Updated Birds of the World to I.O.C. 3.1 – Subspecies Definitions

Well, I just updated the site to the newest version of the I.O.C. World Bird List – Version 3.1. It has been out for about a month, but I was busy and now finally have it finished. I have spent the last week updating almost 300 pages here. I am only one person and don’t have a staff (don’t I wish). All pages and indexes are up-to-date.

The IOC made a major update with this Version and I decided to make some changes also. I was trying to anticipate the changes coming with the Version 3, but still missed it. They added 145 extinct species of birds. There are also 20,989 subspecies added (had that right) to go with the 10,451 living species of birds in the world. They are in 40 Orders, 228 Families (plus 6 Incertae sedis), with 2257 Genera. (Now in June they are going to make more adjustments)

Have you ever questioned yourself why you do things? Working on these pages made me wonder, but I think it is still worth all the work.

Why? When I started this blog, I wanted to write about the Birds of the Bible and have been doing that since day one over four years ago. As time has progressed, this site has grown way beyond what I ever dreamed about. The Lord has given me ideas for articles, pages, references, etc. Fantastic photographers have given permission to use their photos and the whole world of birds has opened up to me. Ian let’s me use his newsletters (Bird of the Week) and he travels the world. Also ajmithra in India writes about birds there and other places. Most of all when the Lord created the birds way back in Genesis chapter 1

Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” 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 1:20-23 NKJV)

they did what He commanded them to do and now they are all over the world driving the people at IOC and other listing groups of ornithologists crazy trying to keep up with their names. Me? I am enjoying trying to find out about them and see  them or pictures of them to go along with those name.

If you, my readers, never benefit from my efforts, I still am gaining knowledge of birds that I will never see in person but are so designed and created with such care that finding out about them increases my faith. While I am doing these pages and articles, my best is what I want to give my Savior.

Birds of the World

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) by Ian

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) by Ian

That said, now that they are adding all these subspecies, here are some definitions of “subspecies.” They use terms like species, subspecies, monotypic, morph, etc.

From About.com Birding/Wild Birds


(noun) A bird that is notably different from the expected characteristics of its species, but not sufficiently different to be independently classified as a unique species. Subspecies are often geographically determined, and differences such as size variations or plumage colorations are a common basis for subspecies distinctions.

Not all bird species have distinct subspecies, and over time the classifications of different birds can change to alter subspecies into a lesser or greater number of divisions, or even to grant a subspecies distinction as a new bird species. Examples of common subspecies include the different geographic plumage variations of the dark-eyed junco, such as the eastern “slate-colored” junco and the western “Oregon” junco, as well as the southwestern subspecies of the lesser goldfinch, the “black-backed” lesser goldfinch.

While a subspecies can be noted on a birder’s life list, it does not count as an additional bird for a life list total unless the bird is reclassified as a distinct species. Many birders enjoy the extra challenge of seeing different subspecies, and comprehensive field guides will list common subspecies. These details also make a field guide more useful over time as bird classifications may change.

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis oreganus) (one of the Oregon Juncos) ©WikiC

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis oreganus) (one of the Oregon Juncos) ©WikiC

Definition: Monotypic

(adjective) Describes a species with only a single genetic or physical type and no officially recognized subspecies. While monotypic birds may still have subtle plumage or size variations, these differences are not sufficient to be distinguished as subspecies. Monotypic birds may still crossbreed with other species, though the hybrids are not independently recognized as a unique species or subspecies.


From TheFreeDictionary

n. pl. subspecies

A taxonomic subdivision of a species consisting of an interbreeding, usually geographically isolated population of organisms.


A subdivision of a species of organisms, usually based on geographic distribution. The subspecies name is written in lowercase italics following the species name. For example, Gorilla gorilla gorilla is the western lowland gorilla, and Gorilla gorilla graueri is the eastern lowland gorilla.
Species:A single distinct class of living creatures sharing specific DNA and physical features that differentiate them from other species. Species are uniform in appearance (unless other factors, described later, apply) and produce offspring with the same characteristics, appearance and DNA structure. An example of a species would be a Gouldian Finch.

Subspecies:A division within a species usually created by geographic isolation from the main (nominate) species. A population within a population (usually) sharing most of the same physical characteristics and DNA structure. A physically distinct sub-unit within an otherwise identical group of birds or animals. A subspecies can be though of as a “race” within a species. Most subspecies distinctions are visible. An example would be a (Southern race, smaller) European vs. a (larger, Northern race) Siberian Goldfinch. Other than the size, they are the same bird.

