As we head into the new year, 2023, many like to look back over the last year. They find many good memories and blessings, plus a few not so pleasant ones. Many of you liked and made remarks about the Christmas Bird Review series (that was just completed). It seems you do not mind looking back.
That thought started me thinking about a new series that we could begin. “Looking Back – “, “Reviving the Past – “, or some other name to give it. ANY IDEAS?
Hornbill at Brevard Zoo by Dan Aug-2014
Many of you have chosen to follow this blog through many years, and some have just begun following us.
How did this all begin? Purpose?
When did it begin?
What topics have we covered?
What Birds have we highlighted?
Who have been the writers and photographers over the years?
As many know, I have been dealing with medical issues which have slowed our birding adventures down considerably. I still watch birds, but on a more limited basis. Having just received a new computer, and trying to transfer photos over to it, I have been finding photos that could be used to update or enhance updates.
I especially am thinking about the original purpose, which was to show and thank the Lord for all the Birds of the Bible.
“I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people.” (Psalm 35:18)
This is from the main page Menu. As of today (Dec 30, 2022), that number is:
THANKS TO VISITORS
Moved to WordPress
00,000 – July 05, 2008
50,000 – Oct 10, 2009
100,000 – Apr 5, 2010
150,000 – Sep 6, 2010
200,000 – Dec 30, 2010
250,000 – Apr 9, 2011
300,000 – June 29, 2011
350,000 – Sep 19, 2011
400,000 – Nov 18, 2011
450,000 – Jan 21, 2012
500,000 – Mar 1, 2012
600,000 – May 24, 2012
700,000 – Sep 2, 2012
800,000 – Dec 16, 2012
900,000 – Ap 13, 2013
1,000,000 – Oct 20, 2013
2,200,000 – Jun 5, 2021
So, what are your thoughts? Please leave a comment, or at least a like. And even a suggestion for a series title.
Thanks for all your visits, likes, and remarks over the years.
Here is a new Christmas Birds. These are some of my favorite photos of the Lord’s Creatures that we have taken over the years. I would most likely put them in the Ornament or just Favorites category. (This just a sampling)
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2Co 9:15) “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9);
We have the Greatest gift of Christ as the Savior, and as the Creator of all these beautiful birds that we have had the privilege to see, some up very close.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1Jn 4:7-11)
“Jesus Loves Me” by Bonnie Standifer
This piece was written and played by Bonnie Standifer. Played at our Orchestra Concert in March of 2013 at Faith Baptist Church. You have never heard it played this way before. Bonnie is a very gifted arranger and pianist. (I’ve used her song before, but it is so fantastic.)
Here are the last of the Christmas Birds. The colors and designs would be pretty in ornaments. But most of all, they are superb examples of the Lord’s omniscient creative designs.
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:.. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:10-12, 14 KJV)
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. (1 Peter 3:3-4 KJV)
Music to listen to while viewing the photos. “Ring The Bells” – Men’s Quartet – Faith Baptist 2012
This time the Silver and Gold are both found on the birds. When the Lord created all the beautiful and colorful birds, He did not lack using variety.
“Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.” (Proverbs 8:10 KJV)
How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! (Proverbs 16:16 KJV)
“knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:18-20 NKJV)
Joy To The World played by the Faith Baptist Orchestra 2012
Hope you have been enjoying the updated Christmas Birds. This is another new one to the series. Gold is in the names of birds and their goldish-yellow colors are plentiful.
When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:9-11 KJV)
Then entered in those Wise Men three,
Full reverently upon the knee,
And offered there, in His presence,
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, Born is the King of Israel.
Silver-breasted Broadbill (Serilophus lunatus) by Peter Ericsson
This year I am adding Silver Birds to our collection of Christmas Birds. Grey and white sometimes look like silver when in certain light. Some of them are also used.
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psalms 12:6-7 KJV)
saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:2 NKJV)
Listen to Silver Star by Horatio R. Palmer (1834-1907) as you view the slideshow. I have inserted the words to this song at the bottom. Never heard it before, but the words are great.
