Why Red?

My backyard bird feeder is always alive with flashes of red. The Northern Cardinals are daily visitors for free helpings of sunflower seeds. As one catches my eye, I ponder, why red?

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Red Northern Cardinal Bird

Northern Cardinal; Clarke County, GA. ©www.williamwisephoto.com

Most animals blend into their surroundings. But not the Cardinal. He flashes about in a scarlet garment heralding his presence for all to see. Why would a small bird, an easy prey, want to wear such colors? As I meditate what creation would speak, red conjures two images: the stain of sin and the source of salvation.

THE STAIN OF SIN…

Red catches our attention, and normally for something of which we must take heed. We use it on our warning signs and labels; red hangs at every intersection to prevent disorderly collisions.

In Isaiah 1:18, red is used as a bold simile illustrating the blatant sins of the people. All that they do and say is stained with the crimson of sin. Although sin may blend in as the “norm of society”, it stands out to God’s eyes. Isaiah the preacher points out this scarlet warning sign, and begs the people to heed the warning and repent.

THE SOURCE OF SALVATION…

But another profound Biblical use of the color red is that of blood. From the blood of Abel, through the atoning sacrifices of the Israelites; of the thread in the window which saved Rahab and her entire family, to the saving Blood shed upon Calvary’s cross, the entire Bible is stained red with blood.

Though normally a gruesome sight for most, the red blood of the Bible is hope; it is cleansing. The sins of the people of Isaiah’s day stand out like red stained clothing. But it is the red colored blood of the new covenant which is able to remove that stain.

“Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood”
Revelation 1:5

Though I may be pushing things by stretching the color of a bird into a mini-sermon, I’d rather have the red Northern Cardinal remind of the warning of sin and of the hope of salvation, than to stand for a red-robed religious official for whom it is said the Cardinal is named!


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation. I am also a guest author at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Jesus and Birds – Introduction

Doves in Israel

Doves in Israel ©©

The Birds of the Bible was the original reason this blog came into being. That is what started this journey, to introduce you to the birds that are listed in the Bible. Many, if not most of those birds have been written about various times. We still continue to add to those articles.

While looking through my books, I came across “A Harmony of the Gospels For Students of the Life of Christ,” written by A. T. Robertson. Humm! A question hit me, How many times were there when Jesus and a bird or birds were mentioned at the time? Many of you can think of most of those occasions. Or can you? Do I remember all those times?

After doing a search, not exhaustive, there were at least 16 incidents where Jesus and a bird/birds were mentioned at the same event. Stay tuned and come along as I work these into post for us to learn more about the Creator of Our Avian Wonders. Yes, He was that Creator come to earth to pay the price of His Sacrifice on the Cross for our salvation.

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)

Birds of the Bible

Birds and Jesus – Kids and younger reader version

 

Voices that Carry

Joshua 6:20 “…and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, and they took the city.”

It is political season in the United States. From now until November all the media outlets will be saturated with political ads as every advocate for every cause will be projecting their voices in an effort to be heard. Some days, I just have to pull away from all those voices and go for a birding walk. But as a Christian, should I pull away? Should I remain silent?

As I stepped outdoors to get away, my attention was immediately drawn to a noisy bird circling overhead; his loud voice was carrying on the wind. One of the Killdeer birds that is normally darting around in our parking lot was flying through the air and shouting its name: Kill-deah! Kill-deah!!! The voices of the other plovers are more pleasantly described as ‘a plaintive or musical whistle.’ But not the Killdeer, of which Peterson’s Field Guide gives a one-word description: “noisy”.

Killdeer plover bird flying

Killdeer; Walton County, Georgia. www.williamwisephoto.com

So, just like the political activists, the Killdeer too wanted his voice to be heard! And perhaps I should take a lesson from the Killdeer. As Christians, in the interest of peace and harmony, do we remain quiet as the special interest groups shout aloud in support of their own, often unrighteous, causes? Do we let their voices carry louder than ours? The last time that happened, the outcome wasn’t so good. “And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed” (Luke 23:23).