Read more:http://www.softbillsforsale.com/articles/definition-of-terms.asp#ixzz1wXB1i2HY

Disclaimer About Bible Version Usage

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) by Dan

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) by Dan

I would like to post a Disclaimer about the use of the different Bible versions that I use in my various blogs, especially the Birds of the Bible articles. Because I quote from different versions does not mean that I endorse them.  There are versions that translated God’s Word very faithfully by Godly men. There are some of the translations that are questionable as to “by whom” and “why” the translations were made.

When I do my Birds of the Bible articles, I like to “Compare” the different versions. I use e-Sword, a free Bible program from e-sword.net, and it has a “compare” mode that lets me see all the different versions of a verse I have loaded at the same time. I find it amazing that the different versions of Scripture translate a Greek or Hebrew word into so many different birds. When I do my articles, I write from an educational mode, an instructional mode and a spiritual mode.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)

Here is an example of what my “Compare” looks like with all the different versions I have loaded. I have some which I can’t even read, some are in Spanish, and I have the Latin Vulgate in here because many of the bird species use Latin in their names and I try to see if that will give me a clue as to which bird is intended.

Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) by Daves BirdingPix

Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) by Daves BirdingPix

Leviticus 11:17

(ACV) and the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,

(ABP+) AndG2532 long-eared owl,G3563.3 andG2532 cormorant,G2674.1 andG2532 ibis,G2395.1

(ABP-G+) καιG2532 νυκτικορακαG3563.3 καιG2532 καταρρακτηνG2674.1 καιG2532 ιβινG2395.1

(AKJV) And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,

(AMP) The owl, the cormorant, the ibis,

(ASV) and the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,

(BBE) And the little owl and the cormorant and the great owl;

(Bishops) The Falcon, the Cormorant, the great Owle,

(Brenton) and the night-raven and the cormorant and the stork,

(CEV) (SEE 11:13)

(CJB) the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl,

(Darby) and the owl, and the gannet, and the ibis,

(DRB) The screech owl, and the cormorant, and the ibis.

(ERV) owls, cormorants, great owls,

(ESV) the little owl, the cormorant, the short-eared owl,

(Geneva) The litle owle also, and the connorant, and the great owle.

(GNB) (SEE 11:13)

(GW) little owls, cormorants, great owls,

(HCSB) the little owl, the cormorant, the long-eared owl,

(HOT+) ואתH853 הכוסH3563 ואתH853 השׁלךH7994 ואתH853 הינשׁוף׃H3244

(ISV) owl, cormorant, ibis,

(JPS) and the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl;

(KJV) And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,

(KJV+) And the little owl,H3563 and the cormorant,H7994 and the great owl,H3244

(KJV-1611) And the little Owle, and the Cormorant, and the great Owle,

(KJVA) And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,

(LBLA) el búho, el somormujo, el búho real,

(LITV) and the little owl, and the cormorant, and the eared owl;

(LXX+) καιG2532 CONJ νυκτικορακαN-ASM καιG2532 CONJ καταρρακτηνN-ASM καιG2532 CONJ ιβινN-ASF

(MKJV) and the little owl, and the cormorant, and the eared owl;

(MSG) owl, cormorant, ibis,

(NAS77) and the little owl and the cormorant and the great owl,

(NASB) and the little owl and the cormorant and the great owl,

(NASB+) and the littleH3563b owlH3563b and the cormorantH7994 and the N1greatH3244 owlH3244,

(NBLH) el búho, el somormujo, el búho real,

(NIrV) “‘They include little owls, cormorants and great owls.

(NIV) the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl,

(NKJV) the little owl, the fisher owl, and the screech owl;

(NRSV) the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl,

(NRSVA) the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl,

(RV) and the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl;

(SRV) Y el buho, y el somormujo, y el ibis,

(Translit+) . . kowcH3563 kowcH3563 . . shalakH7994 . . yanshuwphH3244 yanshuwphH3244

(Vulgate) bubonem et mergulum et ibin

(Webster) And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,

(YLT) and the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,


White Pelican at Lake Hollingsworth by Dan

White Pelican at Lake Hollingsworth by Dan

Or the next verse:

Leviticus 11:18

(ACV) and the horned owl, and the pelican, and the vulture,

(ABP+) andG2532 the purple-legged stork,G4209.2 andG2532 pelican,G3989.2 andG2532 swan,G2945.2

(ABP-G+) καιG2532 πορφυριωναG4209.2 καιG2532 πελεκαναG3989.2 καιG2532 κυκνονG2945.2

(AKJV) And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,

(AMP) The swan, the pelican, the vulture,

(ASV) and the horned owl, and the pelican, and the vulture,

(BBE) And the water-hen and the pelican and the vulture;

(Bishops) The Backe, the Pellicane, the Pye,

(Brenton) and the red-bill, and the pelican, and swan,

(CEV) (SEE 11:13)

(CJB) the horned owl, the pelican, the barn owl,

(Darby) and the swan, and the pelican, and the carrion vulture,

(DRB) And the swan, and the bittern, and the porphyrion.

