This video is from last Sunday evening. Our church presented a Christmas concert called “Adoration.” I trust you will enjoy the music and the presentation of the various Bible characters.
“Luke 2:8-14 KJV
(8) And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
(9) And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
(10) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
(11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
(12) And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
(13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
(14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
“Where the birds make their nests; The stork has her home in the fir trees.” (Psalms 104:17 NKJV)
Wow! While searching through the index of this blog, I realized that the “Sunday Inspiration” was started in January of 2014. I had no idea it has been that long ago. Also, I realized that we are just about back to where it began. Over the last three and a half years, you have been exposed to almost every family of birds in the world. They were randomly produced, then the Taxonomic order was begun with the Passerines, Singing and Perching Birds. It was finished up and then we started through taxonomically several months ago. Do you have any idea of the numbers of avian wonders that you have have been exposed to? Neither do I. :)
Currently, there are 10,681 species named with I.O.C., plus all the subspecies. I trust as you have seen their photos and listened to Christian music in the background, that it has been more pleasant than looking through guide books. :)
All of this has been said to let you know that if the “Sunday Inspiration” starts skipping over certain families, then it was already covered. The links to the skipped over ones will be listed. Most of you, like me, probably had no idea of what order the birds are listed in. We have all been learning as we have produced these Inspirations in order.
Marabou Stork LP Zoo by Lee
Storks are members of the Ciconiidae family and the only family in the Ciconiiformes Order. Storks are large to very large waterbirds. They range in size from the marabou, which stands 152 cm (60 in) tall and can weigh 8.9 kg (20 lb) the Abdim’s stork, which is only 75 cm (30 in) high and only weighs 1.3 kg (2.9 lb). Their shape is superficially similar to the herons, with long legs and necks, but they are heavier-set. There is some sexual dimorphism (differences between males and females) in size, with males being up to 15% bigger than females in some species (for example the saddle-billed stork), but almost no difference in appearance. The only difference is in the colour of the iris of the two species in the genus Ephippiorhynchus.
White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) by Ian
The bills of the storks are large to very large, and vary considerably between the genera. The shape of the bills is linked to the diet of the different species. The large bills of the Ciconia storks are the least specialised. Larger are the massive and slightly upturned bills of the Ephippiorhynchus and the jabiru. These have evolved to hunt for fish in shallow water. Larger still are the massive daggers of the two adjutants and marabou (Leptoptilos), which are used to feed on carrion and in defence against other scavengers, as well as for taking other prey. The long, ibis-like downcurved bills of the Mycteria storks have sensitive tips that allow them to detect prey by touch (tactilocation) where cloudy conditions would not allow them to see it. The most specialised bills of any storks are those of the two openbills (Anastomus.), which as their name suggested is open in the middle when their bill is closed.
Saddlebill Stork at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee
“Even the stork in the heavens Knows her appointed times; And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow Observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the judgment of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 8:7 NKJV)
The storks vary in their tendency towards migration. Temperate species like the white stork, black stork and Oriental stork undertake long annual migrations in the winter. The routes taken by these species have developed to avoid long distance travel across water, and from Europe, this usually means flying across the Straits of Gibraltar or east across the Bosphorus and through Israel and the Sinai. Studies of young birds denied the chance to travel with others of their species have shown that these routes are at least partially learnt, rather than being innate as they are in passerine migrants. Migrating black storks are split between those that make stopovers on the migration between Europe and their wintering grounds in Africa, and those that don’t.
The Abdim’s stork is another migrant, albeit one that migrates within the tropics. It breeds in northern Africa, from Senegal to the Red Sea, during the wet season, and then migrates to Southern Africa. Many species that aren’t regular migrants will still make smaller movements if circumstances require it; others may migrate over part of their range. This can also include regular commutes from nesting sites to feeding areas. Wood storks have been observed feeding 130 km (81 mi) from their colony. [Information from Wikipedia, with editing.]
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39 KJV)
“Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:” (Psalms 148:7-10 KJV)
The Petrels in the Pterodroma genus has enough species to present them in their own post. Ian Montgomery, (Bird of the Week/Moment), has quite a few photos of this family on his Birdway Site.
“The gadfly petrels are seabirds in the bird order Procellariiformes. The gadfly petrels are named for their speedy weaving flight as if evading horseflies. The flight action is also reflected in the genus name Pterodroma, from Ancient Greek pteron, “wing” and dromos, “runner”.
