Bald – Golden – Steller’s Sea – Eagles Compared

Steller’s Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus) next to Bald Eagle by Lee at National Aviary

“Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:5 KJV)

The last post mentioned the Golden Eagle and the Sea Eagle. We were privileged to have seen the Bald Eagle [almost daily here in Polk Country this time of the year.], the Golden Eagle, and the Steller’s Sea Eagle. Just thought you might like a size comparison. The above photo was taken at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA. The two exhibits were side by side and I was overwhelmed at the size of the Steller’s Sea Eagle on the right, and the Bald Eagle on the left. I backed up so I could get them both. What a difference!

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by Lee at National Aviary

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by Lee at National Aviary

The Bald Eagle has a body length of 70–102 cm (28–40 in). Typical wingspan is between 1.8 and 2.3 m (5.9 and 7.5 ft) and mass is normally between 3 and 6.3 kg (6.6 and 13.9 lb).[5] Females are about 25% larger than males, averaging 5.6 kg (12 lb), and against the males’ average weight of 4.1 kg (9.0 lb)

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

The Golden Eagle is a very large raptor, 66 to 102 centimetres (26 to 40 in) in length. Its wings are broad and the wingspan is 1.8 to 2.34 metres (5 ft 11 in to 7 ft 8 in). Golden eagles’ wingspan is the fifth largest among living eagle species. Females are larger than males, with a bigger difference in larger subspecies. Females of the large Himalayan golden eagles are about 37% heavier than males and have nearly 9% longer wings, whereas in the smaller Japanese golden eagles, females are only 26% heavier with around 6% longer wings.[2][8] In the largest subspecies (A. c. daphanea), males and females weigh typically 4.05 kilograms (8.9 lb) and 6.35 kg (14.0 lb), respectively. In the smallest subspecies, A. c. japonica, males weigh 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) and females 3.25 kg (7.2 lb).[2] In the species overall, males average around 3.6 kg (7.9 lb) and females around 5.1 kg (11 lb). The maximum size of golden eagles debated. Large subspecies are the heaviest representatives of the Aquila genus and this species is on average the seventh-heaviest living eagle species. The golden eagle is the second heaviest breeding eagle in North America, Europe and Africa and the fourth heaviest in Asia. For some time, the largest known mass authenticated for a wild female was the specimen from the A. c. chrysaetos subspecies which weighed around 6.7 kg (15 lb) and spanned 2.55 m (8 ft 4 in) across the wings.[10] American golden eagles are typically somewhat smaller than the large Eurasian species,

Steller’s Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus) by Lee at National Aviary

Steller’s Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus) Feet by Lee at National Aviary

Steller’s sea eagle is the largest bird in the genus Haliaeetus and is one of the largest raptors overall. Females vary in weight from 6,195 to 9,500 g (13.658 to 20.944 lb), while males being rather lighter with a weight range of 4,900 to 6,800 g (10.8 to 15.0 lb). The average weight is variable, possibly due to seasonal variation in food access or general condition of eagles, but has been reported as high as a mean mass of 7,757 g (17.101 lb) to a median estimate weight of 6,250 g (13.78 lb)… [Above from Wikipedia, with editing.]

Steller’s Sea-eagle at San Diego Zoo 2015 by Lee

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Golden Eagles in Scotland – YouTube

Birds of the Bible – Eagles

Golden Eagles in Scotland – YouTube

 

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) - Grandfather Eagle by PastorBBC

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) – Grandfather Eagle by PastorBBC

“Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?” (Job 39:27 KJV)

I love watching Eagles. This video adds some views from the back of an Eagle. Worth watching.

The way of an eagle in the air;…” (Proverbs 30:19a KJV)

Birds of the Bible – Eagles

Where Eagles Dare: French Military Training Eagles vs. Drones

Eagle Taking On a Drone ©Euronews

“Like an eagle swooping on its prey.” (Job 9:26b NKJV)

After receiving an email about the French Military training Golden Eagles to capture Drones, my curiosity kicked in. Below are links to articles and video of this training.

“The French military is literally going where eagles dare in an effort to combat the increasing use of drones by criminals and terrorists.

Following incidents of drones flying over the presidential palace and restricted military sites – along with the deadly 2015 Paris terror attacks – the French air force has trained four golden eagles to intercept and destroy the rogue aircraft.” Where Eagles Dare

“Faced with the specter of a terrorist threat from rogue drones, the French are recruiting an avian ally. At a base in the southwest of the country, a special army unit has for months been training four golden eagles to spot drones and perform mid-air takedowns.” Drones-Eagles-France

NTD has a great video of how they train baby Golden Eagles as babies, and then as adults.

Though you ascend as high as the eagle, And though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down,” says the LORD.” (Obadiah 1:4 NKJV) [I took some liberty with this verse.]

Checking YouTube, there are several video of how bird attack drones.

Here is just one example. This drone is downed by a Hawk.