This Killdeer was exemplifying his boisterous description, and simultaneously living up to his species name: Charadrius vociferous. Vociferous is from the Latin, meaning “to shout, yell.” If you break it down, vox means “voice”, and ferre, meaning “to carry”; therefore, vociferous describes ‘voices that carry’. Aptly describing my little plover flying overhead!

Killdeer plover bird

Killdeer; Walton County, Georgia. www.williamwisephoto.com

As the other voices carry along on the winds of social media, radio and television, our Christian voices in support of righteousness should also be heard! What if William Wilberforce and Abraham Lincoln had remained silent? Instead, they let their voices carry on the wind, like the vociferous Killdeer, and changed our society!

Joshua 6:20 “So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.”


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation. I am also a guest author at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

The King’s Fisher

Have you ever observed the superb skills of a Kingfisher making a headlong dive from an overhanging branch into a pond? The true origin of the Kingfisher’s name isn’t certain. But if you have seen him come up with a large fish, you must agree he is aptly named the king fisher!

Belted Kingfisher; Walton County Georgia

However, since many other birds are also quite good at catching fish, he may not have obtained that name by simply being the best at fishing. Another theory is that some monarch – a king with an affinity for the bird – gave him the name: thus, the King’s Fisher. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary states the name was originally written as The King’s Fisher (“kyngys fischare” in Middle English). I can’t help but think of King Solomon’s “three thousand proverbs which spoke of trees, beasts, birds, creeping things, and fishes.”

The King of Kingfishers

During his earthly ministry of discipling young fishermen to become apostles, Jesus stated, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).  The Lord’s desire is for His people to be the best fishermen they can be; to “launch out into the deep and let down the nets for a catch” of lost souls (Luke 5:4). If it is truly our Lord’s desire for us to be such fishers of men, we should strive to be the best fishermen possible! We can learn a few fishing tips from the Kingfisher.

Be Vocal!

Kingfishers are quite vocal and their loud, rattling call is often heard long before they are seen. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology states, “Male and female Belted Kingfishers give strident, mechanical rattles in response to the slightest disturbance.” I can always hear a Kingfisher from my office if there is one on the retention pond. As Christians hoping to win souls for our King, we should be just as vocal about the saving grace of Jesus everywhere we go. Our presence and evangelistic desire should never be hidden.  As Paul said, “If our gospel is hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (2 Corinthians 4:3).

Dive In!

The Kingfisher’s mode of catching fish is also an inspiration. They plunge headfirst directly from a perch, or, by hovering over the water bill downward, dive in after a fish they’ve spotted. Oh how many more souls we might win if we were to dive headfirst into every situation declaring the Gospel! A “pool” of souls on a city bus?  Dive in head first and preach! A “school” of fish? Take a plunge and declare the word of God no matter what the teachers might say!

So take an evangelistic tip from the Kingfisher: dive in and be vocal! After all, we are the King of Kings’ Fishers!


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation. I am also a guest author at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures  and The Creation Club. — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made the earth overflow with Your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

 

Birds of the Bible – Better Than The Birds IV

Little Grassbird (Megalurus gramineus) Adult Feeding Juvenile©WikiC

While listening to Wisdom For The Heart on BBN (Bible Broadcasting Network), I heard this message by Pastor Stephen Davey and wanted to share it. His message was “Better than the Birds” and of course it caught my attention. There are four parts, but I am only sharing the introduction and part four here.

Better than the Birds

Luke 12:6-31

Birds of the Bible – Better Than The Birds was the introduction to the “Better Than The Birds” message by Pastor Stephen Harvey.

We were told that “1. Worry denies the gracious care of God.”

We were told, “2. Secondly, worry depreciates the higher value of mankind” In  Better Than The Birds II

We were told, “3. Thirdly, worry distorts our perspective in life” In Better Than The Birds III

Now for Part IV

4. Worry diminishes our distinctiveness as believers

Look at verse 29. “And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying [about it]. 30. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek.”

Even as Christians we can get caught up in the world’s idea that we live because of our bodies. And since we think we live because of our bodies, we start living for our bodies.
That’s the way the world lives . . . it’s literally all about your body – your body – what you do with it, what you do for it, what you do to it – what you put on it, what you put in it.
That’s the passion of the world – the body.

