Liarbird or Lyrebird – AussieBirder’s Neat Blog

My friend from Australia, whom I’ve met through blogging, has a really interesting post. It is about the Lyrebird which we have written about before. He has a segment about a young lyrebird practicing his mating dance. I love it. There are other birds mentioned also. Aussiebirder always has neat articles. Enjoy!

Lyrebird or Liarbird – A Rainforest Treasure

IMG_4552

As we leave an unusually wet winter and enter the beautiful early spring, with wildflowers blooming, I took off early one morning into the Southern Highlands to Barren Grounds National Park for another attempt at finding the elusive and endangered Eastern Ground Parrot.

IMG_4488

Above photo is taken from the sign in the park of the two endangered species of birds in Australia which live in the scrubby heathlands of the highlands. One reason why these birds have become endangered is that both these birds are predominately ground dwellers, and seldom fly.  This makes them very vulnerable to predators, especially humans, ferule cats and foxes.

………….To read the rest of the article and see his video and recordings  CLICK HERE:

Thanks, AussieBirder, for such an interesting article.

See Also:

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Displaying Superb Lyrebird

https://leesbird.com/2010/01/24/birds-displaying/

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The Bird

Snowy Window ©Pixabay

Snowy Window ©Pixabay

The Bird

The bird flew to my window sill

in the blinding swirling snow,

I think the poor defenseless bird

had no place to go.

House Finch in Snow ©WikiC

House Finch in Snow ©WikiC

I wished that I could become a

bird to guide it safely home,

like Jesus Christ came down to

earth so we wouldn’t be alone.

Bird in the Snow ©Pixabay

Bird in the Snow ©Pixabay

Like birds when people loose their

way, they need to stop and

pray, ask the Lord for guidance

He will help them on their way.

~ Jeanie Boyette 12/3/15

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If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5 NKJV)

Jeanie has written another poem for us, this time about a bird in the snow. Thankfully, she gave me a whole parcel of new poems the other night and wished me a Merry Christmas. Will try to put them up soon. Thanks, Jeanie. Merry Christmas to you, also.

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Hummingbird by Jeanie

Birds of the Bible – Worry and Sparrows II

House Sparrow by Ray

House Sparrow by Ray

While listening to Wisdom For The Heart on BBN (Bible Broadcasting Network), I heard this message by Pastor Stephen Davey and wanted to share it. His message was “Better than the Birds” and of course it caught my attention. There are four parts, see the introduction and part 1 and now part two here.

Better than the Birds

Luke 12:6-31

2. Secondly, worry depreciates the higher value of mankind

He’s not finished with the birds yet – notice verse 7 again – the last part – Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Matthews account says, “Are you not worth much more than they?

In case we didn’t pick up on the lesson – in case we’re a little slow – God’s care of the lesser creation ensures His care of His highest creation.

Evidently Jesus thinks we just might be a little slow on the uptake here – or maybe find it hard to believe – so He circles back around to this subject again and adds another pearl to the string – look over at verse 24. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, they have no store room nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!

Maybe Jesus repeated this lesson simply because He knew that billions of people one day would struggle with believing they were less valuable than animals.
Was God peering into the 21st century or what?

You sit through the average Animal Planet program or read the latest evolutionary textbook taught to middle schoolers and you’ll get the message loud and clear that human beings have messed up the circle of life; humans have interrupted the food chain; humans are in the way and if we’d only get out-of-the-way, the animals who evidently have the right to be on the planet – because they evolved first – would get what they deserve; if we’d just go back to living in caves, the animals would be able to enjoy their lives so much better.

That message is coming across loud and clear!

Whenever you remove the glory of God’s created order, Genesis 1 and 2, where mankind was made in the image of God and given the right to rule earth – to train and subjugate and benefit from the animal kingdom – you end up with a culture where animals ultimately matter more.

You now exist to serve them; you now live to make their lives more comfortable.

Now I’m not defending animal abuse, by the way. We’re to be good stewards of earth and the animal kingdom.

