Bird of the Moment: Satin and Leaden Flycatchers

Satin Flycatcher (Myiagra cyanoleuca) Male ©Ian Montgomery

Bird of the Moment: Satin and Leaden Flycatchers by Ian Montgomery

One day last October, I was doing the dishes in the upstairs kitchen and checking, as one does, bird activity in the two bird baths below when this unusual one arrived. I keep my binoculars on the kitchen window sill for moments like this and I was astonished to see that it was a male Satin Flycatcher, very rare in North Queensland.

Happily it stayed around long enough for me to grab the camera and get a few photo both at the bird bath and, second photo, in a nearby shrub before it flew away. Satin Flycatchers are notoriously difficult to distinguish from their close relatives Leaden Flycatchers but in the right light and at the right angle – i.e. from above – the overall satiny blue sheen is unmistakable.

Leaden Flycatcher last featured as bird of the week/moment in 2003 with this one photo below, so now is a good opportunity to review it and the question of distinguishing the two species. Graeme Chapman wrote an article – ‘Mixed Up Myiagras’ – on identifying Monarch Flycatchers in the June 2003 issue of Wingspan, the Birds Australia magazine and I’m going to quote extensively from that.

The key field mark for distinguishing Leaden and Satin Flycatchers is the shape of the demarcation between the dark throat patch and the white breast and belly. In the male Leaden Flycatcher (above) the line curves upwards where the dark throat patch meets the wing producing a right angle or slightly acute angle in the white part. In the Satin Flycatcher, see the next two photos, the demarcation curves downward at the sides where it disappears below the wing and there is no sharp angle, rather a curve through a decidedly obtuse angle.

This is perhaps easier to see in the photo below, where the bird is obligingly lifting its wing as it preens.

To add to the problem, male Leaden Flycatchers have a bluish sheen on the throat patch and to a lesser extent on the head. Given the refractive, iridescent nature of such colours in feathers (optical structure rather than pigment) the actual colour produced depends on light conditions and angle. The Leaden Flycatcher in the photo below looks quite bluish (thought the back and wings are greyer) and could easily be mistaken for a Satin. Here the angle of the white area comes to the rescue and this bird is definitely a Leaden.

I haven’t mentioned females or juveniles yet: they’re even harder than the males. Females and juveniles of both species have reddish buff breasts but these are very variable in intensity and lack the clear demarcation with the white breast that comes to the aid of identifying males. In general, female Satins are darker overall than Leadens and have a bluish sheen on the head. But be warned, the heads of female Leadens can be slightly bluish too as in the photo below. I regret that I haven’t got a photo of a female Satin.

If all else fails, habitat, location and time of year are important. Satin Flycatchers breed in moist forests; in Tasmania (from which Leadens are absent) and Victoria this includes both inland and coastal forests but in New South Wales the Satin occurs only in damp wooded gullies in the high country along the Great Dividing Range. Given the problems of identification, there is uncertainty whether they breed in Southeast Queensland and Graeme Chapman couldn’t confirm breeding there.

John Young reported finding breeding pairs in Northern Queensland in highland rainforest (two pairs near Paluma, December 1984, and one pair at Wallaman Falls, November 1991) but it isn’t known whether this is part of its normal breeding range or even the same race as he reported the birds as being larger and darker than southern ones and the eggs being 20% larger.

Leaden Flycatchers occur in a wide variety of wooded habitats and may be found breeding in the same areas as Satin Flycatchers.

Leaden Flycatcher (Myiagra rubecula) Female in nest by Ian

Timing is important as the Satin Flycatcher is a migrant and winters mainly in New Guinea. The late Andrée Griffin lived in Paluma, about 40km from my place as the flycatcher flies, for many years and kept careful records of birds. She reported to Graeme Chapman that Satin Flycatchers arrived there each year on their way south at the beginning of October and were seen for about a fortnight. That date coincides well with my record of 12 October and Len Ezzy, a local birder, recorded one a week later at the Townsville Town Common. In 2016, I thought I saw a female Satin Flycatcher having a bathe in my pool on 22 September, but she didn’t hang around while I got the camera.

Flooded Creek by Ian – Townsville, Australia

For those of you who have heard the news about flooding in Townsville in general and Bluewater in particular on Wednesday, I’m happy to report that my house is high up enough above the creek to have been spared so far, unlike some unfortunate residents farther down the creek. Upper Bluewater has had over 900mm of rain in the last three days and it is hard to imagine it ever exceeding that. This is what Bluewater Creek looked like from just outside my house shortly after the flood peaked on Wednesday. The creek is normally invisible from here in a gorge about 200 metres away where the distant trees are.

