Time For A New Update – I.O.C. Version 7.3

Northern Shoverler (now Spatula clypeata)

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas,” (Psalms 46:2 AMP)

The end of July, the I.O.C. released its newest update for the birds. This website is updated. The official number of extant (living) bird species is now 10,694, and there are 158 extinct species. There are 20,074 subspecies. There are also still 40 Orders of Avian wonders. An Order is a scientific way to categorize related birds. Orders are divided into the 238 Families of birds and 2 Incertae Sedis, with also contain all those subspecies. The two Incertae Sedis groups contain birds that they do not know how to classify.

Emu 20101021 Lowry Pk Zoo

Emu Lowry Pk Zoo by Lee

All the Family pages are up to date, plus all the First and Last Name indexes. Several challenges were to discard a Family page and make a new page. The Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) was by itself in the Dromaiidae family. The Cassowaries, also part of the Casuariiformes Order, are in the Casuariidae family. The Emu is now part of the Casuariidae family.

Sapayoa (Sapayoa aenigma) ©WikiC

The Sapayoa (Sapayoa aenigma) is now in its own Sapayoidae Family. It was previously in with the Broadbills of the Eurylaimidae family. This Sapayoa is now all by itself and the Emu now has company. :)

Another major time-consuming challenge was the resequencing of the Scolopacidae Family. That is the Sandpiper, Snipes and allies group. It appears they again tossed all the names in the air and let them settle where ever. It took considerable time to rearrange this family. With all the DNA studies, there will be other air tosses in the future.

Baikal Teal (Sibirionetta formosa) Zoo Miami by Lee

Baikal Teal (Sibirionetta formosa) Zoo Miami by Lee

The Duck Family also had a bit of scrambling and genus names changed. They split some of the Anas genus away. The Shovelers and Teals are now in the Spatula genus, and the Baikal Teal is Sibirionetta formosa.

Grey Noddy (Procelsterna albivitta) by Ian 5

Grey Noddy (Procelsterna albivitta) by Ian

The Blue Noddy is now (Anous ceruleus) and the Grey Noddy is (Anous albivittus). They were Procelsterna.

There were other changes which will be mentioned in Part 2 of this update. There were 14 new birds added and 2 deleted. Several other groups of birds were moved to other families.

*

I.O.C. World Bird List

Birds of the World

Last Names of Birds

First Names of Birds

Bird Families

“E” is for Egrets and Emus: “E” Birds”, Part 2

“E” is for Egrets and Emus: “E Birds”, Part 2
James J. S. Johnson

“Blessings are upon the head of the just, but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.” (PROVERBS 10:6)

Is that an egret, standing on top of my head?*

Photo credit:  Marcia Webel (St. Petersburg, Florida)

(*Actually, the egret was perching upon branches behind me, not atop my head.)

It is a blessing to use our heads, to watch birds, such as egrets.

As noted in Part 1 of the “E” Birds “E” is for Eiders, Eagles, (of which there are many varieties), Eagle-owls, Egrets, Emus, Eagle-owls, Egrets, Euphonias, Elaenias, Eremomelas, Elepaios, Earthcreepers, and Emerald hummingbirds — plus whatever other birds there are, that have names that begin with the letter E.

In this Part 2 (reviewing “E” birds), 2 categories of “E” birds are considered: Egrets and Emus.

snowyegret-gatorlandflorida-ad2016

Snowy Egret at Gatorland by Lee

EGRETS

Regarding Egrets, see, e.g., Lee Dusing’s “Egrets and Heron Catching the Gator Taxis” as well as her “Baby Snowy Egrets at Gatorland”.

It is truly amazing to see egrets seeking food, at Florida’s Gatorland, while presumptively and precariously perched atop the backs of drifting/semi-submerged alligators. As ornithologist Lee Dusing once observed:

Most times these alligators and birds get along fine. People are tossing food to them and so they abide each other. It is amazing how different critters get along. I can only imagine how it must have been when they were first created. There was no desire of the gators to eat the birds. Today, under the curse, it is a totally different situation.

[Quoting Lee Dusing’s “Egrets and Heron Catching the Gator Taxis”, See also my report on how Cattle Egrets practice “mutual aid” with various terrestrial herbivores, in “Cattle Egrets, Cattle, and Other Herbivore Neighbors”.