But go visit India today, and watch, as I did, sacred cows which have been given superior rights within their culture – watch them meander across busy roadways and down streets cluttered with starving children – and begging mothers with babies on their hips; where a child starving to death is less important than a cow having something to eat.

How do we know that human beings are more valuable than animals? How do we know that?

Apart from God, we don’t.

Apart from the words of Jesus Christ, the creator of all things (Colossians 1), we might be confused – look again at verse 24 – you are more valuable than the birds.

Is that radical news or what?

Thick-billed Raven (Corvus crassirostris) ©WikiC

Thick-billed Raven (Corvus crassirostris) ©WikiC

And this really got the attention of Jesus’ Jewish audience, by the way, because Jesus used ravens as an example here – ravens were considered unclean according to Mosaic Law (Leviticus 11:13-15).vii
The ravens were unclean birds.

I’m sorry for how that makes you Baltimore Ravens fans feel – I’m sorry you had to find that out – you’ve been cheering all along for unclean animals . . . you already knew that.

Here’s why this was so stunning an analogy for Christ to make: It’s one thing to be insignificant like a sparrow and be cared for by God – it’s another thing to be unclean and despised and be cared for by God.
And you know why I’m so glad Jesus added this illustration?

Because the enemy of our heart and spirit and joy will more than likely come and whisper in our ear – sparrows might be cheap, but at least they’re clean animals – no wonder God cares about them; but you’re more like an unclean bird . . . despised and unclean according to God’s holy law . . . you don’t deserve God’s attention.

You have very reason to worry about your life.

But notice – verse 24. God has managed to care for them too – He effectively feeds them too – and get this – “How much more valuable you are than the animal kingdom!”

Worry denies the gracious care of God

Worry depreciates the higher value of mankind.

(Copied with permission from Wisdom for the Heart and Pastor Stephen Davey.)

i John MacArthur, Matthew 1-7 (Moody Publishers, 1985), p. 419
ii Ibid
iii William Barclay, The Gospel of Luke (Westminster, 1975), p. p. 160
iv Bruce B. Barton, Life Application Bible: Luke (Tyndale, 1997), p. 314
v Barclay, p. 161
vi MacArthur, p. 119


Lee’s Addition:

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)

What a great encouragement not to worry. Thanks, Pastor Davey for part 2 of your great message.

See:

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Great Blue Heron: Patient, Prompt, and (Rarely) Pugnacious

Great Blue Heron by Dan

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron: Patient, Prompt, and (Rarely) Pugnacious

by Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Luzon Bleeding-heart by Dan

Orni-Theology

The heron family (family Ardeidae, which also includes bitterns and some egrets) and their cousins include some of my favorite long-legged wading birds:  great blue herons, green herons, grey herons, tri-colored herons, night herons, great white egrets, and cattle egrets.

 

Reddish-Snowys-Greats Egrets -Great Blue Heron all MacDill by Lee

Reddish-Snowys-Greats Egrets -Great Blue Heron by Lee

Their often smaller cousins (of the family Egretta) include the reddish egret, little blue heron, and the snowy egret.  Of these many regard the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) as a favorite:

“For most of us, sightings of great blue herons are confined to a glimpse of the bird as it flies slowly and steadily overhead, wings arching gracefully down with each beat, neck bent back, and feet trailing behind.  At other times we see it on its feeding grounds, standing motionless and staring intently into shallow water, or wading with measured steps as it searches for prey.” [Quoting from “Great Blue Heron”, by Donald & Lillian Stokes, in Bird Behavior, Volume III (Little, Brown & Co., 1989), page 25.]

