Ian’s Bird of the Moment – Gentoo Penguin

As I’ve finally published Volume 2 of the ebook Diary of a Bird Photographer, please bear with me as I begin with a commercial. It is a compilation of the more than 240 Bird of the Week/Moment episodes sent out in the period 2010 to 2018. As these episodes grew in contents over the years, the ebook ended up as a hefty tome of 130,000 words and more than a thousand photos,with the fixed format pdf version running to more than 1,100 pages.

Like its popular predecessor Volume 1 it is designed for ease of use with many internal links, external links to relevant websites particularly additional photos on the Birdway website, and a comprehensive alphabetical index to bird species. Volume 2 contains a new taxonomic index in case for browsing the episodes by members of particular families such as Barn Owls or Honeyeaters. Read more about it by clicking on the image below or its caption to take you to page on the Birdway website.

Diary of a Bird Photographer, Vol 2 by Ian Montgomery

Diary of a Bird Photographer Volume 2

When I retired and wrapped up the Birdway company, I could no longer sell ebooks through the Apple or Google book stores and I started selling them by gettiing intending buyers to contact me for bank account details. This was inconvenient for everyone concerned – particularly for payments in other than Australian dollars – so I have now started selling them through the Payhip website. Payhip takes payment by credit card or PayPal so you can pay and download the books immediately. The new Diary Volume 2 is priced at six Australian dollars. You can visit the Payhip Birdway Store by clicking on the image or caption below.

Ian’s Birding Ebook

The Birdway eBook Store on Payhip

The cover photo of me on the ship the Spirit of Enderby on the trip to the Sub-Antarctic Islands in 2011 brings back great recollections of a memorable voyage, the highlight of which for many of us was the visit to Macquarie Island and its four species of penguins. Two of these, King Penguin and Royal Penguin feature as birds of the week in Volume 2, but here is one, the Gentoo Penguin, which hasn’t been honoured in these pages with its fifteen minutes of fame, to quote Andy Warhol.

Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) by Ian

On the morning of our day on the island, the King and Royal Penguins provide us with endless amusement on the main beach on the sheltered eastern size of the island, number 3 on the Google Earth screen capture below. At lunch time we went to the Research Station, number 1, at lunchtime to meet the personnel and we find the Gentoos in reasonable numbers in their preferred breeding habitat, the tussocky grass just south of the station.

Northern Tip of Macuarie Island from Google Earth by Ian

Gentoos look to me quite small and dumpy in illustrations and photos, but they are fairly large, with a length up to 80cm/32in and weighting between 4.5-8.5kg/10-19lbs. Unlike the curious King and Royal Penguins they don’t take much notice of us and stand or lie around looking rather bored. Adult Gentoos, first two Gentoo photos, have a white eye ring, a white patch over each eye and a white line joining the two patches across the top of the head. Their plumage is blackish and the bill and legs are brightly coloured, red or orange.

Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) by Ian

Most of the Gentoos have finished breeding bur their are still a few juveniles in the breeding area, like this rather woolly individual on the left below below. Unlike other Penguin species, Gentoos will relay if the first clutch is lost, so maybe this has happened here. Gentoos are unusual in that the parents continue feeding the young for up to two months after they have fledged.

Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) by Ian

Unlike the Royal and King Penuins on the sheltered eastern beach, the non-breeding Gentoos show a preference for the exposed beach on the western side of the island. The beach in this photo faces northwest and is shown and number 2 in the Google Earth image above. This beach is also popular with the Macquarie (Imperial) Shags which are busy ferrying seaweed as building material for nests on a rocky headland. The thick-skinned Elephant Seals are also at home on this beach and you can see their prostrate forms in the photo below.

Western Side of Macuarie Island by Ian

Immature Gentoos are to be seen wandering around on this beach either full of the joys of Spring (next photo) or pretending to be Elephant Seas (following photo). You can see that their plumage is browner than that of the adults, the white supra-orbital patches and eye-rings are incompletely developed and their bills and feet are less brightly coloured. Gentoos take two years to reach sexual maturity but I suppose, given their proximity to the nesting colony, that these ones are older juveniles from the current breeding.

Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) Juvenile by Ian

The Gentoo is the most northerly of the three species in the genus Pygoscelis and its circumpolar range is mainly north of Antarctica, breeding on Sub-Antarctic islands in the southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans. The only place it breeds on Antarctica itself is on the Antarctic Peninsula south of South America. The other two members of the genus, the Chinstrap and Adelie Penguins, have more southerly ranges particularly the Adelie. The specific name papua, odd for a Sub-Antartic species, does in fact refer to the natives of New Guinea as J.R. Forster, who named it in 1781, as he thought erroneously that they had curly feathers.

Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) Juvenile by Ian

The fourth species of Penguin on Macquarie is the Southern Rockhopper Rockhoppers indeed, they are not to be found on the easily accessible part of the island where we spend the day. In the afternoon we return to the ship in the Zodiacs and do a detour via the rocky headland shown as number 4 on the Google Earth image to have a look at them.

I’ve been leading a fairly sedentary existence since my last visit to Europe three years ago. Editing Volume 2 of the Diary has given me itchy feet, so a visit to South America this coming October is being planned.

Greetings

Ian Montgomery


“All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.: (1 Corinthians 15:39 KJV)

They may swim in the sea, but those Gentoo Penguins are still birds.

Thanks again, Ian, for another Bird of the Moment. They are always a welcome surprise when they arrive. Glad you were able to complete your second volume of the Bird Photographer Diary. We have produced many of those Bird of the Week articles here over the years. We have been enjoying your adventures around the world as you seek our Avian Wonders.

See Ian’s Birds of the Week

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Walter the Directionally Challenged Goose

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Walter the Directionally Challenged Goose by Emma Foster

Once there was a large Canadian goose named Walter. He lived in the north beside a little pond, and he went south for the winter. Sometimes he got lost because he didn’t know which way was North and which way was South. Walter was directionally challenged. On the times he did not get lost, he usually stayed by the beach where it was warm.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) ©USFWS

Is That South?

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Or Is That South?

Walter loved to stay by his little pond because it had just the right amount of grass, the water was always cool, and he always had plenty to eat. After successfully making his way back to the pond after flying south for the winter, Walter looked forward to relaxing in the warm spring sun. However, he noticed that it was a bit colder than he remembered it being at that time of year.

Walter started thinking. Maybe he had come back too early or maybe he had come back too late and it was already winter again. A few moments later it started to snow, and Walter began to shiver. He decided that he would just have to go back south for the rest of the winter, though he first had to figure out which way South was again. After thinking for another minute in the snow, Walter soared into the sky and began flying, nearly running into a few trees in the process.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Kent Nickel

After flying for what felt like hours, Walter thought that the air seemed a bit warmer. He didn’t know if he was South yet because he hadn’t found a beach or anything. Eventually, however, he found a large lake that seemed like the perfect place to spend the winter. Walter dove down toward the lake, skimming down to what he thought was water.

Bang! Walter flew straight into a giant garage door then tumbled down toward the water. The garage door was so close to the lake that Walter accidentally misdirected his flight by a few feet. He felt fine, but he decided to lie there for a few minutes before getting up. After a while, he fell asleep.

When Walter woke up, he realized he was in a small cage. He flailed about trying to get out. He was afraid because he didn’t know where he was, but he was able to calm down when a lady came in and gave him some food. Walter noticed a while later that his foot was bandaged.

Canadian Goose with injured foot

Walter stayed at the veterinary clinic for a few days while his foot healed. When he was able to walk a little better, he waddled around the clinic, where he met new people. The veterinarians at the clinic always said hello when Walter wandered into the front lobby, and he always had plenty to eat. He grew very comfortable at the clinic because he was never lonely.

