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
Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix
“But of all clean fowls ye may eat.” (Deuteronomy 14:20 KJV)
The Phasianidae Family has 183 species and is the last family in the Galliformes Order. This will take several Sunday Inspirations to cover all of these interesting birds. In Scripture, they are considered “clean fowl” and may be eaten. Here in America, many Wild Turkeys have found themselves the center of attraction on Thanksgiving Day.
Part I begins with the first twenty one (21) members of the Phasianidae clan in ten (10) genera. There are 2 Turkeys, 12 Grouse, 2 Capercaillies, 2 Prairie Chickens and 3 Ptarmigans.
Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) by Raymond Barlow
The Phasianidae are a family of heavy, ground-living birds which includes pheasants, partridges, junglefowl, chickens, Old World quail, and peafowl. The family includes many of the most popular gamebirds. The family is a large one, and is occasionally broken up into two subfamilies, the Phasianinae, and the Perdicinae. Sometimes, additional families and birds are treated as part of this family. For example, the American Ornithologists’ Union includes Tetraonidae (grouse), Numididae (guineafowl), and Meleagrididae (turkeys) as subfamilies in Phasianidae.
The first genus, Meleagris, has the Wild Turkey and the Ocellated Turkey. The Ocellated Turkey (Meleagris ocellata) is a species of turkey residing primarily in the Yucatán Peninsula. A relative of the Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), it was sometimes previously treated in a genus of its own (Agriocharis), but the differences between the two turkeys are currently considered too small to justify generic segregation. They relatively large birds.
The Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) is a medium-sized grouse occurring in forests from the Appalachian Mountains across Canada to Alaska. It is non-migratory. It is the only species in the genus Bonasa. The ruffed grouse is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a “partridge”, and is a bird of open areas rather than woodlands. The ruffed grouse is the state bird of Pennsylvania, United States.
Tetrastes is a genus of birds in the grouse subfamily. It contains the following species: Hazel grouse (Tetrastes bonasia) and Chinese grouse(Tetrastes sewerzowi). Both species live in forests with at least some conifers in cool regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis) by Michael Woodruff
Falcipennis is a genus of birds in the grouse family that comprises two very similar species: Siberian grouse (Falcipennis falcipennis) and Spruce grouse (Falcipennis canadensis)
Both inhabit northern coniferous forests and live on conifer needles during the winter. Both have breeding systems with dispersed male territories, intermediate between the leks of some grouse and the monogamy of others.
The Western Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), also known as the wood grouse, heather cock, or just capercaillie /ˌkæpərˈkeɪli/, is the largest member of the grouse family. The species shows extreme sexual dimorphism, with the male twice the size of the female. Found across Eurasia, this ground-living forest bird is renowned for its mating display. The Black-billed Capercaillie (Tetrao urogalloides), which is just a bit smaller, is a sedentary species which breeds in the Larch taiga forests of eastern Russia as well as parts of northern Mongolia and China.
The next two, Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) and Caucasian Grouse (Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi) recently split from the Tetrix above.
Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) by Kent Nickel
The sage-grouse are the two species in the bird genus Centrocercus, the Sage and the Gunnison, (which is about a third smaller in size, with much thicker plumes behind the head; it also has a less elaborate courtship dance.)They are the largest grouse from temperate North America. The Sage Grouse, adult male has a yellow patch over each eye, is grayish on top with a white breast, and has a dark brown throat and a black belly; two yellowish sacs on the neck are inflated during courtship display. The adult female is mottled gray-brown with a light brown throat and dark belly. Gunnison Grouse adults have a long, pointed tail and legs with feathers to the toes. Each spring, the both species of males congregate on leks and perform a “strutting display”. Groups of females observe these displays and select the most attractive males with which to mate.
The genus Dendragapus contains two closely related species of grouse that have often been treated as a single variable taxon (blue grouse). The two species are the dusky grouse (Dendragapus obscurus) and the sooty grouse (Dendragapus fuliginosus). In addition, the spruce grouse and Siberian grouse have been considered part of this genus
Tympanuchus is a small genus of birds in the grouse family. They are commonly referred to as prairie chickens. The genus contains three species: Sharp-tailed grous,Greater prairie-chicken, and Lesser prairie-chicken. All three are among the smaller grouse, from 40 to 43 cm (16 to 17 in) in length. They are found in North America in different types of prairies. In courtship display on leks, males make hooting sounds and dance with the head extended straight forward, the tail up, and colorful neck sacks inflated.