Great Blue Heron by Dave's Pix

Great Blue Heron by Dave’s Pix

The Holy Bible mentions “herons” twice, in Leviticus 11:19 and in Deuteronomy 14:18 (both times translating the Hebrew noun ’anaphah), in Mosaic lists of ritually “unclean” birds.   The bird’s Hebrew name is based on a verb (’anaph) meaning “to snort” or “to be angry”.  Herons can be aggressive, and their almost-violent habit of “zapping” their prey could appear to resemble an aggressor angrily striking at unsuspecting victim. The more likely behavior that matches the Hebrew name, however, is the aggressive defense of a heron’s feeding grounds:

“Defense of feeding territories is commonly seen and involves aerial chases, Frahnk-calls, and aggressive [body language] displays, such as Upright, Bill-down-upright, Bent-neck.  Fighting rarely occurs, but when it does it can be violent, with one bird landing on the back of the other and either bird stabbing the other with its bill.” [Quoting from “Great Blue Heron”, by Donald & Lillian Stokes, above, page 30.]

Yet do not imagine that the great blue heron is an erratic hothead that has no self-control, because its self-restraint, when seeking a meal at the shoreline of a pond, is so self-contained that the heron resembles a statue, for many minutes if necessary. Then, zap!  The statue suddenly fast-forwards his sharp beak toward a hapless fish or frog,   —  and instantly the heron is gulping down his dinner!

Great Blue Heron with fish ©© winnu on Flickr

This ability to strike like lightning, yet the choice to withhold doing so (unless the time for doing so is obvious), reminds us of the New Testament directive:  “be ye angry, and sin not” (Ephesians 4:26).

Also, in spiritual matters (Ephesians 6:12), we are exhorted to “contend earnestly” for the Biblical faith (Jude 1:3), in ways that do not involve flesh-and-blood fighting.  Such spiritual conflicts require both the patience and promptness of a sniper (or an opportunistic great blue heron)!   Yes, there may even come a time for the use of physical force, when the stakes are high enough –  remember how the Lord Jesus cleansed the Temple with a whip!  —  but most of the time our anger should be suppressed, with heron-like patience, in order to achieve the most worthy goals in life.

><> JJSJ

See:

Orni-Theology
Ardeidae- Herons, Bitterns
Birds of the Bible –  Herons
Dr. James J. S. Johnson – Guest Writer

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Picnic In February

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  by Dan

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by Dan

Picnic In February ~ by Dorothy Malcolm

It’s open to all who wish to come. So some find it so and make it a habit to always be around every day–the Blue Jays, a pain of Cardinals, Red-winged Blackbirds, Doves and squirrels. In the winter months, Titmouse, Pine Warblers and occasionally Blackbirds add to the mix.

Today started out rather ordinary with Bible reading, breakfast, a few pills, letting Ruby my dog in and out of the house several times and talking myself into going to the bank and grocery.

After lunch Ruby and I went out for her afternoon walk. After this I started pricing things for a garage sale that will be sometime this spring. I just happen ed to look out the patio door and saw a most glorious sight – ROBINS!

Time just stopped for me. I was totally taken in by the sight of them. Where they came from it is obvious they had a great time because they looked really good and healthy. Their feathers looked as smooth and soft as velvet. Hopping, stopping, looking, flicking leaves, talking – oh, what a great time they and I were having – by now I’m just quietly looking out a small back bathroom window where I could get a better view.

What then! It is my daughter asking on behalf of her daughter how Ruby is doing. So I gave a quick report and then excitedly told her about the Robins. Soon as I could I hung up and got back to the little window only to hear two gunshots in the neighborhood.

But why now! I’ve heard this a few days in the past week, but am real unhappy about it now!

Of course the Robins flew off. Well they and I had great joy for a short time until someone spoiled the picnic!

Is this not the way some things are in our lives? But what joy there will be in the future when we will have a forever picnic in the presence of the Lord. There will be a new heaven and new earth that will not be spoiled by anyone or anything. It will be awesome and I suspect it will include birds along with many awesome creatures and all of God’s redeemed!

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (Revelation 21:5 KJV)

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (2 Peter 3:11-13 KJV)

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American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by Dan at Bok Sanctuary

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by Dan at Bok Sanctuary

See Dorothy Malcolm’s Other articles:

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(P.S. This was written in February, but I just now worked it up. Sorry, Dottie)

Peter’s Female Blackbird

Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) by Ian

Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) by Ian

I don’t suppose that, what happened some years ago, will ever happen again.

