Wonga Dove and Taveta Weavers at Houston Zoo

Wonga Pigeon (Leucosarcia melanoleuca) Houston Zoo by Lee

Wonga Pigeon (Leucosarcia melanoleuca) Houston Zoo by Lee

And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. (Psalms 55:6 KJV)

Thought I’d share two videos and some photos of the Wonga Dove and the Taveta Weavers. They were in the Tropical Bird House which had enclosures with a glass in front of them and not a cage (YEAH!)

Tropical Bird House Houston Zoo by Lee

Tropical Bird House Houston Zoo by Lee

The Wonga Dove was calling and could be heard everywhere in the Bird House. One video is of the dove calling and the weavers next door. You will hear the sound of the dove even while videoing the weavers.

Taveta Weaver (Ploceus castaneiceps) Houston Zoo by Lee

Taveta Weaver (Ploceus castaneiceps) Houston Zoo by Lee

Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me. (Isaiah 38:14 KJV)

The second video is of the Guira Cuckoos. Forgot to add it to that article. Houston Zoo – Vacation – Part 2-B

Here are the photos of these two species of birds:

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Houston Zoo – Vacation – Part 2-B

You were shown the Blue-chinned Macaws and five different Turacos in Houston Zoo – Vacation – Part 2. Now to show you some more of the neat birds from the Lord’s Creative Hand.

The next set of birds were outside and most were still damp from the rain.

Grey-winged Trumpeter and Racquet-tailed Rollers Exhibit

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Grey-winged Trumpeter’s Beautiful Feathers Houston Zoo by Lee

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Racket-tailed Roller (Coracias spatulatus) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Racket-tailed Roller (Coracias spatulatus) Houston Zoo by Lee

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I kept trying to get a photo of the “racket-tail”, but he never really got in the right position. This was a new species to see for me.

Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

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Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Lee

We have seen both the Cuckoos and the Malkohas before, but the Cuckoos were closer to us this time.

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Then a couple of favorites, the Kookabura, except this time it was a Blue-winged Kookabura, and a Micronesian Kingfisher.

Micronesian Kingfisher by Dan

Micronesian Kingfisher by Dan

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Blue-winged Kookaburra – What you looking at?  by Lee

Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Dan

Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii) Houston Zoo 5-6-15 by Dan

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** Updated 6/27/15 **

Forgot about this video:

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My Western Greater Roadrunners

Roadrunner in Ft Stockton TX by Lee

Roadrunner in Ft Stockton TX by Lee

And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind, (Lev 11:16)

While on our vacation to the West (USA) I wanted to see the Greater Runner. It was one of the top birds on my “to see” list. Disappointed by not finding one in the wild, we were not totally disappointed. Surprised, but not disappointed. I actually saw some years ago, but wanted to photograph a wild one.

When we stopped in Fort Stockton, Texas, we visited the original Camp Stockton and then went to see the “22 foot” Roadrunner. No kidding, it is 22 feet long and 11 feet tall. Of course it was not a live roadrunner. I have since learned that his name is “Paisano Pete.”

(Bonus) Apparently Fort Stockton likes “big birds” because we found a large chicken also.

Large Chicken in Ft Stockton TX by Lee

Large Chicken in Ft Stockton TX by Lee

An actual “roadrunner, also known as a chaparral bird and a chaparral cock, is a fast-running ground cuckoo that has a long tail and a crest. It is found in the southwestern United States and Mexico, usually in the desert. Some have been clocked at 20 miles per hour (32 km/h).”

“The subfamily Neomorphinae, the New World ground cuckoos, includes eleven species of birds, while the genus Geococcyx has just two, the greater roadrunner and the lesser roadrunner. The Greater Roadrunner, (Geococcyx californianus), inhabits Mexico and the southwestern United States. The Lesser Roadrunner, (Geococcyx velox), inhabits Mexico and Central America.” (Wikipedia)

Well, “Paisano Pete” definitely would not count as a real bird, so I had to keep looking. We saw some in a Zoo or two, but when we got to the Living Desert Zoo in California, we were able to really see two of them. They were in an aviary where we saw them up close and not through a cage wire. These are the Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus). One was warming itself by exposing its feathers on the back and the other was trying to kill a dead mouse and chase a Turkey Vulture around. Got within two feet of one of them.

