Could it be that God is in Control???

Zechariah 1:11 (The Message) They reported their findings to the Angel of God in the birch grove: “We have looked over the whole earth and all is well. Everything’s under control.”

Spring Progressing Despite Coronavirus Concerns

Cherry Blossom; Walton County, Georgia. March 20, 2020. (c)www.williamwisephoto.com

While Homo sapiens are self-isolating in coronavirus crisis mode, the rest of species on this planet seem to be boldly moving ahead with the vernal equinox as scheduled. As I briefly, and timidly, left the confines of my sterile bunker this morning for a short walk, I was outraged to see so many critters blatantly ignoring the shelter-in-place mandates!

Wood Duck; Walton County, Georgia. March 20, 2020. (c)www.williamwisephoto.com

In less than an hour I counted 27 different bird species and three turtles breaking curfew… more than 50 individuals! Even the normally reclusive Wood Ducks had the audacity to come into plain view on the open pond.

It would almost appear that the God of creation has everything under control, although we humans feel like things are out of control. Is that even possible?

Psalm 11:1 In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?

Eastern Bluebird; Walton County, Georgia. March 20, 2020. (c)www.williamwisephoto.com

I hope you enjoyed this light-hearted commentary on the current events, and are comforted by the photos of God’s beautiful creation that exists right outside our back doors! Even if you can’t go far, get out and enjoy our Creator’s works right in your little plot of land.


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Rounded Up Some Bluebirds

Vol. 2 – 6 The Mountain Bluebird, which is from the Kid’s Section, had some Bluebirds skip out and break their links. They were too pretty to let them get away.

The Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited has some very interesting information about birds, but written from a young reader’s level. Here is the Mountain Bluebird reblogged with some added information and the Bluebirds back on their posts.

This was written back in 2013. Trust you enjoy this article and links to other Bluebird articles.

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Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) for Birds Illustrated

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) for Birds Illustrated

From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences. Copyrighted by
Nature Study Pub. Co., 1897, Chicago.

THE MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD.

imgi

N an early number of Birds we presented a picture of the common Bluebird, which has been much admired. The mountain Bluebird, whose beauty is thought to excel that of his cousin, is probably known to few of our readers who live east of the Rocky Mountain region, though he is a common winter sojourner in the western part of Kansas, beginning to arrive there the last of September, and leaving in March and April. The habits of these birds of the central regions are very similar to those of the eastern, but more wary and silent. Even their love song is said to be less loud and musical. It is a rather feeble, plaintive, monotonous warble, and their chirp and twittering notes are weak. They subsist upon the cedar berries, seeds of plants, grasshoppers, beetles, and the like, which they pick up largely upon the ground, and occasionally scratch for among the leaves. During the fall and winter they visit the plains and valleys, and are usually met with in small flocks, until the mating season.

Nests of the Mountain Bluebird have been found in New Mexico and Colorado, from the foothills to near timber line, usually in deserted Woodpecker holes, natural cavities in trees, fissures in the sides of steep rocky cliffs, and, in the settlements, in suitable locations about and in the adobe buildings. In settled portions of the west it nests in the cornice of buildings, under the eaves of porches, in the nooks and corners of barns and outhouses, and in boxes provided for its occupation. Prof. Ridgway found the Rocky Mountain Bluebird nesting in Virginia City, Nevada, in June. The nests were composed almost entirely of dry grass. In some sections, however, the inner bark of the cedar enters largely into their composition. The eggs are usually five, of a pale greenish-blue.

The females of this species are distinguished by a greener blue color and longer wings, and this bird is often called the Arctic Bluebird. It is emphatically a bird of the mountains, its visits to the lower portions of the country being mainly during winter.

Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbits’ tread.
The Robin and the Wren are flown, and from the shrubs the Jay,
And from the wood-top calls the Crow all through the gloomy day.
—Bryant.

Summary:

MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD.Sialia arctica. Other names: “Rocky Mountain” and “Arctic Bluebird.”

Range—Rocky Mountain region, north to Great Slave Lake, south to Mexico, west to the higher mountain ranges along the Pacific.

Nest—Placed in deserted Woodpecker holes, natural cavities of trees, nooks and corners of barns and outhouses; composed of dry grass.

Eggs—Commonly five, of pale, plain greenish blue.


Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Daves BirdingPix

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Daves BirdingPix

Lee’s Addition:

…In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? … If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. … For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.
(Psalms 11:1,3,4,7 KJV)

The Mountain Bluebird belongs to the Turdidae – Thrushes Family and as such have Thrush characteristics. Since blue is my favorite color, the bluebirds are some of my favorites. The Lord has used such variety in His coloration, that I am happy that blue was one of them. We have also the Eastern and Western Bluebirds plus the Asian and Philippine Fairy-bluebirds.

The Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) is a medium-sized bird weighing about 1.1 ounces (30 g) with a length from 6.3–7.9 in (16–20 cm). They have light underbellies and black eyes. Adult males have thin bills that are bright turquoise-blue and somewhat lighter beneath. Adult females have duller blue wings and tail, grey breast, grey crown, throat and back. In fresh fall plumage, the female’s throat and breast are tinged with red-orange; brownish near the flank contrasting with white tail underparts. Call is a thin few; Song is warbled high chur chur.