My Dutch wife and I were living in a little town called March and we made sure that various birds were fed every day from a large feeding tray in our garden. Winter was upon us, but very sadly, my wife had an accident and died about a week later in hospital.

There was a particular female blackbird who came for food, every morning, and allowed me to speak to her while only a couple of feet away. Coinciding with losing my wife, this same bird lost her mate and by the state of
his body I think a sparrow hawk got him. Unfortunately, my female blackbird refused to go to a special piece of ground which I had dug and loaded it with worms, purchased from the local fishing tackle shop. Even after I removed the dead mutilated blackbird, his female mate would go nowhere near that little plot of dug soil because her mate had sadly met his end quite nearby. I believe this precious bird knew that my wife was missing also and she seemed to stay longer, and be near me every morning.

To my great joy, one morning, this loving bird hopped behind me as I walked toward the back entrance of my bungalow. I entered my kitchen and she waited outside. Would she come in I wondered ? She knew my voice and hopped into my kitchen and waited patiently. ( I have a photo of her waiting in front of my ‘fridge.) Then I opened the ‘fridge door and gave her a few pieces of seed cake.

Every morning thereafter my bird came to my back door and came into my kitchen at my invitation. To me, it was a wonder to see a “wild” blackbird patiently waiting in front of my ‘fridge knowing about the seed cake behind that big white door, just for her.

Jesus said that ‘ unless we become like children we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven ‘ That bird sure did have a childlike faith. It taught me that once we begin to put food out for wild birds in the winter we must continue daily. Thinking of the various types of birds which visited my garden in the winter, I surmised that some had come many miles. How very sad if, some wintry day, they came only to find the table was bare ?

I moved home, some months later, and still wonder what happened to this blackbird who, I’m sure, shared the sorrow of her loss with this poor guy.

By Peter England, UK

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Peter’s Crow From The Sky

Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) Southend-on-Sea England ©WikiC

Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) Southend-on-Sea England ©WikiC

Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat. (Job 38:41 KJV)

Here’s a true account of a bird that seemingly ‘dropped ‘ out of the sky and landed near to my feet.

How can I forget when one sunny spring morning a young crow landed exhausted at my feet whilst I was gardening. I picked him up and placed him on a ledge protruding from a large bird house. ” Wait there !! ” I told him, which seemed a bit silly because that bird was in no physical condition to go anywhere for a few days. Neither did he speak English ?

I kept feeding him and spending time talking to him until about 3 days later he hopped on to my head and allowed me to carry on doing some gardening.

Just for fun I knocked at my back door and enquired of my wife if she had seen my bird that day. It was now “my bird ” and it fluttered on to her head ( I still have the photograph ) Might I say it is a rare photo because I am told that not many Dutch women have been seen walking around with a live crow on their heads.

Having established a ” motherly ” relationship with a beautiful shiny black crow I was not really surprised when he used to fly from window to window to check if I was at home. I warned visitors who used my upstairs bathroom that my crow might try to peep in the window whilst looking for me.

It only seemed like a few weeks and my crow seemed to enjoy himself and the regular food I gave him. He must have stayed in my large bird house at night and seemed so pleased to see me every day.

One day whilst out in the garden with my new-found friend, on his feeding perch, there came the sound from above of some crows circling and making crow noises. They seemed to fly away but flew even lower as they spotted “my bird ”

I would like to put a Christian analogy to this story and say that “he heard the call from on high ” then spread his now strong wings and flew heavenward to join his family.

Sometimes I wonder why God speaks to us through His creation but I know that my Heavenly Father sees even the sparrow fall. I kinda believe that He gave ‘my bird ‘  just enough strength to make it to His bird-loving son. It was a short time of teaching and one that I’ll never forget.

ps. On another occasion I tamed a blackbird who use to walk behind me…………….