On the brow of night there shines a silver star, On the brow of night there shines a silver star, And the wise men gaze on its heav’nly rays, Till they find the King, whose throne they sought afar, In the Babe of Bethlehem.
Silver star, holy light, Shine afar, o’er the night, Till the world shall come where the young Child lay, And enter the gates of the newborn day.
’Tis the lamp of God high hanging in the air, ’Tis the lamp of God high hanging in the air, And it guides our feet thro’ the royal street; There is sweet soul-rest for those who seek it there, From the Babe of Bethlehem.
Silver star, holy light, Shine afar, o’er the night, Till the world shall come where the young Child lay, And enter the gates of the newborn day.
Bring your gifts of gold, of frankincense and myrrh, Bring your gifts of gold, of frankincense and myrrh, For the King we own is on David’s throne; Let the holy Child your best affections stir; ’Tis the Babe of Bethlehem.
Silver star, holy light, Shine afar, o’er the night, Till the world shall come where the young Child lay, And enter the gates of the newborn day.
Red-winged Parrot (Aprosmictus erythropterus) by Ian
Here is the third Christmas Birds slideshow. While searching the photos for the Red Birds and the Green Birds, I kept coming across birds that were Red and Green. Here are some more of the neat birds that the Creator gave us to enjoy. Trust you are enjoying seeing the birds by their colors. It has been enjoyable for me to look through all the great photos the photographers we use here have provided. I have one more Christmas Birds to show you, but you will have to wait until tomorrow.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:13-14 KJV)
Now that Christmas is just over a week away, it’s time to see some of the birds that have “traditional” Christmas colors. Today’s color will be birds that have some sort of red on them. Other colors will be shown during the week. I have added new photos this year and some new colors later in the week.
When the Lord created the birds (fowls), He used many different colors, most for the protection of the bird (to blend in) or for display to attract a mate (to stand out).
We trust you enjoy the photos and that you are blessed as you consider the bird’s Creator, Who came to earth as a babe in a manger, so that He might redeem us from our sin. “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3)
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:7-8 KJV)
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18 KJV)
I thought it might be enjoyable to bring back a series of Christmas Birds that were first published in 2010 and reposted in 2013. [Who can remember back then? :) ] I hope you will enjoy seeing them again, or for the first time.
Christmas White-eye (Zosterops natalis) by Ian
Luke 2:15-20 KJV
(15) And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
(16) And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
(17) And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
(18) And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
(19) But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
(20) And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
While searching to find birds to write about with a Christmas theme, I came across the Territory of Christmas Island which belongs to Australia. It is in the Indian Ocean and only has a population of 1,403 residents who live in a number of “settlement areas” on the northern tip of the island.
Abbott’s Booby (Papasula abbotti) by Ian
The island’s geographic isolation and history of minimal human disturbance has led to a high level of endemism (or state of being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation or other defined zone, or habitat type, and found only there) among its flora and fauna, which is of significant interest to scientists and naturalists. 63% of its 135 square kilometres (52 sq mi) is an Australian national park. There exist large areas of primary monsoonal forest.
Christmas Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi) by Ian
Christmas Island is a focal point for sea birds of various species. Eight species or subspecies of sea birds nest on the island. The most numerous is the Red-footed Booby that nests in colonies, in trees, on many parts of the shore terrace. The widespread Brown Booby nests on the ground near the edge of the seacliff and inland cliffs. Abbott’s Booby nests on tall emergent trees of the western, northern and southern plateau rainforest. The Christmas Island forest is the only nesting habitat of the Abbott’s Booby left in the world. The endemic Christmas Island Frigatebird (listed as endangered) has nesting areas on the north-eastern shore terraces and the more widespread Great Frigatebirds nest in semi-deciduous trees on the shore terrace with the greatest concentrations being in the North West and South Point areas. The Common Noddy and two species of bosuns or tropicbirds, with their brilliant gold or silver plumage and distinctive streamer tail feathers, also nest on the island.
