Nice Birdwatching Video About Circle B Bar Reserve

This is by one of the photographers that visits Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, Florida. It is only a few miles from our house “as the crow flies.” We have spent many enjoyable trips there. This was from Dennis Hollingsworth.

Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) by Lee Circle B

Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) by Lee Circle B

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) at Circle B By Dan'sPix

Bible Birds – Herons

Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) Notice Yellow Feet by Lee at Circle B

Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) Notice Yellow Feet by Lee at Circle B

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,” (NKJV)

This is by one of the photographers that visits Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, Florida. It is only a few miles from our house “as the crow flies.” We have spent many enjoyable trips there. This was from Dennis Hollingsworth.
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) by Lee Circle B Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) by Lee Circle BGreat Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) at Circle B By Dan'sPix Bible Birds – HeronsSnowy Egret (Egretta thula) Notice Yellow Feet by Lee at Circle B Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) Notice Yellow Feet by Lee at Circle B

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,” (Romans 1:20 NKJV)

 

Sandhill Crane Chick at Circle B by Lee

Sandhill Crane Chick at Circle B by Lee

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher at Circle B Reserve by Lee

Great Horned Owl Youngsters at Circle B Bar Reserve by Lee

Snowy Egret Circle B 8-3-12 by Lee

Snowy Egret Circle B by Lee

Alligator Circle B Bar Reserve by Lee

Butterfly Circle B by Lee 7-16-14

American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) by Lee at Circle B

American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) by Lee at Circle B

Dragonfly by Lee at Circle B

Dragonfly by Lee at Circle B

Great Blue Heron with Catfish at Circle B by Lee - cropped

Great Blue Heron with Catfish at Circle B by Lee – cropped

Wood Storks on top of tree at Circle B -7-22-11 by Lee

Wood Storks on top of tree at Circle B by Lee

Sunset at Circle B by TommyT

After the Storm – Zoos

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) by Dan at Zoo Miami

“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (Proverbs 12:10 KJV)

“Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.” (Psalms 36:6 KJV)

If you will recall, before Hurricane Irma attacked our state, we shared this blog with you: Hurricane Irma and the Animals at the Zoos

I was checking around the state to see what was being done to prepare for the Hurricane. Now, almost two months later, how did the Zoos do during and after the storm. We were discussing maybe visiting one of the zoos in a month or so, and I was wondering how much damage they received. Actually, one of our favorite birding places here in Lakeland, the Circle B Bar Reserve, just re-opened today, October 13, 2017. They had numerous downed trees and flooding.

While checking out my most favorite birding place at a Zoo, Zoo Miami, they are actually opening back up tomorrow, October 14th for the first time since Hurricane Irma.

Here are some articles and video that you might find informative as to how they did and how they protected their animals.


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Zoo Miami to Open Oct. 14, after Hurricane Irma
In the article, you will see a photo like this. Click it and the photos will open. Click through them to see some of the damage. WPLG1 of 62 PHOTOS: Ron Magill shares photos of Zoo Miami after Hurricane Irma

“We greatly look forward to opening Zoo Miami again,” Zoo Miami director Carol Kruse said.

Huge Ficus Tree at Zoo Miami ©RonMagill

Zoo Miami’s Massive Ficus, Downed by Irma, to Remain as Hyena ‘Furniture’

Go to Google and search: “Zoo Miami irma” and you will find many photos of the protected animals and damage around the Zoo. Most of these are Copyrighted and can not be shared here.

Here one more interesting article:

Hurricane Irma: survival stories from 27 zoos & sanctuaries 

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Birdwatching Trips

 

Huge Alligator at Circle B Bar Reserve on TV

Alligator Circle B Bar Reserve by Lee

Alligator Circle B Bar Reserve by Lee taken in 2014

“And I will walk at liberty:…” (Psalms 119:45a KJV)

I thought you might enjoy seeing the huge alligator that strolled across the path at our favorite local place we go birdwatching. In fact, this was on the national news this evening. We have seen many gators out there, but glad this this one didn’t surprise us in the past.

