A J Mithra’s Posts

A J Mithra

A J Mithra

Again, I’m still fixing the behind-the-scenes problems, and the delights of looking back over what has been posted.

I always enjoyed a j mithra’s articles. [he never wanted his name capitalized] He is now with the Lord, but what a legacy he left behind. Thankfully, we were able to enjoy many of them here.

His list of articles is under his name a j mithra in the left side menu. While looking through them and enjoying a few, one in particular is SUPER!

Take a look at his post Humming Birds – The Believing Believers… by a j mithra – I reposted it here for you to enjoy.

Here are a j mithra’s posts:

Spiritual Catastrophe
Do They?
Golden Bowerbird – From the Smallest
Clark’s Nutcracker
Bar-tailed Godwit – Self Control
What Would God Say of Us?
Cassowary Seed Spreaders
Is The Bride Ready?
Emu – The Model Father
Stork – The Kind Mother
Cedar Waxwing
The Feet
World Sparrow Days
Azores Bullfinch and the Holly Tree…
Hermit Warbler – The Worshiper..
Worthen’s Sparrow – Lost, but found..
Ovenbirds – Ground Singers
Master Builder’s Master Builders
Malleefowl’s Incubators
Hoatzin – The Stinker
White-Fronted Bee-eaters – The Life Guards
Kirtland’s Warbler Reveals…
The Eagle – The Loyal Mate
Atlantic Puffin – The Deep Sea-Diver
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – Chief Corner Stone’s Keystone
Thick-billed Murre – Did GOD Create Us To Fall?
Out of the Mouth of Babes…
The Purple Gallinule – The Awkward Beauty!
The Surrendered Anhinga
The Inspired and the Inspiring Rose-breasted Grosbeak
The American Dipper – The Intercessor
Araripe Manakin – The Indicator of Environmental Quality…
The White-crowned Sparrow – The Restorer
Flight 7
The Sage in the sagebrush…
Three-wattled Bellbird – The Noise Maker
Kagu – The High Profile Endemic Emblem
Wompoo Fruit Dove – The Seed Distributor
Birds, It’s Coffee-time
Long-wattled Umbrellabird – The Dawn Dancer..
Snowflake and the Eye
I Don’t Show Off – The Great Horned Owl
The Thirsty Sandgrouse…
Island Scrub Jays – The Ultimate Home-makers
The Mountain Bluebird – The Zealous Bridegroom
The Hummingbird – The Believer..
A Beauty from THE BEAUTY…
The Cerulean Warbler – The V I P …
A Beauty fro THE BEAUTY…
Cerulean Warbler – The V I P…
The Capercaillie – The Stethoscope
The Superb Fairywren – The Corporate Mob
The Space sharing seed storing Redpoll…
Montserrat Oriole – The Super Survivor
Macaw – The Beautician
The Black Skimmer – The Graceful Flier…
The Futuristic Whip-poor-wills….
Andean Cock-of-the-rock – The Changer…
Wattled Jacana – The Perfect Partner
Birds-Advertisers of Life
Worship – The God Pleaser
Birds – Purpose Filled Singers
Renewing For Rapture
Blue Chaffinch – The High Dwellers
Birds – Watchers of Light
Scare Scarer
Disiplined Avian
Worship – Our Mating Song
Artic Terns – The Light Seekers
Yellow-rumped Cacique – The Trusted Watchman
Red-billed Leiothrix – The Rain Seekers…
Humming Birds – The Believing Believers… (Superb)
Birds – The Engineers..
Secretary Bird – The Walker
Swinhoe’s Pheasant – The Secret Agents..
Bobolink – Extraordinary Migrant…
Mrs. Mom…
The Launching Pad…
Light Rain..
Mysterious Sungrebe…
Tasty Household…
The Smooth-billed Ani – The Corporates…
Coppersmith Barbet – The Fruit-giver…
Macrocephalon Maleo – The Mute Missionary…
Oilbird – Mission With a Vision
Avian Worship…
The Little Spiderhunter – The Praising Pollinator
(Common) Pauraque — Big Mouth
Pompadour Continga – The Concealed Incubators…
The Apostlebird – The Ground Dwellers…
The Red-eyed Vireo – The Persistent Singer…
Goldcrest – The Royal Crown
Red-billed Quelea – Unity Unplugged
Cedar Waxwing – Fruit Passer…
The Broad-billed Prion – The well oiled night mates..
Island Scrub Jay – The Fallen One Yet The Chosen One..
Brown Thrasher – The Singing Assasin..
Red-breasted Goose – Wise Nester
American Goldfinch – The Latecomers..
White-fronted Bee-eater – The Community Developer..
Willow Flycatcher – The Solitary Singer
Baya Weaver – The Model Church
The Limpkin – Created Special..
The Christmas Bird?
Black Rosy Finch – The Grace Seeker..
The Black-throated Sparrow – The Desert Dwellers
Stop Flying Solo…

Fly Light…
Is Eagle’s Weight Our Weight?
Oriental White-eye – The Grace Seeker..