Further, one author wrote it this way, “it is characteristic of the secular world to be obsessed with economic questions, to be almost entirely engrossed by consumer concerns, to be preoccupied with finding and getting better and better things.”xi

Jesus says, effectively, all these things are the things the nations of earth are after.

But maybe you’re thinking, well, somebody’s got to worry about my stuff!

So be careful here . . . let’s be balanced. Jesus isn’t advocating that we just stick our heads in the sand and everything will be alright.

Osprey Catching Fish - Viera Wetlands

Osprey Catching Fish – Viera Wetlands by Dan

The truth is, the animal kingdom is busy. Those little birds work hard . . . just watch them sometime. I doubt any of them get 2 weeks of vacation.

The question is, are you actively stewarding or managing what God has given you or are really at heart worrying about what God hasn’t given you or what He might not let you keep?

One author reviewed statistical percentages and summarized that:

 40% of our worries are about the future
 20% of our worries are about the past
 22% of our worries are about our health
 And 8% of our worries are about petty things we can’t do anything about; which means, 90% of what we worry about are things we can’t change.

Which is why one man wrote, “Worry is like a rocking chair – it gives you something to do but it never takes you anywhere.”

But what do we do about stuff we worry about?

I read about one man’s solution. He told his friend, “I have a mountain of debt; I’ve lost my job, my car was repossessed, our house is in foreclosure and I’m not even worried about it!”

“You’re not?” his friend said, “why not?”

“Well, I’ve hired a professional worrier. He does all the worrying for me, and that way I don’t have to think about it.”

“That’s fantastic. How much does your professional worrier charge you for his services?”

“Fifty thousand dollars a year.”

“Fifty thousand dollars a year – where are you going to get that kind of money?”

“I don’t know . . . that’s his worry!”xii

There’s got to be a better solution than that.

Jesus effectively challenges us with two solutions. They’re not easy . . . but they’re right.

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

1. Make sure God and His kingdom stays first!

Verse 31, Jesus says, ‘But seek His kingdom and these things will be added to you.
In other words, He’s promised to give you the Kingdom – vs. 32 – now live with the Kingdom of God in mind.
Imagine it this way. Imagine that after this service, I showed you a will that my uncle left – he was a multimillionaire and he just died and showed you where he left all his money to you – all 25 million dollars. He didn’t leave it to me – his nephew – he left it to you – my former friend. You used to go to church here.

Now all you have to do is go to the bank tomorrow morning, sign the papers and deposit that 25 million dollars into your personal bank account.

Now tell me. How would you feel about your car on the way home? Would you pull up at a red light and be embarrassed that it’s so old? What about the interest rate on your home?

Would you worry about that? What about the stock market forecasts on the evening news tonight? Would you be worried about the meeting your boss has asked for tomorrow afternoon . . . would you lose any sleep over any of that?

No . . . why not? Because you are even now a multimillionaire, even though you don’t have one nickel of that money in your account.

But it is effectively already yours.

Jesus says, “You’re going to be given the kingdom – you are a king and queen in the coming spectacular reign of Christ on earth.

Between now and then, how are you going to live? You don’t have the crown or the robe or the throne – but it’s already yours. So keep that in mind live for that . . . pursue that . . . seek first that kingdom . . . keep your future in mind.

Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa) ©WikiC Feeding Young

2. Make sure God and His kingdom stays first!

Matthew’s account adds another phrase to Luke’s account that provides the second solution.

Matthew records in 6:34; So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Can you believe Jesus said that? Don’t worry about tomorrow – it has enough trouble just waiting for you.

Is He being pessimistic?

No . . . He’s also handing out another pearl of wisdom.

Here it is . . . not only should we make sure we put God first; secondly, we should make sure tomorrow stays put!

I’m not sure about the grammar, but you get my point. Make sure tomorrow stays put.

Now, Jesus isn’t saying don’t plan for tomorrow; He’s saying, don’t pull tomorrow’s problems and challenges into today.

