Birdwatching Term – Frontal Shield

White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera) Cropped ©WikiC

White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera) Cropped ©WikiC

Frontal Shield

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

The Coot article  mentioned the shield. “Coots have prominent frontal shields or other decoration on the forehead…”

What is a “frontal shield”?

The place above the upper beak (upper mandible) has a platelike area. It is made of a fleshy material. When the Lord created those birds that have the shield, He gave them each a different looking shield. It is neat to see the variety that the shields have. I am sure that the bird uses them to know which are their kind.

Below are some photos of the various Frontal Shields on the birds. There are more birds that have shield, but this just a sample of these unique birds.

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You have also given me the shield of your salvation: and your right hand has held me up, and your gentleness has made me great.
(Psalms 18:35 AKJV)



Sunday Inspiration – Birds and Peace

White Pelicans in Flight - Circle B Bar by Dan

White Pelicans in Flight – Circle B Bar by Dan

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:3 KJV)

Today’s is more about the song that Sean is playing. “I’d Rather Have Jesus Than Anything.” These photos are of birds and places we have had the privilege of visiting to watch the marvelous avian wonders that the Lord Jesus Christ Created. The Lord gives us a peace as we live for Him that is hard to put into words. Maybe as you watch these photos (Lord knows, I’m no photographer, just a birdwatcher who carries a camera) that you can sense the peace I have as I go birdwatching. Also, the Lord has given me a great husband that enjoys seeing these birds as well as I do and he IS a good photographer.

You can know this peace also, when you accept the Lord as your personal Savior.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7 KJV)

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“I’d Rather Have Jesus” by Sean Fielder (from Faith Baptist Church)


The photos in this slideshow and the ones on the other site are not quite the same.


How Do You Bird Watch?

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks at Circle B by Lee

Observe and consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn; and [yet] God feeds them. Of how much more worth are you than the birds!
(Luke 12:24 AMP)

It would be interesting to hear from those readers who go birdwatching or watch birds, even if it is only from your window. Consider leaving comments so that we can understand that there are various methods.

As for me, my ways of birdwatching have changed over the years. First, I became more aware of the birds around me by a naturalist at a local park in south Florida. We started with simple things like not staring at a tree, but use “soft eyes” to watch for movement. After that, she showed me how to hold and adjust the binoculars. What a difference that made. Notes and a good bird book came next. The rest is history. I love birds and enjoy seeing how beautifully they were created.

Over time, I wanted to see how many birds I could get on a list. Many people like to birdwatch this way. They will go to great heights (literally) to find a new bird for their list. I would put Ian in that category. Don’t you just enjoy reading about his birdwatching adventures.

Dan searching for something to photo

Dan searching for something to photograph

Many like Dan, Ian, and our other photographers enjoy the challenge of photography. It is not always easy to get a great photo, especially when the birds don’t wait for you to get all the settings right.

Lee at Lake Morton by Dan

Lee at Lake Morton by Dan

Some like to feed the wildlife at home or a park and watch whoever shows up at that location.

Then you have every thing in between. Some enjoy going on birdwatching trips with other birders. This can be very helpful when you are just learning about the birds.

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris) Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris) Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

Today, I have mellowed somewhat. Between an issue with my feet and legs, I can no longer walk great distances. My age is also becoming a factor. I enjoy watching birds wherever they are including the Zoos. Those are easier for me to handle and actually, get to see the birds for longer periods of time and at closer ranges. That also allows me to see birds from other areas that I will never be able to get to.

I think I am actually becoming a bird “watcher.” I enjoy just seeing what they are up to or how they are put together. Like those feet I mentioned in the last article. Finding Birds in the Bible and Birds in Hymns are also pleasurable for me.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) Feet by Lee at PB Zoo

Black-bellied Whistling Duck Feet by Lee at PB Zoo

Is any one way of birdwatching any better than another? Not to my way of thinking. They are all fine methods and there are plenty of birds out there for all of us to enjoy.

What is your method or what gives you the most enjoyment when you are out on a “birdwatching adventure”?


Ian’s Bird of the Week

A J Mithra’s way of mixing birds and Scripture.

Check out our photographers down the sidebar.

Our Guest Writers

Most of the rest are my adventures plus the –

Birds in the Bible and Birds in Hymns


ABA 2014 Bird of the Year – Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl) by Judd Patterson

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl) by Judd Patterson

For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, … (Zec 4:10a KJV)

The Birding Bunch left me a comment and reminded me that the ABA Bird of the Year for 2014 has been announced. So, I have updated the Badge on the Sidebar. The bird they chose this year is another beautiful creation from the Lord.

ABA Bird of the Year

The Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) is a small hummingbird, about 3 inches  long (8 cm) with a long, straight and very slender bill. The female is slightly larger than the male.

