Sunday Inspiration – Frigatebirds, Gannets and the Booby

Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) by Ian

Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) by Ian

“He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.” (Psalms 121:3 KJV)

We are introducing you to the Suliformes Order which has four families. The first two families are fairly small, so we will cover them today.

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) ©USFWS

The Frigatebirds belong to the Fregatidae Family and only have one genus, the Fregata. There are five species, the Ascension, Christmas, Magnificent, Great, and the Lesser Frigatebirds.

Frigatebirds (also listed as “frigate bird”, “frigate-bird”, “frigate”, frigate-petrel”) are found across all tropical and subtropical oceans. The five extant species are classified in a single genus, Fregata. All have predominantly black plumage, long, deeply forked tails and long hooked bills. Females have white underbellies and males have a distinctive red gular pouch, which they inflate during the breeding season to attract females. Their wings are long and pointed and can span up to 2.3 metres (7.5 ft), the largest wing area to body weight ratio of any bird.

Lesser Frigatebird (Fregata ariel) imm. by Ian

Lesser Frigatebird (Fregata ariel) immature by Ian

Able to soar for weeks on wind currents, frigatebirds spend most of the day in flight hunting for food, and roost on trees or cliffs at night. Their main prey are fish and squid, caught when chased to the water surface by large predators such as tuna. Frigatebirds are referred to as kleptoparasites as they occasionally rob other seabirds for food, and are known to snatch seabird chicks from the nest. Seasonally monogamous, frigatebirds nest colonially. A rough nest is constructed in low trees or on the ground on remote islands. A single egg is laid each breeding season. The duration of parental care is among the longest of any bird species; frigatebirds are only able to breed every other year.

Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) by W Kwong

Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) by W Kwong

The Gannets and Boobies make up the Sulidae Family. The bird family Sulidae comprises the gannets and boobies. Collectively called sulids, they are medium-large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish and similar prey. However, Sula (true boobies) and Morus (gannets) can be readily distinguished by morphological and behavioral and DNA sequence characters. Abbott’s booby (PapaIt appears to be a distinct and ancient lineage, maybe closer to the gannets than to the true boobies. There are 10 species. The Morus genus has three species, the Northern, Cape and Australasian Gannets.

Abbott's Booby (Papasula abbotti) by Ian

Abbott’s Booby (Papasula abbotti) by Ian

The Papasula genus consists of only the Abbott’s Booby.

Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) by Bob-Nan

Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) by Bob-Nan

The rest of the Boobies are in the Sula genus.  They are the Blue-footed Booby [a favorite], Peruvian Booby, Masked Booby, Nazca Booby, Red-footed Booby [another favorite], and the Brown Booby. [Wikipedia, with editing]

 

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“Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.” (Psalms 17:5 KJV)


“My Faith Still Holds” ~ Faith Baptist Church Orchestra
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More Sunday Inspirations

Assurance: The Certainty of Salvation
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Sunday Inspiration – Galliformes Order Overview

Rooster Crowing ©WikiC

“Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.” (Matthew 26:34 KJV)

Happy New Year!!

“The Galliformes Order is the next order taxonomically. “The Galliformes are an order of heavy-bodied ground-feeding birds that includes turkey, grouse, chicken, New World quail and Old World quail, ptarmigan, partridge, pheasant, junglefowl and the Cracidae. The name derives from “gallus”, Latin for “cock” or “rooster”. Common names are gamefowl or gamebirds, landfowl, gallinaceous birds, or galliforms. “Wildfowl” or just “fowl” are also often used for the Galliformes, but usually these terms also refer to waterfowl (Anseriformes), [which we just finished] and occasionally to other commonly hunted birds. This group has about 299 species, one or more of which are found in essentially every part of the world’s continents (except for the innermost deserts and perpetual ice). They are rarer on islands, and in contrast to the closely related waterfowl, are essentially absent from oceanic islands—unless introduced there by humans. Several species have been domesticated during their long and extensive relationships with humans.”

Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) ©WikiC

Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) ©WikiC

“As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.” (Jeremiah 17:11 KJV)

“This order contains five families: Phasianidae (including chicken, quail, partridges, pheasants, turkeys, peafowl and grouse), Odontophoridae (New World quails), Numididae (guineafowl), Cracidae (including chachalacas and curassows), and Megapodiidae (incubator birds like mallee fowl and brush-turkeys). They are important as seed dispersers and predators in the ecosystems they inhabit, and are often reared as game birds by humans for their meat and eggs and for recreational hunting. Many gallinaceous species are skilled runners and escape predators by running rather than flying. Males of most species are more colorful than the females. Males often have elaborate courtship behaviors that include strutting, fluffing of tail or head feathers, and vocal sounds. They are mainly nonmigratory.” (Wikipedia with editing)

Peacock at Magnolia Plantation by Dan

Peacock at Magnolia Plantation by Dan

“Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?”  (Job 39:13)

Here are a few birds from each of the five families:

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“The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.” (Psalms 105:40 KJV)

“You are Worthy” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

More Sunday Inspirations

Sharing The Gospel

Many of these birds are mentioned in the Bible, so they are also listed in our Birds of the Bible articles. Over the following Sunday, these families will be presented in smaller articles with the slideshows as in the previous articles.

Birds of the Bible – Chicken, Hens, and Roosters
Birds of the Bible – Partridge
Birds of the Bible – Peacocks
Birds of the Bible – Quail

Galliformes Order found here:

Megapodiidae – Megapodes
Cracidae – Chachalacas, Curassows and Guans
Numididae – Guineafowl
Odontophoridae – New World Quail
Phasianidae – Pheasants and allies

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Sunday Inspiration – More Anatidae Swimmers

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys ©WikiC

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys ©WikiC

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his 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 fowl multiply in the earth. (Gen 1:21-22 KJV)

Today we only have 22 more Anatidae family members to show you, but it will take 14 different genera to present them. The largest and the first genus, with 7 species, is the Shelducks.

Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) at Wing of Asia by Dan

Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) at Wing of Asia by Dan

Shelducks are large birds in the Tadorna genus. Many consider them as intermediate between geese and ducks in size. The sexes are colored slightly differently in most species, and all have a characteristic upperwing coloration in flight: the tertiary remiges form a green speculum, the secondaries and primaries are black, and the coverts (forewing) are white. Their diet consists of small shore animals (winkles, crabs etc.) as well as grasses and other plants.

The genus name comes from the French name Tadorne for the common shelduck. It may originally derive from Celtic roots meaning “pied waterfowl”, essentially the same as the English “shelduck”

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)  at Wings of Asia by Lee

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah)
Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)
South African Shelduck (Tadorna cana)
Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides)
Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata)

  • Paradise Shelducks of New Zealand often have one mating partner for life.

Crested Shelduck (Tadorna cristata)

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) by Ian

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) by Ian

Each of the next 5 Ducks and Teals are the only ones in their genus.

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) ©WikiC

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) ©WikiC

Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus)

Salvadori's Teal (Salvadorina waigiuensis) ©Drawing WikiC

Salvadori’s Teal (Salvadorina waigiuensis) ©Drawing WikiC

Salvadori’s Teal (Salvadoran waigiuensis)

Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)

Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)

  • Ducks have been domesticated as pets and farm animals for more than 500 years, and all domestic ducks are descended from either the mallard or the Muscovy duck. Mallards, especially, are easy to crossbreed with other types of ducks, and mallards often hybridize with all types of ducks at local ponds.
White-winged Duck (Asarcornis scutulata) by Nikhil

White-winged Duck (Asarcornis scutulata) by Nikhil

White-winged Duck (Asarcornis scutulata)

Hartlaub's Duck (Pteronetta hartlaubii) ©WikiC

Hartlaub’s Duck (Pteronetta hartlaubii) ©WikiC

Hartlaub’s Duck (Pteronetta hartlaubii)

Two of my favorite Ducks, which we get to see often, are the Wood and Mandarin Ducks in the Aix genus. The Wood Ducks are local to us and are a treat to see their evidence of the Master’s Hand. Their cousin, the Mandarin Ducks are in many zoos and Lakeland, FL (right near here) placed some in one of their lakes.