Birds of the Bible – Hidden Covenant – Intro – Part 2 – Part 3

AJMithra's Photo of Green Bee-eater

AJMithra’s Photo of Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)

Videos by a j:
Fusion Unplugged by Boat-tailed Grackles
His Eye Is On The Sparrow
LoUiSiAnA oh LoUiSiAnA…

Nuggets Plus Series by ajmithra

Aj Mithra is now with our Lord


Avian and Attributes – Mount [Correction]

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

The link was sent to many of you as https://leesbird.com/2018/02/15/avian-and-attributes-mount/ which was sent accidentally.

This caused a 404 Error.

The correct link is:


Ian’s Bird of the Week – Crimson Rosella

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Crimson Rosella ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 11/20/15

Some birds are very obvious choices for bird of the week because they are beautiful and popular. Ironically, I can overlook them for exactly that reason as I assume they’ve featured previously. Here is one such, the Crimson Rosella, an iconic and popular bird of the forests of eastern and southeastern Australia.

Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) by Ian

Normally rather shy in its natural habitat and can become quite tame in parks and gardens. It’s popularity is reflected in the fact that it has been introduced to New Zealand and Norfolk Island and (unsuccessfully) to Lord Howe Island. It nests in tree hollows and is regarded by conservationists as a pest on Norfolk Island as it competes with the smaller, endangered Norfolk Parakeet for nest sites.

Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) by Ian

It feeds mainly on the seeds and fruit of trees and will forage on the ground for the grass seed, like the bird in the third photo. It’s a very vocal species and its ringing calls are a characteristic sound of forests in eastern Australia. Out of the breeding season, it is found in small flocks but it is territorial when breeding and the pair bond is though to persist for several years or longer.

Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) by Ian

Juvenile birds of the eastern nominate race are mainly olive green with blue cheeks and patches of red on the head, breast and undertail-coverts. The nominate race extends from Cooroy in Southeastern Queensland to about Kingston in eastern South Australia.

Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) by Ian

Farther north, an isolated population of the race nigrescens (‘blackish’) occurs from Eungella near Mackay north to the Atherton Tableland. This is smaller and darker than the nominate race, fifth photo, and is mainly a bird of highland rainforest.

Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) by Ian

Juveniles of this northern race are much more like the adults than their southern relatives and have brownish-black feathers on the back instead of green (sixth photo).

Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) by Ian

Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) by Ian

In southeastern Australia the populations of blue-cheeked Rosellas look very different and were for a long time treated as two different species, the Yellow Rosella, seventh photo, of the river systems of southern New South Wales and northern Victoria, and the orange-plumaged Adelaide Rosella of South Australia from the Flinders Ranges in the north to the Fleurieu Peninsula south of Adelaide (no photo). Yellow and Adelaide Rosellas interbreed where their ranges meet along the Murray River in South Australia. The two are now treated as races of the Crimson Rosella, flaveolus and adelaidae respectively.

Yellow Rosella (Platycercus elegans flaveolus) by Ian 4

Yellow Rosella (Platycercus elegans flaveolus) by Ian 4

The Yellow Rosella looks very like the other blue-cheeked Rosella, the Green Rosella of Tasmania. It is, however, retained as a separate species. I included this photo of the Yellow Rosella when the Green Rosella was bird of the week in March 2013.

