Arizona Hummers – Vacation

Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) Desert Mus-Tuscon

By them (springs) the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. He waters the hills from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. (Psalms 104:12-13 NKJV)

While visiting the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, we visited their Hummingbird Aviary. They have four species of hummingbirds flying around in their spacious surroundings. Well, actually, a couple of them were sitting on their nest.

Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) Desert Mus-Tuscon

I was excited again to be able to see some of the Lord’s fantastic Hummingbirds. Especially two of the species. I had never seen the Broad-billed or Broad-tailed Hummingbirds before. Thankfully, we saw them again outside the aviary, which enabled me to add those 2 to my Life List of Birds. (264 and counting)

Anna's Hummingbird by Dan

Anna’s Hummingbird by Dan

My camera acted up just as we entered the aviary. What disappointment. Thankful, there was a man there with the exact camera as mine and we were able to get it re-adjusted. Apparently I had hit some wrong button and in my frustration, continued to mess it up more. (None of you have ever been frustrated?) In the mean time, the hummers were doing their thing, totally unaware of my problems.

All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs; Under its branches all the beasts of the field brought forth their young; And in its shadow all great nations made their home. (Ezekiel 31:6 NKJV)

I said that to say, I don’t have as many photos to show, because many were tossed. Here are some of the better ones. Unfortunately, I’m not positive of who was who.

 

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Birds of the Bible – Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)

After posting the photos of the Cactus Wrens (The Chase Begins…), I realized that you weren’t told much about these birds. After researching them; I decided they deserve to be a Birds of the Bible bird.

Why? Not because they are named specifically, but because of the way the Lord Jesus created these wrens to live in the desert environment and to survive there.

Cactus Wren Desert Mus-Tucson by Lee 37

Cactus Wren Desert Mus-Tucson by Lee 37

For one thing, they sort of blend in with their surroundings which helps protect them, camouflage. Hanging out in those spiked plants give them another great advantage.

Cactus Wren at nest ©WikiC by BigWheel55

Cactus Wren at nest ©WikiC by BigWheel55

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26 NKJV)

One of the favorite places they like to make their nest is in the Cholla cactus. It is very spiny and keeps predators at bay. We saw several nests. An interesting thing about their nest show wisdom given them by the Creator. “Cactus wrens build nests that are the size and shape of a football with an opening at one end. They will construct this nest out of grasses and other annual plants, but can also include scraps of cloth and other woven fibers that they find. They will build this nest (and many others) usually in cholla, but also in palo verde, acacias, saguaros, or the hanging pot in your backyard.” (Fact Sheet)

Cholla Cactus by Lee

Cholla Cactus by Lee

Nest in a Cholla Cactus at Desert Museum by Lee

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, And makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?’ (Job 35:11 NKJV)

The nest always have a roof over them. “Domed with tunnel-shaped entrance, made of coarse grass or plant fibers. Lined with feathers.” They also make a perch or doorstep at the opening. They need the dome or roof to shield the hatchlings and themselves from the heat and sun of the day. At night, the feathers and other linings help preserve the body heat. As you may know, desert have large temperature swings each day. Sounds like wise advise for humans in a desert also.

They do have some predators. “Coachwhips and other whipsnakes are able to navigate their way through the cactus and often will take eggs or nestlings. Adult birds can be food for coyotes, hawks, fox, bobcats or domestic cats.” (Wikipedia)

“It is a bird of arid regions, and is often found around yucca, mesquite or saguaro; it nests in cactus plants, sometimes in a hole in a saguaro, sometimes where its nest will be protected by the prickly cactus spines of a cholla or leaves of a yucca.” (Wiki)

The thing that does reveal were they are is when they sing:

It is not the fanciest song, but they sound happy when they sing. I can’t sing well, but I enjoy singing. The Bible says were are to make a joyful noise.

“The Cactus Wren is the largest North American wren, at 18–23 cm (7.1–9.1 in) long. Unlike the smaller wrens, the cactus wren is easily seen. It has the loud voice characteristic of wrens. The cactus wren is much less shy than most of the family. Its marked white eyestripe, brown head, barred wings and tail, and spotted tail feathers make it easy to identify. Like most birds in its genus, it has a slightly curved bill. There is little sexual dimorphism.

The cactus wren primarily eats insects, including ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and wasps. Occasionally, it will take seeds, fruits, small reptiles and frogs. Foraging begins late in the morning and is versatile; the cactus wren will search under leaves and ground litter and overturn objects in search of insects, as well as feeding in the foliage and branches of larger vegetation. Increasing temperatures cause a shift in foraging behavior to shady and cooler microclimates, and activity slows during hot afternoon temperatures. Almost all water is obtained from food, and free-standing water is rarely used even when found” (Wikipedia) Another source mentioned that when the Gila Woodpecker pecks the cactus, it causes it to seep liquid. The Cactus Wren drinks this also for fluid. That is another great provision provided by their Creator.

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

The Cactus Wren has the honor of being the State Bird of Arizona.