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) by Africaddict

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) by Africaddict

The adult male, (shown in the photo), has a white breast, rufous face, upperparts, flanks and tail and an iridescent orange-red throat patch (gorget). Some males have some green on back and/or crown. The female has green upperparts with some white, some iridescent orange feathers in the center of the throat, and a dark tail with white tips and rufous base. Females and the rare green-backed males are extremely difficult to differentiate from Allen’s Hummingbird.

They feed on nectar from flowers using a long extendable tongue or catch insects on the wing. These birds require frequent feeding while active during the day and become torpid at night to conserve energy.

Because of their small size, they are vulnerable to insect-eating birds and animals.

He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great. The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children. Ye are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth. (Psalm 115:13-15 KJV)

Read more about this beautifully created Hummingbird at:


Ian’s Bird of the Week – Providence Petrel

Lord Howe Island by Ian

Lord Howe Island by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Providence Petrel ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 5/20/13

Your collective moral support did it again, thank you very much, so here is the Providence Petrel the other really special bird species of Lord Howe Island. ‘Special’ in the sense that after its extermination on Norfolk Island by 1800, Lord Howe was its last remaining breeding site, saving it from extinction. Unlike Norfolk Island which lacks very high mountains, Lord Howe has two fairly inaccessible ones, Mount Lidgbird, on the left in the first photo, and the taller Mount Gower on the right and it is on the tops and slopes of these that the Providence Petrel breeds.

You need to be a mountaineer to climb Mount Lidgbird and young and very fit to climb Mount Gower. We took the easier option of going by boat to the base of Mount Gower where we got good views of many Petrels in flight preparing to land at their nesting burrows. They are winter breeders, returning to the island in March and laying eggs in May. They seem reluctant to actually land, so each afternoon the air around the two Mountains swarms with these birds like clouds of insects and it is a wonderful sight.

Providence Petrel (Pterodroma solandri) by Ian

Very clumsy on the ground, they are fast and agile in the air so I was happy to get a few reasonable shots given the choppy conditions without falling overboard. The first Petrel photo shows the characteristic overall dark bird (it looks lighter than usual against Mount Gower) with the characteristic white patches on the primary wing feathers and under wing coverts that distinguishes it from most other similar petrels. The second petrel shot, shows the upper wings – these are all dark and lack the white shafts to the primaries that distinguish the similar Kermadec Petrel. Other field marks are the scaly white feathers on the face and the dark neck and upper breast.

Providence Petrel (Pterodroma solandri) by Ian

The third petrel photo shows a more characteristic dorsal shot with the bird silhouetted against the sky and shows it long slender wings. The birds average 40cm/16 in in length with a wingspan of about 1 m/3 ft 3 in. After breeding, the disperse to the North Pacific. For food, they dive into the water for crustaceans, squid and small fish.

Providence Petrel (Pterodroma solandri) by Ian

Providence Petrel (Pterodroma solandri) by Ian

The Lord Howe population is estimated at about 30,000 pairs. Feral pigs were eliminated as part of the Woodhen recovery project and the Petrels are recolonising the lower slopes of the mountains. They were rediscovered on Phillip Island close to Norfolk Island in 1985 and the current population there is less than 100 pairs. The elimination from Norfolk Island took place between 1790 and 1800 with perhaps one million adults and young being harvested in the period 1790-1793.

Best wishes

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737
Check the latest website updates:

Lee’s Addition:

Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands. (Isaiah 42:12 KJV)

Ian has shared another of his birdwatching adventures with us. It’s good to hear that the Petrels there are making a comeback.

Petrels belong to the Procellaridae Family. The family consists of Petrels, Shearwaters, Fulmars, and Prions,

“The Providence Petrel (Pterodroma solandri) is a species that burrows in one location; isolated Lord Howe Island, some 800km from the Australian mainland in the Tasman Sea.

Of roughly pigeon like proportions (40cm), the bird was once also numerous on Norfolk Island (to Australia). However, its population here was consumed by starving epicurean transportees, sent to Norfolk Island as way of punishment. Nonetheless it numbers some 100,000 on Lord Howe. Graceful and supple in flight, the Providence Petrel has a cumbersome propensity on the ground, making it vulnerable from attack by predators.

Despite its reasonably copious strength of numbers, the Providence Petrel is deemed to be in a precarious disposition because its breeding is confined to two mountain tops and one tiny islet, and is therefore at great risk from a catastrophe.

This species is classified as vulnerable. Main causes of death are predation by the endangered Lord Howe Rail and flooding of burrows. Other dangers include rat predation and drowning in longline fishing gear. The current population is estimated at 64,000.

The scientific name of this species was given in honour of the Swedish botanist Daniel Solander, Solander’s Petrel being an alternative common name.” (Information from Wikipedia)


Ian’s Petrel Photos

Procellariidae – Petrels, Shearwaters Family

Providence Petrel – Wikipedia

Ian’s Bird of the Week