Trust you will enjoy a different Sunday Inspiration. A friend sent this and I wanted to share it, plus, I have been dealing with my back problem and am awaiting surgery. Thanks for understanding not using birds for a change.
“This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:23-24 KJV)
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8 KJV)
Pied-Billed Grebe at Lake Hollingsworth, Lakeland, FL by Dan
“The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.” (Psalms 111:2 KJV)
Our inspirations today come from the Podicipedidae Family, which is the only family in the Podicipediformes Order. All 23 species are called a Grebe. [This is a switch from many families.] Within the family there six genera: Tachybaptus (6), Podilymbus (2), Rollandia (2), Poliocephalus (2), Podiceps (9) and the Aechmophorus (2). Of these species, three have become extinct; the Alaotra Grebe, Atitlan Grebe, and the Colombian Grebe. “Grebes are a widely distributed order of freshwater diving birds, some of which visit the sea when migrating and in winter.”
As I start this article, we have only seen about three or four of these family members. The most popular in this area is the Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps). All About Birds had these two “Cool Facts“:
“The Latin genus name for “grebe” means “feet at the buttocks”—an apt descriptor for these birds, whose feet are indeed located near their rear ends. This body plan, a common feature of many diving birds, helps grebes propel themselves through water. Lobed (not webbed) toes further assist with swimming. Pied-billed Grebes pay for their aquatic prowess on land, where they walk awkwardly.
Pied-billed Grebe [and other Grebe] chicks typically leave the nest the first day after hatching and spend much of their first week riding around on a parent’s back. They usually spend most of their first 3 weeks on or near the nest platform.”
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) by Ian 4
Grebes are small to medium-large in size, have lobed toes, and are excellent swimmers and divers. Although they can run for a short distance, they are prone to falling over, since they have their feet placed far back on the body. Bills vary from short and thick to long and pointed, depending on the diet, which ranges from fish to freshwater insects and crustaceans. The feet are always large, with broad lobes on the toes and small webs connecting the front three toes. The hind toe also has a small lobe. Recent experimental work has shown that these lobes work like the hydrofoil blades of a propeller.
Grebes have narrow wings, and some species are reluctant to fly; indeed, two South American species are completely flightless. They respond to danger by diving rather than flying, and are in any case much less wary than ducks. Extant species range in size from the least grebe, at 120 grams (4.3 oz) and 23.5 cm (9.3 inches), to the great grebe, at 1.7 kg (3.8 lbs) and 71 cm (28 inches).
The North American and Eurasian species are all, of necessity, migratory over much or all of their ranges, and those species that winter at sea are also seen regularly in flight. Even the small freshwater pied-billed grebe of North America has occurred as a transatlantic vagrant to Europe on more than 30 occasions.
Tachybaptus is a genus of small members of the grebe family birds. The genus name is from Ancient Greek takhus “fast” and bapto “to sink under”. It has representatives over much of the world, including the tropics.
is a genus of birds in the Podicipedidae family, containing the extinct Atitlán grebe (Podilymbus gigas) and the pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps).The genus name is derived from Latin Podilymbus, a contraction of podicipes (“feet at the buttocks”, from podici-, “rump-” + pes, “foot”)—the origin of the name of the grebe order—and Ancient Greek kolymbos, “diver”.
Poliocephalus is a small genus of birds in the grebe family. Its two members are found in Australia and New Zealand. They are: Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus) and New Zealand Grebe (Poliocephalus rufopectus).
Podiceps is a genus of birds in the grebe family. The genus name comes from Latin podicis, “vent” and pes, “foot”, and is a reference to the placement of a grebe’s legs towards the rear of its body.It has representatives breeding in Europe, Asia, North, and South America. Most northern hemisphere species migrate in winter to the coast or warmer climates.
Aechmophorus is a genus of birds in the grebe family. It has two living representatives breeding in western North America; the Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) and Clark’s Grebe (Aechmophorus clarkii).
