Life List of All the Birds We Have Seen – Part I

Snowy Egret in Breeding Plumage at Gatorland by Dan

Snowy Egret in Breeding Plumage at Gatorland by Dan

There is a Page on this blog called Life List of All the Birds We Have Seen. It has needed to be updated, plus with all the broken links that I have been repairing, this is going to be the main emphasis for a while. The Avian and Attributes articles will continue to be produced also. As the links are fixed and updated, the Parts will grow longer.

There is a reason for using the Life List of All the Birds We Have Seen, because it has the Families of the Birds of the World in Taxonomic order. As I find the birds we have seen, I will also be fixing the broken links on the Family pages. [So far, almost 1/3 to 1/2 of the family member page has broken links. It is becoming more obvious that the site WAS hacked.] This helps to fix each Family page in order, without jumping around.

Most of the page is self-explanatory. This is a list of ALL birds we, Dan and I, have SEEN. With photos where possible, because we did not take a picture of EVERY bird. Whether out in the wild, or in a zoo or similar place, THEY COUNT as far as this list is concerned. [Most bird counts are only for wild/free birds.]

**************** Life List of All the Birds We Have Seen ************

White-eared Catbird (Ailuroedus buccoides) Houston Zoo by Lee

“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 2:3 KJV)

Under Construction – Still Finding Our Pictures to put with the Birds

[The best photos are at Dan’s Photo Site USNDANSPIX or just Dan’s Pix]

I’ve decided to not only include wild birds we have seen, but also birds we have seen in zoos also. Most lists don’t let you include them, but still, I have seen them in person, so, they count to me. Going to put these in Taxonomic order and use the IOC names.

The ones we have seen in the wild (264 species[edit]) have a “*”  and the ones we saw at zoos are marked with the following code. A name in parenthesis is what they call them. The two numbers in brackets [ total birds in family –  our count ]

Zoo Abbreviations (BZ=Brevard Zoo, CZ=Cincinnati Zoo, HZ=Houston Zoo, LPZ=Lowry Park Zoo, JZ=Jacksonville Zoo, NA=National Aviary, NZ=National Zoo, MZ=Memphis Zoo, PB=Palm Beach Zoo, RZ=Riverbanks Zoo (SC), SAZ=San Antonio Zoo, SDZ=San Diego Zoo, TBF=Titusville Birding Festival, WA=Wings of Asia (at MetroZoo before Hurricane Andrew and new Wings of Asia at Zoo Miami or ZM=Zoo Miami),

Names with an extra name in (parenthesis) are what the Zoos calls them. Listed by Families:

Ostriches – Struthionidae [2-2]
Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) MZ RZ
Somali Ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes) SDZ

Rheas – Rheidae [2-0 ]

Kiwis – Apterygidae [5-0]

Cassowaries, Emus – Casuariidae [4- ]
Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) BZ by Lee HZ
Emu Photos (Dromaius novaehollandiae) LPZ by Lee, BZ by Dan

Tinamous – Tinamidae [47-1]
Elegant Crested Tinamou (Eudromia elegans) ZM by Dan, by Lee,  HZ by Lee

Screamers – Anhimidae [3-1]

Southern Screamer (Chauna torquata) San Diego Zoo by Lee

Magpie Goose – Anseranatidae [1-1]

Magpie Goose (Anseranas semipalmata) by Lee LPZ

Magpie Goose (Anseranas semipalmata) by Lee Lowry Park Zoo

************ To Be Continued ***********

Ducks, Geese and Swans – Anatidae [173- ]

Megapodes (Family Megapodiidae)  [21- ]
Australian Brushturkey (Alectura lathami) NA
Wattled Brushturkey (Aepypodius arfakianus) WA

To see the rest of this page, Life List of All the Birds We Have Seen

The Snowy “Want-to-Be” at Gatorland

Great Egrets and a Snowy Egret at Gatorland

When we were at Gatorland a few weeks ago, I noticed two Great Egrets on the walkway rail. I zoomed in to get a better view of them. There were actually two Great Egrets and a Snowy Egret in between them.

Great Egrets and a Snowy Egret at Gatorland zoomed

By the time we arrived at their location, one of the Great Egrets had flown off to check something out. There sat the Great Egret and the Snowy Egret side-by-side. I thought maybe that Snowy was thinking he would like to be tall like this friendly Great Egret.

A Great Egret “Want to Be”

The Great Egret is tall and nice looking with his long yellow beak and black feet.