Since those egrets have been described, as just noted, previously, not much will be added here, regarding them, except for a few comments regarding their distribution, i.e., regarding the ranges they inhabit.

greatwhiteegrets-by-bencemate

Great White Egrets (photo by Bence Mate)

The Great White Egret (Ardea alba) is well-known in North America, as the range map below shows, but most of America only hosts this tall egret during the winter months.

greatwhiteegret-range-map-wikipedia

Great White Egret range map (Wikipedia)
Yellow = breeding; Green = year-round; Blue = wintering

Breeding occurs mostly in the Mississippi River watershed corridor states, with a swath of the Southwest and southern coasts providing year-round habitat of this long-legged shorebird.

A tall and stately bird, the Great [White] Egret slowly stalks shallow [waters of] wetlands looking for small fish [or frogs, or snakes, etc.] to spear [or grab] with its long sharp bill. Nests in colonies of up to 100 birds. Now protected [legally], they were hunted to near extinction in the 1800s and early 1900s for their long white plumage.

[Quoting Stan Tekiela, BIRD OF TEXAS FIELD GUIDE (Cambridge, MN: Adventure Publications, 2004), page 371.]

Another familiar white-feathered egret, in America, is the Snowy Egret.
The Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) is a small-scale heron with snowy white plumage, famous for its “golden slippers”.

snowyegret-wikipedia

Snowy Egret (Wikipedia)

Like the resourceful Cattle Egret (mentioned above — see coverage of this wide-ranged and herbivore-helping egret,) the Snowy Egret is small in size, as herons and egrets go. However, unlike the Cattle Egret, its feathers are all white, and its feet are a mustard-yellow (or goldenrod yellow) in color.  The Snowy Egret is a wetland bird – preferring swamps (including mangrove swamps), pondshores, marshlands (including saltmarshes), island shores, and estuaries (including tidal mudflats).

As shown below, the Snowy Egret has a breeding range that includes some patches of America, mostly in part of the Northwest and in the drainage basin of the Mississippi River. Also, the Snowy Egret is a year-round resident of America’s Atlantic coast and America’s Gulf of Mexico coast.

snowyegret-range-map-wikipedia

Snowy Egret range map (Wikipedia)
Yellow = breeding; Green = year-round; Blue = wintering

 More than a century ago the Snowy Egret (as well as the Flamingo, the Roseate Spoonbill, various cranes, ducks, geese, swans, other members of the heron-egret family, doves, as well as insectivorous passerine migrants, etc.) was wastefully being hunted for its fancy feathers, jeopardizing the entire American population — until the Migratory Bird Treaty was enacted (and was enforced).

Regarding the Migratory Bird Treaty’s historic importance, see “Looking Back 100 Years, at the Migratory Bird Treaty: A Bird’s-eye View of How It was Hatched”.

Great White Egret, Snowy Egret, White Ibis,Roseate Spoonbill, and
Great-tailed Grackle, flying over coastal marshland (Photo credit: Eric Ripma)

Thankfully, populations of egrets (and other long-legged, long-necked birds, such as cranes, herons, flamingo, roseate spoonbill, ibis, etc.) have rebounded, since passage (100 years ago) and enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty.

EMUS

Regarding Australia’s Emu (as well as regarding other ratites, including the smallest ratite — New Zealand’s kiwi), see ornithology professor Lee Dusing’s “Sunday Inspiration: Ostrich, Rhea, Cassowary, Emu & Kiwi”.

Also, for a close-up (albeit abrupt) perspective on an Emu, see “Lee’s Five Word Friday: 9/16/16”.

Emu (Dromaius novahollandiae) in the wild (Wikipedia)

The Emu is the second-largest (non-extinct) bird, by height; only the Ostrich is taller. By weight the Emu is the world’s third-largest bird, weighing less than the Ostrich and anther ratite “cousin”, the double-wattled Southern Cassowary.

The Emu has an over-all height of about 180 cm. (70”); to the top of the back it measures about 100 cm. (40”); it can weigh up to 55 kg. (120 lbs.) and have a beak up to 12 cm. long (5”). The body is very bulky, the coloring of the plumage brownish. The feet have three toes [each]. … The nest [typically located in scrubby steppe grassland habitat] is a hollow in the ground near a shrub, and it is covered with leaves, grass, et cetera. Various females lay 15-25 eggs, which are incubated by the male for 52-60 days [during with time the male loses a lot of weight, due to not eating], depending on the interruptions made by the male to find food and water. The nestlings, which have a distinctive white and brown-striped plumage, achieve complete development and sexual maturity within 2 or 3 years. The Emu can run at speeds of up to 50 kph. (30 mph.).

[Quoting Gianfranco Bologna, SIMON & SCHUSTER’S GUIDE TO BIRDS (Simon & Schuster, 1981; edited by John Bull), page 143.]

