Does Global Warming Threaten Bird Habitats?

Tricolored Heron by Dan

Does Global Warming Threaten Bird Habitats?

Written by Dr. James J. S. Johnson in the latest Acts And Facts about birds, especially the Tricolored Heron, being affected by the threats of global warming.

“If you love birds, should you fight petroleum production in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? How you answer depends on whether you believe man-made global warming is threatening Earth’s climate. That crisis scenario is actually based on evolutionary old-earth assumptions,1 and constant media stories feed the fear.

An amateur naturalist recently sounded the global-warming alarm over tricolored herons expanding their range. He reported that about three-quarters of the population lived in Louisiana in 1976, but now many are relocating northward up the Atlantic coast.2 He had little trouble identifying the culprits:

Isolated islands, prime breeding grounds safe from land-based predators, are being lost everywhere to rising sea levels and devastating storms. The tricolor I was watching was apparently trying to adapt to a rapidly warming planet. It had arrived earlier and farther north than its ancestors ever did [sic].…Birds everywhere are being threatened by the climate crisis. The fossil fuel lobby and its enablers in Washington, DC, are handing tricolors and thousands of other species a life-threatening legacy.2

But wait! Are the fossil fuel lobby and the politically powerful petroleum industry really villains that are forcing the poor tricolored herons to migrate—in temperature-troubled desperation—to a Virginia wildlife refuge “farther north” than their ancestors had ever been? No, because the same writer admitted that earlier heron generations had populated eastern America outside of Louisiana….

Does Global Warming Threaten Bird Habitats?

 

Eleventh Anniversary of Blogging About Birds – Part III

Firey-throated and Volcano Hummingbird ©Raymond Barlow

I trust the last two posts have been informative and a blessing. Eleventh Anniversary and Eleventh Anniversary II. It still amazes me how the Lord would choose to use us in even a small way. If you have followed Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures very long, you know I believe that all these beautiful birds are a gift from the Lord’s Creative hand. They did not evolve from some blob or a dinosaur. The Bible has given us too many proofs of this, unless you have chosen not to believe His Word. I have no problem believing the following verses:

“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his 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 fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” (Genesis 1:21-23 KJV)

Watching Birds at MacDill AFB Shore

Nor believing that Adam named those first critters, including the birds:

“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. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:19-20 NKJV)

Of course today, the I.O.C. gets together with many ornithologist from around the world to name birds. Adam didn’t need a committee at that time. He was the only human present. Eve came after the naming. [They, IOC, have increased their numbers by over 400 newly named birds since the Birds of the World section was added.]

Black-capped Foliage-gleaner (Philydor atricapillus) by Dario Sanches

Black-capped Foliage-gleaner (Philydor atricapillus) by Dario Sanches

Back to the reviewing of the past eleven years. From the beginning, the Lord’s Word about the birds has been the main part as I tried to find the various birds mentioned in the Bible. From there is has grown in various ways, but always, God’s Words are mentioned. Almost all of our writers, that thankfully add to this blog, believe that these fantastic birds are from God’s Hand.

The Seventh Anniversary in 2015 revealed that there had been 1.3 million visits and there were over 1,100 followers. Wow! By then Golden Eagle, Dr. James J. S. Johnson and Emma Foster were writing articles. Enough to have their own page in the menu [left side].

Must have skipped the 8th and 9th anniversaries, but much was going on. The Birds of the Bible for Kids blog was being re-fired up and most of the articles were move back over to there.

Dust Storm in Texas in 1935 ©WikiC

The Tenth anniversary had me Really Kicking Up A Dust Storm, sometime during those years, somehow, this site was hacked. Many of the photos used in post were GONE. The “pipe dream” of having a photo of every bird in the world blew up. This really involved much work to fix all the broken links that caused. Now in the Birds of the World, the list of the birds are there, but with some photos at the end of the page. [This was the only way to fix hundreds of broken links.]

If you have a blog or are thinking about starting one, they are enjoyable, but there can be issues that can “spoil the vines. “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” (Song of Solomon 2:15 KJV) Do we throw in the towel, or do we continue? So far, we have continued. Else we wouldn’t be celebrating 11 years of blogging.

Hummingbird at Trumpet Vine ©Harold A Davis

The Lord has been very gracious. We have made many friends over the years because of this blog. I feel like I know some of you personally, even though we probably won’t meet until we arrive in heaven. Thanks for all the friendships that have developed over these many years. The Lord truly has been blessing.

