Designed For Flight – Creation Moments YouTube

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

“Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:5 KJV)

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.” (Isaiah 40:28 KJV)

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)II at Bok Tower By Dan'sPix

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)II at Bok Tower By Dan’sPix

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Interesting Things

Creation Moments

Wordless Toucan

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Birds of the Bible – Foundation – The Ark

Ernesto Carrasco's Noah's Ark Model

Ernesto Carrasco’s Noah’s Ark Model –  Noah’s Ark Model

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7 KJV)

We will continue on with the Birds of the Bible – Foundation series.

If you have not read the previous blogs:
Foundation #1 Updated  –  Foundation #2 Updated –  Foundation #3 Updated – Foundation #4 Updated

(These articles are being updated because they were written back in 2009 and needed a little dusting off. The Truths are the same, just updating the photos, etc.) This article about the Ark is a new one. It needs to go between #4 and #5, but I didn’t want to call it #4.5.

Ark with Animals ©CreationWiki

Ark with Animals ©CreationWiki

What this Foundation article is about, is the Ark itself. We read about the birds going into and out of the ark in the other Birds of the Bible Foundation articles. But what about the Ark?

Noah's Ark © SketchPort

Noah’s Ark © SketchPort

How did Noah, his family, the animals and our birds all fit in the ark? Was it like you see depicted many times in drawings with of a small boat with a giraffe sticking his head out?

Girrafe at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee

Giraffe at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee

If it was a small ark, as some suppose, it is because they do not believe God’s Word. God said He was going to destroy all flesh except those on the Ark.

And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. (Genesis 6:17-20 KJV) (emphasis mine)

They don’t believe those verses. They think that it was only a local flood. If it were, why did the birds have to come on board? They could have just flown off to some other part of the earth. So, for those that only believe in a partial flood, a small ark with a giraffe sticking out is sufficient.

But, did those verses not say that “flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh” and “every thing that is in the earth shall die”?  Is God a liar? The exception, of course, are those with Noah in the Ark.

Ark Model at Creation Museum ©Flickr Daniel Tuttle

Ark Model at Creation Museum ©Flickr Daniel Tuttle

And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. (Genesis 8:13 KJV)

So, we need a big Ark, one that the Giraffes and birds don’t have to hang out the windows. Right? So, how big was the Ark?

“Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch. And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.” (Genesis 6:14-16 NKJV)

The reason for this article is that, today, there is construction of a life size Ark underway. It is being built by the Answers in Genesis organization. The Ark Encounter, as the location will be known as, is in Williamstown, Kentucky. The planned opening is July 7, 2016. We will be going to Indiana this summer and are planning to visit the Ark during the trip.

Here are two videos showing the ark under construction. They have all those men and great technology. Noah took 120 years. During that time he was preaching and trying to get others to join him and his family.

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I trust those videos will give you a new perspective of how large the Ark actually was. There was even more room for more people to be saved, had they only believed God’s Word. We have the same issue today. John 3:16 is right before our eyes almost daily. Even ball games have banners reminding people of this promise of salvation. If they would only believe.

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:15-19 KJV)

If I took verse 19 and changed it thus; “And this is the condemnation, that AN ARK WAS come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19) (My paraphrase) This is why they didn’t seek to join Noah. That is the same reason sinners refuse to be saved today.

Gospel Message

Continue to Birds of the Bible – Foundation #5 (Updated version coming soon)

Some links to some informative articles about the flood and the Ark:

Gospel Message

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More Photos To Enjoy!

My friend, Jeanie, who wrote the poem, Hummingbird, sent me these photos. Enjoy!

The photography is amazing, but the captions are priceless !!!!!

I hate it when he plays "Mount Everest ..."

I hate it when he plays “Mount Everest …”

Who the is "Sugar Lips"?

Who is “Sugar Lips”?

Those brownies were Far Out!!

Those brownies were Far Out!!

NO! We Don't want any Magazine Subscriptions!

NO! We Don’t want any Magazine Subscriptions!

There's a ringer competing in the Hogtown Olympics.

There’s a ringer competing in the Hogtown Olympics.