A few days later, some of the vets took Walter to the lake where he had attempted to land earlier and set him free. For a while, he kept following them back to the truck because he didn’t want them to leave.

When the truck pulled away, Walter sat by the lake, sad. After a few minutes of thinking, he suddenly came up with a good idea. He flew up into the air, swooped down, and hit the same garage door again, though this time lightly enough so that he wouldn’t get injured as badly.

The veterinarians came back and took him to the clinic, even though Walter was perfectly fine this time. The vets at the clinic ultimately decided to let Walter stay since he liked it there so much, and Walter was very happy now because he didn’t have to worry about which way was South and which way was North.


Lee’s Addition:

Wow! Emma. Another great story. This is very interesting, especially because of all the birds that are migrating north now. I hope there aren’t any other “directionally challenged” birds facing Walter’s dilemma.

Maybe Walter should have prayed and read Psalm 143:8 before he travels.

“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk [FLY], for I lift up my soul unto thee.” (Psalms 143:8 KJV)

See Emma’s Other Stories

 

Answer’s Dingo Dog

Singing Dogs at Lowry Pk Zoo by Lee

Ken Ham, from Answers in Genesis, wrote an article about Dingos, The Dingo—It’s Not a Dog, But It’s a “Dog”. We have watched a pair of them at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa many times.

In fact the ones at Lowry are promoted as “Singing Dogs.”

Singing Dog Sign LPZ by Lee

“they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort.” (Genesis 7:14 NKJV)

Anyway, the article tell how with DNA testing, it is just again proving that the Lord created different “Kinds” with in the Dog Family. The Dingo is its own species, yet it is still in the Canidae Family. They “can reproduce with domestic and feral dogs.”

I always enjoy when real science reveals the truths which the Lord God has already revealed in His Word, the Bible.

Here’s a video that I took at the zoo when the two of them got to calling/singing back and forth.

“There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.” (1 Corinthians 14:10 KJV)

Singing Dogs at Lowry Pk Zoo

“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!” (Psalms 150:6 NKJV)

New Guinea Singing Dogs at Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa, Florida

The Dingo—It’s Not a Dog, But It’s a “Dog”

A previous blog here about the Singing Dogs:

Singing Dogs at Lowry Park Zoo

3:16 The Numbers of Hope

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Sardonyx

 

Two-barred Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)(White-winged) by Raymond Barlow

Two-barred Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera)(White-winged) by Raymond Barlow

“The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, …. the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.” (Revelation 21:19a-20 NKJV)

While searching for material on these foundation stones, this article caught my attention. It appears that Cindy had the same questions as we are trying to figure out. I believe her blog is inactive, but this is still posted. Precious Jewels by Cindy. She had this chart with 12 stones of the foundations.

12 Jewels Foundation New Jerusalem ©Sundayswithcindy

“Pretty impressive, isn’t it? Actually, it will exceed far beyond what our human minds can even conceive when we try to imagine the beauty and magnificence of that holy city. I Corinthians 2:9 tells us, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
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My curiosity was up, though, when it came to those precious gemstones. What were their colors? How would they look all sandwiched together? I knew I could not begin to imagine the scope of its beauty, but at least I wanted to get some glimpse of what it might appear to be. I mean, we can try to imagine the pearly gates, and even the streets of pure gold although the Bible says the pure gold will be like transparent glass, but the foundation of all those beautifully colored jewels? Ahh—how lovely to have the world at our fingertips via the Internet! In a matter of seconds, my curiosity about the precious gemstones of the foundation was satisfied!” [Bolding added]

Ocellated Tapaculo (Acropternis orthonyx) ©WikiC

Through the rest of her article, she discovered what I am finding. Names of those stones are not the same today. So, if these birds aren’t a perfect match, please forgive us.
There are no birds with the name of “sardonyx” in it, but the two tones of red seems interesting enough to try to find some birds like that.  All the translations I searched have either Sardonyx or just Onyx. [There are a few birds with ONYX in their scientific name[

