“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
As I sit in my backyard, enjoying some springtime sunshine while writing this script, my eyes are drawn to a pair of shapes, silhouetted against a bright sky, circling over the Cowlitz River. They look dark from where I am sitting, but I know that if they landed, they would not be so dark, and they would have white heads. They are eagles. A pair of them have been around this area since we moved here about three years ago.
I love the way that eagles seem to fly as if they are not flying. They catch the air currents, and their large outstretched wings enjoy a lift force which is not from their own muscles, but from those air currents. To maintain that height for so long by their own muscle power would be too tiring for such large, flying birds.
The way that these eagles soar is used in the Bible as a beautiful illustration of God’s grace. In Isaiah 40:31 we read:
“They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
One can imagine that getting into the air, and flying high would cause the eagle to lose energy. But then it can rest and renew its strength. The Lord reminds us, through the things that He has created, that we should wait upon Him and rely on His strength.
Prayer: Help us, Father God, to wait for You, and to renew our strength through the grace that You give us. Amen.
I was excited several weeks ago when the Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks started showing back up from their summer haunts. Then the Alligator showed up, and they flew off to safer waters.
This last week, one of the alligators came up on our back yard. Dan called me, but by the time I got to the window, it had returned to the water. I was able to take this video:
So now, it is really quiet out back. Just found out yesterday that there are actually three of them back there. Yep, it’s quiet around here for birdwatching!!!
“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;” (1 Thessalonians 4:11 KJV)
Along with this excitement, and boring birdwatching, my computer has still been giving me problems. So, I have been sort of “quiet” on posting here. Yet, I have been busy doing things around the house. With Covid still hanging around, even though we are vaccinated, we are older and are just staying home much more than normal.
Hopefully, things will pick up soon, and the computer will behave. Stay tuned! Just checking in.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” (Psalms 91:1-2 KJV)
We had a fantastic message yesterday from our Pastor, Dave Totman. It was based on Psalm 91, “Shadow of the Almighty.”
Needless to say, there were many references to our Creator’s Avian Wonders. Just thought you would enjoy watching this.
Praise the Lord for His watch care and protection of us!
Gathering Her Chicks Under Her Wings
“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;” (Psalms 91:4-5 KJV)
Here is a Killdeer protecting her eggs from a farm tractor. Almost hard to watch. [But it turns out okay!]
Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) by Robert Scanlon. Now there’s a Burmese Collard Dove (Streptopelia xanthocycla) split off from it.
Wow! Since I last updated the World Bird List here on this site, 154 new Species have been added, 4 Ordershave been added, 2 Families have been added, and 52 Genera have been added in the last two years.
The IOC World Bird List 9.2 contains 10,758 extant species (and 158 extinct species) classified in 40Orders, 250Families and 2,320 Genera. The list also includes 20,034 subspecies, their ranges and authors.
Mountain Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula badia) by Ian. Now there’s a Malabar Imperial Pigeon Ducula cuprea is split from Mountain Imperial Pigeon Ducula badia.
This is the new count:
Version 11.2 (July 15, 2021)
The IOC World Bird List 11.2 contains 10,912 extant species (and 160 extinct species) classified in 44 Orders, 252 Families and 2,372 Genera. The list also includes 19,889 subspecies, their ranges and authors.
Over the next few days, (or weeks) I hope to update our pages to the current list. Because of Covid concerns (no birding), and some health issues, I have neglected to update these. I am curious as to what they have added and deleted in the last few years. Stay tuned!
“For I am the LORD, I change not;” (Malachi 3:6 KJV)
Thankfully, Our Lord does not change!!
I did list some of the changes to the 10.1 version, but didn’t update the site. See:
Q: Are today’s birds genealogical ‘cousins’ to today’s reptiles, due to a shared (evolutionary) ancestry?
A: No. However, birds and reptiles share the same Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who created them to share the same earth.