Greetings – Ian

Ian’s Birds of the Moment come in quite unannounced. Never know when to expect something from “down under.” Yet, everytime, Ian has a very interesting bird/birds to introduce us to. Thank you, Ian for stopping by with another set of beautiful avian wonders.

The verses below remind us that the Lord provides for his critters and birds. In this case, the “hills” might have been a bit over filled.

“By them [streams] 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)

Ian’s Birds of the Week [Month, Moment]

Hope for Hard Times

When I Consider! – Petrified Tree Trunks

When I Consider!

When I Consider!

“Evidence From Geology”

Buried in an eroded hillside at Yellowstone National Park are petrified tree trunks protruding through multiple layers of earth. For many years a geological marker at this site (Specimen Ridge) stated that the trees were buried and petrified in place. The parallel layers were interpreted as successive forests buried by volcanic activity. It was claimed that after each volcanic eruption, the volcanic-ash layer slowly weathered into suitable topsoil and hundreds of years passed as subsequent forests grew to maturity. This pattern supposedly happened 27 times spanning 30,000 years. This interpretation seemed to present a problem to biblical accuracy, which indicates there has been less than 10,000 years of Earth history.

Polystrate lycopod in Tennessee showing VISS and crossbedding, both caused by flows from right to left in photo

Polystrate lycopod in Tennessee showing VISS and crossbedding, both caused by flows from right to left in photo

However, this interpretation ignores several important observations. The roots of the tree stumps are broken off with only the root balls left. The stump size, tree ring pattern, and number of tree rings throughout all 27 layers are remarkably similar. What the evidence really supports is the rapid burial of a single massive forest by a flood of worldwide proportions. Trees are buried at different levels because they sank into the sediment at different times. Apparently the majority opinion has moved toward this better interpretation because the “multiple-forest” interpretive sign has been removed. Unfortunately, the reality of a worldwide Flood is still not mentioned. It is because the Bible can be trusted when it speaks on physical matters (such as reality of a worldwide Flood) that we can trust what the Bible has to say about spiritual matters (such as morality and eternity).

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. Proverbs 25:2

A Closer Look At The Evidence, by Richard and Tina Kleiss, January 17

Typed by Phyllis

When I Consider! – Mabbul (Flood)

Rainbow by Mike Bader

Rainbow by Mike Bader

Evidence From the Worldwide Flood


When I Consider!

When I Consider!

Many people claim that Noah’s Flood was just a relatively small local event. Yet God clearly stated in Genesis 6:17 that the coming judgment would be a mighty flood of waters (mabbul mayim). The word for flood (mabbul), used in Genesis 6:17 for the first time, is only used for Noah’s Flood; other floods are denoted by different words in the Bible. The Genesis Flood was the “mabbul,” unique in all history. God not only used a unique and exact word for the worldwide Flood, but also made it clear that the waters covered the highest mountains.

God promised to never send another flood upon the earth. Yet there have been countless local floods throughout history. Either the Genesis Flood was something different, unique, and worldwide–or God is a liar.

Enormous and widespread geologic features around the planet also testify to the global extent of the Flood. From the rapid formation of the Grand Canyon as backed-up waters rushed off the continents…to widespread coal deposits…to over-sized river valleys around the world-it is apparent that this planet was once covered with water.

(The Genesis Record, p 183) – From A Closer Look at the Evidence by Kleiss, November 8.

And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. (Genesis 8:21 KJV)

When I Consider! – The Survivability of the Ark

Magnify the Lord

“Evidence From The Worldwide Flood”

“How could the Ark have survived a year-long water catastrophe without sinking? The study of hydrodynamics (the branch of physics having to do with the motion and action of water) has demonstrated that a giant boxlike vessel the size and shape described in the Bible would be almost unsinkable. Even in a sea of gigantic waves, the Ark could be tilted to almost a 90° angle and would always tend to right itself again. A vessel of this shape also aligns itself with the waves so that it experiences the least amount of pitching.

In 1604, a Dutchman named Peter Jansz, built two smaller ships with the same proportions as the Ark. These small “arks” could carry one-third more cargo than regular ships without requiring any additional crew and quickly became a popular cargo carrier.

The perfect engineering of the Ark, with the exact characteristics necessary to survive the Flood, points to God as the ultimate Designer. Every detail of the Bible confirms its accuracy and supernatural origin.”

