By Design: Woodpeckers

“I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall.” Obviously, that’s an expression we use to describe a pointless pursuit that accomplishes nothing but pain. However, it is an action that a woodpecker does on purpose… and apparently by design!

“God’s plan for the world stands up, all his designs are made to last.” Psalm 33:12, The Message

Silhouette of a Pileated Woodpecker at dawn. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. May 4, 2020. ©

I always marvel as I watch woodpeckers hammer away… chunks of bark and wood flying everywhere. I could only imagine how much my brain would be rattled if I were to try it myself. With all the concerns about concussions in high school and college athletes, it is clearly something humans weren’t designed to do.

But that is not true of the woodpeckers. The ability to hammer on hard objects with the front of their face is undoubtedly designed by a Creator. In Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation, Dennis Peterson writes, “The woodpecker is totally different from other birds. Every part of his body is especially fitted for drilling into wood.”

Red-headed Woodpecker; Greene County, Georgia birding, June 13, 2020. ©

The woodpecker’s beak alone is designed for the job. It is harder than that of other birds, and the base of the bill is fitted with a shock-absorbing tissue not found in some other species. To go along with a beak designed for drilling, the woodpecker has a specialized tongue. Fashioned to fit into those freshly drilled holes, the woodpecker’s tongue is four times longer than the beak and wraps around the back of the bird’s skull! The tail, legs and claws are also specialized designs to help the woodpecker hold in place during his jack-hammer feeding sessions. And a keen sense of smell helps the woodpecker determine the precise drilling point to maximize the chance of excavating an insect.

All these wonderfully engineered traits could only come about by design. Partially evolved traits in a primitive ancestor would only result in broken beaks and a lot of headaches! These features are obviously designed to the woodpecker’s advantage and keep it from pointlessly beating his head against the wall!

Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Can There Be Design Without A Designer – Creation Moments

Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) LPZ by Dan 2014

Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) Lowry Park Zoo by Dan 2014


“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead…” (Romans 1:20a)

Interesting Things from Smiley CentralA new science called biomimetics is making news. In the past we have talked about how some of man’s designs are often similar to God’s which do the same job. However, in biomimetics, researchers actively seek to study the creation to learn of designs that will solve engineering problems.

Can There Be Design Without a Designer?We are all familiar with the story of how thistle seeds inspired Velcro. Engineers have used the design of the owl’s wing to make the structures that carry electrical current to trains. The result is a much quieter ride. The moth’s eyes’ ability not to reflect light helps make it harder to be spotted by birds. The same design has now been used to make a nonreflective film. The result is a film that can be used to help prevent windows from reflecting light. This film will soon be available commercially. Many dyes are toxic, yet many creatures manage to show off bright colors without using toxic substances. Materials engineers studied how the jewel beetle produces its color. The result is a film that seems to change color depending on the angle from which you view it.

No scientist can offer a rational explanation for how so many thoughtful and efficient designs could be generated in a mindless universe. These designs are fingerprints God left all over the creation so that man might seek Him out.

I thank and praise You, dear Father, for the excellence and wonder You have left as fingerprints in the creation. Amen.

Nikkei Weekly, 2/22/10, p. 17, “Biomimetics yields life-inspired products.”

Creation Moments ©2016


More Interesting Things

Creation Moments



American Woodcock – A Wonderfully Bizarre Bird

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) on nest ©USFWS

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) on nest ©USFWS

A Wonderfully Bizarre Bird by Tom Hennigan © 2013 Answers in Genesis –

The drought had been rather severe that summer, and the normally moist woodland was dry and parched. Suddenly, out of the brush, a chunky bird was frantically searching the soil for earthworms. Following behind, and looking as famished as their mama, were four of her wood-brown chicks. And as their mama stopped and probed the arid ground before her, the chicks looked on with eager expectation. But all at once, and without warning, mama bird performed an amazing feat! She lay her body flat along the ground and began drumming the surface with her wings. Minutes later, their hunger satisfied, this American Woodcock family disappeared into the dry undergrowth.

All birds reveal incredible design, but the American Woodcock has an interesting design feature in its behaviour as well.

We have been led to believe by the scientific establishment that birds, like the American Woodcock, are products of time and chance. That through natural processes and eons of time, they are the descendants of a common ancestor that sprang from the reptilian line.

On the other hand, the Word of the Creator states that birds were designed and created by Him, according to their own kind, on the fifth day. As a result, He considered them very good (Genesis 1:31).

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) ©WikiC

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) ©WikiC

Chance vs design. Aimlessness vs plan and purpose. These are two fiercely competitive worldview’s. They are mutually exclusive. And, contrary to popular opinion, the essence of both can be described as the science of one person’s religion vs the science of another’s. Why? Because no one was there at the beginning! Scientifically speaking, the conditions of the early earth are unknown and hence cannot be duplicated. On the other hand, God was there! He is perfectly capable of communicating to His people.

When we look at His world, we find tremendous evidence of His fingerprints, so to speak—design and purpose.

For instance, how did drumming the ground bring the woodcock family from famine to feast? Amazingly enough, mama woodcock was aware of the habits of earthworms. She knew that in dry conditions, they squirm to the lower, moist depths of the soil. However, she was also aware of another quirk in their behaviour! When it rains, worms can sense the ground vibrations caused by raindrops. When this happens, they quickly propel themselves to the soil surface so they won’t drown. Therefore, when the mother beat the ground, she and her family were able to leave the area with their hunger pangs satisfied.

How did she know how to do that? What complicated series of events caused all of this information to come together in one little bird? Was it by chance and natural processes or was it creation with deliberate purpose?

Not only did it know the habits of the earthworms, this bird’s anatomy is highly complex as well. The eyes are located high on its head enabling it to see 360 degrees. Imagine being able to see, with overlapping vision allowing depth perception, both in front of and behind you. The ears are situated between the eyes and its eight-centimetre (three-inch) bill. This highly sophisticated hearing apparatus is better able to detect the sub-soil movement of its prey. Working together with its exquisitely attuned vision and hearing, are its sensitive feet. Designed to feel ground vibration, they help to pinpoint a worm’s location.