Christmas is looming ever closer, so this wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory commercial. What do you give to the digitally-competent birder or nature-lover who has everything? An electronic book of course and both Apple and Kobo have facilities in their ebook stores for giving gifts. I’ve included a Giving Gifts section on the Publications page with help on how these stores let you give gifts. Google has facilities only for giving the equivalent of a gift token and not specific items. These book images are linked to the corresponding web pages:

Where To Find Birds - Ian

Ian's Book 2


Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Bird Photos http://www.birdway.com.au/
Recorder Society  iTunes; Google Play Kobo Books

Lee’s Addition:

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly. (Psalms 84:11 NKJV)

Thanks again, Ian, for sharing some more avian wonders. I especially like the second photos. That little guy looks like he is walking with an attitude. :)

Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You. (Psalms 143:8 NKJV)


More Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Psittacidae – Parrots Family

Pale-headed Rosella ~ 8-24-14

Psittaculidae – Old World Parrots (Here)

Wordless Birds – Hummers


Collared Aracari – Beautiful Creation

(Crooked) Collared Aracari Sign at Houston Zoo by Lee

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:11 NKJV)

When we visited the Houston Zoo this last spring, we saw a sign for the Collared Aracari. We were able to photograph two other Aracaris, but this one was “off exhibit.” Not sure why, but I was very disappointed, because it is such a neat creation from the Lord.

While checking through some more of Ray Barlow’s photos, guess what I found? Some really great photos of a Collared Aracari Ray had taken, and “without bars” like we get at a zoo. So I trust you will enjoy some more photos from Raymond Barlow.

Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus) ©Raymond Barlow

Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus) ©Raymond Barlow

An aracari or araçari is any of the medium-sized toucans that, together with the saffron toucanet, make up the genus Pteroglossus. They belong to the Ramphastidae – Toucan Family. This Collared Aracari is not even one of the prettiest, but it is still very becoming.

Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus) ©Raymond Barlow

Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus) ©Raymond Barlow

They are brightly plumaged and have enormous, contrastingly patterned bills. These birds are residents in forests and woodlands in the Neotropics.

Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus) ©Raymond Barlow

Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus) ©Raymond Barlow

All the species of Aracari are basically fruit-eating, but will take insects and other small prey.

Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus) ©Raymond Barlow

Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus) ©Raymond Barlow

They are arboreal and nest in tree holes laying 2–4 white eggs. The Collared Aracari breeds from southern Mexico to Panama; also Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Costa Rica.

And now for the best one of Ray’s photos for the Collared Aracari, at least to me:

Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus) ©Raymond Barlow

Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus) ©Raymond Barlow

That beak is not painted by none other than the Creative Hand of the Lord Jesus Christ.

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16 NKJV)

Click on photos for larger view

Birds of the World – Ramphastidae – Toucan Family

Raymond Barlow’s Site

Ray’s Flickr Site

Collared Aracari – Wikipedia

Wordless Birds


Sunday Inspiration – Bulbuls

White-eared (Cheeked) Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucotis) at Zoo Miami by Lee

White-eared (Cheeked) Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucotis) at Zoo Miami by Lee

 Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the LORD; For He is coming to judge the earth. O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (1 Chronicles 16:33-34 NASB)

Bulbuls are a family, Pycnonotidae, of medium-sized passerine songbirds. Many forest species are known as greenbuls, brownbuls, leafloves, bristlebills, finchbills and  a Malia. The family is distributed across most of Africa and into the Middle East, tropical Asia to Indonesia, and north as far as Japan. A few insular species occur on the tropical islands of the Indian Ocean There are 151 species in around 28 genera. While some species are found in most habitats, overall African species are predominantly found in rainforest whilst rainforest species are rare in Asia, instead preferring more open areas.

Collared Finchbill by Dan at Zoo Miami

Bulbuls are short-necked slender passerines. The tails are long and the wings short and rounded. In almost all species the bill is slightly elongated and slightly hooked at the end. They vary in length from 13 cm for the tiny greenbul to 29 cm in the straw-headed bulbul. Overall the sexes are alike, although the females tend to be slightly smaller. In a few species the differences are so great that they have been described as functionally different species. The soft plumage of some species is colourful with yellow, red or orange vents, cheeks, throat or supercilia, but most are drab, with uniform olive-brown to black plumage. Species with dull coloured eyes often sport contrasting eyerings. Some have very distinct crests. Bulbuls are highly vocal, with the calls of most species being described as nasal or gravelly. One author described the song of the brown-eared bulbul as “the most unattractive noises made by any bird”

Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice (Psalms 96:12 KJV)

Maybe in the case of that brown-eared bulbul, this verse would be more appropriate:

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. (Psalms 98:4 KJV)

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“How Deep The Father’s Love For Us” ~ played by Megan Fee and Jill Foster

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

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)

More Sunday Inspirations

Pycnonotidae – Bulbuls Family

Bulbul – Wikipedia

Falling Plates


Birds of the Bible – Jeremiah 19:7

Bird of Prey by Phil Kwong Galleries

Bird of Prey by Phil Kwong Galleries

“And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hands of those who seek their lives; their corpses I will give as meat for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth.” (Jeremiah 19:7 NKJV)

I’m currently traveling through Jeremiah in my personal reading of the Bible. Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet and it is easy to see why he was called that. Parts of the Scripture are hard to read, not that the words are hard, but because of that which is happening.