Great Egret up Close at Gatorland by Lee

The Snowy though shorter has a nice black beak and cool yellow feet.

Snowy Egret up close at Gatorland by Lee

Knowing that the Lord created both of these fine birds, He made them just the way He wanted them. One tall, one short. One with a black beak and the other with a yellow one. And He may have given height to the Great Egret, but He gave the shorter Snowy those neat yellow feet.

Do we get envious and desire what someone else has? Maybe taller, more talented, sing better, etc? God has made us just the way He wants us, and has provided us with different bodies, talents, abilities, and directions to serve Him. Are we content with what He has given us?

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11 KJV)

“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (1 Timothy 6:8 KJV)

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5 KJV)

I am sure are Snowy Egret was not the least bit jealous or envious.

Snowy Egret up close at Gatorland by Lee


More posts from Gatorland:

Gatorland, FL

Gatorland’s Greedy Snowy Egret

Gatorland Roseate Spoonbills

Gatorland Grackle

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Harriet, The Osprey

Osprey Harriet’s transmitter is safely attached ©Craig Koppie USFWS

James J. S. Johnson, [Dr. Jim, to me] sent a very interesting article to share with you all. It is about an Osprey, named Harriet, who lives up in the Baltimore, Maryland [USA] area. Recently they, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, mounted a satellite tracker on her. Wait, here is the article:

“…On July 10, Harriet was captured and fitted with a satellite transmitter to track her movements. The transmitter, which has a visible antenna, was comfortably and securely attached by a harness onto Harriet’s back.

Like so many other birds we see around the Chesapeake in spring and summer, ospreys begin to migrate to South America in September for the winter. Most of our Chesapeake osprey spend the colder months there, ranging from Venezuela, to as far south as Paraguay and even Argentina.”

Continue to the article, Hurricanes no match for Baltimore’s Harriet the Osprey on her fall trek, by CLICKING HERE

Harriot’s trip so far – Satelite ©USFWS


“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?” (Job 39:26-27 KJV)

We have also written articles along this line about tracking our migrating avian wonders from the Lord:

The Disappearing Limpkin

GRU-Aram Limpkin (Aramus guarauna)

Limpkin (Aramus guarauna) by Lee

One of the few birdwatching adventures that Dan and I have had, since my surgery, was to South Lake Howard Nature Park. Earlier in the day, we had gone to two other favorite birding spots, but various activities there prevented us from checking out those birds. Later that day, we decided to try one more time. Grabbed our cameras and went to the little Nature Park. [Winter Haven, FL] There was not much going on there, yet, we were able to watch a Limpkin as he searched for his dinner.

The Limpkin (Aramus guarauna), also called carrao, courlan, and crying bird, is a bird that looks like a large rail but is skeletally closer to cranes. It is the only extant species in the genus Aramus and the Aramidae Family. It is found mostly in wetlands in warm parts of the Americas, from Florida to northern Argentina. It feeds on molluscs, with the diet dominated by apple snails of the genus Pomacea. Its name derives from its seeming limp when it walks. We have written about the Limpkins before, and information can be found the Aramidae – Limpkin Family page. This page also has many other Limpkin photos we have taken.

Limpkin and Dan at South Lake Howard Reserve

Limpkins are active during the day but will also forage at night. Where they are not persecuted they are also very tame and approachable. Even so, they are usually found near cover.  They are not aggressive for the most part, being unconcerned by other species and rarely fighting with members of their own species.

The Lord created the Limpkins with some bold makings, yet, when they are busy searching, they can almost totally disappear from our view. The next few photos show a Limpkin searching and then disappearing. Yes, he IS in those last photos.

As I thought about the Limpkin’s ability to seem to disappear, at first I considered the way the Creator provided a way for it to be camouflaged. Also, there is another analogy that comes to mind.

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

As Christians, we are all given something to do for Our Savior. Many serve in tasks that place them in the open like Preachers, Leaders, Teachers, Ushers, Choir members, etc. There are also many that are behind the scenes serving the Lord through their task. It might be tending to the toddlers and babies, audio and sound helpers, ladies folding letters, and on and on. When these servants are visible, they are very handsome or as pretty as the Limpkins, yet when they are busy, they just seem to disappear. The Lord sees all of our works, no matter where we serve Him.