(ERV) water hens, pelicans, carrion vultures,

(ESV) the barn owl, the tawny owl, the carrion vulture,

(Geneva) Also the redshanke and the pelicane, and the swanne:

(GNB) (SEE 11:13)

(GW) barn owls, pelicans, ospreys,

(HCSB) the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey,

(HOT+) ואתH853 התנשׁמתH8580 ואתH853 הקאתH6893 ואתH853 הרחם׃H7360

(ISV) water-hen, pelican, carrion,

(JPS) and the horned owl, and the pelican, and the carrion-vulture;

(KJV) And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,

(KJV+) And the swan,H8580 and the pelican,H6893 and the gier eagle,H7360

(KJV-1611) And the Swanne, and the Pellicane, and the Gier-eagle,

(KJVA) And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,

(LBLA) la lechuza blanca, el pelícano, el buitre común,

(LITV) and the barn owl, and the pelican and the owl-vulture;

(LXX+) καιG2532 CONJ πορφυριωναN-ASM καιG2532 CONJ πελεκαναN-ASM καιG2532 CONJ κυκνονN-ASM

(MKJV) and the barn owl, and the pelican, and the owl-vulture;

(MSG) water hen, pelican, Egyptian vulture,

(NAS77) and the white owl and the pelican and the carrion vulture,

(NASB) and the white owl and the pelican and the carrion vulture,

(NASB+) and the whiteH8580 owlH8580 and the N1pelicanH6893 and the carrionH7360 vultureH7360,

(NBLH) la lechuza blanca, el pelícano, el buitre común,

(NIrV) They include white owls, desert owls and ospreys.

(NIV) the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey,

(NKJV) the white owl, the jackdaw, and the carrion vulture;

(NRSV) the water hen, the desert owl, the carrion vulture,

(NRSVA) the water hen, the desert owl, the carrion vulture,

(RV) and the horned owl, and the pelican, and the vulture;

(SRV) Y el calamón, y el cisne, y el onocrótalo,

(Translit+) . . tanshemethH8580 . . qa’athH6893 . . rachamH7360 rachamH7360

(Vulgate) cycnum et onocrotalum et porphirionem

(Webster) And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier-eagle,

(YLT) and the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,

e-Sword Home


Updating the Slideshows – Report # 2

As previously reported, the Slide.Com is closing down as of March 6th. Unfortunately I have used a lot of the Slideshows from them on this site. I am busy kicking up dust behind the scenes and decided to share links to the articles as I get some of them finished. At least you will know I have not been “goofing off.” Besides that, many of these were produced sometime back and deserve a reminder of our many birds the Lord has created for His Glory and pleasure. Trust you like the new Slideshows that are being installed. They are taking a great effort on my part to learn the new procedure, but after quite a few mistakes, maybe I can get them out quicker now.

The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.(Psalms 111:2 KJV)

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: (Ephesians 1:9 KJV)

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13 KJV)

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalms 16:11 KJV)

Thanks for your patience and your visits to this website. While I am working away, I am enjoying seeing articles that I had forgotten about.


Apostlebird (Struthidea cinerea) by Ian

Apostlebird (Struthidea cinerea) by Ian

Birds of the Bible – Names of Birds


Wood Storks in Top of Tree by Lee

Birdwatching at Circle B Bar Reserve – October

Red-legged Seriema (Cariama cristata) by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

Red-legged Seriema (Cariama cristata) by Lee

Birdwatching at the Lowry Park Zoo 2/15/11

Sandhill Cranes - Adult and Juvenile in yard 8/27/10

Sandhill Crane Juveniles in Backyard

Sandhill Crane "colts"

Sandhill Crane "colts"

Sandhill Crane “Colt” Birdwatching

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) at NA by Dan

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) at National Aviary by Dan

Birds of the Bible – Tamed


Birds of the Bible – Demoiselle Crane

Demoiselle Crane (Grus virgo) by Lee LPZoo 12-28-2011

Demoiselle Crane (Grus virgo) by Lee LPZoo 12-28-2011

“The Demoiselle Crane (Anthropoides virgo), is a species of crane that breeds in Central Asia and winters in India, with a few found in Cyprus and eastern Turkey as well. The crane annually migrates to Africa and South Asia in winter. The bird is symbolically significant in the culture of North India and Pakistan, where it is known as the koonj.