I'm not Over-Weight, I'm Under-Height!!

I’m not Over-Weight, I’m Under-Height!!

You do have an odd perspective on things.

You do have an odd perspective on things.

Lunchtime at the Corncob Cafe

Lunchtime at the Corncob Cafe

Okay, I caught him, now what do I do with him?

Okay, I caught him, now what do I do with him?

I hate this game.

I hate this game.

Flight 'Hum-One' coming in for a landing.

Flight ‘Hum-One’ coming in for a landing.

Just act natural and blend in.

Just act natural and blend in.

Where's my Coffee?

Where’s my Coffee?

Whooo loves ya, Baby?

Whooo loves ya, Baby?


But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
(Colossians 3:14-17 NKJV)


Sunday Inspiration – Seven Small Families

As we continue through our Passerines, we come to seven families that have very few members in them. Just because their numbers are few, their Creator has not failed to give each a niche to fill and the ability and design to do so. They are all small birds, like the song, “His Eye Is On The Sparrow,” these bird are no less ignored by the Lord.

Dapple-throat (Arcanator orostruthus) ©WikiC

Dapple-throat (Arcanator orostruthus) ©WikiC

I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God. (Psalms 69:3 NKJV)

The Dapple-throat and allies – Modulatricidae  family only has three species; Spot-throat, Dapple-throat and the Grey-chested Babbler. Internet says they are from Africa and that its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. That is about the only information given.

Cape Sugarbird (Promerops cafer) ©WikiC

Cape Sugarbird (Promerops cafer) ©WikiC

More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (Psalms 19:10 NKJV)

The Sugarbirds make up a small family, Promeropidae, of passerine birds which are restricted to southern Africa. The two species of sugarbird make up one of only two bird families restricted entirely to southern Africa, the other being the rock-jumpers Chaetopidae. In general appearance as well as habits they resemble large long-tailed sunbirds, but are possibly more closely related to the Australian honeyeaters. They have brownish plumage, the long downcurved bill typical of passerine nectar feeders, and long tail feathers.

Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella) at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella) at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

“You shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue.” (Exodus 28:31 NKJV)

The two Fairy-bluebirds are small passerine bird species found in forests and plantations in tropical southern Asia and the Philippines. They are the sole members of the genus Irena and family Irenidae, and are related to the ioras and leafbirds.

These are bulbul-like birds of open forest or thorn scrub, but whereas that group tends to be drab in colouration, fairy-bluebirds are sexually dimorphic, with the males being dark blue in plumage, and the females duller green.

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) by Ian

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) by Ian

And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about. (Exodus 25:24 KJV)

Regulidae – Goldcrests, kinglets family has only six members. The kinglets or crests are a small group of birds sometimes included in the Old World warblers, but are frequently given family status because they also resemble the titmice. The scientific name Regulidae is derived from the Latin word regulus for “petty king” or prince, and comes from the coloured crowns of adult birds. This family has representatives in North America and Eurasia.

Spotted Elachura (Elachura formosa) ©Ramki Sreenivasan

Spotted Elachura (Elachura formosa) ©Ramki Sreenivasan

The Spotted Elachura (Elachura formosa (Elachuridae) is the only bird in its family they discovered recently through DNA studies. It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. This species is found in undergrowth and dense thickets of this type of forest, with a preference for thick fern ground cover, mossy rocks and decaying trunks of fallen trees and brushwood (often near stream or creek) long grass and scrub.

Violet-baked Hyliota (Hyliota violacea) ©WikiC

Violet-baked Hyliota (Hyliota violacea) ©WikiC

Hyliotidae – Hyliota found in Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and plantations. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher at Circle B Reserve by Lee

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher at Circle B Reserve by Lee

Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall be dissolved and vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner [like gnats]. But My salvation shall be forever, and My rightness and justice [and faithfully fulfilled promise] shall not be abolished. [Matt. 24:35; Heb. 1:11; II Pet. 3:10.] (Isaiah 51:6 AMP)