Lagopus is a small genus of birds in the grouse subfamily, commonly known as ptarmigans. The genus contains three living species with numerous described subspecies, all living in tundra or cold upland areas. The three species are all sedentary specialists of cold regions. Willow ptarmigan is a circumpolar boreal forest species, white-tailed ptarmigan is a North American alpine bird, and rock ptarmigan breeds in both Arctic and mountain habitats across Eurasia and North America. All, with the exception of the red grouse, have a white winter plumage that helps them blend into the snowy background. Even their remiges are white, while these feathers are black in almost all birds. The Lagopus grouse apparently found it easier to escape predators by not being seen than by flying away.
(Wikipedia with editing)
“Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.” (Psalms 69:34 KJV)
“And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.” (Exodus 16:13 KJV)
The Odontophoridae is made up of the New World Quail. This includes 2 Partridges, 3 Wood Partridges, 10 Quails, 4 Bobwhites, and 15 Wood Quail. [and a Partridge in a pear tree! Oops! Wrong article. :0) ]
These are not the Old World Quails that rained down on the Israelites.
“The New World quails or Odontophoridae are small birds only distantly related to the Old World quail, but named for their similar appearance and habits. The American species are in their own family Odontophoridae, whereas Old World quail are in the pheasant family Phasianidae. The family ranges from Canada through to southern Brazil, and two species, the California quail and the bobwhite quail, have been successfully introduced to New Zealand. The stone partridge and Nahan’s partridge, both found in Africa, seem to belong to the family. Species are found across a variety of habitats from tropical rainforest to deserts, although few species are capable of surviving at very low temperatures. Thirty-four species are placed in ten genera.” (Wikipedia)
New World quail are generally short-winged, -necked and -tailed (although the genus Dendrortyx is long-tailed). The bills are short, slightly curved and serrated. The legs are short and powerful, and lack the spurs of many Old World galliformes. Although they are capable of short bursts of strong flight New World quails prefer to walk, and will run from danger (or hide), taking off explosively only as a last resort. Plumage varies from dull to spectacular, and many species have ornamental crests or plumes on the head. There is moderate sexual dichromism in plumage, with males having brighter plumage.
The New World quails are shy diurnal birds and generally live on the ground; even the tree quails which roost in high trees generally feed mainly on the ground. They are generalists with regards to their diet, taking insects, seeds, vegetation and tubers. Desert species in particular consume a lot of seeds.
Northern bobwhite and California quail are popular gamebirds, with many taken by hunters, but these species have also had their ranges increased to meet hunting demand and are not threatened. They are also artificially stocked. Some species are threatened by human activity, such as the bearded tree quail of Mexico, which is threatened by habitat loss and illegal hunting.
“The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.” (Psalms 105:40 KJV)
Vulturine Guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum) by Lee
“Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.” (Genesis 8:19 KJV)
Several Sundays ago, we started introducing you to the Galliformes Order. You have seen the Megapodes Family, the Chachalacas, Curassows and Guans Family, and today, you get to meet the members of the Guineafowl Family. The family name is Numididae, and there are four genera for only six species. They are all from the African continent.
The guineafowl (sometimes called guineahen) are a family of birds that are native to Africa, but the Helmeted Guineafowl has been domesticated, and both feral and wild-type birds have been introduced elsewhere.
