Home Again After 2,000 Mile Trip

Home Again After 2,000 Mile Trip

We arrived home yesterday and are working on getting back in the routine of being home. The suitcases are unpacked and put away. We enjoyed sleeping in our own bed last night. If you have traveled, even overnight, you know the feeling of a night’s rest in your own bed.

American Wigeon flocks

We offered some of the migrating birds a ride south, but they declined our offer. [NOT!] Actually, we didn’t see sunshine for six days while we were north. Therefore, we wouldn’t have seen the birds anyway to offer them any assistance in their journey south.

“Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 8:7 NASB)

Osprey Road by Dan - (Old Bartow Road)

Osprey Road by Dan – (Old Bartow Road)

We have a line of power poles on a road that goes to Bartow, Florida that is lined with platforms for bird nest. The Osprey come back every winter and rebuild their nest. I wonder if they feel like we did when we got to sleep in our own bed?

Because of the rain, overcast skies, and the approaching Hurricane Florence, we made the decision to come home several days early. We skipped the visit to the Cincinnati Zoo unfortunately. No bird photos to share from this trip.

Bird Fossil at Creation Museum

We did get to go through the Creation Museum in Kentucky though. It has changed since we were there 8 or 9 years ago. Improved quite a bit, but they removed the bird [Finch] exhibits. I only found one fossil exhibit of a bird.

Because of a storm outside with lots of lightning, I think I will end this for now and post again tomorrow, Lord willing.

Stay Tuned!


Lots of Ducks and Geese


“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 KJV)”

So far we haven’t seen many birds. My sister-in-law has a pond behind here with Mallards. Also, a Blue Jay has been calling, but has refused to show himself.

The ponds around town, Indianapolis, has lots of Canadian Geese hanging out. The one batch/flock had about 20 or so, and they were all faced south. Maybe they were getting aligned so they could get started South for the winter. Yet, up here it is still summer weather. Maybe they aren’t sure when to leave. Also, the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon is going to come through tomorrow. The rain chance is 100% and flood warnings are being issued starting tomorrow. Welcome to Indiana.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Dan’s 60th High School reunion starts today and will be having gatherings for the next two days. We plan to leave here Sunday afternoon to go to Cincinnati area. Plans, depending on all this rain, we hope to go to the Cincinnati Zoo and then the Creation Museum. Then mosey home.

“But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.” (3 John 1:14 KJV)

So far, praise the Lord, I have been handling this trip. My recent back surgery is still causing pain, but doing okay so far.

Unfortunately, my relative has NO INTERNET!!! :(   So here I sit at McDonalds. Yeah, for free internets! That is why the posts are intermitten. Trust to post photos from the Zoo later. Hope they won’t have raindrops dripping off of them. :)

Stay tuned!

Avian Kinds on the Ark – What Is A Kind?

Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) Pair ©WikiC

They Came By Pairs – Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) ©WikiC

And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them. Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he. (Genesis 6:19-22 KJV)

When Noah was preparing the Ark, he was informed that the animals and birds (fowls) after their kinds would come to him to keep them alive. Again, notice in Genesis 7:1-3 that the clean beast and the birds (fowls) all come by sevens (pairs) also. Clean or unclean, the birds came by seven pairs. There is no distinction made with them.

And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. (Genesis 7:1-3 KJV)

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) CC Pair ramendan

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) ©© Pair ramendan

In Birds of the Bible – Foundation #3 Updated, I made this remark “Noah did not have to round up the animals, they came to him. Because not every animal we see today came on board but the main kinds (for instance the “bird kinds” may have had a “warbler kind” but not have black and white warblers, yellow-rumped warblers, hooded warbler, etc.), which ever ones they were, there was plenty of room for them. I have an idea that because the LORD sent the animals, birds, and critters, that their DNA’s were of the highest quality. (That is my opinion)”

At the time that comment was made, I was not aware of this article from Dr. Jean Lightner, about the Avian Ark Kinds. This series is based on her’s and other’s research into the Avian Kinds that came on board the ark.

“Kinds” or created kinds are called “baramins” and they used different methods to try to find the original kinds. This part of her article is rather technical, and honestly, I don’t understand some of the terms and methods discussed. Yet, the findings, is what I would like to share with you. Those, we can understand. (You can read her article HERE)

Most of us are aware that the many variety of dogs we see today came from an original “dog kind.” No matter how much interbreeding they do, the results are still dog kinds. Cats and dogs don’t interbreed, so no evolution is involved. Variation within the dog kind has occurred, just as it has in the “bird kinds”. In the Bird Kinds, they have come up with approximately 196 putative bird kinds and most of those break down to our modern-day Families in our taxonomy. Yet, in the I.O.C. their are 239 families and two Incertae Sedis families which make 241 families. The next articles will show how those Families compare to today’s families.