“These medium to large petrels feed on food items picked from the ocean surface.”
Great-winged Petrel (Pterodroma macroptera) by Ian
“The short, sturdy bills of the Pterodroma species in this group, about 35 altogether, are adapted for soft prey taken at the surface; they have twisted intestines for digesting marine animals which have unusual biochemistries.”
White-headed Petrel (Pterodroma lessonii) by Ian
“Their complex wing and face marking are probably for interspecific recognition.”
“These birds nest in colonies on islands and are pelagic when not breeding. One white egg is laid usually in a burrow or on open ground. They are nocturnal at the breeding colonies.”
“While generally wide-ranging, most Pterodroma species are confined to a single ocean basin (e.g. Atlantic), and vagrancy is not as common amongst Pterodromas as it is in some other seabird species (c.f. the Storm-Petrels Hydrobatidae).” (Information from Wikipedia)
“Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalms 150:1-6 KJV)
“And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.” (Exodus 16:13 KJV)
The Odontophoridae is made up of the New World Quail. This includes 2 Partridges, 3 Wood Partridges, 10 Quails, 4 Bobwhites, and 15 Wood Quail. [and a Partridge in a pear tree! Oops! Wrong article. :0) ]
These are not the Old World Quails that rained down on the Israelites.
“The New World quails or Odontophoridae are small birds only distantly related to the Old World quail, but named for their similar appearance and habits. The American species are in their own family Odontophoridae, whereas Old World quail are in the pheasant family Phasianidae. The family ranges from Canada through to southern Brazil, and two species, the California quail and the bobwhite quail, have been successfully introduced to New Zealand. The stone partridge and Nahan’s partridge, both found in Africa, seem to belong to the family. Species are found across a variety of habitats from tropical rainforest to deserts, although few species are capable of surviving at very low temperatures. Thirty-four species are placed in ten genera.” (Wikipedia)
New World quail are generally short-winged, -necked and -tailed (although the genus Dendrortyx is long-tailed). The bills are short, slightly curved and serrated. The legs are short and powerful, and lack the spurs of many Old World galliformes. Although they are capable of short bursts of strong flight New World quails prefer to walk, and will run from danger (or hide), taking off explosively only as a last resort. Plumage varies from dull to spectacular, and many species have ornamental crests or plumes on the head. There is moderate sexual dichromism in plumage, with males having brighter plumage.
The New World quails are shy diurnal birds and generally live on the ground; even the tree quails which roost in high trees generally feed mainly on the ground. They are generalists with regards to their diet, taking insects, seeds, vegetation and tubers. Desert species in particular consume a lot of seeds.
Northern bobwhite and California quail are popular gamebirds, with many taken by hunters, but these species have also had their ranges increased to meet hunting demand and are not threatened. They are also artificially stocked. Some species are threatened by human activity, such as the bearded tree quail of Mexico, which is threatened by habitat loss and illegal hunting.
“The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.” (Psalms 105:40 KJV)
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14 KJV)
Today is a little different from our normal post. Last Sunday evening we had the Christmas Cantata at our church, Faith Baptist Church in Winter Haven, Florida. It was absolutely fantastic!
Enjoy and may you have a blessed Christmas.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:1-2, 26-28 KJV)
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:8-16 KJV)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-14 KJV)
And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: (Matthew 13:4 KJV)
Last week, the first half of the Cardinalidae was presented, and now here is the rest of this beautiful family. Today we have Grosbeaks, Seedeaters, Saltators, a Dickcissel, and Buntings. You will see another display of the Lord’s Handiwork as you watch the slideshow.
The beginning genera have only a few species, the latter ones have more species per genus. Enjoy!
“Saltator is a genus of songbirds of the Americas. They are traditionally placed in the cardinal family (Cardinalidae) but now seem to be closer to tanagers (Thraupidae). Their English name is also saltator, except for two dark species known by the more general grosbeak.
Saltator is Latin for “leaper” or “dancer”. Louis Vieillot applied it to this genus because of the heavy way the birds hop on the ground.” (Wikipedia)
Dickcissels have a large pale bill, a yellow line over the eye, brownish upperparts with black streaks on the back, dark wings, a rust patch on the shoulder and light underparts. Adult males have a black throat patch, a yellow breast and grey cheeks and crown. This head and breast pattern is especially brilliant in the breeding plumage, making it resemble an eastern meadowlark. Females and juveniles are brownish on the cheeks and crown and are somewhat similar in appearance to house sparrows; they have streaked flanks.