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) chick ©WikiC

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) chick ©WikiC

Being fairly certain that the worm is within reach, the bird pushes its bill into the ground. But this isn’t just any old bill! The flexible tip, which allows it to open and close in a tweezer fashion within tiny spaces, has highly sensitive nerve endings. It allows the woodcock to know that it has grasped its meal.
A nocturnal animal, the woodcock is probably best known for its bizarre courtship behaviour. At dusk, the male of the species will circle high in the sky on a spring night making a continual ‘twittering’ noise. At this highest point, he’ll suddenly dive in a zig-zag fashion toward the earth. It’s a most unusual display, completely captivating his mate-to-be. The three outer primary feathers not only make the strange sounds of this courting male, but also contribute greatly to his survival. When the woodcock is in danger of being discovered by a predator, it will explode from its concealment. In so doing, those feathers make such an unexpected and horrible noise, that often the predator is temporarily shocked. This brief moment is all the time the bird needs to make its escape!1

When it is realized how many of these complicated factors must come together, at the same time, just for the bird to survive, that all this could come from gradual, piecemeal evolution defies credibility.

The outdoors is chock full of unique and fascinating organisms, like the American Woodcock, just waiting to be discovered by both children and adults alike. All of creation, though now fallen from its original perfection, holds a wonder and fascination that finds its meaning in the Creator God who put it there! Evidence of His handiwork can be seen and understood. And evidence can be logically discussed in scientific circles, so be bold, be confident and be in awe of His creative abilities!

The world today needs more people who will proclaim the news in every land that Jesus Christ, the awesome Creator, came to us, lived amongst us, died and rose again for us!

‘Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest’ (Joshua 1:9).

by Tom Hennigan September 1, 1997

Tom Hennigan, B.S., M.S.,is an environmental educator with DeRuyter Central Schools, New York. He operates a creation ministry called, ‘Genesis Moment Ministries’.

Permission from © 2013 Answers in Genesis –

Lee’s Addition:

The American Woodcock belongs to the Scolopacidae – Sandpipers, Snipes Family which has 96 species, of which 8 are Woodcocks.

“The American Woodcock (Scolopax minor), sometimes colloquially referred to as the Timberdoodle, is a small chunky shorebird species found primarily in the eastern half of North America. Woodcocks spend most of their time on the ground in brushy, young-forest habitats, where the birds’ brown, black, and gray plumage provides excellent camouflage.

Because of the male Woodcock’s unique, beautiful courtship flights, the bird is welcomed as a harbinger of spring in northern areas. It is also a popular game bird, with about 540,000 killed annually by some 133,000 hunters in the U.S. (Ugh!)

The American Woodcock is the only species of Woodcock inhabiting North America. Although classified with the sandpipers and shorebirds in Family Scolopacidae, the American Woodcock lives mainly in upland settings. Its many folk names include timberdoodle, bogsucker, night partridge, brush snipe, hokumpoke, and becasse.

The American Woodcock has a plump body, short legs, a large, rounded head, and a long, straight prehensile bill. Adults are 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) long and weigh 5 to 8 ounces (140 to 230 g). Females are considerably larger than males.] The bill is 2.5 to 2.75 inches (6.4 to 7.0 cm) long.

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) 1891 ©WikiC

American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) 1891 ©WikiC

The plumage is a cryptic mix of different shades of browns, grays, and black. The chest and sides vary from yellowish white to rich tans. The nape of the head is black, with three or four crossbars of deep buff or rufous. The feet and toes, which are small and weak, are brownish gray to reddish brown.[8]

Woodcock have large eyes located high in the head, and their visual field is probably the largest of any bird, 360° in the horizontal plane and 180° in the vertical plane.

The Woodcock uses its long prehensile bill to probe in the soil for food, mainly invertebrates and especially earthworms. A unique bone-and-muscle arrangement lets the bird open and close the tip of its upper bill, or mandible, while it is sunk in the ground. Both the underside of the upper mandible and the long tongue are rough-surfaced for grasping slippery prey.

In Spring, males occupy individual singing grounds, openings near brushy cover from which they call and perform display flights at dawn and dusk, and if the light levels are high enough on moonlit nights. The male’s ground call is a short, buzzy peent. After sounding a series of ground calls, the male takes off and flies from 50 to 100 yards into the air. He descends, zigzagging and banking while singing a liquid, chirping song. This high spiralling flight produces a melodious twittering sound as air rushes through the male’s outer primary wing feathers.” (Wikipedia with editing)

Audios from xeno-canto



Formed By Him – Dippers

White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) by Ian

White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) by Ian

Dippers are small, stout, short-tailed, short-winged, strong-legged birds. The different species are generally dark brown (sometimes nearly black), or brown and white in colour, apart from the Rufous-throated Dipper which is brown with a reddish-brown throat patch. Sizes range from 14–22 cm in length and 40-90 g in weight, with males larger than females. Their short wings give them a distinctive whirring flight. They have a characteristic bobbing motion when perched beside the water, giving them their name.

White-capped Dipper (Cinclus leucocephalus leuconotus) ©

White-capped Dipper (Cinclus leucocephalus leuconotus) ©

Dippers are found in suitable freshwater habitats in the highlands of the Americas, Europe and Asia. In Africa they are only found in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. They inhabit the banks of fast-moving upland rivers with cold, clear waters, though, outside the breeding season, they may visit lake shores and sea coasts.

The Lord created them unlike many water birds, dippers are generally similar in form to many terrestrial birds (for example they do not have webbed feet), but they were designed with some morphological and physiological adaptations to their aquatic habits. Their wings are relatively short but strongly muscled, enabling them to be used as flippers underwater. They have dense plumage with a large preen gland for waterproofing their feathers. Relatively long legs and sharp claws enable them to hold onto rocks in swift water. Their eyes have well-developed focus muscles that can change the curvature of the lens to enhance underwater vision. They have nasal flaps to prevent water entering their nostrils. Their blood has a high haemoglobin concentration, allowing a greater capacity to store oxygen than terrestrial birds, and allowing them to remain underwater for up to at least 30 seconds.

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. (Psalms 148:5 KJV)

American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) by Ian

American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) by Ian

Dippers forage for small animal prey in and along the margins of fast-flowing freshwater streams and rivers. They perch on rocks and feed at the edge of the water, but they often also grip the rocks firmly and walk down them beneath the water until partly or wholly submerged. They then search underwater for prey between and beneath stones and debris; they can also swim with their wings. The two South American species swim and dive less often than the three northern ones. Their prey consists primarily of invertebrates such as the nymphs or larvae of mayflies, blackflies, stoneflies and caddisflies, as well as small fish and fish eggs. Molluscs and crustaceans are also consumed, especially in winter when insect larvae are less available.

