Paintbrush Birds – European Bee-eater

European Bee-eater @Francesco Pellegrini

European Bee-eater @Francesco Pellegrini

Description and Details

“The European bee-eater (Merops apiaster) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family, Meropidae. It breeds in southern Europe and in parts of north Africa and western Asia. It is strongly migratory, wintering in tropical Africa. This species occurs as a spring overshoot north of its range, with occasional breeding in northwest Europe.”

“This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly coloured, slender bird. It has brown and yellow upper parts, whilst the wings are green and the beak is black. It can reach a length of 27–29 cm (10.6–11.4 in), including the two elongated central tail feathers. Sexes are alike. Female tends to have greener rather than gold feathers on shoulders. Non-breeding plumage is much duller and with a blue-green back and no elongated central tail feathers.

European Bee-Eater – (Merops apiaster)

Great Verses:

“TO LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.” (Psalms 104:24-25 KJV)

“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 KJV)

More European Bee-eaters:

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) by Ian

More Paintbrush Birds:

Paintbrush Birds – Gouldian Finch

Gouldian Finch - Male adult @Wikipedia

Gouldian Finch – Male adult @Wikipedia

Paintbrush Birds – Gouldian Finch

The Gouldian finch (Chloebia gouldiae), also known as the Lady Gouldian finch, Gould’s finch or the rainbow finch, is a colorful passerine bird that is native to Australia. Both sexes are brightly colored with black, green, yellow, and red markings. The females tend to be less brightly colored. One major difference between the sexes is that the male’s chest is purple, while the female’s is a lighter mauve.

Gouldian finches’ heads may be red, black, or yellow. Formerly considered three different kinds of finches, it is now known that these are color variants that exist in the wild. Selective breeding has also developed mutations (blue, yellow and silver instead of a green back) in both body and breast color.

Black-headed male Gouldian @Finch Frankfurt Zoo

Black-headed male Gouldian Finch @Frankfurt Zoo

Prior to the Australian government’s ban on the export of Australian fauna, Gouldian finches were exported worldwide. These birds have resulted in viable breeding populations being held in many countries.

Captive breeding has resulted in several colour mutations. Mutations vary by country, with some existing only in Australia (the Australian yellow and the Australian “dilute”) and others existing in greater number in the United States, such as the blue bodied Gouldian. The most common body mutations in the United States are blue, pastel green (single and double-factor, resulting in “dilute” and yellow males and yellow females), and pastel blue (again, single and double-factor producing “pastel” and silver males, and silver hens).

(Wikipedia with editing)

FUN FACTS – San Diego Zoo

  • Only the male Gouldian finch sings.
  • The Gouldian finch is also known as the Lady Gould’s finch, named for the wife of John Gould, a famous 19th century British ornithologist and artist.
  • Gouldian finches prefer temperatures constantly above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius).

What a beautiful colorful array of the rainbow.

Great Verses:

“Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.” (Psalms 40:5 NKJV)

“We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.” (Psalms 78:4 NKJV)

What will you do with Jesus?

Paintbrush Birds – Wood Ducks

My most favorite duck is the Wood Duck. To me, it seems as if someone took a paintbrush and created such a beautiful Avian Wonder. Of course, that Creator was the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Great Creator. So, the Wood Duck is our first Paintbrush Bird to start off another new Series. Paintbrush Birds

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

This picture that Dan took at Lake Hollingsworth, in Lakeland, Florida, is real. I was right there beside Dan when we took photos. Of course, his turned out the best, and it is not a painting.

Mr and Mrs Wood Duck by Lee

Mr and Mrs Wood Duck by Lee at Lake Hollingsworth

When we watch the birds, I have to just pause in awe at colors and designs of the birds. Everywhere we look, if our eyes are truly open, we can see that these Avian Wonders just didn’t evolve.

“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.” (Genesis 1:21-22 NKJV)

The animals, birds, fish, and even humans are under the curse now, but what might the originally created have looked like? Wow! I WOW! now when I see the beauty that is around us even now. I also see the scars from the fall around also.