The western grebe has a straight bill with a dull green-yellow color as opposed to the Clark’s grebe, which has a slightly upturned, bright orange-yellow bill. In both species the male has a longer and deeper bill than that of the female, making it a distinguishing feature. All species of grebes display the pattern of lobed feet. A tough skin surrounds each toe separately, providing more surface area for effective swimming. This form increases the power of propulsion per stroke and reduces drag when the bird is recovering.
Western and Clark’s grebes take part in a courtship display known as mate feeding. This occurs regularly between a mated pair during the period prior to hatching of nestlings. In both species mate feeding appears to peak shortly before egg laying and involves the male providing large quantities of food to the begging female. Pairs will also engage in a spectacular display, by rearing up and “rushing” across the surface of the water side by side, making a loud pattering sound with their feet.
“He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.” (Psalms 111:4 KJV)
“The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.” (Psalms 93:4 KJV)
Today’s Sunday Inspiration will bring us through the last 49 members of the Procellariidae Family. These include Petrels in the Pseudobulweria (5), Procellaria (5), and Bulweria (3) genera, plus 4 Diving Petrels in the Pelecanoides genus. The final group of Shearwaters are in the Calonectris (4), Ardenna (7), and Puffinus (21) genera
Tahitian Petrel (Pseudobulweria rostrata) by Ian
“The Pseudobulweria are generally largish darkish petrels, but may have white undersides. They are long-winged and fly about with rather leisurely wingbeats and soar a lot. Though they are attracted by chum, Pseudobulweria petrels are not particularly prone to following ships. They often approach floating prey from downwind, picking it up without landing on the water or during a brief landing in which the wings are kept raised.”
What an amazing Creator these Avian Wonders have to provide so much for them. “Procellaria is a member of the family Procellariidae and the order Procellariiformes. As members of Procellariiformes, they share certain characteristics. First they have tubular nostrils called naricorns. This feature gives them their common name, tubenoses. The opening to the nostril is located differently in some birds. These birds have the opening on top of the upper bill. Second, they produce a stomach oil that contains wax esters and triglycerides. This oil fills two functions. When predators threaten the birds or their chick or egg, they spit the substance on them. This substance has an awful smell, and mats the feathers down, degrading their usefulness. Also, they can digest the wax esters for a high energy source of food, during long flights or the period of time that they are incubating their egg or caring for their young. They also have a uniquely structured bill, with seven to nine distinct horny plates. Finally, they have a salt gland that is located above their nasal passages and helps desalinate their body, as they drink seawater. They excrete the salty waste out their nose.” [Quote from Wikipedia, bolding mine]
Calonectris is a genus of seabirds. The genus name comes from Ancient Greek kalos, “good” and nectris, “swimmer”. Calonectris shearwaters are long-distance migrants. The genus comprises three large shearwaters. There are two other shearwater genera. Puffinus, which comprises about twenty small to medium-sized shearwaters, and Procellaria with another four large species. The latter are usually named as petrels, although they are thought to be more closely related to the shearwaters than to the other petrels.
The species in this group are long-winged birds, dark brown or grey-brown above, and mainly white below. They are pelagic outside the breeding season. They are most common in temperate and cold waters. These tubenose birds fly with stiff wings, and use a shearing flight technique to move across wave fronts with the minimum of active flight. Their flight appears more albatross-like than the Puffinus species.
Ardenna is a genus of seabirds that “comprises a group medium-sized shearwaters. The species were for a long time included in the genus Puffinus but this genus was split based on the results of a phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA. The genus had been introduced by Ludwig Reichenbach in 1853, although the name was first used to refer to a seabird by Italian naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi in 1603.”
Puffinus – “The species in this group are long-winged birds, dark brown or black above, and white to dark brown below. They are pelagic outside the breeding season. They are most common in temperate and cold waters. These tubenose birds fly with stiff wings, and use a shearing flight technique to move across wave fronts with the minimum of active flight. Some small species, such as the Manx shearwater, are cruciform in flight, with their long wings held directly out from their bodies.