White-throated Dipper

Recording Sound of White-throated Dipper by BBC

Video by National Geographic


There are five members of the Dipper – Cinclidae Family in the Passeriformes Order. They all are of the Cinclus genus. The Dippers are:

White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) – Widespread, also nw Africa
Brown Dipper (Cinclus pallasii) – Europe
American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) – w Canada to Panama
White-capped Dipper (Cinclus leucocephalus) – Colombia to Bolivia
Rufous-throated Dipper (Cinclus schulzii) – nw Argentina, se Bolivia

What an amazing Creator we have!

Brown Dipper (Cinclus pallasii) ©WikiC

Brown Dipper (Cinclus pallasii) ©WikiC

Several things have been dipped in blood in Scripture:

And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; (Genesis 37:31 KJV)

Hyssop was dipped in blood in Exodus 12:22 and put on doorposts; Lev. 4:6,16 and  9:9, 14:16 dipped finger in blood and sprinkled it while at the altar; dipped a bird in blood in Lev. 14:6 (See Birds of the Bible – Purifying Bird); then when Christ is seen in heaven, His vesture is dipped in blood.

And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. (Revelation 19:13 KJV)

The one time someone dipped himself in a river, was when Naaman, who had leprosy, finally believed enough to go dip seven times in the Jordan and was healed.

Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. (2 Kings 5:14 KJV)

Gospel Message

See Also:

Formed By Him

The American Dipper – The Intercessor by a j mithra

Birds of the World

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)


Formed By Him – “Designed for Flight” by Creation Moments

Mallards flying off by Ian

Mallards flying off by Ian

Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, [and] stretch her wings toward the south? (Job 39:26)

When I Consider – “Designed for Flight” by Creation Moments

“Many textbooks tell young people today that birds are modified reptiles. Suppose, they say, that millions of years ago the scales on some reptiles began to fray along the edges. In time, they say, the frayed scales turned into feathers and birds were born.

When I Consider!

Formed By Him

The elegance and beauty of the feather make this story hard to believe. Can sticking a feather on a lizard produce a peacock? The bird’s feather is only a small part of the complete flying system of the bird. Even with very careful planning and redesigning, a reptile doesn’t have what it takes.

A bird needs massive breast muscles for flight. In some birds, 30 percent of the body weight of the bird is breast muscle. By comparison, in humans, breast muscles are only about 1 percent of body weight. A bird also needs an extremely high metabolism and blood pressure to deliver the energy those muscles need for flight. Birds have a higher metabolism than any other creature; they also have the necessary high blood pressure. Finally, as is well known, birds need light skeletons. The man-o’-war has a wingspan of seven feet. But its entire skeleton weighs only a few ounces – less than its feathers!

Even the most clever rebuilding of a reptile cannot produce a bird. In fact, birds have very little in common with reptiles. The entire being of the bird, from body to brain, has been specially designed for flight by a Creator who clearly knows everything there is to know about flight.

Father in heaven, the beauty, grace and huge variety of birds You have created are some of the most beautiful creatures on earth. As I thank You for them, fill me with new wonder over the wonderful work of Your hands. Amen.

Vandeman, George. 1991. “The miracle of flight.” Signs of the Times, May. p. 25.”

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3 KJV)

Formed By Him
When I Consider
Creation Moments


Formed By Him – Bird Eggs

Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides) chick-egg nest ©USFWS

Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides) chick-egg nest ©USFWS

So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day. (Genesis 1:21-23 NKJV)

On the fifth day of creation when God Created the birds, they were told/commanded “let birds multiply on the earth.” The birds then started obeying that command. When their numbers were reduced to seven pairs of each living avian species, to be saved from the flood in the ark, they were again commanded to be fruitful and multiply when they left the ark. Look at the numerous avian population we have today.

Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth. (Genesis 8:17 NKJV)

The Lord in His wisdom gave the birds the ability to produce their young by laying eggs and then having the young “hatch.” There are many aspects of this, but the way the egg is produced is our focus today.

Fairy Prion (Pachyptila turtur) ©WikiC with egg

Fairy Prion (Pachyptila turtur) ©WikiC with egg

Reading around the “evolution” of the article (see below) “Eggs and Their Evolution” in the Birder’s Handbook, I came across these interesting facts.

“Bird eggs are virtually self-contained life-support systems. All they require for the embryo to develop properly are warmth and oxygen. Oxygen diffuses into the egg through microscopic holes formed by the imperfect packing of the calcium carbonate crystals that compose the eggshell. There are not many of these pores—for example, they make up only about 0.02 percent of the surface of a duck egg. Carbon dioxide and water vapor diffuse outward through the same pores. Birds can lay their eggs in even drier environments than reptiles, because when the fatty yolk is broken down to provide energy for the developing embryo, water is produced as a by-product.” That is fantastic!

Here is an interesting link about the development of a chicken in the egg. Chickscope Click through the different days to see the development.

Different Eggs- Birds and Others - from Wikipedia

Different Eggs- Birds and Others – from Wikipedia

Also eggs come in a “wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures” as you can see in the chart above.

From Creation Moments, “BIRDS EGG EVOLUTION

For she [the ostrich] leaves her eggs on the ground, and warms them in the dust; she forgets that a foot may crush them, or that a wild beast may break them. (Job 39:14 15)

The creation is literally filled with millions of what those who believe in evolution call “happy coincidences.” But when you encounter millions of instances of what appears to be thoughtful design, the obvious conclusion is that there is a Designer. Take the example of bird eggs.

The shape of the egg makes it strong. This strength comes in handy in a busy nest. Mom and dad are coming and going, and they turn the eggs periodically during incubation. But all eggs are not equally egg shaped, and there is a pattern to their shapes. Birds like robins that build a nice, dish shaped nest tend to lay eggs that are more round in shape. Screech owls, which lay their eggs at the bottom of a hole in a tree, also have round shaped eggs. Birds, like the killdeer, barely build any kind of nest and lay eggs on the ground where almost round eggs could roll away. For this reason, birds such as a Kildeer lay much more sharply pointed eggs which are designed to pivot on their small end. Likewise, eggs that are laid where predators are not likely to see them are usually pale or solid in color, but eggs laid out in the open are camouflaged. Moreover, baby birds that hatch in protected nests like the bluebird, tend to be naked, blind and helpless. But the unprotected killdeer hatchlings are ready to leave the nest within minutes of hatching.

