White-tailed Eagle and Corncrake: Birdwatching in the Scottish Hebrides, Part 1

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands. 

Isaiah 42:12
White-tailed Eagle aloft in the Outer Hebrides   (LHH Scotland photo credit)

Watching coastal birds is a favorite pastime in the Outer Hebrides, according to Outer Hebrides Tourism.  Having visited some of the Inner Hebrides, with marvelous birdwatching opportunities (including puffins!), I am not surprised.

The Outer Hebrides archipelago is a unique island chain perched on the North Western edge of Europe. Here the landscape ranges from white sand beaches and flower covered machair grasslands to barren hilltops, fjord like sea lochs and vast peatlands. Wildlife is abundant and birds of prey are a particularly visible feature of the open landscapes . . . Spring and autumn are the best times to spot migrating birds in the Outer Hebrides with large numbers of seabirds passing up and down the coasts of our islands on their way to and from northern breeding grounds and wintering grounds to the south.  These are both exciting birding seasons in the Outer Hebrides when almost anything can turn-up but the highlights of spring and autumn birding in the Western Isles include the passage of Skuas offshore and the flocks of geese and whooper swans passing overhead. Visit in the spring and summer to see the Outer Hebrides seabird breeding colonies of terns and gulls, which be found scattered along the coastline on headlands, beaches, islands and sand dunes.  Although most breeding colonies are found offshore they will travel long distances to feed and birdwatchers can often see seabirds in the Western Isles from the shore.  Spot Gannets in the Outer Hebrides as they make their spectacular dives after fish and keep eyes open for Black Guillemot, Guillemot, [Atlantic] Puffin, Razorbill and Fulmars, as all are common island birds.

Quoting from “Bird of Prey Trail Locations” and “Wildlife: Coastal Birds”, VisitOuterHebrides.co.UK  —  emphasis added by JJSJ
Northern Gannet, aloft in the Outer Hebrides  (Islandeering photo credit)

Some of the coastal birds that frequent the Outer Hebrides include shorebirds (such as Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Dotterel, Dunlin, Jack Snipe, Little Stint, Oystercatcher, Pectoral Sandpiper, Purple Sandpiper, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Ruff, Sanderling, Turnstone, Heron), seagulls (such as Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Greater Black-backed Gull), as well as various ducks (such as Eider, Goldeneye, Black-throated Diver, Great-northern Diver, Red-throated Diver, Red-breasted Merganser, Shelduck, Shoveler, Long-tailed Duck), plus Shag and Cormorant, Atlantic puffin, Northern Gannet, geese (Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Greylag Goose), Mute Swan, plus a mix of passerine songbirds (such as Barred Warbler, Blackcap, Bluethroat, Brambling, Chiffchaff, Common Crossbill, Common Whitethroat Warbler, Corn Bunting, Dunnock, Hawfinch, House Martin, House Sparrow, Meadow Pipit, Pechora Pipit, Pied Flycatcher, Redwing, Rose-colored Starling, Stonechat, Yellow-browed Warbler), the Ring Ouzel, the ever-versatile Woodpigeon, and more!

Atlantic Puffin, ashore in the Outer Hebrides  (Sykes Cottages photo credit)

The Hebrides, formerly known as the “Western Isles”, are wildlife-watching venues.

With the islands enjoying one of the last untouched natural landscapes in Europe, wildlife in the Western Isles is some of the finest in the world, with Outer Hebrides animals and plants all at home in their surrounding without fear of poaching, pollution or disturbance.  Wildlife watching in the Outer Hebrides offers a glimpse into a time almost forgotten by the rest of the world, where the white -tailed eagle soars over the rugged coastline as red deer roam proudly over the peaty moorlands and [river] otters swim in many sea lochs.  Much of the wildlife in the Western Isles is unique and protected, meaning that visitors enjoying Scottish island nature breaks here can enjoy pursuits as diverse as spotting minke whale in the sea around the Outer Hebrides and eagle watching in the sky. 

[The Outer Hebrides] are a popular destination for birdwatching in Scotland, as birding in the Western Isles offers opportunities to see everything from birds of prey to seabirds and waders. Look out for the Bird of Prey Trail which spans the Outer Hebrides with location markers for the best places to see birds of prey. As well as this, the Western Isles are the summer home to two thirds of the elusive British corncrake population from April to September. 

[Quoting VisitOuterHebrides.co.UK, “Closer to Wildlife” — emphasis added by JJSJ
White-tailed Eagle   [ photo credit: Animalia.bio ]

In the above quotation the White-tailed Eagle (a/k/a “Sea Eagle”) is mentioned; this raptor is Great Britain’s (and thus also Scotland’s) largest bird of prey.  It habituates almost all of Scotland, including the Inner and Outer Hebrides.

The White-tailed eagle is one of the largest living birds of prey. It is sometimes considered the fourth largest eagle in the world and is on average the fourth heaviest eagle in the world. White-tailed eagles usually live most of the year near large bodies of open water and require an abundant food supply and old-growth trees or ample sea cliffs for nesting. They are considered a close cousin of the Bald eagle, which occupies a similar niche in North America. The adult White-tailed eagle is a greyish mid-brown color overall. Contrasting with the rest of the plumage in the adult are a clearly paler looking head, neck and upper breast which is most often a buffy hue. The brownish hue of the adult overall makes the somewhat wedge-shaped white tail stand out in contrast. All the bare parts of their body on adults are yellow in color, including the bill, cere [nose-like part of upper bill], feet, and eyes.

[Quoting “White-tailed Eagle”, Animalia, https://animalia.bio/white-tailed-eagle .]
White-tailed Eagle with caught fish   ( Wikipedia photo credit )

Watching these sea eagles catch fish in their talons, as they wing to, near, and then away from the seawater surface, is much like watching Bald Eagles catch fish in the coastal seawaters of Southeastern Alaska.  [See video clip of a Sea Eagle catching fish, at rspb.org.UK – website of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.]

White-tailed eagles are powerful predators and hunt mostly from perches, in a “sit-and-wait” style, usually from a prominent tree perch. Fish is usually grabbed in a shallow dive after a short distance flight from a perch, usually with the eagles only getting their feet wet. At times they will also fish by wading into shallows, often from shores or gravel islands. When it comes to non-fish prey, White-tailed eagles often hunt by flying low over sea coast or lake shore and attempt to surprise victims. [emphasis added]

[Quoting “White-tailed Eagle”, Animalia, https://animalia.bio/white-tailed-eagle .] 

