Sunday Inspiration – Austral Storm Petrels and Albatrosses

Grey-backed Storm Petrel (Garrodia nereis) ©WikiC

“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.” (Genesis 1:20 KJV)

Our new Order, the Procellariiformes has four Families. Today, the Oceanitidae – Austral Storm Petrels and the Diomedeidae – Albatrosses are presented. There are 30 species in these two families. The next two families have a combined 117 members so we will be in this Procellariiformes Order for several weeks.

Oceanitidae – Austral Storm Petrels

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.

White-faced Storm Petrel (Pelagodroma marina) ©WikiC

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.

Diomedeidae – Albatrosses

Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) by Ian

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.

Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) Oldest Albartos named Wisdom ©EarthSky

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]

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“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

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More Sunday Inspirations

Oceanitidae – Austral Storm Petrels

Diomedeidae – Albatrosses

Laysan albatross, named Wisdom

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Sunday Inspiration – Pheasants and Allies V

Pheasants and their cousins have kept us interested for four weeks already. Today, even though there are 54 of these Avian Creations from our Lord left in this family, we will finish. The Pheasants and allies – Phasianidae Family has interesting and colorful members. With Partridges, Pheasants, Peafowls, Tragopan, Monals, and other members, the similarities are obvious, yet they all have their differences. One thing about their Creator, He enjoys variety. The Partridge is one of the many Birds of the Bible as listed in I Samuel 26:20 and Jeremiah 17:11. They are also on the clean fowl and are permissible to be eaten. I trust you have enjoyed seeing this large family of 187 members.

Painted Spurfowl (Galloperdix lunulata) by Nikhil

Galloperdix is a genus of three species of birds in the pheasant family, Phasianidae. These terrestrial birds are restricted to the Indian Subcontinent, with the Red Spurfowl and Painted Spurfowl in forest and scrub in India, and the Sri Lanka Spurfowl in forests of Sri Lanka. They share the common name “spurfowl” with the African members of the genus Pternistis.

Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) ©Arthur Grosset

Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) ©Arthur Grosset

The blood pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) is the only species in genus Ithaginis of the pheasant family. This relatively small, short-tailed pheasant is widespread and fairly common in the eastern Himalayas, ranging across India, Nepal, Bhutan, and China. The blood pheasant is the state bird of the Indian state of Sikkim.

Tragopan Wattles ©WikiC

Tragopan is a genus of bird in the family Phasianidae. These birds are commonly called “horned pheasants” because of two brightly colored, fleshy horns on their heads that they can erect during courtship displays. The scientific name refers to this, being a composite of tragus (billy goat) and the ribald half-goat deity Pan (and in the case of the satyr tragopan, adding Pan’s companions for even more emphasis). Their habit of nesting in trees is unique among phasianids.

Koklass Pheasant (Pucrasia macrolopha) by Nikhil Devasar

Koklass Pheasant (Pucrasia macrolopha) by Nikhil Devasar

The koklass pheasant is a medium-sized elusive bird confined to high altitude forests from Afghanistan to central Nepal, and in northeastern Tibet to northern and eastern China. Upper parts of male koklass pheasant are covered with silver-grey plumage streaked velvety-black down the centre of each feather, and it has the unique feature of a black head, chestnut breast and prominent white patches on the sides of the neck.

Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus) ©ArthurGrosset

A monal is a bird of genus Lophophorus of the pheasant family, Phasianidae. There are three species and several subspecies: Himalayan Monal, Sclater’s Monal, and the Chinese Monal.

Green Junglefowl (Gallus varius) ©WikiC

Green Junglefowl (Gallus varius) ©WikiC

Junglefowl are the four living species of bird from the genus Gallus in the Gallinaceous bird order, which occur in India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. These are large birds, with colourful male plumage, but are nevertheless difficult to see in the dense vegetation they inhabit. As with many birds in the pheasant family, the male takes no part in the incubation of the egg or rearing of the precocial young. These duties are performed by the drab and well-camouflaged female. The junglefowl are seed-eaters, but insects are also taken, particularly by the young birds.

One of the species in this genus, the red junglefowl, is of historical importance as the likely ancestor of the domesticated chicken, although it has been suggested the grey junglefowl was also involved. The Sri Lankan junglefowl is the national bird of Sri Lanka.

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) at Wings of Asia by Lee

The gallopheasants (genus Lophura) are pheasants of the family Phasianidae. The genus comprises 12 species and several subspecies.