When birds are mentioned, of course, those verses catch my attention. What, where, and why are they being mentioned? Normally if you just pick out a verse those questions would pop into your head. Because of reading through Jeremiah, those thoughts were already answered.

Jeremiah was sent to inform the Israelites of the judgment coming because of their sins. He was told: “Thus says the LORD: “Go and get a potter’s earthen flask, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the elders of the priests. And go out to the Valley of the Son of Hinnom.” So he did as commanded.

When they got to the valley, he was told to proclaim there the words that I will tell you.

and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will bring such a catastrophe on this place, that whoever hears of it, his ears will tingle. “Because they have forsaken Me and made this an alien place, because they have burned incense in it to other gods whom neither they, their fathers, nor the kings of Judah have known, and have filled this place with the blood of the innocents (they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind), therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that this place shall no more be called Tophet or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hands of those who seek their lives; their corpses I will give as meat for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. (Jeremiah 19:3-7 NKJV)

That is hard, but God is Just. God is Longsuffering. God is Love. God is all these at the same time. People like to say because God loves he would never condemn or judge someone. Not true. He destroyed the whole world with a universal flood because of sin, yet he saved eight souls and the critters. He destroyed Sodom because of sexual sin of those who perverted it, yet he saved three. There are other examples throughout the Bible.

Here we have a nation, His chosen people, had grown cold in their worship of Him and turned to other gods and even sacrificed their children. Sound like our nations today? People do not believe in God, but would rather believe in evolution, have abortions, pervert God’s gift of intimate relations in marriage. On and on, the churches are accepting all kinds of things that God said ” which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind.” Will we come to that judgment also?

Burrowing Owl from Dusky's Wonders

Burrowing Owl from Dusky’s Wonders

I love watching the Birds of the Air, but am sorry that they have to become Birds of Prey because of people’s denial of the God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) ©WikiC

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) ©WikiC

We are encouraged to return to the Lord God’s Word.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (17) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (18) “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (19) And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (21) But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:16-21 NKJV)

Like I said earlier, some things are hard to read and share, but it is there in the Word and the Word is True.


Birds of the Bible

Gospel Message


Sunday Inspiration – Fantails

Rufous Fantail (Rhipidura rufifrons) by Ian

Rufous Fantail by Ian

Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 41:16 KJV)

This week’s Inspiration comes from the Rhipiduridae – Fantails Family. You can see by Ian Montgomery’s photo above where their name came from. This family of birds has 50 species. All but three are Fantails. The other three are the Willie Wagtail, Silktail, and the Pygmy Drongo.

Fantails are small insectivorous birds of Australasia, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent belonging to the genus Rhipidura in the family Rhipiduridae. Most of the species are about 15 to 18 cm long, specialist aerial feeders, and named as “fantails”, but the Australian willie wagtail, is a little larger, and though still an expert hunter of insects on the wing, concentrates equally on terrestrial prey.

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) on Wallaby by Ian Montgomery

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) on Wallaby by Ian

The willie (or willy) wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) is a passerine bird native to Australia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Bismarck Archipelago, and Eastern Indonesia. It is a common and familiar bird throughout much of its range, living in most habitats apart from thick forest. Measuring 19–21.5 cm (7 128 12 in) in length, the willie wagtail is contrastingly coloured with almost entirely black upperparts and white underparts; the male and female have similar plumage.

Silktail (Lamprolia victoriae) ©WikiC

Silktail (Lamprolia victoriae) ©WikiC

The silktail (Lamprolia victoriae) is a species of bird endemic to Fiji. It is the only member of the genus Lamprolia. This beautiful bird looks superficially like a diminutive bird of paradise but it is actually closely related to the fantails.