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Colossians 3:17 KJV)

Wordless Birds

Bird Behavior During the Total Eclipse – BirdCast Re-post

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) by Neal Addy Gallery

Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. (Psalms 84:3 KJV)

What an interesting article about the recent Total Eclipse of the Sun. This was posted by Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology and you will enjoy reading it. Dan and I went out to watch the eclipse here in middle Florida. We had about 80% coverage and noticed the swallows here out flying around. Now, this article helps explain what we saw. Enjoy reading this:

What Do Birds Do During a Total Eclipse? Observations from eBird and Radar on August 21, 2017

“26 August, 2017

By Benjamin Van Doren, Andrew Farnsworth, and Ian Davies

Approximately every 18 months a total solar eclipse is visible somewhere on the surface of the Earth. During previous total solar eclipses, numerous observers have reported interesting animal behavior—especially describing birds. With the advent of citizen science and projects like eBird, we now have the opportunity to examine bird behaviors as reported by a large number of observers almost immediately and at a much grander scale. The amazing accounts below of birding during Monday’s total solar eclipse are all from eBird checklists submitted by birders like you—please submit your eclipse sightings if you haven’t already!

We looked at 7,800 checklists submitted to eBird.org on August 21, 2017 and focused on 1,350 checklists submitted from the time of maximum eclipse. Below, we highlight interesting observations from the path of totality (black circular icons with white borders, representing a total eclipse) and outside of it (partial eclipse icons of varying magnitude).”

One quote that made our Swallow behavior make sense:

From Joshua Stone and Nicole Trimmer in Johnson County, Illinois:

Just before totality, the chimney swifts started flying low and acting like it was dusk. They continued during totality, flying low overhead and chittering.

TO READ THE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

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Birds of the Bible – Swallows

Birds Of The Bible – Swallow-tailed Kites

Shorebirds Looney about Horseshoe Crab Eggs

RedKnot-DelawareBay-beach.GregoryBreese-USFWS

Red Knot Eating Crab Eggs at Delaware Bay Beach

Photo by Gregory Breese / USF&WS

Thankfully, the rhythms of our world are fairly predictable. Although the details differ, the overall cycles are regular:

While the earth remains, seedtimes and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)

Because of these recurring patterns migratory birds can depend on food being conveniently available when they migrate northward in the spring. In effect,  “fast food” on the beach is a “convenience store” for famished feathered fliers.

For example, consider how the annual egg-laying (and egg-burying) activities of horseshoe crabs perfectly synchronize with the hunger of migratory shorebirds (e.g., red knots, turnstones, and sandpipers) that stopover on bayside beaches, for “fast food”, right where huge piles of crab eggs have just been deposited (and where some have been uncovered by tidewaters).

HorseshoeCrabs-DelawareBay-beach.GregoryBreese-USFWS

Horseshoe Crabs on Delaware Bay Beach

Photo by Gregory Breese / USF&WS

No need to worry about the birds eating too many crab eggs! – the egg-laying is so prolific (i.e., about 100,000 eggs per mother) that many horseshoe crab eggs are missed by the migratory birds, thus becoming the next generation of horseshoe crabs, plus the birds mostly eat the prematurely  surfacing eggs that are less likely to succeed in life anyway!)

Timing is everything. Each spring, shorebirds migrate from wintering grounds in South America to breeding grounds in the Arctic. These birds have some of the longest migrations known. Delaware Bay is the prime stopover site and the birds’ stop coincides with horseshoe crab spawning. Shorebirds like the red knot, ruddy turnstone and semipalmated sandpiper, as well as many others, rely on horseshoe crab eggs to replenish their energy reserves before heading to their Arctic nesting grounds.  The birds arrive in the Arctic before insects emerge. This means that they must leave Delaware Bay with enough energy reserves to make the trip to the Arctic and survive without food until well after they have laid their eggs. If they have not accumulated enough fat reserves at the bay, they may not be able to breed.

The world’s largest spawning population of horseshoe crabs occurs in Delaware Bay. During high tide, horseshoe crabs migrate from deep water to beaches to spawn. The female digs a nest in the sand and deposits between 4,000 and 30,000 eggs that the male will fertilize with sperm. A single crab may lay 100,000 eggs or more during a season. Horseshoe crab spawning begins in late April and runs through mid-August, although peak spawning in the mid-Atlantic takes place May 1 through the first week of June.

