Sunday Inspiration – Cardinalidae Family of Cardinals Plus

Northern Cardinal M-F ©BackyardBirdLover

Northern Cardinal M-F ©BackyardBirdLover

Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? (Isaiah 63:2 KJV)

Today, you are being introduced to the Cardinalidae Family, which is the last family, in taxonomy order, of the Passeriformes Order. Since February 1, 2016, we began the journey with the first four families in More Amazing Birds. Now we have arrived at the last of the 131 families of this order. I trust you have enjoyed the journey through these many Sundays. Hopefully you have been blessed by the great variety of Avian Wonders from our Lord, their Creator. The Passeriformes Order contains well over half of all the birds in the world; around 6,000 plus of the 10,659 species on the latest update. (6.3)

The Cardinalidae – Cardinals, Grosbeaks and allies has 69 species in the family. Because of that number, this family will be presented in two segments. Growing up in Indiana, the Northern Cardinal was a favorite of most of us. It is the “State Bird” of Indiana along with six other states. [Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia] The family members are found in North and South America. The South America Cardinals of the genus Paroaria are placed in another family, the Thraupidae (previously placed in Emberizidae). Even though the family name is Cardinalidae, there are only two “cardinals” among the members.

Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena) ©WikiC

Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena) ©WikiC

Also known as cardinal-grosbeaks and cardinal-buntings, this family’s members “are robust, seed-eating birds with strong bills. The family ranges in size from the 12-cm (4.7-in), 11.5-g (0.40-oz) and up orange-breasted bunting to the 25-cm (9.8-in), 85-g (2.99-oz) black-headed saltator. They are typically associated with open woodland. The sexes usually have distinctive appearances. The northern cardinal type species was named by colonists for the male’s red crest, reminiscent of a Catholic cardinal’s biretta.

The ‘North American buntings’ are known as such to distinguish them from buntings. The name ‘cardinal-grosbeak’ can also apply to this family as a whole.”(Wikipedia)

Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea) by Kent Nickell

Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea) by Kent Nickell

The family starts off with 11 Tanagers in the Piranga genus, which used to be in with the tanagers, but were relocated here recently. “They are essentially red, orange or yellow all over, except the tail and wings and in some species also the back. Such extensive lipochrome coloration (except on the belly) is very rare in true tanagers, but is widespread among the Cardinalidae in the Piranga genus.

These songbirds are found high in tree canopies, and are not very gregarious in their breeding areas. Piranga species pick insects from leaves, or sometimes in flight. They will also take some fruit. Several species are migratory, breeding in North America and wintering in the tropics.”

Red-throated Ant Tanager (Habia fuscicauda) by Michael Woodruff

Red-throated Ant Tanager (Habia fuscicauda) by Michael Woodruff

Next are the Ant Tanagers in the Habia genus. “These are long-tailed and strong billed birds. The males have a red crest and plumage containing red, brown or sooty hues. Females may resemble the males or be largely yellowish or brown in colour.” Following these are four more tanagers in the Chlorothraupis genus. These are the last of the tanagers that were moved to this family.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Rob Fry

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Rob Fry

The next genus, Pheucitcus has six Grosbeaks.  Typical of the genus, they lay two to five pale bluish to greenish eggs with heavy brown and gray speckling. The cup nest is built at medium height in a bush or small tree.” (Wikipedia)

Red-breasted Chat (Granatellus venustus) ©WikiC

There are three Chats in the Granatellus genus; Red-breasted Chat, Grey-throated Chat, and the Rose-breasted Chat. They range from North America through Central America into northern South America. Their natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry forests.

Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus) ©Flickr Don Faulkner

Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus) ©Flickr Don Faulkner

We will finish this first half of the family with three of my favorites, the Cardinalis genus. Our Northern and Vermilion Cardinals and the Pyrrholixia (which I saw for the first time last year) are hard to miss with their bright set of feathers the Lord provided for them. These range across North America and into northern South America.