Alligator about 8 ft by Lee at Circle B

Alligator about 8 ft by Lee at Circle B 2013

On the news they thought he was between 12-14 feet long and was just wanting to cross the path. Not bothering anyone.

“Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.” (Proverbs 3:23 KJV)

No, we were not out there when this happened. [broken computer, back problems and almost bronchitis] No, this fellow had to do this without our watching him.  :)

Our previous adventures at Circle B

Other Birdwatching Adventures

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Lord’s Avian Wonders – Gnatcatcher Preening

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher preening at Circle B by Lee

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher preening at Circle B by Lee

“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. (Luke 12:35 NASB)

A visit to Circle B Bar Reserve last week provide a great opportunity to watch a Blue-grey Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) preening. Normally, they are flitting from here to there and never stay put long enough to catch a photo, let along some video.

To preen: personal grooming of a bird’s feathers especially by using its beak. Nice article at About Birding – What is Preening.

They are a very small songbird, 10–13 cm (3.9–5.1 in) in length and weighing only 5–7 g (0.18–0.25 oz). Adult males are blue-grey on the upperparts with white underparts, have a slender dark bill, and a long black tail edged in white. Females are less blue. Both sexes have a white eye ring.

The blue-grey gnatcatcher’s breeding habitat includes open deciduous woods and shrublands in southern Ontario, the eastern and southwestern United States, and Mexico. Though gnatcatcher species are common and increasing in number while expanding to the northeast,[4] it is the only one to breed in Eastern North America. They build a cone-like nest on a horizontal tree branch. The incubation period is 13 days for both sexes. Both parents construct the nest and feed the young; they may raise two broods in a season.

These birds migrate to the southern United States, Mexico, northern Central America – (Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras), Cuba, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Cayman Islands. Yeah! They come to Circle B in the winter!

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher preening at Circle B by Lee

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher preening at Circle B by Lee

They forage actively in trees or shrubs, mainly eating insects, insect eggs and spiders. They may hover over foliage (gleaning), or fly to catch insects in flight (hawking). The tail is often held upright while defending territory or searching for food.

The songs (and calls) are often heard on breeding grounds, (usually away from nest) and occasionally heard other times of the year. Calls: “zkreee, zkreee, zkreee”, Songs: “szpree zpree spreeeeey spree spre sprzrreeeee”

Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:3-4 NASB)

Birdwatching Trips 

Circle B Bar Reserve, FL

Wordless Birds – with Hummingbirds

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Circle B Birdwatching Trip February 2015

Great Blue Heron

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; (Job 12:7 NKJV)

Today we finally got to go birdwatching at Circle B Bar Reserve. We were asked to join Baron Brown (A.K.A. Golden Eagle) and one of the classes he teaches. We were introducing them to Birdwatching. For most of the twelve students, this was their first trip of watch birds.

“Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 AMP)

After we finished, we went to our church where I presented a Powerpoint presentation on birding. Then they got to eat pizza. Not sure which they enjoyed more, the birds or the pizza. ;0)

For Dan and I, this was our first real birdwatching trip of the year. We stopped by the shore of the AF base a week or so ago and birded for about 15-20 minutes. Today’s trip was about two hours long.

Limpkin

Limpkin

What did we see? Altogether, about 25-26 species were spotted. We saw some they didn’t see and they saw three Bald Eagles, that we didn’t see. (I stopped and waited for them to make a short trip up one of the trails. They are younger, you know.)

Osprey

Osprey

We were greeted in the parking lot by an Osprey sitting in the tree with a fish in his feet. That was a good start for them. From there we went out to the marsh where we started seeing the usual birds at Circle B; Great Egrets, Tri-colored Heron, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Glossy and White Ibises, an Anhinga with wings spread, Limpkins, Great Blue Herons. There were lots of Turkey and Black Vultures flying overhead, and the Tree Swallows were zipping around all over the place. There was also a tree way down the marsh that was hosting a group of Double-crested Cormorants.

Water birds spotted were Coots, Common Moorhens, and a group of Blue-winged Teals.