At low tide, adult crabs go back into the water but may return at the next high tide. Horseshoe crab spawning increases on nights with a full or new moon, when gravity is stronger and high tides are even higher. At the same time that migrating shorebirds arrive to rest and feed along Delaware Bay, horseshoe crab activity is high. While the crab buries its eggs deeper than shorebirds can reach, waves and other horseshoe crabs expose large numbers of eggs. These surface eggs will not survive, but they provide food for many animals. The shorebirds can easily feed on eggs that have surfaced prematurely.

Quoting Kathy Reshetiloff, “Migratory Birds Shore Up Appetites on Horseshoe Crab Eggs”, THE CHESAPEAKE BAY JOURNAL, 27(3):40 (May 2017).

Shorebirds-HorseshoeCrabs-DelawareBay.LarryNiles

Shorebirds and Horseshoe Crabs on Delaware Bay Beach

Photo by Larry Niles

Notice how it is the gravitational pull of the moon, as the moon goes through its periodic cycle, that causes the high and low tides – which facilitate the uncovering of enough horseshoe crab eggs to satisfy the needs of the migratory stopover shorebirds that pass through Delaware Bay.  Notice how the moon provides a phenological “regulation” (i.e., the moon is physically ruling and correlating the interaction of the horseshoe crabs, the migratory shorebirds, and the bay’s tidewaters – in accordance with and illustrating Genesis 1:16-18).

At low tide, adult crabs go back into the water but may return at the next high tide. Horseshoe crab spawning increases on nights with a full or new moon, when gravity is stronger and high tides are even higher. At the same time that migrating shorebirds arrive to rest and feed along Delaware Bay, horseshoe crab activity is high.

Again quoting Kathy Reshetiloff, “Migratory Birds Shore Up Appetites on Horseshoe Crab Eggs”, THE CHESAPEAKE BAY JOURNAL, 27(3):40 (May 2017).

RedKnot-MigrationMap.NatureConservancy
Map of Red Knot Winter Ranges, Summer Breeding Range, & Migratory Stopovers
Map by The Nature Conservancy, adapted from USF&WS map

So, you might say that these reproducing Horseshoe Crabs, and the myriads of migratory shorebirds, share phenological calendars because they’re all looney.

RedKnot-onshore.NatureConservancy-MJKilpatrick

Red Knot on Beach, during Migratory Stopover
photo by The Nature Conservancy / M J Kilpatrick

Cher Ami’s Story for Memorial Day

Thought I would repost Cher Ami’s story in honor of Memorial Day. Thank all of you who have served our country or your country to help preserve peace.

To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, (Luke 1:74 NKJV)

Cher Ami - Homing Pigeon Hero

Cher Ami – Homing Pigeon Hero

Cher Ami – WW1 Hero

While researching for a hero for an article on our church blog, I tried to find out about my father, who was in WW1. Being as he died when I was four years old, it is hard to find out a lot of details. All I knew is that he was in the trenches where they were poisoned with mustard gas and that it took years, but he died as a result of that gassing. Talking to my family, I also found out that he was at the Meuse-Argonne Offensive (Argonne Forrest) in which 117,000 of our American troops gave their lives and that he was in a company that had few survivors. Also found that he had fought hand-to-hand with bayonets. But the actual details are still a mystery. So, my dad and all of our men that fought in WW1 are my heroes.What I did find is a hero of the avian kind. His name was Cher Ami and he was a homing pigeonc which had been donated by the pigeon fanciers of Britain for use by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in France during World War I and had been trained by American pigeoneers. He helped save the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division in the battle of the Argonne, October 1918.

On October 3, 1918, Charles Whittlesey and more than 500 men were trapped in a small depression on the side of the hill behind enemy lines without food or ammunition. They were also beginning to receive friendly fire from allied troops who did not know their location. Surrounded by the Germans, many were killed and wounded in the first day and by the second day, only a little more than 200 men were still alive. Whittlesey dispatched messages by pigeon. The pigeon carrying the first message (“Many wounded. We cannot evacuate.”) was shot down. A second bird was sent with the message, “Men are suffering. Can support be sent?” That pigeon also was shot down. Only one homing pigeon was left: ‘Cher Ami’. He was dispatched with a note in a canister on his left leg,

“We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven’s sake, stop it!”

Actual Message Sent

Actual Message Sent

As Cher Ami tried to fly back home, the Germans saw him rising out of the brush and opened fire and for several minutes, bullets zipped through the air all around him.The men of the Lost Battalion saw Cher Ami tragically shot down, but miraculously, he was airborne again soon. He managed to arrive back at his loft at division headquarters 25 miles to the rear in just 25 minutes, helping to save the lives of the 194 survivors. In this last mission, Cher Ami had delivered the message despite having been shot through the breast, blinded in one eye, covered in blood and with a leg hanging only by a tendon.