Tomorrow, I hope to add at least one more post to this anniversary remembrances.

Wordless Birds – With Hummingbirds

 

 

Many Thanks!

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) singing ©Brindusa Art

As many of the readers of this blog know, I had back surgery on August 3rd. Before I mention the results of the surgery, I want to give some thanks.

#1  I want to thank the Lord for His Watching over all that has happened during this. Thanks and praise to a wonderful Savior who cares so much about us.

“O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.” (Psalms 105:1 KJV)

#2  I want to thank all of you for your prayers and well wishes. Also, for continuing to keep up with the blog. I cannot thank you enough for that. Thank you.

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: ” (1 Peter 3:12a KJV)

American Oystercatchers (American Bird Conservancy photo)

#3  I want to especially thank Dr. James J. S. Johnson, who has been practically carrying on this blog, by providing almost an article a day. The articles have been very interesting and entertaining, as I detect by the remarks that have been posted. He posts occasional posts here, but Dr. Jim, as I call him, has written the last 11 posts. Thank you, Dr. Jim.

“We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.” (3 John 1:8 KJV)

My forty-five (45) minute surgery and an overnight stay in the hospital ended up being a two and a half hour surgery and five nights in the hospital. Then we I returned home on Tuesday (100 mile ride), I ended up in the Emergency Room the next day, here in town. It is taking me a while to get back up to strength.

I just found out yesterday why the longer surgery. While they were placing the wedge/cage by my vertebra, the vertebrae fractured due to soft bone. I started bleeding immediately and they had to stop to get that stopped. Then they had to figure out what to do with the vertebra. [How many times I have prayed for other’s surgeries that the Lord would guide their hands, and their thinking.] Thank you for praying.

As a result of that, I ended up with fluid in the sac by the lung. That had to be drained a few days after the surgery. I believe I am now on the mend. I am still weak and on medicine that has slowed me down from even thinking about blogging. See why I am so thankful for the last 11 articles by Dr. Johnson. Needless to say, I have not done any birdwatching. :)

SNOWY EGRET wading & shading (Mrs. Bursk Science Class blog)

Thanks again to all of you for your thoughts and prayers, and especially for the Lord who knew all about this before, during, and after the surgery, and never left me.

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If you missed the latest 11 articles by Dr. Jim:

Shake a Leg (or 2 or 3 or 4), Crab-Eater! – Aug 7

Crazy as a Coot! – Aug 8

Pinyon Jay, Grand Canyon’s Forester – Aug 9

Killdeer atop Killdeer: Appreciating Help from Others – Aug 10

Loggerhead Shrike: Converting Thorns into Meat-hooks – Aug 11

Oystercatchers Must be Gentiles – Aug 12

Eggs Taste Better if Salted – Aug 13

Penguin Eggs Tragedy – Aug 14

Shades of Snowies – Aug 15

Peregrine Falcon – Proactive Hunter – Aug 16

Egret Feathers Worth More Than Gold – Aug 17

Master’s Degree WAS Finished in 2017

From February 2016 until October 2017 I was working on a Master’s Degree online from the School of Biblical Apologetics. With my back surgery, a hurricane, and etc., etc., … I failed to post the conclusion of it. It’s about time I express my thankfulness to the Institute for Creation Research for having the online school.

SOBA Degree

I was delighted when I received my tassel and the cords that I would have worn with a cap and gown. When there is no graduation ceremony because of being an online degree, you are at a loss to figure out how to show them off. I solved that problem by hanging my tassel on my walker. Then I showed it off at church. I caused my pastor to double over laughing when I told him the following:

When you graduate when you are young, you hang your tassel on your mirror in the car. When you are 74, you hang it on your walker.

Tassel Hanging plus the Cords on Walker (Posed)

I praise the Lord for the opportunity to take the great courses offered through the School of Biblical Apologetics. Here is a list of the courses that I took for my Master of Christian Education in Biblical Education and Apologetics.

S.O.B.A. Courses Taken

What is the School all about? (Taken from their About page)

The School of Biblical Apologetics (SOBA) is a formal education arm of the Institute for Creation Research. (For more on ICR’s purposes, see Who We Are.)

SOBA provides certificate-level, undergraduate-level, and graduate-level training in biblical education and apologetics. SOBA’s foundation is Scripture, which the school and its faculty hold as inerrant, accurate, and authoritative. Biblical creation, with a special emphasis on Genesis 1-11, is a significant focus of all SOBA degrees, majors, and minors. This focus sets ICR’s program apart from other graduate level apologetic programs.