Blue-winged Teals

Blue-winged Teals

All the heads turned when a Roseate Spoonbill flew by and later we saw one up close in the water. There was a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks sitting in a tree way off, but I zoomed in and was able to get a half-way decent photo of them. One even raised its tail up to preen, I suppose.

We were teaching them about listening for birds and some Mourning Doves, a Carolina Wren, some Red-bellied and Pileated Woodpeckers and a few others were heard.

While they were off down the trail, we added Red-winged Blackbirds and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher to our list. We had also seen 16 White Pelicans flying right by the park as we were arriving.

All total, not a bad birdwatching trip. Looking forward to more trips as 2015 progresses. Here are just some of today’s photos.

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Fantastic Week-end

Purple Gallinule Reaching Circle B

Purple Gallinule Reaching Circle B

We greatly enjoyed this past week-end. Dr. James J. S. Johnson, from Institute For Creation Research, who writes for this blog, came to speak at our church. We had not met him personally and so this was a time of getting to know him.

Dan and I, Dr. Jim (my name for him) and Golden Eagle (Baron) went birdwatching on Saturday. We took him to our favorite birding spot here, Circle B Bar Reserve. We saw 31 species, several “life birds” for him and one “life bird” for me, an Orange-crowned Warbler.

The Birders at Circle B Bar Reserve

The Birders at Circle B Bar Reserve

After we left there, we went to Lake Morton. I wanted two things to happen, but it didn’t. Was hoping to let them feed the Wood Stork over there and see a Wood Duck. Not to be. We saw one Wood Stork, but he must have already been fed. We did get to feed some of our other friends there. All total, we saw at least 19 species there. Also, the Lord prepared a great day for us. (Rained good part of Sunday, but Saturday was beautiful.)

Feeding White Ibises at Lake Morton

Dr Jim Feeding White Ibises at Lake Morton

While describing our trip later, I misused the word “boring” which got mistaken. What I meant was that compared other visits to those two places, the number of species were less than normal. Birdwatching adventures are never “boring.” How can they when you are out enjoying the Lord’s great creation? Amazing! Fabulous! Superb! Those are better words.

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; (Job 12:7 NKJV)

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

As Dr. James told us in his presentations, the Lord uses so much variety, provision, and design in each of His created beings, humans included. If we just slow down, God’s hand can clearly be seen. (my paraphrase) Just with the birds, the wing structure, specialized beaks, programmed travels, interconnection between bird and plant, and on and on. Oh, Praise the Lord!

Anhinga Lake Morton by Dan

Anhinga Lake Morton by Dan

 

I am including the list of birds seen at both places. Also, a short video of a Snowy Egret using his foot to stir up something to eat. Wonder how that habit came about? Could it be that the Lord programmed that in it because of promising to provide for them?

“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? (Luke 12:24 NKJV)

Also, Dr. Johnson’s talks showed slides with examples of these points. (From an excerpt)

Witnesses for God’s Truth – “This presentation reviews 5 different kinds of witnesses for God’s truth, each of which takes away excuses from anyone who pretends to have no witness of God and His glory:  (1) the physical creation, including our own physical bodies; (2) the uniqueness of humanity; (3) Scripture; (4) Christ’s incarnation; and (5) one more witness that we all are accountable for, and this one is quite scary!”

Lessons from the Zoo –  “Did you know that the animal kingdom, in all of its diversity, reveals God’s creative genius and glory in uncountable ways?  Why does God like and create variety in creation? How do the various animals living today, as well as other animals (like dinosaurs) which lived in earlier times, confirm the Bible’s account of creation – and refute Darwin’s evolutionary “natural selection” idea? This presentation provides a series of examples of big and little animals that display God’s handiwork in amazing ways. Mammals, reptiles, insects, spiders, fish, shellfish, jellyfish, and more!