By Peter England, U.K.


Lee’s Addition:

Peter England is a retired pastor who lives in England. He is sending me some of his stories about his encounters with birds from a Christian perspective. I trust we will enjoy these.

He didn’t say what type of Crow, so this is one of the English Crows. Crows and Ravens are in the same family.

Another article by Peter:

The Whole Creation Has Been Groaning………..

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The Whole Creation Has Been Groaning………..

Anole on Fence - Carolina Anole ©WikiC

Anole on Fence – Carolina Anole ©WikiC

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. (Romans 8:22)

The following is not one of my latest stories, but because it concerns one of God’s creations I dare to let you see it. Many people would laugh at me and, by the way some of my happenings can be seen as being laughable….even unbelievable!

About two years ago, when I was living in West Palm Beach, I was going through a difficult time. I well remember the few days when I used to sit outside and read. Lizards, as you Americans know, are a well-known sight and one particular lizard came down from the tree at the back of me and hid behind the drain pipe. It kept peeping at me from one side of pipe to the other. I took little notice!

The next day, same lizard, came across the lawn and performed once more. Maybe it wanted to grab my attention, but then it was only a common lizard.

On day three the same lizard ( or so I believe ) scampered across the lawn and commenced to do its tricks from behind the drain pipe. However, I felt the Holy Spirit speaking to me, reminding me of the Scripture in Jonah 4: 7 how that God appointed a worm to attack the gourd that was sheltering Jonah. Could it be that God had sent a lizard to tell me that He would be with me and never forsake me. despite my difficult circumstances? I felt it necessary to put may tongue out at him and if he responded I would know that God was in this strange situation!

But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. (Jonah 4:7)

Anole Lick ©WikiC

Anole Lick ©WikiC

The next time my little friend popped its head out and looked at me, I put my tongue out at him. Immediately out came a big orange tongue like a small balloon! Then this ‘appointed ‘ lizard disappeared, never to be seen again. A few days later I was admitted into Wellington Hospital with a virus which took me off my feet. I knew that God was aware of all my circumstances even to the most minute detail.

Peter England

(One of this blog’s readers and commenter)

Green Anole – Wikipedia


Lee’s Addition:

This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. (Psalms 119:50)

Thanks Peter for an interesting story and inspiration.

Peter is one of our reader’s and comments often. He lives in the U.K. at the time. He has some more tales that will shared later. The one about his encounter with a blackbird will be published soon.

I am always willing to use guest writers. If you have something to share, let me know. I can be reached at Lee@Leesbird.com

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April Lorier With The Lord

April Lorier Adventuring With God

April Lorier Adventuring With God

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:6-8 KJV)

A well know writer and friend has gone to be with Her Lord. April Lorier became a friend and has written several articles on this blog. April was the author of God’s Battered Child: Journey From Abuse to Leader. Here are the blogs she produced April Lorier Perspective – God Woman Blog – Christian Nature. They have all been made inactive. She also contributed to Nature Blog Network

Here is an excerpt from Yahoo:

April Lorier, Author and Encourager

Inspirational author, poet, writer and Christian blogger. Children’s rights activist who successfully fought for the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) which was signed into law by Ronald Reagan. Encourager of Christian believers worldwide.

I know that she has been ailing for sometime and I do not have details about her death. Her websites have been removed, but we still have some of her articles here. It may take a day or two to find all the links to her sites, but they will be corrected.

April found my blog not long after I started it up. She began giving me tips on how to raise my ratings and just encouraged me to continue to develop this blog by honoring Our Lord. We exchanged many phone calls and became good friends. Never met her, she lived in California and I am here in Florida, but distance didn’t get between our friendship. She allowed me to repost several of her blogs and she shared links to my articles on her blog.

Now her blogs have been removed and I am glad some of her articles are still here to be enjoyed. But as for April, she could care less about what is going on here. She is in the presence of Her Lord, whom she loved. Her faith has become site.