Fulfilling the purpose of training future leaders in biblical education and apologetics, while maintaining a strict adherence to Scripture (including biblical creationist appreciation of Genesis 1-11), makes ICR’s School of Biblical Apologetics the best choice for those desiring to round out their biblical education. SOBA prepares its students with defensible answers for their faith, giving them the tools necessary to “be ready always to give an answer” for the hope within (1 Peter 3:15) and to “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 1:3).

Dr. James J. S. Johnson is the Chief Academic Officer of the School. As you may know, he posts articles here on this blog. He loves birdwatching and taught birding courses previous to joining I.C.R. He was a tremendous encouragement for me to begin and continue working on this degree. Also, Mrs Mary Smith, the Registrar and Academic Coordinator, was a great encourager. My thanks to both of them.

My husband, Dan, was my most encouraging supporter. He helped complete my neglected duties because of me “having my head in a book.” :) Thank you, Dan!

At my age, this degree was undertaken for several reasons. It was to help increase my Biblical Knowledge and to help me explain the Creation of God’s fantastic critters better. In other words, for personal enrichment and better witnessing of God’s Love and Salvation. The best decision I ever made in my life was on March 20, 1960, when I personally accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Personal Savior.

I desire to use the truth of God’s Word to encourage others to, 1) accept Christ as their personal Savior, 2) to read and study the truths found in Scripture, 3) apply the Word to their lives and grow Spiritually, and 4) use that knowledge to teach others to do the same.

Please check out the School of Biblical Apologetics and see how you could also benefit from their courses.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17 KJV)

 

Why Kangaroo Rats Don’t Get Dehydrated in the Desert

An interesting article by Dr. Jim, JJSJ. I am reposting it here. The Lord’s amazing Providential Design is beyond our human comprehension of His Love and Care for all critters.

rockdoveblog

Behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert. (Jeremiah 50:12b)

DESERT SCRUBLAND near EL PASO, TX photo credit: Pinterest

Kangaroo rats thrive in America’s hot, dry deserts — why don’t they suffer from being dehydrated?  How do they get enough water to survive, since they don’t need to drink water like almost all other mammals?   In short, God has designed and constructed kangaroo rats so that they get their water from their food, especially drought-resistant seeds that abound in the desert.  As they digest such xeric foods, the rats produce (within themselves) all the water that they need, metabolically (i.e., from the normal digestion process), and they retain most of that water by releasing very little of it in their urine (as noted below).

In sum, kangaroo rats are made to get their water form their food and to conserve it…

View original post 1,055 more words

Who Supplied The Food For The First Thanksgiving? – Re-post

Our writer here, James J. S. Johnson, has his own blog, over at RockDoveBlog. I thought his Thanksgiving post is so interesting, that I am sharing it with you here:

Who Supplied the Food for the First Thanksgiving?

James J. S. Johnson

1st-thanksgiving-accurate-painting

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without [outside], and that ye may have lack of nothing. (1st Thessalonians 4:11-12)

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. (Ephesians 4:28)

Recently my happy-hearted 5-year-old grandson was taught a little Thanksgiving song, in kindergarten. It was a catchy tune, yet some lyrics contained a PC (i.e., politically corrupt) “gotcha”. The little ditty went something like this:

The Indians brought the food; the Pilgrims set up the table…

Of course, I chose not to admonish my enthusiastic grandson that the little chorus was historically twisted – revisionist “history” in song – giving the impression that the Pilgrims were just invasive “takers”, as if the Indian natives alone provided all the food eaten during the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth. But it bugged me (and it continues to bug me) that trusting kindergartners are misled into believing…… [Read the rest of this blog]

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Happy Thanksgiving From All of Us Here At Lee’s Birdwatching!!!

RockDoveBlog

James J. S. Johnson’s Articles Here

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Birdwatching On Board The Ark Encounter – The Provisions II

Water and Food Holders for the Cages - Lee at Ark Encounter

Water and Food Holders for the Cages – Lee at Ark Encounter

This is the fourth blog about Birdwatching on board the Ark Encounter. The Ark Encounter is a full-sized model of the Ark that is located in Williamstown, Kentucky.

