James J. S. Johnson made a remark on the Tickle Me Tuesday post. Dr. Jim, as I call him, suggested that we revive the Tickle Me Tuesday series. The last one was posted in 2015, so I am sure by now, there must be some more funny videos to discover.
In fact, this Epic Crow and Cat fight is just the one to start us off with a new “Tickle.”
These four are definitely not showing Kindness!!
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;” (Romans 12:10 NKJV)
Just realized I didn’t post this. Again, it is a duplicate of a Waterman Bird Collection – Part II – Petrel & Crow article on the Birds of the Bible for Kids blog. [I am behind in blogging] This time it is about the Leach’s Storm Petrel and the Crow.
As promised, in Waterman Bird Collection – Part II, here are the last two birds from that display. The Leach’s Storm Petrel and the Crow will now be introduced. Many of you already have heard of a Crow, but how about a Storm Petrel? Let’s see what we can find out about these avian creations from the Creator.
BJU Bird Collection 2018 Bottom Shelf
The two birds today are the two right hand birds in the Display.
The Leach’s Storm Petrel [at the top] is starting to show a tiny bit of deterioration, but considering it’s over 100 years old, it’s not too much.
“The Leach’s Storm Petrel or Leach’s Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) is a small seabird of the tubenose order. It is named after the British zoologist William Elford Leach. The scientific name is derived from Ancient Greek. Oceanodroma is from okeanos, “ocean” and dromos, “runner”, and leucorhoa is from leukos, “white” and orrhos, “rump”.
“It breeds on inaccessible islands in the colder northern areas of the Atlantic and Pacific. It nests in colonies close to the sea in well concealed areas such as rock crevices, shallow burrows or even logs. It lays a single white egg which often has a faint ring of spots at the large end. This storm petrel is strictly nocturnal at the breeding sites to avoid predation by gulls and skuas, and will even avoid coming to land on clear moonlit nights. The largest colony of Leach’s storm petrels can be found on Baccalieu Island of eastern Canada, an ecological reserve with more than 3 million pairs of the bird.” [Wikipedia with editing]
Fun Fact: “Flies swiftly, erratically, buoyantly with 1 or 2 fast, powerful flaps followed by glides on wings held well above the horizontal and noticeably kinked; sudden changes of direction impart a bounding quality. Flutters less than other storm-petrels.” [Neotropical Birds]
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) BJU Bird Collection 2018
The last bird in the part of the collection is a Crow. It wasn’t shown which one exactly, so we are using the American Crow.
“The American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is a large passerine bird species of the family Corvidae. It is a common bird found throughout much of North America. American crows are the new world counterpart to the carrion crow and the hooded crow. Although the American crow and the hooded crow are very similar in size, structure and behavior, their calls are different. The American crow nevertheless occupies the same role the hooded crow does in Eurasia.”
Florida Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) at Lake Morton By Dan’sPix
“From beak to tail, an American crow measures 40–50 cm (16–20 in), almost half of which is tail. Mass varies from about 300 to 600 g (11 to 21 oz). Males tend to be larger than females. The most usual call is CaaW!-CaaW!-CaaW!.’
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) by Ray
“The American crow is all black, with iridescent feathers. It looks much like other all-black corvids. They can be distinguished from the common raven (C. corax) because American crows are smaller and from the fish crow (C. ossifragus) because American crows do not hunch and fluff their throat feathers when they call, and from the carrion crow (C. corone) by the enunciation of their calls.” [American Crow – Wikipedia]
Crows sometimes make and use tools. Examples include a captive crow using a cup to carry water over to a bowl of dry mash; shaping a piece of wood and then sticking it into a hole in a fence post in search of food; and breaking off pieces of pine cone to drop on tree climbers near a nest.
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) at Bok Tower By Dan’sPix
The Crow and the Blue Jay.
The Burgess Bird Book For Children
Listen to the story read.
CHAPTER 17. More Robbers.
By the sounds of rejoicing among the feathered folks of the Old Orchard Johnny Chuck knew that it was quite safe for him to come out. He was eager to tell Skimmer the Tree Swallow how glad he was that Mr. Blacksnake had been driven away before he could get Skimmer’s eggs. As he poked his head out of his doorway he became aware that something was still wrong in the Old Orchard. Into the glad chorus there broke a note of distress and sorrow. Johnny instantly recognized the voices of Welcome Robin and Mrs. Robin. There is not one among his feathered neighbors who can so express worry and sorrow as can the Robins.