All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
1st Corinthians 15:39
According to the evolutionary sequence of [imagined] events, birds are supposed to have evolved from reptiles.3
If that had occurred in the past, which it did not, it would mean that today’s birds—such as robins and roadrunners—would be distant ‘cousins’ of reptiles—such as cobras and crocodiles.
The Darwinian tale portrays today’s birds as winged dinosaurs who supposedly survived a global ‘extinction event’ that supposedly occurred about 66,000,000 years ago.1,2
Is there any eyewitness report supporting this magical scenario, or even evidence of any such timeframe? No and no.4,5
Although there are myriads of errors in this sensational speculation, only a few of which are mentioned here.
In particular, this pseudoscience scenario requires swallowing at least three invalid and drastic premises:
(1) the assumption that reptiles are not fundamentally different from birds;3 and
(2) the assumption that a secret agent (oxymoronically named “Natural Selection”, as if “its” naturalistic outcomes were intended) can accidently invent—and then successfully secure(i.e., genetically “lock down”)—such traumatic transitional transmogrifications;5 and
(3) the assumption that any such transitions’ biochemical and genetic details, in defiance of entropy’s universal destructiveness, repeatedly escaped thermodynamic reality.5
For starters, just imagine the first-listed problem, i.e., the complicated anatomical and physiological differences between birds and reptiles:
birds have hollow bones; reptiles, except for marrow cavities, have solid bones.
birds use air sacs for non-stop unidirectional (one-way) airflow through their lungs; most reptiles have two-way breathing systems.
birds are endothermic (warm-blooded), actively controlling their body “thermostats”; reptiles are mostly ectothermic (cold-blooded).
birds have muscle-controlled feathers; reptiles have dry skins or scales.
birds have four-chambered hearts; reptiles usually have three-chambered hearts.
Most birds have major muscles anchored to their front, attached to a keeled sternum (breastbone), facilitating perching; reptiles’ main muscles anchor to their vertebral column (backbone), attached in arrangements conducive for standing, walking, and running.2
So don’t expect reptiles to accidentally change their genes to produce birds as descendants!
As Australian creation scientist Fiona Smith once said:
In other words, you don’t just put feathers on a reptile and then it can fly. There are a multitude of [essential] attributes, all working together, that make a bird fly.2
There is much more proof—to borrow Dr. Frank Sherwin’s observations—that birds have always (and only) been birds, and that reptiles have always (and only) been reptiles.
1 For centuries evolutionists have proposed the notion that birds somehow evolved from reptiles, imagining “feathered dinosaurs” or dinosaur-like flying reptiles (like pterodactyls) as speculative ‘transitional’ animals. Burnett, R. W., H. I, Fisher, and H. S. Zim. 1958. Zoology: An Introduction to the Animal Kingdom. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 5-7, 13-17, 72-75; Zim, H. S., and I N. Gabrielson. 1964. Birds: A Guide to the Most Familiar American Birds. New York, NY: Golden Press, 12-13.
2 “Birds are incredible flying (and occasionally non-flying) machines. The Creator has designed these creatures with specialized flight apparatus, an amazing respiratory system, not to mention unbelievable migration and navigation abilities.” Sherwin, F. 2006. A ‘One-Hundred-Million-Year-Old Bird’ Is Still a Bird. Creation Science Update (June 20, 2006). See also Johnson, J. J. S. 2020. Wandering Albatross: Wide Wings on the Winds. Creation Science Update (July 2, 2020), citing Job 39:26-27 as illustrating God’s bioengineering that enables heavy birds to efficiently use wind current for launching their heavier-than-air bodies into the sky.
3 Smith, F. 2015. Evidence for Creation: A Tour through Some East-Australian Zoos. Fremantle, Western Australia: Vivid Publishing, 164-165 (quotation), 251. Fiona Smith, an Australian professional geoscientist and science educator, graduated ICR’s School of Biblical Apologetics, during 2015 with a Master of Christian Education degree (joint major in Biblical Education & Apologetics).
4 Regarding the need for reliable eyewitnesses, to learn the truth about unique events of the no-longer-observable past, see Johnson, J. J. S. 2016. There’s Nothing Like an Eyewitness. Acts & Facts. 45(12):20.