It has a loud trumpeting call, higher-pitched than the Common Crane. Like other cranes it has a dancing display, more balletic than the Common Crane, with less leaping, but with calling, bowing and head-bobbing.

Call – Demoiselle Crane (Grus virgo) from Xeno-canto.org

Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me. (Isaiah 38:14 KJV)


Demoiselle Cranes have to take one of the toughest migrations in the world. In late August through September, they gather in flocks of up to 400 individuals and prepare for their flight to their winter range. During their migratory flight south, Demoiselles fly like all cranes, with their head and neck straight forward and their feet and legs straight behind, reaching altitudes of 16,000-26,000 feet (4,875-7,925 m). Along their arduous journey they have to cross the Himalayan mountains to get to their over-wintering grounds in India, many die from fatigue, hunger and predation from birds such as eagles. Simpler, lower routes are possible, such as crossing the range via the Khyber Pass. However, their presently preferred route has been hard-wired by countless cycles of migration (placed in them by their creator). At their wintering grounds, Demoiselles have been observed flocking with Common Cranes, their combined totals reaching up to 20,000 individuals. Demoiselles maintain separate social groups within the larger flock. In March and April, they begin their long spring journey back to their northern nesting grounds.

In Khichan, Rajasthan in India, villagers feed the Cranes on their migration and these large congregations have become an annual spectacle.

Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 KJV)

Watch this amazing video of them crossing the Himalayan mountains by AZPanorama:


When the Lord created the Crane kind, they were programmed for future variations like this Demoiselle Crane. They act like many other birds that pretend they are injured. This helps them lead the preying bird or animal away to protect their young. The Demoiselles also are the smallest cranes.  They have shorter toes and bills than other cranes which allows them to travel on ground that is hard and dry. The shorter bills aid in their choice of food. Their survival is being provided by their Designer and Creator.

Our verses:

Isaiah 38:14

Geneva Bible Translation Notes – I was so oppressed with sorrow, that I was not able to utter my words, but only to groan and sigh.

CC Commentary – 14.) – As a crane, or a swallow. Hezekiah cannot satisfy himself in explaining the severity of his anguish. He now says that he was reduced so low that he could not utter an articulate voice, but muttered some confused sound, like persons who are almost at the point of death. Hence it is evident that his distress was excruciating; for the severity of the pain took away his voice, and his voice, he says, stuck in his throat; nothing was heard but indistinct groans.
Such is the import of these metaphors of “the crane and the swallow,” which the Prophet employs. Still it is certain that this indistinct sound of the voice is nevertheless heard by God; though all our senses are oppressed by pain, and our throat is choked by grief, still God beholds our hearts and listens to godly sighs, which will be even more powerful than plain and direct words, provided that the Spirit is present, who produces in us those “groanings that cannot be uttered,” of which Paul speaks. (Rom_8:26.) There is no believer who does not feel that in prayer, when his heart is oppressed by any heavy sorrow, he either stammers or is almost dumb.

Bible Knowledge Commentary – b. Hezekiah’s song of thanksgiving (Isa_38:9-20)
(1) Hezekiah’s statement about his condition.
After he was healed Hezekiah wrote a song to express his thanks to God. His illness came, he said, in the prime of his life. Death was referred to figuratively as having gates through which a person entered (cf. Job_38:17; Psa_9:13; Psa_107:18). His statement that in death he would not… see the Lord does not mean he had no hope of heaven. It probably means that he would no longer have the benefit of enjoying God’s blessings in this life. He would be without friends (Isa_38:11) as his house (his body) was dismantled. By death he would be cut… off like a cloth being cut from a weaver’s loom. He had hoped he would get well (Isa_38:13) but he got worse (Isa_38:13-14). His illness was as if God were a lion breaking all his bones, a figure of speech depicting his deep inner anguish. In some way his cries of pain were like the sound of a bird and his mourning like the doleful sound of a dove (cf. Isa_59:11; Nah_2:7). Hezekiah realized that this experience should humble him because God had brought on this illness.

Demoiselle Crane (Grus virgo) Memphis Zoo by Dan

Demoiselle Crane (Grus virgo) Memphis Zoo by Dan

Jeremiah 8:7

Bible Believer’s Commentary – 8:1-7 – …Unlike those who fall and rise again, who sin and repent, Judah refused to return to Jehovah. As far as the law was concerned, the people compared unfavorably with the stork, the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow, which are obedient to their appointed laws of migration.