Tricolored-Snowy-Great Egret-White Ibis at Circle B

Tricolored-Snowy-Great Egret-White Ibis at Circle B

Circle B Bar Reserve, Polk, US-FL
Nov 8, 2014 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Us, Dr J and Baron – 31 species

Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Anhinga
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill  6
Black Vulture  50
Turkey Vulture  50
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk
Purple Gallinule
Common Gallinule
Stilt Sandpiper
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Gray Catbird
Orange-crowned Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Boat-tailed Grackle

Lake Morton, Polk, US-FL
Nov 8, 2014 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM
Us, Dr J. and Baron – 18 species (+1 other taxa)

Mute Swan
Black Swan
Black-necked Swan
Muscovy Duck (Established Feral)
Mallard (Domestic type)
Blue-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Anhinga
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
White Ibis
Common Gallinule
American Coot
Laughing Gull
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
Blue Jay
Palm Warbler
Boat-tailed Grackle

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Photos from Circle B and MacDill Shore

Tricolored Heron Juvenile by Dan at Circle B

The last post had my photos and videos from our trip to Circle B Bar Reserve (Circle B After Recent Rains) . Today, I am showing you the GOOD ONES! These were taken by Dan.

Also, I am adding his photos from the shore at MacDill AFB on Tampa Bay. The names were added by me and some are uncertain. I know many of you who visit this blog are better at naming birds than we are. Identifying shorebirds is still in the beginning stages for us, though I “think” I know what these are. So, If you can help, please leave a comment.

I have searched my books for Dan’s #19, and can’t find it. It must be an immature.

Unknown by Dan MacDill Shore 2014 (19)

Unknown by Dan MacDill Shore 2014 (19)

When the photos I took on this recent trip are blogged about, it would be nice to have proper names on the birds. (At least most of them.)

Enjoy Dan’s photos. He is the one that takes the great ones. You can also visit his website at Dan’s Pix.

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But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey, (Deuteronomy 14:12 KJV)

And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:19)

I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am like an owl of the desert. (Psalms 102:6 NKJV)

See:

Circle B After Recent Rains

Dan’s Pix

Birdwatching Trips

Birdwatching Trips – Circle B Bar Reserve, FL

Birds of the Bible – Herons – PelicansOsprey Sea Gulls

Good News Tracts

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Circle B After Recent Rains

On Wednesday morning, July 16th, we decided to go out to Circle B Bar Reserve and see how the water levels were doing. We have had quite a bit of rain recently and figured that it had to be better than last time. It was quite dry then.

We were not disappointed. The marsh actually looked like a marsh for a change. There weren’t too many birds, but then again this time of the year most are up north.

Removing the huge fallen Oak tree at Circle B

Removing the huge fallen Oak tree at Circle B

If the clouds are full of rain, They empty themselves upon the earth; And if a tree falls to the south or the north, In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie. He who observes the wind will not sow, And he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything. (Ecclesiastes 11:3-5 NKJV)

We were greeted at the parking lot by a crew working on a huge oak tree that had fallen. They were removing it. Sure glad no cars had been parked there at the time it came down.

Western Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) With Fish

Western Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) With Fish

We managed to see quite a few Ospreys, one eating a huge fish up in a tree. There were at least five Tricolored Herons, one of them a juvenile, a Snowy Egret, two Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, some Common Gallinules, an Anhinga and lots of Black and Turkey Vultures circling overhead.

 

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) Juvenile Circle B by Lee

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) Juvenile Circle B by Lee

It was hot, humid, and it began to sprinkle, so we left after about 50 minutes or so. None the less, it is always enjoyable to get out and enjoy the Lord’s creations. I am also thankful that the Lord gave the rain recently to fill up the marsh again and water to drink. We had cool water in the car and did it ever “hit the spot.”

Here are some of my photos and videos that I took.

How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation. (Daniel 4:3 KJV)

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Birds of the Bible – Wood Storks

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) by Lee

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) by Lee

While we were on the same birdwatching trip to Circle B (American Bittern), we encountered a Wood Stork. There are five verses in the Bible that mention the Stork:

And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:19 KJV)

And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Deuteronomy 14:18 KJV)

Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. (Psalms 104:17 KJV)

Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 KJV)

Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven. (Zechariah 5:9 KJV)

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) by Lee Landing

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) by Lee Landing

While we were birdwatching at Circle B just before Christmas, a Wood Stork flew over and landed in a tree a good way from us. Thanks to the zoom on my camera, I was able to capture its picture. They amaze me that they are “ugly” up close, but when they fly, they are so beautiful and graceful to watch. We see them quite often here and I have been known to feed them at Lake Morton. They also fly over our house and land in our community pond.