Pearl Kite (Gampsonyx swainsonii) ©Flickr Fernando Flores

Here are what some of the study Bibles and commentaries say:
NKJV MacArthur Study Bible – “ sardonyx. A variety of chalcedony with parallel layers of red and white”
KJ Study Bible Notes – ” sardonyx is red and white”
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown – “sardonyx — a gem having the redness of the cornelian, and the whiteness of the onyx.”
IBS – “Sardonyx – White stone with red layers.
John Gill – “The fifth, sardonyx,…. Which is partly of the sardian, and partly of the onyx stone, which resembles a man’s nail, from whence it has its name; it is reddish, bordering on white; it may be thought to answer to the onyx in the breastplate, on which was written the name of Joseph.”

Australian Logrunner (Orthonyx temminckii) by Ian

So with all of these, looks like there must be some reddish and white birds around somewhere. Let’s see what we can find:

Cape Longclaw (Macronyx capensis) ©WikiC

I still haven’t found what I was hoping to find. This next bird is getting closer.

Rosy-throated Longclaw (Macronyx ameliae) ©WikiC

But this is the color of most sardonyx they show on the internet:

Red onyx – Handicraft ©WikiC

Have you seen any birds like that? Let me see what we have already shown here on the blog.

Red-throated Twinspot (Hypargos niveoguttatus) ©WikiC

None of these absolutely match our Sardonyx stone, but are they amazing Avian Wonders from their creator?

*** Articles in this Series so far:

Is There a God?

How Are We Reflecting God’s Light?

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl) by Judd Patterson

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl) by Judd Patterson

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.” (Isaiah 60:1 KJV)

Yesterday’s article, Precious Stones and Birds – Colors, show how light can be changed into different colors as it passes through a prism.  Also, that the Lord God, the Creator of all we see here on earth is the source of light. Today you will see how light reflecting on bird’s feathers, especially Hummingbirds, helps demonstrate that fact.

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Here are some videos and photos of Hummingbirds showing how the light reflects on these birds.

ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD VANCOUVER, BC (2018)

Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) Little color from side ©WikiC

Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) With Light Shining on it ©WikiC

Light reflects off the feathers of Hummingbirds. Here are some photos:

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) by Michael Woodruff

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) by Michael Woodruff

Scintillant Hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla) by Judd Patterson

Scintillant Hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla) by Judd Patterson

The Ruby-topaz Hummingbird is a nice example of how the light shinning on the hummer.

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, not reflecting light

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) Some Reflection ©Flickr Neil DeMaster

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) No Reflection ©Flickr Budgora

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) Some Reflection ©Flickr Budgora

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) Reflection ©Flickr Dick Knight

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) Reflection ©Flickr Budgora

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) ©WikiC

How well are we reflecting the Lord’s light?

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16 KJV)

Wordless Birds – With Hummingbirds

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Emerald

Garden Emerald (Chlorostilbon assimilis) ©WikiC

“And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;” (Revelation 21:19 KJV)

Emerald from (Muzo Mine Boyaca Colombie) ©WikiC

You know what? Checking through previous post about the Emerald stone, the article Avian and Attributes – Emerald explains this verse very well. It is being copied here again.

Coppery-headed Emerald by Ray

Coppery-headed Emerald by Ray

“And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;” (Revelation 21:19 KJV)

“And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” (Revelation 4:3 KJV)


Avian and Attributes – Definition Name

EM’ERALD, n. [L. smaragdus.] A mineral and a precious stone, whose colors are a pure, lively green, varying to a pale, yellowish, bluish, or grass green. It is always crystallized, and almost always appears in regular, hexahedral prisms, more or less perfect, and sometimes slightly modified by truncations on the edges, or on the solid angles. It is a little harder than quartz, becomes electric by friction, is often transparent, sometimes only translucent, and before the blowpipe is fusible into a whitish enamel or glass. The finest emeralds have been found in Peru.
The subspecies of emerald are the precious emerald and the beryl. [Webster]

Emerald
Exodus 39:11 (c) This green stone represents praise, worship and adoration which begins now and lasts throughout eternity. Judah which means “praise” had his name graven on the emerald stone on the breastplate of the high priest.