The pygmy drongo or Papuan drongo (Chaetorhynchus papuensis) is a species of bird endemic to the island of New Guinea. It is the only species in the genus Chaetorhynchus. The species was long placed within the drongo family Dicruridae, but it differs from others in that family in having twelve rectrices instead of ten. Molecular analysis also supports moving the species out from the drongo family, instead placing it as a sister species to the Silktail of Fiji, and both those species in the fantail family Rhipiduridae. Some authorities reference the bird as the pygmy drongo-fantail. (Information from Wikipedia)

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For which cause I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (2 Timothy 1:6 LITV)

“So Send I You” – Men’s Quartet – Faith Baptist



Babbler For Who?

Indian Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus horsfieldii) ©WikiC

Indian Scimitar Babbler (Pomatorhinus horsfieldii) ©WikiC

bab·bler – ˈbab(ə)lər/ – noun

  • a person who babbles.
  • a thrushlike Old World songbird with a long tail, short rounded wings, and typically a loud discordant or musical voice.

While reading in Ecclesiastes recently, I saw the word “babbler.” Working on the Birds of the World lists, that word caught my attention. Ahh! Maybe I could write an article about the Babblers that I had seen in the list.

A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; The babbler is no different. (Ecclesiastes 10:11 NKJV)

Chestnut-faced Babbler (Zosterornis whiteheadi) ©WikiC

Chestnut-faced Babbler (Zosterornis whiteheadi) ©WikiC

What I did not know is that there are seven families that have “Babbler” birds in them. There are Ground Babblers, Wren Babblers, Thrush-Babblers, Scimitar Babblers, Jewel-babblers, Hill Babblers, Tit-Babblers, a Rail-babblers and regular just plain Babblers.

Then checking for more verses on “babblers,” I found two more. The verse above and this one both have a sort of negative meaning to the word.

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler. (Proverbs 20:19 ESV)

There is one more verse that will come later. First, what is a Babbler of the bird kind?

Rail-babbler (Eupetes macrocerus) by Peter Ericsson

Rail-babbler (Eupetes macrocerus) by Peter Ericsson

“The Old World babblers or timaliids are a large family of mostly Old World passerine birds. They are rather diverse in size and coloration, but are characterised by soft fluffy plumage. These are birds of tropical areas, with the greatest variety in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The timaliids are one of two unrelated groups of birds known as babblers, the other being the Australasian babblers of the family Pomatostomidae (also known as pseudo-babblers).

White-browed Babbler by Ian

White-browed Babbler by Ian (Australia)

Morphological diversity is rather high; most species resemble “warblers”, jays or thrushes. This group is among those Old World bird families with the highest number of species still being discovered.

Timaliids are small to medium birds. They have strong legs, and many are quite terrestrial. They typically have generalised bills, similar to those of a thrush or warbler, except for the scimitar babblers which, as their name implies, have strongly decurved bills. Most have predominantly brown plumage, with minimal difference between the sexes, but many more brightly coloured species also exist.

The systematics of Old World babblers have long been contested. During much of the 20th century, the family was used as a “wastebin taxon” for numerous hard-to-place Old World songbirds (such as Picathartidae or the wrentit). Ernst Hartert was only half-joking when he summarized this attitude with the statement that, in the passerines, (Wikipedia)

“Was man nicht unterbringen kann, sieht man als Timalien an.” (What one can’t place systematically is considered an Old World babbler)

They finally started trying to divide them into different groups and families. You will find those seven families below. Also, from the definition at the beginning, they are vocal with a “typically a loud discordant or musical voice.”

Nepal Wren-Babbler (Pnoepyga immaculata) by Nikhil Devasar

Nepal Wren-Babbler (Pnoepyga immaculata) by Nikhil Devasar

The last verse I found with “babbler” gives us a more positive emphasis. The Apostle Paul was in Athens and:

“Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean.” (Acts 17:16-20 NKJV)

Are we “babblers” for the Lord like Paul? When people listen to us (or read what we write), do they hear a loud “discordant sound” or a clear “musical note”? We have no control how the words are heard. Some may consider the Words of Jesus as just another belief system in the world, while others will hear the Words as joy to their souls. We are told to tell others about Christ. So, Who do we “Babble” for?

