Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. (1 Kings 4:33 NKJV)
Well, we are still working our way through the large Fringillidae – Finches family. Today, Part III, we will begin with the genus Haemorhous (various shades of red are characteristic plumage colors of this group) which is more familiar to us in the U.S. Those are our Purple, Cassin’s, and House Finches.
The next genus – Crithagra has 37 species which include Seedeaters, Citril, Canary, Serin, Siskin, and Grosbeak-Canary. With those, will end Finches III and save the rest of the family for Finches IV. Maybe with the DNA testing going on, some of this family may be split off to other families in the future and won’t be so large.
By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. He waters the hills from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. (Psalms 104:12-13 NKJV)
“Shout To The North and the South” ~ by Faith Baptist Church Choir
This week we have birds running around in the water, another family of birds that are mostly green and a group that loves nectar. Which ones are they?
Let’s start with the Cinclidae – Dippers family. There are only five members in the Cinclus genus. They get their name from their bobbing or dipping movements. They are unique among passerines for their ability to dive and swim underwater. What an ability the Lord gave this family of dippers. Watch!
Orange-bellied Leafbird (Chloropsis hardwickii) by W Kwong
Our next group belong to the Chloropseidae – Leafbirds Family and they have 11 species with many subspecies. They are small birds found in India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. They are one of only three bird families that are entirely endemic to the Indomalayan ecozone.
Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker (Dicaeum cruentatum) by Peter Ericsson
The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come (Song of Solomon 2:12a NKJV)
This last family, Dicaeidae – Flowerpeckers, has 48 species. The family is distributed through tropical southern Asia and Australasia from India east to the Philippines and south to Australia. The family is catholic in its habitat preferences, occupying a wide range of environments from sea level to montane habitats. Some species, such as the Mistletoebird of Australia, are recorded as being highly nomadic over parts of their range.
Nectar forms part of the diet, although they also take berries, spiders and insects. Mistletoes of 21 species in 12 genera have been found to be part of the diet of flowerpeckers, and it is thought that all species have adaptations (Creative design) to eat these berries and dispose of them quickly. (Wikipedia with modification)
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. (1 John 1:1-4 KJV)
I would like to share with you our Christmas Cantata presented on December 13, 2015 at Faith Baptist Church in Winter Haven, Florida. They all did fantastic and thought you would enjoy it also.
It was entitled, “Lord of Glory” Christmas Cantata
May the Lord bless you as you share Christmas with family and friends. Dan and I would both like to wish you a great Christmas day full of blessings from the Lord.
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) by Robert Scanlon
I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. (Psalms 50:11 NKJV)
This weeks Sturnidae Family is rather large with 123 species presently. (Twenty-three are Mynas; three are Rhabdornis; one Coleto and the rest are Starlings.) Here in the U. S., when we think of a Starling it is a very the plain Common (European) Starling. Yet other Starlings are very colorful and beautiful creations from our Lord.
Golden-breasted Starling at National Aviary by Lee
The name “Sturnidae” comes from the Latin word for starling, sturnus. Many Asian species, particularly the larger ones, are called mynas, and many African species are known as glossy starlings because of their iridescent plumage. Starlings are native to the Old World, from Europe, Asia and Africa, to northern Australia and the islands of the tropical Pacific. Several European and Asian species have been introduced to these areas as well as North America, Hawaii and New Zealand, where they generally compete for habitats with native birds and are considered to be invasive species. The starling species familiar to most people in Europe and North America is the common starling, and throughout much of Asia and the Pacific, the common myna is indeed common.
Bali Myna (Leucopsar rothschildi Palm Beach Zoo by Lee
Starlings have strong feet, their flight is strong and direct, and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country, and they eat insects and fruit. Several species live around human habitation and are effectively omnivores. Many species search for prey such as grubs by “open-bill probing”, that is, forcefully opening the bill after inserting it into a crevice, thus expanding the hole and exposing the prey; this behaviour is referred to by the German verb zirkeln (pronounced [ˈtsɪʁkəln]).
Plumage of many species is typically dark with a metallic sheen. Most species nest in holes and lay blue or white eggs.
Metallic Starling (Aplonis metallica) by Ian
Starlings have diverse and complex vocalizations and have been known to embed sounds from their surroundings into their own calls, including car alarms and human speech patterns. The birds can recognize particular individuals by their calls and are currently the subject of research into the evolution of human language.