All coincidences? It seems more scientific to say that here we have a few of the many fingerprints of our wise Creator!
“I praise You, Father, for how Your glory is reflected in the creation. Amen.”
Notes: Jim Williams, Bird basics: egg size, color and shape, Star Tribune, July 29, 1999, p.8″

Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo) egg©©Wong Dermayu

Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo) egg©©Wong Dermayu

Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo) ©NowPublic

Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo) ©©Wong Dermayu (Megapode)

Here are some more interesting facts about bird eggs from the Birder’s Handbook:

“The proportion of yolk differs between altricial and precocial birds. The former, which hatch so undeveloped that they require significant parental care and thus need less stored energy, generally have eggs that contain about 25 percent yolk. Precocial birds, which can walk and feed themselves shortly after hatching, have eggs with about 40 percent yolk (67 percent in megapodes, inhabitants of Australia and Pacific islands which upon hatching are virtually ready to fly). Interestingly, in spite of this difference, and although bird eggs range in weight from about one hundredth of an ounce (small hummingbird) to three and a half pounds (ostrich), all bird eggs lose water amounting to about 15 percent of their original weight during incubation. This careful control is probably a result of the necessity to keep the water content of the developing chick’s tissues constant even though metabolic water is continually being produced.”

Australian Pipit (Anthus australis) ©WikiC

Australian Pipit (Anthus australis) altricial ©WikiC

Birds lay their eggs proportionate to their size, but not what you would think. A wren may lay an egg that weighs about 13% of its weight, while an ostrich egg may only be 2% of its weight. “the parents must “invest” more in the egg to give the chick the energy and materials required for more advanced development within the confines of the shell.”

The book ask this question: “Why have birds not “advanced” beyond egg laying and started to bear their young alive like mammals?” Here is what The Bible says about that.

Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created. (Psalms 148:5 NKJV)
Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the LORD, And my just claim is passed over by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. (Isaiah 40:26-28 NKJV)
That they may see and know, And consider and understand together, That the hand of the LORD has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it. (Isaiah 41:20 NKJV)

The Lord created them, just the way, in His Wisdom, that they were to be. He looked on His handiwork and called it, Very Good!

Creation was corrupted because of the curse of sin that all are under.

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:20-22 NKJV)

(“Reading around the “evolution” is my term for reading the article and looking at the facts and evidence, but from a Christian perspective. We all are observing the same birds and eggs, but some look at it from a theory of evolution and I look at them from believing that God in His Wisdom designed them to be the way they are.

Here is an example: “The other major group of reptile descendants, the birds, not only have continued the reptilian tradition, but have evolved eggs of an improved design in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures.” [from the Birder’s Handbook]

Here is my “reading around evolution”: Birds have eggs, designed through creation, in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures. Even simpler, just looking at the facts: Birds have eggs in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures )

Gospel Message


Formed By Him – Bowerbirds

Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) in bower by Ian

Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) in bower by Ian

An interesting article from News to Note – Sept 18, 2010 issue talks about the Bowerbird and it’s ability to use special optical effects. The article is discussing’s information on the elaborate bowers the bird makes.

“Bowerbird males are well known for making elaborate constructions, lavished with decorative objects, to impress and attract their mates. Now, researchers reporting online on September 9 in Current Biology have identified a completely new dimension to these showy structures in great bowerbirds. The birds create a staged scene, only visible from the point of view of their female audience, by placing pebbles, bones, and shells around their courts in a very special way that can make objects (or a bowerbird male) appear larger or smaller than they really are.” (

The scientist are trying to figure out about this aesthetically appealing ability. They noticed that the bird places articles from smaller to larger as the bower is approached. When they rearranged the articles, the Bowerbird changed them back. He is trying to give an allusion they think.

Spotted Bowerbird (Chlamydera maculata) by Ian

Spotted Bowerbird (Chlamydera maculata) by Ian

News to Note concludes with this:

“Evolutionists often seek to find natural explanations for distinct human aspects like aesthetics, moral consciousness, and self-consciousness. The bowerbirds’ apparent art appreciation seems to allow the most genetically fit to survive according to biologist Gerry Borgia of the University of Maryland. But do male bowerbirds intellectually conceive the idea of the optical illusion, and do female bowerbirds intentionally judge the design as artistic?

Rather than an intellectual intention towards art, the great bowerbird instinctively builds remarkable structures, and the female instinctively responds to the optical effect, as programmed by the Creator. Only man, created in the image of God, has a true aesthetic sense. When appreciating the beauty and design of creatures like the bowerbird, the wise aesthetic judge praises the Creator of both art and beauty.”

The two articles are interesting and of course, the one from Answers in Genesis, News to Note – Sept 18, 2010, issue gives the creationist view of this.

From another article:

” the male bower bird, an accomplished avian architect that has long fascinated scientists with its remarkably complex courting behavior. Instead of using just showy plumes or a romantic melody to attract a mate, the pigeon-sized bower bird constructs an elaborate structure — a bower — on the forest floor from twigs, leaves, and moss. It then decorates the bower with colorful baubles, from feathers and pebbles to berries and shells.”

“The bowers aren’t nests for raising kids; they are bachelor pads designed to attract and seduce one or more mates. When a female arrives to inspect the bower, the male struts and sings. He hopes to convince her to enter the bower, where mating takes place….they are of special interest to scientists seeking to understand how such complex traits evolve and function.”

Golden Bowerbird (Prionodura newtoniana) at bower by Ian

Golden Bowerbird (Prionodura newtoniana) at bower by Ian

“Each builds its own shape of bower and prefers a different decorating scheme. A few, for instance, surround their bowers with carefully planted lawns of moss. Others have been known to steal shiny coins, spoons, bits of aluminum foil — even a glass eye — in an effort to create the perfect romantic mood. Some, like the iridescent blue Satin bower bird, the star of Bower Bird Blues, even “paint” the walls of their structures with chewed berries or charcoal. For the male Satin, which builds a U-shaped bower from parallel walls of twigs, the favored color is blue. To decorate its “avenue,” as scientists call it, he collects blue feathers, berries, shells, and flowers. While some of these decorations are found in the forest, others are stolen from the bowers of other males; young males, in particular, are prone to this petty thievery. However obtained, the precious knickknacks are then scattered around the bower. The male then waits, passing time by constantly fine-tuning his structure and rearranging the decorations. (from Nature)

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:22 NKJV)

That verse answers it for me. God created them with that “complex trait.”

Information about the Bowerbird:

They are in the Ptilonorhynchidae – Bowerbirds Family of the Passeriformes Order. There are 21 species in the family in 9 different genus. There are 3 Catbirds and an Piopio included in the family.

Bowerbirds and catbirds make up the bird family Ptilonorhynchidae. These are medium-sized passerines, ranging from the Golden Bowerbird (22 cm and 70 grams) to the Great Bowerbird (40 cm and 230 grams). Their diet consists mainly of fruit but may also include insects (fed to young), flowers, nectar and leaves in some species.