Cher Ami had become the hero of the 77th Infantry Division, so army medics worked long and hard to save his life. They were unable to save his leg, so they carved a small wooden one for him. When he recovered enough to travel, the little one-legged hero was put on a boat to the United States, with General John J. Pershing personally seeing Cher Ami off as he departed France.

Upon return to America, Cher Ami became the mascot of the Department of Service. The pigeon was awarded the Croix de Guerre Medal with a palm Oak Leaf Cluster for his heroic service in delivering 12 important messages in Verdun. He died at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, on June 13, 1919 from the wounds he received in battle and was later inducted into the Racing Pigeon Hall of Fame in 1931. He also received a gold medal from the Organized Bodies of American Racing Pigeon Fanciers in recognition of his extraordinary service during World War I.

Cher Ami - WWI Homing Pigeon Hero

Cher Ami – WWI Homing Pigeon Hero – WikiC

Cher Ami was as well-known as any human World War I heroes. Cher Ami was later mounted by a taxidermist and donated to the Smithsonian where he is enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution, and is currently on display with Sergeant Stubby in the National Museum of American History’s “Price of Freedom” exhibit.

Who are these who fly like a cloud, And like doves to their roosts? (Isa 60:8)

Pigeons and Doves are in the Columbidae Family of the Columbiformes Order.

(Wikipedia and other internet sources)

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Lord’s Avian Wonders – Little Blue Heron – Searching

Little Blue Heron searching at S Lk Howard Park crop

Recently we were on our way home from shopping and stopped in the little park at the south side of Lake Howard. All we had with us were our phones. Not much was going on, but one Little Blue Heron was searching for his lunch. It was interesting watching him move his head from side to side. Not sure if the bird was looking around the plants or just trying to see better. It was an overcast day. Our special Avian Wonder this time from the creator is this Little Blue Heron.

The “Little Blues,” as I many times refer to them, are another favorite of mine to watch here in central Florida. This one just seemed so intent on what he was doing, that it reminded me of the verse about the lady who was diligently searching for a coin. How diligently do we search God’s Word?

Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? (Luke 15:8 KJV)

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV)

Little Blue Heron with catch at S. Lake Howard Park

Little Blue Heron with catch at S. Lake Howard Park

Bad photo, but you can see the results of one of his searches.

The Little Blue Heron “stalks its prey methodically in shallow water, often running as it does so. It eats fish, frogs, crustaceans, small rodents and insects.” (Wikipedia)

Find out more about them at:

Is There A God?

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Lord’s Avian Wonders – Some Zoo Critters

Thought I would share some more photos from the Zoo and a video that has challenged me. So far, in this new year the Lord is treating me well. I trust it is starting out alright for you also.

A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. (Deuteronomy 11:12 KJV)

Sacred Ibis Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Sacred Ibis Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Squirrel Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Squirrel Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 KJV)

Bald Eagle Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Bald Eagle Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Bald Eagle Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Le

Bald Eagle Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Le

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3 KJV)

Inca Tern Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Inca Tern Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Inca Tern Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Inca Tern Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (Psalms 119:160 KJV)

“Winning Life’s Battles” by Pastor Nathan Osborne was a great message that challenged for AD 2016. It is worth the time to watch. Our pastor’s messages are now being placed on the Faith Baptist Church website.

“Reach for the impossible” was one of his points that challenged my heart. I have some interesting challenges coming during this new year and the Lord has and is using this message to encourage me.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13 KJV)

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:4-5 KJV)

I trust we will all have a productive new year. Whether it is accepting new challenges or just doing regular things like birdwatching and, then after finding the bird, trying to get a decent photo of it. :0)

Kookaburra Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Kookaburra Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Kookaburra Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Kookaburra Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. (Ecclesiastes 7:8 KJV)

(Bolding in verses is mine)

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Lord’s Avian Wonders – Juvenile Scarlet Ibis

Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) Juvenile Lowry Park Zoo

Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) Juvenile Lowry Park Zoo

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53 NKJV) (emphasis mine)

While in the Aviary at Lowry Park last week, this little avian wonder caught my attention. Our Scarlet Ibis juvenile is in the process of becoming a beautiful adult, but at present he is still in transition. The Lord’s Creative Hand gave these ibises protection while growing up, but now that change to a full-grown Scarlet Ibis is becoming very evident.

