Newest Articles on the Kid’s Blog

Barred Owl at Circle B by Lee

Our latest trip to Circle B Bar Reserve was rewarded with my first sighting of a wild Barred Owl. We have seen them in Zoos, but never in the wild.

See – Bible Birds – Owl’s Provision

Bible Birds – Holding On With My Feet

Blue-Winged-Teal-Dabbling ©Flyways USFWS

Blue-Winged-Teal-Dabbling ©Flyways USFWS

Birdwatching Term – Dabbling Duck

White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera) Cropped ©WikiC

White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera) Cropped ©WikiC

Birdwatching Term – Frontal Shield

Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) by Ian

Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) by Ian

Jenny Wren Arrives – Chapter 1

Hope you will check these out and if you like them, consider following that blog also. Lots of interesting things to share with your children and grandchildren.

“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7 KJV)

No, the posts aren’t scripture, but there are always principles to grow and learn by. Enjoy!

Sharing the Gospel

Birdwatching Term – Mobbing

Crow on Eagles Back ©©

Maybe A Little Too Close – Crow on Eagles Back ©©

Birdwatching Term – Mobbing

In the recent article, The Old Orchard Bully – Chapter 2, the whole group of birds united to chase off the Black Cat. That is called, “mobbing.”

Some ask why don’t the bigger birds fight back? Here are a few quotes from various sources:

“This behavior – like calling your family for help – is used by many bird species. The best time to observe mobbing is spring and early summer, when breeding birds are trying to protect their nests and young. Birds including swallows, blackbirds, and even these American Crows, seen here mobbing a Red-tailed Hawk, know that there is strength and power in numbers. And they’ve learned to join forces to protect themselves. Be sure to watch the video!”

Quote from Why Don’t Hawks Fight Back? :All agreed that if a red-tailed hawk reached out and grabbed a crow with its talons, that would be the end of the crow. Or as one of the professionals put it, in scientific terms, “the crow would be toast.” But although large raptors have the necessary weapons, the energy cost of pursuing or otherwise attempting to catch a crow is normally not worth it. Crows are agile creatures and would be very difficult to catch in flight. So a hawk typically ignores the crows or flies away.”

A Great Horned Owl being mobbed!

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Just as the Lord helps His Created critters, the Lord gives us promises about seeking His help:

But the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” (2 Kings 17:39 NKJV)

Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies. (Psalms 60:11-12 NKJV)

I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. (Psalms 18:37 NKJV)

O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. (Psalms 25:2 NKJV)

My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, And from those who persecute me. (Psalms 31:15 NKJV)

For I will not trust in my bow, Nor shall my sword save me. But You have saved us from our enemies, And have put to shame those who hated us. In God we boast all day long, And praise Your name forever. Selah (Psalms 44:6-8 NKJV)

Some interesting links about mobbing:

Small Birds Mob Big Ones – Bird Note, with audio

Mobbing – RSPB

The Superb Fairywren – The Corporate Mob ~ by a j mithra

Birdwatching Terms

Birdwatching Tips 

Watching Birds

Wordless Birds

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Wreathed Hornbills at Central Florida Zoo

Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) Central Florida Zoo by Lee

Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) Female Central Florida Zoo by Lee

Last week on the way over to the retreat in Daytona Beach, we stopped by the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. There were several interesting birds, especially the Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus). There was a male, female and a juvenile male there. More unique creations from our Creator.

The Hornbill names can be confusing because there is a Wrinkled, Writhed, and the Wreathed Hornbills along with the others. The one here at Central Florida Zoo was the Wreathed..It was hard to get a decent photo because of the size of the fencing/wires on the cages. So, the photos were about a good as I could get shooting in Program mode. I tossed quite a few photos because of the fencing. :))

Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus) Adult Male Central Florida Zoo by Lee

The Wreathed Hornbill (Rhyticeros undulatus), also known as the Bar-pouched Wreathed Hornbill because of the black line on the pouch or chin. It is a species of hornbill found in forests from far north-eastern India and Bhutan, east and south through mainland Southeast Asia and the Greater Sundas, except Sulawesi. It is 75–100 cm (30–39 in) long. Males weigh from 4.0 lb (1.8 kg) to 8.0 lb (3.65 kg), and females weigh from 3.0 lb (1.36 kg) to 6.0 lb (2.7 kg). Both sexes are similar to the respective sexes of the closely related plain-pouched hornbill, but the wreathed hornbill can be recognized by the dark bar on the lower throat (hence the alternative common name, bar-pouched). Though commonly considered monotypic, evidence suggests some geographical variation in the appearance. (Wikipedia with editing)