James J. S. Johnson, Dr. Jim as I call him, writes articles here, but he also has a blog called Rockdoveblog. He has been writing limericks lately, and this one fits well with today’s article.

The Floating Zoo by Dr. James J. S. Johnson

There once was a boat called the Ark:
Peep, meow, baa, hee-haw, and bark!
Its size was quite large,
As afloat went this barge:
Noah’s at-sea zoölogical park!

COMMENTARY:  See Genesis chapters 6 through 9.

I am sure it WAS interesting on board the Ark, with all the many critters. In the Birdwatching On Board The Ark Encounter – The Provisions I article, I showed you how they stored the food and water for them and the critters. There are more photos to show and tell you about. As the waters were lifted up, and the ark began to float, there had to be a rise in the noise level of the critters on board.

“And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.” (Genesis 7:17-20 KJV) [emphasis added]

The Fairy Tale Ark Room

The Fairy Tale Ark Room

Surely the critters were frightened at times, as were the humans. When the fountains of the deep broke up and the rain fell, it was not a smooth sailing cruise liner. Yet, the Lord God had given Noah the measurements and design for the Ark. Our Omninescient Creator knew exactly how the Ark would hold up during the upheavals and wave actions of all that was going on outside the Ark. (See “Lifted Up From The Earth” by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.,  How Could All the Animals Get On Board Noah’s Ark? and The Survival of Noah’s Ark, John D. Morris, Ph.D.)

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.” (Genesis 7:11-12 KJV)

Most of our readers are familiar with the details of the Flood, which was universal and not a local flood, as some claim. In fact, one of the rooms at the Ark Encounter they call the “Fairy Tale Ark” room. They have a collection of children’s books and others, depicting the ark with a giraffe sticking his head out the roof, and other critters on deck. You’ve seen them. Here are our photos:

How would you provide for the people, birds and other critters for a year and at least 10 days, (see Provisions I), on those little arks? You couldn’t!!! More on this point another time.

The following is a quote from Chapter 10 of the New Answers Book 1 – Was There Really a Noah’s Ark and Flood? (Online)

“How Did Noah Care for All the Animals?

Just as God brought the animals to Noah by some form of supernatural means, He surely also prepared them for this amazing event. Creation scientists suggest that God gave the animals the ability to hibernate, as we see in many species today. Most animals react to natural disasters in ways that were designed to help them survive. It’s very possible many animals did hibernate, perhaps even supernaturally intensified by God.

Whether it was supernatural or simply a normal response to the darkness and confinement of a rocking ship, the fact that God told Noah to build rooms (“qen”—literally in Hebrew “nests”) in Genesis 6:14 implies that the animals were subdued or nesting. God also told Noah to take food for them (Genesis 6:21), which tells us that they were not in a yearlong coma either.”

“Were we able to walk through the Ark as it was being built, we would undoubtedly be amazed at the ingenious systems on board for water and food storage and distribution. As Woodmorappe explains in Noah’s Ark: A Feasibility Study, a small group of farmers today can raise thousands of cattle and other animals in a very small space. One can easily imagine all kinds of devices on the Ark that would have enabled a small number of people to feed and care for the animals, from watering to waste removal.”

Vervain Hummingbird (Mellisuga minima) WikiC

Vervain Hummingbird (Mellisuga minima) WikiC

If God did choose to have the “animals hibernate,” then, this would have required less provisions and time feeding the critters. That could be one way to stretch the food they had on board. Just from today’s behavior, we know that Hummingbirds go into a “torpor” state. Here is a quote from “How Do Hummingbirds survive Cold Nights? Hummingbirds and Torpor” (ScienceBlogs)

“Torpor is a type of deep sleep where an animal lowers its metabolic rate by as much as 95%. By doing so, a torpid hummingbird consumes up to 50 times less energy when torpid than when awake. This lowered metabolic rate also causes a cooled body temperature. A hummingbird’s night time body temperature is maintained at a hypothermic threshold that is barely sufficient to maintain life. This threshold is known as their set point and it is far below the normal daytime body temperature of 104°F or 40°C recorded for other similarly-sized birds.”

I can see again, we are going to need a Part III to this. But before we end this one, we need to not lose the fact of the applications with these provisions. Our Lord has provided us with daily provisions and meets our many needs. Yet, this Ark was for the preservation of those inside. Many were invited to get in the Ark, but they refused. Judgment was coming, they had been warned, yet they refused to heed the warnings. Then, it was too late. The Door was shut.