(Wrens skipped until next week ) Our last group of very small birds are from the Polioptilidae – Gnatcatchers. The 18 species of small passerine birds in the gnatcatcher family occur in North and South America (except far south and high Andean regions). Most species of this mainly tropical and subtropical group are resident, but the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher of the USA and southern Canada migrates south in winter. They are close relatives of the wrens. (Wikipedia)

 

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Lesser Sooty Owl

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Lesser Sooty Owl ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 9/7/15

You may remember that in March of this year Greater Sooty Owl featured as Bird of the Week when I visited East Gippsland east of Melbourne with my Victorian birding pals Barb, Jen and Joy. Last Thursday I met up with the trio again, this time at Kingfisher Park west of Cairns, Far North Queensland. The main target was, naturally, Lesser Sooty Owl , another member of the Barn Owl family and a species as elusive as its larger cousin. I’d seen one at Kingfisher Park in 2002 but hadn’t photographed it and none of the trio had seen it before.

Lesser Sooty Owl (Tyto multipunctata) by Ian

It’s a Wet Tropics endemic ranging from Paluma – and perhaps Bluewater Forest near me – in the south to Cedar Bay in the north, with an estimated population of 2000 pairs. I’ve searched for it many time since without success so I’d agree with the field guides that say: “seldom seen” (Morcombe) and “until field studies in recent decades … among our least-known birds” (Pizzey and Knight). On Wednesday night I’d searched for it along some dreadful tracks in Tumoulin Forest Reserve near Ravenshoe and on Thursday night we spotlighted the 10km length of the Mount Lewis road near Kingfisher Park with the usual result.

Lesser Sooty Owl (Tyto multipunctata) by Ian

It does occur at Kingfisher Park and Andrew Isles told us to listen for it in the evening “after the barn owls” which live in adjacent Geraghty Park. Barn and Sooty Owls make chirruping calls and both species of Sooty Owl have a characteristic descending whistle like a falling bomb. Sure enough at 6:55pm an owl chirruped maybe 50 metres from the trio’s apartment and we raced around the corner to find this bird had come to visit us and was perched in full view in a tree at a photography-friendly height. Later, I agreed with Joy that it was an OMG moment on a par with encountering the Kagu family on a forest track in New Caledonia.

Lesser Sooty Owl (Tyto multipunctata) by Ian

In the past, the Greater and Lesser have been treated as a single species, but the species split is now generally accepted. They are genetically close, but there is a big difference in sizes – Lesser 31-38cm/12-15in , Greater 37-51cm/14.5-20 (females of both are larger than the males) – and differences in appearance, call and behaviour. Their ranges are disjoint with the Greater found from near Melbourne (Strzelecki and Dandenong Ranges) along the east coast to Eungella National Park near Mackay in Central Queensland. There is also a Sooty Owl in New Guinea. It’s still lumped with the Greater, which is biogeographically unlikely, but has been placed with the Lesser and may even be a different species.

Lesser Sooty Owl (Tyto multipunctata) by Ian

The behaviour of the Lesser differs in that it uses lower perches for hunting, good for photographers, and is known to cling to the side of tree trunks like the Eastern Yellow and Pale-yellow Robins. The last photo shows its impressive talons: these would be able to cling on to anything.

Lesser Sooty Owl (Tyto multipunctata) by Ian

If you’re into benchmarks, last week’s bird, the Ouvea Parakeet, was the 1500th global species on the Birday website (15% of all bird species) but the Australian total was stuck at 699 waiting for something special of course. The Lesser Sooty Owl will be a fitting 700th – I haven’t put it up yet, you get to see if first – that’s 700 out of the 898 ever recorded or 78%.

I’m back home now planning my next project now that the Diary of a Bird Photographer Volume 1 has been published. So far, 27 copies have been purchased and favourable comments are coming in from all over the place including California, UK, Italy and Dubai. The Fat Birder has published a review in which he said:

“I hope anyone who enjoys fine photography and fantastic birds will go to iTunes and download the book… I for one can’t wait for volume 2”

Happily, the remaining 940 members of the bird of the week list don’t have to wait that long for Volume 1!