Eupetidae – Rail-babbler – 1

Pellorneidae – Fulvettas, Ground Babblers – 40+ Wren Babblers, Thrush-Babbler, Scimitar Babbler, Babblers

Pnoepygidae – Wren-babblers – 5 Wren-babblers

Pomatostomidae – Australasian Babblers – 5 Babblers

Psophodidae – Whipbirds, Jewel-babblers and Quail-thrushes – 4 Jewel-babblers

Sylviidae – Sylviid Babblers – 6 Hill Babblers, Thrush-Babblers, and Babblers

Timaliidae – Babblers – 55 Scimitar Babblers, Wren-Babblers, Tit-Babblers and Babblers


Sharing The Gospel


Cassin’s Auklet In Trouble

Cassin's Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) by Ian

Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) by Ian

While reading the Sunday paper, I noticed an article about the Cassin’s Auklet being in trouble. There is a big “die-off” happening on the West Coast that has scientist baffled. Wanted to find out about this bird, so here is some information about them.

Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) is a small, chunky seabird that ranges widely in the North Pacific. It nests in small burrows and because of its presence on well studied islands in British Columbia and off California it is one of the better known auks. It is named for John Cassin, a Pennsylvania businessman and naturalist.

Parakeet Auklet (Aethia psittacula) ©USFWS

Parakeet Auklet (Aethia psittacula) ©USFWS

They belong to the Alcidae – Auks Family which has 25 members. There are Auks, Murres, Guillemots, Murrelets, Auklets, and Puffins in family. Auks are superficially similar to penguins having black-and-white colours, upright posture and some of their habits. Nevertheless they are not closely related to penguins,

Auks live on the open sea and only go ashore for breeding, although some species, like the common guillemot, spend a great part of the year defending their nesting spot from others.

The Cassin’s Auklet are nondescript, usually dark above and pale below, with a small white mark above the eye. Its bill is overall dark with a pale spot, and its feet are blue. Unlike many other auks the Cassin’s auklet lacks dramatic breeding plumage, remaining the same over most of the year. “At sea it is usually identified by its flight, which is described as looking like a flying tennis ball”

“…Strong is thy dwellingplace, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock.” (Numbers 24:21b KJV)

The Cassin’s auklet nests in burrows on small islands, and in the southern area of its range may be found in the breeding colony year round. It either digs holes in the soil or uses natural cracks and crevices to nest in, also readily using man-made structures. Pairs will show a strong loyalty towards each other and to a nesting site for many years. Both the parents incubate the single white egg, returning to swap shifts at night to avoid being taken by predators such as the western gull or peregrine falcon. They also depart from the colony before dawn.

Cassin's Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) ©WiciC

Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) ©WiciC

At sea Cassin’s Auklets feeds offshore, in clear often pelagic water, often associating with bathymetric landmarks such as underwater canyons and upwellings. Numbers at sea may be grossly underestimated because the bird moves away from ships at a distance of more than a kilometer. Recently their distribution around Triangle Island has been determined by telemetry. It feeds by diving underwater beating its wings for propulsion, hunting down large zooplankton, especially krill. It can dive to 30 m below the surface, and by some estimates 80 m

According to the article Pacific Coast Sea Bird Die-Off Puzzles Scientists: “Scientists are trying to figure out what’s behind the deaths of seabirds that have been found by the hundreds along the Pacific Coast since October. Mass die-offs …have been reported from British Columbia to San Luis Obispo, California.

“To be this lengthy and geographically widespread, I think is kind of unprecedented,” Phillip Johnson told the reporter.

“The birds appear to be starving to death, so experts don’t believe a toxin is the culprit…. But why the birds can’t find food is a mystery.”

“Researchers say it could be the result of a successful breeding season, leading to too many young birds competing for food. Unusually violent storms might be pushing the birds into areas they’re not used to or preventing them from foraging. Or a warmer, more acidic ocean could be affecting the supply of tiny zooplankton, such as krill, that the birds eat.”

Cassin’s Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) by Ian

On December 26th of 132 dead birds found on the beach at Tillamook, Oregon, 126 were Cassin’s Auklets.

One thing is for sure, this issue has not caught the Lord by surprise. We were given dominion over the birds and part of that is to help preserve our birds. I am glad the scientist are digging into this issue to hopefully find an answer.

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26 KJV)

Cool Facts from About Birds

  • The Cassin’s Auklet is the only alcid known to produce two broods in a single breeding season, at least in the southern part of the range where birds may be seen at nesting colonies every month of the year.
  • Vulnerable to predators, especially large gulls, the Cassin’s Auklet tends to visit its nest at night.
  • The Cassin’s Auklet is named for John Cassin, a Pennsylvania businessman and naturalist.
  • A group of auks has many collective nouns, including a “colony”, “loomery”, and “raft” of auks.