These coastal raptors mostly eat fish.  However, they also eat waterfowl and small mammals (such as rodents).  During winter they eat lots of carrion.

In previous centuries the White-tailed eagle populated the coasts of Scotland, but it was hunted to extirpation in the A.D.1920s.  However, it was conservationally re-established on Rhum in A.D.1975, and (thankfully) it has since re-colonized (beyond 25 breeding pairs, apparently) many of the indented inlets of the coastal strands of Outer Hebrides islands, including Harris, Lewis, and South Uist. 

White-tailed Eagles are large birds (2-to-3 feet, from bill-tip to tail-tip; 6-to-8 feet wingspan; 9-to-16 pounds), famous for eating fish (such as salmon, trout), yet they also prey on rabbits and hares, geese, available seabirds (such as fulmars and petrels), and lamb carrion.  Like their Golden Eagle cousins—which reside in the Hebrides—these eagles establish and defend territories for their families.

Other birds of prey, habituating the Outer Hebrides, include two types of owls, the Short-eared Owl and the Long-eared Owl.  Other birds of prey include hawks (such as harriers, sparrow hawks, and ospreys) and falcons (such as kestrels, peregrines, and hobbies), which routinely find and consume rodents (such as voles).  Other birds of prey, sometimes observed, include Buzzards, Snowy Owl, and Gyrfalcon. 

However, in contrast to such carnivorous raptors, consider the common Corncrake.

Corncrake in grass      (Wikipedia photo credit)

The chicken-like Corncrake is a migratory rail that frequents grassy parts of Hebridean islands, as well as Scotland’s semi-marshy floodplain grasslands (dominated by grasses or sedges) and coastal wetlands (such as nettle beds, iris beds, and reed beds), yet the Corncrake prefers the tall plant-cover of farmed crop-fields (such as hayfields, fields of wheat and other cereals, and clover meadows).  This rail arrives from mid-April and stays for breeding and beyond, till August or September.  After that the Corncrake migrates to North Africa, for over-wintering.

Corncrake in camouflage       (IBTimes UK photo credit)

The Corncrake’s appearance somewhat resembles a young Grey Partridge (or somewhat like a moorhen or coot), yet it is almost as small as a blackbird.

Plumage softly but richly coloured, with pale grey face, fore-neck and breast, yellowish-buff upper parts, lined with cream and spotted or streaked blackish-brown, chestnut wings ‘catch fire’ in flight, barred white flanks.  Bill and legs dull pink.  Flight typical of [rail] family, loose-winged and clumsy; usually escapes by running into dense cover. 

[Quoting Roger Tory Peterson, Guy Mountfort, et al., A Field Guide to Birds of Britain and Europe (Houghton Mifflin, 1993), page 93.]
“Singing” male Corncrake, Hebrides (Steven Fryer/BirdGuides.com photo credit)

Because Corncrakes (a/k/a Land Rails) routinely reside in grassy fields, where photosynthetic biomass productivity is high, they have a smörgåsbord of seeds – as well as other foods, available just for the taking. 

Corncrake, hunting food, Hebrides (Alan Lewis/Surfbirds.com photo credit)

Besides seeds these rails eat bugs (especially cockroaches and beetles, including dung beetles), fly larvae, termites, ticks, spiders, dragonflies, earthworms, grasshoppers, slugs, snails, weevils, and even small frogs. [Regarding the diet of Corncrakes, see further Suzanne Arbeiter, Heiner Flinks, et al., “Diet of Corncrakes Crex crex and Prey Availability in Relation to Meadow Management”, ARDEA, 108(1):55-64 (April 24, 2020), posted at https://doi.org/10.5253/arde.v108i1,a7 . ]

Corncrake, on the island of Iona, Inner Hebrides (Flickr photo credit)

Corncrakes themselves must be careful—they serve as prey to other animals, including mustelids (mink, ferrets, and river otters), foxes, larger birds (such as white stork, harrier hawks, seagulls, and corvids, especially hooded crows).

Wonderful birds are there to be seen, in the Outer Hebrides (Scotland’s “Western Isles”).  If you get the opportunity, go see them! 

Meanwhile, appreciate that they are there, living their daily lives—filling their part of the earth—glorifying their Creator (Isaiah 42:12).

><> JJSJ     profjjsj@aol.com  

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Eagle

Wedge-tailed Eagles (Aquila audax) by Ian

Wedge-tailed Eagles (Aquila audax) by Ian

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Eagle

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by AestheticPhotos

Did you ever see an eagle? There were once a great many among the rocks and mountains of our own country, but they will not stay where there are many people; so they are seldom seen here now. They like to make their nests in high and rocky places, where nobody can find them; as a verse in the Bible says,

“Though thou shouldest make thy nest on high as the eagle, yet will I bring thee down from thence.”

Their nests are not usually made in trees like those of many other birds, neither are they shaped in the same way: they are nothing but a layer of sticks spread flat upon the rock, and covered with some hay or straw. The care of the eagle for her young is spoken of in Deut. 32:11.

“As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings; so the Lord alone did lead him.”

This beautifully describes God’s care over the children of Israel while they were passing through the wilderness; does it not also well express his kindness to us?

These birds fly very swiftly, and you will find verses in the Bible that speak of this. One is the forty-ninth verse of the twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy. “The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, as swift as the eagle flieth.” In another place it is said, “His horses are swifter than eagles.” Job says,

“My days are swifter than a post, (or post-rider;) they are passed away as the swift ships, as an eagle that hasteth to the prey.”

Bald Eagle by Raymond J Barlow

Bald Eagle by Ray

The eye of the eagle is very curious. It has something like an inner eyelid, only it is very thin; and the eagle can draw this over its eye, like a curtain, whenever there is too much light. You have heard perhaps that it can look directly at the bright sun; and this is the reason. It can see a great deal farther than we can; and when it is very high in the air, so that it would look to you but little larger than a speck, it often sees some small animal on the ground and flies down to catch it.

See how well this bird was described a great many years ago: these are the last verses of the thirty-ninth chapter of Job:

“Doth the eagle mount up at thy command and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth upon the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood; and where the slain are, there is she.”