Christmas Imperial Pigeon (Ducula whartoni) by Ian Montgomery
Of the ten native land birds and shorebirds, seven are endemic species or subspecies. This includes the Christmas Island Thrush, and the Christmas Island Imperial Pigeon. Some 86 migrant bird species have been recorded as visitors to the Island.
The Bank Swallow, the Kingfisher and the Sparrow Hawk.
The Burgess Bird Book For Children
CHAPTER XXII. Some Feathered Diggers.
Peter Rabbit scampered along down one bank of the Laughing Brook,
eagerly watching for a high, gravelly bank such as Grandfather Frog had
said that Rattles the Kingfisher likes to make his home in. If Peter had
stopped to do a little thinking, he would have known that he was simply
wasting time. You see, the Laughing Brook was flowing through the Green
Meadows, so of course there would be no high, gravelly bank, because the
Green Meadows are low. But Peter Rabbit, in his usual heedless way, did
no thinking. He had seen Rattles fly down the Laughing Brook, and so he
had just taken it for granted that the home of Rattles must be somewhere
At last Peter reached the place where the Laughing Brook entered the
Big River. Of course, he hadn’t found the home of Rattles. But now he did
find something that for the time being made him quite forget Rattles and
his home. Just before it reached the Big River the Laughing Brook wound
through a swamp in which were many tall trees and a great number of
young trees. A great many big ferns grew there and were splendid to hide
under. Peter always did like that swamp.
Great Blue Herons. American Expedition
He had stopped to rest in a clump of ferns when he was startled by
seeing a great bird alight in a tree just a little way from him. His
first thought was that it was a Hawk, so you can imagine how surprised
and pleased he was to discover that it was Mrs. Longlegs. Somehow
Peter had always thought of Longlegs the Blue Heron as never alighting
anywhere except on the ground. But here was Mrs. Longlegs in a tree.
Having nothing to fear, Peter crept out from his hiding place that he
might see better.
In the tree in which Mrs. Longlegs was perched and just below her he
saw a little platform of sticks. He didn’t suspect that it was a nest,
because it looked too rough and loosely put together to be a nest.
Probably he wouldn’t have thought about it at all had not Mrs. Longlegs
settled herself on it right while Peter was watching. It didn’t seem big
enough or strong enough to hold her, but it did.
Great Blue Heron-nest. Naturally-Curious Mary Holland
“As I live,” thought Peter, “I’ve found the nest of Longlegs! He and
Mrs. Longlegs may be good fishermen, but they certainly are mighty poor
nest-builders. I don’t see how under the sun Mrs. Longlegs ever gets on
and off that nest without kicking the eggs out.”
Peter sat around for a while, but as he didn’t care to let his presence
be known, and as there was no one to talk to, he presently made up his
mind that being so near the Big River he would go over there to see if
Plunger the Osprey was fishing again on this day.
When he reached the Big River, Plunger was not in sight. Peter was
disappointed. He had just about made up his mind to return the way he
had come, when from beyond the swamp, farther up the Big River, he heard
the harsh, rattling cry of Rattles the Kingfisher. It reminded him of
what he had come for, and he at once began to hurry in that direction.
Belted Kingfisher at 11:24 am on 11/25/20 by Lee
Peter came out of the swamp on a little sandy beach. There he squatted
for a moment, blinking his eyes, for out there the sun was very bright.
Then a little way beyond him he discovered something that in his eager
curiosity made him quite forget that he was out in the open where it was
anything but safe for a Rabbit to be. What he saw was a high sandy bank.
With a hasty glance this way and that way to make sure that no enemy was
in sight, Peter scampered along the edge of the water till he was right
at the foot of that sandy bank. Then he squatted down and looked eagerly
for a hole such as he imagined Rattles the Kingfisher might make.