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)



Bible Birds – Vulture Introduction

Vulture Introduction

Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) WikiC

Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) WikiC

And these you shall regard as an abomination among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the buzzard, (Leviticus 11:13 NKJV)

  • Christian Standard Bible (CSB) “but these are the ones you may not eat: eagles, bearded vultures, black vultures,
  • Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) “but these you are not to eat: eagles, vultures, ospreys,
  • Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) “But don’t eat any of these birds: eagles, vultures, buzzards,
  • English Standard Version (ESV) “But these are the ones that you shall not eat: the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture,
  • Expanded Bible (EXB) “But do not eat these birds: eagles, vultures, black vultures, 13 red kites, falcons, any kind of kite,
  • GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) “But here are the birds that you should never eat: eagles, bearded vultures, black vultures,
  • International Children’s Bible (ICB)  “But do not eat these birds: eagles, vultures, black vultures,
  • International Standard Version (ISV) “You may eat all clean birds, 12 but you must not eat any of these: the eagle, vulture, osprey, 13 buzzard, any kind of kite,
  • Names of God Bible (NOG) “But here are the birds that you should never eat: eagles, bearded vultures, black vultures,
  • New English Translation (NET) “But do not eat these birds: eagles, vultures, black vultures,
  • New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) “But there are many birds you can’t eat. They include eagles, vultures, and black vultures.
Leviticus 11:18 and Deuteronomy 14:17 (NKJV) mention a carrion vulture. Jeremiah 12:9 mentions a speckled vulture.
All of these verses give us several different kinds of vultures.
bearded vulture – covered in Bible Birds – Ossifrage
black vulture
carrion vulture
speckled vulture
I am sure if I checked all of the translation available in BibleGateway, I would find some other type of Vulture. That might be a project you could do.
The vultures belong to the same family as the Buzzards recently written about. Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks & Eagles Family.
“A vulture is a scavenging bird of prey. The two types of vultures are the New World vultures, including the Californian and Andean condors, and the Old World vultures, including the birds that are seen scavenging on carcasses of dead animals on African plains. Some traditional Old World vultures (including the bearded vulture) are not closely related to the others, which is why the vultures are to be subdivided into three taxa rather than two. New World vultures are found in North and South America; Old World vultures are found in Europe, Africa, and Asia, meaning that between the two groups, vultures are found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.”

White-backed Vultures (Gyps_africanus) on zebra carcass ©WikiC

From that description, again, you can see why those birds aren’t eaten. Eating something they just killed would be bad enough, but to eat things that had already died. That is not the kind of bird you would want to eat at Thanksgiving.
Here are some of the Vultures from around the world:

ABC’s of the Gospel


Ian’s Bird of the Week – Greater Flamingo

PHO-Phof Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Greater Flamingo ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 10-9-14

Here’s another species from Dubai, the Greater Flamingo. It’s well-known there, occurs in the Ra’s al-Khor wildlife sanctuary near the centre of town and is suitably iconic for a place where flamboyance is preferred to subtlety :-). We didn’t go to this sanctuary but found about 50 Flamingos feeding in the shallows near one of the Crab Plover sites that we checked at Khor al-Beida north of the city.

This spot was right beside a Sheik’s well guarded palace. Tommy warned that using a large telephoto lens there could attract unwelcome attention from the guards, so these photos were taken through the window of his 4WD. The birds in the first and second photos are adults with the pink colour of the legs and bill and the red plumage in the wings well-developed.

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) by IanThe bird in the third photo is an older juvenile. The bill is still grey, the legs are just beginning to show a pink flush and there is little red showing in the wings. The full adult plumage is acquired after about three years.

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) by Ian
Flamingos are a taxonomically isolated group with 6 species in a single family – Phoneicopteridae – in their own order the Phoenicopteriformes. Four of the species occur in South and Central America, with 2 Old World Species The Greater and Lesser Flamingos. The Greater Flamingo occurs in Africa, the Middle East, southern Europe and in Asia as far east as India. There is one Australian record from the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in 1988, so it has the honour of being on the Australian list.

Greetings from Strasbourg where we are having a pleasant few days in this lovely city staying with Gillian daughter Jeannine and her husband Carlos. Tomorrow we go to Barcelona by TGV en route to a couple of birding spots in the foothills of the Pyrenees where I hope to get some raptor photos to share with you. THE target species is the Bearded Vulture or Lammergeier, so I need your spiritual support and enthusiasm!