Johnny was just in time to see all the birds hurrying over to that part of the Old Orchard where the Robins had built their home. The rejoicing suddenly gave way to cries of indignation and anger, and Johnny caught the words, “Robber! Thief! Wretch!” It appeared that there was just as much excitement over there as there had been when Mr. Blacksnake had been discovered trying to rob Skimmer and Mrs. Skimmer. It couldn’t be Mr. Blacksnake again, because Farmer Brown’s boy had chased him in quite another direction.
“What is it now?” asked Johnny of Skimmer, who was still excitedly discussing with Mrs. Skimmer their recent fright.
“I don’t know, but I’m going to find out,” replied Skimmer and darted away.
Johnny Chuck waited patiently. The excitement among the birds seemed to increase, and the chattering and angry cries grew louder. Only the voices of Welcome and Mrs. Robin were not angry. They were mournful, as if Welcome and Mrs. Robin were heartbroken. Presently Skimmer came back to tell Mrs. Skimmer the news.
“The Robins have lost their eggs!” he cried excitedly. “All four have been broken and eaten. Mrs. Robin left them to come over here to help drive away Mr. Blacksnake, and while she was here some one ate those eggs. Nobody knows who it could have been, because all the birds of the Old Orchard were over here at that time. It might leave been Chatterer the Red Squirrel, or it might have been Sammy Jay, or it might have been Creaker the Grackle, or it might have been Blacky the Crow. Whoever it was just took that chance to sneak over there and rob that nest when there was no one to see him.”
Crow at Flamingo Gardens by Lee
Just then from over towards the Green Forest sounded a mocking “Caw, caw, caw!” Instantly the noise in the Old Orchard ceased for a moment. Then it broke out afresh. There wasn’t a doubt now in any one’s mind. Blacky the Crow was the robber. How those tongues did go! There was nothing too bad to say about Blacky. And such dreadful things as those birds promised to do to Blacky the Crow if ever they should catch him in the Old Orchard.
“Caw, caw, caw!” shouted Blacky from the distance, and his voice sounded very much as if he thought he had done something very smart. It was quite clear that at least he was not sorry for what he had done.
All the birds were so excited and so angry, as they gathered around Welcome and Mrs. Robin trying to comfort them, that it was some time before their indignation meeting broke up and they returned to their own homes and duties. Almost at once there was another cry of distress. Mr. and Mrs. Chebec had been robbed of their eggs! While they had been attending the indignation meeting at the home of the Robins, a thief had taken the chance to steal their eggs and get away.
Of course right away all the birds hurried over to sympathize with the Chebecs and to repeat against the unknown thief all the threats they had made against Blacky the Crow. They knew it couldn’t have been Blacky this time because they had heard Blacky cawing over on the edge of the Green Forest. In the midst of the excited discussion as to who the thief was, Weaver the Orchard Oriole spied a blue and white feather on the ground just below Chebec’s nest.
“It was Sammy Jay! There is no doubt about it, it was Sammy Jay!” he cried.
At the sight of that telltale feather all the birds knew that Weaver was right, and led by Scrapper the Kingbird they began a noisy search of the Old Orchard for the sly robber. But Sammy wasn’t to be found, and they soon gave up the search, none daring to stay longer away from his own home lest something should happen there. Welcome and Mrs. Robin continued to cry mournfully, but little Mr. and Mrs. Chebec bore their trouble almost silently.
“There is one thing about it,” said Mr. Chebec to his sorrowful little wife, “that egg of Sally Sly’s went with the rest, and we won’t have to raise that bothersome orphan.”
“That’s true,” said she. “There is no use crying over what can’t be helped. It is a waste of time to sit around crying. Come on, Chebec, let’s look for a place to build another nest. Next time I won’t leave the eggs unwatched for a minute.”
Meanwhile Jenny Wren’s tongue was fairly flying as she chattered to Peter Rabbit, who had come up in the midst of the excitement and of course had to know all about it.
Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) at Lake Morton By Dan’sPix
“Blacky the Crow has a heart as black as his coat, and his cousin Sammy Jay isn’t much better,” declared Jenny. “They belong to a family of robbers.”
“Wait a minute,” cried Peter. “Do you mean to say that Blacky the Crow and Sammy Jay are cousins?”
“For goodness’ sake, Peter!” exclaimed Jenny, “do you mean to say that you don’t know that? Of course they’re cousins. They don’t look much alike, but they belong to the same family. I would expect almost anything bad of any one as black as Blacky the Crow. But how such a handsome fellow as Sammy Jay can do such dreadful things I don’t understand. He isn’t as bad as Blacky, because he does do a lot of good. He destroys a lot of caterpillars and other pests.
“There are no sharper eyes anywhere than those of Sammy Jay, and I’ll have to say this for him, that whenever he discovers any danger he always gives us warning. He has saved the lives of a good many of us feathered folks in this way. If it wasn’t for this habit of stealing our eggs I wouldn’t have a word to say against him, but at that, he isn’t as bad as Blacky the Crow. They say Blacky does some good by destroying white grubs and some other harmful pests, but he’s a regular cannibal, for he is just as fond of young birds as he is of eggs, and the harm he does in this way is more than the good he does in other ways. He’s bold, black, and bad, if you ask me.”
Remembering her household duties, Jenny Wren disappeared inside her house in her usual abrupt fashion. Peter hung around for a while but finding no one who would take the time to talk to him he suddenly decided to go over to the Green Forest to look for some of his friends there. He had gone but a little way in the Green Forest when he caught a glimpse of a blue form stealing away through the trees. He knew it in an instant, for there is no one with such a coat but Sammy Jay. Peter glanced up in the tree from which Sammy had flown and there he saw a nest in a crotch halfway up. “I wonder,” thought Peter, “if Sammy was stealing eggs there, or if that is his own nest.” Then he started after Sammy as fast as he could go, lipperty-lipperty-lip. As he ran he happened to look back and was just in time to see Mrs. Jay slip on to the nest. Then Peter knew that he had discovered Sammy’s home. He chuckled as he ran.
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) by Daves BirdingPix
“I’ve found out your secret, Sammy Jay!” cried Peter when at last he caught up with Sammy.
“Then I hope you’ll be gentleman enough to keep it,” grumbled Sammy, looking not at all pleased.
“Certainly,” replied Peter with dignity. “I wouldn’t think of telling any one. My, what a handsome fellow you are, Sammy.”
Sammy looked pleased. He is a little bit vain, is Sammy Jay. There is no denying that he is handsome. He is just a bit bigger than Welcome Robin. His back is grayish-blue. His tail is a bright blue crossed with little black bars and edged with white. His wings are blue with white and black bars. His throat and breast are a soft grayish-white, and he wears a collar of black. On his head he wears a pointed cap, a very convenient cap, for at times he draws it down so that it is not pointed at all.
“Why did you steal Mrs. Chebec’s eggs?” demanded Peter abruptly.
Sammy didn’t look the least bit put out. “Because I like eggs,” he replied promptly. “If people will leave their eggs unguarded they must expect to lose them. How did you know I took those eggs?”
“Never mind, Sammy; never mind. A little bird told me,” retorted Peter mischievously.
Sammy opened his mouth for a sharp reply, but instead he uttered a cry of warning. “Run, Peter! Run! Here comes Reddy Fox!” he cried.
Peter dived headlong under a great pile of brush. There he was quite safe. While he waited for Reddy Fox to go away he thought about Sammy Jay. “It’s funny,” he mused, “how so much good and so much bad can be mixed together. Sammy Jay stole Chebec’s eggs, and then he saved my life. I just know he would have done as much for Mr. and Mrs. Chebec, or for any other feathered neighbor. He can only steal eggs for a little while in the spring. I guess on the whole he does more good than harm. I’m going to think so anyway.”
Peter was quite right. Sammy Jay does do more good than harm.
When they found the feather, a verse comes to mind:
… and be sure your sin will find you out. (Numbers 32:23b NKJV)
Why were Welcome Robin and Mrs. Robin upset?