“He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.” (Matthew 16:2 KJV)

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“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)

“Written in Red” – Faith Baptist Choir and Orchestra

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (John 3:16-19 KJV)

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More Sunday Inspirations

Sunday Inspiration – More Amazing Birds

PASSERIFORMES – Passerines

Cardinalidae – Cardinals, Grosbeaks and allies

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Vol 2 #2 – The Evening Grosbeak

The Evening Grosbeak by Birds Illustrated by Bird Photography, 1897

The Evening Grosbeak by Birds Illustrated by Bird Photography, 1897

THE EVENING GROSBEAK.

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ANDSOMER birds there may be, but in the opinion of many this visitant to various portions of western North America is in shape, color, and markings one of the most exquisite of the feather-wearers. It has for its habitation the region extending from the plains to the Pacific ocean and from Mexico into British America. Toward the North it ranges further to the east; so that, while it appears to be not uncommon about Lake Superior, it has been reported as occuring in Ohio, New York, and Canada. In Illinois it was observed at Freeport during the winter of 1870 and 1871, and at Waukegan during January, 1873. It is a common resident of the forests of the State of Washington, and also of Oregon. In the latter region Dr. Merrill observed the birds carrying building material to a huge fir tree, but was unable to locate the nest, and the tree was practically inaccessable. Mr. Walter E. Bryant was the first to record an authentic nest and eggs of the Evening Grosbeak. In a paper read before the California Academy of Sciences he describes a nest of this species containing four eggs, found in Yolo county, California. The nest was built in a small live oak, at a height of ten feet, and was composed of small twigs supporting a thin layer of fibrous bark and a lining of horse hair. The eggs are of a clear greenish-ground color, blotched with pale brown. According to Mr. Davie, one of the leading authorities on North American birds, little if any more information has been obtained regarding the nests and eggs of the Evening Grosbeak.

As to its habits, Mr. O. P. Day says, that about the year 1872, while hunting during fine autumn weather in the woods about Eureka, Illinois, he fell in with a number of these Grosbeaks. They were feeding in the tree tops on the seeds of the sugar maple, just then ripening, and were excessively fat. They were very unsuspicious, and for a long time suffered him to observe them. They also ate the buds of the cottonwood tree in company with the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak.

The song of the Grosbeak is singularly like that of the Robin, and to one not thoroughly familiar with the notes of the latter a difference would not at first be detected. There is a very decided difference, however, and by repeatedly listening to both species in full voice it will be discovered more and more clearly. The sweet and gentle strains of music harmonize delightfully, and the concert they make is well worth the careful attention of the discriminating student. The value of such study will be admitted by all who know how little is known of the songsters. A gentleman recently said to us that one day in November the greater part of the football field at the south end of Lincoln Park was covered with Snow Birds. There were also on the field more than one hundred grammar and high school boys waiting the arrival of the football team. There was only one person present who paid any attention to the birds which were picking up the food, twittering, hopping, and flying about, and occasionally indulging in fights, and all utterly oblivious of the fact that there were scores of shouting school boys around and about them. The gentleman called the attention of one after another of ten of the high school boys to the snow birds and asked what they were. They one and all declared they were English Sparrows, and seemed astounded that any one could be so ignorant as not to know what an English Sparrow was. So much for the city-bred boy’s observation of birds.


Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) male by Raymond Barlow

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) male by Raymond Barlow

THE EVENING GROSBEAK.

In the far Northwest we find this beautiful bird the year around. During the winter he often comes farther south in company with his cousin, the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak.

What a beautiful sight it must be to see a flock of these birds—Evening Grosbeaks and Rose-Breasted in their pretty plumage.

Grosbeaks belong to a family called Finches. The Sparrows, Buntings, and Crossbills belong to the same family. It is the largest family among birds.

You will notice that they all have stout bills. Their food is mostly grains and their bills are well formed to crush the seeds.