The mountain bluebird is migratory. Their range varies from Mexico in the winter to as far north as Alaska, throughout the western U.S. and Canada. Northern birds migrate to the southern parts of the range; southern birds are often permanent residents. Some birds may move to lower elevations in winter. They inhabit open rangelands, meadows, generally at elevations above 5,000 feet. Contrary to popular belief, mountain bluebirds are not a species of concern in the United States. The turn around in mountain bluebird numbers is due to the overwhelming efforts of landowners in the West to provide nest boxes for these birds. At one time, mountain bluebird numbers were threatened because of increased agricultural activities destroying habitats.

These birds hover over the ground and fly down to catch insects, also flying from a perch to catch them. They mainly eat insects, over 90%, and berries. They may forage in flocks in winter, when they mainly eat grasshoppers. Mountain bluebirds will come to a platform feeder with live meal worms, berries, or peanuts.

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery nest

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery nest

Their breeding habitat is open country across western North America, including mountain areas, as far north as Alaska. They nest in pre-existing cavities or in nest boxes. In remote areas, these birds are less affected by competition for natural nesting locations than other bluebirds. Mountain bluebirds are a monogamous breed. The male can be seen singing from bare branches. The singing takes place right at dawn, just when the sun rises. Females usually build the nests themselves. Eggs: pale blue and unmarked, sometimes white. Clutch Size: 4-5 eggs. Young are naked and helpless at hatching and may have some down. Incubation normally last 14 days and the young will take about 21 days before they leave the nest. Both males and females fiercely protect the nest.

It is the state bird of Idaho and Nevada.

Mountain bluebirds are cavity nesters and can become very partial to a nest box, especially if they have successfully raised a clutch. They may even re-use the same nest, though not always. Providing nest boxes is a great way to observe these beautiful birds. Mountain bluebirds will not abandon a nest if human activity is detected close by or at the nest. Because of this, mountain bluebirds can be easily banded while they are still in the nest.

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Margaret Sloan

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Margaret Sloan

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Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources, with editing)

Next Article – The English Sparrow

The Previous Article – The Ornithological Congress

Gospel Presentation

Links:

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Logan, Morgan, and Their Historical Nest

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) ©WikiC

Logan, Morgan, and Their Historical Nest ~ by Emma Foster

It was 1769 when a distinguished man came to a small plain with a few trees on a mountain and began building a house. In one of the trees, two bluebirds watched as the man oversaw the building of his house. This house was big and built with stone masons who were people who built and cut stone.

The house had white stone pillars and large stone steps in front of a long backyard. Farther down the hill was the plantation where the slaves worked.

The house would not be competed for a long time, and while it was being built, Logan and Morgan decided they would build their nest just like the house was being built.

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) Eggs ©WikiC

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) Eggs ©WikiC

Logan and Morgan started looking for long, thick sticks to stack together. They started building their nest in one of the trees near the slave’s kitchen. However, this was difficult because of how hard it was to keep the sticks standing straight up in the branches. Logan and Morgan took turns holding the sticks with their beaks while the other looked for more sticks.

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton

Eventually, Logan and Morgan finally completed their nest. It wasn’t as grand as the house that was still being built, but the two bluebirds decided that the nest was perfect.

They raised their children in that nest and their children raised their children, until long after the house, called Monticello, was completed.

Montecello. House of Thomas Jefferson

Montecello. House of Thomas Jefferson

Eventually the distinguished man who had built the house died, but Logan and Morgan’s children and grandchildren still lived there. And every year hundreds of people would come to take a tour of that house because it belonged to one of the Presidents of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Of course, Logan and Morgan never knew that fact.

The End


Lee’s Addition:

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. (Matthew 13:31-32 KJV)

Emma has now produced her first historical birdwatching tale. Thanks, Emma. Our young writer just turned 16 recently and has grown quite tall (5’11”) like her parents. We used to compare heights when she was shorter than me (4’10”), but now I have to look up at her. Not only has her height increased, but also her writing ability.

As a side note, her family visited Monticello this summer and actually watched some Eastern Bluebirds for some time in the trees there.

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Other stories by Emma Foster

Eastern Bluebird – Wikipedia

Wordless Birds

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Nuggets Plus – Protection and Providence

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) for ajmithra's article

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides)

Nuggets Plus – Protection and Providence ~ by a j mithra

Nuggets Plus

Nuggets Plus

Male Mountain Blue Bird
not only brings food to feed
but also protects
while the female builds the nest!
God will not only feed
but also protect us
as we build His Kingdom!