The Glaucous-blue Grosbeak (Cyanoloxia glaucocaerulea), also known as the indigo grosbeak, is a species of bird in the Cardinalidae family. It is the only member of the genus Cyanoloxia. It is found in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, and heavily degraded former forest.
The genus Passerina is a group of birds in the cardinal family (Cardinalidae). Although not directly related to buntings in the family Emberizidae, they are sometimes known as the North American buntings (the North American Emberizidae are colloquially called “sparrows” although they are also not related to these birds).
The males show vivid colors in the breeding season; the plumage of females and immature birds is duller. These birds go through two molts in a year; the males are generally less colorful in winter. They have short tails and short slim legs. They have smaller bills than other Cardinalidae; they mainly eat seeds in winter and insects in summer. (Wikipedia)
With this last group, we have now completed the PASSERIFORMES – Passerines Order. As mentioned last week, there are 131 families of song birds that you have been viewing since February of this year.
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. (Revelation 21:6 KJV)
“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” ~ Choir and Orchestra
Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? (Isaiah 63:2 KJV)
Today, you are being introduced to the Cardinalidae Family, which is the last family, in taxonomy order, of the Passeriformes Order. Since February 1, 2016, we began the journey with the first four families in More Amazing Birds. Now we have arrived at the last of the 131 families of this order. I trust you have enjoyed the journey through these many Sundays. Hopefully you have been blessed by the great variety of Avian Wonders from our Lord, their Creator. The Passeriformes Order contains well over half of all the birds in the world; around 6,000 plus of the 10,659 species on the latest update. (6.3)
The Cardinalidae – Cardinals, Grosbeaks and allies has 69 species in the family. Because of that number, this family will be presented in two segments. Growing up in Indiana, the Northern Cardinal was a favorite of most of us. It is the “State Bird” of Indiana along with six other states. [Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia] The family members are found in North and South America. The South America Cardinals of the genus Paroaria are placed in another family, the Thraupidae (previously placed in Emberizidae). Even though the family name is Cardinalidae, there are only two “cardinals” among the members.
Also known as cardinal-grosbeaks and cardinal-buntings, this family’s members “are robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. The family ranges in size from the 12-cm (4.7-in), 11.5-g (0.40-oz) and up orange-breasted bunting to the 25-cm (9.8-in), 85-g (2.99-oz) black-headed saltator. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinctive appearances. The northern cardinal type species was named by colonists for the male’s red crest, reminiscent of a Catholic cardinal’s biretta.
The ‘North American buntings’ are known as such to distinguish them from buntings. The name ‘cardinal-grosbeak’ can also apply to this family as a whole.”(Wikipedia)
Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea) by Kent Nickell
The family starts off with 11 Tanagers in the Piranga genus, which used to be in with the tanagers, but were relocated here recently. “They are essentially red, orange or yellow all over, except the tail and wings and in some species also the back. Such extensive lipochrome coloration (except on the belly) is very rare in true tanagers, but is widespread among the Cardinalidae in the Piranga genus.
These songbirds are found high in tree canopies, and are not very gregarious in their breeding areas. Piranga species pick insects from leaves, or sometimes in flight. They will also take some fruit. Several species are migratory, breeding in North America and wintering in the tropics.”
Red-throated Ant Tanager (Habia fuscicauda) by Michael Woodruff
Next are the Ant Tanagers in the Habia genus. “These are long-tailed and strong billed birds. The males have a red crest and plumage containing red, brown or sooty hues. Females may resemble the males or be largely yellowish or brown in colour.” Following these are four more tanagers in the Chlorothraupis genus. These are the last of the tanagers that were moved to this family.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Rob Fry
The next genus, Pheucitcus has six Grosbeaks. Typical of the genus, they lay two to five pale bluish to greenish eggs with heavy brown and gray speckling. The cup nest is built at medium height in a bush or small tree.” (Wikipedia)
There are three Chats in the Granatellus genus; Red-breasted Chat, Grey-throated Chat, and the Rose-breasted Chat. They range from North America through Central America into northern South America. Their natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry forests.
We will finish this first half of the family with three of my favorites, the Cardinalis genus. Our Northern and Vermilion Cardinals and the Pyrrholixia (which I saw for the first time last year) are hard to miss with their bright set of feathers the Lord provided for them. These range across North America and into northern South America.