Wedge-tailed Eagles (Aquila audax) by Ian

Wedge-tailed Eagles (Aquila audax) by Ian

The eagle lives a great many years; sometimes more than seventy, I believe. It sheds its feathers every spring, and new ones come out; then it looks like a young bird. This is why David says in the Psalms,

“Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed, (or comes again,) like the eagle’s.”

There is this beautiful verse in Isaiah,

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

How blessed and happy a thing it is to be a Christian indeed! to “wait upon the Lord” every day for the strength we need; and to be always preparing for that world where the inhabitants are for ever young, for ever active, for ever holy, for ever happy.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Eagles

Accipitridae Family – Kites, Hawks & Eagles

Nave’s Topical Bible – Eagle

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Eagle

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Birds of the Bible – Face of An Eagle

“As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.” (Ezekiel 1:10 KJV)

Thought you might enjoy watching and listening to Bellamoonnature’s Bald Eagle video.

Avian and Attributes – Everlasting

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by Ray Barlow

“Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.” (Psalms 93:2 KJV)


Everlasting

EVERL`ASTING, a. [ever and lasting.] Lasting or enduring for ever; eternal; existing or continuing without end; immortal.
The everlasting God, or Jehovah. Gen 21.
Everlasting fire; everlasting punishment. Mat 18:25.
1. Perpetual; continuing indefinitely, or during the present state of things.
I will give thee, and thy seed after thee, the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession. Gen 17.
The everlasting hills or mountains. Genesis. Habakkuk.
2. In popular usage, endless; continual; unintermitted; as, the family is disturbed with everlasting disputes.
EVERL`ASTING, n. Eternity; eternal duration, past and future.
From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Psa 90.


Eagle is a common name for many large birds of prey of the family Accipitridae; it belongs to several groups of genera that are not necessarily closely related to each other.

Most of the 60 species of eagles are from Eurasia and Africa. Outside this area, just 14 species can be found – two in North America, nine in Central and South America, and three in Australia. Accipitridae Family


More Avian and Attributes Articles

Birds whose last name start with “E”

Good News

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[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]

Lee’s Two Word Tuesday – 12/27/16

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Bald Eagle Brings Nesting Material by Aesthetic Photos

THE EAGLE

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“Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?” (Job 39:27 KJV)

Bald Eagle Brings Nesting Material by Aesthetic Photos

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More Daily Devotionals

Accipitridae – Family (Kites, Hawks & Eagles)

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“E” is for Eagles and Eiders: “E” Birds”, Part 1

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

verreauxseagle-soaring-by-cliffs-mikehaworth

Verreaux’s Eagle (Aquila verreauxii)
Fair Use photo credit: Mike Haworth

The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD. (Obadiah 1:3-4)

E” is for Eagles, Eiders, Egrets, Emus, Earthcreepers, Eagle-owls, Euphonias, Elaenias, Eremomelas, Elepaios, and/or Emerald hummingbirds — plus whatever other birds there are, that have names that begin with the letter E.

This present study (i.e., “‘E’ Birds, Part 1”) will focus on Eagles and Eiders.
But first, because this blogpost-article calmly continues an alphabet-based series on birds, we look at Psalm 119:33-40, — thereafter we review two categories of birds that start with the letter “E”, namely, Eagles and Eiders.

verreauxseagle-soaring-sky-mike-haworth

Verreaux’s Eagle (Aquila verreauxii)
Fair Use photo credit: Mike Haworth

THE ALPHABET HELPS TO TEACH US ABOUT GOD’S TRUTH
Using alphabet letters, to order a sequence of information, has Biblical precedent, as is noted in the four earlier articles in this series of “alphabet birds” — i.e., A birds; B birds; and C birds; and D birds.

The perfect example is the “acrostic” pattern of Psalm 119, the longest psalm (having 176 verses!), which psalm has 22 sections (comprised of 8 verses per section), representing the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. (Compare that to the English alphabet, which has 26 alphabet letters, and/or to the Norwegian alphabet, which has 29 alphabet letters.) The sentences in each section start with the same Hebrew letter: Verses 1-8 start with ALEPH, Verses 9-16 with BETH, Verse 17-24 with GIMEL, and so forth.

he-5th-hebrew-letter-chart

Fair Use Image Credit:  4.bp.blogspot.com

In this serial study’s lesson, the fifth octet of verses in Psalm 119 (i.e., Psalm 119:33-40), each sentence starts with HÊ (pronounced “hay”, like what horses eat), the Hebrew consonant equivalent to the English “H”.

The word based upon this letter is HÊ’, (also pronounced “hay”, like what horses eat), which is routinely translated as a “Behold!” (or “Lo!”) in the Old Testament (see YOUNG’S ANALYTICAL CONCORDANCE, Index-Lexicon to the Old Testament, page 18, column 4), such as in Ezekiel 16:43 & Genesis 47:23.

Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but hast fretted me in all these things, behold! — therefore, I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord GOD: and thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations. (Ezekiel 16:43)

Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: Lo! — here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land. (Genesis 47:23)

The Aramaic equivalent, HÂ’ (pronounced “Ha!”) appears in Daniel 3:25, when King Nebuchadnezzar was shocked to see what surprisingly happened in the fiery furnace, after Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were unjustly thrust therein.

daniel-5-verses

In King James English, one alerted others by exclaiming, “behold!” – meaning something like our modern expressions “Hey! Look!” and/or “Hey! Watch out!” In other words, ironically, the modern English exclamation “Hey!” means about the same thing as the ancient Hebrew exclamation “HÊ’!” – which is pronounced the same as is the English “Hey!”

Exclamations — like “Hey!” — alert us, to pay attention to something, to behold something, to watch out for something, that is very important. In the New Testament, the Greek equivalent is an imperative form of a verb meaning “look”, i.e., the New Testament’s equivalents (of “Behold!” or “Lo!”) likewise call someone to “Look!”

he-hebrew-letter-window

Fair Use image Credit: Pinterest

So, because HÊ’ is the fifth letter in the Hebrew alphabet, each verse (in Psalm 119:33-40) literally starts with that letter as the first letter in the first word (although the first Hebrew word may be differently placed in the English translation’s sentence):

33 Teach-me [hôrênî], O LORD, the way of Thy statutes; and I shall keep [a form of nâtsar] it unto the end.

34 Give-me-understanding [habînēnî], and I shall keep [a form of nâtsar] Thy law; yea, I shall observe [a form of shâmar] it with my whole heart.