No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, says the LORD. (Isaiah 54:17)

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Regards,
Yours in YESHUA,
a j mithra

Please visit us at:


Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Margaret Sloan

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Margaret Sloan

Lee’s Addition:

The Mountain Bluebird belongs to the Thrushes – Turdidae Family.
See:

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Bluebird Fathers – Protective and Teachers

Bluebird Fathers – Protective and Teachers ~ From Creation Moments (Re-post)

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton

PROTECTIVE, TEACHING FATHERS

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  (Ephesians 6:4)

The first scientific studies that showed essential differences between males and females were not well received by some. Many Christians have resisted the teachings that men and women are by nature the same. Christians have traditionally understood the Bible to teach that males and females each have essential, honorable, but different roles to play.

Unfortunately, many Christians have been unsure how to describe those roles. As we study the scriptural portrayal of the family, especially in Ephesians chapter 5, a picture begins to emerge. All the scriptural examples of motherhood and fatherhood can be distilled into one basic idea. What we call a healthy maternal instinct and a healthy desire on the part of the male to protect and prevent danger are only two sides of the same coin.

An example of what this means was recently discovered in bluebirds. Scientists have found that bluebird fathers offer their nestling daughters twice as much food as their sons. Of course, the sons are never allowed to go hungry. Scientists were puzzled by this until someone suggested that by doing this, father bluebird was teaching his daughters, by example, how to select a mate. Female bluebirds are very fussy about selecting a mate. One of the most important things they look for in a mate is the ability to provide plenty of food for the next generation.

In an age of declining parenting skills, it’s good to be reminded that our Creator has given human parents instruction in His Word.

Prayer:
Dear Father, I thank You that You are a perfect Father. Fill Christian parents among us with love and patience. Most of all, fill them with the instruction of Your Word so that they may teach their children about You in both word and deed. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Notes:
K.A. Facklemann. 1992. “Bluebird Fathers Favor Pink Over Blue.” Science News, Jan. 4, p. 7.

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Birds of the Bible – Bluebirds

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by J Fenton

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by J Fenton

Cranes know when it’s time to move south for winter. And robins, warblers, and bluebirds know when it’s time to come back again. But my people? My people know nothing, not the first thing of GOD and his rule. (Jeremiah 8:7 MSG)

As far as I know, the only Version of the Bible (English) that used the word “bluebirds is the Message. It is not a version I use, but that verse makes for chance to write about the Bluebirds. In many of the other versions, “Thrush” is used. Bluebirds are in the Turdidae – Thrushes Family. There are three species; the Eastern, Western and Mountain Bluebirds. In a completely different family, the Irenidae – Fairy-bluebirds Family you will find the Asian and Philippine Fairy-bluebirds. These are not “thrushes” per se.

This verse has been written about in Birds of the Bible – Thrush and Thrushes II. It mentions that the birds know more about migration than the people know that much about God and His dominion.

Do the Bluebirds migrate? Only the Eastern Bluebird. Here is their range map. Yellow is summer, blue – winter and green is year round. The summer breeding range extends as far north as the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and Montana. The northern Western Bluebirds can migrate to the southern parts of the range; southern birds are often permanent residents. The mountain bluebird is migratory. The Mountain Bluebird range varies from Mexico in the winter to as far north as Alaska, throughout the western U.S. and Canada. Northern birds migrate to the southern parts of the range; southern birds are often permanent residents. Some birds may move to lower elevations in winter.

Eastern_Bluebird-rangemap rangemap Y-Sum B-win G-yr rnd

Eastern Bluebird rangemap Y-Sum B-win G-yr rnd ©WikiC

So, not so sure that was a good choice of birds to use especially since they aren’t even anywhere near the Middle East. Nevertheless they are beautiful birds that the Lord has created for His pleasure and our enjoyment. The majority of their diet is “insects and other invertebrates. The remainder of the bird’s diet is made up of wild fruits. Favored insect foods include grasshoppers, crickets, katydids, and beetles. Other food items include earthworms, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, sow bugs and snails. (Eastern) Bluebirds are very helpful with pest control in the territory surrounding the nest.”

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Daves BirdingPix

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Daves BirdingPix

All three of them are cavity dwellers or nest box residents. They are all territorial and “Bluebirds can typically produce between two and four broods during the spring and summer (March through August in the Northeastern United States). Males identify potential nest sites and try to attract prospective female mates to those nesting sites with special behaviors that include singing and flapping wings, and then placing some material in a nesting box or cavity. If the female accepts the male and the nesting site, she alone builds the nest and incubates the eggs.”

“The bluebirds are a group of medium-sized, mostly insectivorous or omnivorous birds in the genus Sialia of the thrush family (Turdidae). Bluebirds are one of the few thrush genera in the Americas. They have blue, or blue and red, plumage. Female birds are less brightly colored than males, although color patterns are similar and there is no noticeable difference in size between sexes.

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) juvenile by Quy Tran

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) juvenile by Quy Tran

Western Bluebirds are sometimes confused with other bluebirds, however they can be distinguished without difficulty. The Western Bluebird has a blue (male) or gray (female) throat, the Eastern Bluebird has an orange throat, and the Mountain Bluebird lacks orange color anywhere on its body.

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) ©WikiC

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) ©WikiC

I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. (Psalms 50:11 ESV)

See:

Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Thrushes

Eastern, Western, Mountian Bluebirds – Wikipedia

Wordless Birds

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