This family of insect and seed-eating, ground-nesting birds resemble partridges, but with featherless heads, though both members of the genus Guttera have a distinctive black crest, and the Vulturine Guineafowl has a downy brown patch on the nape. Most species of guineafowl have a dark grey or blackish plumage with dense white spots, but both members of the genus Agelastes lack the spots (as do some domestic variants of the Helmeted Guineafowl). While several species are relatively well known, the Plumed Guineafowl and the two members of the genus Agelastes remain relatively poorly known. These large birds measure from 40–71 cm (16–28 inches) in length, and weigh 700–1600 (grams) or 1.5-3.5 (pounds)
The White-breasted Guineafowl (Agelastes meleagrides) is a medium-sized, up to 45 cm long, terrestrial bird of the guineafowl family. It has a black plumage with a small, bare red head, white breast, long black tail, greenish brown bill and greyish feet. The sexes are similar, although the female is slightly smaller than the male. They are distributed in subtropical West African forests of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The diet consists mainly of seeds, berries, termites and small animals.
The Black Guineafowl, (Agelastes niger), is a member of the guineafowl bird family. It occurs in humid forests in Central Africa where it is often heard but seldom seen. It is a medium-sized black bird with a bare pink head and upper neck. Little is known of its behaviour because it has been little studied. It is usually found in pairs or small groups and is a shy, elusive bird of the forest floor. It occurs in primary and secondary growth woodland, favouring parts with thick undergrowth but sometimes venturing out onto adjacent cultivated lands. It feeds on invertebrates such as ants, termites, millipedes and beetles, and also small frogs, seeds, berries and shoots. The nesting habits of this species are not known but the eggs are pale reddish brown, sometimes shaded with yellow or purple.
The Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris) is a large (53–58 cm) bird with a round body and small head. They weigh about 1.3 kg. The body plumage is gray-black spangled with white. Like other guineafowl, this species has an unfeathered head, in this case decorated with a dull yellow or reddish bony knob, and red and blue patches of skin. The wings are short and rounded, and the tail is also short. Various sub-species are proposed, differences in appearance being mostly a large variation in shape, size and colour of the casque and facial wattles.
The Plumed Guineafowl (Guttera plumifera) is a member of the guineafowl bird family. It is found in humid primary forest in Central Africa. It resembles some subspecies of the crested guineafowl, but has a straighter (not curled) and higher crest, and a relatively long wattle on either side of the bill. The bare skin on the face and neck is entirely dull grey-blue in the western nominate subspecies, while there are a few orange patches among the grey-blue in the eastern subspecies schubotzi.
The Crested Guineafowl (Guttera pucherani) is a member of the Numididae, the guineafowl bird family. It is found in open forest, woodland and forest-savanna mosaics in Sub-Saharan Africa. The plumage is overall blackish with dense white spots. It has a distinctive black crest on the top of its head, the form of which varies from small curly feathers to down depending upon subspecies, and which easily separates it from all other species of guineafowl, except the plumed guineafowl. The names “crested” and “plumed” are often misapplied across the species.
The species is monogamous with probable strong and long-lasting pair bonds. Courtship feeding is common, the author having seen a captive male run 5–10 metres to the hen to present some particular morsel. The nest is a well-hidden scrape in long grass or under a bush; eggs vary from nearly white to buff and a clutch is usually around 4 or 5.
The Vulturine Guineafowl (Acryllium vulturinum) is the largest extant species of guineafowl. Systematically, it is only distantly related to other guineafowl genera. Its closest living relative, the white breasted guineafowl, Agelastes meleagrides inhabit primary forests in Central Africa. It is a member of the bird family Numididae, and is the only member of the genus Acryllium. It is a resident breeder in northeast Africa, from southern Ethiopia through Kenya and just into northern Tanzania.
The vulturine guineafowl is a large (61–71 cm) bird with a round body and small head. It has a longer wings, neck, legs and tail than other guineafowl. The adult has a bare blue face and black neck, and although all other guineafowl have unfeathered heads, this species looks particularly like a vulture because of the long bare neck and head.
The slim neck projects from a cape of long, glossy, blue and white hackles. The breast is cobalt blue, and the rest of the body plumage is black, finely spangled with white. The wings are short and rounded, and the tail is longer than others in the family Numididae.