35 Make-me-to-go [hadrîkēnî] in the path of Thy commandments; because therein do I delight [a form of ].

36 Incline [haṭ] my heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

37 Turn-away [ha‘abēd] mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken Thou me in Thy way.

38 Stablish [haqēm] Thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to Thy fear.

39 Turn-away [ha‘abēd] my reproach which I fear: for Thy judgments are good.

40 Behold [hinnēh] ! — I have longed after Thy precepts; quicken me in Thy righteousness.

As noted before, Psalm 119 is all about God’s revelation of truth – especially truth about Himself – to mankind (in a comprehensive “A to Z” panorama). The most important revelation of truth that God has given to us, and the most authoritative form of truth that we have, is the Holy Bible – the Scriptures (2nd Peter 1:16-21). Here, the octet of verses in Psalm 119:33-40 is dominated by references to the Scriptures, using the terms “Thy statutes” (verse 33), “Thy law” (verse 34), “Thy commandments” (verse 35), “Thy testimonies” (verse 36), “Thy way” (verse 37), Thy Word” (verse 38), “Thy judgments” (verse 39), and “Thy precepts” (verse 40).

Notice how the “theme” of the Hebrew noun hê’ appears frequently in this section of Psalm 119 – because when you behold a “window” of valuable/relevant information, provided by God, you “watch out!” —  i.e., you look and see what is important for you to learn about, that helps you with your God-designed destiny.

Accordingly, the Hebrew letter HÊ’ alerts our attention to vitally important information – such as the sobering cause-and-effect logic of God’s punishment of wickedness (Ezekiel 16:43), or the providential opportunity to live and thrive in a well-provided-for situation (Genesis 47:23), or the astounding sight of a miracle happening inside a burning fiery furnace (Daniel 3:25).

But what about the running theme of alertness in Psalm 119:33-40? Behold!

In Psalm 119:33, the psalmist requests teaching from the LORD, in order that the psalmist “keep” God’s way completely. A person cannot practice God’s truth, in daily living, with first learning what God’s truth is — this is practical logic that Ezra exemplified in his life (Ezra 7:10).

merkava3-firing-projectile

Israel’s armored cavalry “chariot” [Merkava 3], firing projectile (public domain)

Two Hebrew verbs appear in Verse 33, “teach” (a causative active imperative form of YÂRÂH, which refers to the action of projecting, i.e., casting a projectile such as an arrow or spear) and “keep” (a simple active imperfect form of NÂTSAR, which refers to guarding, preserving, conserving, protecting). The idea here is that the psalmist is alert to his need to vigorously dive into – like an arrow being forcibly shot into God’s assigned missions in life – which involve the spiritual pathway of God’s statutes, in order for the psalmist to guard those statutes (in daily living) “to the end”. This is not a relaxed scenario! If God’s Word was like a swimming pool, the psalmist is asking God to “throw him into the deep end”, so that the psalmist is confronted with challenges needful for “finishing strong” in his spiritual journey!

Psalm 119:34 is similar in meaning to Verse 33, because the psalmist again is seeking to “keep” (NÂTSAR) God’s Word, which this time is called God’s “law” (TÔRÂH), so that the psalmist can be careful in attending to (SHÂMAR) God’s law with his “whole heart”, like a watchman on a city wall. To do this, the psalmist asks God to give him “understanding” (a causative active imperative form of the Hebrew verb BÎN — literally exhorting God to cause the psalmist to understand what is needful, to achieve the goal of carefully living by God’s Word, with his “whole heart”. This too is no relaxed scenario – very serious understanding, discernment, judgment is needed. So this verse shows the psalmist being watchful, living life with “eyes open”, to know what is really going on in life.

psalm119-105-lighted-pathway

Fair Use Credit: JohnFanPhotography.com

 In Psalm 119:35, the psalmist requests God to “lead” [a causative active imperative form of DÂRAK] him in the proper pathway, namely, the pathway of proper living – this verse resembles a later verse, Psalm 119:105, that likens life’s spiritual journey as needing the enlightenment of God’s Word, “a lamp to my feet” and “a light unto my path”. Notice the psalmist’s purpose for this — he has “delighted” [a simple active perfect form of CHÂPHĒTS] in God’s commandments. The verb CHÂPHĒTS (which appears as “delighted” in Psalm 119:35) denotes the action of being delighted, favoring, enjoying, being pleased with – i.e., having a positive attitude toward someone or something. Remember the Westminster Confession? “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”

This reminds me of something my granddaughter Sydney said, when she was about 5 years old, when her mom told her that “we love God”. “Yeah”, Sydney agreed, “and we like God, too!” (Accordingly, we like and enjoy His Word, too!)

sydney-doubleoak-jumphouse

Sydney (photo at about age 2), who loves God, and who likes Him too!

In Psalm 119:36, the psalmist asks God to “incline” his heart toward God’s “testimonies”. The word translated “incline” is a causative active imperative form of the Hebrew verb NÂṬÂH, which refers to the action of stretching or spreading out (e.g., spreading/stretching out a tent in Genesis 33:19 & Exodus 33:7, and arching a spear in Joshua 8:18 & 8:26), so the psalmist is beseeching God to stretch his heart toward God’s testimonies. This is no lackadaisical request! Of course, the testimonies of God’s witnesses were not of slight importance – the fate of families, communities, and even and nations would depend upon how such testimonies were received (or not received) — see, e.g., Deuteronomy 8:9 & 32:46; 2nd Kings 17:13-15; Nehemiah 9:26-34; Psalm 78:56; Isaiah 8:20; Amos 3:13; John 3:32 & 4:44; Acts 1:8; 1st Corinthians 15:15; Ephesians 4:17; 1st Thessalonians 4:6; Hebrews 12:1; 1st Peter 1:11; 1st John 4:14; Rev 22:16 & 22:20. In other words, watch out! — God’s testimony, provided by God’s witnesses, is never to be trifled with. The psalmist wants the opposite of shying away from God’s testimonies; the psalmist wants to stretch toward God’s testimonies.