Roadrunner Warming up at Living Desert Zoo CA

Roadrunner Warming up at Living Desert Zoo CA

 

Roadrunner with mouse at Living Desert Zoo CA by Lee

Roadrunner with mouse at Living Desert Zoo CA by Lee

 

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Fort Stockton, Texas: Paisano Pete: Giant Roadrunner

Paisano Pete

Living Desert Zoo and Garden

Fort Stockton, Texas – Wikipedia

Greater Roadrunner – Wikipedia

Birds of the Bible – Cuckoo

Cuckoos – Cuculidae Family

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Bible Birds – Cuckoo Introduction

Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira) at NA by Dan at National Aviary

Guira Cuckoo (Guira guira) at NA by Dan at National Aviary

Bible Birds – Cuckoo’s Introduction

The “Cuckoo” or old English”Cuckow” is found in these verses:

and the owl, and the night-hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after its kind, (Leviticus 11:16 YLT)

And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, (Deuteronomy 14:15 KJV)

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the word used has several meanings and so some Bibles call the bird a Cuckoo or Cuckow, some a Gull. For now, we are introducing you to Cuckoos.

1) a ceremonially unclean bird

  • 1a) cuckow, gull, seagull, sea-mew
  • 1b) maybe an extinct bird, exact meaning unknown

Did you think Cuckoos only live in Clocks?

No, there actually is a bird called a Cuckoo. It belongs to a family Cuculidae – Cuckoos. There are 149 species in the family. Not only Cuckoos, but Coucals, Anis, Couas, and Malkohas are family members.

Here are some descriptions of North American Cuckoos: (from Color Key to NA Birds)

Mangrove Cuckoo

Mangrove Cuckoo

Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor). Underparts uniformly rich buff; above grayish brown, crown grayer; ear-coverts black; tail black, outer feathers broadly tipped with white.

Range.—Northern South America, north through Central America, Mexico and Greater Antilles (except Porto Rico?) to Florida and Louisiana, migrating south in fall.

Maynard Cuckoo (C. m. maynardi). Similar to Mangrove Cuckoo, but underparts paler, the throat and forebreast more or less ashy white.

Range.—Bahamas and (eastern?) Florida Keys. (2012 Now Mangrove Cuckoo)

Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) Neal Addy Gallery

Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) Neal Addy Gallery

Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus). Length 12.2 in. Ads. Below white; lower mandible largely yellow, tail black, outer feathers widely tipped with white. Notes.Tut-tuttut-tuttut-tuttut-tutcl-uckcl-uckcl-uckcl-uckcl-uckcl-uckcowcowcowcowcowcow, usually given in part.

Range.—Eastern North America; breeds from Florida to New Brunswick and Minnesota; winters in Central and South America.

California Cuckoo (C. a. occidentalis). Similar to Yellow-billed Cuckoo but somewhat grayer and larger; the bill slightly longer, 1.05 in.

Range.—Western North America; north to southern British Columbia; east to Western Texas; winters south into Mexico.

Black-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus) by Jim Fenton

Black-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus) by Jim Fenton

Black-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus erythrophthalmus). Length 11.8. Ads. White below; bill black; tail, seen from below, grayish narrowly tipped with white; above, especially on crown, browner than Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Notes. Similar to those of Yellow-billed Cuckoo, but softer, the cow notes connected.

Range.—Eastern North America; west to Rocky Mountains; breeds north to Labrador and Manitoba; winters south of United States to Brazil.

We will tell you more about the Cuckoo in the next Bible Birds – Cuckoo article.

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Birds of the Bible – Chestnut-breasted Malkoha

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris) Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris) Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind, (Deuteronomy 14:15 KJV)
And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind, (Leviticus 11:16 KJV)

While we were on our trip last week, we stopped by the Palm Beach Zoo. I now have another bird that I have fallen in love with. The Chestnut-bellied Malkoha is a beautiful bird and we were able to see him (or her) up close.

They are members of the Cuculidae – Cuckoos Family. When that was realized, that gave another Bird of the Bible article. There have been other Cuckoo articles written:

In those articles the Cuckoos and the Couas were introduced. Now I want to introduce you to another group within the Cuculidae Family, the Malkohas.

Malkohas are large birds in the cuckoo family Cuculidae, all in the genus Phaenicophaeus. The group name is derived from the Sinhala word for the Red-faced Malkoha; Mal-Koha meaning flower-cuckoo. These are all Asian tropical species. The genus name is derived from the Ancient Greek phoiniko– “crimson”, and phaes “eyes” or “face”, referring to the Red-faced Malkoha. However, the ‘œ’ was mistranscribed as ‘æ’.