April, you will be missed.

Here are some links to her articles:

April Lorier’s Page

Her book God’s Battered Child on Amazon

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Riddlers – The Woodpeckers

The Woodpeckers by Fannie Hardy Eckstorm - coverThe Woodpeckers, by Fannie Hardy Eckstorm

A Project Gutenberg EBook

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THE WOODPECKERS

BY

FANNIE HARDY ECKSTORM

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS

The Woodpeckers by Fannie Hardy Eckstorm

BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
The Riverside Press, Cambridge
1901

Title: The Woodpeckers

Author: Fannie Hardy Eckstorm

Release Date: January 25, 2011 [EBook #35062]

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE WOODPECKERS ***

(This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org)

COPYRIGHT, 1900, BY FANNIE HARDY ECKSTORM

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

To

MY FATHER
MR. MANLY HARDY
A Lifelong Naturalist


THE WOODPECKERS


FOREWORD: THE RIDDLERS


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Long ago in Greece, the legend runs, a terrible monster called the Sphinx used to waylay travelers to ask them riddles: whoever could not answer these she killed, but the man who did answer them killed her and made an end of her riddling.

To-day there is no Sphinx to fear, yet the world is full of unguessed riddles. No thoughtful man can go far afield but some bird or flower or stone bars his way with a question demanding an answer; and though many men have been diligently spelling out the answers for many years, and we for the most part must study the answers they have proved, and must reply in their words, yet those shrewd old riddlers, the birds and flowers and bees, are always ready for a new victim, putting their heads together over some new enigma (mystery) to bar the road to knowledge till that, too, shall be answered; so that other men’s learning does not always suffice. So much of a man’s pleasure in life, so much of his power, depends on his ability to silence these persistent questioners, that this little book was written with the hope of making clearer the kind of questions Nature asks, and the way to get correct answers.

This is purposely a little book, dealing only with a single group of birds, treating particularly only some of the commoner species of that group, taking up only a few of the problems that present themselves to the naturalist for solution, and aiming rather to make the reader acquainted with the birds than learned about them.

The woodpeckers were selected in preference to any other family because they are patient under observation, easily identified, resident in all parts of the country both in summer and in winter, and because more than any other birds they leave behind them records of their work which may be studied after the birds have flown.

The book provides ample means for identifying every species and subspecies of woodpecker known in North America, though only five of the commonest and most interesting species have been selected for special study. At least three of these five should be found in almost every part of the country. The Californian woodpecker is never seen in the East, nor the red-headed in the far West, but the downy and the hairy are resident nearly everywhere, and some species of the flickers and sapsuckers, if not always the ones chosen for special notice, are visitors in most localities.

Look for the woodpeckers in orchards and along the edges of thickets, among tangles of wild grapes and in patches of low, wild berries, upon which they often feed, among dead trees and in the track of forest fires. Wherever there are boring larvæ, beetles, ants, grasshoppers, the fruit of poison-ivy, dogwood, june-berry, wild cherry or wild grapes, woodpeckers may be confidently looked for if there are any in the neighborhood.

Be patient, persistent, wide-awake, sure that you see what you think you see, careful to remember what you have seen, studious to compare your observations, and keen to hear the questions propounded you. If you do this seven years and a day, you will earn the name of Naturalist; and if you travel the road of the naturalist with curious patience, you may some day become as famous a riddle-reader as was that OEdipus, the king of Thebes, who slew the Sphinx.


Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) by Raymond Barlow

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) by Raymond Barlow

Lee’s Addition:

This is the beginning of a series from The Woodpeckers book. Our writer, Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, wrote this in 1901. There are 16 chapters, plus this Forward, which are about the Woodpecker Family here in America. All the chapters can be found on The Woodpeckers page.

Woodpeckers belong to the Picidae – Woodpeckers Family.