In fact, the psalmist is actually pleading with God, asking God to make the psalmist to stretch him toward God’s testimonies, as opposed to the psalmist being inclined (i.e., “stretched”) toward seeking worldly “gain”. This cannot be a passive enterprise – in order for us to stretch toward God, and toward what honors God (i.e., what Colossians 3:2 calls “the things above”), we must affirmatively pull our hearts away from the worldly “treasures” that all-too-often compete with God, as our heart’s affection.

refuse-2-b-distracted-derailed-rr-track

Fair Use Credit: Felicia Starks

In Psalm 119:37, the psalmist asks God to turn the psalmist’s eyes from visons of vanities, as the psalmist recognizes that real life is experienced only in the ways of God. The verb translated “turn away” (in Psalm 119:37) is a causative active imperative form of the Hebrew verb ‘ÂBAR (literally, “to pass through”). Thus, the psalmist is imploring God to make the psalmist to “pass through” (or “pass over”) the lying sights of worldly temptation and folly. In other words, the psalmist does not expect divine deliverance, from worldly vanities, to come in the form of escape so much as to come in the form of a successful endurance (see 1st Corinthians 10:13). To achieve this result, the psalmist (and we) must pay alert attention to what is reliable and true — and (likewise) refuse to be distracted by what is ultimately illusory and false.

[Regarding the inherent distractiveness of deceit, seeStaying on Track, Despite Deceptive Distractions.

In Psalm 119:38, the psalmist asks God to make what He says to “arise” (using a causative active imperative form of the Hebrew verb QÛM) – i.e., whatever God’s promises He must establish. As mere mortals we cannot, by ourselves, establish God’s will on earth. God must make His own Word happen — and He is ready, willing, and able to do just that (see Isaiah 14:24 & 14:27)! Yet notice who the intended beneficiaries of God promises are: “those who fear Thee”, i.e., those with reverential awe of God, those who worshipfully fear His power and holiness – and that should describe us. Obviously this is not a lackadaisical matter – this is something we must pay close and sober attention to, especially if we hope to be on the “good side” of God’s promises.

In Psalm 119:39, the psalmist begins with the same Hebrew verb that Verse 37 began with, ‘ÂBAR (literally, “to pass through”), this time asking God to cause the psalmist’s self-dreaded “reproach” to pass through, i.e., the psalmist is fearful of his own fallibility and faultiness, and rightfully so – as we all should be. The psalmist’s prayer is a prayer of dependence — God needs to protect us form ourselves. The old saying is true: we are our own worst enemies. Accordingly, we need for God to take/pull us through our own shameful sinfulness, overruling our inherent sin-nature (which we inherited form Adam our first forefather), so that we can freely live for Him. But only God’s truth can free us from our sinful selves; only the Scriptures give us the truth that sets us free (see John 8:31-32). Thus, God’s Word is liberating. As the psalmist here says, God’s ordinances are “good” – they are the real daily nutrition that our lives must have, spiritually speaking (Matthew 4:4) — see Real Freedom Only Comes from Real Truth”, posted at  (from the April AD2013 issue of ACTS & FACTS).

In Psalm 119:40, the psalmist starts the verse with the exclamation “Behold!” (Hebrew: HĪNĒH), which repeats the tone of this octet of verses. The last word in this verse is an intensive active imperative form of the Hebrew verb CHAYAH (meaning “to live” or “to have life”). Thus, the psalmist is beseeching God to give him life “in Thy [i.e., God’s] righteousness”, because the psalmist “has longed for” (simple active perfect form of the verb TÂ’AB) a life that harmonizes with God’s ordinances/judgments. In other words, the psalmist connects real living to God’s gift of His own righteousness, that fits the worthy goal of living according to God’s judgments. This is no careless approach to daily living! This requires careful dependence upon God — only He can give us a good life.
In sum, Scripture-based living is not easy – it requires watchfulness, alertness, caution, sobriety, and complete dependence upon God’s Word-based guidance.

Thus we see the theme, woven throughout the octet of HÊ’ verses (Psalm 119:33-40), is that we need to be alert while living life on earth (i.e., “Watch out! Beware! Hey! Pay attention!”) — and that God’s Word is what equips us to be properly alerted to what is really happening in and around us.

After that lesson (from Psalm 119:33-40), about the value of careful attentiveness, it is appropriate to consider some EAGLES, those huge raptors that illustrate super-keen eyesight, telescopic eyes that they routinely use for the serious business of catching prey on land, in air, and even at the water’s surface.

stellersseaeagle-igorshpilenok

EAGLES

Regarding Eagles, see Lee Dusing’s Sunday Inspiration: Eagles, as well as her “Bible Birds: Eagles”.

The best known eagle, for Americans, is the USA’s national bird, the BALD EAGLE. Frequenting saltwater shorelines, these hawk-like fish-eating raptors are well-populated in coastal Alaska, as is reported in Alaska’s Bald Eagle, which is quoted below.

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                   Photo credit: SkagwayExcursion.com

BALD EAGLE pair (Alaska)

Bald eagles may enjoy abundant fishing opportunities, in Alaska and in other coastwater and riverine areas, but life has not been easy for these carnivores, due to the accumulation of poisons in food chains they depend upon.

Driven to near extinction due to DDT [via its byproduct DDE] poisoning and illegal killing. Now making a comeback in North America. Returns to same nest each year, adding more sticks, enlarging it to massive proportions, at times up to 1,000 pounds (450 kg). In the midair mating ritual, one eagle will flip upside down and lock talons with another. Both tumble, then break apart to continue flight. Thought to mate for life, but will switch mates if not successful reproducing. Juvenile attains the white head and tail at about 4-5 years of age.

[Quoting Stan Tekiela, BIRDS OF TEXAS FIELD GUIDE (Adventure Publications, 2004), page 81.]

goldeneagle-perching-wildechotours

GOLDEN EAGLE  (photo credit: WildEchoTours.com)

The other major variety of eagle, in North America, is the GOLDEN EAGLE, which lives off of prey it seizes from the ground, or from the air.

Large and powerful bird of prey that has no trouble taking larger prey such as jackrabbits. Hunts by perching or soaring and watching for movement [on the ground below]. Inhabits mountainous terrain, requiring large territories to provide large supply of food. Thought to mate for life, renewing pair bond late in winter with spectacular high-flying courtship displays. Usually nests on cliff faces, rarely in trees. Uses well-established nest that has been used for generations. Not uncommon for it to add thing to nest such as antlers, bones and barbed wire.

[Quoting Stan Tekiela, BIRDS OF TEXAS FIELD GUIDE (Adventure Publications, 2004), page 239.]