Back to this series I’m starting. The desire is to showcase some of these birds that look like they were “hand-painted.” Also, after finding similar post, more information will be given about the bird itself. Trust you enjoy these efforts.

Wood Ducks belong to the Anatidae Family Here is a previous video from the Petersen Birding videos here. It is definitely worth watching. It provides quite a lot of information about this beautifully created Wood Duck.

Here are a few close ups of the Wood Duck. You decide about the “Painter!”

I just realized while viewing Ray’s Wood Duck that I have the five colors I need to make another Wordless Bird. Red, Yellow, Black, White and Green.

Previous Articles about the Wood Duck:

Our Ducky Backyard

“D” is for Ducks, Dabblers and Divers: “D” Birds, Part 1 by JJSJ

While looking for more Wood Duck articles, I found these interesting post along the same ideas as this “new” series, that may not be so “new” :)

 

Dan’s Photos – Wishful Thinking, Flamingo, and Vulture

Tricolored Heron by Dan

Finally, I was able to encourage Dan to share some of his great photos from our latest Gatorland visit. He is a much more busier than me, and processing photos taken in “raw format” take more time. My “JPEG” are a snap to get ready. That said, here are the first few that go along with some of the previous post.

Tricolored Heron by Dan at Gatorland

Tricolored Heron by Dan at Gatorland

Great Blue Heron by Dan at Gatorland

Great Blue Heron by Dan at Gatorland

See:  Wishful Thinking

Black Vulture by Dan at Gatorland

Black Vulture by Dan at Gatorland

See:  Black Vultures Up Close At Gatorland

These two almost took my breath away when I saw it:

American Flamingo by Dan at Gatorland

American Flamingo by Dan at Gatorland

American Flamingo by Dan at Gatorland

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16-17 NKJV)

See:  Flamingo Filtering at Gatorland – 12/30/20

Needless to say, Dan has a really nice lens on his camera, and he does not shoot in “program” mode like I do. He actually know all about those “f-stops” and “things” that I have no clue what they are. We make a great team.

Stay Tuned! I have some more of his photos.

You can see many of his other photos at: Dan’s Pix

The rest of our Gatorland trip in December:

  1. Flamingo Filtering at Gatorland – 12/30/20
  2. Gator Tail Anyone?
  3. Our Gatorland Welcome 12-30-20
  4. Put Your Best Foot Forward
  5. Black Vultures Up Close At Gatorland
  6. Wishful Thinking

Wordless Birds

 

Wishful Thinking

Tricolored Heron at Gatorland

Many times when we are young, we wonder or try to imagine what we will be like when we grow up. (Notice the bird in the upper right corner)

Great Blue Heron at Gatorland

This Great Blue Heron may be trying to remember his days of youth. (Notice the bird in the lower left corner)

Tricolored Heron and Great Blue Heron at Gatorland

Our smaller Tricolored Heron can wish all he wants, but he will never become a Great Blue Heron. The Lord, the Creator of all these Avian Wonders, made each of them slightly different.

Just as we in our lives have different talents and abilities, we should not try to be something that we were not created to be. The Lord has given each of us, as Christians, different areas of service. It may a small task, or it could be an enormous task.

“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7 NKJV)

Each of these birds at Gatorland, are all created different, yet they all seem to enjoy hanging out there. Many of us enjoy being with others at our places of worship. We all have something we can do to help others.

Wood Stork at Gatorland

White Ibis at Gatorland

Great Egret at Gatorland

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

Other Gatorland Post from the December 30th visit:

  1. Flamingo Filtering at Gatorland – 12/30/20
  2. Gator Tail Anyone?
  3. Our Gatorland Welcome 12-30-20
  4. Put Your Best Foot Forward
  5. Black Vultures Up Close At Gatorland

Wordless Birds

Bee-eaters – Creation Moments

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) ©WikiC

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) ©WikiC

Here is another interesting video from Creation Moments about the habit of Bee-eaters of eating bees loaded with poison.

 Watch our video about
one of God’s most amazing
creatures – birds that eat bees!