Here are the upcoming chapter titles:

CHAP. PAGE
 Foreword: the Riddlers  
I.  How to know a Woodpecker  
II.  How the Woodpecker catches a Grub  
III.  How the Woodpecker courts his Mate  
IV.  How the Woodpecker makes a House  
V.  How a Flicker feeds her Young  
VI.  Friend Downy  
VII.  Persona non Grata. (Yellow-bellied Sapsucker)  
VIII.  El Carpintero. (Californian Woodpecker)  
IX.  A Red-headed Cousin. (Red-headed Woodpecker)  
X.  A Study of Acquired Habits  
XI.  The Woodpecker’s Tools: His Bill  
XII.  The Woodpecker’s Tools: His Foot  
XIII.  The Woodpecker’s Tools: His Tail  
XIV.  The Woodpecker’s Tools: His Tongue  
XV.  How each Woodpecker is fitted for his own Kind of Life  
XVI.  The Argument from Design  

APPENDIX

A. Key to the Woodpeckers of North America

B. Descriptions of the Woodpeckers of North America

C. Explanation of Terms

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I trust you will enjoy reading about these fantastic birds and how the Lord has created them to be able to carry out their task.

See:

The Woodpeckers by Fannie Hardy Eckstorm

Wordless Birds

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Birdwatching Reviews – Guest Writers

 

Scarlet Myzomela (Myzomela sanguinolenta) by Ian at Birdway

Scarlet Myzomela (Myzomela sanguinolenta) by Ian at Birdway

He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious, merciful, and full of loving compassion. (Psalms 111:4 AMP)

While we are reviewing while I am still in the “coasting mode“, today let’s review the various Regular and Guest Writers. I am so thankful for all of them and especially two who are regulars and have their own pages (menu).

Ian Montgomery, an Australian, was one of first photographers who gave permission to use his photos. From there, he gave permission to reproduce his newsletters in our Ian’s Bird of the Week series. I have enjoyed them and trust you have also. He has introduced us to many birds we would never have seen or heard about.

Bird and Newsletter Date

Golden Bowerbird (Prionodura newtoniana) by Ian

Golden Bowerbird (Prionodura newtoniana) by Ian

A J or a j mithra as he prefers, is from India and has been providing articles about birds and challenging us to better serve the Lord. He always seem to make great spiritual comparisons between the avian behavior and the lessons to be learned from them. You can find these at the tab,  a j mithra and he writes most of the Nuggets Plus.

a j mithra:

Nuggets Plus:

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

We also have various writers, like Dottie Malcolm and her grand-daughter, Emma, who write now and then. They are members of our church. Stephen is also from our church.

Dorothy (Dottie) Belle Malcolm’s:

Emma Foster:

Stephen Simpson’s:

Guest Writers From the Past:

And others:

The Lord has been gracious to allow the blog to have these add their additions. So, check these out. Must be one or two you haven’t read before. And thank you for visiting here as often as you do. Pressing the “Like” now and then helps us know which type articles you enjoy the best.

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ALASKA’S BALD EAGLE by James J. S. Johnson

ALASKA’S  BALD  EAGLE

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Associate Professor of Apologetics, ICR ( jjohnson@icr.org )

The ecological world of Southeastern Alaska hosts a diversity of animals  —   creatures of the air (like the Bald Eagle),  creatures of the land  (like the Alaskan Moose), as well as creatures of its freshwater rivers and streams (like Pacific Salmon), lakes and ponds (like Rainbow Trout).  This article will look at one of those creatures, the Bald Eagle.

The national bird of the United States of America, since 1782, is the bald eagle.  The backside of many quarter-dollar coins (the silver coins which most Americans call “quarters”) show an American bald eagle with outstretched wings.  Mexico’s most famous eagle is the golden eagle, which is a kind of “cousin” to the bald eagle.   The bald eagle’s scientific name is “Haliaeetus  leuocephalus”,  meaning  “white-headed  sea-eagle” (which is a very accurate name).  The adult bald eagles have their heads (including their neck area) covered in white feathers, and also their tail feathers are white; the rest of the adult bald eagle’s feathers are black or blackish-grey.  Their sharp curl-ended beaks and their talons (feet) are yellow.   A bald eagle is fully grown in about four or five years after its hatching.