Which bird was the one who destroyed the eggs?
What did their friends try to do to help the Robins?
Should we do that for our friends also?
Who was the next robber?
How did they know it was him?
Both the Crow and the Blue Jay are cousins. Why?
Why did Peter decide that Sammy Blue Jay was okay?
Can we sin just a little and then do lots of good? Does that make it right?
Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NKJV)
Once there was a crow named Albert who would come to the front yard of a young girl’s house with other crows every day. They came daily because the girl would wait for the crows and feed them bread. This went on every day until the crows decided to bring her a gift in return for the bread.
One by one the crows started bringing little gifts for the girl. One crow found a nickel in a gutter, another found two paperclips by the side of the road, and a third found a shiny gum wrapper by a trashcan.
Albert wanted to bring something to the girl who was very special. Every day after the girl fed all the crows their bread, Albert would start his search. It couldn’t be just anything.
Albert didn’t know it, but a few days before, the girl’s father had been driving down a rough and bumpy road. The girl’s father worked at a construction company so all of his tools were in a toolbox in the passenger seat. The window had been open when the girl’s father went down the rough road so the screwdriver had fallen out the window after the truck had hit a small hole.
Albert had been flying past that road when he noticed something shiny. Swooping down, Albert found the screwdriver and decided to bring it back to the girl.
It took a while for Albert to get the screwdriver in his beak to carry because it was very heavy, but Albert eventually was able to fly off the ground a few feet.
It took even longer to get back to the girl’s house, but when Albert flew to the front yard, the girl walked out to find Albert sitting there with the screwdriver next to him. The girl and her father were happy to see the screwdriver because the girl’s father had been looking for it and he needed it for construction. It was the only screwdriver that he owned.
From then on, the girl was sure to give Albert an extra big crumb of bread whenever he came to her front yard.
And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’
(Luke 15:9 NKJV)
Another fine tale from our developing young writer, Emma. Thanks again, Emma. We can all learn from caring about other, even when it quite a struggle to help.
Ian’s Bird of the Week – Common/Black-billed Magpie ~ by Ian Montgomery
Newsletter ~ 2/9/2015
The Australian Magpie of last week generated quite some interesting correspondence, about both it being an iconic species and bird names and their derivation. I also got a request for a BotW on Butcherbirds, which I’ll do soon, but in the meantime here is the original Magpie of the the Northern Hemisphere. It is, incidentally, on the Australian list, a record from Port Hedland in May 2007 having been accepted by the rarities committee. This species is quite sedentary, the nearest place it occurs naturally is China and Port Hedland is an iron ore port so you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to work out how it got there.
This, unlike the Australian Magpie, is a member of the crow family, Corvidae, and I think you’ll agree that the resemblance between the two species is fairly superficial, not that that ever got in the way of names. The Common or Black-billed Magpie – I’ll get back inevitably to names shortly – has beautifully iridescent wings and tail which can appear blue or green under different lighting conditions, which tells us that the colour is due to the prismatic microscopic structure of the feather rather than coloured pigment. The first photo shows one on a garden wall in suburban Dublin.
The second one was taken in Catalonia at the Northern Goshawk site. Like their cousins the Common Ravens the Magpies were quite brazen and prepared to steal a morsel of food from under the noses of much larger raptors. Also like the Ravens and unlike the raptors, the Magpies noticed the sound of the camera shutter and you can see this one peering warily at the hide. This photo shows the extremely wedged-shaped tail, which is very obvious in flight. The third photo shows a juvenile one in Ireland, very similar to the adult plumage but it still has the slightly swollen gape of a very young bird and, maybe I’m imagining it, an atypically innocent expression.
Common Magpies are iconic too, and as kids in Ireland we attached great significance to the number seen together, according to the nursery rhyme ‘One for sorrow, Two for joy …’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_for_Sorrow_(nursery_rhyme). Magpies, and other crows, have long been considered birds of ill-omen.