Today, the offer of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior is before us. Will we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior or we “fluff” it off like those who refused to enter the Ark. Judgment is coming. Many like to talk about the love part of the Lord, but there is also the judgment side. Hebrews 9:26-28 says,

“For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:26-28 KJV)

Before the Flood, man was able to look ahead to the cross, and now we look back at the cross. The Door was available the pre-flood people, they refused, except eight. Now the Door is open to us. Praise the Lord, Dan and I, along with many of you have opened the door of your hearts and let the Lord in.

The Door at the Ark Encounter - Dan and our friends

The Door at the Ark Encounter – Dan and our friends

“Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:7-9 KJV)

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Happy Thanksgiving – 2015

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! (1 Chronicles 16:8 NKJV)

Today we celebrate Thanksgiving here in America. When I went back to see what had been posted in the past, there is not much more could be said. See the list of many previous posts for Thanksgiving over the years this blog has been going.

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Or is there? 2015 was another great year and I am thankful for all the blessings the Lord has given us through out this last year. Our big trip to the West Coast was the highlight of the year. We are thankful for all the many miles we safely traveled and the many birds and interesting things we saw. Thankful to the Lord for His marvelous creations we saw.

“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 NKJV)

I am also thankful for all of you who have stopped by to visit and read the articles. Also, for the many comments you have left over the year, even the negative ones. That is called freedom of speech. Also, I am thankful for the almost 1.5 million visits here. Wow! It is getting close. I am also thankful for the writers who have contributed to help enhance the blog. James J. S. Johnson, Golden Eagle, Ian Montgomery, Emma Foster, Dottie Malcolm, and others have written many fine articles. Happy Thanksgiving to all of them.

“…and to everyone who works and labors with us.” (1 Corinthians 16:16b NKJV)

Most of all, I am thankful for my Savior and the Love and Blessings He has given to Dan and I. Even with hospital time and a slipped disc, He has never left us, nor forsaken us.

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15 NKJV)

Previous Thanksgiving Posts:

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Seventh Anniversary

Flamingo by Dan' at Flamingo Gardens

Flamingo by Dan’ at Flamingo Gardens

Wow! Has it now been seven years since I started writing the Birds of the Bible articles? February 2008 is the original beginning month of the blog. It was started using Blogspot, but moved here to WordPress in July of that year. If you take a look at the articles below you will see how the Lord has been blessing over these years.

Today with almost 1.3 million visits (with WordPress), over 1,100 followers and 216 Flags of countries that you have visited from, I am amazed. Here is a quote from the 1st Anniversary blog:

Our pastor just reminded us of a quote by William Carey, an English Missionary to India:

Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.

Great Blue Heron by Dan

I am not sure this was attempted as a “great thing,” but it was attempted to honor the Lord. That is a very great thing, and God has turned that attempt into a blog that has been visited over 10,000 times just since July. Many of those visits have come from around the world. Thank all of you for your visits.

Carey also said, “If I begin a thing I must go through with it!” This blog has been started and we trust we will continue to keep writing about God’s wonderful creation, especially His birds, and the joy of observing all God’s marvelous handiwork.

Because of this blog many you have become great friends that most we have never met personally, and you are from around the world, where Dan and I will never visit. Yet many of you will be sharing eternity with us and we will meet as we share the presence of Our Saviour. What a thought!

Thanks to the many writers that have added greatly to the blog; Ian, Dottie, Emma, Golden Eagle (Baron), James J S Johnson, Stephen, and others.

Thank you for your visits! Thank you for your friendships! Especially THANK YOU LORD!

I would like to use Paul’s words to express my feelings:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; (Philippians 1:2-6 NKJV)

Yes, I do pray for many of you even by name. I especially pray for those of you who do not know the peace of knowing my Savior and the Creator of these fantastic birds.

Some of the previous articles about the anniversaries:

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European Dipper, Norway’s National Bird

White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) by Ian

White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) by Ian

European Dipper, Norway’s National Bird

by Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:34)

EUROPEAN DIPPER

Luzon Bleeding-heart by Dan

Orni-Theology

The official bird of Norway is the White-throated Dipper (a/k/a European Dipper: Cinclus cinclus). Unlike the American Dipper (which is dark-black all over), it has a mix of colors: brown head, white throat/bib, chestnut belly, and blackish back and tail.