They belong to the Bucerotidae – Hornbills Family which has 59 species. “These birds have large down-curved bills and many have a large growth on the upper bill called a casque.  These bills come in many striking shapes and colors.  They also have what appears to be eyelashes, but they are not made of hair, they are small feathers that serve the same function.” (Central FL Zoo)

Fun Facts (From Zoo Atlanta)

Males can be easily distinguished from females by the color of their throats. The male’s throat skin is yellow; the female’s is blue. – Males and females pair for life. – The specialized knobs on the tops of the birds’ beaks are known as casques. These are believed to function as signals of dominance and gender.

 You shall take with you of every clean animal by sevens, a male and his female; and of the animals that are not clean two, a male and his female; also of the birds of the sky, by sevens, male and female, to keep offspring alive on the face of all the earth. (Genesis 7:2-3 NASB)

I find their beak so interesting. In light of yesterday’s article, Birdwatching Terms – About’s Bird Bill Parts, I have included some cropped photos pointing out the different parts of the beak. Also, I like their eyelashes which are actually feathers, but act like our eyelashes.

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Bucerotidae – Hornbills

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Birds of the World

Wreathed Hornbill – Wikipedia

Wreathed Hornbill – Central Florida Zoo

Wreathed Hornbill –  AvianWeb

Is There A God?

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Birdwatching Terms – About’s Bird Bill Parts

Bird Bill Parts From About

About's Bill-Parts ©Dan Pancamo/nigel

About’s Bill-Parts ©Dan Pancamo/nigel

Bird Bill Parts.  ©Dan Pancamo / nigel

The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. (Genesis 8:11 NASB)

A bird’s bill, also called a beak, is a critical piece of its anatomy, not only for foraging, defense, singing and other behaviors, but also for birders to make a proper identification. Depending on the bird, a bill can provide clues to far more than species: age, gender, diet and foraging behaviors can all be learned by studying a bill. By knowing the basic parts of a bill and the bird’s face and head immediately adjacent to the bill, birders can be better prepared to look for the subtle clues bills can reveal about every bird.

Overall Bill Features

Some of the most important aspects of a bird’s bill are not specific features, but the general jizz of the bill. When first studying bird bills, look for…

  • Size: How large does the bill appear in proportion to the bird’s head? Check for length as compared to the length of the head as well as the width of the bill and how that width may change along the bill’s length.
  • Shape: Bill shapes vary widely, from delicate triangles or thin, needle-like bills to thick, bulbous bills to sharply curved bills to radical shapes that include spoon-like tips or horny casques. When the shape is very unique, that can be a diagnostic clue for a bird’s identity even if other field marks cannot be seen.
  • Color: The color of a bill can be a clue for species, gender or age. Note the overall color as well as any specific markings, such as a colored tip or base, subterminal band or color differences between the top and bottom of the bill.

Specific Bill Parts

When birders can get a good look at a bill, there are a number of different parts that can yield clues about the bird’s identity, such as…

  1. Lores: While not part of the bill itself, the lores are the space between the base of a bird’s bill and the forward edge of its eyes. This area may be a different color or show a smudge or eye line that can be an identification clue.
  2. Nares: More commonly called the nostrils, the position of the nares as well as their size and shape are important to note for bird’s identities. In some types of birds, such as raptors, the nares are covered by a fleshy cere, while in others, such as many seabirds, elongated tube-like nares help filter seawater.
  3. Maxilla: Also called the upper mandible, the maxilla is the top half of a bird’s bill. Size, length and shape will vary, and some birds have knobs, fleshy wattles or other features that distinguish the maxilla.
  4. Culmen: Difficult to see on many bird species, the culmen is the center line drawn down the length of a bird’s maxilla. In some species, this can be a very distinct peak that divides the sides of the bill, while it may not be noticeable in other species.
  5. Tip: The tip of a bird’s bill may be different shapes, such as blunt or sharply pointed, depending on the bird’s general diet. Hooks are common at the tip of carnivorous birds’ bills, while many waterfowl have small bumps, called nails, on the tip of the maxilla.
  6. Mandible: The lower half of a bird’s bill is called the mandible or lower mandible. The color may vary from the maxilla either along the entire length or just at one end, and can be a great clue for identification. Some birds, such as many gulls, may show spots or other markings just on the mandible.
  7. Chin: Not directly part of the bill, the chin is the area of feathers immediately adjacent to the base of a bird’s mandible. In some species, the color of the chin may vary from the throat or face, providing a valuable identification clue.
  8. Gape: This is a fleshy area at the base of the bill where the upper and lower mandibles meet. In young birds, it is often enlarged or may seem so because the birds have not developed their mature feathers to help conceal it, and it may be brightly colored so their mouths are more noticeable when they beg for food. On some species, such as the bananaquit, the gape remains colorful on adult birds.
Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) by Raymond Barlow

Bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) by Raymond Barlow

It can be difficult to see many of the subtle details of a bird’s bill, but understanding the different bill parts is a great way for birders to refine their identification skills and learn more about every bird they see.

Photo – Yellow-Billed Cuckoo (Above) © Dan Pancamo
Photo – House Finch (Below) © nigel

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This is a good introduction to the bird’s bill. Look for more articles on the individual parts of the beak.

From About Birding/Wild Birds – Bird Identification

More Birdwatching Terms 

Birdwatching Tips

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Birdwatching Term – Frontal Shield

White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera) Cropped ©WikiC

White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera) Cropped ©WikiC

Frontal Shield

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

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

What is a “frontal shield”?

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

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

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

See:

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Mnemonics – What is That?

 

Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) by Lee at Circle B

Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) by Lee at Circle B

Mnemonics – What is That?

When birdwatchers want to identify a bird, many times all they are able to do is hear it. Can you listen to a bird and know what kind it is? Some birders use a help called “mnemonics.”

(Relocated – Click Here)

Birdwatching Term – Nape

Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus) at Cincinnati Zoo)

Blue-naped Mousebird at Cincinnati Zoo)

Nape

My son, listen to your father’s discipline, and do not neglect your mother’s teachings, because discipline and teachings are a graceful garland on your head and a golden chain around your neck. (Proverbs 1:8-9 GW)

Nape – An easy definition is the back of the neck.

 Blue-naped Mousebird - Blue Nape (Back of Neck)

Blue-naped Mousebird – Blue Nape (Back of Neck)

Topography of a Bird - Bluebird - Color Key to NA Birds - Nape

Parts of Bird – Nape in Blue

Notice the Nape is between the Crown and the Back

There are quite a few birds that have colored napes that help identify them, such as Woodpeckers, Grebes, etc. Our Blue-naped Mousebird is one where the color of the “nape” is used in its name. While learning to bird watch, I kept saying (and still do) that the Lord should have placed little signs on them. That way when we look at them through binoculars, scopes, cameras, or our eyes, that we could just read the sign.

That is not the way it is, but there are many clues do that help us ID the birds. The variety of the birds with their colors and shapes keep us busy, but aren’t we thankful that He didn’t make them all alike. How boring that would be.

Here are the “-naped” birds of the world:

Chestnut-naped Francolin (Pternistis castaneicollis)
Red-naped Ibis (Pseudibis papillosa)
White-naped Crane (Grus vipio)
Black-naped Tern (Sterna sumatrana)
White-naped Pigeon (Columba albinucha)
Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon (Columba delegorguei)
Western Bronze-naped Pigeon (Columba iriditorques)
Island Bronze-naped Pigeon (Columba malherbii)
Scaly-naped Pigeon (Patagioenas squamosa)
Red-naped Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus dohertyi)
Black-naped Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus melanospilus)
Purple-naped Lory (Lorius domicella)
White-naped Lory (Lorius albidinucha)
Blue-naped Parrot (Tanygnathus lucionensis)
Yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata)
Scaly-naped Amazon (Amazona mercenarius)
White-naped Swift (Streptoprocne semicollaris)
Red-naped Trogon (Harpactes kasumba)
Golden-naped Barbet (Megalaima pulcherrima)
Golden-naped Woodpecker (Melanerpes chrysauchen)
Red-naped Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis)
White-naped Woodpecker (Chrysocolaptes festivus)
Blue-naped Pitta (Hydrornis nipalensis)
Rusty-naped Pitta (Hydrornis oatesi)
Grey-naped Antpitta (Grallaria griseonucha)
Chestnut-naped Antpitta (Grallaria nuchalis)
Ochre-naped Ground Tyrant (Muscisaxicola flavinucha)
Rufous-naped Ground Tyrant (Muscisaxicola rufivertex)
White-naped Xenopsaris (Xenopsaris albinucha)
White-naped Honeyeater (Melithreptus lunatus)
Red-naped Bushshrike (Laniarius ruficeps)
Rufous-naped Whistler (Aleadryas rufinucha)
Rufous-naped Greenlet (Hylophilus semibrunneus)
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)
Black-naped Monarch (Hypothymis azurea)
White-naped Monarch (Carterornis pileatus)
Azure-naped Jay (Cyanocorax heilprini)
White-naped Jay (Cyanocorax cyanopogon)
Rufous-naped Tit (Periparus rufonuchalis)
White-naped Tit (Parus nuchalis)
Rufous-naped Lark (Mirafra africana)
White-naped Yuhina (Yuhina bakeri)
Rufous-naped Wren (Campylorhynchus rufinucha)
Chestnut-naped Forktail (Enicurus ruficapillus)
Purple-naped Sunbird (Hypogramma hypogrammicum)
Golden-naped Weaver (Ploceus aureonucha)
Golden-naped Finch (Pyrrhoplectes epauletta)
Blue-naped Chlorophonia (Chlorophonia cyanea)
White-naped Brush Finch (Atlapetes albinucha)
Pale-naped Brush Finch (Atlapetes pallidinucha)
Rufous-naped Brush Finch (Atlapetes latinuchus)
Golden-naped Tanager (Tangara ruficervix)
Green-naped Tanager (Tangara fucosa)
White-naped Seedeater (Dolospingus fringilloides)

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You can see by the photos that the “nape” can be narrow or very broad. Other birds have napes that are different colors, but do not have the word “nape” in their names. Some of the Woodpeckers that have napes were include above.

Nape – All About Birds

More Birdwatching Terms

Wordless Birds

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Birdwatching Term – Lobed Feet

Giant Coot (Fulica gigantea) Loped Feet ©©Flickr

Giant Coot (Fulica gigantea) Loped Feet ©©Flickr

Lobed Feet

Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. (Psalms 18:36 KJV)

In the Coot article  they said: “Like other rails, they have long, lobed toes that are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. Coots have strong legs and can walk and run fast.”

Answers gives this definition: “Feet that have toes with stiff scale-covered flaps that extend to provide a surface analogous to webbing on a duck as an aid in swimming.”

The Lord designed these “lobed feet” to help the birds walk over uneven ground, in and out of water. He cares about all His creatures.

American Coot - from Color Key To North American Birds

American Coot – from Color Key To North American Birds

This Drawing from Color Key To North American Birds helps you to see their feet better.

It is neat to watch them walk around and see those “big feet.”

This video I took shows their feet.

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See:

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Colorful Gapes…

Yellow Gape of a Starling Fledgeling ©WikiC

Yellow Gape of a Starling Fledgeling ©WikiC

Colorful Gapes…   ~ by a j mithra

Orni-Theology

Orni-Theology

Hey Kids,
Welcome to the colorful world of Bird.
I know you guys and gals love birds
and that too colorful birds..
But, I wonder how many really know
why God gave colorful gapes for chicks?
May be some of you would love to know the reason, right?
Here we go… Check this out..

Merlin (Falco columbarius) chick in nest ©USFWS

Merlin (Falco columbarius) chick with Red Gape ©USFWS

The mother bird understands
whether her chicks need food or not
from the colors of their gapes.
Similarly, the chick recognises its mother in this way
and understands that the food has arrived.
As seen in these examples in nature,
living beings need to know the meaning of colors
in order to survive.
They also need to possess proper systems of perception..
As kids you too should know the meaning of colors..
Whenever you see RED,
think of the blood that Jesus shed for you and me
on the cross of Calvary..
Whenever you see WHITE,
Think of the Holy Spirit who is willing
to intercede for us..
Whenever you see YELLOW,
think of the golden lanes of heaven,
where you and I would walk with our Lord Jesus…
When you see ORANGE,
think of the eternal fire in hell,
that would consume all sinner..

Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold (Psalm 68:13)

Yours in YESHUA,
a j mithra

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More Birdwatching Terms

More Orni-Theology

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