Domesticated Guineafowl, sometimes called pintades or gleanies, are a family of birds originating from Africa, related to other game birds such as the pheasants, turkeys and partridges; they have a long history of domestication, mainly involving the helmeted guineafowl. (Most information from Wikipedia, with editing)
“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” (Matthew 6:26 KJV)
Wattled Curassow (Crax globulosa) by Lee at National Aviary
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)
Today we will finish up the Cracidae family by introducing you to the last 15 species. The are the Curassows in four genera. I love their curly hairdo on most of them. We see them in the different zoo quite frequently. “Curassows are one of the three major groups of cracid birds. Three of the four genera are restricted to tropical South America; a single species of Crax ranges north to Mexico.
The Nocturnal Curassow (Nothocrax urumutum) is the only one in his genus. They are found in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical swamps.
The next genus of Curassows are the Mitu, of which there are four. They are found in humid tropical forests in South America. Their plumage is iridescent black with a white or rufous crissum and tail-tip, and their legs and bills are red. The genders are alike. These are the Crestless, Alagoas, Salvin’s, and the Razor-billed Curassows.
The next Genus Pauxi – are called Helmeted Curassows. The Helmeted, Horned and Sira Curassows make up this group. They are terrestrial black fowl with ornamental casque on their heads. All are found in South America.
The last genus in this Cracidae Family are the Crax. Seven of them finish off with their curly hairdos. “Crax is a genus of curassows in the order Galliformes, a clade of large, heavy-bodied, ground-feeding birds. They are known from tropical South America with one species, the great curassow, ranging northwards through Central America as far as Mexico. The currasows in this genus are noted for their sexual dimorphism; males are more boldly coloured than females and have facial ornamentation such as knobs and wattles. They are also characterised by curly crests and contrastingly-coloured crissums.” (Most information from Wikipedia with editing)
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV)
Here is the second group of birds in the Cracidae Family. Last weeks Chachalacas were rather plain, but an interesting group. Today’s second set of species has 20 Guans and 4 Piping Guans. You will notice a little more variety and coloring in these Guans, yet the overall shapes are similiar to the Chachalacas. “The guans are a number of bird genera which make up the largest group in the family Cracidae. They are found mainly in northern South America, southern Central America, and a few adjacent Caribbean islands. There is also the peculiar horned guan (Oreophasis derbianus) which is not a true guan, but a very distinct and ancient cracid with no close living relatives (Pereira et al. 2002).”
These are distributed through 6 genera. These are the birds in the Penelope genera; Band-tailed Guan, Bearded Guan, Baudo Guan, Andean Guan, Marail Guan, Rusty-margined Guan, Red-faced Guan, Crested Guan, Cauca Guan, White-winged Guan, Spix’s Guan, Dusky-legged Guan, White-crested Guan, Chestnut-bellied Guan, and White-browed Guan
Wattled Guan is in Aburria, Black Guan and Sickle-winged Guan are in the Chamaepetes genus, Highland Guan in the Penelopina and the Horned Guan in the Oreophasis generas.
I found this additional remark in Wikipedia rather amazing. “This indicates that the guans’ origin is in the northern Andes region, in the general area of Colombia or perhaps Ecuador; the date of their initial radiation is not well resolved due to the lack of fossil evidence but can be very roughly placed around 40–25 mya (Oligocene, perhaps some time earlier). The two basal lineages diverged during the Burdigalian, around 20–15 mya.(Pereira et al. 2002)” They have no proof or fossil evidence, yet they came up with these millions of years. Their initial radiation was the day they came off of the ark., which was not millions of years ago.
“Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him: Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.” (Genesis 8:17-19 KJV)
“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.” (Psalms 27:5 KJV)
“I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.” (Psam 50:11 KJV)
Chachalacas are a part of the Cracidae family. There are 55 species in this family and these 16 Chachalacas are in the Ortalis genus. It makes for a good division for this family, plus, I have been having computer problems for over a week. So, we will go with these noisy little avian wonders from the Lord’s hand. You may notice that they are not really “handsome” or “colorful,” yet, they are just as special to their Creator as the more fancy birds.