James J. S. Johnson just wrote about the murmuration of the Starlings in Choreographed Choir on the Wing: Birds of a Feather Flock Together. “The starlings are generally a highly social family. Most species associate in flocks of varying sizes throughout the year. A flock of starlings is called a murmuration. These flocks may include other species of starlings and sometimes species from other families. This sociality is particularly evident in their roosting behavior; in the non-breeding season some roosts can number in the thousands of birds.” (Most information from Wikipedia)
Many of the family members in random order:
“Once Upon A Tree” ~ Choir – and – “Sing To Jesus” ~ Angel Long & Jessie Padgett
Here is our next avian group taxonomically, the Sylviidae – Sylvid Babblers Family. The Lord created these birds with a song to sing and some that are very colorful. Actually there are very few Babblers in the family. There are Blackcaps, various Warblers, Whitethroats, Fulvettas, Parrotbills plus a Myzornis and a Catbird.
Sylviidae is a family of passerine birds that was part of an assemblage known as the Old World warblers. The family was formerly a wastebin taxon with over 400 species of bird in over 70 genera. The family was poorly defined with many characteristics shared with other families. Advances in classification, particularly helped with molecular data, have led to the splitting out of several new families from within this group. Today the smaller family Sylviidae includes the typical warblers in the genus Sylvia, the parrotbills of Asia (formerly a separate family Paradoxornithidae), a number of babblers formerly placed within the family Timaliidae (which is itself currently being split) and the wrentit, an unusual North American bird that has been a longstanding taxonomic mystery.
Sylviids are small to medium-sized birds. The bill is generally thin and pointed with bristles at the base. Sylviids have a slender shape and an inconspicuous and mostly plain plumage. The wings have ten primaries, which are rounded and short in non-migratory species. (Wikipedia)
For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Whoformed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the LORD, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:18 NKJV)
Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Matthew 6:30 NKJV)
Sumatran Laughingthrush (Garrulax bicolor) by Dan at Wing of Asia ZM
A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. (Proverbs 17:22 NKJV)
Every since we saw Laughingthrushes for the first time at Zoo Miami’s Wing of Asia aviary, I fell in love with these birds. The photo above is the one I like to call “Joe Cool.” Their “sunglasses” makes them look rather “Cool” don’t you think? They are fun to watch and most of them like to hop around instead of walking.
(Black and White) Sumatran Laughingthrush (Garrulax bicolor) by Lee “Joe Cool”
The Laughingthrush Family, called Leiothrichidae, has 133 species and is our next passerine family. Actually there was a Sunday Inspiration about them previously. Sunday Inspiration – Laughingthrush
The Laughingthrushes are the genus Garrulax of the large Old World babbler family of passerine birds. They occur in tropical Asia, with the greatest number of species occurring in the Himalaya and southern China.
These are rangy, medium-sized, floppy-tailed landbirds with soft fluffy plumage. These birds have strong legs and are quite terrestrial. This group is not strongly migratory, and most species have short rounded wings, and a weak flight.
Streaked Laughingthrush (Garrulax lineatus) by Nikhil Devasar
A few, like the Streaked Laughingthrush occur in fairly open habitats, but most are jungle species, difficult to observe in the dense vegetation they prefer.
Like other babblers, these are noisy birds, and the characteristic laughing calls are often the best indication that these birds are present. As with other babbler species, they frequently occur in groups of up to a dozen, and the rainforest species like the Ashy-headed Laughingthrush often occur in the mixed feeding flocks typical of tropical Asian jungle. (Wikipedia)
Red-tailed Laughingthrush (Trochalopteron milnei) by Lee
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us, And we are glad. Bring back our captivity, O LORD, As the streams in the South. Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalms 126:2-6 NKJV)
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. (Hebrews 3:1-4 KJV)
The Black-capped Donacobius (Donacobius atricapilla) is a conspicuous, vocal South American bird. It is found in tropical swamps and wetlands in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela; also Panama of Central America. They are common in a wide range of Amazonian wetlands, including oxbow lakes, riparian zones, and other areas with tall dense aquatic or semi-aquatic vegetation.
Mating for life, pairs of Black-capped Donacobiuses can be seen frequently and throughout the day atop thickets of dense lakeside or streamside vegetation. They often will engage in antiphonic dueting. Adult offspring will remain with their parents and help raise siblings from subsequent nesting periods in a system of cooperative breeding. (Wikipedia)
The Malagasy warblers are a newly validated clade of songbirds. They were formally named Bernieridae in 2010. The family consists of 11 species of small forest birds and is endemic to Madagascar. (Wikipedia)
Our last family has Scimitar Babblers and some of the various Babblers.