Instead of one hole he saw a lot of holes, but they were very small
holes. He knew right away that Rattles couldn’t possibly get in or out
of a single one of those holes. In fact, those holes in the bank were
no bigger than the holes Downy the Woodpecker makes in trees. Peter
couldn’t imagine who or what had made them.
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) by Raymond Barlow
As Peter sat there staring and wondering a trim little head appeared
at the entrance to one of those holes. It was a trim little head with a
very small bill and a snowy white throat. At first glance Peter thought
it was his old friend, Skimmer the Tree Swallow, and he was just on the
point of asking what under the sun Skimmer was doing in such a place as
that, when with a lively twitter of greeting the owner of that little
hole in the bank flew out and circled over Peter’s head. It wasn’t
Skimmer at all. It was Banker the Bank Swallow, own cousin to Skimmer
the Tree Swallow. Peter recognized him the instant he got a full view of
In the first place Banker was a little smaller than Skimmer. Then too,
he was not nearly so handsome. His back, instead of being that
beautiful rich steel-blue which makes Skimmer so handsome, was a sober
grayish-brown. He was a little darker on his wings and tail. His breast,
instead of being all snowy white, was crossed with a brownish band. His
tail was more nearly square across the end than is the case with other
members of the Swallow family.
“Wha–wha–what were you doing there?” stuttered Peter, his eyes popping
right out with curiosity and excitement.
“Why, that’s my home,” twittered Banker.
“Do–do–do you mean to say that you live in a hole in the ground?”
“Certainly; why not?” twittered Banker as he snapped up a fly just over
“I don’t know any reason why you shouldn’t,” confessed Peter. “But
somehow it is hard for me to think of birds as living in holes in the
ground. I’ve only just found out that Rattles the Kingfisher does. But
I didn’t suppose there were any others. Did you make that hole yourself,
“Of course,” replied Banker. “That is, I helped make it. Mrs. Banker did
her share. ‘Way in at the end of it we’ve got the nicest little nest of
straw and feathers. What is more, we’ve got four white eggs in there,
and Mrs. Banker is sitting on them now.”
Swallow Friends – Burgess Book (Can be colored)
By this time the air seemed to be full of Banker’s friends, skimming and
circling this way and that, and going in and out of the little holes in
“I am like my big cousin, Twitter the Purple Martin, fond of society,”
explained Banker. “We Bank Swallows like our homes close together. You
said that you had just learned that Rattles the Kingfisher has his home
in a bank. Do you know where it is?”
“No,” replied Peter. “I was looking for it when I discovered your home.
Can you tell me where it is?”
“I’ll do better than that;” replied Banker. “I’ll show you where it is.”
He darted some distance up along the bank and hovered for an instant
close to the top. Peter scampered over there and looked up. There, just
a few inches below the top, was another hole, a very much larger hole
than those he had just left. As he was staring up at it a head with a
long sharp bill and a crest which looked as if all the feathers on the
top of his head had been brushed the wrong way, was thrust out. It was
Rattles himself. He didn’t seem at all glad to see Peter. In fact, he
came out and darted at Peter angrily. Peter didn’t wait to feel that
sharp dagger-like bill. He took to his heels. He had seen what he
started out to find and he was quite content to go home.
Peter took a short cut across the Green Meadows. It took him past a
certain tall, dead tree. A sharp cry of “Kill-ee, kill-ee, kill-ee!”
caused Peter to look up just in time to see a trim, handsome bird whose
body was about the size of Sammy Jay’s but whose longer wings and longer
tail made him look bigger. One glance was enough to tell Peter that
this was a member of the Hawk family, the smallest of the family. It was
Killy the Sparrow Hawk. He is too small for Peter to fear him, so now
Peter was possessed of nothing more than a very lively curiosity, and
sat up to watch.
Out over the meadow grass Killy sailed. Suddenly, with beating wings,
he kept himself in one place in the air and then dropped down into the
grass. He was up again in an instant, and Peter could see that he had a
fat grasshopper in his claws. Back to the top of the tall, dead tree
he flew and there ate the grasshopper. When it was finished, he sat up
straight and still, so still that he seemed a part of the tree itself.