Raffles’s Malkoha (“P.” chlorophaeus) is a highly distinct species and may not even be as closely related to malkohas as long believed. Its placement in a monotypic genus Rhinortha is supported by a morphological, molecular and behavioral evidence.
The Green Malkoha or Yellowbill seems also distinct from the typical malkohas; it is placed in the monotypic genus Ceuthmochares. (Wikipedia)

We encountered the Chestnut-breasted Malkoha a few years ago when we visited Wings of Asia (Zoo Miami) and then again on this trip at both the Wings of Asia and Palm Beach Zoo. This time there is a video to share and some close-ups. What a beautiful creation from the Lord. I love the eyes especially. They remind me of the Egyptian painting with their eyes. Maybe they saw the Malkohas and painted their eyes like them. Oh, by the way, the Cuckoos are on the “do not list.” Who would want to eat a beautiful bird like these? According to this sign at Zoo Miami, it says the male has blue eyes and the female has yellow eyes.

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris) Sign by Lee at ZM 2014

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris) Sign by Lee at ZM 2014

This video was taken at the Palm Beach Zoo 2014.

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Other Malkohas in the Cuckoo Family:

Raffles’s Malkoha (Rhinortha chlorophaea)
Blue Malkoha (Ceuthmochares aereus)
Green Malkoha (Ceuthmochares australis)
Sirkeer Malkoha (Taccocua leschenaultii)
Red-billed Malkoha (Zanclostomus javanicus)
Yellow-billed Malkoha (Rhamphococcyx calyorhynchus)
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris)
Red-faced Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus pyrrhocephalus)
Chestnut-bellied Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus sumatranus)
Blue-faced Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus viridirostris)
Black-bellied Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus diardi)
Green-billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus tristis)
Rough-crested Malkoha (Dasylophus superciliosus)
Scale-feathered Malkoha (Dasylophus cumingi)

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Gospel Presentation

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Channel-billed Cuckoo

Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) by Ian

Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) by Ian 1

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Channel-billed Cuckoo ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 1-21-13

Last week, sorry fortnight, we had the Little Bronze-Cuckoo, the smallest Australian Cuckoo. Here is the Channel-billed Cuckoo, the largest parasitic cuckoo in Australia, and the world for that matter, with a length to 65cm/26in and a weight exceeding 900g/2lbs. (Coucals, such as the Pheasant Coucal , to 75cm, are larger and are now included in the Cuckoo family, but are not parasitic.)

The bird in the first photo is an adult, distinguishable by the grey back (no buff patches) and the red eye and facial skin. The genus name Scythrops means ‘angry eye’ in Greek. The second photo shows a juvenile and you can see the buff patches on the wing, head and throat, though the grey facial skin looks as if it is beginning to acquire the red colour of the adult. This photo was taken in April when the birds would about to migrate to New Guinea.

Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) by Ian

Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) by Ian 2

Channel-billed Cuckoos lay their large eggs in the nests of Currawongs, Crows, Ravens, Magpies and even Sparrowhawks. The third photo, which appeared as the bird of the week in 2005, shows a very demanding chick with a very nerve-wracked looking foster parent Pied Currawong in the Sydney Metropolitan Area. The adult Cuckoos may break the eggs of the host bird but the chicks do not usually evict the eggs or chicks. Instead they out-compete them for food.

Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) by Ian

Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) by Ian 3

Channel-bills are mainly migratory, though some are though to remain in the Northern Territory throughout the winter. The juvenile in the fourth photo was being fed by Torresian Crow foster parents in the Top End in early September, so it would have hatched in July.

Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) by Ian

Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) by Ian 4

Typically of Cuckoos, Channel-bills are quite shy and usually remain hidden in foliage but their loud trumpeting calls give them away. They do fly in the open, particular before dusk and look very striking – their long tails and long pointed wings look rather raptor-like, though the large bill doesn’t, and they are often likened to flying crosses.

Best wishes
Ian

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Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Check the latest website updates:
http://www.birdway.com.au/#updates


Lee’s Addition:

And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckoo, and the hawk after his kind, (Deuteronomy 14:15 KJV)

The Cuckoos are in the Cucuilidae Family and are also one of the Birds of the Bible, listed in the Unclean Birds.

 

See:

Ian’s Cuckoos, Coucals & Allies

Cucuilidae – Cuckoo Family

Birds of the Bible – Cuckoo

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