White Eared Pheasant (Crossoptilon crossoptilon) ©©

White Eared Pheasant (Crossoptilon crossoptilon) ©©

The name Crossoptilon is a combination of the Greek words krossoi, meaning “fringe” and ptilon, meaning “feather”— a name Hodgson felt particularly applied to the white eared pheasant “distinguished amongst all its congeners by its ample fringe-like plumage, the dishevelled quality of which is communicated even to the central tail feathers”. All are large, sexually monomorphic and found in China.

Cheer Pheasant (Catreus wallichii) ©©

Cheer Pheasant (Catreus wallichii) ©©

Cheer Pheasants lack the color and brilliance of most pheasants, with buffy gray plumage and long gray crests. Its long tail has 18 feathers and the central tail feathers are much longer and the colour is mainly gray and brown. The female is slightly smaller in overall size.

Reeves's Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii) Memphis Zoo by Dan

Reeves’s Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii) Memphis Zoo by Dan

The genus Syrmaticus contains the five species of long-tailed pheasants. The males have short spurs and usually red facial wattles, but otherwise differ wildly in appearance. The hens (females) and chicks pattern of all the species have a rather conservative and plesiomorphic drab brown color pattern

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchius) by Robert Scanlon

The “typical” pheasant genus Phasianus in the family Phasianidae consists of twp species. The genus name comes from Latin phasianinus “pheasant-like” (from phasianus, “pheasant”).[1] Both Phasianus and “pheasant” originally come from the Greek word phāsiānos, meaning “(bird) of the Phasis”. Phasis is the ancient name of the main river of western Georgia, currently called the Rioni.

Lady Amherst’s Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) Zoo Miami by Lee

The genus name is from Ancient Greek khrusolophos, “with golden crest”. These are species which have spectacularly plumaged males. The golden pheasant is native to western China, and Lady Amherst’s pheasant to Tibet and westernmost China, but both have been widely introduced elsewhere.

Palawan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron napoleonis) M ©WikiC

Palawan Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron napoleonis) M ©WikiC

The peacock-pheasants are a bird genus, Polyplectron, of the family Phasianidae, consisting of eight species. They are colored inconspicuously, relying on heavily on crypsis to avoid detection. When threatened, peacock-pheasants will alter their shapes utilising specialised plumage that when expanded reveals numerous iridescent orbs. The birds also vibrate their plume quills further accentuating their aposematism. Peacock-pheasants exhibit well-developed metatarsal spurs. Older individuals may have multiple spurs on each leg. These kicking thorns are used in self-defense.

Crested Argus (Rheinardia ocellata) ©WikiC

Little is known about this species in the wild. A shy and elusive bird, the crested argus is found in submontane Vietnam, Laos, and Malaysia in Southeast Asia. The diet consists mainly of invertebrates, mollusks, amphibians, small reptiles, bamboo shoots, leaves, fruits, and fungi

Great Argus (Argusianus argus) ©WikiC

The scientific name of the Great Argus was given by Carl Linnaeus in reference to the many eyes-like pattern on its wings. Argus is a hundred-eyed giant in Greek mythology. There are two subspecies recognized: Nominate argus of the Malay peninsula and Sumatra, and A. a. grayi of Borneo. William Beebe considered the two races to be distinct species, but they have since been lumped.

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

Pavo is a genus of two species in the pheasant family. The two species, along with the Congo peacock, are known as peafowl.

Congo Peafowl (Afropavo congensis) M F ©WikiC

Congo Peafowl (Afropavo congensis) M F ©WikiC

The Congo peafowl (Afropavo congensis), known as the mbulu by the Congolese, is a species of peafowl native to the Congo Basin. It is one of three extant species of peafowl, the other two being the Indian peafowl (originally of India and Sri Lanka) and the green peafowl (native to Burma and Indochina).

(Information from Wikipedia, with editing)

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“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16 NKJV)

“How Can I Keep From Singing” ~ Three + One Quartet (Pastor Smith, Reagan, Jessie, and Caleb)

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Sunday Inspirations

Sunday Inspiration – Pheasants and Allies I

Sunday Inspiration – Pheasants and Allies II

Sunday Inspiration – Pheasants and Allies III

Sunday Inspiration – Pheasants and Allies IV

Pheasants and allies – Phasianidae

Birds of the Bible

In Our Place

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