As the range map shows, this little bird is known to range over all of Norway, as a year-round resident. This bird needs running freshwater, because that is where its primary source of food resides. And Norway has lots of fast-running freshwater, especially as mountain snow melts and flows downhill, in crevices, waterfalls, streams, and other drainage pathways that lead westward to the sea.

White-throated Dipper aka European Dipper

White-throated Dipper aka European Dipper

This passerine (i.e., perching songbird) bird is thus deemed an “aquatic” bird, due to its familiar habit of dipping into freshwater for food – and “walking” across the streambed as it fishes (underwater) for insect larvae and other edible morsels found in streambeds.

Specifically, this dipper has too behavioral movements that fit its name: (1) as it perches near quick-flowing stream-waters, it often (and suddenly – some say “spasmodically”) bobs, with its tail propped up (somewhat like a wren), near the splashing water; and (2) it dives into such lotic waters, sometimes after wading into the water’s edge: then submerges itself by quickly plunging in (or diving in), with a small splash. While underwater it seems to swim, though its wings actually “fly” underwater, or (at times when the current is stronger) the submerged bird vigorously “rows” its sturdy wings, like oars, to resist the under-current, in order to steady its underwater position.

Dipper under water by Getty Images

Dipper under water by Getty Images

The Dipper can also use its strong prehensile toes (i.e., it can grip with its feet, almost like a human hand) to grab onto projecting substrates on the bottom of a stream, while simultaneously straining its muscles (and keeping its head bent down so that it can see what is on the streambed) to prevent it from rising to the water’s surface – thus giving the appearance that it is “walking on the bottom” of the stream!

While underwater the dipper collects its food (which is often “epibenthic”, i.e., located on top of the stream-bottom sediments), such as caddisfly larvae (and other insect larvae), as well as small freshwater mollusks, fish, and amphibians – and a favorite freshwater crustacean, the thin amphipod shrimp (of the genus Gammarus, a genus containing marine “scud”, estuarial, and freshwater shrimps known for their detritivorous / scavenging habits).

What a strange bird! Yet it is determined to use its anatomy and strength to get food for the day, even appearing to defy gravity while it does. It may not be a huge buffet banquet table, by our standards, but it is enough – so the bird eats what it needs, one day at a time.

Just face one day of challenges at a time – what a concept!

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:34)

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Orni-theology

James J S Johnson

Dippers – Cinclidae

Good News

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Rock Partridges: Lessons About Hunting And Hatching

Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca) WikiC

Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca) WikiC

Rock Partridges: Lessons about Hunting and Hatching ~ James J. S. Johnson

Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains. (1 Samuel 26:20 KJV)

Luzon Bleeding-heart by Dan

Orni-Theology

Rock Partridges – like other partridges – prefer to hide from people, yet their voices are quite detectable. “Rock partridges are masters of concealment and are best spotted when perched on a boulder sending out a challenge; however, when we were [in Israel] we probably heard ten for every one of which we had a glimpse” [quoting George Cansdale, All the Animals of the Bible Lands (Zondervan, 1970), pages 165-166].   Yet if we look for partridges carefully, in Scripture, we will find them mentioned twice, providing us with two lessons for our own lives (and “callings”, pardon the pun).  But, before looking at those two Bible passages, first let us consider what a “partridge” is.

 So what is a partridge?

Partridges are chicken-sized ground-dwelling birds, classified together with other “pheasant family” birds like pheasant, grouse, bobwhite, quail, junglefowl, chicken, peafowl, and ptarmigan. Specifically, partridges are categorized as fowl belonging to the order Galliformes, family Phasianidae, subfamily Perdicinae).

Partridges don’t migrate.  Partridges  — such as the Rock Partridges of the Holy Land — often nest in hilly or montane areas, in fairly dry climate zones, laying more than a dozen eggs in a minimally lined ground scrape – quite a humble nest!   This habit leaves partridge eggs quite vulnerable, for many ovivorous predators (including hungry humans – see Deuteronomy 22:6-7) hunt around the nesting grounds of partridges.  Resourceful foragers themselves, partridges routinely eat accessible ants, seeds, berries, lichen, and other low-to-the-ground vegetation.  Like other land-fowl partridges spend most of their time on the ground, hidden in ground cover, so don’t expect to see them flying around much, or perching in tree branches.

