“Francolins are birds that traditionally have been placed in the genus Francolinus, but now commonly are divided into multiple genera (see Taxonomy), although some of the major taxonomic listing sources have yet to divide them. The francolins’ closest relatives are the junglefowl, long-billed partridge, Alectoris and Coturnix. Together this monophyletic clade may warrant family status as the Gallusinidae.
When all are maintained in a single genus, it is the most diverse of the Galliformes, having by far the most members. Francolins are terrestrial (though not flightless) birds that feed on insects, vegetable matter and seeds. Most of the members have a hooked upper beak, well-suited for digging at the bases of grass tussocks and rootballs. They have wide tails with fourteen retrice feathers. Most species exhibit spurs on the tarsi.”
“Of the approximately 40 living species, the natural range of five (comprising the genus Francolinus) are restricted to Asia, while the remaining genera are restricted to Africa. Several species have been introduced to other parts of the world, notably Hawaii.” (Wikipedia, with editing)
The Francolinus genre is: Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus), Painted Francolin (Francolinus pictus), Chinese Francolin (Francolinus pintadeanus), Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus), and the Swamp Francolin (Francolinus gularis).
Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus) by Nikhil Devasar
The four Peliperdix species are the Latham’s Francolin (Peliperdix lathami), Coqui Francolin (Peliperdix coqui), White-throated Francolin (Peliperdix albogularis), and the Schlegel’s Francolin (Peliperdix schlegelii)
Coqui Francolin (Peliperdix coqui) by Dave’s BirdingPix
The next seven belong in the Scleroptila genre. The Ring-necked Francolin (Scleroptila streptophora), Grey-winged Francolin (Scleroptila afra), Red-winged Francolin (Scleroptila levaillantii),
Finsch’s Francolin (Scleroptila finschi), Shelley’s Francolin (Scleroptila shelleyi), Moorland Francolin (Scleroptila psilolaema), and the Orange River Francolin (Scleroptila gutturalis).
The Pternistis has two names of birds in its genera. The Francolins and the Spurfowls. ” Its 23 species range through Sub-Saharan Africa. They are commonly known as francolins or spurfowl but are closely related to jungle bush quail, Alectoris rock partridges and Coturnix quail. The species are strictly monogamous, remaining mated indefinitely. They procure most of their food by digging. Partridge-francolins subsist almost entirely on roots, beans of leguminous shrubs and trees, tubers, seed, feasting opportunistically on termites, ants, locusts, flowers and fruit.
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21 KJV)
Surprise! We are finally at the last of the Anatidae Family of Ducks, Geese, and Swans. There are 31 left, and today we will reveal the rest of them. There is a total of 173 species in this family. Trust you didn’t mind them being divided into different articles [in taxonomic order]. A list of the whole series of these avian wonders is at the end of the article.
Today, we start off with four Eiders that are in two genera. They are the Steller’s Eider (Polysticta stelleri), Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri), and the King Eider (Somateria spectabilis), Common Eider (Somateria mollissima).What are an interesting looking group.
Steller’s Eider (Polysticta stelleri)is the smallest eider at 45 cm (18 in) long. The male is unmistakable with his white head marked by a thick black eye ring and greenish-black tufts of feathers on the forehead and the back of the head. Chin, throat and neck are also black, as are the back, tail, and rump. Wings are dark bluish-purple with white edging. When folded, they give a striped appearance across the back. The speculum is metallic blue bordered with white. The breast and flanks are cinnamon-buff marked with a black spot on each side just above the waterline. Legs, feet and bill are dark bluish-grey. The female is a dark brown bird, smaller with a more typically duck-shaped head and body than other eider species.
The Eider genus, Somateria, are large seaducks. The scientific name is derived from Ancient Greek somatos “body” and erion “wool”, referring to eiderdown. They all breed in the cooler latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The down feathers of eider ducks, and some other ducks and geese, are used to fill pillows and quilts—they have given the name to the type of quilt known as an eiderdown.
I think that when the Lord God, the Creator of all these “duck family” critters, He was proving these verses we read in the Bible: “Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:” (Ephesians 1:8-9 KJV) [emphasis mine]
As you will see as we continue through the rest of these swimming critters, the variety of design, color, shapes, and provisions for them. What a Creator!
The Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) is a small sea duck. It takes its name from Harlequin (French Arlequin, Italian Arlecchino), a colourfully dressed character in Commedia dell’arte. The species name comes from the Latin word “histrio”, “actor”. In North America it is also known as lords and ladies. Other names include painted duck, totem pole duck, rock duck, glacier duck, mountain duck, white-eyed diver, squeaker and blue streak.
The Labrador Duck (Camptorhynchus labradorius) is an extinct North American bird; it has the dubious distinction of being the first endemic North American bird species to become extinct after the Columbian Exchange. It was already a rare duck before European settlers arrived, and became extinct shortly after. As a result of its rarity, information on the Labrador duck is not abundant, but some, such as its habitat, characteristics, dietary habits, and reasons behind extinction, are known. Specimens of the Labrador duck are preserved in museum collections worldwide.
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) by Daves BirdingPix
The Scoters of the Melanitta genus come next: The Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata), Velvet Scoter (Melanitta fusca), White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi), Common Scoter (Melanitta nigra), Black Scoter (Melanitta americana)
They are stocky seaducks. The drakes are mostly black and have swollen bills. Females are brown. The genus name is derived from Ancient Greek melas “black” and netta “duck”.
They breed in the far north of Europe, Asia, and North America, and winter farther south in temperate zones of those continents. They form large flocks on suitable coastal waters. These are tightly packed, and the birds tend to take off together. Their lined nests are built on the ground close to the sea, lakes or rivers, in woodland or tundra. These species dive for crustaceans and molluscs.
Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis) by Ray
Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis), once known as oldsquaw, is a medium-sized sea duck. Their breeding habitat is in tundra pools and marshes, but also along sea coasts and in large mountain lakes in the North Atlantic region, Alaska, northern Canada, northern Europe, and Russia. The nest is located on the ground near water; it is built using vegetation and lined with down. They are migratory and winter along the eastern and western coasts of North America, on the Great Lakes, coastal northern Europe and Asia, with stragglers to the Black Sea. The most important wintering area is the Baltic Sea, where a total of about 4.5 million gather.
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) by Daves BirdingPix
Bucephala is a genus of ducks found in the Northern Hemisphere. The genus name is derived from Ancient Greek boukephalos, “bullheaded”, from bous “bull”, and kephale, “head”, a reference to the crest of the bufflehead making its head look large. They are the Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola), Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), Barrow’s Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)
Smew (Mergellus albellus) – The drake smew, with its ‘cracked ice’ and ‘panda’ appearance, is unmistakable, and looks very black-and-white in flight. The females and immature males are grey birds with chestnut foreheads and crowns, and can be confused at a distance with the ruddy duck; they are often known as “redhead” smew. It has oval white wing-patches in flight. The smew’s bill has a hooked tip and serrated edges, which help it catch fish when it dives for them.
Hooded Merganser Viera Wetlands with hood down by Lee
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) is a species of small duck. It is the only extant species in the genus Lophodytes. The bird is striking in appearance; both sexes have crests that they can raise or lower, and the breeding plumage of the male is handsomely patterned and coloured. The hooded merganser has a sawbill but is not classified as a typical merganser.
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) Male Zoo Miami by Lee
The Merus genus of Typical Mergansers: New Zealand Merganser (Mergus australis) Extinct, Brazilian Merganser (Mergus octosetaceus), Common Merganser (Mergus merganser), Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator), Scaly-sided Merganser (Mergus squamatus)
Although they are seaducks, most of the mergansers prefer riverine habitats, with only the red-breasted merganser being common at sea. These large fish-eaters typically have black-and-white, brown and/or green hues in their plumage, and most have somewhat shaggy crests. All have serrated edges to their long and thin bills that help them grip their prey. Along with the Smew and Hooded Merganser, they are therefore often known as “sawbills“.
The Black-headed Duck (Heteronetta atricapilla) is a South American duck allied to the stiff-tailed ducks in the subfamily Oxyurinae of the family Anatidae. It is the only member of the genus Heteronetta.