Hope for Hard Times

“E” is for Eagles and Eiders: “E” Birds”, Part 1

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

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Verreaux’s Eagle (Aquila verreauxii)
Fair Use photo credit: Mike Haworth

The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD. (Obadiah 1:3-4)

E” is for Eagles, Eiders, Egrets, Emus, Earthcreepers, Eagle-owls, Euphonias, Elaenias, Eremomelas, Elepaios, and/or Emerald hummingbirds — plus whatever other birds there are, that have names that begin with the letter E.

This present study (i.e., “‘E’ Birds, Part 1”) will focus on Eagles and Eiders.
But first, because this blogpost-article calmly continues an alphabet-based series on birds, we look at Psalm 119:33-40, — thereafter we review two categories of birds that start with the letter “E”, namely, Eagles and Eiders.

verreauxseagle-soaring-sky-mike-haworth

Verreaux’s Eagle (Aquila verreauxii)
Fair Use photo credit: Mike Haworth

THE ALPHABET HELPS TO TEACH US ABOUT GOD’S TRUTH
Using alphabet letters, to order a sequence of information, has Biblical precedent, as is noted in the four earlier articles in this series of “alphabet birds” — i.e., A birds; B birds; and C birds; and D birds.

The perfect example is the “acrostic” pattern of Psalm 119, the longest psalm (having 176 verses!), which psalm has 22 sections (comprised of 8 verses per section), representing the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. (Compare that to the English alphabet, which has 26 alphabet letters, and/or to the Norwegian alphabet, which has 29 alphabet letters.) The sentences in each section start with the same Hebrew letter: Verses 1-8 start with ALEPH, Verses 9-16 with BETH, Verse 17-24 with GIMEL, and so forth.

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Fair Use Image Credit:  4.bp.blogspot.com

In this serial study’s lesson, the fifth octet of verses in Psalm 119 (i.e., Psalm 119:33-40), each sentence starts with HÊ (pronounced “hay”, like what horses eat), the Hebrew consonant equivalent to the English “H”.

The word based upon this letter is HÊ’, (also pronounced “hay”, like what horses eat), which is routinely translated as a “Behold!” (or “Lo!”) in the Old Testament (see YOUNG’S ANALYTICAL CONCORDANCE, Index-Lexicon to the Old Testament, page 18, column 4), such as in Ezekiel 16:43 & Genesis 47:23.

Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but hast fretted me in all these things, behold! — therefore, I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord GOD: and thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations. (Ezekiel 16:43)

Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: Lo! — here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land. (Genesis 47:23)

The Aramaic equivalent, HÂ’ (pronounced “Ha!”) appears in Daniel 3:25, when King Nebuchadnezzar was shocked to see what surprisingly happened in the fiery furnace, after Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were unjustly thrust therein.

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In King James English, one alerted others by exclaiming, “behold!” – meaning something like our modern expressions “Hey! Look!” and/or “Hey! Watch out!” In other words, ironically, the modern English exclamation “Hey!” means about the same thing as the ancient Hebrew exclamation “HÊ’!” – which is pronounced the same as is the English “Hey!”

Exclamations — like “Hey!” — alert us, to pay attention to something, to behold something, to watch out for something, that is very important. In the New Testament, the Greek equivalent is an imperative form of a verb meaning “look”, i.e., the New Testament’s equivalents (of “Behold!” or “Lo!”) likewise call someone to “Look!”

he-hebrew-letter-window

Fair Use image Credit: Pinterest

So, because HÊ’ is the fifth letter in the Hebrew alphabet, each verse (in Psalm 119:33-40) literally starts with that letter as the first letter in the first word (although the first Hebrew word may be differently placed in the English translation’s sentence):

33 Teach-me [hôrênî], O LORD, the way of Thy statutes; and I shall keep [a form of nâtsar] it unto the end.

34 Give-me-understanding [habînēnî], and I shall keep [a form of nâtsar] Thy law; yea, I shall observe [a form of shâmar] it with my whole heart.

35 Make-me-to-go [hadrîkēnî] in the path of Thy commandments; because therein do I delight [a form of ].

36 Incline [haṭ] my heart unto Thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

37 Turn-away [ha‘abēd] mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken Thou me in Thy way.

38 Stablish [haqēm] Thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to Thy fear.

39 Turn-away [ha‘abēd] my reproach which I fear: for Thy judgments are good.

40 Behold [hinnēh] ! — I have longed after Thy precepts; quicken me in Thy righteousness.

As noted before, Psalm 119 is all about God’s revelation of truth – especially truth about Himself – to mankind (in a comprehensive “A to Z” panorama). The most important revelation of truth that God has given to us, and the most authoritative form of truth that we have, is the Holy Bible – the Scriptures (2nd Peter 1:16-21). Here, the octet of verses in Psalm 119:33-40 is dominated by references to the Scriptures, using the terms “Thy statutes” (verse 33), “Thy law” (verse 34), “Thy commandments” (verse 35), “Thy testimonies” (verse 36), “Thy way” (verse 37), Thy Word” (verse 38), “Thy judgments” (verse 39), and “Thy precepts” (verse 40).