God gives grace for today – and He doles out His grace one day at a time; which means Satan will try to crush our spiritual shoulders by trying to make us carry tomorrow’s burdens with only today’s grace.

So, overcoming worry means you develop the art of living one day at a time.xiii

Hudson Taylor often said, “When you are walking with God [today], the responsibilities [of tomorrow] rest with Him.xiv

In the meantime, make sure you put God first;
make sure tomorrow stays put.

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) by Robert Scanlon

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) by Robert Scanlon

The truth is, and the convicting challenge in these final questions we’ve explored, is that you are better than the birds – now live like it . . . live up to your value as you trust your sovereign Lord – who cares about every detail of your life now – and He’s even preparing a kingdom with you in mind.

Martin Luther, that reformer centuries ago once described his favorite preacher. He wrote, I have one preacher I love better than any other; it is my little tame robin who preaches to me daily. I put his crumbs upon my window sill, especially at night. He hops onto the sill when he wants his supply, and takes as much as he desires to satisfy his need. From thence he always hops to a little tree close by, and lifts up his voice to God, and sings his carol of praise and gratitude, then tucks his little head under his wings, and goes fast to sleep, leaving tomorrow to look after itself.xv

That’s quite a preacher . . . quite a sermon to begin living up to – let’s live up to it, today.

This manuscript is from a sermon preached on 4/28/2013 by Stephen Davey.
© Copyright 2013 Stephen Davey All rights reserved.

(Copied with permission from Wisdom for the Heart and Pastor Stephen Davey.)

i John MacArthur, Matthew 1-7 (Moody Publishers, 1985), p. 419
ii Ibid
iii William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke (Westminster, 1975), p. p. 160
iv Bruce B. Barton, Life Application Bible: Luke (Tyndale, 1997), p. 314
v Barclay, p. 161
vi MacArthur, p. 119
vii MacArthur, p. 140
viii William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew: Volume 1 (Westminster, 1975), p. 257
ix R. Kent Hughes, Luke: Volume 2 (Crossway, 1998), p. 54
x MacArthur, Matthew, p. 421
xi Grant R. Osborne, Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Luke (Zondervan, 2010), p. 252
xii Robert J. Morgan, Stories, Illustrations and Quotes (Thomas Nelson, 2000), p. 804
xiii Barclay, Matthew, p. 258
xiv Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor, Hudson Taylor: Volume 2 (OMF International, 1996), p. 31
xv Morgan, p. 804


Lee’s Addition:

What a great series of messages from Pastor Stephen Davey. Wisdom For The Heart

We heard this originally on our local Bible Broadcasting Network station. It is now on the internet at:

BBN (Bible Broadcasting Network),

See:

Birds of the Bible – Better Than The Birds III

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) 3©USFWS

While listening to Wisdom For The Heart on BBN (Bible Broadcasting Network), I heard this message by Pastor Stephen Davey and wanted to share it. His message was “Better than the Birds” and of course it caught my attention. There are four parts, but I am only sharing the introduction and part three here.

Better than the Birds

Luke 12:6-31

Birds of the Bible – Better Than The Birds was the introduction to the “Better Than The Birds” message by Pastor Stephen Harvey.

We were told that “1. Worry denies the gracious care of God.”

We were told, “2. Secondly, worry depreciates the higher value of mankind” In  Better Than The Birds II,

Now for Part III

3. Thirdly, worry distorts our perspective in life
In other words, worry makes you start living only for the here and now!

Go back to verse 22. And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat, nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.”

In other words, life is really about more what we’re going to eat and what we’re going to wear?

Jesus delivers encouragement to those in his day who could honestly be worried about the lack of water and food. In His culture, workers were paid daily, they bought their food daily – which is why they were taught to pray for daily bread – which we don’t worry so much about because our loaves of bread will last a couple of weeks.
In Jesus’ day, nobody was praying for bread next week – that was simply too far ahead.

Add to that the fact that their government offered no security; there wasn’t insurance, workman’s comp or benefit packages.

But there were taxes to be paid. New Testament scholars estimate that as much as 40% of their income went to taxes.

All that to say, this challenge by Jesus was staggering to them – and a great challenge to their faith in God’s provision.