Rev. 4:3 (c) This complete rainbow was given this color to typify the eternal character of GOD’s grace and the everlasting nature of GOD’s covenant of mercy. It was “green” to signify eternal praise. [Wilson’s Dictionary of Bible Types]


Emerald Tanager (Tangara florida) ©WikiC

Emerald Birds

There are six birds that have a first name of Emerald: Emerald Starling, Emerald Tanager, Emerald Toucanet, Emerald-bellied Puffleg, Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove. There are also Hummingbird family members that are Emeralds.

“Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:” (Psalms 146:5-6 KJV)


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[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]


*** Articles in this Series so far:

Other Articles about Emerald Birds:

Avian And Attributes – Emerald

Lee’s Two Word Tuesday – 6/13/17

What will you do with Jesus?

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Chalcedony

Chalcedony (Variety Agate) Quartz ©WikiC

“And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;” (Revelation 21:19 KJV)

The Chalcedony stone in the foundation of the New Jerusalem is really a challenge. I have consulted the internet and my Bible programs, e-Sword and Bible Gateway. Also searched the Latin or scientific terms for names even close to “Chalcedony.” Most to no avail as far as finding birds that have chalcedony or a derivative in their names.

As you will see from the quotes below, most seem to mention white (and milky), gray (grey), blue, or a pearly color. Let me see. Out of over 10,000 birds, surely I can find a few to share with you.

Lavender Waxbill (Estrilda caerulescens) ©WikiC

Lavendar Blue Chalcedony ©Mineral_net

THE GEMSTONE CHALCEDONY
“Chalcedony is the form of Quartz that is compact and microcrystalline. It occurs in many different forms, colors, and patterns, and many varieties have been used as gemstones since antiquity. In the gemstone trade, the term Chalcedony is often used specifically to describe the white, gray, or blue translucent type of Chalcedony, but its technical term includes all additional varieties.” [Minerals.net]

Chalcedony
“Rev_21:19. With it the third foundation of the wall of New Jerusalem is adorned. An agate-like quartz in modern mineralogy, of pearly luster and transparent, found in the Travascus mine in Cornwall. Cups, plates, knife handles, etc. are formed of it in India. Pliny makes it resemble turquoise; others make it of a light brown. The chalcedony of Theophrastus is called from Chalcedon in ancient Thrace, and was the copper emerald obtained from the mines there.” [Fausset’s Bible Dictionary, emphasis mine]

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) by Ian

Polished Agate Portion ©Mineral.net

“Chalcedony. Chalcedony occurs only in Rev_21:19. The name is applied, in modern mineralogy, to one of the varieties of agate. It is generally translucent and exhibits a great variety of colors. So named because, it was found near the ancient Chalcedon, near Constantinople.” [Smith’s Bible Dictionary]

chalkedon (G5472), the name of a gem, including several varieties, one of which resembles a cornelian, is “supposed to denote a green silicate of copper found in the mines near Chalcedon” (Swete, on the Apocalypse), Rev_21:19.” [Vine’s]

Crowned Woodnymph (Thalurania colombica) by RScanlon

Crowned Woodnymph (Thalurania colombica) by RScanlon

Chalcedony moss agate gem Mineral.net

“CHALCEDONY, n. A subspecies of quartz, a mineral called also white agate, resembling milk diluted with water, and more or less clouded or opake, with veins, circles and spots. It is used in jewelry.
The varieties of chalcedony are common chalcedony, heliotrope, chrysoprase, plasma, onyx, sard and sardonyx.” [Webster’s Dictionary 1828]

Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea) ©©LipKee

Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea) ©©LipKee

Quartz Article_Figure Milky Quartz ©IUBloomingtion

THE GEMSTONE CHALCEDONY
“Chalcedony is the form of Quartz that is compact and microcrystalline. It occurs in many different forms, colors, and patterns, and many varieties have been used as gemstones since antiquity. In the gemstone trade, the term Chalcedony is often used specifically to describe the white, gray, or blue translucent type of Chalcedony, but its technical term includes all additional varieties.” [Minerals.net]

Blue-grey Tanager (Thraupis episcopus) by Raymond Barlow

Blue-grey Tanager (Thraupis episcopus) by Raymond Barlow

Agate – Blue Lace – Chalcedony – Nambia ©Stephanie Clifford

Chalcedony has a waxy luster, and may be semitransparent or translucent. It can assume a wide range of colors, but those most commonly seen are white to gray, grayish-blue or a shade of brown ranging from pale to nearly black. The color of chalcedony sold commercially is often enhanced by dyeing or heating.” [Wikipedia – Chalcedony]

Whatever that third layer is going to look like, it will be spectacular!!!

“The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;” (Revelation 21:19b KJV)


*** Articles in this Series so far:

Wordless Birds – With Hummingbirds

 

Luzon Water Redstart

“I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.” (Psalms 50:11 NKJV)

Myra, a follower, now a friend, from the Philippines, shared this video of a Luzon Water Redstart. Her daughters journeyed up Mt. Pulag a few weeks ago. They spotted the Redstart and captured it with their phone’s camera. Myra always ask them to “bird watch for me.” And now, Myra is sharing that video with us. Thanks, Myra, and your two daughters.

“The Luzon water redstart (Phoenicurus bicolor) is a species of bird in the family Muscicapidae. It is endemic to the Philippines. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, and rivers. It is threatened by habitat loss.

This species was formerly placed in the genus Rhyacornis but was moved to Phoenicurus based on the results of a molecular phylogenetic study published in 2010.” [Wikipedia]

Luzon Water Redstart (Phoenicurus bicolor) ©Myra

I have to admit, I chuckled when I saw how the video ended. How many times have we watched a bird, only to have it disappear into the bushes or leaves. BUT! At least it was spotted.

Here is an interesting article with two videos about this little avian wonder from our Lord. Luzon Water Redstart, Take 2

Happy Birdwatching!!

Why Use The Ark?

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) ©WikiC

An article in the latest issue of Answers in Genesis Magazine, “As The Bird Flies,”, p.20, tells about the Willow Warbler. This little bird weighs only “0.4 ounce (10 g) … and migrate more than 8,000 miles (13,000 km) from eastern Siberia to Kenya and Tanzania in Africa.”

The article goes on to tell how much research has been done with this bird and its migratory habits. The internet has many articles about this fantastic avian wonder from the Lord. Another article, Study: Siberian Willow Warblers Migrate Incredible 8,000 Miles One Way.

“All populations are highly migratory, with the subspecies P. t. yakutensis migrating up to 12,000 km from eastern Siberia to southern Africa along the Asian – East African Flyway, one of the longest migrations of any for a bird of its size. Approximate timings are:

October to March: wintering in sub Saharan Africa.
Mid March to mid May: migrates and arrives in the breeding range.
Late April to August: breeding season, usually only one brood but rarely two.
August to October: migrates back to Africa.” [Wikipedia – Willow Warbler]

Answers article continues with this remark: “Their surprisingly complex navigational abilities showcase the Creator’s ingenious design”

They then challenge those who sort of believe in creation, but the flood gives them problems. Many only believe in a “Local Flood.” My take on this and theirs is: Why Get In The Ark When You Can Fly? “Why couldn’t the animals just leave the area instead of getting on a ship, especially if a bird that weights less than a few paper clips can trave more than 8,000 miles?”