Notice how the “theme” of the Hebrew noun hê’ appears frequently in this section of Psalm 119 – because when you behold a “window” of valuable/relevant information, provided by God, you “watch out!” —  i.e., you look and see what is important for you to learn about, that helps you with your God-designed destiny.

Accordingly, the Hebrew letter HÊ’ alerts our attention to vitally important information – such as the sobering cause-and-effect logic of God’s punishment of wickedness (Ezekiel 16:43), or the providential opportunity to live and thrive in a well-provided-for situation (Genesis 47:23), or the astounding sight of a miracle happening inside a burning fiery furnace (Daniel 3:25).

But what about the running theme of alertness in Psalm 119:33-40? Behold!

In Psalm 119:33, the psalmist requests teaching from the LORD, in order that the psalmist “keep” God’s way completely. A person cannot practice God’s truth, in daily living, with first learning what God’s truth is — this is practical logic that Ezra exemplified in his life (Ezra 7:10).

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Israel’s armored cavalry “chariot” [Merkava 3], firing projectile (public domain)

Two Hebrew verbs appear in Verse 33, “teach” (a causative active imperative form of YÂRÂH, which refers to the action of projecting, i.e., casting a projectile such as an arrow or spear) and “keep” (a simple active imperfect form of NÂTSAR, which refers to guarding, preserving, conserving, protecting). The idea here is that the psalmist is alert to his need to vigorously dive into – like an arrow being forcibly shot into God’s assigned missions in life – which involve the spiritual pathway of God’s statutes, in order for the psalmist to guard those statutes (in daily living) “to the end”. This is not a relaxed scenario! If God’s Word was like a swimming pool, the psalmist is asking God to “throw him into the deep end”, so that the psalmist is confronted with challenges needful for “finishing strong” in his spiritual journey!

Psalm 119:34 is similar in meaning to Verse 33, because the psalmist again is seeking to “keep” (NÂTSAR) God’s Word, which this time is called God’s “law” (TÔRÂH), so that the psalmist can be careful in attending to (SHÂMAR) God’s law with his “whole heart”, like a watchman on a city wall. To do this, the psalmist asks God to give him “understanding” (a causative active imperative form of the Hebrew verb BÎN — literally exhorting God to cause the psalmist to understand what is needful, to achieve the goal of carefully living by God’s Word, with his “whole heart”. This too is no relaxed scenario – very serious understanding, discernment, judgment is needed. So this verse shows the psalmist being watchful, living life with “eyes open”, to know what is really going on in life.

psalm119-105-lighted-pathway

Fair Use Credit: JohnFanPhotography.com

 In Psalm 119:35, the psalmist requests God to “lead” [a causative active imperative form of DÂRAK] him in the proper pathway, namely, the pathway of proper living – this verse resembles a later verse, Psalm 119:105, that likens life’s spiritual journey as needing the enlightenment of God’s Word, “a lamp to my feet” and “a light unto my path”. Notice the psalmist’s purpose for this — he has “delighted” [a simple active perfect form of CHÂPHĒTS] in God’s commandments. The verb CHÂPHĒTS (which appears as “delighted” in Psalm 119:35) denotes the action of being delighted, favoring, enjoying, being pleased with – i.e., having a positive attitude toward someone or something. Remember the Westminster Confession? “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”

This reminds me of something my granddaughter Sydney said, when she was about 5 years old, when her mom told her that “we love God”. “Yeah”, Sydney agreed, “and we like God, too!” (Accordingly, we like and enjoy His Word, too!)

sydney-doubleoak-jumphouse

Sydney (photo at about age 2), who loves God, and who likes Him too!

In Psalm 119:36, the psalmist asks God to “incline” his heart toward God’s “testimonies”. The word translated “incline” is a causative active imperative form of the Hebrew verb NÂṬÂH, which refers to the action of stretching or spreading out (e.g., spreading/stretching out a tent in Genesis 33:19 & Exodus 33:7, and arching a spear in Joshua 8:18 & 8:26), so the psalmist is beseeching God to stretch his heart toward God’s testimonies. This is no lackadaisical request! Of course, the testimonies of God’s witnesses were not of slight importance – the fate of families, communities, and even and nations would depend upon how such testimonies were received (or not received) — see, e.g., Deuteronomy 8:9 & 32:46; 2nd Kings 17:13-15; Nehemiah 9:26-34; Psalm 78:56; Isaiah 8:20; Amos 3:13; John 3:32 & 4:44; Acts 1:8; 1st Corinthians 15:15; Ephesians 4:17; 1st Thessalonians 4:6; Hebrews 12:1; 1st Peter 1:11; 1st John 4:14; Rev 22:16 & 22:20. In other words, watch out! — God’s testimony, provided by God’s witnesses, is never to be trifled with. The psalmist wants the opposite of shying away from God’s testimonies; the psalmist wants to stretch toward God’s testimonies.