Greetings
Ian

**************************************************
Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Check the latest website updates:
http://www.birdway.com.au/#updates


Lee’s Addition:

The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. (Isaiah 43:20 KJV)

I am impressed with this neat Lesser Sooty Owl from our Creator and also with Ian’s number of Global and Australian birds he has on his birding list.

Now that he is producing these books, I hope he will continue to give permission to reproduce his Bird of the Week Newsletters.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week 

Ian’s Birdway

Barn Owls – Tytonidae

Wordless Birds

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Ouvéa Parakeet

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Ouvéa Parakeet ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 9/2/15

I was half-way through preparing this bird of the week this afternoon when my 2008 iMac died, or at least got terribly ill, so I’ve delivered it to the Mac Doctors and am now working on my laptop. Thank goodness for automatic backups, as I lost only the email itself and the map below that I was in the middle of preparing. I want to get the email out today so that i can delivery 4 birds of the week this month – my level of enthusiasm for doing the bird of the week has risen considerably since I started preparing the first volume of the Diary of a Bird Photographer.

Anyway, back to the Loyalty Islands off the west coast of the main island of New Caledonia. After spending the morning in Lifou, we flew to the neighbouring island, Ouvéa, home to the endemic Ouvéa Parakeet. Ouvéa is a long thin island, thinnest in the middle in a way that reminded me of both Bribie Island in Tasmania and Lord Howe Island. Like Lord Howe, it has a coral lagoon on one side and an ocean beach on the other but the resemblance largely ends there, as Ouvéa is a coral atoll and very flat, while Lord Howe is volcanic in origin and spectacularly mountainous.

Map of where Ouvéa Parakeet Found, by Ian

Map of where Ouvéa Parakeet Found, by Ian

The parakeet occurs mainly on the northern end of the island so its geographical range is tiny – see the scale on the map above, courtesy of Google Earth. The airport is on the southern end and we decided not to emulate some energetic birders who wrote a trip report and travelled from the airport to the north end of the island by bicycle. Instead, we had booked a rental car at the airport and booked accommodation in a tribal village called Gossanah in parakeet territory near where our bird guide Benoit lived. I’ll say a bit more about both our guide and accommodation later, but first the parakeet.

Ouvéa Parakeet (Eunymphicus uvaeensis) by Ian

It was dark by the time we reached Gossanah, so parakeet hunting had to wait until the morning. I was woken up by early-riser Joy with the exciting news that there were parakeets in the grounds of where we were staying. I stumbled out bleary-eyed (remember we had got up at 4:30am the morning before to get our flight to Lihou) camera in hand and sure enough there they were, or there it was, first photo. Later we joined Benoit and he took us around his garden and though an area of adjacent rainforest. There we found some more parakeets, including the one in the second photo.

Ouvéa Parakeet (Eunymphicus uvaeensis) by Ian

They aren’t as brightly coloured as the Horned Parakeet of the main island, Grand Terre, and the crest is different, containing more than two feathers and lacking red tips. The Ouvéa Parakeet used to be treated as a race of the Horned, but has now been given full species status.

Ouvéa Parakeet (Eunymphicus uvaeensis) Nesting Hollow by Ian

Benoit showed us an active nesting hollow, third photo. We saw a parakeet flying into it and waited for it to reappear, but it had either settled down for the morning or had more patience than we had. The parakeets are very partial to the seeds of Papaya. They don’t wait for the fruit to ripen before they chew their way into the centre to get at the seeds.

Papaya

Papaya

The parakeets are protected and the population has increased in recent years. We got the impression that the islanders are rather ambivalent about the birds. They are proud to have such an unusual endemic bird – its iconic status is actively promoted by the authorities – but are concerned about its effect on their largely subsistent way of life.

Ouvéa Parakeet (Eunymphicus uvaeensis) by Ian

Ouvéa Parakeet (Eunymphicus uvaeensis) by Ian

We stayed at a tribal home stay called Beauvoisin – ‘good neighbour’ run by Marc and his wife (see http://www.iles-loyaute.com/en/Prestataire/Fiche/1374/beauvoisin). They provided dinner in the evening, accommodation in a circular hut and breakfast – Joy took the photo above of me emerging from the hut in the morning. We enjoyed it very much and Marc and his family were delightful and looked after us very well. They spoke some English and have a Facebook page. Benoit Tangopi our guide was great too and we saw a variety of other interesting birds on the walk through the rainforest. We contacted him by phone +687 800549, but you might need to brush up your French as he doesn’t speak much English.