Rufous-vented Chachalaca (Ortalis ruficauda) by Kent Nickel
Chachalacas are mainly brown galliform birds from the genus Ortalis. These birds are found in wooded habitats in far southern United States (Texas), Mexico, and Central and South America. They are social, can be very noisy and often remain fairly common even near humans, as their relatively small size makes them less desirable to hunters than their larger relatives. They somewhat resemble the guans, and the two have commonly been placed in a subfamily together, though the chachalacas are probably closer to the curassows.
The generic name is derived from the Greek word όρταλις, meaning “pullet” or “domestic hen.” The common name is an onomatopoeia for the four-noted cackle of the plain chachalaca (O. vetula). (Information from Wikipedia)
Plain Chachalaca at Santa Ana NWR, 2002 [Old camera]
We were fortunate to see our first Chachalaca at the Santa Ana NWR in South Texas back in 2002. They just barely come over into the U.S.
After that noisy Chachalaca thought you might like a little quieter song.
*And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;” (Isa 32:18 KJV)
“Quiet Rest* and “Sweet Hour of Prayer” ~ by Kathy Lisby – Nell Reese acc”.
“Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.” (Genesis 8:17 KJV)
This week we start introducing you to the five families in the Megapodiidae Order. The first family in taxonomic listings is the Megapodiidaes. There are 21 species in this family of “medium-sized to large terrestrial birds with large legs and feet with sharp claws. They range from 28 to 70 cm. The largest members of the clade are the species of Alectura and Talegalla. The smallest are the Micronesian scrubfowl (Megapodius laperouse) and the Moluccan scrubfowl (Eulipoa wallacei). They have small heads, short beaks, and rounded and large wings. Their flying abilities vary within the clade. They present the hallux at the same level of the other toes just like the species of the clade Cracidae. The other Galliformes have their halluces raised above the level of the front toes.”
“The megapodes, also known as incubator birds or mound-builders, are stocky, medium-large chicken-like birds with small heads and large feet in the family Megapodiidae. Their name literally means “large foot” (Greek: mega = large, poda = foot), and is a reference to the heavy legs and feet typical of these terrestrial birds. All are browsers, and all but the malleefowl occupy wooded habitats. Most are brown or black colored. Megapodes are superprecocial, hatching from their eggs in the most mature condition of any birds. They hatch with open eyes, bodily coordination and strength, full wing feathers and downy body feathers, and are able to run, pursue prey, and, in some species, fly on the same day they hatch.”
“Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.” (Matthew 26:34 KJV)
Happy New Year!!
“The Galliformes Order is the next order taxonomically. “The Galliformesare an order of heavy-bodied ground-feeding birds that includes turkey, grouse, chicken, New World quail and Old World quail, ptarmigan, partridge, pheasant, junglefowl and the Cracidae. The name derives from “gallus”, Latin for “cock” or “rooster”. Common names are gamefowl or gamebirds, landfowl, gallinaceous birds, or galliforms. “Wildfowl” or just “fowl” are also often used for the Galliformes, but usually these terms also refer to waterfowl (Anseriformes), [which we just finished] and occasionally to other commonly hunted birds. This group has about 299 species, one or more of which are found in essentially every part of the world’s continents (except for the innermost deserts and perpetual ice). They are rarer on islands, and in contrast to the closely related waterfowl, are essentially absent from oceanic islands—unless introduced there by humans. Several species have been domesticated during their long and extensive relationships with humans.”
“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)
“This order contains five families: Phasianidae (including chicken, quail, partridges, pheasants, turkeys, peafowl and grouse), Odontophoridae (New World quails), Numididae (guineafowl), Cracidae (including chachalacas and curassows), and Megapodiidae (incubator birds like mallee fowl and brush-turkeys). They are important as seed dispersers and predators in the ecosystems they inhabit, and are often reared as game birds by humans for their meat and eggs and for recreational hunting. Many gallinaceous species are skilled runners and escape predators by running rather than flying. Males of most species are more colorful than the females. Males often have elaborate courtship behaviors that include strutting, fluffing of tail or head feathers, and vocal sounds. They are mainly nonmigratory.” (Wikipedia with editing)
Peacock at Magnolia Plantation by Dan
“Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?” (Job 39:13)
Here are a few birds from each of the five families:
“The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.” (Psalms 105:40 KJV)
Many of these birds are mentioned in the Bible, so they are also listed in our Birds of the Bible articles. Over the following Sunday, these families will be presented in smaller articles with the slideshows as in the previous articles.