Back then, we called them just ‘Magpies’. In later decades, I became aware that, like The Kittiwake and for similar reasons, it acquired a coloured qualification ‘Black-billed’. In the case of the Kittiwake this was to distinguish the black-legged Eurasian one from the Red-legged Kittiwake of the eastern Bering Sea; in the case of the Magpie, it was because of the Yellow-billed Magpie of California, fifth photo, having a very restricted range that overlaps with the much more widespread Black-billed Magpie (fourth photo). The fifth photo, incidentally gives a good idea what the very similar Common/Black-billed Magpie looks like in flight and the white patches on the wing are very striking.
Plus ça change … as they say. I discovered while researching this BotW that Handbook of Birds of the World (HBW) and Birdlife International have accepted the split of the Black-billed/Common into three species: the Common Magpie (Pica pica) of Eurasia, the Black-billed Magpie of North America (Pica hudsonii) – fourth photo – and the Arabian Magpie (Pica asirensis), restricted to a tiny range in SW Saudi Arabia. So the European bird is back to where it started from.
I’m losing patience with avian taxonomists. Molecular studies over the past thirty years have led to countless changes in classification and naming, and not just at the species level. The 2014 HBW Checklist of Birds of the World, volume 1 (non-passerines) has many changes at every level up to order. I’ll repeat what I’ve said before that Linnaeus – he who tried to impose order on chaos – must be turning in his grave. Maybe he is just laughing, and perhaps that’s the right approach.
I used to think what the latest taxonomists said – starting with Sibley and Monroe in 1990 – was the gospel truth and a huge advance in our understanding. I don’t think that anymore! Here is a quote from Birdlife International on the fate of the Rainbow and Red-collared Lorikeets: Trichoglossus haematodus, … T. rubritorquis… (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as T. haematodus following Christidis and Boles (1994), and before then were split as T. haematodus and T. rubritorquis following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993): Lump, split, lump, split!
On a lighter note, I’m giving a talk on ‘Australia: Land of Parrots?’ at the BirdLife Townsville AGM next Saturday 14 February at 2:00pm in the Sound Shell meeting room at Thuringowa. If you’re a local, and even if you’re not, it would be great to see you there. The talk is about parrot diversity and bio-geography – all the Gondwanaland stuff.
Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat. (Job 38:41 KJV)
Here’s a true account of a bird that seemingly ‘dropped ‘ out of the sky and landed near to my feet.
How can I forget when one sunny spring morning a young crow landed exhausted at my feet whilst I was gardening. I picked him up and placed him on a ledge protruding from a large bird house. ” Wait there !! ” I told him, which seemed a bit silly because that bird was in no physical condition to go anywhere for a few days. Neither did he speak English ?
I kept feeding him and spending time talking to him until about 3 days later he hopped on to my head and allowed me to carry on doing some gardening.
Just for fun I knocked at my back door and enquired of my wife if she had seen my bird that day. It was now “my bird ” and it fluttered on to her head ( I still have the photograph ) Might I say it is a rare photo because I am told that not many Dutch women have been seen walking around with a live crow on their heads.
Having established a ” motherly ” relationship with a beautiful shiny black crow I was not really surprised when he used to fly from window to window to check if I was at home. I warned visitors who used my upstairs bathroom that my crow might try to peep in the window whilst looking for me.
It only seemed like a few weeks and my crow seemed to enjoy himself and the regular food I gave him. He must have stayed in my large bird house at night and seemed so pleased to see me every day.
One day whilst out in the garden with my new-found friend, on his feeding perch, there came the sound from above of some crows circling and making crow noises. They seemed to fly away but flew even lower as they spotted “my bird ”
I would like to put a Christian analogy to this story and say that “he heard the call from on high ” then spread his now strong wings and flew heavenward to join his family.
Sometimes I wonder why God speaks to us through His creation but I know that my Heavenly Father sees even the sparrow fall. I kinda believe that He gave ‘my bird ‘ just enough strength to make it to His bird-loving son. It was a short time of teaching and one that I’ll never forget.
ps. On another occasion I tamed a blackbird who use to walk behind me…………….
By Peter England, U.K.
Peter England is a retired pastor who lives in England. He is sending me some of his stories about his encounters with birds from a Christian perspective. I trust we will enjoy these.
He didn’t say what type of Crow, so this is one of the English Crows. Crows and Ravens are in the same family.
Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited
Vol 1. March, 1897 No. 3
Caw! Caw! Caw! little boys and girls. Caw! Caw! Caw! Just look at my coat of feathers. See how black and glossy it is. Do you wonder I am proud of it?
Perhaps you think I look very solemn and wise, and not at all as if I cared to play games. I do, though; and one of the games I like best is hide-and-seek. I play it with the farmer in the spring. He hides, in the rich, brown earth, golden kernels of corn. Surely he does it because he knows I like it, for sometimes he puts up a stick all dressed like a man to show where the corn is hidden. Sometimes I push my bill down into the earth to find the corn, and at other times I wait until tiny green leaves begin to show above the ground, and then I get my breakfast without much trouble. I wonder if the farmer enjoys this game as much as I do. I help him, too, by eating worms and insects.
During the spring and summer I live in my nest on the top of a very high tree. It is built of sticks and grasses and straw and string and anything else I can pick up. But in the fall, I and all my relations and friends live together in great roosts or rookeries. What good times we do have—hunting all day for food and talking all night. Wouldn’t you like to be with us?
The farmer who lives in the house over there went to the mill to-day with a load of corn.
One of the ears dropped out of the wagon and it didn’t take me long to find it. I have eaten all I can possibly hold and am wondering now what is the best thing to do. If you were in my place would you leave it here and not tell anybody and come back to-morrow and finish it? Or would you fly off and get Mrs. Crow and some of the children to come and finish it? I believe I’ll fly and get them. Good-bye.
Caw! Caw! Caw!
Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) at Lake Morton By Dan’sPix
THE COMMON CROW.
“The crow doth sing as merry as the lark,
When neither is attended.”
EW birds have more interesting characteristics than the Common Crow, being, in many of his actions, very like the Raven, especially in his love for carrion. Like the Raven, he has been known to attack game, although his inferior size forces him to call to his assistance the aid of his fellows to cope with larger creatures. Rabbits and hares are frequently the prey of this bird which pounces on them as they steal abroad to feed. His food consists of reptiles, frogs, and lizards; he is a plunderer of other birds’ nests. On the seashore he finds crabs, shrimps and inhabited shells, which he ingeniously cracks by flying with them to a great height and letting them fall upon a convenient rock.
The crow is seen in single pairs or in little bands of four or five. In the autumn evenings, however, they assemble in considerable flocks before going to roost and make a wonderful chattering, as if comparing notes of the events of the day.
The nest of the Crow is placed in some tree remote from habitations of other birds. Although large and very conspicuous at a distance, it is fixed upon one of the topmost branches quite out of reach of the hand of the adventurous urchin who longs to secure its contents. It is loosely made and saucer shaped. Sticks and softer substances are used to construct it, and it is lined with hair and fibrous roots. Very recently a thrifty and intelligent Crow built for itself a summer residence in an airy tree near Bombay, the material used being gold, silver, and steel spectacle frames, which the bird had stolen from an optician of that city. Eighty-four frames had been used for this purpose, and they were so ingeniously woven together that the nest was quite a work of art. The eggs are variable, or rather individual, in their markings, and even in their size. The Crow rarely uses the same nest twice, although he frequently repairs to the same locality from year to year. He is remarkable for his attachment to his mate and young, surpassing the Fawn and Turtle Dove in conjugal courtesy.
And he lives to a good old age. Instances are not rare where he has attained to half a century, without great loss of activity or failure of sight.
At Red Bank, a few miles northeast of Cincinnati, on the Little Miami River, in the bottoms, large flocks of Crows congregate the year around. A few miles away, high upon Walnut Hills, is a Crow roost, and in the late afternoons the Crows, singly, in pairs, and in flocks, are seen on the wing, flying heavily, with full crops, on the way to the roost, from which they descend in the early morning, crying “Caw! Caw!” to the fields of the newly planted, growing, or matured corn, or corn stacks, as the season may provide.
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) by Kent Nickell
The Raven family which includes the Crows is mentioned in Scripture in the list of unclean birds in Leviticus and Deuteronomy (14:14) as “after its kind.”
every raven after its kind, (Leviticus 11:15 NKJV)
Crows form the genus Corvus in the Corvidae – Crows, Jays Family. Ranging in size from the relatively small pigeon-size jackdaws (Eurasian and Daurian) to the Common Raven of the Holarctic region and Thick-billed Raven of the highlands of Ethiopia, the 40 or so members of this genus occur on all temperate continents (except South America) and several offshore and oceanic islands (except for a few, which included Hawaii, which had the Hawaiian crow that went extinct in the wild in 2002). In the United States and Canada, the word “crow” is used to refer to the American Crow.