Wood Duck and Mandarin Duck

Wood Duck and Mandarin Duck

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)

Maned Duck (Chenonetta jubata) ©AGrosset

Maned Duck (Chenonetta jubata) ©AGrosset

The Maned Duck is again an only species in its genus, the Chenonetta.
Maned Duck (Chenonetta jubata)

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) by Lee

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) by Lee

The Pygmy Geese are only three, but are in two different genera. The Nerthus and the Nettapus.
African Pygmy Goose (Nerthus auritus)
Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus)
Green Pygmy Goose (Nettapus pulchellus)

The last four for today are in four genera, and include two Teals and two Ducks.

Brazilian Teal (Amazonetta brasiliensis) ©WikiC

Brazilian Teal (Amazonetta brasiliensis) ©WikiC

Brazilian Teal (Amazonetta brasiliensis)

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys) by Dan at Zoo Miami

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys) by Dan at Zoo Miami

Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys)

Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides) ©WikiC

Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides) ©WikiC

Crested Duck (Lophonetta specularioides) EXTINCT

Bronze-winged Duck (Speculanas specularis) ©WikiC

Bronze-winged Duck (Speculanas specularis) ©WikiC

Bronze-winged Duck (Speculanas specularis)

One of the comments made last week mentioned that they didn’t realize how many Ducks and family members there are. Here are a couple of “Duck Facts”:

The duck is a number of species in the Anatidae family of birds. They are related to swans and geese.

  • Ducks are mostly aquatic birds living in both fresh water and sea water and found on every continent except for Antarctica.
  • A male duck is called a drake, a female duck a hen, and a baby duck a duckling.
  • Ducks are omnivores. They feed on aquatic plants, small fish, insects, worms, grubs and more. People often feed domesticated ducks bread.
  • Diving ducks and sea ducks search for food fairly deep underwater. To be able to stay underwater more easily, diving ducks are quite heavy.
  • Dabbling ducks feed on the surface of water, on land, or by ducking their head underwater. Along the edge of their beak is a comb-like structure called a pecten, that enables them to hold slippery food and filter nutrients out of the water.

These Facts are from Fun Duck Facts for Kids (and adults)

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There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen: (Job 28:7 KJV)

“God’s Greatness Medley” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

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More Sunday Inspirations

Anatidae – Ducks, Geese and Swans Family

Sunday Inspiration – Whistling, White-backed Ducks, and Geese

Sunday Inspiration – Geese and Swans

Sunday Inspiration – Duck and Geese

Hope for Hard Times

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Sunday Inspiration – Geese and Swans

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) by Dan

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) by Dan

“And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,” (Leviticus 11:18)

As we continue in the Anatidae Family of Ducks, Geese and Swans, this week we will introduce you to four genera. The Branta, the Anser, and the Coscorba genera are made up of Geese. The Cygnus genus are Swans.

Anserinae is a subfamily of swans and geese (three to seven extant genera with 25–30 living species, mainly cool temperate Northern Hemisphere, but also some Southern Hemisphere species, with the swans in one genus, and the geese in three genera. Some other species are sometimes placed herein, but seem somewhat more distinct.

  • Branta, black geese (six living species) (These were in last week’s Sunday Inspiration)
  • Anser, grey geese (eight species)
  • Chen, white geese (three species, now included in Anser)
  • Coscorba, unresolved (one species)
  • Cygnus, true swans (six species, four sometimes separated in Olor)
Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) by Lee LPZ

Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) Lowry Park Zoo by Lee

This blog follows the I.O.C. list of birds and below are the birds in their listing:

There are also links to articles here written about these different birds.

Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) – See Dr. Jim’s Article
Emperor Goose (Anser canagicus – was Chen)
Ross’s Goose (Anser rossii – was Chen)
Snow Goose (Anser caerulescens – was Chen)
Greylag Goose (Anser anser) – See Article
Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides)
Taiga Bean Goose (Anser fabalis)
Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) – See Article
Tundra Bean Goose (Anser serrirostris)
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) – See Article
Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus) – See Article
Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba) – See Lee’s Article
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) – See Article & Dr. Jim’s Article
Black-necked Swan (Cygnus melancoryphus) – Ian’s Article
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) – See Article
Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) – See Dr. Jim’s Article
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) – See Article
Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) – See Article

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“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

“Moment By Moment” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

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More Sunday Inspirations

Sunday Inspiration – Whistling, White-backed Ducks and Geese

ANSERIFORMES Order

Anatidae – Ducks, Geese & Swans Family

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Sunday Inspiration – Whistling, White-backed Ducks, and Geese

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) at Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) at Palm Beach Zoo by Lee

 “And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier-eagle,” (Leviticus 11:18)

I have always enjoyed trying to whistle and today we lead off our latest Family, the Anatidae, in the Answeriformes Order. The Anatidae family has ducks, geese, swans, and a few others that add up to 173 species. The Whistling Ducks do make a whistling sound, which I notice more when they are flying. We have the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks here locally. In fact, some hang out at the pond in our housing area.

Anat Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) by Lee at Palm Beach Zoo

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) by Lee at Palm Beach Zoo

Audio of a Black-bellied Whistling Duck from xeno-canto.

The Anatidae are the biological family of birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans. The family has a cosmopolitan distribution, occurring on all the world’s continents. These birds are adapted for swimming, floating on the water surface, and in some cases diving in at least shallow water. (The magpie goose is no longer considered to be part of the Anatidae, but is placed in its own family

They are generally herbivorous, and are monogamous breeders. A number of species undertake annual migrations. A few species have been domesticated for agriculture, and many others are hunted for food and recreation. Five species have become extinct since 1600, and many more are threatened with extinction.

White-faced Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna viduata) ©WikiC

White-faced Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna viduata) ©WikiC

Whistling ducks are found in the tropics and subtropics. As their name implies, they have distinctive whistling calls. The whistling ducks have long legs and necks, and are very gregarious, flying to and from night-time roosts in large flocks. Both sexes have the same plumage, and all have a hunched appearance and black underwings in flight.

White-backed Duck (Thalassornis leuconotus) ©WikiC

White-backed Duck (Thalassornis leuconotus) ©WikiC

The white-backed duck (Thalassornis leuconotus) is a waterbird of the family Anatidae. It is distinct from all other ducks, but most closely related to the whistling ducks in the subfamily Dendrocygninae, though also showing some similarities to the stiff-tailed ducks in the subfamily Oxyurinae. It is the only member of the genus Thalassornis.

These birds are well adapted for diving. On occasions they have been observed to stay under water for up to half a minute. They search especially for the bulbs of waterlilies. From danger, they also escape preferentially by diving; hence, the namesake white back is hardly visible in life. (Information from Wikipedia)

Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) by Ian 2

Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) by Ian

The black geese of the genus Branta are waterfowl belonging to the true geese and swans subfamily Anserinae. They occur in the northern coastal regions of the Palearctic and all over North America, migrating to more southernly coasts in winter, and as resident birds in the Hawaiian Islands. Alone in the Southern Hemisphere, a self-sustaining feral population derived from introduced Canada geese is also found in New Zealand.