Many are long-distance migrants, perhaps most spectacularly the sooty and short-tailed shearwaters, which perform migrations of 14,000 km or more each year. Puffinus shearwaters come to islands and coastal cliffs only to breed. They are nocturnal at the colonial breeding sites, preferring moonless nights to minimise predation. They nest in burrows and often give eerie contact calls on their night-time visits. They lay a single white egg.”
Common Diving Petrel (Pelecanoides urinatrix) by Daves BirdingPix
Diving Petrels in the Pelecanoides
The diving petrels are seabirds in the bird order Procellariiformes. There are four very similar species all in the family Procellariidae and genus Pelecanoides (Lacépède, 1799), distinguished only by small differences in the coloration of their plumage and their bill construction. They are only found in the Southern Hemisphere.
Diving petrels are auk-like small petrels of the southern oceans. The resemblances with the auks are due to convergent evolution, since both families feed by pursuit diving, although some researchers have in the past suggested that the similarities are due to relatedness. Among the Procellariiformes the diving petrels are the family most adapted to life in the sea rather than flying over it, and are generally found closer inshore than other families in the order.
“Bulweria is a genus of seabirds in the family Procellariidae named after English naturalist James Bulwer. The genus has two extant species, Bulwer’s petrel (B. bulwerii) and Jouanin’s petrel (B. fallax). A third species, the Olson’s petrel (Bulweria bifax), became extinct in the early 16th century; it is known only from skeletal remains. Bulwer’s Petrel ranges in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, whereas Joaunin’s Petrel is confined to the northwestern Indian Ocean. Olson’s Petrel is known from the Atlantic.”
[Most information from Wikipedia]
“The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.” (Psalms 50:1 KJV)
“Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:” (Psalms 148:7-10 KJV)
The Petrels in the Pterodroma genus has enough species to present them in their own post. Ian Montgomery, (Bird of the Week/Moment), has quite a few photos of this family on his Birdway Site.
“The gadfly petrels are seabirds in the bird order Procellariiformes. The gadfly petrels are named for their speedy weaving flight as if evading horseflies. The flight action is also reflected in the genus name Pterodroma, from Ancient Greek pteron, “wing” and dromos, “runner”.
“These medium to large petrels feed on food items picked from the ocean surface.”
Great-winged Petrel (Pterodroma macroptera) by Ian
“The short, sturdy bills of the Pterodroma species in this group, about 35 altogether, are adapted for soft prey taken at the surface; they have twisted intestines for digesting marine animals which have unusual biochemistries.”
White-headed Petrel (Pterodroma lessonii) by Ian
“Their complex wing and face marking are probably for interspecific recognition.”
“These birds nest in colonies on islands and are pelagic when not breeding. One white egg is laid usually in a burrow or on open ground. They are nocturnal at the breeding colonies.”
“While generally wide-ranging, most Pterodroma species are confined to a single ocean basin (e.g. Atlantic), and vagrancy is not as common amongst Pterodromas as it is in some other seabird species (c.f. the Storm-Petrels Hydrobatidae).” (Information from Wikipedia)
“Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalms 150:1-6 KJV)
“So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:21 NKJV)
The Procellariidae – Petrels, Shearwaters Family contains more than those two species of birds. You will be introduced to Giant Petrels, Diving Petrels, Petrels, Fulmars, Prions, and Shearwaters. The previous Petrels families shown were Storm Petrels (Oceanitidae and Hydrobatidae), and the Albatross (Diomedeidae) family also was presented. These four families make up the Procellariiformes Order. This Procellariidae group, being the largest, will take several weeks to be able to cover.
From Wikipedia – “The family Procellariidae is a group of seabirds that comprises the fulmarine petrels, the gadfly petrels, the prions, and the shearwaters. This family is part of the bird order Procellariiformes (or tubenoses), which also includes the albatrosses, the storm petrels, and the diving petrels.