By the way, my math was off in that first article. I forgot the two Incertae Sedis Families. That makes for 45 extra families to account for.

Mountain Bluebird, male (R) & female (L) ©Mickey Barnes / from Birds & Blooms

Mountain Bluebird, male (R)- female (L) ©Mickey Barnes / from Birds & Blooms

Two quotes from Dr. Lighner’s article: “There is tremendous variety seen today in animal life as creatures have multiplied and filled the earth since the Flood (Genesis 8:17). In order to identify which modern species are related, being descendants of a single kind, interspecific hybrid data is utilized. When hybrid data is lacking, a cognitum approach is preferred; this identifies natural groupings based on human cognitive senses. Generally the cognitum at the family level (which is usually fairly strong) is preferred when hybrid data is lacking, though obvious cognita surrounding this level are noted.” (emphasis mine)

“As in mammals and amphibians, the state of avian taxonomy is in flux. Despite the ideal of neatly nested hierarchies in taxonomy, it seems groups of birds are repeatedly “changing nests.” This is partially because where an animal is placed depends on which characteristics one chooses to consider. While many had thought that molecular data would resolve these issues, in some cases it has exacerbated them.”

One thing we can see from all this. We will never know exactly who, what, or which one belongs to this family or that order or kind until we reach heaven and ask their Creator.

Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. (Psalms 148:5 KJV)


Avian Kinds on the Ark – Introduction

Birds of the Bible – Foundation – The Ark

Birds of the Bible – Foundation #3 Updated

An Initial Estimate of Avian Ark Kinds,



Birdwatching at the Family Reunion

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

Last weekend, we had a family reunion at my brother’s place. He lives near Bushnell and Webster, FL on 5 acres of land. Since it is so wooded with Oak trees and others, I kept my camera at the ready.

We heard lots of birds, saw some and photographed even fewer. We still had a great time.

My nephew from south Florida was there with his family, so I asked four of my great-nieces and great-nephew to join me on a birdwatching adventure.  Figured I might as well start training another generation of birdwatchers. We headed off and my almost 5 yr old “chatterbox” nephew produced the first lesson. We encouraged him to “talk less” and “listen.”

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV)

We heard several, but never saw any. (Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse and a Blue Jay) When we got to the end of the property, turned right and followed the fence line. Not very far we came upon a tree with a rope hanging down with knots on it. At that point, all birdwatching and birdwatching lessons stopped.

The rope with the "Chatterbox" aboard.

The rope with the “Chatterbox” aboard.

Later, I gathered some more and off we went again. This time my great-niece and nephew from Tampa were with me. We heard those same birds, plus a Palm Warbler, and saw them very briefly. Another lesson was taught about having “soft eyes” as you look at trees. Don’t stare, just sort of look lightly and watch for movement. Fine, we turned the corner at the fence and ran into the “rope” again. That birdwatching adventure ended and another “rope adventure” began.

Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalms 107:8 NKJV)

At the rope again.

At the rope again.

Needless to say, that “rope” became an unexpected highlight of the reunion. Every attempt to take a trip ended up there. They even loaded up my brother’s golf cart and brought a whole crew down there.

What did I eventually see and here? Let’s see; Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, Blue Jay, Carolina Wrens, Pileated Woodpecker, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Grey Catbird, and some Black Vultures flying overhead.

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

To me, one of the highlights was watching the Carolina Wrens flying into a cabinet in my brother’s pole barn. When they weren’t around, this is what I discovered:

Wren nest in a paper box.

Wren nest in a paper box.

On the next to the top shelf they had a nest in the works.

Wren nest in a Pepsi paper cup.

Wren nest in a Pepsi paper cup.


Wren nest in a Pepsi paper cup.

Wren nest in a Pepsi paper cup – closeup.

Talking with my sister-in-law, also a birdwatcher – who lives there, she figures that they feel safe in the pole barn because the hawks can’t fly through there and attack the nests. Several years ago on one of my visits, the Wrens had made a nest in a paper sack. There were eggs in it that time.


I had the blog on autopilot last week and through the week-end. My sister spent time with us before and after the reunion. Now it is time to get back to blogging.