The scientific name Branta is a Latinised form of Old Norse Brandgás, “burnt (black) goose). The black geese derive their vernacular name for the prominent areas of black coloration found in all species. They can be distinguished from all other true geese by their legs and feet, which are black or very dark grey. Furthermore, they have black bills and large areas of black on the head and neck, with white (ochre in one species) markings that can be used to tell apart most species.[note 1] As with most geese, their undertail and uppertail coverts are white. They are also on average smaller than other geese, though some very large taxa are known, which rival the swan goose and the black-necked swan in size.

Nene (Branta sandvicensis) ©WikiC

Nene (Branta sandvicensis) ©WikiC

The Nene (Branta sandvicensis), also known as nēnē and Hawaiian goose, is a species of goose endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The official bird of the state of Hawaiʻi, the nene is exclusively found in the wild on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauaʻi, Molokai, and Hawaiʻi. The Hawaiian name nēnē comes from its soft call. The species name sandvicensis refers to the Sandwich Islands, an old name for the Hawaiian Islands. (Above information from Wikipedia)

The first two photos show how the different zoos call the same bird by different names. This is why the scientific name is very important. Also, Dan and I have been fortunate to have seen most of these birds either in the wild or in zoos. It is always a joy to watch the Lord’s Creations in person.

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I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: (Ecclesiastes 2:6)

In those pools of water, most likely you will find one of these.

“I’d Rather Have Jesus” ~ by Faith Baptist Orchestra*

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ANSERIFORMES Order

Anatidae – Ducks, Geese & Swans Family

Falling Plates

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Sunday Inspiration – Thraupidae – Tanagers and Allies II

Vermilion Tanager (Calochaetes coccineus) ©Nick Athanas

Vermilion Tanager (Calochaetes coccineus) ©Nick Athanas

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)

Last week’s Sunday Inspiration of Tanagers and Allies started us off on this huge family. We will continue, starting with the five Lanio genus of Shrike-Tanagers.

Brazilian Tanager (Ramphocelus bresilius) by Dario Sanches

Brazilian Tanager (Ramphocelus bresilius) by Dario Sanches

The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (Psalms 12:6 KJV)

Wait until you see the second very colorful genus, the Ramphocelus. These are Neotropical birds that have enlarged shiny whitish or bluish-grey lower mandibles, which are pointed upwards in display. However, this is greatly reduced in the females of most species. Males are black and red, orange or yellow, while females resemble a duller version of the males, or are brownish or greyish combined with dull red, orange or yellowish.

Cherrie's Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis) Female by Raymond Barlow

Cherrie’s Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis) Female by Raymond Barlow

Ramphocelus tanagers are found in semi-open areas. The nest is a cup built by the female of plant materials such as moss, rootlets, and strips of large leaves like banana or Heliconia, and is often in a fairly open site in a tree. The female usually lays pale blue eggs, with grey, brown or lavender spots, and the young stay in the nest for only about 12 days. The songs of this genus are repetitions of rich one- or two-syllable whistles. Most of these are of a crimson or reddish hue.

Sayaca Tanager (Thraupis sayaca) ©WikiC

Sayaca Tanager (Thraupis sayaca) ©WikiC

The Thraupis Tanagers are another beautiful genera of the Lord’s Creation. This time, blue will is the dominate color. “These tanagers are mainly found in semi-open habitats including plantations and open woodland, but some will venture into towns. They feed from medium to high levels in trees, taking mainly fruit, with some nectar, and insects which may be taken in flight.” (Wikipedia)

Blue-backed Tanager (Cyanicterus cyanicterus) ©Francesco_Veronesi

This week will end with two genus that have only one species each, the Vermilion Tanager (Calochaetes coccineus) and the Blue-backed Tanager (Cyanicterus cyanicterus). All the birds this week live from Mexico down through South America.

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I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. (Psalms 50:11 NKJV)

“My Faith Still Holds” ~ Faith Baptist Orchestra

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More Sunday Inspirations

Sunday Inspiration – Thraupidae – Tanagers and Allies I

Traupidae Family – Tanagers and Allies

Hope for Hard Times

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