Lee feeding Wood Stork at Lake Morton by Dan

Lee feeding Wood Stork at Lake Morton by Dan 2011

As mentioned above, Storks are birds in the Bible and are members of the Ciconiidae – Storks Family. Currently there are 19 Storks in this family. The Bible does not tell which one is being mentioned, but most like one of the Storks that lived in Israel.

Our Wood Stork here is a broad-winged soaring bird that flies with its neck outstretched and legs extended. It forages usually where lowering water levels concentrate fish in open wetlands; it also frequents paddy fields. Walking slowly and steadily in shallow water up to its belly, it seeks prey, which, like that of most of its relatives, consists of fish, frogs and large insects. It catches fish by holding its bill open in the water until a fish is detected. (Wikipedia)

“Tall and long-legged, the wood stork is the largest wading bird native to America. It is white with black flight feathers, distinctive because of its dark, featherless head (down to the upper neck) and thick, down-curved bill. Wood storks fly with neck and legs extended, interrupting strong wing beats with brief glides; their wingspan is 5 1/2 feet.” (FL FWCC) Their length is 33.5–45.3 in (85–115 cm) and weigh between72.3 to 93.1 oz (2050–2640 g). (NatGeo)

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Birds of the Bible – American Bittern

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) by Lee

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) by Lee

The Bittern is found in the KJV in three verses of Scripture. Some versions translate it differently. But for the sake of this article, here are those verses:

I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts. (Isaiah 14:23 KJV)

But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. (Isaiah 34:11 KJV)

And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work. (Zephaniah 2:14 KJV)

We were out at Circle B Bar Reserve just before Christmas and spotted an American Bittern. They are quite evasive and not spotted often, at least by me. That protection reminds me of several verses:

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, (Psalms 17:8 KJV)

Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. (Psalms 143:9 KJV)

 

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Bitterns are members of the Ardeidae – Herons, Bitterns Family. “Although common in much of its range, the American Bittern is usually well-hidden in bogs, marshes and wet meadows. Usually solitary, it walks stealthily among cattails or bulrushes. If it senses that it has been seen, the American Bittern becomes motionless, with its bill pointed upward, causing it to blend into the reeds. It is most active at dusk. More often heard than seen, this bittern has a call that resembles a congested pump.

Like other members of the heron family, the American Bittern feeds in marshes and shallow ponds, dining on amphibians, fish, insects and reptiles.

This bittern winters in the southern United States and Central America. It summers throughout Canada and much of the United States. As a long-distance migrant, it is a very rare vagrant in Europe, including Great Britain and Ireland. This bird nests in isolated places with the female building the nest and the male guarding it. Two or three eggs are incubated by the female for 29 days, and the chicks leave after 6–7 weeks.” (From Wikipedia)

Identification Tips: (USGS)

  • Length: 23 inches Wingspan: 45 inches
  • Medium-sized wading bird
  • Dark brown upperparts
  • Underparts streaked brown and white
  • Black malar streak
  • Yellow bill with dark culmen
  • Black primaries and secondaries
  • Sometimes “freezes” with neck held upwards
  • Immatures similar to adults but lack the malar streak

American Bittern sounds from Cornell

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Bible Birds – American Bittern

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) by Lee

The Bittern is found in the KJV in three verses of Scripture. Some versions translate it differently. But for the sake of this article, here are those verses:

I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts. (Isaiah 14:23 KJV)

But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. (Isaiah 34:11 KJV)

And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work. (Zephaniah 2:14 KJV)

We were out at Circle B Bar Reserve just before Christmas and spotted an American Bittern. They are quite evasive and not spotted often, at least by me. That protection reminds me of several verses:

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, (Psalms 17:8 KJV)

Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. (Psalms 143:9 KJV)

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Bitterns are members of the Ardeidae – Herons, Bitterns Family.”Although common in much of its range, the American Bittern is usually well-hidden in bogs, marshes and wet meadows. Usually solitary, it walks stealthily among cattails or bulrushes. If it senses that it has been seen, the American Bittern becomes motionless, with its bill pointed upward, causing it to blend into the reeds. It is most active at dusk. More often heard than seen, this bittern has a call that resembles a congested pump.