Since the Emu was described previously (as noted in the previous sentence), no more will be added here, other than to note that the Emu’s native range covers most of Australia. (Also, emus have been, and now are, raised commercially in America, for their meat, for oil, or sometimes as part of investment scams.)

emu-range-map-wikipedia

Emu range map (Wikipedia)

In recent years I have observed, in the wild, many varieties of Egrets – especially Great White Egret, Snowy Egret, and Cattle Egret. Also, on a few occasions I have observed (very close up) domesticated Emus – and they are not fully “tame” even when they are “domesticated”. All of these birds, which range in size, are marvels in motion — examples of God’s super-genius bioengineering.

Whenever we look at such feathered creatures, we should be amazed, and we should admire God’s handiwork, — because God has given us the ability to use our minds (which are somehow linked to the physical “hardware” of our heads, especially our eyes and brains). In a sense, we have such birds “on our heads”, as we think through the blessings God has given, due to Him creating such birds.

So, if our minds are renewed to proper reverence of God, as the Creator of all creation (Revelation 4:11), our “heads” can empirically accept and analyze these visual blessings, as feathered exhibits displaying God’s glory.

Blessings are upon the head of the just, but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.” (PROVERBS 10:6)

God willing, the next contribution to this alphabetic series will be some “F birds” – perhaps some of these: Fairywrens, Falcons, Fantails, Fernbirds, Fieldwrens, Figbirds, Finches, Firetails, Fiscals, Flamebacks, Flamingos, Flatbills, Flowerpeckers, Flycatchers, Foliage-gleaners, Forktails, Francolins, Friarbirds, Frigatebirds, Frogmouths, Fruiteaters, Fulmars, Fulvettas, etc.! Meanwhile, enjoy using your eyes (and the rest of your head) to appreciate the blessings and privileges of daily life, including opportunities to observe God’s avian wonders, like egrets and emus.

><> JJSJ

Lee’s Four Word Thursday – 9/22/16

***

Kilcowera Station, via Thargomindah, Queensland, Australia.

SIX ON A ROW

***



“And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD.” (Leviticus 24:6 KJV)

Kilcowera Station- Six Emus on a Row ©SciAmerica

*

More Daily Devotionals

*

Lee’s Five Word Friday – 9/16/16

***

Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) ©Flickr Justin

I WILL SEE HIS FACE

***



“And say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me.” (Genesis 32:20 KJV)

Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) ©Flickr Justin

*

More Daily Devotionals

*

Lee’s Four Word Thursday – 4/28/16

***

Swimming with the Emus ©©

BECOME AS LITTLE CHILDREN

***



“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 18:3

Swimming with the Emus ©©

*

More Daily Devotionals

*

Emu – The Model Father by A. J. Mithra

Emu – The Model Father

Emu (Dromaiusnovaehollandiae) by Ian

Emu (Dromaiusnovaehollandiae) by Ian

Mr. Emu is the most loving and caring
of all fathers of the bird community..
He not only builds the nest
in a semi-sheltered hollow
on the ground from bark,
grass, sticks and leaves
all by himself, but also incubates
the eggs alone and takes care of the chicks
all by himself..

JESUS neither sleeps nor slumbers
just to take care of all our needs..

During incubation,
he does not eat, drink or defecate,
but stands only to turn the eggs,
which he does about 10 times a day.
He will lose a third of his weight
during the eight week incubation period
and will survive only on stored body-fat
and on the morning dew,
that he can reach from the nest..

If these birds can survive
on morning dew,
we too are still surviving cos of
THE KING’S favor,which is like the morning dew…

Emu (Dromaiusnovaehollandiae) with chicks by Ian

Emu (Dromaiusnovaehollandiae) with chicks by Ian

Mr. Emu stays with the growing chicks
for up to 18 months,
defending them and teaching them how to find food.

JESUS is our shield and our defense,
we are the apple of HIS eyes..
HE is with us all the days of our lives..
Once as Mr. Emu starts brooding,

Mrs. Emu mates with other males,
but that’s still okay with Mr. Emu.
He’s really very kind because
as many as half the chicks in the brood
he incubates are fathered by others.
Incubation takes 56 days….

Surely. no one would like to be an Emu,
cos, we want our mate to be faithful…
How faithful are we to JESUS, our bride-groom,
who we also call as our Eternal father?
Are we with HIM all the days of our lives?
Are we loyal to HIM?
Just think….

The king`s wrath is as the roaring of a lion; But his favor is as dew upon the grass. (Proverbs 19:12 KJV)

Have a blessed day!

Yours in YESHUA,

A. J. Mithra

To see more of A. J.’s articles – Click Here


Emus are in the Dromaiidae – Emu Family which is one of the Casuariiformes Order