Look at your back numbers of “Birds” and notice the pictures of the other Finches I have named. Don’t you think Dame Nature is very generous with her colors sometimes?

Only a few days ago while strolling through the woods with my field glass, I saw a pretty sight. On one tree I saw a Redheaded Woodpecker, a Flicker, an Indigo Bunting, and a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. I thought then, if we could only have the Evening Grosbeak our group of colors would be complete.

Have you ever wondered at some birds being so prettily dressed while others have such dull colors?

Some people say that the birds who do not sing must have bright feathers to make them attractive. We cannot believe this. Some of our bright colored birds are sweet singers, and surely many of our dull colored birds cannot sing very well.

Next month you will see the pictures of several home birds. See if dull colors have anything to do with sweet song.


Lee’s Addition:

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) female by Raymond Barlow

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) female by Raymond Barlow

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas; the one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with might; who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples, so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy. (Psalms 65:5-8 ESV)

What a beautiful bird the Lord created in the Evening Grosbeak. The Grosbeaks are in the Cardinalidae – Grosbeaks, Saltators & Allies Family. There are 17 Grosbeaks in the family and are found in 9 genera. The Evening Grosbeak is in the

The Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus) is a large finch. In the past, it was treated in a genus of its own as Hesperiphona vespertina, but is now usually placed in the same genus as the Hawfinch of Eurasia.

The breeding habitat is coniferous and mixed forest across Canada and the western mountainous areas of the United States and Mexico. It is an extremely rare vagrant to the British Isles, with just two records so far. The nest is built on a horizontal branch or in a fork of a tree.

The migration of this bird is variable; in some winters, it may wander as far south as the southern U.S.

The Evening Grosbeak is similar in appearance to the Eurasian Hawfinch, both being bulky, heavily built finches with large bills and short tails. The Evening Grosbeak ranges in length from 6.3 to 8.7 in (16 to 22 cm) in length and spans 12 to 14 in (30 to 36 cm) across the wings. In a large sampling of grosbeaks in Pennsylvania during winter, males weighed from 1.37 to 3.04 oz (38.7 to 86.1 g), with an average of 2.1 oz (60 g), while females weighed from 1.52 to 2.59 oz (43.2 to 73.5 g), with an average of 2.07 oz (58.7 g). The adult has a short black tail, black wings and a large pale bill. The adult male has a bright yellow forehead and body; its head is brown and there is a large white patch in the wing. The adult female is mainly olive-brown, greyer on the underparts and with white patches in the wings.

These birds forage in trees and bushes, sometimes on the ground. They mainly eat seeds, berries and insects. Outside of the nesting season they often feed in flocks. Sometimes, they will swallow fine gravel.

The range of this bird has expanded far to the east in historical times, possibly due to plantings of Manitoba maples and other maples and shrubs around farms and the availability of bird feeders in winter.

“Calls from a large flock visiting a feeder” – from xeno-canto

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited – Introduction

The above article is the first article in the monthly serial that was started in January 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Turkey Vulture

The Previous Article – Wilson’s Phalarope

Wordless Birds

Links:

Cardinalidae – Grosbeaks, Saltators & Allies Family

Evening Grosbeak Wikipedia

Evening Grosbeak All About Birds

Evening Grosbeak Sounds – xeno-canto

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Birds Vol 1 #4 – The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak for Birds Illustrated

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. April, 1897 No. 4

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THE ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK.

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HIS is an American bird, and has been described under various names by various authors. It is found in the lower parts of Pennsylvania, in the state of New York, and in New England, particularly in autumn, when the berries of the sour gum are ripe, on the kernels of which it eagerly feeds. As a singer it has few superiors. It frequently sings at night, and even all night, the notes being extremely clear and mellow. It does not acquire its full colors until at least the second spring or summer. It is found as far east as Nova Scotia, as far west as Nebraska, and winters in great numbers in Guatemala. This Grosbeak is common in southern Indiana, northern Illinois, and western Iowa. It is usually seen in open woods, on the borders of streams, but frequently sings in the deep recesses of forests. In Mr. Nuttall’s opinion this species has no superior in song, except the Mocking Bird.

The Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks arrive in May and nest early in June. They build in low trees on the edges of woods, frequently in small groves on the banks of streams. The nest is coarsely built of waste stubble, fragments of leaves, and stems of plants, intermingled with and strengthened by twigs and coarser stems. It is eight inches wide, and three and a half high, with a cavity three inches in diameter and one in depth, being quite shallow for so large a nest.

Dr. Hoy, of Racine, states that on the 15th of June, within six miles of that city, he found seven nests, all within a space of not over five acres, and he was assured that each year they resort to the same locality and nest in this social manner. Six of these nests were in thorn-trees, all were within six to ten feet of the ground, near the center of the top. Three of the four parent birds sitting on the nests were males. When a nest was disturbed, all the neighboring Grosbeaks gathered and appeared equally interested.

It is frequently observed early in the month of March, making its way eastward. At this period it passes at a considerable height in the air. On the banks of the Schuylkill, early in May, it has been seen feeding on the tender buds of trees. It eats various kinds of food, such as hemp-seed, insects, grasshoppers, and crickets with peculiar relish. It eats flies and wasps, and great numbers of these pests are destroyed by its strong bill. During bright moonshiny nights the Grosbeak sings sweetly, but not loudly. In the daytime, when singing, it has the habit of vibrating its wings, in the manner of the Mocking-bird.

The male takes turns with his mate in sitting on the eggs. He is so happy when on the nest that he sings loud and long. His music is sometimes the cause of great mourning in the lovely family because it tells the egg hunter where to find the precious nest.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Quy Tran

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Quy Tran


Lee’s Addition:

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV)

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Pheucticus ludovicianus, is a large seed-eating songbird in the cardinal family. It breeds in cool-temperate North America, migrating to tropical America in winter. They belong to the Cardinalidae – Grosbeaks, Saltators & Allies Family.

Adult birds are 7.1–7.5 in (18–19 cm)  long and weigh 1.6–1.7 oz (45–47 g) on average. At all ages and in both sexes, the beak is dusky horn-colored, and the feet and eyes are dark.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Raymond Barlow

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Raymond Barlow

The adult male in breeding plumage has a black head, wings, back and tail, and a bright rose-red patch on its breast; the wings have two white patches and rose-red linings. Its underside and rump are white. Males in nonbreeding plumage have largely white underparts, supercilium and cheeks. The upperside feathers have brown fringes, most wing feathers white ones, giving a scaly appearance. The bases of the primary remiges are also white. The adult female has dark grey-brown upperparts – darker on wings and tail –, a white supercilium, a buff stripe along the top of the head, and black-streaked white underparts, which except in the center of the belly have a buff tinge. The wing linings are yellowish, and on the upperwing there are two white patches like in the summer male. Immatures are similar, but with pink wing-linings and less prominent streaks and usually a pinkish-buff hue on the throat and breast. At one year of age—in their first breeding season—males are scaly above like fully adult males in winter plumage, and still retail the immature’s browner wings.

The song is a subdued mellow warbling, resembling a more refined version of the American Robin’s (Turdus migratorius). Males start singing early, occasionally even when still in winter quarters. The call is a sharp pink or pick.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak from xeno-canto by Chris Parrish

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak’s breeding habitat is open deciduous woods across most of Canada and the northeastern USA. In particular the northern birds migrate south through the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, to winter from central-southern Mexico through Central America and the Caribbean to Peru and Venezuela. The southern limit of its wintering range is not well known; it was for example only recorded in the Serranía de las Quinchas (Colombia) in the 1990s. In winter, they prefer more open woodland, or similar habitat with a loose growth of trees, such as forest edges, parks, gardens and plantations, ranging from sea level into the hills, e.g. up to 5,000 ft (1,500 m) ASL in Costa Rica.