5 Regarding the ubiquitous and inescapable destructiveness of biochemical entropy, see Johnson, J. J. S. 2018. Infinite Time Won’t Rescue Evolution. Acts & Facts. 47(6):21. Regarding the animistic role that selectionists imagine “nature” as playing, in order to “favor” or “select” a series of genetic mutations for producing phenotypically survivability-“fit” outcomes, see Guliuzza, R. 2011. Darwin’s Sacred Imposter: The Illusion that Natural Selection Operates on Organisms. Acts & Facts. 50 (12).
I stated that, “A good friend of mine, Rhonda Sawtelle, (Create a Positive Day), has been posting every day on her Facebook a different attribute of our Lord God. She has been going through them alphabetically. What if each day, we had a different attribute and a bird that starts with that same letter. My challenge is to try to at least get through the alphabet at least once. Maybe several rounds. Stay tuned!” [By the way, she still has her blog.] I did manage to come up with at least an attribute and a bird for each letter of the alphabet, though I pushed it a few times, like with “X”.
If you would like to review them, or see them for the first time, see below. You can also find this list in the left menu as Avian and Attributes.
This morning we finally had a new visitor to the neighborhood. It has been rather quiet lately, plus my computer has been a having major problems. I think it is back up and running properly, I hope.
Any way, this morning while enjoying breakfast, we spotted our bird across the way on the neighbor’s roof. Checking our list of “backyard” birds, this is a new one for here. Zooming as best as can be, I believe this is juvenile or immature Red-tailed Hawk.
“Red-tailed Hawks are large, sharp-taloned birds that can be aggressive when defending nests or territories. They frequently chase off other hawks, eagles, and Great Horned Owls. Courting birds fly with legs hanging beneath them, or chase and swoop after each other, sometimes locking talons (see Cool Facts). Mated pairs typically stay together until one of the pair dies.” [All About Birds]
People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.
Christianity doesn’t guarantee a smooth flight, but it does provide a safe landing.
You can’t see where you’re going if you’re always looking backward..
Truths To Consider:
“Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, And spread its wings toward the south?” (Job 39:26 NKJV) “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching.” (Luke 12:37a NKJV)
Every since my first encounter with a Painted Bunting, they have been one of top favorites. [notice I have lots of favorites :)] When we lived in south Florida, I turned to look out my window and saw one of the Avian Wonders on my feeder hanging under the awning. Wow!!! I am sure my eyes were about ready to pop out!! What a beauty! This definitely qualifies for a Paintbrush Bird. In fact, it looks like the Creator had several bushes with a dab of color on each and painted these gorgeous birds.
The male painted bunting is often described as the most beautiful bird in North America and as such has been nicknamed nonpareil, or “without equal”. Its colors, dark blue head, green back, red rump, and underparts, make it extremely easy to identify, but it can still be difficult to spot since it often skulks in foliage even when it is singing. The plumage of female and juvenile painted buntings is green and yellow-green, serving as camouflage. Once seen, the adult female is still distinctive, since it is a brighter, truer green than other similar songbirds.
The juveniles have two inserted molts in their first autumn, each yielding plumage like an adult female.
The painted bunting occupies typical habitat for a member of its family. It is found in thickets, woodland edges with riparian thickets, shrubbery and brushy areas. In the east, the species breeds in maritime hammocks and scrub communities. Today, it is often found along roadsides and in suburban areas, and in gardens with dense, shrubby vegetation. The wintering habitat is typically the shrubby edges along the border of tropical forests or densely vegetated savanna. The breeding range is divided into two geographically separate areas. These include southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, southern and eastern Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, northern Florida, coastal Georgia, the southern coast and inland waterways such as the Santee River of South Carolina and northern Mexico. They winter in South Florida, Cuba, the Bahamas, along both coasts of Mexico and through much of Central America. Occasionally, they may be vagrants further north, including to New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The bird is also found every few years as far north as New Brunswick, Canada. (Wikipedia, with editing)
“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors.” (Genesis 37:3 NKJV)
“The rainbowshall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” (Genesis 9:16 NKJV) [Maybe the Lord gave us a “small reminder” of His rainbow for bright sunny days when our Painted Bunting is flitting about.]