“He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.” (Matthew 16:2 KJV)
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18 KJV)
“Written in Red” – Faith Baptist Choir and Orchestra
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:16-19 KJV)
So, today, we will finish up the family by showing you last group of the “allies.” There is a Large-footed Finch in the Peropetes genus, the only one in the genus actually. Then the Atlapetes genus will be the bulk of the birds (31) and they are all Brushfinches, two finches from the Pselliophorus genus, a Yellow Cardinal from the Gubernatrix, and finish it off with 9 Bush Tanagers in the Chlorospingus genus. Forty-four amazing avian wonders from their Creator for us to enjoy.
The Large-footed Finch is found in the undergrowth of mountain forests, second growth, bamboo clumps, and scrubby pastures from 2150 m altitude to the scrubby páramo at 3350 m. It has a slender bill, a modestly sized tail and very large and powerful feet and legs.
White-naped Brushfinch (Atlapetes albinucha) by Kent Nickell
The next genus, the Atlapetes with their Brushfinches are rather interesting and colorful. Most are found in forest in subtropical or tropical areas. The range from Mexico, Central America and throughout South America.
The Yellow Cardinal is another neat avian creation, Looks just like our Northern Cardinal, but is yellow and in a different family altogether.
Sooty-capped Bush Tanager (Chlorospingus pileatus) by Ian
The last genus in this family, is the Chlorospingus and contains 9 Bush Tanagers. With this last group, we finish up the Emberizidae Family. Trust you enjoyed seeing most of the 181 members over the last few weeks.
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11 KJV)
“Worthy The Lamb” ~ Choir and Orchestra at Faith Baptist Church (May 15, 1916)
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) on Thistle by Fenton
So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day. (Genesis 1:21-23 NKJV)
Today, we finish up the Finch Family. I trust you have enjoyed getting to see so many of the finches, “after their kind.” Our Lord, their Creator, gave them some mighty nice colors and markings. There are missing ones, not shown, that are available, but we don’t have permission to use them. So, if you check the internet and books, they can be found.
Spinus is a genus of passerine birds in the finch family. It contains the North and South American siskins and goldfinches.
Purple-throated Euphonia (Euphonia chlorotica) by Dario Sanches
Most Euphoniasare dark metallic blue above and bright yellow below. Many have contrasting pale foreheads and white undertails. Some have light blue patches on the head and/or orangish underparts. They range in overall length from 9 to 11 cm (3.5 to 4.3 in). They eat small fruit and berries particularly mistletoe (Loranthaceae). Some species may also eat some insects.
“But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (Matthew 28:5-6 NKJV)
“Once Upon A Tree” ~ by Faith Baptist Church Choir
“Crown Him Lord of All” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra
Because of Resurrection Sunday – Easter last week, there was no Sunday Inspiration.
“He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.” (Psalms 111:4 KJV)
The Motacillidae are a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. There are around 66 species in 6 genera and they include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. The longclaws are entirely restricted to the Afrotropics, and the wagtails are predominantly found in Europe, Africa and Asia, with two species migrating and breeding in Alaska. The pipits have the most cosmopolitan distribution, being found across mostly in the Old World but occurring also in the Americas and oceanic islands such as New Zealand and the Falklands. Two African species, the Yellow-breasted Pipit and Sharpe’s Longclaw are sometimes placed in a separate seventh genus, Hemimacronyx, which is closely related to the longclaws.
Wagtails, pipits, and longclaws are slender, small to medium sized passerines, ranging from 14 to 17 centimetres in length, with short necks and long tails. They have long, pale legs with long toes and claws, particularly the hind toe which can be up to 4 cm in length in some longclaws. Overall the robust longclaws are larger than the pipits and wagtails. Longclaws can weigh as much as 64 g, whereas the weight range for pipits and wagtails is 15–31 g. The plumage of most pipits is dull brown and reminiscent of the larks, although some species have brighter plumages, particularly the Golden Pipit of north-east Africa. The adult male longclaws have brightly coloured undersides.
Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola) by Nikhil Devasar
The wagtails often have striking plumage, including grey, black, white, and yellow. (Wikipedia with editing)
“And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” (Matthew 27:39-40 KJV)
“Glorious Love” ~ Choir, Orchestra, Solo by Pastor Jerry