The genus Pomatorhinus of scimitar babblers are jungle birds with long downcurved bills. These are birds of tropical Asia, with the greatest number of species occurring in hills of the Himalayas. They are medium-sized, floppy-tailed landbirds with soft plumage. They are typically long-tailed, dark brown above, and white or orange-brown below. Many have striking head patterns, with a broad black band through the eye, bordered with white above and below.
Spelaeorni genusthe typical wren-babblers, is a bird genus in the family Timaliidae. Among this group, the typical wren-babblers are quite closely related to the type species, the chestnut-capped babbler (Timalia pileata). Typical babblers live in communities of around a dozen birds, jointly defending a territory. Many even breed communally, with a dominant pair building a nest, and the remainder helping to defend and rear their young. Young males remain with the group, while females move away to find a new group, and thus avoid inbreeding. They make nests from twigs, and hide them in dense vegetation. (Info from Wikipedia)
Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. (Revelation 5:12 KJV)
Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) by Dan
The Corvidae Family has 143 species, of which many are known to people around the world. A member of this family, the Raven is a well recognized Bird of the Bible. On our recent vacation, in Arizona we were able to see a wild Common Raven and a Stellar’s Jay for the first time. Was able to add these to my Life List of Birds on eBird.
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) Wild SD Zoo Day by Lee
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) by Lee at Desert Museum AZ
The Corvidae Family not only has Crows, Ravens, and Jays, but the family also hosts; the Choughs, Treepies, Magpies, Bushcrow, Nutcrackers, Jackdaws, and the Rook.
“They are considered the most intelligent of the birds, and among the most intelligent of all animals, having demonstrated self-awareness in mirror tests (European magpies) and tool-making ability (crows, rooks)—skills until recently regarded as solely the province of humans and a few other higher mammals. Their total brain-to-body mass ratio is equal to that of great apes and cetaceans, and only slightly lower than in humans.
They are medium to large in size, with strong feet and bills, rictal bristles, and a single moult each year (most passerines moult twice). Corvids are found worldwide except for the tip of South America and the polar ice caps. The majority of the species are found in tropical South and Central America, southern Asia and Eurasia, with fewer than 10 species each in Africa and Australasia, and Australia.” (Wikipedia)
Could this intelligent family of created birds from the Creator’s Hand be the reason the Raven was chosen by Noah?
And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. (Genesis 8:6-7 KJV)
Where the birds build their nests, And the stork, whose home is the fir trees. (Psalms 104:17 NASB)
Last week we saw some of the Tyrant Flycatcher family. This time, with over 400 species, just this family of birds will be featured.
The tyrant flycatchers are birds which occur throughout North and South America. They are considered the largest family of birds, with more than 400 species. They are the most diverse avian family in every country in the Americas, except for the United States and Canada. As could be expected from a family this large, the members vary greatly in shape, patterns, size and colors. Most, but not all, species are rather plain, with various hues of brown, gray and white commonplace. Obvious exceptions include the bright red vermilion flycatcher, blue, black, white and yellow many-colored rush-tyrant and some species of tody-flycatchers or tyrants, which are often yellow, black, white and/or rufous.
Vermilion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) by Dario Sanches
The smallest family members are the closely related short-tailed pygmy tyrant and black-capped pygmy tyrant. These species reach a total length of 6.5–7 cm (2.5–2.8 in) and a weight of 4–5 grams. By length, they are the smallest passerines on earth, although some species of Old World warblers apparently rival them in their minuscule mean body masses if not in total length. The minuscule size and very short tail of the Myiornis pygmy tyrants often lend them a resemblance to a tiny ball or insect. The largest tyrant flycatcher is the great shrike-tyrant at 29 cm (11.5 in) and 99.2 grams (3.5 oz).
Please enjoy watching a slideshow of some more of the Lord’s neatly created birds as you listen our orchestra and then the choir sing.
And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:19 KJV)
Herons are a favorite bird species of mine. We see them frequently here in central Florida. One of their characteristics that impress me is their patience. It is common to see them standing almost still except for their neck swaying slowly back and forth.
Oh, that I had the patience like these Storks.
These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. (Psalms 104:27 KJV)
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psalms 27:14 KJV)
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (James 1:3 KJV)
And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees,branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. (Leviticus 23:40 KJV) [Foretold]
The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’ The King of Israel!” Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: “FEAR NOT, DAUGHTER OF ZION; BEHOLD, YOUR KING IS COMING, SITTING ON A DONKEY’S COLT.” (John 12:12-15 NKJV) [Fulfilled]
Hosanna (Messiah Has Come) and Messiah – (Solo by Lisa Brock) from the Easter Musical 2013 by Faith Baptist Choir.
(I pushed the photos a little bit by including the Semipalmated Plover and Sandpiper)