With those wonderful eyes of his he was watching for another grasshopper
or for a careless Meadow Mouse.
Very trim and handsome was Killy. His back was reddish-brown crossed by
bars of black. His tail was reddish-brown with a band of black near
its end and a white tip. His wings were slaty-blue with little bars
of black, the longest feathers leaving white bars. Underneath he was a
beautiful buff, spotted with black. His head was bluish with a reddish
patch right on top. Before and behind each ear was a black mark. His
rather short bill, like the bills of all the rest of his family, was
As Peter sat there admiring Killy, for he was handsome enough for any
one to admire, he noticed for the first time a hole high up in the trunk
of the tree, such a hole as Yellow Wing the Flicker might have made and
probably did make. Right away Peter remembered what Jenny Wren had
told him about Killy’s making his nest in just such a hole. “I wonder,”
thought Peter, “if that is Killy’s home.”
Just then Killy flew over and dropped in the grass just in front of
Peter, where he caught another fat grasshopper. “Is that your home up
there?” asked Peter hastily.
“It certainly is, Peter,” replied Killy. “This is the third summer Mrs.
Killy and I have had our home there.”
“You seem to be very fond of grasshoppers,” Peter ventured.
“I am,” replied Killy. “They are very fine eating when one can get
enough of them.”
“Are they the only kind of food you eat?” ventured Peter.
Killy laughed. It was a shrill laugh. “I should say not,” said he. “I
eat spiders and worms and all sorts of insects big enough to give a
fellow a decent bite. But for real good eating give me a fat Meadow
Mouse. I don’t object to a Sparrow or some other small bird now and
then, especially when I have a family of hungry youngsters to feed. But
take it the season through, I live mostly on grasshoppers and insects
and Meadow Mice. I do a lot of good in this world, I’d have you know.”
Peter said that he supposed that this was so, but all the time he
kept thinking what a pity it was that Killy ever killed his feathered
neighbors. As soon as he conveniently could he politely bade Killy
good-by and hurried home to the dear Old Briar-patch, there to think
over how queer it seemed that a member of the hawk family should nest
in a hollow tree and a member of the Swallow family should dig a hole in
*** Bold points for questions at the bottom or for Christian traits.
A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
(Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)
So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
(Genesis 1:21 NKJV)
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) by Lee Circle B
A Fishing Party
The Great Blue Heron and the Kingfisher.
The Burgess Bird Book For Children
Listen to the story read.
A Fishing Party.
Peter Rabbit sat on the edge of the Old Briar-patch trying to make up
his mind whether to stay at home, which was the wise and proper thing
to do, or to go call on some of the friends he had not yet visited. A
sharp, harsh rattle caused him to look up to see a bird about a third
larger than Welcome Robin, and with a head out of all proportion to
the size of his body. He was flying straight towards the Smiling Pool,
rattling harshly as he flew. The mere sound of his voice settled the
matter for Peter. “It’s Rattles the Kingfisher,” he cried. “I think I’ll
run over to the Smiling Pool and pay him my respects.”
Belted Kingfisher on 11/25/20 by Lee
So Peter started for the Smiling Pool as fast as his long legs could
take him, lipperty-lipperty-lip. He had lost sight of Rattles the
Kingfisher, and when he reached the back of the Smiling Pool he was in
doubt which way to turn. It was very early in the morning and there was
not so much as a ripple on the surface of the Smiling Pool. As Peter sat
there trying to make up his mind which way to go, he saw coming from the
direction of the Big River a great, broad-winged bird, flying slowly. He
seemed to have no neck at all, but carried straight out behind him were
two long legs.
Great Blue Heron; Walton County, Georgia birding photogaphy blog by williamwisephoto.com
“Longlegs the Great Blue Heron! I wonder if he is coming here,”
exclaimed Peter. “I do hope so.”