Lee’s Addition:

Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 ESV)

Love those Flamingo, no matter what kind. There is just something about that beak and the pose they portray. Thanks again, Ian, for sharing your latest find among the avian in Dubai.

American Flamingo Beak cropped

American Flamingo Beak by Lee

Of the Flaming Family on Ian’s Birdway site, this must have been his first Flamingo. At least that is all he shows for the Phoenicopteridae Family.

Ian’s Birds of the Week

Ian’s Phoneicopteridae Family

Flamingos – Phoenicopteridae Family


Ian’s Bird of the Week – Cream-coloured Courser

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Cream-coloured Courser ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 9/27/14

A couple of weeks ago, I said that my two target birds in Dubai were Crab Plover – which featured last week – and Cream-coloured Courser. The latter had aroused my curiosity 50 years ago when I saw it on this page of the Field Guide to Birds of Britain and Europe. Tommy Pedersen (http://www.uaebirding.com) had said that the Coursers were “possible”, so there were no guarantees.

Cream-colored Courser (Cursorius cursor) by Ian

Cream-colored Courser (Cursorius cursor) by Ian

When we set off with Tommy, we had a few hours to fill in before the tide was optimal for the Crab Plovers, so we went first to the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Centre, then to the Al Asifa Endurance Stables to look for the Coursers. They were present at both, with over 30 at the Polo Centre and another 16 at the Stables. In fact, the first photo I took in Dubai was of a very distant Courser.

Cream-colored Courser (Cursorius cursor) by Ian

They were worth waiting 50 years for, and I think the illustration in the field guide didn’t do them justice. They’re called Coursers because they run rather than fly, second photo, the name being derived from the Latin verb currere, to run, and the generic name Cursorius means runner. The ‘sport’ of coursing – chasing hares, etc., on horse-back is derived from the same source, so there was a delightful irony in finding them at the two main equestrian locations in Dubai.​

Cream-colored Courser (Cursorius cursor) by Ian

When pressed they do take flight, third photo. In doing so, they show their striking dark wing tips and underwings and reveal similarity to pratincoles, the other members of the family Glareolidae. There is a photo of an Australian Pratincole in flight here if you want to compare them. The three taking off in the third photo seemed to be a family party as the bird in the centre is immature with patchy brown markings on the neck and only very pale stripes through the eye.

Cream-colored Courser (Cursorius cursor) by Ian

​Their preferred habitat is desert and semi-desert with or without sparse vegetation. Their breeding range includes much of North Africa and the Middle East. Many North African birds migrate across the Sahari to winter in the southern Sahara and at least part of the Middle East population migrates to Pakistan and NW India. They feed on insects and other invertebrates on the ground and will take locusts in flight. I couldn’t help but be struck by their resemblance both in colour and habitat to the Inland Dotterel of central Australia.

Cream-colored Courser (Cursorius cursor) by Ian

As promised a couple of weeks ago, I’ve started putting together a page on electronic books to provide assistance in choosing among different platforms. So far, I’ve finished the General Introduction. I still need to add more details on the actual process of purchasing ebooks from different vendors​ and I’ll let you know when that is available.

I’m still in Ireland. So far, I’ve been mainly catching up with family and friends. Next Tuesday we are going looking for Red Kites in Avoca, Co. Wicklow, so keep your fingers crossed for some photos! The Red Kite is one of the more successful Irish raptor reintroduction programs and there are now breeding populations in both the Republic, mainly Co. Wicklow south of Dublin, and in Co. Down in Northern Ireland. I do have a photo of one taken in Spain – but it would be good to get some genuine Irish ones, the real McCoy.


Lee’s Addition:

He asked for water, she gave milk; She brought out cream in a lordly bowl. (Judges 5:25 NKJV)
He will not see the streams, The rivers flowing with honey and cream. (Job 20:17 NKJV)
When my steps were bathed with cream, And the rock poured out rivers of oil for me! (Job 29:6 NKJV)

Wow! I really like that color. It seems so rich. There are such neat birds in the Glareolidae family anyway. That last photo of the bird in flight looks like the Lord dipped its wings in paint. I am glad Ian was able to get these new photos and shared them with us.

Coloured or Colored? Again we have a difference in spelling. Ian uses one naming authority and here we use the I.O.C.’s naming. Same bird, same scientific name – Cursorius cursor. And the same beautiful bird from its Creator.


Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Glareolidae Family

Glareolidae – Coursers, Pratincoles