The bowerbirds have an Austro-Papuan distribution, with ten species endemic to New Guinea, eight endemic to Australia and two found in both. Although their distribution is centered around the tropical regions of New Guinea and northern Australia, some species extend into central, western and southeastern Australia. They occupy a range of different habitats, including rainforest, eucalyptus and acacia forest, and shrublands.

Bowerbirds are most known for their unique courtship behaviour, where males build a structure and decorate it with sticks and brightly coloured objects in an attempt to attract a mate.

The catbirds are monogamous and raise chicks with their mate, but all other bowerbirds are polygymous, with the female building the nest and raising the young alone. These latter species are commonly sexually dimorphic, with the female being more drab in color. Female bowerbirds build a nest by laying soft materials, such as leaves, ferns, and vine tendrils, on top of a loose foundation of sticks. They lay one or two eggs, which hatch after 19 to 24 days, depending on the species.

The most notable characteristic of bowerbirds is their extraordinarily complex courtship and mating behaviour, where males build a bower to attract mates. There are two main types of bowers. One clade of bowerbirds build so-called maypole bowers that are constructed by placing sticks around a sapling; in some species these bowers have a hut-like roof. The other major bowerbuilding clade builds an avenue type bower made of two walls of vertically placed sticks. In and around the bower the male places a variety of brightly colored objects he has collected. These objects — usually different among each species — may include hundreds of shells, leaves, flowers, feathers, stones, berries, and even discarded plastic items, coins, nails, rifle shells, or pieces of glass. The males spend hours arranging this collection. Bowers within a species share a general form but do show significant variation, and the collection of objects reflects the biases of males of each species and its ability to procure items from the habitat, often stealing them from neighboring bowers. Several studies of different species have shown that colors of decorations males use on their bowers match the preferences of females.

In addition, many species of bowerbird are superb vocal mimics. Macgregor’s Bowerbird, for example, has been observed imitating pigs, waterfalls, and human chatter. Satin bowerbirds commonly mimic other local species as part of their courtship display. (Wikipedia)

(Information from various Internet sources.)
Articles here on the Blog about Bowerbirds:

Golden Bowerbird by A.J.Mithra
Ian’s Bird of the Week:
Tooth-billed Bowerbird
Spotted Bowerbird
Golden Bowerbird

More Formed By Him articles

Family#126 – Ptilonorhynchidae

Formed By Him – Feathered Language Master

Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris) WikiC

Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris) WikiC

Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men. (Psa 66:5)

When I Consider!

Formed By Him

“It is common for world travelers to learn at least a few words of other languages as they visit different cultures and meet different people. Not only is the marsh warbler a champion world traveler, he is also a champion linguist.
The Marsh Warbler is a small brown bird that spends only two months out of the year in its central European breeding grounds. It spends most of the year in Zambia. The warbler travels to its winter grounds in Africa on a route that takes it through the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula, across the Red Sea and into northeast Africa. Despite the distance warblers travel, they frequently return to the same bushes year after year.

The new generation of warblers is still quite young when they begin their 4,500-mile trip to Africa. These young warblers learn not only the calls of the various birds in Africa but also the calls of birds along the way. Warblers have been heard to imitate more than 210 species. One warbler once imitated 76 different species in 35 minutes. The following year, when the warblers return to Europe, the offer realistic mimics of other birds for only the first three or four days before they return to their own calls. This means that at the right time of year, walking through the English or German countryside, you might hear very convincing sounds from the African countryside.

The Marsh Warbler is a special tribute to our Creator’s inventive creativty as it celebrates in song the marvelous variety He fashioned in the bird kingdom.

Prayer: Dear Lord, as the Marsh Warbler praises You in its special way for the wonderful variety You have created in the bird kingdom, help me praise You for Your forgiveness in a special way before the world. Amen.”

From “Feathered Language Master“, Letting God Create Your Day, Vol. 2, p.118 Copyright from Creation Moments, 2011.

Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris) WikiC

Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris) WikiC

The Marsh Warbler, Acrocephalus palustris, is an Old World warbler currently classified in the family Acrocephalidae. It breeds in temperate Europe and western Asia and winters mainly in south east Africa. It is notable for incorporating striking imitations of a wide variety of other birds into its song.

The Marsh Warbler breeds in a variety of mostly damp habitats, but in Africa winters mainly in dry, well-vegetated areas. It is common over much of its breeding range and expanding its distribution in some areas. However in Britain it is now virtually extinct as a breeding bird. This insectivorous warbler can be easily confused with several close relatives, but the imitative song of the male is highly distinctive. The male’s distinctive song is useful for identification, as no other member of the genus mimics other birds to any significant extent. The Marsh Warbler also tends to avoid the stands of pure reed which are the Reed Warblers’ favoured habitat.

Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris) WikiC

Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris) WikiC


The Marsh Warbler is best known for the highly imitative song uttered by males, and very occasionally by females. Each male Marsh Warbler incorporates imitations of a wide range of other birds into its song. Other passerines are most commonly imitated, but the calls of other kinds of bird such as waders, hornbills and pigeons have been noted too. On average, each male bird incorporates imitations of 75 other species into its song, with rather more African than northern species mimicked. All learning seems to take place in the summer the bird is hatched in Europe or Asia, and in its first winter in Africa. The calls of birds heard in subsequent years are not added to the warbler’s repertoire. Females may utter a simple, non-imitative song, and a range of other calls are also known. (Wikipedia)

Songs of a Marsh Warbler by Stuart Fisher –

They are in the Acrocephalidae – Reed warblers and allies Family of the Passeriformes Order. Various Internet sources.

What an interesting little bird that the Lord has formed through His creation. What a fantastic Creator and Saviour we have who cares so much for Marsh Warbler and for us.

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (John 1:3)

Wordless Birds

More Formed By Him Articles


Formed By Him – Plants and Pollinator Birds

Malachite Sunbird (Nectarinia famosa) by Ian

Malachite Sunbird (Nectarinia famosa) by Ian

And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. (Genesis 1:30 KJV)

God has created an amazing bird, the Malachite Sunbird, and a beautiful flower, Babiana Ringens or “Rat’s Tail,” that both need one another to help meet their needs. The bird wants the nectar the flower produces and the flower needs to pollinate and is helped by the birds feathers. To help the two, the flower was created with a perch for the “long-tailed” bird to perch on while drinking nectar.