Golden Eagles are actually well distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere, not just in North America, as the range map (below) indicates.

goldeneagle-rangemap-wikipedia

Golden Eagle Range Map (Wikipedia)

But would you expect there to be many more examples of “eagles” than just the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalos) and the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysactos)?

The varieties of Eagles – besides North America’s Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle – are many [see Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks, Eagle ], such as: Indian Black Eagle [found in tropical Africa], Black-and-chestnut Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Chaco Eagle, Crested Eagle, Crowned Eagle, Gurney’s Eagle, Harpy Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Little Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, Martial Eagle, Papuan Eagle, Philippine Eagle, Pygmy Eagle, Grey Sea Eagle [a/k/a Ørn and White-tailed Sea-Eagle], Sanford’s Sea Eagle, Steller’s Sea Eagle, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Andaman Serpent Eagle, Congo Serpent Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Madagascan Serpent Eagle, Mountain Serpent Eagle, Great Nicobar Serpent Eagle, Philippine Serpent Eagle, Sulawesi Serpent Eagle, Southern Banded Snake Eagle, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle, Black-chested Snake Eagle, Brown Snake Eagle, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Solitary Eagle, African Fish Eagle, Madagascan Fish Eagle, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Lesser Fish Eagle, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Flores Hawk-Eagle, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Legge’s Hawk-Eagle, Blyth’s Hawk-Eagle, Javan Hawk-Eagle, Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle, Philippine Hawk-Eagle, Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle, Wallace’s Hawk-Eagle, Black Hawk-Eagle, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle, Ayre’s Hawk-Eagle, Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, African Hawk-Eagle, Booted Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle, Indian Spotted Eagle, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle [a/k/a African Black Eagle], Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, and Steppe Eagle!

whitetailedseaeagle-sindriskulason

Grey Sea Eagle, a/k/a Ørn and White-tailed Sea-Eagle

Fair Use Credit: Sindri Skulason

 Consider the following information about eagles, a raptor often mentioned in Holy Scripture:

Eagles are such heavy birds that they don’t build their houses, called “nests”, near the ground. Eagles build their nests high up in trees or on top of rocky mountains or cliffs, so that they can jump out into the air and glide on rising warm air currents. Some air currents are made of warm rising air, so an eagle can jump into such warm air and “ride” it up like an elevator, then the eagle can glide from one air current to another , until it wants to fly down. These rising air currents are called “thermals”. The eagle that soars on a thermal is mostly at rest, because he is trusting the thermal to carry him along for a “ride” in the air. The eagle soaring on such a thermal air current is a reminder of how we should trust and depend upon God to carry us through life’s adventures, as we travel from one day to the next. By “riding” on upwardly spiraling thermal air currents eagles can save their energy, because too much wing-flapping can waste an eagle’s energy and cause it to get too tired to fly. Like eagles, we can waste a lot of energy if we fail to depend on God, because worrying and distrusting God wastes a lot of mental energy and emotions! (See Isaiah 40:31, quoted below.)

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

By conserving (carefully using, not wasting) his energy, the bald eagle can flap his wings only when he needs to, and he can rise to very high places in the air, which also means that the eagles can reach high places on top of mountains or cliffs that other animals cannot reach. So an eagles’ nest (called an “eyrie”) can be far away from egg-eating animals that might bother parent eagles and try to eat their eggs before they have a chance to hatch into baby eaglets (the baby eaglets are called “hatchlings” when they first hatch). Bald eagles, like other kinds of eagles, often live in rocky places in high places, so it is not surprising that people (including Biblical authors) compare highness with flying and nesting behaviors of eagles.

One example of highness being compared to the nesting habits of eagles is found in the Bible, in the Book of Obadiah (at Obadiah 1:3-4), where the eagle is described as a creature that lives in high places, much closer to the stars than do most other animals (or people).

Another Old Testament book in the Bible, the Book of Job, refers (at Job 39:27) to the eagle as mounting up into the air by God’s command (because God programs eagles to fly up into the air the way that they do), and as nesting in high places (because God programs eagles to do this also).

“The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, ‘Who shall bring me down to the ground?’ Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.” (Obadiah 1:3-4)

“Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?” (Job 39:27)

Eagles are good parents, training their sons and daughters to live like eagles (see Deuteronomy 32:11). Eagles can fly, like dive-bombing airplanes, at great speeds (see 2nd Samuel 1:23 and Lamentations 4:19). Their strength is renewed from time to time, as their feather-cover adjusts to their growing bodies (see Isaiah 40:31 and Psalms 103:5). Eagles are known for their gracefulness and dignity (see Proverbs 30:19). In fact, eagles fly very high in the air as a matter of habit – above most other birds (see Proverbs 23:5).

[Quoting from James J. S. Johnson, “Alaska’s Bald Eagle”].

ag of Mexico ©WikiC

Flag of MEXICO  (displaying Golden Eagle)

Eagles are favorite birds on national flags and in official coat-of-arms emblems. For a just a few examples, consider these “flagged” eagles:

Consider – for just a few representative examples – the eagles that appear on the flags – some present, some past — of these national and state/provincial flags: Albania; American Samoa; Austria (armorial flag); Brandenburg, Germany; Ecuador (armorial banner); Egypt; Geneva, Switzerland; Germany (armorial flag ); Iowa; Italian president’s flag (AD1880-AD1946); Jordan (armorial banner); Mexico; North Dakota; Oregon (front side of state flag); Pennsylvania; Poland (armorial flag); Prussia (armorial banner, AD1819-AD1850); (Moldova; Mount Athos (autonomous Greek protectorate); Russian Czar’s banner (18th century A.D.); Serbia (during AD1882-AD1918); Silesia (until absorption by Prussia in AD1742 – parts of Silesia now lay within Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic); United States Coast Guard and Marine Corps; Utah; Virgin Islands (of the USA); Zambia; etc.

[Quoting from James J. S. Johnson, “’Flag that Bird!’ (Part 1)

goldeneagle-swooping-down-netns-wildlifezone

Golden Eagle in flight
(Fair Use Credit: NETNS Wildlife Zone)

No wonder so many countries choose to include an eagle in their official coat-of-arms — these birds are truly regal!