The Door of the Ark by Lee

This image is a reproduction of the ark at Ark Encounter, USA. Answers in Genesis.

The Article is from:
The Creation, p. 150-151
The Genesis Record, p. 181

The above quote is from January 15), “”A Closer Look at the Evidence – Kleiss,” by Richard and Tina Kleiss

This is how you are to make it: The ark will be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. (Genesis 6:15 HCSB)

“When I Consider!” is based on: (Psalms 8:3-9) (3) When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained…(9) O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!

Interesting related articles:
Noah’s Ark from Creation Wiki
The Resource for Answering the Critics of Noah’s Ark by John Woodmorappe, ICR
Caring for the Animals on the Ark by John Woodmorappe, AiG
Noah’s Ship: Like Nothing You’ve Seen Before by Catherine Myers, Answers

Birds of the Bible – Foundation #4

We will continue on with the Birds of the Bible – Foundation series.

If you have not read the previous blogs:
Foundation #1,  –  Foundation #2 –  Foundation #3

The last article in this series left the world, Noah, his family, the animals, birds and creeping things in a rough situation. All the world was violently rearranged by the global flood and all air-breathing creation was dead, except for those on board the Ark.

Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. (1 Peter 3:20)

But first must he (Christ-the Creator) suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:25-27)

Just as those who were saved by being in the Ark, so are we by putting our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” (1 Timothy 2:5)

Australian Raven by Les Thurbon

Australian Raven by Les Thurbon

Finally, (Noah and all were in the Ark for over a year.) Noah opened the window in the ark and sent forth a raven. The raven which flew back and forth to the ark until the land was dried up. Noah, then sent out the Dove (female) to see if the ground was off the ground. Doves are ground feeders and also like to put their nests on the ground many times. She found no resting place for her feet and so Noah put out his hand and brought

Eurasian-collared Dove in Israel

Eurasian-collared Dove in Israel

her back inside. Noah waited 7 more days and sent the dove out again and this time she came back with an olive leaf. This let Noah know that the waters were receding. When he released her again 7 more days later, the dove did not return. “The surface of the ground was dry.” (Genesis 8:7-12)

After 7 more days: “God spoke to Noah, saying,”

“Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark. Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:16-22 NKJV)

That is a tremendous promise and in Genesis 9, God blesses Noah and his sons and then makes some statements:

  • Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth
  • Fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast, bird, all that move on the earth, all fish of the sea. Are given into your hand
  • Every moving thing that lives shall be food. (Man is no longer just a vegetarian)
  • You shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood
  • Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.
  • God makes a covenant with man and every living creature

Genesis 9:11-17 NKJV
(11)  Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
(12)  And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
(13)  I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
(14)  It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud;
(15)  and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
(16)  The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
(17)  And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

Rainbow by Mike Bader

Rainbow by Mike Bader

What a tremendous promise! Even though man and critters are still cursed, God will never bring another global flood.

As for the birds and other critters, we find from God’s Word that there are changes for them. They now can become food for man and other critters, they now have a fear and dread of man who has dominion over them, they now become eaters of others. They are still to reproduce and spread out and fill the earth, they are promised never to be totally destroyed again by a global flood, etc. Somewhere between the Fall in the garden of Eden and this, the nature of birds and critters is drastically changed from what God originally created them to be. All because of SIN.

Continue to Birds of the Bible – Foundation #5

Some links to some informative articles about the flood:
Noah’s Flood covered the whole earth
Universality of the Genesis Flood
How Did Defense/Attack Structures Come About?

Complete Creation – Part 1

The Complete Creation is a series of video by Ian Juby of Creation Ministries of Ian Juby.

Ian is “the president of CORE Ottawa, Citizens for Origins Research and Education.” He is “also the director of the Creation Science Museum of Canada, a member of Mensa Canada and the president of the International Creation Science Special Interest Group for Mensans.” He has also had extensive personal studies in Origins for about the past eighteen years.

There are 22. I hope you enjoy them. Ian Juby has given me permission to “Ya – go for it, post away with the videos.” Thank you, Ian.

Part 1 : Creation/Evoluinon, Who Cares? An exhaustive look at the Creation/Evolution debate with Ian Juby. In this video, Ian introduces Creation and Evolution, and explains why the subject is important. He then introduces the history of the old earth and evolutionary theory.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth


All videos in this series are used with permission from Ian Juby at Creation Ministries of Ian Juby

For Part 2 The Old Earth Deception/Evidence for the Global Flood of Noah