Like other members of the heron family, the American Bittern feeds in marshes and shallow ponds, dining on amphibians, fish, insects and reptiles.

This bittern winters in the southern United States and Central America. It summers throughout Canada and much of the United States. As a long-distance migrant, it is a very rare vagrant in Europe, including Great Britain and Ireland. This bird nests in isolated places with the female building the nest and the male guarding it. Two or three eggs are incubated by the female for 29 days, and the chicks leave after 6–7 weeks.” (From Wikipedia)

Identification Tips: (USGS)

  • Length: 23 inches Wingspan: 45 inches
  • Medium-sized wading bird
  • Dark brown upperparts
  • Underparts streaked brown and white
  • Black malar streak
  • Yellow bill with dark culmen
  • Black primaries and secondaries
  • Sometimes “freezes” with neck held upwards
  • Immatures similar to adults but lack the malar streak

American Bittern sounds from Cornell

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Birdwatching at Circle B Bar Reserve – 10/26/13

Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) by Lee at Circle B

Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea)

Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power. (Psalms 21:13 KJV)

Had a very productive hour and 40 minute trip to Circle B Bar Reserve Saturday afternoon enjoying the Lord’s creation. The birds are definitely heading back down. After a sparse summer, things are starting to get interesting once more.

Limpkin (Aramus guarauna) by Lee at Circle B

Limpkin (Aramus guarauna) by Lee at Circle B

We haven’t been out there for a while and was a little disappointed in the viewing. It rained considerably this summer and the plants have really grown up making it hard to see the water birds. Even with that, to see 34 species in just under 2 hours is not bad.

Alligator about 8 ft by Lee at Circle B

Alligator about 8 ft by Lee at Circle B

We were greeted with the sounds of the Blue Jays, Carolina Wrens and an Eastern Phoebe. Also, an Armadillo was walking right along the path to the marsh. Later, I spotted about an 8 foot alligator. Those and the normal squirrels were the only, non-birds I saw.

One of the highlights was seeing five Bald Eagles flying over. Two in one group and three in the other. We had just seen an Eagle on Friday down in Lake Wales. I love seeing Eagles.

American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) by Lee at Circle B

American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) by Lee at Circle B

In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah. (Psalms 44:8 KJV)

Two White Ibises landed in one of the trees when we first arrived. With the sun behind them, they remind you of Angel’s Wings. As you can see by the second photo the tree was being loaded up for the night when we passed it on the way out. That is one of the favorite “roosting” places at Circle B.

American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) by Lee at Circle B

American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) and friends

I am including a slideshow to give you an idea of how it was out there. The photography is not the best, but you can tell what the birds are at least. Dan doesn’t have his photos ready.

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Here is a list of what I reported to e-Bird:

Circle B Bar Reserve, Polk, US-FL
Oct 26, 2013 3:45 PM – 5:25 PM
Traveling – 2.5 mile(s)
Clear 79 degrees
34 species
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  15
Pied-billed Grebe  2
Wood Stork  17
Anhinga  5
Great Blue Heron  7
Great Egret  6
Snowy Egret  2
Little Blue Heron  1
Tricolored Heron  1
Cattle Egret  5
White Ibis  88
Glossy Ibis  2
Black Vulture  40
Turkey Vulture  37
Osprey  2
Bald Eagle  5
Purple Gallinule  4
Common Gallinule  6
Limpkin  4
Sandhill Crane  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Eastern Phoebe  2
Blue Jay  2
Fish Crow  5
House Wren  1
Carolina Wren  2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1
Gray Catbird  1
Palm Warbler  3
Yellow-rumped Warbler  1
Northern Cardinal  1
Red-winged Blackbird  1
Boat-tailed Grackle  10
See:
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