“Babiana ringens has a bright red floral display situated close to ground level . Its red colour , long corolla tubes and copious nectar supply make it attractive to sunbirds, which seem to be the primary pollinators of this plant. A strange, fleshy, twig-like structure projects above the plant giving it the common name of “rotstert ” or “rat’s tail.” The sole function of this twig-structure is that it provides a perching platform for sunbirds, which presumably “feel more comfortable” pollinating the plant from this vantage point than from the ground (Anderson et al. 2005). Having this perch increases outcrossing rates and positions birds correctly for efficient pollen transfer (Anderson et al. 2005). Anderson et al. (2005) also showed that male sunbirds were more particular about the presence or absence of a perch which they ascribed to territoriality or perhaps because using a perch is less likely to damage the long tail sported only by males than if they used the ground. This is arguably the most specialized bird perch in the world.” (To see whole article – Click Here)

Malachite Sunbird - plant for - Rats Tail (babiana ringens) ©©JG in SF

Malachite Sunbird – plant for – Rats Tail (babiana ringens) ©©JG in SF – (see the stem at left)

From Creation Moments:

Plants with Perches for Pollinator Birds –  Copyright © 2011, Creation Moments, PO Box 839, Foley, MN 56329,

Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps … Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl… (Psalm 148:7, 10)

Could a plant devise a special growth for itself so that it becomes inviting to its only pollinator? If evolution was true, how could such a plant survive until it could learn enough about its pollinator, and about genetics, to evolve a special growth just for that pollinator.

Those sound like silly questions, but if evolution is true, they must be answered, and answered scientifically. A South African plant called the “Rat’s Tail” grows a seemingly purposeless spear that extends near its flowers. Theorizing that the spear might be a bird-perch for a pollinator, scientists closely watched some of the plants in the wild. They learned that the only bird that seems interested in pollinating the plant is a bird called the “Malachite Sunbird.” The scientists then removed the spikes from some of the plants. The result was that male sunbirds were far less likely to visit and pollinate those plants. As a result, perchless-plants only produced half as many seeds as plants with perches. Researchers pointed out that this arrangement makes sense because male sunbirds have long tails that can be damaged by ground landings.

However, if we conclude that the Rat’s Tails were created for the sunbirds, and the sunbirds for the Rat’s Tails, we don’t have to find natural explanations for such silly questions. This is simply another of God’s clever designs.

Lord, Your caring hand is all around us. I thank You especially for caring for me by forgiving my sins. Amen.
Science News, 6/4/05, p. 365, “Built-in bird perch spreads the pollen.”

Malachite Sunbird (Nectarinia famosa) ©©Rainbirder

Malachite Sunbird (Nectarinia famosa) ©©Rainbirder

The Malachite Sunbird is in the Nectariniidae – Sunbirds Family of the Passeriformes Order or Perching Birds and are found across Africa, the Middle East and into South-east Asia.

The breeding male Malachite Sunbird, which has very long central tail feathers, is 25cm long, and the shorter-tailed female 15 cm. The adult male is metallic green when breeding, with blackish-green wings with small yellow pectoral patches. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the male’s upperparts are brown apart from the green wings and tail, the latter retaining the elongated feathers. The underparts in eclipse plumage are yellow, flecked with green.

The female has brown upperparts and dull yellow underparts with some indistinct streaking on the breast. Her tail is square-ended. The juvenile resembles the female.

This species, like most sunbirds, feed mainly on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. This sunbird may hunt in a similar manner to a flycatcher, hawking for insect prey from a perch.  Most sunbird species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed most of the time. As a fairly large sunbird, the Malachite Sunbird is no exception. They have long thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues, both adaptations to nectar feeding.

Wordless Birds


Formed By Him – Hornbills, Monkeys and Eagles

Yellow-casqued Hornbill (Ceratogymna elata) ©Wiki

Yellow-casqued Hornbill (Ceratogymna elata) ©Wiki

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! (Romans 11:33 NASB)

Hornbills that Understand Monkey

The Yellow-casqued Hornbill (Ceratogymna elata) is found in the primeval rain forest of coastal regions of West Africa, for example in Côte d’Ivoire.

Yellow-casqued Hornbills are one of the largest birds of the forest, with adults weighing up to 2 kg. They live mainly in the forest canopy, feeding on the ground only rarely. They live in small family groups containing at least one adult male and female, with one or two immature birds, though they sometimes gather in larger flocks to exploit a major food supply such as an ant or termite nest.

Crowned Eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus) ©WikiC

Crowned Eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus) ©WikiC

“The birds are occasionally preyed upon by Crowned Eagles, and they respond to the presence of an eagle (sometimes indicated by its characteristic shriek) by mobbing, i.e. approaching it and emitting calls. Since the eagles depend on surprise to make a catch, this frequently causes them to leave the area.” (Wikipedia edited)

“With the exception of basic messages such as aggression, communication between two entirely different species has seldom been observed among animals in the wild. We know that many animals among the same species give each other specific warnings about an impending danger.” One example is “researchers have found that a downy woodpecker responds to alarm calls from chickadees.” “However, scientists have never noted one species recognizing the specific warning given by a second species.

Diana Monkey at the Henry Doorly Zoo ©WikiC

Diana Monkey at the Henry Doorly Zoo ©WikiC

Diana monkeys on the Ivory Coast of Africa face two primary threats, leopards and crowned eagles. When one of these threats appears, the spotter gives a very specific bark-like call depending on the type of threat. Of course, the monkeys need to respond differently to each threat whether it comes from the leopard below or the eagle above. So it helps them to know what they are facing. On the other hand, a bird named the yellow hornbill is threatened only by the crowned eagles. Researchers noted that these birds ignored the monkeys’ warning about the leopards. But when the monkeys signaled danger from the eagle, the bird took defensive measures. Researchers confirmed their observations using tape recorded monkey calls. The researchers were amazed that these birds understood the monkey warnings in an intelligent manner.”

Such intelligence comes from the Creator, Who has given the gift of such intelligence to His creatures in a way that provides for their survival. This shows His loving care for His creation.

Science News, 3/20: 2004, p. 188  Science News, “Hornbills know which monkey calls to heed.”
Copyright © 2011, Creation Moments, PO Box 839, Foley, MN 56329, and from Wikipedia

Yellow-casqued Hornbills are in the Hornbill-Bucerotidae Family of the Bucerotiformes Order which includes the Hoopoes, Wood Hoopoes, and the Ground Hornbills. Crowned Eagles are found in the Kites, Hawks and Eagles – Accipitridae Family.