INTERESTING FACTS: The cactus wren is very protective of its nesting area. They have been known to attack squirrels, other birds, and even people who have gotten too close to their nests. They are not as shy as other wrens and, in fact, have been known to fly into open windows of cars or homes out of curiosity. (50States.com)

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Arizona-Senora Desert Museum – Vacation

Desert Mus-Tucson by Lee

“He found him in a desert land And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. (Deuteronomy 32:10 NKJV)

The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, The excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, The excellency of our God.
(Isaiah 35:1-2a NKJV)

We spent three days in Tucson, Arizona and were able to see the Arizona-Senora Desert Museum. The plants are so different from what we see normally, though we see a few cactus now and then. There were plenty of neat plants to see and of course birds to watch.

Cactus Flower - Arizona Living Desert Museum by Lee

Cactus Flower – Arizona Living Desert Museum by Lee

Today you will get to see some of the plants and scenery at the desert museum. As mentioned before, the Lord has made so much variety in this world, it is amazing. Just enjoy some photos of this very interesting place.

Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘HE GAVE THEM BREAD FROM HEAVEN TO EAT.'” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
(John 6:31-33 NKJV)

What a delightful place! We really enjoyed seeing  the beautiful flowers and weird plants that are beautiful in their own right. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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The Black-throated Sparrow – The Desert Dwellers

Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata)by Daves BirdingPix

Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata)by Daves BirdingPix

The Black-throated Sparrow – The Desert Dwellers ~ by a j mithra

The Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata) is a very distinctive small, brown bird found in open areas with scattered shrubs and trees, including deserts and semi-desert grasslands in the intermountain region in the western United States, northern Mexico, and Baja California. It is sometimes referred to as the Desert Sparrow, due to its preferred habitat of arid desert hillsides and scrub. This name usually refers to the Desert Sparrow of Africa and Asia.

  • Though this little bird chooses to dwell among the desert, it never has stopped singing has it?

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did just that when they were thrown into the furnace which was seven times hotter.

  • That may be the reason why the Lord who is the pillar of cloud strolled with them in the furnace that day!
  • Probably they knew the secret that our God loves to dwell among our praises.

Peter and Silas did just that when they were beaten, bruised, chained and thrown into the jail. But, still they praised and you know what happened? Their praise released not only their bondages but also of those who were with them and it also shook the jail’s floor..

  • Have you ever tried praising God in your darkest hour?

Try worshipping like Peter and Silas and you will see the light shine not just at the end of the tunnel but all around you and also over every one who is the dark around you…

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. (Psalm 34:1)

Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata) ©WikiC

Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata) ©WikiC

The Black-throated Sparrow is a small, gray sparrow that reaches a length of about 4.5-5.5 inches and has a distinctive black throat, with a bold white stripe above its eye and another down its cheek. The black tail is outlined in white except at the tips of the middle tail feathers. Juveniles, who retain this plumage into October, lack the black throat of adults and are lightly streaked.

Usually found in cactus and sagebrush deserts, especially on rocky slopes..

  • Sagebrush has bacteriostatic, astringent, and antioxidant properties.
  • Sagebrush kills bacteria, inhibits free radicals, and has anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic actions, and so is most useful as a cleansing first aid wash for disinfecting wounds and skin irritations.
  • The leaves can be very useful in the kitchen as a means of protecting stored dried food from insects and rodents.

This maybe the reason for these little birds to choose a desert like place to live, since these plants grow among the dry desert slopes.

  • Don’t ever think that God has placed you in a dry desert to punish you..
  • He separates you so that you will turn into a better vessel that would glorify His name..

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, Itis my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God. (Zechariah 13:9)

Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata) ©WikiC

Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata) ©WikiC

The Black-throated Sparrow is considered to be better adapted to this type of ecosystem than any other seed-eating bird in North America. Adapted to dry habitats, Black-throated Sparrows can survive long periods of time without supplemental water, obtaining moisture from the seeds and insects that make up their diet. In the hottest part of the summer, however, supplemental water is necessary. In the winter, seeds make up the majority of their diet. During the breeding and nestling season, insects become more important. When available, berries and other fruits, as well as fresh green shoots, are also part of their diet.

  • Do you feel that God has put you in the wrong place?
  • Remember that God has created you to be unique to live where no one else can even dream of stepping in.
  • Have you forgotten that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you?

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: (I Peter 5:6)

They travel in small groups, though larger groups may accumulate around sources of water in the desert.

  • Right now, you and your family may not see hope and may feel like as if you are wandering through the desert.

I just want to encourage you that God does not take us to the desert to kill us but to show us that He is still care for us.

  • If God can give water to these birds in the desert, will He not give us?
  • Well, He is still able to bring everything from nothing.
  • So, congregate as a family in the presence of the Living Water and look out for a miracle which is on its way..

He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings. (Psalm 107:35)

Its call is high and bell-like, and its song is a fairly simple, mechanical tinkling.

  • You don’t have to be a great singer to bring God’s presence.
  • Our God is a simple God and He prefers our worship to be just simple.
  • Remember God doesn’t look for your voice; He just wants to hear your noise.
  • The wall of Jericho came down due to the noise and not the voice of Joshua and his people.

So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20)

Yours in YESHUA,
a j mithra

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