Scarlet Ibis adults in the Aviary

Scarlet Ibis adults in the Aviary

Adult plumage is virtually all scarlet. The feathers may show various tints and shades, but only the tips of their wings deviate from their namesake color. A small but reliable marking, these wingtips are a rich inky black (or occasionally dark blue) and are found only on the longest primaries – otherwise the birds’ coloration is “a vivid orange-red, almost luminous in quality.” Scarlet ibises have red bills and feet however the bill is sometimes blackish, especially toward the end. They have a long, narrow, decurved bill. Their legs and neck are long and extended in flight.

Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) Juvenile Lowry Park Zoo

A juvenile scarlet ibis is a mix of grey, brown, and white. As it grows, a heavy diet of red crustaceans produces the scarlet coloration. The color change begins with the juvenile’s second moult, around the time it begins to fly: the change starts on the back and spreads gradually across the body while increasing in intensity over a period of about two years. The scarlet ibis is the only shorebird with red coloration in the world.

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. (1 Peter 2:2-3 KJV) (emphasis mine)

As these young Scarlet Ibises are growing into beautifully colored adults, you can see how they have grown from the baby to where they are now.

So, we as Christians, should be growing and changing as we grow in the Lord. How do we grow? Reading God’s Word, attending a good Bible preaching church, praying, studying, and doing whatever the Lord may lead you to do to help out. These juveniles are starting to change and so will you as grow in the Lord. Sooner or later you will bloom into a mature Christian able and willing to serve Our Lord wherever or however He chooses.

You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:17-18 NASB)

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:20-23 NKJV) (emphasis mine)

Scarlet Ibis – Threskiornithidae – Ibises, Spoonbills

Orni-Theology

Lowry Park Zoo Articles

Sharing The Gospel

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Lord’s Avian Wonders – Gnatcatcher Preening

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher preening at Circle B by Lee

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher preening at Circle B by Lee

“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. (Luke 12:35 NASB)

A visit to Circle B Bar Reserve last week provide a great opportunity to watch a Blue-grey Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) preening. Normally, they are flitting from here to there and never stay put long enough to catch a photo, let along some video.

To preen: personal grooming of a bird’s feathers especially by using its beak. Nice article at About Birding – What is Preening.

They are a very small songbird, 10–13 cm (3.9–5.1 in) in length and weighing only 5–7 g (0.18–0.25 oz). Adult males are blue-grey on the upperparts with white underparts, have a slender dark bill, and a long black tail edged in white. Females are less blue. Both sexes have a white eye ring.

The blue-grey gnatcatcher’s breeding habitat includes open deciduous woods and shrublands in southern Ontario, the eastern and southwestern United States, and Mexico. Though gnatcatcher species are common and increasing in number while expanding to the northeast,[4] it is the only one to breed in Eastern North America. They build a cone-like nest on a horizontal tree branch. The incubation period is 13 days for both sexes. Both parents construct the nest and feed the young; they may raise two broods in a season.

These birds migrate to the southern United States, Mexico, northern Central America – (Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras), Cuba, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Cayman Islands. Yeah! They come to Circle B in the winter!

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher preening at Circle B by Lee

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher preening at Circle B by Lee

They forage actively in trees or shrubs, mainly eating insects, insect eggs and spiders. They may hover over foliage (gleaning), or fly to catch insects in flight (hawking). The tail is often held upright while defending territory or searching for food.

The songs (and calls) are often heard on breeding grounds, (usually away from nest) and occasionally heard other times of the year. Calls: “zkreee, zkreee, zkreee”, Songs: “szpree zpree spreeeeey spree spre sprzrreeeee”

Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:3-4 NASB)

Birdwatching Trips 

Circle B Bar Reserve, FL

Wordless Birds – with Hummingbirds

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Lord’s Avian Wonders – Sunbittern saying, “Where is It?”

At Lowry Park Zoo recently, we observed a Sunbittern rearranging the area. The bird keeper came by and put it all back in. He said, it is a normal occurrence.

To me, it reminds me of those of you who will be opening presents for Christmas. Invariably, some piece of a toy or something gets mixed in with all the discarded wrapping paper and the search begins. Merry Christmas.

“Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? “When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:8-10 NASB)

Bonus: A Bali Myna was singing away at the newly remodeled entry aviary. This is just as you enter the Main Aviary at Lowry.