Northern Giant Petrel head close-up by Daves BirdingPix
The procellariids are the most numerous family of tubenoses, and the most diverse. They range in size from the giant petrels, which are almost as large as the albatrosses, to the prions, which are as small as the larger storm petrels. They feed on fish, squid and crustacea, with many also taking fisheries discards and carrion. All species are accomplished long-distance foragers, and many undertake long trans-equatorial migrations. They are colonial breeders, exhibiting long-term mate fidelity and site philopatry. In all species, each pair lays a single egg per breeding season. Their incubation times and chick-rearing periods are exceptionally long compared to other birds.
Many procellariids have breeding populations of over several million pairs; others number fewer than 200 birds. Humans have traditionally exploited several species of fulmar and shearwater (known as muttonbirds) for food, fuel, and bait, a practice that continues in a controlled fashion today. Several species are threatened by introduced species attacking adults and chicks in breeding colonies and by long-line fisheries.” (Wikipedia)
Southern Giant Petrel (Macronectes giganteus) by Ian
“Giant petrels form a genus, Macronectes, from the family Procellariidae, which consists of two species. They are the largest birds of this family. Both species are restricted to the Southern Hemisphere, and though their distributions overlap significantly, with both species breeding on the Prince Edward Islands, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, Macquarie Island and South Georgia, many southern giant petrels nest further south, with colonies as far south as Antarctica. Giant petrels are aggressive predators and scavengers, inspiring another common name, the stinker. South Sea whalers used to call them gluttons.”
“The Antarctic petrel (Thalassoica antarctica) is a boldly marked dark brown and white petrel, found in Antarctica, most commonly in the Ross and Weddell seas. They eat Antarctic krill, fish, and small squid. They feed while swimming but can dive from both the surface and the air.”
Cape Petrel (Daption capense) by Ian
“The Cape petrel (Daption capense), also called the Cape pigeon, pintado petrel, or Cape fulmar is a common seabird of the Southern Ocean from the family Procellariidae. It is the only member of the genus Daption, and is allied to the fulmarine petrels, and the giant petrels. They are extremely common seabirds with an estimated population of around 2 million.”
“The snow petrel (Pagodroma nivea) is the only member of the genus Pagodroma. It is one of only three birds that breed exclusively in Antarctica and has been seen at the geographic South Pole. It has the most southerly breeding distribution of any bird.
“The blue petrel (Halobaena caerulea) is a small seabird in the shearwater and petrel family Procellariidae. This small petrel is the only member of the genus Halobaena, but is closely allied to the prions.”
“Pachyptila is a genus of seabirds in the family Procellariidae and the order Procellariiformes. The members of this genus and the blue petrel form a sub-group called prions. They range throughout the southern hemisphere, often in the much cooler higher latitudes. Three species, the Broad-billed Prion (Pachyptila vittata), the Antarctic Prion (Pachyptila desolata) and the Fairy Prion (Pachyptila turtur), range into the subtropics.”
“The Kerguelen petrel (Aphrodroma brevirostris) is a small (36 cm long) slate-grey seabird. Kerguelen petrels breed colonially on remote islands; colonies are present on Gough Island in the Atlantic Ocean, and Marion Island, Prince Edward Island, Crozet Islands and Kerguelen Island in the Indian Ocean. The species attends its colonies nocturnally, breeding in burrows in wet soil. The burrows usually face away from the prevailing wind. A single egg is laid per breeding season; the egg is unusually round for the family. The egg is incubated by both parents for 49 days. After hatching the chick fledges after 60 days.”
[Quotes are from Wikipedia, with editing.]