This is the most basal living member of its subfamily, and it lacks the stiff tail and swollen bill of its relatives.
Masked Duck (Nomonyx dominicus) is a tiny stiff-tailed duck ranging through the tropical Americas. They are found from Mexico to South America and also in the Caribbean. Primarily not migratory, masked ducks are reported as very uncommon vagrants in the southernmost United States, along the Mexican border and in Florida.
These ducks mainly feed on seeds, roots, and leaves of aquatic plants. They also eat aquatic insects and crustaceans. They feed by diving.
White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) Zoo Miami by Lee
The Oxyura genus has 6 Ducks, the Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), Andean Duck (Oxyura ferruginea), Lake Duck (Oxyura vittata), Blue-billed Duck (Oxyura australis), Maccoa Duck (Oxyura maccoa), and the White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala).
The Musk Duck (Biziura lobate) is a highly aquatic, stiff-tailed duck native to southern Australia. It is the only living member of the genus Biziura. This animal derives its common name from the peculiar musky odour it emanates during the breeding season. Musk ducks are moderately common through the Murray-Darling and Cooper Creek basins, and in the wetter, fertile areas in the south of the continent: the southwest corner of Western Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania.
[Information from Wikipedia with editing]
Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:2 KJV)
“If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young:” (Deuteronomy 22:6 KJV)
Today’s group of members from the “Ducks Plus” family, the Anatidae, are all from one Genus. The Anas according to Wikionary is: ” A taxonomic genus within the family Anatidae – various species of dabbling duck. These are probably the most common group of ducks many of us see. The genus name is the Latin for “duck”. It includes mallards, wigeons, teals, pintails and shovelers in a number of subgenera. “Dabbling” is where the duck upends itself to feed. They feed mainly on water plants, which they obtain by tipping-up in shallows—uncommonly by diving (with opened wings); they often forage near the shore for seeds and insects. The bill is flat and broad, the hindtoe unlobed. Dabbling ducks float high in the water and are swift fliers, leaping upward on noisy wings before attaining level flight, usually in compact flocks.
The mallard (/ˈmælɑːrd/ or /ˈmælərd/) or wild duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, the Falkland Islands and South Africa. This duck belongs to the subfamily Anatinae of the waterfowl family Anatidae.
The male birds (drakes) have a glossy green head and are grey on wings and belly, while the females (hens or ducks) have mainly brown-speckled plumage. Both sexes have an area of white-bordered black speculum feathers which commonly also include iridescent blue feathers especially among males. Mallards live in wetlands, eat water plants and small animals, and are social animals preferring to congregate in groups or flocks of varying sizes. This species is the main ancestor of most breeds of domesticated ducks. I personally think that this duck, the Mallard, was on board the Ark. He seems to have obey the command to:
“Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth.” (Genesis 8:16-17 KJV)
The mallard was one of the many bird species originally described by Carl Linnaeus in his 18th-century work Systema Naturae, and still bears its original binomial name. The scientific name is from Latin Anas, “duck” and Ancient Greek platyrhynchus , “broad-billed” ( from platus, “broad” and rhunkhos, ” bill”).
But the Mallard is not the only duck in this genus, Anas. There are 48 others. As mentioned, much interbreeding has taken place, and eventually these were raised to species status. After showing you the Wood Ducks last week, their is another beauty from the Lord in this week’s group.
We have seen this Teal, but not in that breeding outfit.
Baikal Teal (Anas formosa) Zoo Miami by Lee
Unfortunately this genus contains “some of the world’s finest game birds: the black duck(Anas rubripes), much sought after by hunters; the mallard; the gadwall(Anas strepera); the garganey (A. querquedula); the pintail (A. acuta), perhaps the world’s most abundant waterfowl; the shoveler (Anas, or Spatula, clypeata), the “spoonbill” of hunters; the teals, races of Anas crecca and other species; the wigeons, Anas, or Mareca, americana and A.,or M., penelope. (Enclopeaedia Britannica) As you all know, I am a birdwatcher/photographer, not a hunter. I realize hunter organizations do much to maintain hunting areas and prevent over-hunting. That is a good thing, but not my “cup of tea.”