Greetings
Ian

**************************************************
Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Check the latest website updates:
http://www.birdway.com.au/#updates


Lee’s Addition:


If a bird’s nest should chance to be before you in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the mother bird is sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother bird with the young. You shall surely let the mother bird go, and take only the young, that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days. (Deuteronomy 22:6-7 AMP)

Thanks, Ian, for taking us along on another birdwatching adventure. I don’t speak French, so we are glad you did the talking and photographing. Another neat creation you have found for us to enjoy.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week Newsletters

Ian’s Ouvéa Parakeet Photos

Psittaculidae – Old World Parrots

Wordless Birds

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Diary of a Bird Photographer!

y electronic book Diary of a Bird Photographer has been released worldwide today, 31 August, on Apple iTunes BooksGoogle Books and Kobo Books! Find out more about it including availability, pricing, compatible devices and screenshots on the BIrdway website: http://www.birdway.com.au/birdphotographersdiary01.htm.

Ian's Book

Ian’s Book

With the increasing abundance of excellent bird photos on the internet, I am finding it more difficult to sell photos so moving into publishing is important for the future of my Birdway website and the Bird of the Week newsletter. Diary of a Bird Photographer contains the first 341 Bird of the Week postings spanning the period 2002-2009, contains more than 500 photos and 80,000 words – the length of an average novel. Depending on sales, l plan to publish 2010-2014 as another book.

With a recommended retail price of 8.00AUD, 7USD, 6EUR or the equivalent in your local currency it represents great value. By buying it for yourself and/or your friends or family and recommending it to others, you’ll earn my gratitude and show your appreciation for the bird of the week! Maybe you could forward this email to anyone who you think might be interested: that would be wonderful.

Greetings
Ian

PS Next bird of the week, a special parrot and the random bird of the week, should be out later today.

**************************************************
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 http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

Seem’s as though Ian has written a book. Here is his newsletter telling about his “Diary of a Bird Photographer!”

His regular weekly newsletter – Ian’s Bird of the Week – will be published tomorrow.

Pileated Woodpeckers With a Chipmunk, One Singing, and One Eating

Pileated Woodpecker by Lee

Pileated Woodpecker by Lee

‘Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. (Jeremiah 32:17 NKJV)

I always enjoy seeing Pileated Woodpeckers like this one at Circle B Bar Reserve here in the area. This was taken several years ago.

I found these videos on YouTube and they show the Pileated in a different way than we have observed them. Enjoy!

The first one is a YouTube by Dan & Joe. He discovers a chipmunk:

He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, And stretched out the heaven by His understanding. (Jeremiah 51:15 NKJV)

Here’s another video of a Pileated Woodpecker Singing by Pureimaginationvideo:

This last one has a very good close-up of a Pileated digging for Grubs by Martyn Stewart:

But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation. Thus you shall say to them: “The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.” He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion. (Jeremiah 10:10-12 NKJV)

I have been reading through Jeremiah and these verse caught my attention.

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Birds of the World

Picidae – Woodpeckers Family

Who Paints the Leaves?

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Goliath Imperial Pigeon

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Goliath Imperial Pigeon ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 8/17/15

A characteristic sound of montane forests in New Caledonia is the far-carrying call of this splendid pigeon, the Goliath or New Caledonian Imperial Pigeon. The tone is similar to someone blowing in a (large) bottle but the rhythm accelerates like the sound of a table-tennis ball being dropped on a table. Needless to say, we started calling it the ping-pong pigeon. We first heard them in the dense forests of Rivière Bleue, but had trouble actually seeing any apart from one that flew off from feeding on Pandanus fruit. We eventually tracked this one through the forest and found it putting on a display.