The Blue-footed Booby is not what you might think of as a “Paintbrush Bird,” but I thought that the color of his feet qualifies him. :)
Actually, these feet look more like he stepped into a bucket of paint, instead of a Paintbrush being used on them. Yet, we know that their the Creator made those feet blue with His Creative Touch.
The young are not born with blue feet, but eventually their feet will turn blue.
From Wikipedia: “The blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii) is a marine bird native to subtropical and tropical regions of the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is one of six species of the genus Sula – known as boobies. It is easily recognizable by its distinctive bright blue feet, which is a sexually selected trait. Males display their feet in an elaborate mating ritual by lifting them up and down while strutting before the female. The female is slightly larger than the male and can measure up to 90 cm (35 in) long with a wingspan up to 1.5 m (5 ft).
The natural breeding habitats of the blue-footed booby are the tropical and subtropical islands of the Pacific Ocean. It can be found from the Gulf of California south along the western coasts of Central and South America to Peru. About half of all breeding pairs nest on the Galápagos Islands. Its diet mainly consists of fish, which it obtains by diving and sometimes swimming under water in search of its prey. It sometimes hunts alone, but usually hunts in groups.
Great Verses to consider:
“My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.” (Psalms 121:2-3 NKJV)
“Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:26-27 NKJV)
“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV)
Today’s main visitors were three Sandhill Cranes. They were also here yesterday:
Sandhill Cranes feeding yesterday 6/21 by Lee
Today, because of the rain we had last night, and the fact that the food plates had been visited yesterday, they were empty of food, but full of water. So, I stepped out and put the hanging feeder on the ground. It didn’t take time for the Sandy’s to find it.
Sandhill Cranes feeding 6/22 by Lee
Earlier there had been two Fish Crows here, but before I could get the camera, they took off.
Sandhill Crane up close 6/22 by Lee
Look at that pose! It was nice of him/her to give me a great chance to zoom in. This was the guard Crane. There is usually one on duty.
Looking for a lifeguard? Ours walks on water.
A father is someone you can look to no matter how tall you get.
The Mandarin Duck is definitely one of Our Creator’s Masterpieces, far as I’m concerned. I love my local Wood Ducks, but this duck is absolutely one of my favorites! My first glimpse of the Mandarin Ducks was at the Miami Zoo, now Zoo Miami, years ago. They have such clean lines and details that were and are just breathtaking! Later we viewed them many times at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, now Zoo Tampa.
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) Zoo Miami by Lee
“In the wild, mandarin ducks breed in densely wooded areas near shallow lakes, marshes or ponds. They nest in cavities in trees close to water and during the spring, the females lay their eggs in the tree’s cavity after mating. A single clutch of nine to twelve eggs is laid in April or May. Although the male may defend the brooding female and his eggs during incubation, he himself does not incubate the eggs and leaves before they hatch. Shortly after the ducklings hatch, their mother flies to the ground and coaxes the ducklings to leap from the nest. After all of the ducklings are out of the tree, they will follow their mother to a nearby body of water.
Mandarins feed by dabbling or walking on land. They mainly eat plants and seeds, especially beech mast. The species will also add snails, insects and small fish to its diet. The diet of mandarin ducks changes seasonally; in the fall and winter, they mostly eat acorns and grains. In the spring, they mostly eat insects, snails, fish and aquatic plants. In the summer, they eat dew worms, small fish, frogs, mollusks, and small snakes. They feed mainly near dawn or dusk, perching in trees or on the ground during the day.” (Wikipedia with editing)
The Mandarin Duck has been featured before, and some of those articles are linked below. I rediscovered this video that I took at the Zoo:
“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Genesis 2:2-3 KJV)
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.” (Isaiah 40:28 NKJV)