How To Learn A Bird’s Name

Topography of a Bird - Bluebird

Topography of a Bird – Bluebird – Color Key to NA Birds, 1912



Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)

“How can I learn to know the birds?” is the first question of the seeker after bird-lore. The scientist’s reply, “By shooting them and studying their structure and markings in detail,” may do for the few who, like himself, desire to know the birds scientifically; but it is emphatically not the answer to give the ninety and nine who, while they desire to secure an intimate, accurate knowledge of birds, will not gain it at the sacrifice of bird-life.

In the present volume, therefore, an attempt has been made so to group, figure, and describe our birds that any species may be named which has been definitely seen. The birds are kept in their systematic Orders, a natural arrangement, readily comprehended, but, further than this, accepted classifications have been abandoned and the birds have been grouped according to color and markings.

A key to the Orders gives the more prominent characters on which they are based; telling for example, the external differences between a Duck and a Grebe. In comparatively few instances, however, will the beginner have much difficulty in deciding to what Order a bird belongs. Probably eight times, out of ten the unknown bird will belong to the Order Passeres, or Perching Birds, when one has only to select the color section in which it should be placed, choose from among the colored figures the bird whose identity is sought, and verify one’s selection by reading the description of the bird’s characteristics and the outline of its range.

In the case of closely related species, and particularly subspecies, the subjects of range and season are of the utmost importance. Most subspecies resemble their nearest allies too closely to be identified in life by color alone, and in such cases a bird’s name is to be learned by its color in connection with its distribution and the season in which it is seen.

During the breeding period, unless one chance to be in a region where two races intergrade, subspecific names may be applied to the bird in nature with some certainty, for it is a law that only one subspecies of a species can nest in the same area; but during migrations and in the winter, when several subspecies of one species may be found associated, it is frequently impossible to name them with accuracy.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

For example, during the summer one need have no hesitancy in calling the Robins of the lowlands of South Carolina the Southern Robin (Turdus migratorius achrusterus) but later, when the Northern Robins (Turdus migratorius migratorius) begin to appear, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish them in life from the resident birds.

If it were possible to impress the student, who proposes to name the bird in the bush, with the absolute necessity for careful, definite observation he would be saved many disappointing and discouraging experiences.

It is not possible to examine your bird too thoroughly. Never be satisfied with a superficial view and a general impression. Look at your bird, if you can, from several points of view; study its appearance in detail, its size, bill, crown, back, tail, wings, throat, breast, etc., and AT ONCE enter what you see in a note-book kept for that purpose. In this way, and this way alone, can you expect to compete with those who use the gun.

It does not follow, however, that because one does not collect specimens of birds one cannot study them scientifically. While the student may not be interested in the classification of birds purely from the standpoint of the systematist, he is strongly urged to acquaint himself with at least the arrangement of the Orders and Families of our birds and their leading structural characters.

To the student who desires to prepare himself for his work afield such a study may well come before he attempts to name the birds. But where the chief end in view is to learn a bird’s name, the more technical side of the subject may be deferred. In any event, it should not be neglected. This orderly arrangement of knowledge will not only be practical benefit in one’s future labors but it will bring with it that sense of satisfaction which accompanies the assurance that we know what we know.

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton

As one learns to recognize bird after bird it is an admirable plan to classify systematically one’s list of bird acquaintances under their proper Orders and Families. These may be learned at once from the systematic table at the end of the book, where the numbers which precede each species are arranged serially, and hence systematically.

In some instances, as an aid to identification in the field, descriptions of birds’ notes have been included. It is not supposed that these descriptions will convey an adequate idea of a bird’s song to a person who has never heard it, but it is hoped that they may occasionally lead to the recognition of calls or songs when they are heard.

An adequate method of transcribing bird’s notes has as yet to be devised and the author realizes only too well how unsatisfactory the data here presented will appear to the student. It is hoped, however, that they may sometimes prove of assistance in naming birds in life.

As has been said before, the aim of this volume is to help students to learn the names of our birds in their haunts. But we should be doing scant justice to the possibilities of bird study if, even by silence, we should imply that they ended with the learning to know the bird. This is only the beginning of the quest which may bring us into close intimacy with the secrets of nature. The birds’ haunts and food, their seasons and times of coming and going; their songs and habits during courtship, their nest-building, egg-laying, incubating and care of their young, these and a hundred other subjects connected with their lives may claim our attention and by increasing our knowledge of bird-life, add to our love of birds.


The above is from the Color Key To North American Birds, 1912. Some of that information is going to be incorporated into various articles, especially the Birdwatching and Birds of the World sections.