Peter stayed right where he was and waited. Nearer and nearer came
Longlegs. When he was right opposite Peter he suddenly dropped his long
legs, folded his great wings, and alighted right on the edge of the
Smiling Pool across from where Peter was sitting. If he seemed to have
no neck at all when he was flying, now he seemed to be all neck as he
stretched it to its full length. The fact is, his neck was so long that
when he was flying he carried it folded back on his shoulders. Never
before had Peter had such an opportunity to see Longlegs.
He stood quite four feet high. The top of his head and throat were
white. From the base of his great bill and over his eye was a black
stripe which ended in two long, slender, black feathers hanging from
the back of his head. His bill was longer than his head, stout and
sharp like a spear and yellow in color. His long neck was a light
brownish-gray. His back and wings were of a bluish color. The bend of
each wing and the feathered parts of his legs were a rusty-red. The
remainder of his legs and his feet were black. Hanging down over his
breast were beautiful long pearly-gray feathers quite unlike any Peter
had seen on any of his other feathered friends. In spite of the
length of his legs and the length of his neck he was both graceful and
Great Blue Heron Lake Morton by Dan
“I wonder what has brought him over to the Smiling Pool,” thought Peter.
He didn’t have to wait long to find out. After standing perfectly still
with his neck stretched to its full height until he was sure that no
danger was near, Longlegs waded into the water a few steps, folded his
neck back on his shoulders until his long bill seemed to rest on his
breast, and then remained as motionless as if there were no life in him.
Peter also sat perfectly still. By and by he began to wonder if Longlegs
had gone to sleep. His own patience was reaching an end and he was just
about to go on in search of Rattles the Kingfisher when like a flash the
dagger-like bill of Longlegs shot out and down into the water. When he
withdrew it Peter saw that Longlegs had caught a little fish which he at
once proceeded to swallow head-first. Peter almost laughed right out as
he watched the funny efforts of Longlegs to gulp that fish down his long
throat. Then Longlegs resumed his old position as motionless as before.
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) from Jim JS Johnson
It was no trouble now for Peter to sit still, for he was too interested
in watching this lone fisherman to think of leaving. It wasn’t long
before Longlegs made another catch and this time it was a fat Pollywog.
Peter thought of how he had watched Plunger the Osprey fishing in the
Big River and the difference in the ways of the two fishermen.
“Plunger hunts for his fish while Longlegs waits for his fish to come to him,” thought Peter. “I wonder if Longlegs never goes hunting.”
As if in answer to Peter’s thought Longlegs seemed to conclude that
no more fish were coming his way. He stretched himself up to his full
height, looked sharply this way and that way to make sure that all was
safe, then began to walk along the edge of the Smiling Pool. He put each
foot down slowly and carefully so as to make no noise. He had gone but
a few steps when that great bill darted down like a flash, and Peter
saw that he had caught a careless young Frog. A few steps farther on he
caught another Pollywog. Then coming to a spot that suited him, he once
more waded in and began to watch for fish.
Great Blue Heron at Lake Morton watching for fish, by Lee
Peter was suddenly reminded of Rattles the Kingfisher, whom he had quite
forgotten. From the Big Hickory-tree on the bank, Rattles flew out over
the Smiling Pool, hovered for an instant, then plunged down head-first.
There was a splash, and a second later Rattles was in the air again,
shaking the water from him in a silver spray. In his long, stout, black
bill was a little fish. He flew back to a branch of the Big Hickory-tree
that hung out over the water and thumped the fish against the branch
until it was dead. Then he turned it about so he could swallow it
head-first. It was a big fish for the size of the fisherman and he had a
dreadful time getting it down. But at last it was down, and Rattles set
himself to watch for another. The sun shone full on him, and Peter gave
a little gasp of surprise.
“I never knew before how handsome Rattles is,” thought Peter. He was
about the size of Yellow Wing the Flicker, but his head made him look
bigger than he really was. You see, the feathers on top of his head
stood up in a crest, as if they had been brushed the wrong way. His
head, back, wings and tail were a bluish-gray. His throat was white and
he wore a white collar. In front of each eye was a little white spot.