The crow genus makes up a third of the species in the Corvidae family. A group of crows is called a flock or, more poetically, a murder, But the term “murder of crows” mostly reflects a time when groupings of many animals had colorful and poetic names. For example, other “group” names include: an ostentation of peacocks, a parliament of owls, a knot of frogs, and a skulk of foxes.
Recent research has found some crow species capable not only of tool use but of tool construction as well. Crows are now considered to be among the world’s most intelligent animals. As a group, crows show remarkable examples of intelligence. Crows and ravens often score very highly on intelligence tests. Certain species top the avian IQ scale. Wild hooded crows in Israel have learned to use bread crumbs for bait-fishing. Crows will engage in a kind of mid-air jousting, or air-“chicken” to establish pecking order. Crows have been found to engage in feats such as sports, tool use, the ability to hide and store food across seasons, episodic-like memory,[vague] and the ability to use individual experience in predicting the behavior of environmental conspecifics.
One species, the New Caledonian Crow, has also been intensively studied recently because of its ability to manufacture and use its own tools in the day-to-day search for food. These tools include ‘knives’ cut from stiff leaves and stiff stalks of grass. Another skill involves dropping tough nuts into a trafficked street and waiting for a car to crush them open. On October 5, 2007, researchers from the University of Oxford, England presented data acquired by mounting tiny video cameras on the tails of New Caledonian Crows. It turned out that they use a larger variety of tools than previously known, plucking, smoothing, and bending twigs and grass stems to procure a variety of foodstuffs. Recent research suggests that crows have the ability to recognize one individual human from another by facial features.
The above article is the first article in the monthly serial for February 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) at Lake John Rookery, Lakeland, FL By Dan
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)
This may seem like a simple verse in the middle of a passage telling about the day of the LORD’S vengeance in Isaiah 34:8-17.
Wesley says: “For – This is the time which God hath fixed, to avenge the cause of his persecuted people.”
John Wesley says: “Isaiah 34:11 Dwell – It shall be entirely possessed by those creatures which delight in deserts and waste places…”
Believer’s Bible Commentary: “(34:8) It is the day of the Lord’s vengeance. “The word ‘vengeance’ is of crucial importance. It does not mean getting even with someone, as we use it. It refers to God’s action in carrying out the sentence which He as Judge has justly imposed
(34:9-17) This passage describes Edom’s fate—a blazing inferno, an uninhabited waste, taken over by mysterious birds and wild beasts. God will not stop until it is without form and void. There will be no kingdom, no king, no princes worthy of the name. Its ruins will be overgrown with thorns and it will be a sanctuary for strange creatures (which cannot be identified with certainty). Every weird creature will have a mate, and thus will reproduce, and God has given them the ruins of Edom to possess . . . from generation to generation. Forever in this chapter (vv. 10, 17) means from generation to generation.”
White Ibises at Lake Morton by Dan
That is the “simple” explanation of what the verses are about. It becomes interesting when you compare these verses, again using e-Sword, as to which birds are being referenced. I like the quote about the “mysterious birds” because the translators are not even for sure which birds they are that are going to be inhabiting the place. Let’s investigate the verses.
APB+ – “Birds, and hedgehogs, and ibises, and crows shall dwell in her”
ASV – “The pelican and the porcupine shall possess it; and the owl and the raven shall dwell therein”
BBE – “birds of the waste land will have their place there; it will be a heritage for the bittern and the raven”
Brenton – “and for a long time birds and hedgehogs, and ibises and ravens shall dwell in it:
CEV – “Owls, hawks, and wild animals will make it their home. God will leave it in ruins, merely a pile of rocks.”
Darby – “And the pelican and the bittern shall possess it, and the great owl and the raven shall dwell in it.”