Goliath Imperial Pigeon (Ducula goliath) by IanThe display is similar to that of the domestic pigeon, alternating between puffing out the crop to show the silvery-tipped bifurcated feathers to best advantage (first photo) and bowing (second photo). The head, upperparts and breast are a steely grey while the breast is a rich rufous colour and the vent pale. The iris is a vivid orange red. With a length of up to 51cm/20in and weighing up to 720g/1.6lb, this is a huge pigeon, which unfortunately makes it good to eat. For comparison the Torresian (Pied) Imperial Pigeon of northern and northeastern Australia measures up to 44cm in length and 550g in weight.

Goliath Imperial Pigeon (Ducula goliath) by Ian

It is endemic to the main island of New Caledonia (Grande Terre) and the Isle of Pines. The population has suffered from habitat loss and hunting, so it remains common only in protected areas and is currently listed as Near Threatened. After our hard work finding it in Rivière Bleue we were amused to find one on perched in the open on a power line beside the road to Mount Koghi two days later, third photo. We also heard several and photographed one at Les Grandes Fougères.

Goliath Imperial Pigeon (Ducula goliath) by Ian

The subject of each bird of the week is usually a species that hasn’t featured previously. This tends to mean that I don’t get to share with you new photos of previous subjects. So I’ve decided to include random photos from time to time, such as this one of a Noisy Pitta. I was contacted by a neighbour recently with a wonderful, well-watered garden in which this Pitta has recently taken up residence. Pittas are such beautiful birds and I like this photo because of the way the bird is framed by the leaves behind it.

Noisy Pitta (Pitta versicolor) by Ian

Greetings,
Ian

P.S. (Be warned: this is a commercial break!) Did you know that some ebook sellers provide facilities of giving book as gifts. Maybe you know someone who would enjoy Where to Find Birds in Northeastern Queensland ($13.20 to $22). Kobo books has ebook readers from most devices and computer so check out their page on gifts. With Kobo you go to this page first and then browse for the item you want to give. With Apple iPads and iPhones, you find the item first e.g. Where to Find Birds on Northeastern Queensland in the iTunes Store and then select the Share icon at top right and select Gift:

COL-Colu Goliath Imperial Pigeon (Ducula goliath) by Ian AD

I haven’t found a similar facility in the iTunes store accessed from an Apple computer (the share icon is peculiar to iOS). You can however give gift cards with suggestions from iTunes, Google Play and Kobo.

**************************************************
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 http://www.nqrs.org.au


Victoria Crowned Pigeon by Dan at National Aviary

Victoria Crowned Pigeon by Dan at National Aviary

Lee’s Addition:

And a champion went out of the camp of the Philistines named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span [almost ten feet]. (1 Samuel 17:4 AMP)

We have seen the Victoria Crowned Pigeons at Zoos and they are typically 73 to 75 cm (29 to 30 in) long. Ian’s 51cm/20in Goliath Imperial Pigeon is not too far behind. The well-known rock dove is 29 to 37 cm (11 to 15 in) long, for comparison.  However you look at it, they are quite big. One source mentioned that the Goliaths are very strong flyers.

That is also a great photo of the Noisy Pitta. Thanks, Ian for sharing your photos with us each week (or whenever).

Ian’s Bird of the Week newsletters

Columbidae – Pigeons, Doves Family

Wordless Birds

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Golden Eagle Returns After Long Voyage Around The World

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC3

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC3

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of GOLD in pictures of SILVER.” (Proverbs 25:11)” 

Golden Eagle ©PD

Golden Eagle ©PD

Someone once told me to read one of the Proverbs each day for a month. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs, and that way we can read the Book of Proverbs 12 times during the year. You know, boys and girls, Solomon wrote about 3000 proverbs and he was the wisest man who ever lived (not counting Jesus, of course). Solomon was wiser than the wisest owl they tell me. Try reading a chapter each day and before you know it, you will gain some of Solomon’s wisdom.

Anyways, I just love the verse about apples and gold and silver. Why it reminds me delicious food and color and valuable metals. Everything that God created, He created for the benefit of you and me. He got this world ready in six literal 24 hour days and then God rested on the 7th day. He calls that day, the Sabbath. The word simply means “rest.” After my journey around the world, I can tell you that I need to rest and rest and rest some more. Don’t you just love to stay in your room where it is cold and dark and rest? Hey, why not get in your room and curl up with the best Book on this planet. This Bible came from another world. Did you know that? Look at this next Bible verse:

“For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in Heaven.” (Psalm 119:89)” The Bible came from Heaven and it’s going to be around forever!!!