In our generation, this isn’t so much an encouragement as much as it is an indictment.

While the average person has food in the fridge, clothes in the closet and a car in the driveway, what you eat and what you drink and what you dress in and what you drive have become national obsessions.

We are effectively worried that our clothes aren’t costly enough; our cars aren’t new enough; our food isn’t gourmet enough; our bank accounts aren’t big enough.

Jesus says, to that generation and this one – your life is about much more than that . . . don’t live for stuff that runs out or wears out – or goes out of style.

He promises here, not that He’ll meet our greeds, but our needs.

Slaty Flowerpiercer (Diglossa plumbea) ©©ornitholoco

Slaty Flowerpiercer (Diglossa plumbea) ©©ornitholoco

Oh, and by the way, if you want to talk about really splendid clothing – verse 27 – Consider the lilies, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory, clothed himself like one of these. (now here’s the pearl of wisdom) 28. But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!

Jesus probably had his audience look around on that hillside – perhaps He gestured at the irises, the Turk’s cap lilies, the gladioli and scarlet poppies along with a smattering of wild flowers that bloomed for a day or two on the hillsides of Palestine.viii

He clothed them brilliantly and they don’t eve last that long!

The word for furnace here is a reference to the ordinary clay oven of this day – used primarily to bake bread. When the cook wanted to raise the temperature of the oven quickly, they would have handfuls of these same field flowers and dried grasses bundled nearby and they would grab a handful and throw it into the oven.

Something destined for the oven was still designed by God with brilliant colors and creative genius.

And all these wildflowers didn’t necessarily make it to the oven.

Martin Luther the converted monk and church reformer in the 16th century said that there were lessons of God’s glory in such beautiful flowers destined for such short life spans – he wrote “it seems that the flowers stand there and make us blush and become our teachers. Thank you flowers, you who are to be devoured by the cows!”ix

In other words, birds and flowers and nature around us teaches us the glory of God’s creative ability and His care and delight to have designed animals and flowers that live only briefly.

Twenty Hummingbirds at Feeder

Twenty Hummingbirds at Feeder

My wife has added birds to our backyard – strategically hanging feeders so that our back yard sounds like a constant aviary.
Yellow finches, hummingbirds, the elusive blue bird, the brilliant cardinal, sparrows, finches by the dozens, chic-a-dees, wrens, mourning doves, the unwanted mockingbird who thinks he owns the backyard and our deck and our house too.

Marsha and I often talk about the marvel of God’s hidden designs – noticed by so few. God created so much variety – to take the time to design splashes of white underneath large black eyes; to stripe transparent wings with burgundy and brown – to design symmetrical patterns of blue and gray.

Why? To declare His glory and to bring such sights for us to enjoy and marvel over His creation . . . and another reason – to remind us not to worry.

National Aviary – Outside feeder

For if God so cares about the details and designs of little birds and wild flowers – how much more does He care about us – His chief design, made in His image to talk with Him and walk with Him and worship Him and fellowship with and one day reign with Him.

In fact, notice verse 32. Do not worry – don’t be anxious or afraid – little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.

In other words, we haven’t seen anything yet.

Don’t worry! Why?

Worry denies the gracious care of God

Worry depreciates the higher value of mankind

Worry distorts your perspective in life to the present –the here and now

One more:

(Copied with permission from Wisdom for the Heart and Pastor Stephen Davey.)

i John MacArthur, Matthew 1-7 (Moody Publishers, 1985), p. 419
ii Ibid
iii William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke (Westminster, 1975), p. p. 160
iv Bruce B. Barton, Life Application Bible: Luke (Tyndale, 1997), p. 314
v Barclay, p. 161
vi MacArthur, p. 119


Lee’s Addition:

See:

Birds of the Bible – Deuteronomy 14:16-18 IV (WYC)

Rearmouse (Vespertilio murinus) ©WikiC

Rearmouse or Parti-colored Bat (Vespertilio murinus) ©WikiC

“16 a falcon, and a swan, and a ciconia,
17 and a dipper, a porphyrio, and a rearmouse, a cormorant,
18 and a calidris, all in their kind; also a lapwing and a bat.” Deuteronomy 14:16-18 Wycliffe Bible (WYC)

As we continue our investigation of the interesting interpretation of these three verses from Wycliffe’s Bible, we find another amazing critter. We have been looking at these verse in these recent blogs:

Normally, these verses would read something similar to this:

Deuteronomy 14:16-18 KJV
(16)  The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,
(17)  And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,
(18)  And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.