Here is a of each by last name:
Tealsdo not totally submerge when feeding and are often seen with just their rears showing as the search for food. Because of their feeding method, teals are more buoyant than diving ducks.
The gadwall is a quieter duck, except during its courtship display.
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) at Wings of Asia by Lee
Ducks are mostly aquatic birds, mostly smaller than the swans and geese, and may be found in both fresh water and sea water.
Falcated Duck (Anas falcata), African Black Duck (Anas sparsa), American Black Duck (Anas rubripes), Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula), Mexican Duck (Anas diazi), Hawaiian Duck (Anas wyvilliana), Laysan Duck (Anas laysanensis), Philippine Duck (Anas luzonica), Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), Indian Spot-billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha), Eastern Spot-billed Duck (Anas zonorhyncha), Yellow-billed Duck (Anas undulata), Meller’s Duck (Anas melleri)
Mallards by Dan
The male mallards (drakes) have a glossy green head and are grey on wings and belly, while the females (hens or ducks) have mainly brown-speckled plumage.
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
American Wigeon (Anas americana) by Daves BirdingPix
The wigeons are similarly shaped, with a steep forehead and bulbous rear to the head.
“And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.” (John 6:18-20 KJV)
“Ship Ahoy”~ from “Great is Thy Faithfulness” by Dr. Richard Gregory
Today we finish the Review of the Passeriformes Order of birds. These are the perching and songbird that are spread around the world for us to enjoy. You can check on the other two reviews with the links at the end of this article. This is the last of the 131 Families currently in this order.
And the lords of the Philistines passed in review by hundreds and by thousands, but David and his men passed in review at the rear with Achish. (1 Samuel 29:2 NKJV)
This verse in I Samuel 29:2 mentions the “lords of the Philistines passed in review by hundreds and by thousands,” That verse has nothing to do with our birds, but we have passed before your eyes for months a review of these beautifully created birds from our Lord. With over 6,000 in the Passerinformes order, they have gone by week after week adding up to hundreds and thousands. I trust you have learned to appreciate the variety and splendor of many of them. Yet, there were some, like the “common, plain” birds that are still there to be enjoyed.
House Sparrow by Ray
Just as none of us are “plain” or “common”, God loves us all.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God.” (Luke 12:6 NKJV)
Here is the last part of the families in this Order. They continue in the Taxonomic order.
Rufous-bellied Niltava (Niltava sundara) by Nikhil Devasar
Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NASB)
Last week’s Sunday Inspiration – Chats and Old World Flycatchers covered the first part of the Muscicapidae Family. This week, we will show the some more of the Family. There are 321 Members that make up the Muscicapidae Family. What great looking birds from their Creator.
Chats (formerly sometimes known as “chat-thrushes”) are a group of small Old World insectivorous birds formerly classified as members of the thrush family Turdidae, but now are considered Old World flycatchers. The name is normally applied to the more robust ground-feeding flycatchers found in Europe and Asia and most northern species are strong migrants.
The Old World flycatchers, the Muscicapidae, are small passerine birds mostly restricted to the Old World (Europe, Africa and Asia). These are mainly small arboreal insectivores, many of which, as the name implies, take their prey on the wing.
The appearance of these birds is very varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls. They are small to medium birds, ranging from 9 to 22 cm in length. Many species are dull brown in colour, but the plumage of some can be much brighter, especially in the males. Most have broad, flattened bills suited to catching insects in flight, although the few ground-foraging species typically have finer bills.
Old World flycatchers live in almost every environment with a suitable supply of trees, from dense forest to open scrub, and even the montane woodland of the Himalayas. The more northerly species migrate south in winter, ensuring a continuous diet of insects.
Depending on the species, their nests are either well-constructed cups placed in a tree or cliff ledge, or simply lining in a pre-existing tree hole. The hole-nesting species tend to lay larger clutches, with an average of eight eggs, rather than just two to five.