In fact, the psalmist is actually pleading with God, asking God to make the psalmist to stretch him toward God’s testimonies, as opposed to the psalmist being inclined (i.e., “stretched”) toward seeking worldly “gain”. This cannot be a passive enterprise – in order for us to stretch toward God, and toward what honors God (i.e., what Colossians 3:2 calls “the things above”), we must affirmatively pull our hearts away from the worldly “treasures” that all-too-often compete with God, as our heart’s affection.

refuse-2-b-distracted-derailed-rr-track

Fair Use Credit: Felicia Starks

In Psalm 119:37, the psalmist asks God to turn the psalmist’s eyes from visons of vanities, as the psalmist recognizes that real life is experienced only in the ways of God. The verb translated “turn away” (in Psalm 119:37) is a causative active imperative form of the Hebrew verb ‘ÂBAR (literally, “to pass through”). Thus, the psalmist is imploring God to make the psalmist to “pass through” (or “pass over”) the lying sights of worldly temptation and folly. In other words, the psalmist does not expect divine deliverance, from worldly vanities, to come in the form of escape so much as to come in the form of a successful endurance (see 1st Corinthians 10:13). To achieve this result, the psalmist (and we) must pay alert attention to what is reliable and true — and (likewise) refuse to be distracted by what is ultimately illusory and false.

[Regarding the inherent distractiveness of deceit, seeStaying on Track, Despite Deceptive Distractions.

In Psalm 119:38, the psalmist asks God to make what He says to “arise” (using a causative active imperative form of the Hebrew verb QÛM) – i.e., whatever God’s promises He must establish. As mere mortals we cannot, by ourselves, establish God’s will on earth. God must make His own Word happen — and He is ready, willing, and able to do just that (see Isaiah 14:24 & 14:27)! Yet notice who the intended beneficiaries of God promises are: “those who fear Thee”, i.e., those with reverential awe of God, those who worshipfully fear His power and holiness – and that should describe us. Obviously this is not a lackadaisical matter – this is something we must pay close and sober attention to, especially if we hope to be on the “good side” of God’s promises.

In Psalm 119:39, the psalmist begins with the same Hebrew verb that Verse 37 began with, ‘ÂBAR (literally, “to pass through”), this time asking God to cause the psalmist’s self-dreaded “reproach” to pass through, i.e., the psalmist is fearful of his own fallibility and faultiness, and rightfully so – as we all should be. The psalmist’s prayer is a prayer of dependence — God needs to protect us form ourselves. The old saying is true: we are our own worst enemies. Accordingly, we need for God to take/pull us through our own shameful sinfulness, overruling our inherent sin-nature (which we inherited form Adam our first forefather), so that we can freely live for Him. But only God’s truth can free us from our sinful selves; only the Scriptures give us the truth that sets us free (see John 8:31-32). Thus, God’s Word is liberating. As the psalmist here says, God’s ordinances are “good” – they are the real daily nutrition that our lives must have, spiritually speaking (Matthew 4:4) — see Real Freedom Only Comes from Real Truth”, posted at  (from the April AD2013 issue of ACTS & FACTS).

In Psalm 119:40, the psalmist starts the verse with the exclamation “Behold!” (Hebrew: HĪNĒH), which repeats the tone of this octet of verses. The last word in this verse is an intensive active imperative form of the Hebrew verb CHAYAH (meaning “to live” or “to have life”). Thus, the psalmist is beseeching God to give him life “in Thy [i.e., God’s] righteousness”, because the psalmist “has longed for” (simple active perfect form of the verb TÂ’AB) a life that harmonizes with God’s ordinances/judgments. In other words, the psalmist connects real living to God’s gift of His own righteousness, that fits the worthy goal of living according to God’s judgments. This is no careless approach to daily living! This requires careful dependence upon God — only He can give us a good life.
In sum, Scripture-based living is not easy – it requires watchfulness, alertness, caution, sobriety, and complete dependence upon God’s Word-based guidance.

Thus we see the theme, woven throughout the octet of HÊ’ verses (Psalm 119:33-40), is that we need to be alert while living life on earth (i.e., “Watch out! Beware! Hey! Pay attention!”) — and that God’s Word is what equips us to be properly alerted to what is really happening in and around us.

After that lesson (from Psalm 119:33-40), about the value of careful attentiveness, it is appropriate to consider some EAGLES, those huge raptors that illustrate super-keen eyesight, telescopic eyes that they routinely use for the serious business of catching prey on land, in air, and even at the water’s surface.

stellersseaeagle-igorshpilenok

EAGLES

Regarding Eagles, see Lee Dusing’s Sunday Inspiration: Eagles, as well as her “Bible Birds: Eagles”.

The best known eagle, for Americans, is the USA’s national bird, the BALD EAGLE. Frequenting saltwater shorelines, these hawk-like fish-eating raptors are well-populated in coastal Alaska, as is reported in Alaska’s Bald Eagle, which is quoted below.

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                   Photo credit: SkagwayExcursion.com

BALD EAGLE pair (Alaska)

Bald eagles may enjoy abundant fishing opportunities, in Alaska and in other coastwater and riverine areas, but life has not been easy for these carnivores, due to the accumulation of poisons in food chains they depend upon.