DRB – “The bittern and ericius shall possess it: and the ibis and the raven shall dwell in it:”
ERV – “Birds and small animals will own that land. It will be a home for owls and ravens. God will leave that land in ruins. People will call it “the empty desert.”
ESV – “But the hawk and the porcupine shall possess it, the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.”
GNB – “Owls and ravens will take over the land.”
GW – “Pelicans and herons will take possession of the land. Owls and crows will live there.”
ISV – “But hawks and hedgehogs will possess it; owls and ravens will nest in it.”
JPS – “But the pelican and the bittern shall possess it, and the owl and the raven shall dwell therein;”
KJV – “But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it:”
KJV-1611 – “The cormorant and the bitterne shall possesse it, the owle also and the rauen shall dwell in it,”
LITV – “But the owl and the hedgehog shall possess it; and the eared owl and the raven shall live in it.”
MKJV – “But the pelican and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also, and the raven, shall dwell in it.”
NASB – “But pelican and hedgehog will possess it, And owl and raven will dwell in it;”
NKJV – “But the pelican and the porcupine shall possess it, Also the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.”
RV – “But the pelican and the porcupine shall possess it; and the owl and the raven shall dwell therein:”
Webster – “But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it”
YLT – “And possess her do pelican and hedge-hog, And owl and raven dwell in her,”
Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) at Lake Morton By Dan’sPix
What caught my interest in this verse was that the Crow came up in a search for possibly some different Birds of the Bible to write about. Not only did I find the Crow, but also Ibises, which we see plenty of in this area. I always find it amazing how much they differ, but yet if you look at the birds and their families, many are related or closely related.
Most of the second half of the quotes mention the “Owl and the Raven.” The Darby uses “Great Owl”, the LITV uses “Eared Owl” and some use “owls.” No problem there. Some though use “Ibis/Ibises or Bittern” (APB, BBE, Brenton, DRB) instead of the “Owl.” The word “yanshûph or yanshôph” H3244- “an unclean (aquatic) bird; probably the heron (perhaps from its blowing cry, or because the night heron is meant (compare H5399)): – (great) owl.” Apparently the word is unclear and could go either way. Also, the Ibis is in the Threskiornithidae – Ibises, Spoonbills Family and the Bitterns and Herons (GW) are in the Ardeidae Family, both of which are in the same Pelecaniformes Order. So they are close relatives. Also the Pelican and the Cormorant are mentioned in the first part of the verses. It is easy to figure out which Order the Pelican belongs to and it is in the Pelecanidae – Pelicans Family. The Cormorant is in the next Order which leaves it nearly related. The Suliformes Order has the Phalacrocoracidae – Cormorants, shags Family. As a note in passing, up until this year, the Cormorant was in the Pelecainformes Order. Not trying to be too detailed, but just showing that even though the translators used different birds, many are related and it doesn’t change my confidence in God’s Word. He promised to preserve it.
Chihuahuan Raven (Corvus cryptoleucus)Raven (Corvus corax) by Kent Nickell
Another point to consider, since I am again working on the newest update to the I.O.C. list of Bird Names (Ver. 2.9), names change and the names we use today, were probably already changed once or twice and the ones we use today will probably be changed down the line. I still say, Adam had it a lot easier than what these organizations do today to keep the names figured out. They are to be commended for all the hard work they do.
Back to our verse. The Crow and the Raven are interchanged in these translations. Again, they are in the same family, the Corvidae Family. In fact, if you scroll down to the Ravens (after clicking link), you will see the Little Crow, then the Australian Raven, then the Pied Crow, the Brown-necked Raven, and the back to a Somali Crow. Again, don’t let the two translations, raven or crow, be a bother.
The only other birds mentioned are the Hawks (CEV, ESV, ISV). They are birds of prey and would “delight in the waste places.” They belong to the Accipitridae – Family (Kites, Hawks & Eagles).
Studying the Bible and “birdwatching” through it keeps one on the alert for neat things in His Word. It works both ways; sometimes looking for a bird will turn up great truths about God’s Promises, in this case, a judgment, other times looking for a fact or promise, you find a bird. No matter which way, you are in the Bible studying His Word.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)
Just received an email from a friend today with this YouTube Video. Thought I would share it. It is really amazing.
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. … They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9 KJV)