 

Bee-eaters make their living catching and eating bees and wasps with stingers. The poison in many of these stinging insects is powerful enough to kill bee-eaters, but the birds are not only skilled at avoiding stings, they know how to remove the poison from the bee when they eat it! And they have one other important skill, which you’ll learn about when you watch our “Birds Who Build Pyramids” video.

Click here to watch or click the photo above.

From Creation Moments ©2020

“I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine.” (Psalms 50:11 NASB)

Interesting Things

Palm Warbler Through Our Window

Beautyberry in backyard

In the last week, we added an American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) to our backyard. Actually, we dug it up from our previous house, before we sold it Monday. (Yeah!) It was in the backyard and ignored since we moved to our new house. Therefore, it is a bit dried up, but will bounce back with some TLC. [Tender Love and Care]

Palm Warbler on Beautyberry

Palm Warbler on Beautyberry

This morning while eating our breakfast, the Palm Warbler came and sat in the Beautyberry plant/bush. This time I was ready for him/or her. I had the camera right on the table. Yes!! This warbler and a Phoebe have been checking the plant out. [More about that visit in another post.]

The next three photos show how hard it is to try to focus on the bird with your camera in “program mode”. That is the way I use my camera as I have mentioned before. At least you can see the front, back, and side view.  :) Thankfully the video came out much clearer. [After all, I was sitting at the breakfast table.]

Palm Warbler on Beautyberry

Palm Warbler on Beautyberry

“Palm Warblers are small songbirds, but they are on the larger side for a warbler and have a fuller looking belly. Their posture is more upright than a typical warbler and more like a pipit—especially noticeable when they are on the ground. Their tails and legs are longer than most warblers contributing to the pipitlike shape.” [All About Birds]

Palm Warbler on Beautyberry

Palm Warbler on Beautyberry

“This is one bird where behavior—this bird’s near-constant tail-wagging—can help confirm its identity. They mainly forage on open ground or in low vegetation, rather than in forest canopy as many warblers do (although they do sing from high perches in trees and shrubs).” [All About Birds]

Palm Warbler on Beautyberry

Palm Warbler on Beautyberry

Check out this photo from All About Birds:

Palm Warbler in Non-breeding color

Oops!!! This is not a Palm Warbler on Beautyberry, It is the Eastern Phoebe!! [Edited after Published]

“Who provideth for the raven [or Warbler] his food?… they wander for lack of meat.” (Job 38:41 KJV)

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” (Matthew 13:31-32 KJV)

In Mark, Luke, and in Matthew, the parable of the mustard seed is told. They all mention the small grain of mustard seed that grows up into a tree that the birds use for rest and shelter. This little warbler has found rest in this plant just as we find rest for our souls when we know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. With the Christmas season here, there are plenty of reminders of His Love and Salvation.

[All About Birds]

Gospel Presentation

Hummingbird from John 10:10 Project

“Few creatures in the animal kingdom can capture the imagination more powerfully than a hummingbird. Their aeronautical abilities are stunning. But the genius of these birds isn’t limited to flight. Each day, they must consume twice their body weight in nectar to fuel their voracious metabolisms. The incredible biological mechanisms that make this possible are masterpieces of engineering and design.”

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10 KJV)

A friend sent me this link. Thanks, Pastor Pete.

Avian – Happy Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day here in America. I wonder if the beautiful, hard-working avian mother’s have a special day. Maybe, it is the day the little one fledge and finally have “Flown The Coop.”

Seriously, I would like to wish all of my readers a Happy Mother’s Day with this little tribute.

First, the Momma bird lays her eggs:

“Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice.” (Proverbs 23:25 NKJV)

Second, momma has to sit on the eggs for awhile:

“For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50 NKJV)

Third, the little ones start to appear:

“Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 19:19 KJV)

Fourth, those little birds get hungry:

“Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)” (Ephesians 6:2 KJV)

Fifth, they mature (juveniles) and eventually Fly The Coop:

Avian mother’s are finished with that batch. Unlike human mothers whose work has just begun, and will continue through every stage of their children’s lives, even into their grandchildren’s lives.

Happy Mother’s Day!!

“Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old.” (Proverbs 23:22 NKJV)

“A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother.” (Proverbs 15:20 NKJV)

Extreme Cold For Zoo Birds

House Finch in Snow ©WikiC

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;” (Job 12:7 NKJV)

The last few days, the northern states of the United States and Canada have been experiencing extreme cold temperatures. Watching the news today, our Manatees, here in Florida, are heading in to the warmer waterways. But how about the birds?

Checking articles about how the Zoos protect their avian wonders during this severe cold snap, there were several interesting things that are being done to protect the birds.

In Chicago, they actually closed the “Lincoln Park Zoo …closed at 3 p.m. on Tuesday and was to remain shut on Wednesday, when temperatures are expected to reach a daytime high of around 14 degrees below zero. Brookfield Zoo planed to close its doors Wednesday and Thursday.” [edited to make it past tense, written Jan 28, 2019]

“To ensure the safety of our animals and staff, the zoo will only have a skeleton crew on site who will provide basic core functions, including animal care and to check on the facilities,” said Stuart Strahl, president and CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, in a statement.

That zoo has closed just three other times in its 85-year history: Feb. 2, 2011, due to a snowstorm; and Sept. 14, 2018 and April 18, 2013, because of significant flooding.”

“Lincoln Park Zoo spokesperson Jillian Braun said the zoo has closed just one other time due to extreme weather in recent memory. ”

Chicago Zoos to Close in Anticipation of Extreme Cold

Swallows Keeping Warm in Cold and Snow ©WTTW

Another article by the same source “Shiver, Fluff and Cuddle: How Birds Keep Warm in the Winter

Even the Penguins in Canada aren’t too sure about this cold weather. See:

These Zoo Penguins Are Clearly Not Enjoying Canada’s Cold Winter

“The Calgary Zoo in Alberta had to bring its penguins inside after the weather dropped to -25 degrees below zero Celsius.

Calgary Zoo – Gentoo Penguins ©Inside Edition

The zoo’s 51 Gentoo penguins, Humboldt penguins, king penguins and rockhopper penguins, are usually brought in at some point every year.

“The keepers are able to call the penguins in and they have an instinct to want to be indoors when it gets that cold as well. We do this every winter when the temperature plummets to where it was a few days ago,” a zoo official told InsideEdition.com. “They are cold weather birds, but the temperatures were colder than they prefer.”

Another Zoo, Saskatoon zoo works to keep animals safe in extreme cold weather, says, “The species that might be tropical or from regions that never see minus temperatures have to come inside at the beginning of the winter season.”

Dunlins in Snow

The St. Louis Zoo in Missouri says, “On one of the coldest days in over 20 years, employees at the St. Louis Zoo are busy making sure animals are being cared for and protected from the dangerously cold weather….

“A lot of times you’ll see those animals adapted to cold weather actually being more active in the cooler weather than you would in the summer heat,” Anne Tieber, curator of birds. In the historic buildings that house the birds, monkeys, and reptiles, zookeepers keep the temperature around 70 degrees, with a little of humidly for the tropical plants and some animals.”

“One surprisingly warm place the zoo is the Penguin and Puffin Coast, the building is kept at a balmy 45 degrees year-round.  So, right now it seems incredibly warm to the 7 degrees outside but flips to feeling cold in the summer.”

Enjoy these articles, plus a few more that tell how the wild birds also survive these extreme cold days and nights.

Chicago Zoos to Close in Anticipation of Extreme Cold

Shiver, Fluff and Cuddle: How Birds Keep Warm in the Winter

These Zoo Penguins Are Clearly Not Enjoying Canada’s Cold Winter

Saskatoon zoo works to keep animals safe in extreme cold weather

St. Louis Zoo in Missouri

More:

COLD-WEATHER SKILLS OF FEATHERED FRIENDS – Zoo Atlanta

Keeping Warm in Winter is for the Birds

Do Animals Hate the Bitter Cold?

How Does Extreme Winter Weather Affect Wildlife?

How Canada’s zoos protect their animals from the bitter cold

Wordless Birds

 

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography Move Finished

Snowy Egret in Breeding Plumage at Gatorland by Dan

Both Volume I and Volume II are completely moved to the Birds of the Bible for Kids blog. As best I could, all the links to photos, information and articles should be working properly. I am encouraging you to stop by and check out this latest volume.