Formed By Him – The Kakapo

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) ©Dept of Conservation

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) ©Dept of Conservation

And wild animals shall meet with hyenas; the wild goat shall cry to his fellow; indeed, there the night bird settles and finds for herself a resting place. (Isaiah 34:14 ESV)

The Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) is another unique bird Formed by the Creator. The following articles will introduce you to a New Zealand bird that is extremely endangered with only about 90-120 left in the world (depending on sources). They belong to the Strigopidae Family, of which it is the only bird in the Strigops genus and keeps company with the Kea and New Zealand Kaka of the Nestor genus. The three are classified as New Zealand Parrots and belong to the Psittaciformes Order of Parrots and Cockatoos.

From Creation Moments: A Truly Strange Bird

Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. (Psalms 40:5 KJV)

Though God created the entire living kingdom in only a few days, the variety and creativity of what He made seems nearly unlimited by our standards. One of the more unusual creatures He made was thought extinct until it was rediscovered in 1958.

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) ©WikiC showing whiskers around beak

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) ©WikiC showing whiskers around beak

The kakapo parrot lives in New Zealand. The most unusual parrot on Earth, it is one of only a few known parrots that prefers to sleep during the day and becomes active at night. Weighing in at five pounds, it is also the world’s heaviest parrot. It is, perhaps not surprisingly, the world’s only non-flying parrot.

The Creator’s unusual expression of inventive creativity in designing the kakapo did not end here. The mating habits of the kakapo are especially peculiar for birds. In mating season, the males gather in locations that are used year after year for mate selection. Female parrots come to these places to inspect the males to select a mate. However, in most un-bird-like fashion, the males provide absolutely no help building the nest or rearing the young.

The kakapo is remarkable because of its many strange traits, most of which would make it least fit for survival. In other words, not only is it an unusual creature, but its more unusual characteristics seem to put it at a disadvantage as far as evolution is concerned. So while evolution would not have made the kakapo, our inventive Creator did, perhaps as a witness against evolution.
Dear Father in heaven, I thank You for the beauty and creativity You have placed into Your work of creation and for the blessings these gifts add to life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Discover, Mar. 1985. p. 36. ©Creation Moments 3/10/11

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) ©Dept of Conservation-To See Relative Size

This is what Wikipedia (with editing) has to say about the Kakapo:

“The Kakapo (Māori: kākāpō, meaning night parrot), Strigops habroptila, also called owl parrot, is a species of large (60 cm, 24 in), flightless nocturnal parrot endemic to New Zealand. It has finely blotched yellow-green plumage, a distinct facial disc of sensory, vibrissa-like feathers, a large grey beak, short legs, large feet, and wings and a tail of relatively short length. A certain combination of traits makes it unique among its kind—it is the world’s only flightless parrot, the heaviest parrot (2-4 kg, 4.5-9 lb), nocturnal, herbivorous, visibly sexually dimorphic in body size, has a low basal metabolic rate, no male parental care, and is the only parrot to have a polygynous lek breeding system. It is also possibly one of the world’s longest-living birds. Its anatomy typifies the tendency of bird evolution on oceanic islands, with few predators and abundant food: a generally robust physique, with accretion of thermodynamic efficiency at the expense of flight abilities, reduced wing muscles, and a diminished keel on the sternum.

The Kakapo is critically endangered; as of February 2010, only 120 living individuals are known, most of which have been given names.

The Kakapo has a well-developed sense of smell, which complements its nocturnal lifestyle. It can discriminate among odours while foraging; a behaviour reported for only one other parrot species. One of the most striking characteristics of the Kakapo is its pleasant and powerful odour, which has been described as musty. Given the Kakapo’s well-developed sense of smell, this scent may be a social chemosignal.”

More about the Kakapo from Wikipedia

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) ©WikiC showing camaflage

Kakapo (Strigops habroptila) ©WikiC Showing The Lord’s Design of Camaflage

Facts about the Kakapo from New Zealand’s Dept of Conservation:
* It is the heaviest parrot in the world. Males can weigh over two kilograms. Unique among land birds, it can store large amounts of energy as body fat.
* It is the only parrot to have a ‘lek’ mating system: males compete for ‘calling posts’ specially dug-out bowls in the earth and call (“boom”) each night in summer months for a female. The male’s low-frequency mating boom travels over several kilometres. It is the only parrot to have an inflatable thoracic air sac.
* Kākāpō breed every three to four years.
* A bird can range several kilometres in one night.
* Although it cannot fly, it is good at climbing trees.
* The birds are herbivores and eat variety of foods such as roots, leaves and fruit
* Kākāpō once ranged from near sea level to high in the mountains.
* Possibly as defence against its ancient predator – the giant eagle – the kākāpō became nocturnal and learned to remain still (‘freeze’) at times of danger.

More about the Kakapo from the New Zealand Department of Conservation

Kakapo Release by Spokebird

To see more of the Formed By Him Articles – CLICK HERE


Formed By Him – Rock Birds and The Rock – II

Water Splashing on Rocks - Point Lobos State Reserve by Daves BP

Water Splashing on Rocks – Point Lobos State Reserve by Daves BP

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: (Matthew 7:24 KJV)

“Rock Birds” Part II.  See Formed By Him – Rock Birds and The Rock – I to see the first 25 birds with “Rock” in their names.

When the Lord created the world and all that is therein, He created the rocks and hills and the birds that He created were well adapted to live in those places. Birdwatchers through the years have observed them in this habitat of rocks, stones, cliffs, and other high rocky places. Just as Adam named the first birds, ornithologists (bird people) are still naming birds.

Searching through the latest IOC 2.7 List of Birds, I found 50 birds with “Rock” in their names. Searching the Bible for the word “Rock”, I found around 130 verses referring to a “rock” or “The Rock.” Here is a blend of the birds and some of the Scriptures verses that show the mighty Hand of God at work and the neat “Rock Birds” Formed by Him.

Here is the list of the last 25 birds with “Rock” in their name in taxonomic order with a few words about them :

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. (Psalms 95:1 KJV)

Rockrunner (Achaetops pycnopygius) – The Rockrunner is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 3 eggs and they are coloured red.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

Rock-loving Cisticola (Cisticola emini) ©©algaedoc

Rock-loving Cisticola (Cisticola emini) – It is usually associated with rocky wooded terrain with interspersed patchy grass tussocks. Forages in rocks or rank vegetation for insects. Split from the Lazy Cisticola.

Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) by Daves BirdingPix

Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) – Their breeding habitat is dry rocky locations, including canyons, from southwestern Canada south to Costa Rica. This bird builds a cup nest in a crevice or cavity, usually among rocks.