White-browed Robin-Chat (Cossypha heuglini) by Daves BirdingPix
Because this Muscicapidae family is so large, this week’s Sunday Inspiration and last week’s were divided. The reason for this is so the slideshow will not be too long. This divides them in taxonomic order in to several groups. I was going to divide this family in half, but there are so many photos available that I would have to find a symphony to provide enough music to show them all at once.☺♪♫☺
Last week, the first 97-98 members were shown from these genera: Alethe, Cercotrichas, Copsychus, Fraseria, Myioparus, Melaenornis, Empidornis, Muscicapa, Anthipes, Cyornis.
This Slideshow of Muscicapidae in taxonomic order – Second Part (includes the genera- Niltava, Cyanoptila, Eumyias, Erithacus, Pseudalethe, Cossyphicula, Cossypha, Swynnertonia, Pogonocichla, Stiphrornis, Sheppardia, Cichladusa, Heinrichia, Leonardina, Heteroxenicus, Brachypteryx , Vauriella, Larvivora, Luscinia, Irania and Calliope.) 75 Species
Start with Niltava
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11 NKJV)
“The Birthday of a King” ~ by Dr. Richard Gregory, now in Glory.
The Robins are all endemic to Australasia: New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand and numerous Pacific Islands as far east as Samoa. For want of an accurate common name, the family is often called the Australasian robins. There are 46 members presently. They are not related to our American Robin.
Flame Robin by Ian
Most species have a compact build with a large, rounded head, a short, straight bill, and rounded wingtips. They occupy a wide range of wooded habitats, from subalpine to tropical rainforest, and mangrove swamps to semi-arid scrubland. All are primarily insectivorous, although a few supplement their diet with seeds. Hunting is mostly by perch and pounce, a favoured tactic being to cling sideways onto a treetrunk and scan the ground below without moving.
They have long-term pair-bonds and small family groups. Most members practice cooperative breeding, with all family members helping defend a territory and feed nestlings. Nests are cup-shaped, usually constructed by the female, and often placed in a vertical fork of a tree or shrub. Many species are expert at adding moss, bark or lichen to the outside of the nest as camouflage, making it very difficult to spot, even when it is in a seemingly prominent location.
White-necked Rockfowl (Picathartes gymnocephalus) cc Ross@Texas
The White-necked and Grey-necked Rockfowls are the only members of the Picatharitidae family. They are also called “bald crows’ and are found in the rain-forests of tropical west and central Africa. They have unfeathered heads, and feed on insects and invertebrates picked from damp rocky areas. Both species are totally non-migratory, being dependent on a specialised rocky jungle habitat.
They are large (33–38 centimetres (13–15 in) long) passerines with crow-like black bills, long neck, tail and legs. They weigh between 200–250 grams (7.1–8.8 oz). The strong feet and grey legs are adapted to terrestrial movement, and the family progresses through the forest with long bounds on the ground. The wings are long but are seldom used for long flights. Rockfowl are generalized feeders, taking a wide range of invertebrate prey.
He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. (Deuteronomy 32:4 NKJV)
The Rockjumpers are medium-sized insectivorous or omnivorous birds in the genus Chaetops, which constitutes the entire family Chaetopidae. The two species, the Cape Rockjumper,, and the Drakensberg Rockjumper, are endemic residents of southern Africa. The Cape Rockjumper is a resident of the West Cape and SW East Cape, and the Orange-breasted (or Drakensberg) Rockjumper is distributed in the Lesotho highlands and areas surrounding this in South Africa. These are birds with mostly brown and red plumage. Both with long, white tipped black tails, black throats, broad white submoustachial lines, rufous or orange bellies and rumps and grey and black patterned backs and wings.[The iris is red and the bills and legs are black. Their wings are very small and they do not fly very often. They spend most of their lives running and jumping among rocks and grasses while hunting insects.
Rail-babbler (Eupetes macrocerus) by Peter Ericsson
The Rail-babbler or Malaysian Rail-babbler (Eupetes macrocerus) is a strange, rail-like, brown and pied inhabitant of the floor of primary forest in the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra (the nominate subspecies macrocerus), as well as Borneo (ssp. borneensis), distantly related to African crow-like birds. Its population has greatly decreased, however, it is locally still common in logged forest or on hill-forest on slopes. The species is poorly known and rarely seen, in no small part due to its shyness.