“In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.” (Genesis 7:13-14 KJV)

“And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.” (Genesis 7:19-23 KJV)

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) ©WikiC

Sharing The Gospel

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Sapphire

Sapphire Gem ©WikiC

“And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;” (Revelation 21:19 KJV)

For now, the first stone – “Jasper,” is being skipped. I am still researching what is the color or colors of the Jasper stone. Some have it all over the color spectrum. Also, there is no bird with the name “Jasper” in it. Later.

The Sapphire is beautiful and is typically blue, but varies. Sapphire is also the stone used to represent those born in September. Yeah, my birth month. “Sapphire is the birthstone for September and the gem of the 45th anniversary. A sapphire jubilee occurs after 65 years.” [Wikipedia]

Sapphire-bellied-hummingbird-perched-on-branch ©ARKive

A rare variety of natural sapphire, known as color-change sapphire, exhibits different colors in different light. Color change sapphires are blue in outdoor light and purple under incandescent indoor light, or green to gray-green in daylight and pink to reddish-violet in incandescent light. Color change sapphires come from a variety of locations, including Thailand and Tanzania. The color-change effect is caused by the interaction of the sapphire, which absorbs specific wavelengths of light, and the light-source, whose spectral output varies depending upon the illuminant. Transition-metal impurities in the sapphire, such as chromium and vanadium, are responsible for the color change. [Wikipedia]

Uncut Yellow Sapphire ©Wikipedia

The sapphire is mentioned in nine verses in the King James version of the Bible.

“And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.” (Exodus 24:10 KJV)

Sapphire Flycatcher (Ficedula sapphira) ©WikiC

“And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.” [The breastplate of judgment] (Exodus 28:18 and 39:11 KJV)

White-chinned Sapphire (Hylocharis cyanus) by Dario Sanches

“But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living. The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me. It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.” (Job 28:12-16 KJV)

Sapphire-spangled Emerald (Amazilia lactea) by Dario Sanches

“And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.” (Ezekiel 1:26 KJV)

Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird ©LauraLFel

“Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne.” (Ezekiel 10:1 KJV)

Blue-chinned Sapphire (Chlorestes notata) ©WikiC

“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.” (Ezekiel 28:13 KJV)

Sapphire-vented Puffleg (Eriocnemis luciani) by Michael Woodruff

Sapphire-vented Puffleg (Eriocnemis luciani) by Michael Woodruff

I trust you enjoyed seeing some of the birds with Sapphire in their name.

Previous Blogs that used Verses with Sapphires in them:

*** Articles in this Series so far:

Wordless Birds – With Hummingbirds

Longing For Robins by Dorothy Belle Malcolm

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by Ian

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by Ian

It has been 10 years since I’ve seen a robin in my yard. When they came then, it was an amazing sight which I have cherished. Once there was a Baltimore Oriole, however, that was many years ago. In the meantime, there are a variety that come to my feeder and the neighborhood for which I am happy about and keep food out for them.

Puzzle by a window ©Pxhere

I sit at a table which always has a puzzle on it, and if I don’t make sudden moves, I enjoy watching them. Of course the Sandhill Cranes walk around the neighborhood, The Cooper’s Hawks and Crows don’t come to my yard, but I see them in the trees as I walk.

The regular visitors are Blue Jays, Red-winged Blackbirds, Red-headed Woodpecker, Turtle Doves, Titmice, and Sparrows.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)by Raymond Barlow

American Robin)by Raymond Barlow

In my heart I’m longing for the joy of seeing just one Robin. Maybe it will happen this spring.

2/22/19 Dorothy Malcolm


“But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.” (John 11:22 KJV)

Lee’s Addition:

It has been awhile since Dottie (Dorothy) has written an article for us. I asked her if she would like to write another one. Here is her latest birdwatching desire. The verse is one I have used while birdwatching. I have asked the Lord to please have the bird in that bush come out where I can see it better. Maybe even take a photo. Not surprising, some have appeared to my delight. I think the Lord cares about our desires, especially when observing His Creation. Dottie, we are praying that the Lord will let some Robins land in your yard when they start migrating back north this spring. Stay Tuned!