CC Commentary – Here again Jeremiah condemns the shameful insensibility of the people, — that they had less wisdom than birds, not endued with reason and understanding. He then says, that the Jews were more foolish than cranes, swallows, and storks. He no doubt deeply wounded the feelings of the people by so severe a reproof; but it was necessary thus sharply to reprehend the despisers of God; for it appears evident by these words, that they were become exceedingly hardened in their vices. No wonder, then, that the Prophet declares that they were more silly than cranes and swallows.

Kelly Commentary – Moreover, the prophet was to remonstrate with the people of Jerusalem on their perpetual and unrepentant backsliding (Ver. 4-6), more heedless than familiar birds, great or small, which attend to their fit times, yet with all assumption of wisdom. (Ver. 7, 8.) But what wisdom is in those who reject the word of the Lord? Their covetousness and perfidious neglect of the true interests of Israel must meet with due retribution at His hands.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes – He accuses them in that they are more ignorant of God’s judgments, than these birds are of their appointed seasons to discern the cold and heat.

Adam Clarke’s Commentary – The stork in the heaven – The birds of passage know the times of their going and return, and punctually observe them; they obey the dictates of nature, but my people do not obey my law.

P.S. I have to share an incident that happened while I was teaching 4th grade in a Christian School. On a Friday, I had forgotten to write up the weekly Bible Quiz so I quickly put 5 Essay Questions on the board. We had been discussing King Hezekiah that week so one of the questions was “Tell me about King Hezekiah.” Well, while grading the papers, I almost fell out of my chair laughing. One of my students had told all about how he had been sick and that the Lord had – (here’s the verse – “Isaiah 38:8 Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.”). My student went on to say that because the sun dial went back an hour, “that is why we now have Daylight Savings time.” Oh, the pleasures of teaching!

The Crane Family, Gruidaes, has 15 species. They are one of 6 families in the Gruiformes (Cranes, Rails, Coots and allies) Order.


Birds of the Bible – Cranes

Birds of the Bible – Cranes I

Birds of the Bible – Cranes II

Gruidae – Cranes

Sharing the Gospel



2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 210,000 times in 2011. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 9 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

That report was produced by WordPress and is a great reminder for us to keep up the good work on our blog.

Most of all, thank you for taking the time to view Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures. Without you, these numbers would not be possible.

Thank You and Happy New Year!

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: (Genesis 1:14 KJV)

Birds of the Bible – Bird Egg Facts


Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) by Bob-Nan

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) by Bob-Nan


Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust, And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. (Job 39:13-15 KJV)

The largest bird egg is from the Ostrich Sturthio camelus. The egg measures 15 – 20 cm long, 10 – 15 cm in diameter and weighs 1 – 1.78 kg.
Largest egg ~ Ostrich  ~ measuring 17.8 by 14 cm (7 by 4.5 in)
Smallest egg laid relative to body weight ~ Ostrich egg ~ at 1.5%

Ostrich Egg ©WikiC

Ostrich Egg ©WikiC

An ostrich egg needs to be boiled for 2 hours to get a hard-boiled egg.

Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg? (Job 6:6 KJV)


Largest Egg – living ~ Ostrich
Largest Egg – ever ~ Elephant Bird Aepyornis maximus From Madagascar 39cm/15.4in long = 12 litres/2.6 gallons, 220 chicken eggs, egg weighed 27 pounds.

Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) by Ian

Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) by Ian

Largest egg laid by a passerine ~ 5 7 g (2 oz) by Australian Lyrebirds
Largest egg laid relative to body weight ~ Little Spotted Kiwi at 26%

Vervain Hummingbird (Mellisuga minima) ©WikiC

Vervain Hummingbird (Mellisuga minima) ©WikiC

Smallest known egg ~ the Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima of Jamacia and nearby islets. The egg is barely the size of a pea and measures less than 10 mm in length and weighs 0.356 g.
You could put 4700 bee hummingbird eggs inside one ostrich egg. The Bee Hummingbird egg is the size of a small pea and weighs .02 ounces. World’s Smallest Bird
Smallest egg ~ West Indian Vervain Hummingbird ~ at 10 mm (0.39 in) in length and 0.375 g (0.0132 oz)
Smallest Egg – living ~ Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima ~ the size of pea

Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:12-13 KJV)


Different Eggs- Birds and Others - from Wikipedia

Different Eggs- Birds and Others – from Wikipedia

The majority of avian eggs match the shape of chicken eggs, but there are some exceptions.

  • Budgies, for instance, tend to lay very round eggs.
  • Fast-flying, stream-lined birds like swifts and swallows lay long, elliptical eggs.
  • Owls tend to lay very spherical eggs.
  • Roundest eggs ~ Owls, Tinamous
Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) ©©Flickr

Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) ©©Flickr

The Royal Albatross’ eggs take 79 days to hatch.
Precocial birds like chickens, ostriches, ducks, and seagulls hatch ready to move around. They come from eggs with bigger yolks than altricial birds like owls, woodpeckers, and most small songbirds that need a lot of care from parents in order to survive.

Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo) egg ©©Wong Dermayu

Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo) egg ©©Wong Dermayu

Longest interval between eggs laid ~ Maleo ~ at 1012 day intervals

Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) by Robert Scanlon by Robert Scanlon

Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) by Robert Scanlon by Robert Scanlon

Largest clutch laid by a nidicolous species ~ 19 eggs laid by a European Blue Tit
Largest clutch laid by a nidifugous species ~ 28 by a Bobwhite Quail
Largest average clutch size ~ 15-19 by a Gray Partridge
Smallest clutch size ~ 1 egg laid every 2 years by Albatrosses

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) By Dan'sPix

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) By Dan’sPix at Lake Hollingsworth

Greatest number of eggs laid consecutively ~ 146 by a Mallard
Most valuable bird ~ 8 billion domestic chickens ~ produce 562 billion eggs annually
Highest price paid for an egg ~ 1,000 British pounds for an egg of extinct Aepyornis maximus

And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. (Isaiah 10:14 KJV)


Bird eggshells are diverse. For example:

  • Cormorant eggs are rough and chalky
  • Tinamou eggs are shiny
  • Duck eggs are oily and waterproof
  • Cassowary eggs are heavily pitted

Tiny pores in bird eggshells allow the embryo to breathe. The domestic hen’s egg has around 7500 pores.

The most yolks ever found in a single chicken’s egg is nine.


Mallee Fowl Mound ©©

Largest individual nest ~ Mallee Fowl Australia Leipoa ocellata ~ builds a mound 5 m (16.5ft) high and 11 metres (36ft) wide. A mound this size means the bird moved 250 cubic metres of vegetation and 300 tons of soil.
Smallest nest ~

  • many seabirds do not make a nest at all, nest on ground or
  • in case of Fairy Tern on a branch of a tree
  • The prize goes to the Hummingbirds for their thimble sized (1cm squared) nests.

The largest nest was built by a pair of Bald Eagles Haliaeetus leucocephalus was 2.9 m wide and 6 m deep.

Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) ©WikiC

Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) ©WikiC

The Rhinoceros Auklet Cerorhinca monocerata which measures 35 cm and nests on islands in the North Pacific excavates a burrow of 2 – 3 m in length. Burrows up to 6 m are not uncommon and 8 m burrows have also been found.

The only species of parrot that builds a nest is the Quaker Parrot. The Quakers link their nests together to form structures akin to “bird condominiums”. These nests can reach weights greater than 200 lbs.

Largest recorded nesting bird colony: 136 million Passenger Pigeon nesting in an area in Wisconsin covering 1,942 sq km (750 sq mi)

Isn’t it amazing how the Lord created each bird’s egg to help it survive and for it to do His command to:

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:22 NKJV)

(Various internet resources used and Wikipedia)

See Also:

Formed By Him – Bird Eggs
Macrocephalon Maleo – The Mute Missionary…
When I Consider – Guillemot
Egg And Nest Identification
Bird Eggs Photo Search
Hummingbird Nest & Eggs


Observations from an Outsider ~ by Stephen Simpson

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) at Bok Tower By Dan'sPix

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) at Bok Tower By Dan’sPix

Observations from an Outsider

I am an outsider.  I do not consider myself to be an avid birdwatcher.  I am an ignorant birdwatcher.  I like to look at birds, but most of the time, I have absolutely no idea what I’m looking at.  My ability to identify birds does not extend much past Blue Jays and Bald Eagles.

That being said, I have learned much from Lee.  Through her writing, my understanding of birds has grown and deepened.  She has broadened my ‘birding skills.’  I have come to better appreciate the wide variety of birds that God has created.

When Lee asked me to write an article for this blog, I was stumped.  What can I contribute to a birdwatching blog?  I finally decided to write to people like me – outsiders.  So, if you are like me – an ignorant birdwatcher – then this post is for you.

Mallard Mom and Baby at Lake Hollingsworth

Here are some observations from the outside.

