Does Global Warming Threaten Bird Habitats?

Tricolored Heron by Dan

Does Global Warming Threaten Bird Habitats?

Written by Dr. James J. S. Johnson in the latest Acts And Facts about birds, especially the Tricolored Heron, being affected by the threats of global warming.

“If you love birds, should you fight petroleum production in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? How you answer depends on whether you believe man-made global warming is threatening Earth’s climate. That crisis scenario is actually based on evolutionary old-earth assumptions,1 and constant media stories feed the fear.

An amateur naturalist recently sounded the global-warming alarm over tricolored herons expanding their range. He reported that about three-quarters of the population lived in Louisiana in 1976, but now many are relocating northward up the Atlantic coast.2 He had little trouble identifying the culprits:

Isolated islands, prime breeding grounds safe from land-based predators, are being lost everywhere to rising sea levels and devastating storms. The tricolor I was watching was apparently trying to adapt to a rapidly warming planet. It had arrived earlier and farther north than its ancestors ever did [sic].…Birds everywhere are being threatened by the climate crisis. The fossil fuel lobby and its enablers in Washington, DC, are handing tricolors and thousands of other species a life-threatening legacy.2

But wait! Are the fossil fuel lobby and the politically powerful petroleum industry really villains that are forcing the poor tricolored herons to migrate—in temperature-troubled desperation—to a Virginia wildlife refuge “farther north” than their ancestors had ever been? No, because the same writer admitted that earlier heron generations had populated eastern America outside of Louisiana….

Does Global Warming Threaten Bird Habitats?

 

Hummingbirds! – by Brian Thomas, M.S.

Scintillant Hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla) in Flight by Raymond Barlow

Scintillant Hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla) in Flight by Raymond Barlow

That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it. (Isaiah 41:20 KJV)

I wanted to share an article from the latest Acts and Facts. Acts and Facts is a monthly magazine from the Institute for Creation Research. Here are a few quotes from “Hummingbirds!”, by Brian Thomas, M.S.

Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens) by Judd Patterson

Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens) by Judd Patterson

“Who doesn’t pause to marvel when a hummingbird flies by? These tiny, colorful birds perform amazing aerobatic feats, and yet some very smart scientists insist that mere natural forces mimicked a real engineer to construct these fascinating flyers. Authors of a Nature paper on hummingbird flight wrote in 2005 that “the selective pressure on hummingbird ancestors was probably for increased efficiency.”1 They imagine that hummingbirds….”

Violet-headed Hummingbird (Klais guimeti) by Michael Woodruff

Violet-headed Hummingbird (Klais guimeti) by Michael Woodruff

“Hummingbird beaks, bones, and feathers differ from those of all other living or extinct bird kinds.3 Their wings don’t fold in the middle. Instead,….”

Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) by Raymond Barlow

Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) by Raymond Barlow

“New hummingbird research has revealed other fascinating features. Birds generate a lot of heat when they fly. Considering their speed, you might expect hummingbirds….”

To read the article  CLICK HERE.

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Acts and Facts

“Hummingbirds!”, by Brian Thomas

Institute for Creation Research

Trochilidae – Hummingbirds Family

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Arctic Terns Set Mileage Records As Frequent Fliers

Artic Terns 1
ARCTIC   TERNS   SET   MILEAGE   RECORDS   AS   FREQUENT   FLIERS

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

For  the  kingdom  of  heaven  is  as  a  man  travelling  into  a  far country… (Matthew  25:14a)

Arctic Terns (Sterna paradisaea), which weigh only about a quarter-pound,  are the ultimate example of global migrants, accomplishing the longest-known migrations, every year, from near  the top of the world to near the bottom, then vice versa.  In fact, some Arctic Terns fly >50,000 miles in their pole-to-pole-and-then-back-again migration!  (And, if an Artic Tern lives 30 years, as some do, that could mean about 1½ million miles on his or her lifetime “odometer”, which is comparable to 3 round trips to the moon (i.e., that’s like 3 times, to the moon and back again)!

Imagine how inconvenient it would be for a bird to arrive at the South Pole during May or June, when the weather is freezing cold and food is scarce. Or imagine a similar scenario at the North Pole during November or December, when the weather there is harshest. Thankfully, arctic terns follow the opposite schedule, synchronizing with temperature and seasonal food availability.

Why? These birds are purposefully preprogrammed to operate by these schedules; God fitted them to do so. This programming is critical for these migratory birds to travel over the Atlantic Ocean from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and vice versa, every year. At more than 40,000 miles round trip, they are the ultimate frequent fliers! A recent study pointed out:

The study of long-distance migration provides insights into the habits and performance of organisms at the limit of their physical abilities.

The Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea is the epitome of such behavior; despite its small size (<125 g), banding recoveries and at-sea surveys suggest that its annual migration from boreal and high Arctic breeding grounds to the Southern Ocean may be the longest seasonal movement of any animal. Our tracking of 11 Arctic terns fitted with miniature (1.4-g) geolocators revealed that these birds do indeed travel huge distances (more than 80,000 km [>50,000 miles] annually for some individuals).…

Arctic terns clearly target regions of high marine productivity both as stopover and wintering areas, and exploit prevailing global wind systems to reduce flight costs on long-distance commutes.

Ecologically speaking, it’s all a demonstration of “survival of the fitted”. Arctic terns, like all birds, survive because they are divinely fitted to survive all of the interactive factors in their diverse and geographically extensive environments.