The Bible starts off with these words: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) God created time: “In the beginning.” That’s almost like baseball: In the big inning. (Yes, I was trying to make a joke) God created space: “heaven” and God created matter: “the earth.” That’s was this Universe is comprised of: time and space and matter. So cool…

In the weeks ahead, I will share with you guys some of the amazing things I enjoyed on my journey around the world. One of the things I really enjoy is food. I love to eat. How about you? Did you know that God created green plants with the ability to make their own food. The scientists call this photo, photosynthesis or something like that. The green plants, with chlorophyll, can somehow use the light from the sun to make starch and sugar and stuff like that. I just love to eat.

Of course, if I eat too much I will get big like the ostrich. Those birds are so heavy, they cannot fly anywhere. I don’t want to be known as the huge eagle that can’t get off the ground. Well, boys and girls, I am going to leave my nest for a short while and find something to eat. The Creator God of the Bible has created me with eyes that can see very far away. Until next time, Golden Eagle says God bless you everyone and have a fun, filled, fantastic day. This is after all, Saturday, where i am off for my next feast. See ya!!!

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Lee’s Addition:

Golden Eagle, a.k.a., Baron B., is beginning a new blog called Bibleworld Adventures, Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver. We have been helping him set up his new “nest” and he will now post under the name “Golden Adventures.”

He will not only continue the Golden Eagle articles for the younger people, but will also be writing articles about the Bible, Birds, Creation Science, History, and the Kid’s Corner where the Golden Eagle  adventures can be found.

More Golden Eagle articles at his new site.

We wish him well in his new adventure and look forward to sharing his Golden Eagle articles with you here. The fact that Golden Eagle is a bird, I have had the privilege of teaching how to blog. Birds don’t even know how to hold a pencil, let alone know how to type. That big beak of his does work okay on the keys though. As Golden Eagle, “learns the ropes,” we will help him and not desert him.

Lord Bless you, Baron, (a.k.a. Golden Eagle) as you venture in to the world of blogging.

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Bibleworld Adventures

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Sunday Inspiration – Larks

Singing Bush Lark (Mirafra cantillans) by Nikhil Devassar

Singing Bush Lark (Mirafra cantillans) by Nikhil Devassar

The Lark family has 97 members which are busy doing what the Lord commanded them  to when they left the Ark:

Then God spoke to Noah, saying, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.(Genesis 8:15-19 NKJV)

Larks are passerine birds of the family Alaudidae. All species occur in the Old World, and in northern and eastern Australia. Only one, the Horned Lark, is native to North America. Habitats vary widely, but many species live in dry regions.

They have more elaborate calls than most birds, and often extravagant songs given in display flight (Kikkawa 2003). These melodious sounds (to human ears), combined with a willingness to expand into anthropogenic habitats — as long as these are not too intensively managed — have ensured larks a prominent place in literature and music, especially the Eurasian Skylark in northern Europe and the Crested Lark and Calandra Lark in southern Europe.

Personally, these Larks look very similar to Sparrows, which are very common.

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. (Matthew 10:29 NKJV)

Larks, commonly consumed with bones intact, have historically been considered wholesome, delicate, and light game. Yet. Traditionally larks are kept as pets in China. In Beijing, larks are taught to mimic the voice of other songbirds and animals. It is an old-fashioned habit of the Beijingers to teach their larks 13 kinds of sounds in a strict order (called “the 13 songs of a lark”, Chinese: 百灵十三套). The larks that can sing the full 13 sounds in the correct order are highly valued. (Info from Wikipedia)

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“His Eye Is On The Sparrow ” – by Kathy Lisby, Faith Baptist Church
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Sunday Inspirations

Alaudidae – Larks Family

Larks – Wikipedia

Sharing The Gospel

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Crow Honeyeater

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Crow Honeyeater ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 7/31/15

I mentioned last week that the Horned Parakeet was second on my wanted list for New Caledonia but probably third on Joy’s. I knew that number two for Joy, after the Kagu, was this week’s species, the Crow Honeyeater, chosen by her for its scarcity as it is the rarest of the surviving New Caledonian endemics. I’m excluding the four critically endangered/probably extinct endemics: NC (New Caledonian) Rail (last definite record 1890), NC Lorikeet (1860), NC Nightjar (1939) and NC Owlet-Nightjar (possible sight record 1998).