Be Still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)

  1. You and I need to Stop, Look, and Listen more.  We need to slow down and pay more attention.  It is so easy to go through life and totally miss the ‘birds.’  It is so easy to race from one activity to the next.  Let us take time to stop, close our eyes, and simply listen to the birds.  Let us take time to stand still and observe the rich diversity of birds all around us.
  2. You and I need to recognize that it is all about God.  God needs to be recognized more.  Every bird we see should direct our thoughts to God.  When you see a dove, think of the peace of God.  When you watch a Bald Eagle soar through the sky, think of the majesty and grandeur of God.  When you see a mother duck shelter and protect her babies, think of God how He shelters and protects His children.  Fortunately, we have Lee’s blog as a great resource to help us recognize God.
  3. You and I need to admit that God is not boring.  As we begin to recognize God more, we must admit that He is not dry or stale.  His creativity is infinite.  Which one of us could have dreamed up ‘sword-billed hummingbirds’ or ‘birds that drink seawater’ or ‘kakapos?’  Imagine, if the God of the universe put this much creativity into the birds of the air, how much more creativity must He have put into you and me.  We are of far more value to Him than the birds.  We bear His image.  God not only exquisitely designed the birds; He also designed each one of us.  Our God is not boring!  He is infinitely interesting!
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26 ESV)
Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) by Robert Scanlon

Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) by Robert Scanlon

Lee’s Addition:

This blog owes very much to Stephen, our Assistant to the Pastor. When I was trying to find an outlet for my desire to use my Birds of the Bible lessons, it was Stephen who suggested that I write an article each Friday on our church blog. I said yes, but not knowing exactly what a “blog” was, I started one of my own, to learn how to lay out the articles for the “Fountain.” What you are reading, has been from that small beginning. Praise the Lord for letting Stephen make that suggestion.

Here are links to the first two articles on the Fountain in February 2008:
Birds of the Bible – Introduction and The Birds of the Bible ~ Eagles


Turtle Doves Offered

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil Devasar

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil Devasar

Luke 2:21-24 KJV
(21) And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
(22) And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
(23) (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
(24) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

Ruddy Pigeon (Patagionenas subvinacea) by Kent Nickell

Ruddy Pigeon (Patagionenas subvinacea) by Kent Nickell

Formed By Him – Copper Birds

Copper-rumped Hummingbird (Amazilia tobaci) by Ian

Copper-rumped Hummingbird (Amazilia tobaci) by Ian

While working on my photos again, came across several pictures of these Copper-rumped Hummingbirds. What a fantastic color they show. These copper colored birds are not the only ones with that hue. Searching through the Birds of the World, I found that there are Copper Pheasants and Sunbirds. Then there is a Coppersmith Barbet, Copper-tailed Starling and a Copper-throated Sunbird. Not to be left out, there are the Coppery birds. Coppery Emerald, Coppery Metaltail, Coppery-bellied Puffleg, Coppery-chested Jacamar, Coppery-headed Emerald and a Coppery-tailed Coucal.

Many birding and ornithology groups work hard to name birds so that those of us who birdwatch can try to put a name on the bird. Since all of these have a common color, “Copper”, it makes it easier to try to figure out what we are seeing. Of course, Adam was the first to start naming the newly created birds, but it still continues today.

Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)

Copper metal is known by most and so is it’s color. It is a valuable metal for many uses and has been used in coins for thousands of years. In Deuteronomy 8:9 they were told “out of whose hills you can dig copper.” Job 28:2 says, “copper is smelted from ore.” Christ told the disciples to, “Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts” and also reminded them that, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.”

Maybe the Lord wants us to see the copper color and remember that He not only made the copper, but if He cares about a little sparrow, then His concern is great toward us also.

Hope you enjoy seeing these great “Copper Birds”.

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7)


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Birds of the Bible – Partridge II


Crested Partridge (Rollulus rouloul) at NA by Lee

Crested Partridge (Rollulus rouloul) at National Aviary by Lee

Since the first Birds of the Bible – Partridge was written two and a half years ago a few facts have changed.

1.  At that time there were 155 species in the Phasianidae family. Now they are counting 181 members in the family and we have the Birds of the World listed here. Also, the blog was only a month or so old. I am not so sure that new birds were found as much as to how they classify the birds. Some lists count them one way and another counts them differently. As for this site, we use the I.O.C. list of world birds. The 2.6 Version shows 181 and so do we.

2.  The verse:

Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains. (1 Samuel 26:20 KJV)

was not explained at all. I was still new to blogging and afraid to explain it. So now, let’s see what the verse is referring to with its reference to the partridge.

Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar) by Ian

Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar) by Ian

According to I Samuel 26, Saul, with his elite soldiers, was pursuing David to kill him. Saul and his army camped for the night and the Lord put them into a deep sleep. While asleep, David, sneaked in and took took the items, but would not kill Saul, even though he had the opportunity.

The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD’S anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go. So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them. (1 Samuel 26:11-12 KJV)

Later, after awaking, the two talk to each other across a great distance. (V.14) Saul recognizes David’s voice (V.17), and then starting in verse 18, David is asking why the King is pursuing him. David is not his enemy, is blameless, and not trying to cause the problem.