If you have missed some of Dottie (Dorothy’s) stories, they are listed below. She is also Emma Foster’s grandmother. Humm! Wonder if that is where Emma started her interest in her birdwatching tales? Emma’s Stories

Dorothy (Dottie) Belle Malcolm’s:

Avian and Attributes – Stone

Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) ©WikiC

There is only one bird whose name begins with “Stone”. How does stone describe an attribute of the Lord? How about:

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.” (Exodus 24:12 KJV)

The LORD wrote with his own fingers on those tables of stone, basically what we call today the “10 Commandments.”

“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7 KJV)

“Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.” (Isaiah 8:13-15 KJV)

“Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Matthew 21:42-44 KJV)

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (Ephesians 2:20 KJV)

“Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” (1 Peter 2:7-8 KJV)

Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) ©Flickr Jean

STONE, n. [Gr.]
1. A concretion of some species of earth, as lime, silex, clay and the like, usually in combination with some species of air or gas, with sulphur or with a metallic substance; a hard compact body, of any form and size. In popular language, very large masses of concretions are called rocks; and very small concretions are universally called gravel or sand, or grains of sand. Stones are of various degrees of hardness and weight; they are brittle and fusible, but not malleable, ductile, or soluble in water. Stones are of great and extensive use int he construction of buildings of all kinds, for walls, fences, piers, abutments, arches, monuments, sculpture and the like. When we speak of the substance generally, we use stone in the singular; as a house or wall of stone. But when we speak of particular separate masses, we say, a stone, or the stones.
2. A gem; a precious stone.
Inestimable stones, unvalud jewels.
3. Any thing made of stone; a mirror.
7. In Great Britain, the weight of fourteen pounds. [8, 12, 14, or 16.] [Not used in the United States, except in reference to the riders of horses in races.]
8. A monument erected to preserve the memory of the dead.
Should some relentless eye glance on the stone where our cold relics lie–
9. It is used to express torpidness and insensibility; as a heart of stone.
10. Stone is prefixed to some words to qualify their signification. Thus stone-dead, is perfectly dead, as lifeless as a stone; stone-still, still as a stone, perfectly still; stone-blind, blind as a stone, perfectly blind.
To leave no stone unturned, a proverbial expression which signifies to do every thing that can be done; to use all practicable means to effect an object.
Meteoric stones, stones which fall from the atmosphere, as after the displosion of a meteor.
STONE, a. Made of stone, or like stone; as a stone jug.
STONE, v.t.
1. To pelt, beat or kill with stones.
And they stoned Stephen calling on God and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Acts 7.
2. To harden.
4. To wall or face with stones; to line or fortify with stones; as, to stone a well; to stone a cellar. [edited]

Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) ©WikiC

Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) ©WikiC

The Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) is a bird of the new world quail family. This largely brown bird, which commonly holds its tail raised, is found in scrubland and lightly wooded habitats, often near rocks, from Kenya and Ethiopia to Gambia (a large part if its range is in the Sudanian Savanna).

The stone partridge is exceptional among gamebirds in that the female, to human eyes, is showier than the male. Both sexes are predominantly earthy chocolate-brown above, with sparse pale cream-grey spotting. The head, neck and chest are paler brown and have broad cream edging to the feathers that gives the bird a scaled appearance. In males the lower chest and belly are orange-cream; in females, very pale cream. Both sexes raise their crown feathers to form a rudimentary crest but the feathers of females are somewhat longer and hence more obvious when raised.

Eggs are pale pink, fading to cream, juveniles are dark chocolate-brown throughout, molting into adult plumage at several weeks old. In captivity at least, the male plays a major role in both incubation and rearing of the young, offering young small items of food by picking them up, dropping them and calling to the chicks. [Wikipedia with editing]

More Avian and Attributes

Birds whose first name starts with “S”

Good News

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[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]