Or maybe the New American Standard’s Version:

Deuteronomy 14:16-18 NASB
(16) the little owl, the great owl, the white owl,
(17) the pelican, the carrion vulture, the cormorant,
(18) the stork, and the heron in their kinds, and the hoopoe and the bat.

Notice that all three versions us the bat in verse 18, yet now we find in Wycliff’s verse 17 a rearmouse mentioned.

According to information from the internet, the rearmouse is an archaic word used for a type of bat.

Parti-colored Bat (Vespertilio murinus) ©Flickr Rudo Jurecek

Parti-colored Bat (Vespertilio murinus) ©Flickr Rudo Jurecek

The parti-coloured bat or rearmouse (Vespertilio murinus) is a species of vesper bat that lives in temperate Eurasia.

Their twittering call, similar to a bird’s call, are to be heard particularly in the autumn during the mating season. The parti-coloured bat has a body size of 4.8–6.4 centimetres (1.9–2.5 in) with a wingspan of 26–33 cm (10–13 in), and a weight of 11–24 grams (0.39–0.85 oz). Its name is derived from its fur, which has two colours. Its back (dorsal side) is red to dark-brown, with silver-white-frosted hair. The ventral side is white or grey. The ears, wings and face are black or dark brown. The wings are narrow. The ears are short, broad and roundish. The highest known age is 12 years.

The Websters 1913 addition has this about it:

Reremouse
(1):
(n.) The leather-winged bat (Vespertilio murinus).
(2):
(n.) A rearmouse.

Parti-coloured bat or Rearmouse Wikipedia

This version, Wycliffe’s Bible Version, was taken from Bible Gateways site.

The Bat has already been written about in these two articles:

Birds of the Bible

What is the Gospel?

Avian and Attributes – Sword

Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) by Michael Woodruff

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39 KJV)


Avian and Attributes – Sword

SWORD, n.
1. An offensive weapon worn at the side, and used by hand either for thrusting or cutting.
2. Figuratively, destruction by war.
I will bring a sword upon you. Lev 26. Isa 51.
3. Vengeance or justice.
She quits the balance, and resigns the sword.
4. Emblem of authority and power.
The ruler–beareth not the sword in vain. Rom 13.
5. War; dissension.
I came not to send peace, but a sword. Mat 10.
6. Emblem of triumph and protection.
The Lord–the sword of thy excellence. Deu 33.

SWORDED, a. Girded with a sword.


Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera)©WikiC

Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera)©WikiC

The sword-billed hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) is a neotropical species of hummingbird from the Andean regions of South America. It is the sole member of the genus Ensifera and is characterized by its unusually long bill; it is the only bird to have a beak longer than the rest of its body. E. ensifera uses its bill to drink nectar from flowers with long corollas and has coevolved with the species Passiflora mixta. While most hummingbirds preen using their bills, E. ensifera must use its feet to scratch and preen due to its bill being so long. This uncommon bird is also one of the largest hummingbird species.

Sword-billed hummingbirds are found perched on the mid to upper level branches of neotropical trees. Its length ranges 13 to 14 cm from the tail tip to the base of the bill, with males slightly larger on average than females. The bill can additionally be over 10 cm long. Individuals weigh between 10-15 g making it one of the largest species of hummingbirds. As is characteristic of hummingbirds, is able to fly backwards and hover in the air. It also exhibits higher than average wing-disc loading than other members of its family.

Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) Female ©WikiC

E. ensifera displays sexual dimorphism where plumage varies between males and females. Males have a coppery bronze head, bronze green back, bright green underbelly, blackish green throat, and bronze green tail. Females have a similarly colored head and back, a white belly speckled with green, a more olive colored throat, and grayish white edging around the tail.