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2 KJV)
All of us from Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas. Dan and I, James J. S. Johnson [Dr. Jim], Emma Foster, Ian, and all our other guest authors wish you a peaceful and blessed day as you consider all the importance of what this Christmas Day represents.
Last Sunday, our pastor, had a very good message that emphasizes this and the importance of worship. I have linked it here and trust you will be blessed by it. Also enjoy our quartet singing the “Beautiful of Star of Bethlehem,” and Angel singing “Noel.” Next week we will get back to our regular Sunday Inspiration format.
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14 KJV)
Today is a little different from our normal post. Last Sunday evening we had the Christmas Cantata at our church, Faith Baptist Church in Winter Haven, Florida. It was absolutely fantastic!
Enjoy and may you have a blessed Christmas.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:1-2, 26-28 KJV)
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:8-16 KJV)
“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. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-14 KJV)
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21 KJV)
Surprise! We are finally at the last of the Anatidae Family of Ducks, Geese, and Swans. There are 31 left, and today we will reveal the rest of them. There is a total of 173 species in this family. Trust you didn’t mind them being divided into different articles [in taxonomic order]. A list of the whole series of these avian wonders is at the end of the article.
Today, we start off with four Eiders that are in two genera. They are the Steller’s Eider (Polysticta stelleri), Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri), and the King Eider (Somateria spectabilis), Common Eider (Somateria mollissima).What are an interesting looking group.
Steller’s Eider (Polysticta stelleri)is the smallest eider at 45 cm (18 in) long. The male is unmistakable with his white head marked by a thick black eye ring and greenish-black tufts of feathers on the forehead and the back of the head. Chin, throat and neck are also black, as are the back, tail, and rump. Wings are dark bluish-purple with white edging. When folded, they give a striped appearance across the back. The speculum is metallic blue bordered with white. The breast and flanks are cinnamon-buff marked with a black spot on each side just above the waterline. Legs, feet and bill are dark bluish-grey. The female is a dark brown bird, smaller with a more typically duck-shaped head and body than other eider species.
The Eider genus, Somateria, are large seaducks. The scientific name is derived from Ancient Greek somatos “body” and erion “wool”, referring to eiderdown. They all breed in the cooler latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The down feathers of eider ducks, and some other ducks and geese, are used to fill pillows and quilts—they have given the name to the type of quilt known as an eiderdown.
I think that when the Lord God, the Creator of all these “duck family” critters, He was proving these verses we read in the Bible: “Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:” (Ephesians 1:8-9 KJV) [emphasis mine]
As you will see as we continue through the rest of these swimming critters, the variety of design, color, shapes, and provisions for them. What a Creator!
The Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) is a small sea duck. It takes its name from Harlequin (French Arlequin, Italian Arlecchino), a colourfully dressed character in Commedia dell’arte. The species name comes from the Latin word “histrio”, “actor”. In North America it is also known as lords and ladies. Other names include painted duck, totem pole duck, rock duck, glacier duck, mountain duck, white-eyed diver, squeaker and blue streak.
The Labrador Duck (Camptorhynchus labradorius) is an extinct North American bird; it has the dubious distinction of being the first endemic North American bird species to become extinct after the Columbian Exchange. It was already a rare duck before European settlers arrived, and became extinct shortly after. As a result of its rarity, information on the Labrador duck is not abundant, but some, such as its habitat, characteristics, dietary habits, and reasons behind extinction, are known. Specimens of the Labrador duck are preserved in museum collections worldwide.
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) by Daves BirdingPix
The Scoters of the Melanitta genus come next: The Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata), Velvet Scoter (Melanitta fusca), White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi), Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra), Black Scoter (Melanitta americana)
They are stocky seaducks. The drakes are mostly black and have swollen bills. Females are brown. The genus name is derived from Ancient Greek melas “black” and netta “duck”.