Driven to near extinction due to DDT [via its byproduct DDE] poisoning and illegal killing. Now making a comeback in North America. Returns to same nest each year, adding more sticks, enlarging it to massive proportions, at times up to 1,000 pounds (450 kg). In the midair mating ritual, one eagle will flip upside down and lock talons with another. Both tumble, then break apart to continue flight. Thought to mate for life, but will switch mates if not successful reproducing. Juvenile attains the white head and tail at about 4-5 years of age.

[Quoting Stan Tekiela, BIRDS OF TEXAS FIELD GUIDE (Adventure Publications, 2004), page 81.]

goldeneagle-perching-wildechotours

GOLDEN EAGLE  (photo credit: WildEchoTours.com)

The other major variety of eagle, in North America, is the GOLDEN EAGLE, which lives off of prey it seizes from the ground, or from the air.

Large and powerful bird of prey that has no trouble taking larger prey such as jackrabbits. Hunts by perching or soaring and watching for movement [on the ground below]. Inhabits mountainous terrain, requiring large territories to provide large supply of food. Thought to mate for life, renewing pair bond late in winter with spectacular high-flying courtship displays. Usually nests on cliff faces, rarely in trees. Uses well-established nest that has been used for generations. Not uncommon for it to add thing to nest such as antlers, bones and barbed wire.

[Quoting Stan Tekiela, BIRDS OF TEXAS FIELD GUIDE (Adventure Publications, 2004), page 239.]

Golden Eagles are actually well distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere, not just in North America, as the range map (below) indicates.

goldeneagle-rangemap-wikipedia

Golden Eagle Range Map (Wikipedia)

But would you expect there to be many more examples of “eagles” than just the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalos) and the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysactos)?

The varieties of Eagles – besides North America’s Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle – are many [see Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks, Eagle ], such as: Indian Black Eagle [found in tropical Africa], Black-and-chestnut Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Chaco Eagle, Crested Eagle, Crowned Eagle, Gurney’s Eagle, Harpy Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Little Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, Martial Eagle, Papuan Eagle, Philippine Eagle, Pygmy Eagle, Grey Sea Eagle [a/k/a Ørn and White-tailed Sea-Eagle], Sanford’s Sea Eagle, Steller’s Sea Eagle, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Andaman Serpent Eagle, Congo Serpent Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Madagascan Serpent Eagle, Mountain Serpent Eagle, Great Nicobar Serpent Eagle, Philippine Serpent Eagle, Sulawesi Serpent Eagle, Southern Banded Snake Eagle, Western Banded Snake Eagle, Beaudouin’s Snake Eagle, Black-chested Snake Eagle, Brown Snake Eagle, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Solitary Eagle, African Fish Eagle, Madagascan Fish Eagle, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Lesser Fish Eagle, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Flores Hawk-Eagle, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Legge’s Hawk-Eagle, Blyth’s Hawk-Eagle, Javan Hawk-Eagle, Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle, Philippine Hawk-Eagle, Pinsker’s Hawk-Eagle, Wallace’s Hawk-Eagle, Black Hawk-Eagle, Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle, Ayre’s Hawk-Eagle, Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, African Hawk-Eagle, Booted Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle, Indian Spotted Eagle, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle [a/k/a African Black Eagle], Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, and Steppe Eagle!

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Grey Sea Eagle, a/k/a Ørn and White-tailed Sea-Eagle

Fair Use Credit: Sindri Skulason

 Consider the following information about eagles, a raptor often mentioned in Holy Scripture:

Eagles are such heavy birds that they don’t build their houses, called “nests”, near the ground. Eagles build their nests high up in trees or on top of rocky mountains or cliffs, so that they can jump out into the air and glide on rising warm air currents. Some air currents are made of warm rising air, so an eagle can jump into such warm air and “ride” it up like an elevator, then the eagle can glide from one air current to another , until it wants to fly down. These rising air currents are called “thermals”. The eagle that soars on a thermal is mostly at rest, because he is trusting the thermal to carry him along for a “ride” in the air. The eagle soaring on such a thermal air current is a reminder of how we should trust and depend upon God to carry us through life’s adventures, as we travel from one day to the next. By “riding” on upwardly spiraling thermal air currents eagles can save their energy, because too much wing-flapping can waste an eagle’s energy and cause it to get too tired to fly. Like eagles, we can waste a lot of energy if we fail to depend on God, because worrying and distrusting God wastes a lot of mental energy and emotions! (See Isaiah 40:31, quoted below.)

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

By conserving (carefully using, not wasting) his energy, the bald eagle can flap his wings only when he needs to, and he can rise to very high places in the air, which also means that the eagles can reach high places on top of mountains or cliffs that other animals cannot reach. So an eagles’ nest (called an “eyrie”) can be far away from egg-eating animals that might bother parent eagles and try to eat their eggs before they have a chance to hatch into baby eaglets (the baby eaglets are called “hatchlings” when they first hatch). Bald eagles, like other kinds of eagles, often live in rocky places in high places, so it is not surprising that people (including Biblical authors) compare highness with flying and nesting behaviors of eagles.