Current estimates of the population of Crow Honeyeater are as low as 250 individuals, based on the density of 18 known pairs in a recent study in Rivière Bleue. Some think this is an overestimate and the population is thought to be continuing to decline. The reasons for this are uncertain with loss of habitat and introduced rats being proposed. It’s preferred habitat is primary rainforest but it is now absent from areas of apparently suitable habitat and its smaller Fijian relative, the Giant Honeyeater Gymnomyza viridis being apparently unaffected by rats. So there may be other factors involved that are not understood.

Crow Honeyeater (Gymnomyza aubryana) by Ian

In any case, I hadn’t really expected to see it so it didn’t make my seriously wanted list – I try to avoid unreasonable expectations to prevent disappointment. But our guide Jean Marc Meriot wasn’t going to be discouraged by such pessimism and, after we had had our fill of Kagus, worked very hard indeed to find one.

Crow Honeyeater (Gymnomyza aubryana) by Ian

Eventually, after lunch this very obliging bird appeared suddenly and perched in full view on an uncluttered perch near the road through the dense forest and posed for photographs. Unlike the Horned Parakeet, it was a brief encounter, but the bird displayed a number of poses in that time including a wing stretch, second photo, and an apparent wave, third photo.

Crow Honeyeater (Gymnomyza aubryana) by Ian

This is a huge honeyeater, and as far as I can ascertain vies with the Yellow Wattlebird of Tasmania as the world’s largest. Length varies from at 35-42.5cm/14-17in with males being larger and recorded at 211-284g/7.4-10oz and two females at 152g/5.4oz and 159g/5.6oz. This compares with the longer-tailed Yellow Wattlebird with males ranging from 44-50cm/17-20in and 135-260g/4.8-9.2oz and females 37-43cm/15-17in and 105-190g/3.7-6.7. So, I’d declare the Crow Honeyeater the winner as the heaviest, and the Yellow Wattlebird as the winner in the length stakes.

Incidentally, the ‘Giant’ Honeyeater of Fiji is a mere 25-31cm/10-12in and similar in size to the only other close relative of the Crow Honeyeater, the Mao of Samoa (Gymnomyza samoensis). Neither the Giant Honeyeater nor the Moa is black and neither has facial wattles, so the Crow Honeyeater is quite special. The bird we saw had red wattles, but they can be yellowish, while the feet are pinkish-yellow and juveniles lack wattles.

It makes me sad to write this as its future looks rather bleak. So, I hope the bird in the third photo is just pausing in mid-itch – it had been been itching its ear a moment earlier – and not waving goodbye on behalf of its kind. To end on a brighter note, there are about nearly 20 other New Caledonian endemics that are doing rather better, and several others that are endemic to New Caledonian and Vanuatu, so New Caledonia’s record is fairly good compared with many other islands in the Pacific. We got photos of nearly all of these, so I’ll have more to say about them in the future. I’ve been busy putting them up on the website and you can find them via the Recent Additions thumbnails on the website: http://www.birdway.com.au/index.htm#updates.

Greetings
Ian

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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/
Where to Find Birds in Northern Queensland: iTunes; Google Play Kobo Books
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


PAS-Meli Giant Honeyeater (Gymnomyza viridis) by Tom Tarrant

PAS-Meli Giant Honeyeater (Gymnomyza viridis) by Tom Tarrant

Lee’s Addition:

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (Psalms 19:10 KJV)

Added a photo of a Giant Honeyeater. When I first looked at the photos, I thought it was a Mynah, but as Ian explains, this is a different species. It was the eyes.

Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) by Ian

Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) by Ian

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Ian’s Bird of the Week
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