They breed in the far north of Europe, Asia, and North America, and winter farther south in temperate zones of those continents. They form large flocks on suitable coastal waters. These are tightly packed, and the birds tend to take off together. Their lined nests are built on the ground close to the sea, lakes or rivers, in woodland or tundra. These species dive for crustaceans and molluscs.
Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis) by Ray
Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis), once known as oldsquaw, is a medium-sized sea duck. Their breeding habitat is in tundra pools and marshes, but also along sea coasts and in large mountain lakes in the North Atlantic region, Alaska, northern Canada, northern Europe, and Russia. The nest is located on the ground near water; it is built using vegetation and lined with down. They are migratory and winter along the eastern and western coasts of North America, on the Great Lakes, coastal northern Europe and Asia, with stragglers to the Black Sea. The most important wintering area is the Baltic Sea, where a total of about 4.5 million gather.
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) by Daves BirdingPix
Bucephala is a genus of ducks found in the Northern Hemisphere. The genus name is derived from Ancient Greek boukephalos, “bullheaded”, from bous “bull”, and kephale, “head”, a reference to the crest of the bufflehead making its head look large. They are the Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola), Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), Barrow’s Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)
Smew (Mergellus albellus) – The drake smew, with its ‘cracked ice’ and ‘panda’ appearance, is unmistakable, and looks very black-and-white in flight. The females and immature males are grey birds with chestnut foreheads and crowns, and can be confused at a distance with the ruddy duck; they are often known as “redhead” smew. It has oval white wing-patches in flight. The smew’s bill has a hooked tip and serrated edges, which help it catch fish when it dives for them.
Hooded Merganser Viera Wetlands with hood down by Lee
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) is a species of small duck. It is the only extant species in the genus Lophodytes. The bird is striking in appearance; both sexes have crests that they can raise or lower, and the breeding plumage of the male is handsomely patterned and coloured. The hooded merganser has a sawbill but is not classified as a typical merganser.
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) Male Zoo Miami by Lee
The Merus genus of Typical Mergansers: New Zealand Merganser (Mergus australis) Extinct, Brazilian Merganser (Mergus octosetaceus), Common Merganser (Mergus merganser), Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator), Scaly-sided Merganser (Mergus squamatus)
Although they are seaducks, most of the mergansers prefer riverine habitats, with only the red-breasted merganser being common at sea. These large fish-eaters typically have black-and-white, brown and/or green hues in their plumage, and most have somewhat shaggy crests. All have serrated edges to their long and thin bills that help them grip their prey. Along with the Smew and Hooded Merganser, they are therefore often known as “sawbills“.
The Black-headed Duck (Heteronetta atricapilla) is a South American duck allied to the stiff-tailed ducks in the subfamily Oxyurinae of the family Anatidae. It is the only member of the genus Heteronetta.
This is the most basal living member of its subfamily, and it lacks the stiff tail and swollen bill of its relatives.
Masked Duck (Nomonyx dominicus) is a tiny stiff-tailed duck ranging through the tropical Americas. They are found from Mexico to South America and also in the Caribbean. Primarily not migratory, masked ducks are reported as very uncommon vagrants in the southernmost United States, along the Mexican border and in Florida.
These ducks mainly feed on seeds, roots, and leaves of aquatic plants. They also eat aquatic insects and crustaceans. They feed by diving.
White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) Zoo Miami by Lee
The Oxyura genus has 6 Ducks, the Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), Andean Duck (Oxyura ferruginea), Lake Duck (Oxyura vittata), Blue-billed Duck (Oxyura australis), Maccoa Duck (Oxyura maccoa), and the White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala).
The Musk Duck (Biziura lobate) is a highly aquatic, stiff-tailed duck native to southern Australia. It is the only living member of the genus Biziura. This animal derives its common name from the peculiar musky odour it emanates during the breeding season. Musk ducks are moderately common through the Murray-Darling and Cooper Creek basins, and in the wetter, fertile areas in the south of the continent: the southwest corner of Western Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania.
[Information from Wikipedia with editing]
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2 KJV)
There are several different rose types, and each is very different. There are many different types of roses with many different colors and different sizes, The pictures in this photo gallery provide examples of some of the types of roses available.