Now for another category of “E” birds, the eiders.

stellerseider-wikipedia

Steller’s Eider in icy seawater (Wikipedia)

EIDERS

Eiders are large sea-ducks, the largest wild ducks in North America and Europe – with the exception of the Muscovy Duck (which, in parts of Texas and Florida, occurs in the wild). Examples of eiders include the Common Eider (Somateria mollissima), King Eider (Someteria spectabilis), and Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri), and Steller’s Eider (Polysticta stelleri), all four of which varieties are found in Alaskan waters. Eiders in the wild (including Steller’s Eider, misleadingly classified as a “different genus” of eider) are known to hybridize, so (obviously) all eiders descend from the same created kind.

Regarding downy-feather-famous Eiders, see, Lee Dusing’s “The Eider: The Cushion Makers (Nuggets Plus)”.  Eiders are true mariners, “sea ducks”, a term that includes mergansers, oldsquaw (a/k/a “long-tailed duck”), bufflehead, goldeneyes, and (of course) eiders.

kingeider-alaska-by-greggthompson

King Eider male near Barrow, Alaska (by Gregg Thompson)

Ornithologist Steve Madge describes eiders as cold-water ducks of the North. ”

Large sea-ducks of northern coastal waters. Adult males distinctive [in physical appearance], but other plumages similar; immatures take two or more years to reach maturity, males having confusing variety of piebald plumages [i.e., the usual colored feathering is modified by partial leucism, so that the usual black plumage is whitish, yet feathers of rainbow colors are not whitewashed]. Head-and-bill shape important [for identification], especially extent of feathering onto bill-base.

[Quoting Steve Madge & Hilary Burn, WATERFOWL: AN IDENTIFICATION GUIDE TO THE DUCKS, GEESE AND SWANS OF THE WORLD (Houghton Mifflin, 1988), page 104.]

spectacled-eider-male-jimburns

Spectacled Eider male (photo by Jim Burns)

The Eider’s down feathers are especially well-designed for efficiently insulating the body heat of these North-dwelling ducks, so it is no surprise that eider feathers are prized as down for pillow-making. As, as the Nordic Store (Iceland) advises, “Eiderdown is the softest and lightest down in the world … extremely rare, in great demand and highly prized (accounting for its high price)”. [Quoting Nordic Store, with an (apparently) informative YouTube video, narrated in Icelandic, at Eiderdown Duvets and Pillows  — showing beautiful eiders at sea and on land, in colonial activities.]

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God willing, the next contribution to this alphabetic series will be some more “E” birds – perhaps Egrets, Emus, and Earthcreepers!

Meanwhile, in accordance with Psalm 119:33-40, use God’s Word as you attentively and alertly live life, daily, with its opportunities to follow Christ. (Hey!) Carefully interpret whatever you see, by the wisdom of God’s Word, as you keep your eyes open, like the observant eagle!

><>  JJSJ profjjsj@verizon.net

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Crow Versus Eagle, Free Ride Instead

Crow on Eagles Back ©©

Crow on Eagles Back ©©

Here is an article worth looking at:

Crow Tries to Fight Eagle, Gets Free Ride Instead

‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. (Exodus 19:4 NKJV)

Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven. (Proverbs 23:5 NKJV)

But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 NKJV)

Our pursuers were swifter Than the eagles of the heavens. They pursued us on the mountains… (Lamentations 4:19a NKJV)

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More from Focusing On Wildlife

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Dubai World Record Eagle Flight

You will enjoy watching this video sent to me from a friend. They took an eagle up to tallest building in the world in Dubai and released him. He has a camera strapped to him.

He then comes down and lands on his handler’s outstretched arm. Amazing footage.

Eagles are an amazing creation from the Lord.

Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. (Proverbs 23:5 KJV)

Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD. (Obadiah 1:4 KJV)

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Bird of the Week – Bonelli’s Eagle

Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata) by Ian

This is the last in this series of raptor photos from the Pyrenees: Bonelli’s Eagle taken at another feeding station managed by Birding in Spain. Like last week’s Northern Goshawk feral pigeons from a local council culling programme are used to attract the eagles. It’s brown and white plumage reminded me rather of the similarly sized Osprey particular that of the male, first photo, which is paler than the female. In size it has a length of up to 73cm/28in, a wingspan to 180cm/71in and weights up to 2.4kg/5.3lbs. That makes it much smaller than most of the other Aquila eagles, such as the Golden and Wedge-tailed but larger than the Little Eagle of Australia.

View From The Hide in Spain by Ian

View From The Hide in Spain by Ian

There the resemblance to ospreys ends, as Bonelli’s Eagle is found in hilly or mountainous country in warm regions and eats mammals and birds – in Spain it eats mainly rabbits and partridges. The second photo shows the view from the hide. The stone wall on the left is where the food is tied in place, as is done with the goshawks to prevent them from carrying the food away. The bird arrived quite promptly after set up: you can see in the first photo that the reflection of the sun in its eye is just above the horizon.

Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata) by Ian

The third photo is another one of the male with the remains of a pigeon. On the back just below the neck a white spot is visible – this is a diagnostic feature of adult Bonelli’s Eagles and fairly conspicuous in flight though the birds arrived and departed so quickly from the rocky ridge in front of the hide that I didn’t get any decent flight shots.

Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata) by Ian

They were fast eaters too. The fourth photo was taken 25 minutes after the third: very little of the pigeon remains and the crop of the bird is quite full. The adult goshawk also took about half an hour to demolish a pigeon, but the immature goshawk took the best part of two hours and remained long after the adult had left. Despatching prey at speed would appear to be a skill that takes raptors a bit of practice. Both these photos show the feathered legs or ‘boots’, characteristic of ‘true’ eagles. They’re not exclusive to eagles though. The goshawks had impressive trousers too as do some falcons such as the Brown Falcon of Australia.

Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata) by Ian

Once fed, the male seemed more aware of what was going on around it and in the fifth photo is peering at the hide, presumably in response to the sound of the camera shutter.

Meanwhile, the female, sixth and seventh photos, was getting stuck into the other pigeon. She was a fine-looking bird too, larger than the male, with hazel eyes and identifiable by much stronger streaks on the breast. The female had much darker trousers, seventh photo, but I don’t know whether that’s generally the case or peculiar to this bird.

Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata) by Ian Female

Bonelli’s Eagle is widely but sparsely distributed through southern Europe, northern Africa, parts of the Middle East, South and Southeastern Asia as far east as Timor. The European population is about 900 pairs, of which about 700 are in Spain. They are sedentary, keeping to their large home ranges throughout the year. Satellite tracking in Spain has shown an average home range of 200sq km/77sq miles with a core range of about 45sq km/17 sq miles.