One example of highness being compared to the nesting habits of eagles is found in the Bible, in the Book of Obadiah (at Obadiah 1:3-4), where the eagle is described as a creature that lives in high places, much closer to the stars than do most other animals (or people).

Another Old Testament book in the Bible, the Book of Job, refers (at Job 39:27) to the eagle as mounting up into the air by God’s command (because God programs eagles to fly up into the air the way that they do), and as nesting in high places (because God programs eagles to do this also).

“The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, ‘Who shall bring me down to the ground?’ Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.” (Obadiah 1:3-4)

“Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?” (Job 39:27)

Eagles are good parents, training their sons and daughters to live like eagles (see Deuteronomy 32:11). Eagles can fly, like dive-bombing airplanes, at great speeds (see 2nd Samuel 1:23 and Lamentations 4:19). Their strength is renewed from time to time, as their feather-cover adjusts to their growing bodies (see Isaiah 40:31 and Psalms 103:5). Eagles are known for their gracefulness and dignity (see Proverbs 30:19). In fact, eagles fly very high in the air as a matter of habit – above most other birds (see Proverbs 23:5).

[Quoting from James J. S. Johnson, “Alaska’s Bald Eagle”].

ag of Mexico ©WikiC

Flag of MEXICO  (displaying Golden Eagle)

Eagles are favorite birds on national flags and in official coat-of-arms emblems. For a just a few examples, consider these “flagged” eagles:

Consider – for just a few representative examples – the eagles that appear on the flags – some present, some past — of these national and state/provincial flags: Albania; American Samoa; Austria (armorial flag); Brandenburg, Germany; Ecuador (armorial banner); Egypt; Geneva, Switzerland; Germany (armorial flag ); Iowa; Italian president’s flag (AD1880-AD1946); Jordan (armorial banner); Mexico; North Dakota; Oregon (front side of state flag); Pennsylvania; Poland (armorial flag); Prussia (armorial banner, AD1819-AD1850); (Moldova; Mount Athos (autonomous Greek protectorate); Russian Czar’s banner (18th century A.D.); Serbia (during AD1882-AD1918); Silesia (until absorption by Prussia in AD1742 – parts of Silesia now lay within Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic); United States Coast Guard and Marine Corps; Utah; Virgin Islands (of the USA); Zambia; etc.

[Quoting from James J. S. Johnson, “’Flag that Bird!’ (Part 1)

goldeneagle-swooping-down-netns-wildlifezone

Golden Eagle in flight
(Fair Use Credit: NETNS Wildlife Zone)

No wonder so many countries choose to include an eagle in their official coat-of-arms — these birds are truly regal!

Now for another category of “E” birds, the eiders.

stellerseider-wikipedia

Steller’s Eider in icy seawater (Wikipedia)

EIDERS

Eiders are large sea-ducks, the largest wild ducks in North America and Europe – with the exception of the Muscovy Duck (which, in parts of Texas and Florida, occurs in the wild). Examples of eiders include the Common Eider (Somateria mollissima), King Eider (Someteria spectabilis), and Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri), and Steller’s Eider (Polysticta stelleri), all four of which varieties are found in Alaskan waters. Eiders in the wild (including Steller’s Eider, misleadingly classified as a “different genus” of eider) are known to hybridize, so (obviously) all eiders descend from the same created kind.

Regarding downy-feather-famous Eiders, see, Lee Dusing’s “The Eider: The Cushion Makers (Nuggets Plus)”.  Eiders are true mariners, “sea ducks”, a term that includes mergansers, oldsquaw (a/k/a “long-tailed duck”), bufflehead, goldeneyes, and (of course) eiders.

kingeider-alaska-by-greggthompson

King Eider male near Barrow, Alaska (by Gregg Thompson)

Ornithologist Steve Madge describes eiders as cold-water ducks of the North. ”

Large sea-ducks of northern coastal waters. Adult males distinctive [in physical appearance], but other plumages similar; immatures take two or more years to reach maturity, males having confusing variety of piebald plumages [i.e., the usual colored feathering is modified by partial leucism, so that the usual black plumage is whitish, yet feathers of rainbow colors are not whitewashed]. Head-and-bill shape important [for identification], especially extent of feathering onto bill-base.

[Quoting Steve Madge & Hilary Burn, WATERFOWL: AN IDENTIFICATION GUIDE TO THE DUCKS, GEESE AND SWANS OF THE WORLD (Houghton Mifflin, 1988), page 104.]

spectacled-eider-male-jimburns

Spectacled Eider male (photo by Jim Burns)

The Eider’s down feathers are especially well-designed for efficiently insulating the body heat of these North-dwelling ducks, so it is no surprise that eider feathers are prized as down for pillow-making. As, as the Nordic Store (Iceland) advises, “Eiderdown is the softest and lightest down in the world … extremely rare, in great demand and highly prized (accounting for its high price)”. [Quoting Nordic Store, with an (apparently) informative YouTube video, narrated in Icelandic, at Eiderdown Duvets and Pillows  — showing beautiful eiders at sea and on land, in colonial activities.]