These birds are permanent residents in the south of their range, but northern populations migrate to warmer areas from the central United States and southwest Canada southwards. They are occasional vagrants in the eastern United States.

These birds actively hunt on the ground, around and under objects, probing with their bill as their extraction tool. They mainly eat insects and spiders. Neat Video This bird’s song is a trill, becoming more varied during the nesting season.

Western Rock Nuthatch (Sitta neumayer) ©WikiC

Western Rock Nuthatch (Sitta neumayer) – Video – The Western Rock Nuthatch is a bird associated with habitats with bare rocks, especially in mountainous areas. Those at the highest altitudes may move lower down in winter.

It feeds on insects and spiders in summer, supplemented with seeds and snails in winter. It feeds on the ground, and will wedge larger items in rock crevies while it hammers them open with its strong bill. It will also flycatch.

This territorial species builds a flask-shaped nest from mud, dung and hair or feathers in a rock crevice, cave, or under an overhang on a rock face. Decorative items may be pushed into crevices and cracks near the entrance to the nest. The nest is lined with softer materials and the entrance is sealed with mud. 4-10 eggs are laid, and are white speckled with yellow.

Eastern Rock Nuthatch (Sitta tephronota) – Video

In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. (Psalms 62:7 KJV)

Brown Rock Chat (Cercomela fusca) – Video – Habitat: Rocky hills, ravines, ruins of ancient tombs and forts, and in suburban compounds, occasionally visiting inhabited homes or nesting in rafters.

Brown-tailed Rock Chat (Cercomela scotocerca) – Photo – A seriously undistinguished little bird that only a birder or ornithologist would bother looking for! It’s main distinguishing feature is its brown-ness and it’s distinguished from the similar Red-tailed Chat by the fact that it’s well, browner. It’s fairly uncommon and prefers rocky bush country. It’s range extends down as far as Samburu, but the best place we’ve found to see it is near Lake Baringo where it can usually be found at the base of the basalt cliffs just West of the lake. Even there it can be difficult to spot since it blends in well against the rocks and dust, especially in the dry season when evrything looks (wait for it) brown. (Kenya Birds)

Sombre Rock Chat (Cercomela dubia) – Video

Cape Rock Thrush (Monticola rupestris) ©WikiC

Cape Rock Thrush (Monticola rupestris) ©WikiC

Cape Rock Thrush (Monticola rupestris) – The rock-thrushes, Monticola, are a genus of chats, medium-sized mostly insectivorous or omnivorous songbirds. All are Old World birds associated with mountainous regions.

Sentinel Rock Thrush (Monticola explorator) – Same as above – Video by Keith
Short-toed Rock Thrush (Monticola brevipes) – Same as above – It is found in Angola, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. (Psalms 40:2 KJV)

Miombo Rock Thrush (Monticola angolensis) – Same as above
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatilis) (Common) – Same as above
Little Rock Thrush (Monticola rufocinereus) – Same as above – It is found in rocky areas with some trees, and sometimes near settlements.[2][3] At 15 to 16 centimetres (5.9 to 6.3 in) this is the smallest of the rock thrushes.

Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius) by Nikhil Devasar

Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius) – Same as above – Blue Rock Thrush breeds in open mountainous areas, usually higher than the breeding zone of the related Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush. It nests in rock cavities and walls, and usually lays 3-5 eggs. An omnivore, the Blue Rock Thrush eats a wide variety of insects and small reptiles in addition to berries and seeds.

This is a starling-sized bird, 21–23 cm in length with a long slim bill. The summer male is unmistakable, with all blue-grey plumage apart from its darker wings. Females and immatures are much less striking, with dark brown upperparts, and paler brown scaly underparts. Both sexes lack the reddish outer tail feathers of Rock Thrush. The male Blue Rock Thrush sings a clear, melodious call that is similar to, but louder than the call of the Rock Thrush.

The Blue Rock Thrush is Malta’s national bird and is shown on the Lm 1 coins that was part of the previous currency of the country.

Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush (Monticola rufiventris) – Same as above – It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is temperate forests.
Blue-capped Rock Thrush (Monticola cinclorhynchus) – Same as above  Video – This thrush-like Old World flycatcher breeds in the foothills of the Himalayas and winters in the hill forests of southern India.

White-throated Rock Thrush by Peter Ericsson

White-throated Rock Thrush by Peter Ericsson

White-throated Rock Thrush (Monticola gularis) – Same as above – It is found in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is temperate forests.
Littoral Rock Thrush (Monticola imerina) – Same as above – Its natural habitats are dry savanna and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.
Forest Rock Thrush (Monticola sharpei) – Same as above – It is endemic to Madagascar.

And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. (Psalms 78:35 KJV)

Rockefeller’s Sunbird (Cinnyris rockefelleri) – It is found in Democratic Republic of the Congo, possibly Burundi, and possibly Rwanda. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist montanes and subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland. It is threatened by habitat loss.
Pale Rockfinch (Carpospiza brachydactyla) – Photo
Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia) – This sparrow breeds on barren rocky hills from the Iberian peninsula and western north Africa across southern Europe and through central Asia. It is largely resident in the west of its range, but Asian birds migrate to more southerly areas, or move down the mountains.

As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 9:33 KJV)

Rock Firefinch (Lagonosticta sanguinodorsalis) – Photo – It is commonly found in bushy and rocky outcrops on the Jos Plateau, Nigeria and inselbergs to the north and east. It probably feeds on grass seeds.
Eurasian Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus) – a small passerine bird species which breeds on rocky coasts of western Europe northwards from Brittany. Rock Pipits tend to be found along rocky coasts, whereas Water Pipits favour damp grassland.

African Rock Pipit
(Anthus crenatus) – The Yellow-tufted Pipit, also known as the African Rock Pipit, is a species of bird in the Motacillidae family. It is found in Lesotho and South Africa. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland.

Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia) by Nikhil Devasar

Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia) – Photo – Rock Bunting breeds in open dry rocky mountainous areas. It lays 3-5 greyish eggs in a lined nest on the ground or occasionally in a low bush. Its natural food consists of insects when feeding young, and otherwise seeds.

Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. (Job 39:27-28 KJV)

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. (Psalms 31:3 KJV)

There are many more verses that mention “The Rock” and there are also many more birds that live and eat in rocky places. They may not have “rock” in their name, but they were all created by The Rock, Jesus Christ.

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: (Ephesians 3:9 KJV)

And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:4 KJV)

Information mostly from Wikipedia, but other internet sources quoted also. Names according to the IOC 2.7 version.

We trust you know The Rock as your Saviour.

Wordless Birds

Gospel Message

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