The first birds leave the breeding grounds as early as August, while the last ones do not return until mid-late May. In general, however, they migrate south in late September or in October, and return in late April or early May. It appears as if they remain on their breeding grounds longer today than they did in the early 20th century, when migrants were more commonly seen in May and August than in April or September. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak occurs as a very rare vagrant in western Europe.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) at nest ©USFWS

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) at nest ©USFWS

It builds a twig nest in a tree or large shrub. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak forages in shrubs or trees for insects, seeds and berries, also catching insects in flight and occasionally eating nectar. It usually keeps to the treetops, and only rarely can be seen on the ground. During breeding it is fairly territorial; in winter, it roams the lands in groups of about a handful of birds, and sometimes in larger flocks of a dozen or more. In the winter quarters, they can be attracted into parks, gardens, and possibly even to bird feeders by fruit like Trophis racemosa. Other notable winter food includes Jacaranda seeds and the fruits of the introduced Busy Lizzy (Impatiens walleriana).

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 April 1897 No 4 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited – Introduction

The above article is the first article in the monthly serial for February 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Canada Jay

Previous Article – The Long-Eared Owl (Great Horned)

Wordless Birds

Links:

Rose-breasted Grosbeak – Wikipedia

Cardinals or Cardinalidae – Wikipedia

Grosbeak – Wikipedia

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The Inspired and the Inspiring Rose-breasted Grosbeak

The Inspired and the Inspiring Rose-breasted Grosbeak – by a j mithra

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Rob Fry

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Rob Fry

The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak lives and breeds in North America, but then migrates to Mexico and Central America. East of the Great Plains, the deciduous woodlands belong to the rose-breasted grosbeak with its colossal white bill, an appendage that is often stained with wild berry juice.

This bird is considered as the most stunningly dressed of all our Neotropical migrants.Yet the “rosebird” of olden days is heard more often than seen as it flies through the forest penthouse, whistling and if inspired, it may sing all night. Who is our inspiration?

When JESUS becomes our inspiration, we cannot but sing 24×7….
Why is it hard for us to praise HIM at all times? Is it because we don’t love HIM the way HE does?
Why is it not possible for us to say like David?
Just think!

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. (Psalm 34:1)

Rose-breasted grosbeak nests are so loosely built that it is sometimes possible to count the eggs from below. The parent birds share incubation duties and the male Rose-breasted Grosbeak participates in incubation of the eggs, accounting for about 1/3 of the time during the day, the female incubates over night….

The female bird incubates overnight?
Do we understand what the bird seems to teach us about its overnight incubation?
We feel so nice to call ourselves as the bride.. Isn’t it?
But, the question is, does the church – the so called bride, watch and pray for the lost?

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (1Thessalonians 5:5,6)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Quy Tran

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Quy Tran

The male will care for the fledglings while the female starts a second nest. She becomes so possessive of a good mate that other females vying for his attention will be driven away. Both sexes sing quietly to each other when they exchange places. The male will sing his normal song while near or actually on the nest. The female song is generally a simplified version of the male song. Occasionally, the female sings full “male” song, apparently to deceive its mate about the presence of intruders and force him to spend more time at the nest..

Our worship has the power to force JESUS to spend more time with us…
It is easy to praise God when we are in the comfort zone, but singing in times of trouble, not only brings HIS presence, but also deliverance…
After all, our LORD dwells among the praises of the angels in heaven…
Remember, HIS presence is the essence of life…

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. (Psalm 22:3)
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 150:6)

Have a blessed day!

Your’s in YESHUA,
a j mithra

Please visit us at: Crosstree


Lee’s Addition:

The Grosbeaks are in the Cardinalidae Family of the Passeriformes Order. In fact, the Family is the last one in the Passeriformes order. The 45 members of the family include not only the Grosbeaks (17), but the Dickcissel (1), Chats (3), Cardinals (2), Pyrrhuloxia (1), Saltators (14), Buntings (7).

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