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God willing, the next contribution to this alphabetic series will be some more “E” birds – perhaps Egrets, Emus, and Earthcreepers!

Meanwhile, in accordance with Psalm 119:33-40, use God’s Word as you attentively and alertly live life, daily, with its opportunities to follow Christ. (Hey!) Carefully interpret whatever you see, by the wisdom of God’s Word, as you keep your eyes open, like the observant eagle!

><>  JJSJ profjjsj@verizon.net

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Lee’s Seven Word Sunday – 7/3/16

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Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Nest Scene Reconstitution ©WikiC

FOWLS OF THE HEAVEN HAD THEIR HABITATION

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“Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:” (Daniel 4:21 KJV)

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Nest Scene Reconstitution ©WikiC

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More Daily Devotionals

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Circle B Birdwatching Trip February 2015

Great Blue Heron

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; (Job 12:7 NKJV)

Today we finally got to go birdwatching at Circle B Bar Reserve. We were asked to join Baron Brown (A.K.A. Golden Eagle) and one of the classes he teaches. We were introducing them to Birdwatching. For most of the twelve students, this was their first trip of watch birds.

“Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 AMP)

After we finished, we went to our church where I presented a Powerpoint presentation on birding. Then they got to eat pizza. Not sure which they enjoyed more, the birds or the pizza. ;0)

For Dan and I, this was our first real birdwatching trip of the year. We stopped by the shore of the AF base a week or so ago and birded for about 15-20 minutes. Today’s trip was about two hours long.

Limpkin

Limpkin

What did we see? Altogether, about 25-26 species were spotted. We saw some they didn’t see and they saw three Bald Eagles, that we didn’t see. (I stopped and waited for them to make a short trip up one of the trails. They are younger, you know.)

Osprey

Osprey

We were greeted in the parking lot by an Osprey sitting in the tree with a fish in his feet. That was a good start for them. From there we went out to the marsh where we started seeing the usual birds at Circle B; Great Egrets, Tri-colored Heron, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Glossy and White Ibises, an Anhinga with wings spread, Limpkins, Great Blue Herons. There were lots of Turkey and Black Vultures flying overhead, and the Tree Swallows were zipping around all over the place. There was also a tree way down the marsh that was hosting a group of Double-crested Cormorants.

Water birds spotted were Coots, Common Moorhens, and a group of Blue-winged Teals.

Blue-winged Teals

Blue-winged Teals

All the heads turned when a Roseate Spoonbill flew by and later we saw one up close in the water. There was a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks sitting in a tree way off, but I zoomed in and was able to get a half-way decent photo of them. One even raised its tail up to preen, I suppose.

We were teaching them about listening for birds and some Mourning Doves, a Carolina Wren, some Red-bellied and Pileated Woodpeckers and a few others were heard.

While they were off down the trail, we added Red-winged Blackbirds and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher to our list. We had also seen 16 White Pelicans flying right by the park as we were arriving.

All total, not a bad birdwatching trip. Looking forward to more trips as 2015 progresses. Here are just some of today’s photos.

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Fantastic Week-end

Purple Gallinule Reaching Circle B

Purple Gallinule Reaching Circle B

We greatly enjoyed this past week-end. Dr. James J. S. Johnson, from Institute For Creation Research, who writes for this blog, came to speak at our church. We had not met him personally and so this was a time of getting to know him.

Dan and I, Dr. Jim (my name for him) and Golden Eagle (Baron) went birdwatching on Saturday. We took him to our favorite birding spot here, Circle B Bar Reserve. We saw 31 species, several “life birds” for him and one “life bird” for me, an Orange-crowned Warbler.

The Birders at Circle B Bar Reserve

The Birders at Circle B Bar Reserve

After we left there, we went to Lake Morton. I wanted two things to happen, but it didn’t. Was hoping to let them feed the Wood Stork over there and see a Wood Duck. Not to be. We saw one Wood Stork, but he must have already been fed. We did get to feed some of our other friends there. All total, we saw at least 19 species there. Also, the Lord prepared a great day for us. (Rained good part of Sunday, but Saturday was beautiful.)

Feeding White Ibises at Lake Morton

Dr Jim Feeding White Ibises at Lake Morton

While describing our trip later, I misused the word “boring” which got mistaken. What I meant was that compared other visits to those two places, the number of species were less than normal. Birdwatching adventures are never “boring.” How can they when you are out enjoying the Lord’s great creation? Amazing! Fabulous! Superb! Those are better words.

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; (Job 12:7 NKJV)

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:11 NKJV)

As Dr. James told us in his presentations, the Lord uses so much variety, provision, and design in each of His created beings, humans included. If we just slow down, God’s hand can clearly be seen. (my paraphrase) Just with the birds, the wing structure, specialized beaks, programmed travels, interconnection between bird and plant, and on and on. Oh, Praise the Lord!