Bonelli's Eagle (Aquila fasciata) by Ian Female

The generic name ‘fasciata’ comes from the Latin fascia meaning stripe, band or sash. It’s usually used in birds to refer to horizontal bands or barring but maybe Veillot, the taxonomist responsible, was referring to the barring on the ‘trousers’ rather than the streaks on the breast. Veillot, Jean Pierre that is, was an important French avian taxonomist, 1748-1831, who extended the three-level Linnaean classification of order-genus-species into order-tribe-family-genus-species in his Analyse d’une nouvelle Ornithologie Elémentaire (1816). Franco Andrea Bonelli was, unsurprisingly, an Italian ornithologist 1784-1830 and discovered both this eagle and Bonelli’s Warbler in 1815. He worked at the Natural History Museum in Paris 1810-11 before returning to Italy to take up the position of Professor of Zoology at the University of Turin. Interestingly, he published his main works in French.

What would we do without Wikipedia?
Greetings
Ian

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Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Bird Photos http://www.birdway.com.au/
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey. (Job 9:26 KJV)

Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat. (Habakkuk 1:8 KJV)

What an amazing set of photos of this magnificent Eagle. Thanks again, Ian, for sharing these fantastic glimpses of the Bonelli’s Eagle. Pretty fast eaters, it appears.

This Eagle is a member of the Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks and Eagles Family and a Bird of the Bible also. Eagles are mentioned over thirty times in the Bible, plus they are included in the various “birds of prey” verses.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Eagle Family pages

Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks and Eagles Family

Birds of the Bible – Eagle

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Jeff Guidry and His Eagle Named Freedom

(This was sent to me in an e-mail and thought I would share it. It’s been around awhile, but is new to me. Also, below is a video of the two of them.)

An Eagle Kiss

As an eagle stirs up its nest, Hovers over its young, Spreading out its wings, taking them up, Carrying them on its wings, (Deuteronomy 32:11 NKJV)

This is the kind of story you need when it seems like the world is spiraling out of control.. Not many people get a picture of this proud bird snuggled up next to them!

Freedom 1Freedom and Jeff

Freedom and I have been together 11 years this summer.  She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings.  Her left wing doesn’t open all the way even after surgery, it was broken in 4 places. She’s my baby.

When Freedom came in, she could not stand and both wings were broken. She was emaciated and covered in lice. We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vet’s office. From then on, I was always around her. We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in.

I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes. We also had to tube feed her for weeks. This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn’t stand. It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn’t stand in a week. You know you don’t want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning.

She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn’t want to go to the center that Thursday, because I couldn’t bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear. I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was, standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then.

That was a very good day. We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train her. I got her used to the glove, and then to jesses, and we started doing education programs for schools in western Washington. We wound up in the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV. Miracle Pets even did a show about us.

In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of chemo. Lost the hair – the whole bit. I missed a lot of work.

When I felt good enough, I would go to Sarvey and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This happened time and time again.

Fast forward to November 2000.  The day after Thanksgiving, I went in for my last checkup.  I was told that if the cancer was not all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the results. I went in Monday, and I was told that all the cancer was gone.

Freedom2

So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her up, and we went out front to the top of the hill. I hadn’t said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to where I could feel them pressing in on my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that for I don’t know how long.

That was a magic moment. We have been soul mates ever since she came in. This is a very special bird.

On a side note:  I have had people who were sick come up to us when we are out, and Freedom has some kind of hold on them. I once had a guy who was terminal come up to us and I let him hold her.  His knees just about buckled and he swore he could feel her power course through his body. I have so many stories like that.

I never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as Freedom.

Hope you enjoyed this!

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Golden Eagle – Eagle’s Eyesight

Golden Eagle – Eagles Eyesight

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) - Grandfather Eagle by PastorBBC

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) – Grandfather Eagle by PastorBBC

Hello boys and girls again! This is the Golden Eagle!

Did you know that eagles have very keen (excellent) eyesight ? We can see prey at great distances! I would say that we are one of the TOP birds!

Listen to this Bible verse:

And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. (Revelation 4:7)

Golden Eagle ©PD

Golden Eagle ©PD

The word “beast” comes from a Greek word, zoon, and it means living creatures.

You are familiar with the word zoo, zoology-the study of animals.

  • The lion is the king of the beast! Jesus is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah! The lion represents the beasts of the earth.
  • The calf or ox represents the cattle!
  • The eagle represents the fowl or birds of the air!
  • And man is God’s greatest creation created on day number six of creation week!

The Bible is full of amazing truths! These living creatures are part of the angelic creation! They live in the very presence of God and they are full of life!

In fact, God through His Son Jesus Christ has given us everything necessary for life. Life does not end at death. Even science teaches us today that matter and energy go through changes, but they do not disappear!

Well, your soul and spirit are eternal, you will live forever somewhere! The very best place to go is God’s Heaven! Make sure that you are saved! If you do not understand what salvation is all about, begin to read the Gospel of John in the New Testament! It was written so that you would believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and in so doing that you would trust Jesus to save your soul!

God created this vast, material Universe and He has a plan for ALL of it, even the material stuff! One day we will fly higher than any eagle has ever flown! I hope that you enjoy being alive! If you are having a difficult time with life contact us and we will try to help and encourage you by sharing God’s Word with you and pointing you to the Lord Jesus Christ!

By for now!

The Golden Eagle

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Golden Eagle

Wordless Book

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Birds in Hymns – Be Strong in the Lord

Bald Eagle flying by Dave's BirdingPix

Bald Eagle flying by Dave’s BirdingPix

Text: Be Strong in the Lord
Author: Linda Lee Johnson
Tune: FETTKE
Composer: Tom Fettke

Be strong in the Lord

Be strong in the Lord, and be of good courage;
Your mighty Defender is always the same.
Mount up with wings, as the eagle ascending;
Vict’ry is sure when you call on His name.

Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And rejoice for the vict’ry is yours.

So put on the armour the Lord has provided;
And place your defense in His unfailing care.
Trust Him, for He will be with you in battle,
Lighting your path to avoid every snare.

Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And rejoice for the vict’ry is yours.

Be strong in the Lord, and be of good courage;
Your mighty commander will vanquish the foe.
Fear not the battle, for the victory is always His;
He will protect you wherever you go.

Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And rejoice for the vict’ry is yours.

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More Birds in Hymns

Good News Tracts

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