“He alone spreads out the heavens, And treads on the waves of the sea;” (Job 9:8 NKJV)
“Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.” (Matthew 27:63 KJV)
“Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.” (Mark 16:9-11 KJV)
“And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.” (Luke 24:36-40 KJV)
“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:18 KJV)
We trust you are celebrating the resurrection of Our Lord today. The Lord Jesus Christ’s ability to raise Himself from death could only happen because He, the Son of Man, was also the Son of God incarnate. He came to die for our sins by paying the ransom, and through His resurrection, we can have eternal life with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:16-21 KJV)
“This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” (1 John 5:6-7 KJV)
Lord Bless you as you reflect on what this day really represents. It is not about colored eggs, bunnies, or baskets of goodies. It is about God, in the person of Jesus Christ, coming in human form, totally man without sin. He came to die for you and me as payment for our sins. It’s a gift. A very costly gift. We all have a choice to receive this gift or to refuse it. It is up to us. Thankfully, I accepted that Gift of Salvation, 57 years ago on March 20th of 1960.
“And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:10 KJV)
The Northern Storm Petrels make up the Hydrobatidae Family. The eighteen (18) species in the family are from two Genera; the Hydrobates (1) and the Oceanodroma (17). They are found in the northern hemisphere although some species around the equator dip into the south.
European Storm petrels cannot walk on land, and shuffle on their tarsi.
The European storm petrel, British storm petrel or just storm petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus) is a seabird in the northern storm petrel family, Hydrobatidae. It is the only member of the genus Hydrobates. The small, square-tailed bird is entirely black except for a broad white rump and a white band on the underwings, and it has a fluttering, bat-like flight. The large majority of the population breeds on islands off the coasts of Europe, with the greatest numbers in the Faroe Islands, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Iceland. The Mediterranean population is a separate subspecies, but is inseparable at sea from its Atlantic relatives; its strongholds are Filfla Island (Malta), Sicily and the Balearic Islands.
The Leach’s petrel, known in some rural areas as Carrie chicks, is a small bird at 18–21 cm in length with a 43–48 cm wingspan. Like many other storm petrels, it has all-dark plumage and usually a white rump. However, dark-rumped individuals exist on the west coast of North America; they are very rare north of southern California, but the percentage increases suddenly on the United States-Mexico border where 90-100% of breeding birds are dark-rumped.
The band-rumped storm petrel spends the non-breeding period at sea. Individuals feed by picking up prey items (invertebrates, small vertebrates and sometimes carrion) from the water surface. The band-rumped storm petrel is strictly nocturnal at its breeding sites to avoid predation by gulls and diurnal raptors such as peregrines, and will even avoid coming to land on clear moonlit nights. Like most petrels, its walking ability is limited to a short shuffle from/to the burrow.
The Cape Verde storm petrel (Oceanodroma jabejabe) is an oceangoing bird found in the Atlantic Ocean, especially around the islands of Cape Verde. It was at one time considered to be a subspecies of the band-rumped storm petrel, but is now considered to be a separate species by the British Birding Association, the Dutch Birding Association and other authorities.They breed much of year but most nest in the winter.
Because of being at sea so much of the time, photos and information are not readily available. Hence, the short slideshow today.
The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!
(Psalms 8:8-9 NKJV)
Austral storm petrels, or southern storm petrels, are seabirds in the family Oceanitidae, part of the order Procellariiformes. These smallest of seabirds feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. Their flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.
Austral storm petrels have a cosmopolitan distribution, being found in all oceans, although only Wilson’s storm-petrels are found in the northern hemisphere. They are almost all strictly pelagic, coming to land only when breeding.
Austral Storm Petrels are the smallest of all the seabirds, ranging in size from 15–26 cm in length. There are two body shapes in the family; the austral storm petrels have short wings, square tails, elongated skulls, and long legs. The legs of all storm petrels are proportionally longer than those of other Procellariiformes, but they are very weak and unable to support the bird’s weight for more than a few steps.
Like many seabirds, storm petrels will associate with other species of seabird and marine mammal species in order to help obtain food. It is theorized that they benefit from the actions of diving predators such as seals and penguins which push prey up towards the surface while hunting, allowing the surface feeding storm petrels to reach them.
Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large seabirds allied to the procellariids, storm petrels and diving petrels in the order Procellariiformes (the tubenoses). They range widely in the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific. They are absent from the North Atlantic, although fossil remains show they once occurred there and occasional vagrants are found. Albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses (genus Diomedea) have the largest wingspans of any extant birds, reaching up to 3.7 metres (12 feet). The albatrosses are usually regarded as falling into four genera, but there is disagreement over the number of species.
Albatrosses are highly efficient in the air, using dynamic soaring and slope soaring to cover great distances with little exertion. They feed on squid, fish and krill by either scavenging, surface seizing or diving. Albatrosses are colonial, nesting for the most part on remote oceanic islands, often with several species nesting together. Pair bonds between males and females form over several years, with the use of “ritualised dances”, and will last for the life of the pair. A breeding season can take over a year from laying to fledging, with a single egg laid in each breeding attempt. A Laysan albatross, named Wisdom, on Midway Island is recognised as the oldest wild bird in the world; she was first banded in 1956 by Chandler Robbins.
[Information from Wikipedia, with editing]
“As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.” (Isaiah 31:5 KJV)
“I Am Determined to Live for the King” ~ Three-Plus-One Quartet – Faith Baptist
Now here’s a combination for you. We finished up that large five family Galliformes Order last Sunday, and today we have two Orders with only one family each. Both of those families are small in number. The Loons and Penguins are not related, but they do both have the same Great Creator. They just happen to be next to each other in the Taxonomy List. I mentioned that they are not related, but looking at these two photos, you can see why their Orders are next to one another.
Loons are in the Gaviiformes Order which only has one family, the Gaviidae, containing only five members of that family.
The loon, the size of a large duck or small goose, resembles these birds in shape when swimming. Like ducks and geese but unlike coots (which are Rallidae) and grebes (Podicipedidae), the loon’s toes are connected by webbing. The bird may be confused with cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae), which are not too distant relatives of divers and like them are heavy set birds whose bellies – unlike those of ducks and geese – are submerged when swimming. Flying loons resemble plump geese with seagulls’ wings that are relatively small in proportion to the bulky body. The bird points its head slightly upwards during swimming, but less so than cormorants. In flight the head droops more than in similar aquatic birds.
Common Loon (Gavia immer) by J Fenton
Male and female loons have identical plumage. Plumage is largely patterned black-and-white in summer, with grey on the head and neck in some species. All have a white belly. This resembles many sea-ducks (Merginae) – notably the smaller goldeneyes (Bucephala) – but is distinct from most cormorants which rarely have white feathers, and if so usually as large rounded patches rather than delicate patterns. All species of divers have a spear-shaped bill.
Males are larger on average, but relative size is only apparent when the male and female are together.
In winter plumage is dark grey above, with some indistinct lighter mottling on the wings, and a white chin, throat and underside. The species can then be distinguished by certain features, such as size and colour of head, neck, back and bill, but often reliable identification of wintering divers is difficult even for experts – particularly as the smaller immature birds look similar to winter-plumage adults, making size an unreliable means of identification.
King Penguins – head on her shoulder
Penguins, which belong to the Spheniscidae Family and Sphenisciformes. Their family has eighteen (18) species to adore. We, Dan and I, have been able to see penguins at various zoo, but many of those have them displayed in a way that is difficult to get good photos. Ian and these other photographer are able to travel to where penguins live and are able to see and take their pictures in the wild.
Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds. They live almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere, with only one species, the Galapagos penguin, found north of the equator. Highly adapted for life in the water, penguins have countershaded dark and white plumage, and their wings function as flippers. Most penguins feed on krill, fish, squid and other forms of sealife caught while swimming underwater. They spend about half of their lives on land and half in the oceans.
Although almost all penguin species are native to the Southern Hemisphere, they are not found only in cold climates, such as Antarctica. In fact, only a few species of penguin live so far south. Several species are found in the temperate zone, and one species, the Galápagos penguin, lives near the equator.