Providentially, the arctic terns select season-synched flight times that repeatedly avoid the harsh winter months at both the North and South Poles. Likewise, the terns select flight plans that take advantage of global wind patterns and incorporate helpful stopovers for rest and refueling.

Timing factors are interactive throughout this cyclical migration: the seasonal weather cycle, wind patterns influenced by daily rotation of the earth, food availability influenced by annual seasons, and the reproductive cycle of the terns themselves.

In all of this, providential programming is both complicated and critical!

[Quoting James J. S. Johnson, “Survival of the Fitted: God’s Providential Programming”, Acts & Facts, 39 (10): 17-18 (October 2010), quoting Carsten Egevang, et al., “Tracking of Arctic terns Sterna paradisaea reveals longest animal migration”, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(5): 2078-2081 (2010).  See also Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, “The Longest Animal Migration in the World Revealed” (press release, n.d.), quoting Carsten Egevang —  and “The Arctic Tern Migration Project” website — showing “the impressive journey of the Arctic tern from the breeding grounds in Greenland to Antarctica and back in this Google Earth Tour combining maps, animations and photos”.]

Artic Tern near Iceberg

Fair Use photo credit:

Arctic Terns are circumpolar, i.e., their range largely covers the polar regions.  Its “normal” turfs include its breeding grounds, spread variously over Arctic lands (like Iceland and Greenland), as well as the sub-Arctic parts of Eurasia (such as Schleswig-Holstein, Germany) and North America, —  plus its migratory “timeshare” stopover lodgings,  — plus its Antarctica wintering grounds (such as Wilkes Land), including “down under” islands near Antarctica, such as Weddell Sea islands or New Zealand’s South Island.

Thus, the historic fame of Thingvellir, Iceland not only derives from hosting the annual Althing events (ever since Viking times), but also from hosting the critical-habitat nesting activities of breeding Arctic Terns!

Unsurprisingly, these noble and courageous seabirds have been celebrated by postage artists and philatelists alike in Nordic countries (and quasi-autonomous jurisdictions), such as the Åland, the Færoe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Sweden   —   as well as in Canada  —  and in other countries (or quasi-countries, like the Isle of Man) that appreciate either the Arctic or Antarctic activities of this globe-flier.

Stamp 1 Stamp 2 Stamp 3

Stamp 4 Stamp 5

 

Yet even the ever-traveling Arctic Terns have their share of enemies – such as predatory Arctic Foxes who are happy to raid Arctic Tern nests, if they can.  But, Arctic Terns won’t tolerate such predatory thefts without a fight – the Arctic Tern colony defenders will challenge (“mob”) such foxes!         ><> JJSJ

 

Picture1

Fair Use photo credit: 

Artic Fox and Artic Tern b©Arkive

Fair Use photo credit: 

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Orni-theology

James J. S. Johnson

Arctic Tern Family – Laridae

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The Ghost Army – Repost

An inflatable dummy tank ©WikiC

An inflatable dummy tank ©WikiC

The Ghost Army:  Moaning Noises Can be Scary!

– by James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. *

[Lee’s introductionThe current Acts & Facts from Institute for Creation Research has this very interesting article by Dr. James J. S. Johnson, who formerly taught courses on ornithology, ecology, limnology, and other bioscience-related courses at Dallas Christian College.]

Sometimes the best defense is an offense, even when the “offense” is really a bold bluff. This tactic is valued in wartime, and when God uses this principle He deserves our reverent adn admiring appreciation.

America’s top-secret World War II “Ghost Army” used cleverness and technology to fool German forces by masking military vulnerabilities. Yet the main fakery they used wasn’t mere camouflage—the daring deception involved threat-reversal mimicry….

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) ©USFWS

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) ©USFWS

Such is ordinary life for the mourning dove (Zenaida macroura), which feeds on the ground and nests there or within shrubs, on buildings, or in trees—the same places where opportunistic and omnivorous rats, like Rattus rattus and Rattus norvegicus, roam for food. Consequently, dove eggs and hatchlings are sometimes vulnerable to prowling predatory rats.3 … [Click here to see the whole article.]

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? (Romans 11:33-34 KJV)

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Did Dinosaurs Have Feathers? ~ From Acts & Facts

Dinosaur with Feathers ©WikiC

Dinosaur with Feathers ©WikiC

This month’s Acts & Facts from the Institute For Creation Research has an interesting article, Did Dinosaurs Have Feathers?. It is written by Frank Sherwin, M.A.

Someone was brave enough to hand out a “button reading “Dinosaurs are not birds”” at a Florida Symposium on Dinosaur Bird Evolution. Needless to say that opinion was in the minority there. Like the writer, I and the emphasis of this blog is that Birds were Created by the Lord. So were Dinosaurs. The problem is that the Bible says they were both created in the same six day period. (24 hour days)

Anyway his article is very good and you would enjoy reading it. The quote below is very good.

“God engineered exquisite flight feathers for lightweight aerodynamic efficiency. Using a microscope, one can see an amazing display of interlocking hooks and barbules—features absent from all dinosaur fossils so far described. When the bird preens with its bill, the zippering effect flattens feathers and snaps them into shape again. In order to preen, the feather-possessing creature must have a bill. Some dinosaurs had beaks, but none had bills. Furthermore, true bird fossils appeared before dinosaurs in the fossil record—a fact that those who promote the strange dinosaur-to-bird theory gloss right over!”

To read the whole article:

Did Dinosaurs Have Feathers?  

Click Here

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Acts & Facts

Also in this issue:

The Limits of Variability

There is also an article  by James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D.

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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. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:21-31 NKJV)

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