Partridges are mentioned only twice in the Old Testament (noted below), as translations of the Hebrew word qoré’ – a noun derived from the verb qara’ (meaning “to call”, “to cry”).   The Hebrew root  verb qara’ is used to describe calling out someone’s name, when you wish to speak to that person, and it is used to describe God’s actions when He “called” the light Day, the dark Night, the dry land Earth, etc. (in Genesis chapter 1).  Partridges, therefore, are “criers”, famous for their calls.  The Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca), which seems to have been common during Bible times, is known for its “cok-cok-cokrr” call, in the arid piedmonts of Israel.

The Rock Partridge ranges “from the mountains of Lebanon in the north across the coastal plains to the dry hills of Judaea, but its range also extends westwards through Greece and all over Italy” [quoting George Cansdale, All the Animals of the Bible Lands (Zondervan, 1970), page 165].  Its Holy Land cousin, the Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa), resembles the Rock Partridge from a distance, so the Bible could refer to either or both, as well as any hybrids.  Another partridge found in Israel’s desert lands is Hey’s Partridge (Ammoperdrix heyi), by the Dead Sea.

“Partridges” ae mentioned once in 1st Samuel 26:20 and once in Jeremiah 17:11.  Both verses illustrate important life lessons.

Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) ©WikiC

Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) ©WikiC

Living life on the run

As a fugitive trying to escape King Saul, David compares himself (in 1st Samuel 26:20, quoted above) to a partridge being hunted in the mountains.  Because partridges don’t fly far away, as chased ducks or geese may, hunters chase partridges in the hilly scrublands, causing the partridges to run this way and that, often wearying the partridges to the point that they became targets for whatever weapons (even sticks used for clubbing) the hunters have available.  Surely David saw such partridges in the arid wilderness scrublands he hid in, and likely David himself hunted, caught, and ate such partridges.  Because David was daily fleeing Saul’s soldiers, in the hilly wilderness  of Israel, David knew what partridges felt like, being pursued by hunters.  Yet God protected David from Saul’s evil efforts, and in God’s providence it was David, when the dust settled, who survived and reigned over Israel, not Saul.

What can we learn from David’s fugitive plight?

First, there is no good reason to surrender to one’s enemies!  When persecutors aim at innocent victims, as has been the plight of believers ever since Cain murdered Abel (Genesis 4:8-9; Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:51), we are counseled to evade persecutions when possible (Matthew 7:6 & 10:14 & 10:23; Luke 9:5 & 10:11 & 21:21; Acts 9:25 & 13:51).

Second, David’s example reminds us that God is sovereign – He will not let us die until it is the proper time for dying.  So long as God has earthly work for us to do, He will sustain us (James 4:13-15).

Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca) ©Arthur Grosset

Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca) ©Arthur Grosset

Don’t count your chickens (or partridges) before they hatch

Another lesson from the partridge comes from Jeremiah 17:11.  It seems that partridges have a bad reputation for being less than fully successful in hatching their eggs!  This parental deficiency is compared to the tentative gains of those who acquire wealth by unrighteous means – they will, in the end, be seen as the fools they are!  Why?  Because the wealth of this world, even if kept until death, is only transitory wealth.  It is like eggs laid in a slipshod nest, never to be successfully hatched.

Don’t invest the best of your life in the transitory things of this world  —  because the investment will be a disappointment, when life is over.  Rather, invest your time and treasure in what God values.  It is truly foolish to lay up temporal treasures, “where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal” (Matthew 6:19).  Materialistic treasures are a long-term waste of investment, to be displayed as folly in eternity (and often earlier, on earth), as “gains” wrongly gotten – because we are only stewards of the assets God entrusts to us.

Therefore, let us rather, on a daily basis, accrue (by God’s grace) “treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:20).  It’s really a matter of the heart:  “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).

(Dr. James J. S. Johnson, an apologetics professor for ICR, previously taught ornithology at Dallas Christian College.)


Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca) ©Pixabay

Rock Partridge (Alectoris graeca) ©Pixabay

Lee’s Addition:

Rock Partridges belong to:

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P.S. – As of this post, James J. S. Johnson is now one of our regular contributors to the blog. An introduction will be given soon.

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Sneaky Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) Reinier Munguia

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) Reinier Munguia

Sneaky Roadrunner ~ by Dr. James J. S. Johnson

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18 KJV)

Luzon Bleeding-heart by Dan

Orni-Theology

Roadrunners are unusual birds.   When you think of birds, usually you think of birds that fly.  But not roadrunners – mostly they run (up to 20 miles per hour!), or walk very quickly (“race-walking”).  But roadrunners sometimes fly short distances, if they want to escape someone.  Once I saw one fly from my home’s front yard to the roof of our house.  But a roadrunner’s usual exit strategy is to run.  But not always. Sometimes they try to be sneaky. Before recalling a memorable example of roadrunner sneakiness, however, a few fact about roadrunners should be reviewed.