Anhinga Lake Morton by Dan

Anhinga Lake Morton by Dan

 

I am including the list of birds seen at both places. Also, a short video of a Snowy Egret using his foot to stir up something to eat. Wonder how that habit came about? Could it be that the Lord programmed that in it because of promising to provide for them?

“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? (Luke 12:24 NKJV)

Also, Dr. Johnson’s talks showed slides with examples of these points. (From an excerpt)

Witnesses for God’s Truth – “This presentation reviews 5 different kinds of witnesses for God’s truth, each of which takes away excuses from anyone who pretends to have no witness of God and His glory:  (1) the physical creation, including our own physical bodies; (2) the uniqueness of humanity; (3) Scripture; (4) Christ’s incarnation; and (5) one more witness that we all are accountable for, and this one is quite scary!”

Lessons from the Zoo –  “Did you know that the animal kingdom, in all of its diversity, reveals God’s creative genius and glory in uncountable ways?  Why does God like and create variety in creation? How do the various animals living today, as well as other animals (like dinosaurs) which lived in earlier times, confirm the Bible’s account of creation – and refute Darwin’s evolutionary “natural selection” idea? This presentation provides a series of examples of big and little animals that display God’s handiwork in amazing ways. Mammals, reptiles, insects, spiders, fish, shellfish, jellyfish, and more!

Tricolored-Snowy-Great Egret-White Ibis at Circle B

Tricolored-Snowy-Great Egret-White Ibis at Circle B

Circle B Bar Reserve, Polk, US-FL
Nov 8, 2014 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Us, Dr J and Baron – 31 species

Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Anhinga
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill  6
Black Vulture  50
Turkey Vulture  50
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Red-shouldered Hawk
Purple Gallinule
Common Gallinule
Stilt Sandpiper
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Gray Catbird
Orange-crowned Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Boat-tailed Grackle

Lake Morton, Polk, US-FL
Nov 8, 2014 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM
Us, Dr J. and Baron – 18 species (+1 other taxa)

Mute Swan
Black Swan
Black-necked Swan
Muscovy Duck (Established Feral)
Mallard (Domestic type)
Blue-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Anhinga
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
White Ibis
Common Gallinule
American Coot
Laughing Gull
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
Blue Jay
Palm Warbler
Boat-tailed Grackle

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Baby Golden Eagle Survives the Utah Wildfire

Here is an amazing video from YouTube about a Baby Golden Eagle that survived the Utah Wildfire this year.

As the fire burns the woods, And as the flame sets the mountains on fire, (Psalms 83:14 NKJV)

From YouTube

Published on Jul 8, 2012 by OptimizeSite

BigNewsStory.com – Baby Golden Eagle Survives Utah Wildfire

A baby golden eagle is recovering at a wildlife rehabilitation facility after officials say it miraculously survived a Utah wildfire last month.

Kent Keller told The Salt Lake Tribune (http://bit.ly/NKy8WO ) he feared the worst when he returned to the nest site west of Utah Lake to retrieve a leg band he had attached to the male eaglet June 1.

But the veteran Utah Division of Wildlife Resources volunteer found the burned bird alive on June 28 behind a charred tree, about 25 feet below the nest that was burned to a crisp in the 5,500-acre Dump Fire near Saratoga Springs.

“I thought there was no chance he would be alive. I was stunned when I saw him standing there,” Keller said. “I thought maybe I could rebuild the nest a little bit, but I took a good look at him and realized that was not going to happen.”

The 70-day-old eaglet had suffered burns on his talons, beak, head and wings. His flight feathers were melted down to within an inch or two of his wing and tail. He’s very underweight at just over five pounds.

Keller realized the eagle would not fly for at least a year and that the parents eventually would stop providing food. Not a stick from the nest was left after the fire sparked by target shooters swept through

“I’ve seen nests burn before, but this is the first year I have seen one burn with young in it,” he told the Tribune. “They are usually long gone and flying when fire season starts.”

After permission was secured from state and federal wildlife agencies, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah in Ogden assumed care of the eaglet this week.

“I wasn’t sure he was going to make it,” said DaLyn Erickson, executive director of the center. “He kind of had that look like he may have given up.”

But the eagle named Phoenix has since taken to eating beef heart and venison. He’s treated several times a day for his burns and seems to be gaining strength.

“He looks good now,” said Amber Hansen, a member of the center’s board of directors. “But we think if he had been there (at the nest site) another day, he probably would not have survived.”

What seems to have saved his life during the fire was the insulation offered by his down feathers and once-thick body, according to the wildlife rehabilitation center.

Officials hope the bird can be released back into the wild next year, but say it’s too early to tell about its future. Volunteers will work to keep him as wild as possible.

“It depends on how much follicle damage there is to his wings,” Hansen said. “If they are not too burned, he should be able to molt into new feathers next year and hopefully be able to fly.”

-usnews.com