Here is the rest of the latest blog over there:

I trust you will enjoy reading the articles. If you are not familiar with the Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, at the beginning of the index, they mention that the articles are written for the younger reader. Then, more information is given about the bird on a normal reading level. After that, I updated with current photos and information. Even though the original articles were produced in a magazine in 1897, they are worth repeating here.

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography Vol #1 – Complete covered the first Volume. Here is a list of the articles for Volume II. Please enjoy discovering interesting avian wonders from their Creator.

Volume 2, Number 1, July 1897

Wood Duck by Dan at Lake Hollingsworth

Wood Duck by Dan at Lake Hollingsworth [Real-not a painting]

Bird Song – July
The Bald-Headed Eagle
The Semi-Palmated Ring Plover
The Mallard Duck
The American Avocet
The Canvas-Back Duck
The Wood Duck
The Anhinga Or Snake Bird
The American Woodcock
The American Scoter
Old Abe
The Snowy Heron

Volume 2, Number 2, August 1897

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) male by Raymond Barlow

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) male by Raymond Barlow

Bird Song
The American Osprey
The Sora Rail
The Kentucky Warbler
The Red Breasted Merganser
The Yellow Legs
The Skylark
Wilson’s Phalarope
The Evening Grosbeak
The Turkey Vulture
To A Water-Fowl
Gambel’s Partridge

Volume 2, Number 3, September 1897

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) by BirdingPix

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) by BirdingPix

Bird Song – September
The Yellow Warbler
The Hermit Thrush
The Song Sparrow
The Cuckoo
The Ruby-Throated Humming Bird
The House Wren
The Phoebe
The Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
The Mourning Dove
How The Birds Secured Their Rights
The Captive’s Escape
The White-Breasted Nuthatch

Volume 2, Number 4, October 1897

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus swainsoni) by Ian

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus swainsoni) by Ian

The Blackburnian Warbler
The Lost Mate
The American Goldfinch
The Chimney Swift
Shore Lark
The Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker
The Warbling Vireo
The Wood Pewee
The Snowflake
The Slate-Colored Junco
The Kingbird

Volume 2, Number 5, November 1897

Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena) by Daves BirdingPix

Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena) by Daves BirdingPix

John James Audubon
The Summer Tanager
The American White-Fronted Goose
The Turnstone
The Belted Piping Plover
The Wild Turkey
The Cerulean Warbler
The Yellow-Billed Tropic Bird
The European Kingfisher
The Vermilion Fly-Catcher     Version II
The Lazuli Bunting
Bird Miscellany Plus

Volume 2, Number 6, December 1897

American Flamingo Beak at Gatorland by Lee

American Flamingo Beak at Gatorland by Lee

The Ornithological Congress
The Mountain Bluebird
The English Sparrow
Allen’s Humming Bird
The Green-Winged Teal
The Black Grouse
The American Flamingo
The Verdin
The Bronzed Grackle
The Ring-Necked Pheasant
More Bird Miscellany
The Yellow-Breasted Chat

Birds Vol 2 #6 – The Volume II. July to December 1897 – Index

*
Wordless Birds

Lord’s Avian Wonders – Bad Feather Day

Bad Feather Day Gatorland by Lee

Bad Feather Day at Gatorland by Lee

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. (Psalms 91:4 KJV)

Bad Feather Day Gatorland by Lee

Bad Feather Day at Gatorland by Lee

For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.(1 Peter 2:19 KJV)

Bad Feather Day Gatorland by Lee

Bad Feather Day at Gatorland by Lee

Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. (1 Corinthians 6:7-8 KJV)

Bad Feather Day Gatorland by Dan

Bad Feather Day at Gatorland by Dan

Click on photos to enlarge them.

*

Sometimes there are pictures that I’d like to share, but don’t really have much to say. The photos say it all. This new category is called Lord’s Avian Wonders to just post a picture or pictures. They are all the Lord’s Avian Creations.

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.
(Genesis 1:21-23 NKJV)

*