.  See Wikipedia. One of the differences here is that it shows up in verse 16 and not in verse 18 as these mentioned. Whatever, it is still a kind of bird that was not to be eaten. It (Circonia) is used today for these Storks:

Wet Abdin’s Ibis at Jacksonville Zoo by Dan

Abdim’s Stork (Ciconia abdimii)

Woolly-necked Stork

Woolly-necked stork (Ciconia episcopus)

Storm’s Stork (Ciconia stormi) by Dan at Zoo Miami

Storm’s Stork (Ciconia stormi)

Maguari Stork (Ciconia maguari) ©©ClaudioTimm

Maguari Stork (Ciconia maguari) ©©ClaudioTimm

Maguari Stork (Ciconia maguari)

Oriental Stork (Ciconia boyciana) ©©Hiyashi Haka

Oriental Stork (Ciconia boyciana) ©©Hiyashi Haka

Oriental Stork (Ciconia bouciana)

Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) ©WikiC

Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) ©WikiC

Black Stork (Ciconia nigra)

Another point about this name Ciconia is that the name used for the Order and the Family use a similar name:

Maybe, the Ciconia could be referring to the whole Order of Storks. See Birds of the Bible – Storks or Wikipedia Storks. I believe that is what most of the translations is indicating.

This version, Wycliffe, was taken from Bible Gateways site.

Birds of the Bible

Wordless Birds

Birds of the Bible – Deuteronomy 14:16-18 (WYC)

Brown Dipper (Cinclus pallasii) WikiC

Brown Dipper (Cinclus pallasii) WikiC

“16 a falcon, and a swan, and a ciconia,
17 and a dipper, a porphyrio, and a rearmouse, a cormorant,
18 and a calidris, all in their kind; also a lapwing and a bat.” Deuteronomy 14:16-18 Wycliffe Bible (WYC)

Now here is an interesting interpretation of these 3 verses. We are going to look at these verse in a few blogs. Normally, these verses would read something similar to this:

American White Pelicans at Lake Hollingsworth

Deuteronomy 14:16-18 KJV
(16)  The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,
(17)  And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,
(18)  And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.

or like this:

Western Jackdaw (Coloeus monedula) ©WikiC

Western Jackdaw (Coloeus monedula) ©WikiC

Deuteronomy 14:16-18 NKJV
(16)  the little owl, the screech owl, the white owl,
(17)  the jackdaw, the carrion vulture, the fisher owl,
(18)  the stork, the heron after its kind, and the hoopoe and the bat.

Or maybe the New American Standard’s Version:

Deuteronomy 14:16-18 NASB
(16) the little owl, the great owl, the white owl,
(17) the pelican, the carrion vulture, the cormorant,
(18) the stork, and the heron in their kinds, and the hoopoe and the bat.

The bird that caught my attention first was the Dipper. A Dipper?? Nothing similar to a Pelican or a Jackdaw are they? Huh? Well at least a Pelican dips into the water for its fish. But a Jackdaw? Not very similar to the Dipper, other than they are both dark colored.

Since names change sometimes in translations, this one seems to be a bit strange. [At least to me] Stay tuned as we look further into these different birds. Do you have an idea as to how these birds vary in the translations?

This version, Wycliffe, was taken from Bible Gateways site.

Birds of the Bible

Wordless Birds

Ted and Red – By Emma Foster

House Finch male ©Glenn Bartley-Wichita StateU

Ted and Red

by Emma Foster

Once there were two finches named Ted and Red who were brothers. They lived in two trees that had been planted next to each other. Their trees were in a courtyard by a museum, which provided them with plenty of shade because Florida was almost always hot. Both birds had many friends in the courtyard.

The birds spent most of their time flying around the beaches and hectic streets searching for food or just having fun watching the different tourists around the coast. Many times, people on the dock would feed them breadcrumbs.

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

But as summer came, the days grew hotter and longer, and there were many rainy days. Ted and Red stayed in their nests most of the time under the protection of their large shady trees. Their friends stayed in their little homes too: the fish remained comfortable in their pond, the two cranes who lived nearby nestled in their nests in the bushes, and the black snake stayed in his small hole in the grass.

House Finch Resting

One day when there wasn’t much rain, Red went out to search for some food. While he was gone, the clouds grew black, and Red knew he needed to hurry home. However, when he reached the courtyard, the rain poured down harder, and Red couldn’t see very well. He flew toward a light that he saw up ahead and accidentally flew into the museum, sliding across the slippery floor. Red knocked against a small object, sending it crashing to the ground. An alarm went off somewhere, and Red quickly flew back outside and into his nest, where he told Ted what had happened. The rain slowly lessened, and the alarm stopped. Several museum employees had to clean up the mess. Red felt terrible for breaking the vase, but Ted and their friends told him it was an accident and it wasn’t his fault.

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) by Raymond Barlow

Just then, another alarm went off, and someone ran out of one of the entrances, holding a large vase. Ted, Red, and their friends thought fast. The fish quickly pointed to the machine that visitors inserted quarters into to obtain fish food to throw to the fish. Ted and Red flew against it and beat on it with their feet as hard as they could, while the two cranes beat their wings against it. The black snake followed behind the man in case he turned around, hoping that the man would be too scared to step over him. The fish food spilled across the walkway, and the man stealing the vase fell over, while the security guards ran after him and caught him. The security guards were afraid to step over the black snake too. Ted and Red flew back into their nests. Red felt much better afterwards, knowing that he made up for his earlier mistake.