The largest living species is the emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri): on average adults are about 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in) tall and weigh 35 kg (77 lb) or more. The smallest penguin species is the little blue penguin (Eudyptula minor), also known as the fairy penguin, which stands around 40 cm (16 in) tall and weighs 1 kg (2.2 lb). Among extant penguins, larger penguins inhabit colder regions, while smaller penguins are generally found in temperate or even tropical climates (see also Bergmann’s rule). Some prehistoric species attained enormous sizes, becoming as tall or as heavy as an adult human. These were not restricted to Antarctic regions; on the contrary, subantarctic regions harboured high diversity, and at least one giant penguin occurred in a region around 2,000 km south of the equator, in a climate decidedly warmer than today. [Wikipedia, with editing]
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (2 Peter 1:19 KJV)
The Perdix genus has the Grey Partridge, Daurian Partridge, and the Tibetan Partridges. Perdix is a genus of Galliform gamebirds known collectively as the ‘true partridges’. The genus name is the Latin for “partridge”, and is itself derived from Ancient Greek perdix. These birds are unrelated to the subtropical species that have been named after the partridge due to similar size and morphology. There are representatives of Perdix in most of temperate Europe and Asia. One member of the genus, the grey partridge, has been introduced to the United States and Canada for the purpose of hunting. They are closely related to grouse, koklass, quail and pheasants.
Madagascan Partridge (Margaroperdix madagarensis) found only in Madagascar. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.
Black Partridge are in genus Melanoperdix. The black partridge occurs in lowland rainforests of Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo and Sumatra in southeast Asia. It was formerly found but is long extinct on Singapore. The female usually lays five to six white eggs.
The two Forest Partridges are the Udzungwa Forest Partridge and the Rubeho Forest Partridge (Xenoperdix). Both species have boldly barred plumage and a red bill. Xenoperdix are found only in forests of the Udzungwa Mountains and the Rubeho Highlands of Tanzania.
The largest genus today are Partridges in the Arborophila group. They are the Hill, Rufous-throated, White-cheeked, Taiwan Partridge, Chestnut-breasted, Bar-backed, Sichuan, White-necklaced, Orange-necked, Chestnut-headed, Siamese, Malaysian, Roll’s, Sumatran, Grey-breasted, Chestnut-bellied, Red-billed, Red-breasted, Hainan Partridge, Chestnut-necklaced , and the Green-legged Partridge. The genus has the second most members within the Galliformes after Francolinus although Arborophila species vary very little in bodily proportions with different species varying only in colouration/patterning and overall size. These are fairly small, often brightly marked partridges found in forests of eastern and southern Asia
“Francolins are birds that traditionally have been placed in the genus Francolinus, but now commonly are divided into multiple genera (see Taxonomy), although some of the major taxonomic listing sources have yet to divide them. The francolins’ closest relatives are the junglefowl, long-billed partridge, Alectoris and Coturnix. Together this monophyletic clade may warrant family status as the Gallusinidae.
When all are maintained in a single genus, it is the most diverse of the Galliformes, having by far the most members. Francolins are terrestrial (though not flightless) birds that feed on insects, vegetable matter and seeds. Most of the members have a hooked upper beak, well-suited for digging at the bases of grass tussocks and rootballs. They have wide tails with fourteen retrice feathers. Most species exhibit spurs on the tarsi.”
“Of the approximately 40 living species, the natural range of five (comprising the genus Francolinus) are restricted to Asia, while the remaining genera are restricted to Africa. Several species have been introduced to other parts of the world, notably Hawaii.” (Wikipedia, with editing)
The Francolinus genre is: Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus), Painted Francolin (Francolinus pictus), Chinese Francolin (Francolinus pintadeanus), Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus), and the Swamp Francolin (Francolinus gularis).
Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus) by Nikhil Devasar
The four Peliperdix species are the Latham’s Francolin (Peliperdix lathami), Coqui Francolin (Peliperdix coqui), White-throated Francolin (Peliperdix albogularis), and the Schlegel’s Francolin (Peliperdix schlegelii)
Coqui Francolin (Peliperdix coqui) by Dave’s BirdingPix
The next seven belong in the Scleroptila genre. The Ring-necked Francolin (Scleroptila streptophora), Grey-winged Francolin (Scleroptila afra), Red-winged Francolin (Scleroptila levaillantii),
Finsch’s Francolin (Scleroptila finschi), Shelley’s Francolin (Scleroptila shelleyi), Moorland Francolin (Scleroptila psilolaema), and the Orange River Francolin (Scleroptila gutturalis).
The Pternistis has two names of birds in its genera. The Francolins and the Spurfowls. ” Its 23 species range through Sub-Saharan Africa. They are commonly known as francolins or spurfowl but are closely related to jungle bush quail, Alectoris rock partridges and Coturnix quail. The species are strictly monogamous, remaining mated indefinitely. They procure most of their food by digging. Partridge-francolins subsist almost entirely on roots, beans of leguminous shrubs and trees, tubers, seed, feasting opportunistically on termites, ants, locusts, flowers and fruit.
Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus) by Nikhil Devasar
“Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains.” (1 Samuel 26:20 KJV)
Last week the introduction to the avian wonders of the Phasianidae – Pheasants and Allies Family I began. The first twenty-one (21) species were presented. With a 183 in this family, we will stay with this family for a few Sundays.
Today there are 2 Monal-Partridge (Tetraophasis) , 5 Snowcock (Tetraogallus), 10 Partridges in 3 genera (Lerwa) (Alectoris) and (Ammoperdix), and 17 Francolin in 4 genera (Francolinus), (Peliperdix), (Scleroptila) and (Dendroperdix). The Pternistis genus will be covered next time. It consistes of Francolins and Spurfowls.
(Tetraophasis obscurus) is a species of bird in the Phasianidae family. It is found only in central China. Its natural habitat is boreal forests. The common name commemorates the French naturalist Jules Verreaux. The Szechenyi’s Monal-Partridge or buff-throated partridge (Tetraophasis szechenyii) is a species of bird in the family Phasianidae. It is found in China and India. Its natural habitat is boreal forests.
The Snowcocks are a group of bird species in the genus Tetraogallus of the pheasant family, Phasianidae. They are ground-nesting birds that breed in the mountain ranges of southern Eurasia from the Caucasus to the Himalayas and western China. Some of the species have been introduced into the United States. Snowcocks feed mainly on plant material. Snowcocks are bulky, long-necked, long-bodied partridge-like birds. Males and females are generally similar in appearance but females tend to be slightly smaller and rather duller in colouration than males. Their plumage is thick with a downy base to the feathers which helps them to withstand severe winter temperatures that may fall to −40 °C (−40 °F).
The genus Alectoris is a well-defined group of partridge species allied with coturnix and snowcocks and also related to partridge-francolins (Pternistes) and junglebush quail (Perdicula ). They are known collectively as rock partridges. The genus name is from Ancient Greek alektoris a farmyard chicken.
The See-see partridge occurs in southwest Asia, and the Sand partridge in Egypt and the Middle East. Both are resident breeders in dry, open country, often in hill areas. Both partridges in this genus are 22–25 cm long, rotund birds. They are mainly sandy brown, with wavy white and brown stripes on their flanks.
Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus) by Nikhil Devasar
Francolinus is a genus of birds in the francolin group of the partridge subfamily of the pheasant family. Its five species range from western and central Asia through to southern and south-eastern Asia.
Coqui Francolin(Peliperdix coqui) by Dave’s BirdingPix
Peliperdix – Its four species range through tropical Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Crested Francolin (Dendroperdix sephaena) – It is found in Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
(Wikipedia, with editing)
“As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.” (Jeremiah 17:11 KJV)
“In the Garden” ~ Flute Solo Lauren D – Orchestra Concert