When we get to the 20th verse, his reference is to a bird that is a harmless, non-aggressive, non-confrontational bird – the partridge.
“as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains”
When hunted, a partridge will try to walk away. If that doesn’t work, the bird will fly a short distance and land, again trying to avoid the captor. To catch the bird, some keep this up until they wear the partridge down and then walk up to them and bludgeon them.

Barbary Partridge (Alectoris barbara)©WikiC

Barbary Partridge (Alectoris barbara)©WikiC

Matthew Henry says, “a poor game for the king of Israel to pursue. He compares himself to a partridge, a vert innocent harmless bird, which, when attempts are made upon its life, flies if it can, but makes no resistance. And would Saul bring the flower of his army into the field only to hunt one poor partridge? What a disparagement was this to his honour! What a stain would it be on his memory to trample upon so weak and patient as well as so innocent an enemy! James 5:6, You have killed the just, and he doth not resist you.”

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, “as when one doth hunt a partridge — People in the East, in hunting the partridge and other game birds, pursue them, till observing them becoming languid and fatigued after they have been put up two or three times, they rush upon the birds stealthily and knock them down with bludgeons [Shaw, Travels]. It was exactly in this manner that Saul was pursuing David. He drove him from time to time from his hiding-place, hoping to render him weary of his life, or obtain an opportunity of accomplishing his destruction.”

David later said in the Psalms:

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield. (Psalms 5:11-12 KJV)

See also:


Today’s Birds of the Bible

Updated at 8:10 pm

They are all finished. Hope you enjoy reading them.


Today, instead of doing my regular Birds of the Bible article, I am going to try to finish the Scripture Alphabet of Animals series. I have all the birds finished and am working hard to finish the rest of the animals today. All throughout the day, new articles will be posted as they are completed. I will be updating the index to the article (below) as I finish each one.

I trust you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have as the articles are being “modernized.” Harriet N Cook was a very good writer and trust she would have approved of the way that they are being handled here.


Using Whatever Talent the Lord Has Given You

Thought I would share an article that I wrote for our church blog (The Fountain).

As many of you know, around Faith Baptist, I am known as the “Bird Lady.” Also many have read the “Birds of the Bible” articles of the past. How did this come about?

When I was 16 years old (1960) I accepted the Lord as my Saviour and thus began my journey with the Lord. The Lord allowed me to attend Bob Jones University through the War Orphans Fund (my father died as a result of the war and my mother died when I was 13). Not being from an educational family (D+ average in high school), I struggled academically, but the desire to finish was strong. I finished my degree 16 years after I started with a Bible major. I had tried many majors, but never found what I wanted.

While we were on vacation this summer, we attended a friend’s church and they were questioning things that became a turning point in our lives. There were various testimonies given and then I remembered one that changed me. In 1979, Dan and I purchased our first computer, a Radio Shack Model I. I spent hours teaching myself all about it and learning to program. That computer and the many since gave me a direction and a niche for me to fill. I always told the Lord that I just didn’t have any talents to offer Him. Long story short, I became a computer teacher and ended up even getting a Masters degree in Computer Education.

Sunbittern at Lowry Park Zoo by Dan

In the late 80’s I became a birdwatcher. A naturalist at our local park became my mentor. I had always loved the out of doors and enjoyed watching God’s creation, but could not put many names on what I saw. Birds are just so beautiful and show the Lord’s creative hand so much. I am just amazed and love watching them. Another niche!

Now there were three important parts to my life; the Lord, computers and birds. (Of course Dan is there also) My desire and prayers were that the Lord would let me blend those three things into some sort of ministry for Him. It began by doing five-minute presentations to a junior Sunday School class each week. When we moved up here to Faith, I couldn’t find an outlet to do my bird presentations until the Lord, through Stephen, let me start doing the “Birds of the Bible” on the blog here.

I started my own blog to learn how to do the articles. Now, the Lord is blessing my blog by letting the “Birds of the Bible” and many other Christian birdwatching articles be read by people all over the world. And, now, I am the “Bird Lady” and I thank the Lord for His Love and Grace to let me be called by that name.

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:3 KJV)

My prayer and challenge for the readers is that you also will let the Lord use what ever talent or gift you have for Him. Maybe you love bugs, flowers, music, or whatever. Maybe you are an encourager, good cook, child sitter, nursery worker, like to visit the sick, etc. We all have something that the Lord has given us. Let the Lord use what you have for Him so that we can help reach others with the Gospel and God’s Love.

Gospel Message

Wordless Birds