House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) by Ian

House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) by Ian

Ted and Red spent the rest of their summer with their friends in the courtyard. From then on, whenever it rained Ted and Red were careful to stay in their comfortable nests. To their friends, they were now considered honorary security guards.


What an interesting story, Emma. I trust our readers enjoy it as much as I do. The teamwork of this mixture of critters reminds us of how, as Christians, we work together, even though we have different gifts. The seems to blend us together to accomplish His Will.

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7 ESV)

See More of Emma’s Stories

From My Window

View Though Patio Door

I apologize for the lack of post lately. We recently purchased a new home and have been in the process of moving. Needless to say, the computer was packed up and also moved. When we finally got it up and running, the internet went down in a hugh area.

We haven’t moved in years, and this has been quite an experience. It is amazing how many things that can be re-discovered while packing or unpacking. It is also amazing, how things we packed haven’t been discovered yet. Boxes, Boxes, Everywhere Boxes. :)

So, that helps explain the lack of blogs [actually none] for awhile.

Our new backyard has a retention channel behind it about 40 to 50 feet across. While we are eating, we can see that area and have enjoyed building a list of birds seen from the table.

Great Blue Heron on other side

A Great Blue Heron has visited and sat on the other side several times. The Snowy Egret walked along the bank with his yellow feet showing. A Little Blue Heron also came by about the same time a Tricolored Heron took a stroll along the bank.

Great Blue Heron on our side

We have also seen a couple of either female Mallards or Mottled Ducks swimming in the water.

Almost forgot the Great Egret that visited.

Great Egret through screen

The yucking Muscovy Ducks seem to own this pond and yonder bank. There is a group of ten of them swimming and resting everyday, so far. [We have been here one week now.]

“Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.” (Psalms 116:5 KJV)

The Lord has been very gracious to us and we thank Him for our new house and the energy that we’ve somehow found to move. We only moved about four miles, but it is still very tiring.

Great Blue Heron on our side up close

I can’t wait to see what we will see through our windows and door as the “Winter” birds stop by. Lord willing, there should be posts again soon.

Good News

Tickle Me Tuesday – Smiling Penguins

In 2013, this post called Smiling Penguins was produced and should cause a “tickle.” Also, Emma Foster’s “Lizzy and the Penguin Catapult” is also worth re-reading.

Chinstrap Penguin direct look

Chinstrap Penguin direct look

When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them. (Job 29:24 NIV)

I know Our Lord has such kind and loving attributes. Also, I believe He has a sense of humor. Having just written about the “peach fuzz” penguin, I came across this Penguin family member. The Chinstraps.

 Chinstrap Penguins (Orne Island)

Chinstrap Penguins (Orne Island)

Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones; And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart. (Psalms 32:11 NASB)

Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarcticus) by Bob-Nan

Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarcticus) by Bob-Nan

Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. (Proverbs 31:25 NASB – virtuous woman)

Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarcticus) ©WikiC

Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarcticus) ©WikiC

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV)

Smile And Sing

When the heart is heavy and the days are long,
Let each passing moment echo with a song.
Fill some life with courage, comfort now the sad—
Many lives are lonely, you can make them glad.

Refrain

Smile and sing, some happy, happy song,
Days of sadness will not tarry long;
Smile and sing, ’twill drive the clouds away—
Smile and sing thro’ every passing day.

Someone needs the comfort that a song can bring,
If thy heart is happy let it gaily sing.
Someone’s pathway brighten, lift some load of care—
Seek some heart to brighten, and its burden share.

Refrain

Smile and sing, some happy, happy song,
Days of sadness will not tarry long;
Smile and sing, ’twill drive the clouds away—
Smile and sing thro’ every passing day.

Many are in sorrow and the clouds hang low,
You can cheer and comfort as you onward go.
Win some soul for Jesus, from the path of shame
Giving all the glory to His precious Name.

Refrain

Smile and sing, some happy, happy song,
Days of sadness will not tarry long;
Smile and sing, ’twill drive the clouds away—
Smile and sing thro’ every passing day.

(Words & Music: Grant C. Tull­ar, 1899)

Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) ©WikiC

Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) ©WikiC

Lizzy and the Penguin Catapult ~ by Emma Foster

Once there was a penguin named Lizzy who lived with many other penguins in cold Antarctica.

As the penguins traveled through the winter, Lizzy watched with great interest all the eggs that lay on the penguin dad’s feet. Lizzy was too young to go fishing with all the mother penguins that year, so she was traveling with the father penguins to someplace slightly warmer.

Emperor with egg on feet ©WikiC

Emperor with egg on feet ©WikiC

Eventually all of the penguins came to an enormous, icy lake that was too large to go around. The penguin parents huddled together and decided to build a catapult out of some wood they brought with them to build their homes. The catapult would shoot penguins one at a time over the lake. The penguins decided this because the dad penguins could not cross the lake with eggs; and, if they all traveled across it at once, the ice might break. The penguins decided the eggs would be safe because there was a lot of snow on the other side of the lake which would cushion their landing.

Gentoo Penguin - Paradise Bay

Gentoo Penguin – Paradise Bay

Lizzy helped build the catapult and it wasn’t long before it was finally completed.

The first penguin had to be launched by the catapult, but no penguin was willing to do it. Lizzy was a brave penguin and decided to go first.

The catapult was launched, and Lizzy flew through the air. She was actually flying!

Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) by Bob-Nan

Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) by Bob-Nan

Lizzy landed softly and safely in the snow on the other side of the lake and waved to the other penguins. One by one, the rest of the penguins catapulted over the lake with the eggs. When they were all safely on the other side, they traveled to their new home.

The End

See:

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