The defining trait of this species is a beak longer than the rest of its body (excluding the tail). The tongue is also unusually long to span the length of the tube-shaped bill. The beak is black in color and curves slightly upwards. These adaptations help the hummingbird feed on flowers with long corollas that are inaccessible to other species.

[Wikipedia]

Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) female (right) with a buff-tailed coronet ©WikiC

“And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:16-18 KJV)


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Birds whose first or last name starts with “S”

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[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]

Avian And Attributes – Superb

Superb Starling by Lee at Parrot Mountain, TN

I’m delighted to share the signs and miracles that the Most High God has worked in my life.

His signs are superb!
His miracles so powerful!
His kingdom is everlasting.
His rule is for all time.” Daniel 4:2-3 Common English Bible (CEB)

Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) Male non-breeding plumage ©WikiC


Avian and Attributes – Superb

SUPERB‘, a. [L. superbus, proud, from super.]
1. Grand; magnificent; as a superb edifice; a superb colonnade.
2. Rich; elegant; as superb furniture or decorations.
4. Rich; splendid; as a superb entertainment.
5. August; stately.


I was surprised that the regular versions of the Bible did not use the word “Superb.” When I think of Our Lord Jesus Christ and God, the word “Superb” comes to mind. The CEB had 3 verses that used “superb,” but Daniel 4 above is the best one.

There are seven “Superb” birds in the latest list of birds, all of them very pretty birds, and have a super look about them. Don’t you agree?

Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus)

Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) by Ian Montgomery

Superb Fairywren (Malurus cyaneus) by Ian

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus)

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

Superb Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) by Ian

Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) by Ian

Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) by Ian

Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii)

Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii) by Ian

Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii) by Ian

Superb Pitta (Pitta superba)

Superb Pitta ©Surfbirds.com

Superb Pitta ©Surfbirds.com

Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus)

Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus) by Bob-Nan

Superb Sunbird (Cinnyris superbus)

Superb Sunbird (Cinnyris superbus) ©WikiC


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Birds whose first or last name starts with “S”

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[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]

Artistic Birds – Frigatebirds

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Male ©WikiC

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Male ©WikiC

Bezalel was given much wisdom and understanding to help in the construction of the Tabernacle. He then was given the ability to train others to help. They were given abilities to help do the work also. Today, as Christians, we each are given talents and gifts to help in building the Church. Are we using those abilities?

“and He has filled him [Bezalel] with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of artistic workmanship. “And He has put in his heart the ability to teach, in him and Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work of the engraver and the designer and the tapestry maker, in blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen, and of the weaver—those who do every work and those who design artistic works.” (Exodus 35:31-35 NKJV)

When the Lord created the birds, He especially used His Ultimate Creative Ability. As mentioned in the Introduction to this new series, Artistic Work In Birds, we will looking for those birds which seem to have been painted/designed with great markings and other characteristics.

Frigatebirds

Frigatebirds (also listed as “frigate bird”, “frigate-bird”, “frigate”, “frigate-petrel”) are a family of seabirds called Fregatidae which are found across all tropical and subtropical oceans. The five extant species are classified in a single genus, Fregata. All have predominantly black plumage, long, deeply forked tails and long hooked bills. Females have white underbellies and males have a distinctive red gular pouch, which they inflate during the breeding season to attract females. Their wings are long and pointed and can span up to 2.3 metres (7.5 ft), the largest wing area to body weight ratio of any bird.

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor palmerstoni) Female by Ian

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor palmerstoni) Female by Ian

Able to soar for weeks on wind currents, frigatebirds spend most of the day in flight hunting for food, and roost on trees or cliffs at night. Their main prey are fish and squid, caught when chased to the water surface by large predators such as tuna.

Now that is design and engineering! The Great and Magnificent Frigatebirds have a distinctive red gular pouch, and it had a few paint strokes added to make it more attractive. [I guess]

Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) Male Displaying ©WikiC

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) ©WikiC

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) ©WikiC

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) ©WikiC

Starting off with a simple bird, also, will be working way through the birds sort of in Taxonomic order.