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) by Daves BirdingPix

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) by Daves BirdingPix

Roadrunners have longer legs, in proportion to their bodies, than do most birds.  Obviously God designed these roadrunners to get around on foot!  Taxonomists (i.e., those who categorize creatures into groups of common traits, by “lumping” on similarities and “splitting” on dissimilarities) classify the Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus – meaning “Californian earth-cuckoo”) as a member of the cuckoo family, birds that look like half-starved chickens with long tails.  Roadrunners thrive in desert habitats, yet these black-and-white fowl are also found living in shrub-dominated lands known for hot, dry climates, such as the western half of Texas (as well as most of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and California).  See Roger Tory Peterson, WESTERN BIRDS (Houghton Mifflin, 3rd ed., 1990), range map 192.  Roadrunners can also be seen, though less frequently, in contiguous states, such as Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Missouri, and Arkansas.

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) ©©Alan Murphy Flickr

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) ©©Alan Murphy Flickr

Roadrunners are not picky eaters.  Roadrunners are happy to eat bugs (insects and spiders), seeds, fruits, millipedes, centipedes, scorpions, and even small birds (and their eggs), small mammals (usually rodents like mice, rats, and voles), and small reptiles (such as lizards).  One of the more unusual insects, that roadrunners are known to eat, is the tarantula hawk wasp – an amazing spider-killing wasp that the U.S. Army named one of its “unmanned aircraft” reconnaissance units after.  [See my article at www.icr.org/article/slow-death-for-tarantula-lesson-arachnid/ — “Slow Death for a Tarantula”.]

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) ©©Flickr

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) ©©Flickr

So how can a roadrunner be “sneaky”?  A few months ago I walked out of my house’s front door, and saw a roadrunner in my path.  Startled by my approach, the roadrunner skittishly scuttled around my van, which was parked in the driveway in front of my house.  So now I was standing on the north side of my van, and the roadrunner was standing on the south side of my van.

How do I know that, since I don’t have “x-ray eyes” that can see through a parked van?   As I slowly and silently crept, counter-clockwise around the west side of my van, I could see the roadrunner, standing on the south side of my blue van: he (or was it a she?) was bent over with his head turned to the southeast, with his slender bill and face aimed directly away from me.  By bending down his head, and aiming it away from where I was standing, the roadrunner must have thought that he was hiding from me, and that I could not see him – because he could not see me!  If I had impolitely startled him, then, surely it would have hurt his feelings, or his pride, because he obviously thought he really had me fooled.  So I stood silently, unmoving, for quite a while, to see if he would notice me – only about 3 feet form him – with nothing but air between us!  The roadrunner never moved, and he never turned his head to see me, so perhaps he thought I still could not see him.  Not having the heart to correct him, I slowly and silently backed up to the north side of the van, then retreated back through my front door, into my house.  To this day the roadrunner probably thinks that his bent-over, head-turned “hiding” had fooled me.

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) ©©thedrinkingbird Bing

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) ©©thedrinkingbird Bing

Then I got to thinking about how often we humans act as though we could hide ourselves from God.  When our first parents first sinned (Genesis 3:8-10) they tried to hide from God, among the trees in the Garden of Eden.  (If there had been a blue van there they might have tried to hide behind it.)  Of course, the very thought of hiding from God is silly because He is omnipresent and omniscient (Psalm 139).  But, because the Lord Jesus Christ provides us with a free redemption (John 3:16), there is no good reason to be afraid of God (Hebrews 10:19), because “perfect love casts out fear” (1st John 4:18).

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) ©©Nathan Davis Bing

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) ©©Nathan Davis Bing

Roadrunners are fun to watch – I love watching them scoot around on their fast, race-walking legs! If roadrunners only knew how kindly I regard them they would not fear me – they don’t need to sneak around to escape me.  And, because of Jesus, there is no good reason for us to try to hide from God.

(Dr. James J. S. Johnson, now apologetics professor at ICR,  previously taught ornithology at Dallas Christina College. Mrs. Thelma Bumgardner, his second-grade teacher, introduced him to creationist ornithology.)

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