Across his breast was a belt of bluish-gray, and underneath he was
white. There were tiny spots of white on his wings, and his tail was
spotted with white. His bill was black and, like that of Longlegs, was
long, and stout, and sharp. It looked almost too big for his size.
Belted Kingfisher; Walton County Georgia
Presently Rattles flew out and plunged into the Smiling Pool again, this
time, very near to where Longlegs was patiently waiting. He caught a
fish, for it is not often that Rattles misses. It was smaller than the
first one Peter had seen him catch, and this time as soon as he got back
to the Big Hickory-tree, he swallowed it without thumping it against the
branch. As for Longlegs, he looked thoroughly put out. For a moment or
two he stood glaring angrily up at Rattles. You see, when Rattles had
plunged so close to Longlegs he had frightened all the fish. Finally
Longlegs seemed to make up his mind that there was room for but one
fisherman at a time at the Smiling Pool. Spreading his great wings,
folding his long neck back on his shoulders, and dragging his long legs
out behind him, he flew heavily away in the direction of the Big River.
Rattles remained long enough to catch another little fish, and then
with a harsh rattle flew off down the Laughing Brook. “I would know him
anywhere by that rattle,” thought Peter. “There isn’t any one who can
make a noise anything like it. I wonder where he has gone to now. He
must have a nest, but I haven’t the least idea what kind of a nest he
builds. Hello! There’s Grandfather Frog over on his green lily pad.
Perhaps he can tell me.”
So Peter hopped along until he was near enough to talk to Grandfather
Frog. “What kind of a nest does Rattles the Kingfisher build?” repeated
Grandfather Frog. “Chug-arum, Peter Rabbit! I thought everybody knew
that Rattles doesn’t build a nest. At least I wouldn’t call it a nest.
He lives in a hole in the ground.”
“What!” cried Peter, and looked as if he couldn’t believe his own ears.
No Breath, but cute -Frog Playing Violin at Swamp Magnolia Plantation by Lee
Grandfather Frog grinned and his goggly eyes twinkled. “Yes,” said he,
“Rattles lives in a hole in the ground.”
“But–but–but what kind of a hole?” stammered Peter.
“Just plain hole,” retorted Grandfather Frog, grinning more broadly than
ever. Then seeing how perplexed and puzzled Peter looked, he went on to
explain. “He usually picks out a high gravelly bank close to the water
and digs a hole straight in just a little way from the top. He makes
it just big enough for himself and Mrs. Rattles to go in and out of
comfortably, and he digs it straight in for several feet. I’m told that
at the end of it he makes a sort of bedroom, because he usually has a
“Do you mean to say that he digs it himself?” asked Peter.
Grandfather Frog nodded. “If he doesn’t, Mrs. Kingfisher does,” he
replied. “Those big bills of theirs are picks as well as fish spears.
They loosen the sand with those and scoop it out with their feet. I’ve
never seen the inside of their home myself, but I’m told that their
bedroom is lined with fish bones. Perhaps you may call that a nest, but
“I’m going straight down the Laughing Brook to look for that hole,”
declared Peter, and left in such a hurry that he forgot to be polite
enough to say thank you to Grandfather Frog.
What kind of birds is Longlegs?
How does Longlegs fish?
How does Longlegs swallow his fish?
What kind of bird is Rattles?
Do Longlegs and Rattles fish the same way?
How does Rattles fish?
Both Longlegs and Rattles fish differently. The Lord created them differently, but they both like fish.
Do we make fun of someone, or tease them if they do something a little differently than we do?
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV)
Drop a comment and help decide which to use. For today’s article, I stuck with “Looking Back.”
To begin this series, I found all the post that looked back over the Anniversaries of Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus. If you scan through them, you will discover why it was started and how the Lord has been blessing it over the years. As different writers began adding articles, photographers gave permission to use their photos, and linked their websites, the blog has continued to grow.