Frigatebirds – Wikipedia

Artistic Work In Birds – Introduction

Wages or a Gift

Artistic Work In Birds – Introduction

MaCaw by Dan at Gatorland

MaCaw by Dan at Gatorland

While reading through the New King James Bible in Exodus, the word “Artistic” works and “Artist” designs appears thirteen times. In the King James Version, this word is translated “Cunning” or “Curious.” Other versions; NASB uses “skillful”and “inventive”; the ESV uses “skillfully or skilled” “artistic”; the AMP uses “skillfully or skilled” and “artistic designs.”

The verses are all referring to preparing the tabernacle. Many people gave supplies that were needed, but God gave those that were actually putting it together, special wisdom and gifts/talent to accomplish the different task.

“And God has put in Bezalel’s heart that he may teach, both he and Aholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with wisdom of heart and ability to do all manner of craftsmanship, of the engraver, of the skillful workman, of the embroiderer in blue, purple, and scarlet [stuff] and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of those who do or design any skilled work.” (Exodus 35:34-35 AMP)

As I read these passages:

Exodus 28:25, 31:4, 35:32, 35:33, 35:35, 36:8, 36:35, 39:3, 39:8, 39:27,

the birds and their fantastic designs came to mind. How many birds that I have seen personally, or photos of that look like they were artistically designed? Many of them fascinate me. It looks like the Lord, in His Creation of these avian wonders, used a paintbrush as the colors and designs were added to the birds. I am sure a few also come to your memory also.

My first thought was of the Blue Jays that come to our yard frequently.

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) by Daves BirdingPix

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) by Daves BirdingPix

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) ©Flickr Stan Lupo

That is just a start. I would consider the Blue Jay “artistically designed. Wouldn’t You? How about that MaCaw?

Stay Tuned as a search through the Birds of the World seeks to see “Artistically” designed birds.

Birds of the World

Wordless Birds

Avian And Attributes – Stone

Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) ©WikiC

Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) ©WikiC

“Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?” (Matthew 21:42 KJV)


Avian and Attributes – Stone

STONE, n. [Gr.]
2. A gem; a precious stone.
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels.
3. Any thing made of stone; a mirror.
8. A monument erected to preserve the memory of the dead.
Should some relentless eye glance on the stone where our cold relics lie–
9. It is used to express torpidness and insensibility; as a heart of stone.
I have not yet forgot myself to stone.
10. Stone is prefixed to some words to qualify their signification. Thus stone-dead, is perfectly dead, as lifeless as a stone; stone-still, still as a stone, perfectly still; stone-blind, blind as a stone, perfectly blind.
To leave no stone unturned, a proverbial expression which signifies to do every thing that can be done; to use all practicable means to effect an object.
STONE, a. Made of stone, or like stone; as a stone jug.
STONE, v.t.
1. To pelt, beat or kill with stones.
And they stoned Stephen calling on God and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Acts 7.


Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) ©Flickr Jean

The Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) is a bird of the new world quail family. This largely brown bird, which commonly holds its tail raised, is found in scrubland and lightly wooded habitats, often near rocks, from Kenya and Ethiopia to Gambia (a large part if its range is in the Sudanian Savanna). As traditionally defined, it is the only member of Ptilopachus, but based on genetic evidence this genus also includes the Nahan’s “francolin”

Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) ©WikiC

The Stone Partridge is exceptional among gamebirds in that the female, to human eyes, is showier than the male. Both sexes are predominantly earthy chocolate brown above, with sparse pale cream-grey spotting. The head, neck and chest are paler brown and have broad cream edging to the feathers that gives the bird a scaled appearance. In males the lower chest and belly are orange-cream; in females, very pale cream. Both sexes raise their crown feathers to form a rudimentary crest but the feathers of females are somewhat longer and hence more obvious when raised.

Eggs are pale pink, fading to cream, juveniles are dark chocolate-brown throughout, moulting into adult plumage at several weeks old. In captivity at least, the male plays a major role in both incubation and rearing of the young, offering young small items of food by picking them up, dropping them and calling to the chicks.


“But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?” (John 10:26-32 KJV)

More Avian and Attributes

Birds whose first or last name starts with “S”

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[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]