Bald Eagles 1 for Alaska' Bald EagleHow big is the adult bald eagle?  The bald eagles is a very large bird; it often weighs about ten pounds, though it may weigh as much as thirteen pounds.  The bald eagle, when fully grown, is almost three feet long and its wingspan can be as wide as six or seven feet when fully spread out!  The tough-looking eagles have a voice that seems almost silly when compared with their rough toughness – their voices make sounds like thin squealing or squeaky cackling.

Where do bald eagles live?  Eagles sometimes migrate, flying south to avoid super-cold weather in Canada’s inland forests.  However, many bald eagles, especially those which live near coastal waters, do not migrate at all.  Bald eagles like to live on land near waters where fish (their favorite food) live, such on seacoasts, by rivers, by large lakes, or in marshy areas where flowing stream-waters provide homes for fish.  Bald eagles usually live in shoreline areas where cold water flows nearby, such as where snow-melt-watered mountain creeks empty into a estuarial bay ( a place where flowing freshwater mixes with tide-washing ocean water).

The highest concentration (most crowded gathering) of bald eagles in the world is in southeast Alaska, where the Chilkat River empties into the tidewaters near the town of Haines, a picture-postcard coastal town originally founded as a Presbyterian mission.   At the Chilkat River’s emptying point more than 3,000 bald eagles congregate annually, during autumn, for an all-you-can-eat salmon feast.  What do bald eagles like to eat?  Bald eagles are hawk-like “birds of prey”, meaning that they like to eat meat from smaller animals (like fish) that they hunt and kill for food.  Bald eagles especially like to eat salmon when then return to coastal streams and rivers during spawning seasons!  (After salmon reproduce fertilized eggs for the next generation of salmon, the parents salmon are fatally exhausted (so tired out that they are dying) and they move about in shallow water where it is easy for bald eagles to see them and to grab them for food).  If an eagle has an adequate food supply, which the eagles of Alaska usually do, they can live for twenty or thirty years, or may even live for forty years!

Bald Eagles 2 for Alaska' Bald EagleBald eagles have super-human eyesight (eyes able to see distances much farther than humans can see).  Their eyes are so sharp that the eagles can chase fish swimming near the surface of water, then zoom down near the water surface to grab the unsuspecting fish with their extra-strong talons (clawed-feet-like legs that can clutch things as if they were hands), then fly away with the fish to eat it (or to share it with its family).  An adult eagle’s beak is about two inches long and about one inch deep at its hook-like curled tip.  The sharp curled tip of the beak can rip into a fish easily, for eating convenience.  Sometimes bald eagles, while flying, will attack another fish-catching bird, the osprey (also called “fish hawk”), in order to get caught fish that the osprey is carrying.  Sometimes an osprey will intentionally drop its fish so that the eagle will fly down to catch the dropping fish; this allows the osprey to escape the attacking eagle – it’s better for the osprey to lose a fish than to lose its life!  Bald eagles eat other small animals, including other fish, ducks, seagulls, and other birds.

Where can eagles be easily seen?  In the coastal forestlands of southeastern Alaska (especially Juneau, Alaska’s capital city), many of the trees that cover sloping hillsides near the shoreline of rivers or bays of water are often filled with perching bald eagles.  The bald eagle prefers to make its nest in a tall tree, where sticks are gathered and arranged to provide the bald eagle family with a huge house of sticks and other materials.   Bald Eagles 3 for Alaska' Bald Eagle(Another kind of eagle, the golden eagle, prefers to make its home in rocky places on top of cliffs, and sometimes bald eagles do the same.  Baby golden eagles and baby bald eagles lookalike, but if the eaglet grows up to have a white head and a white tail it is a bald eagle.)  From the roadside, if you look up at the trees that are near Juneau’s shoreline, you will see many bald eagles perched in the high branches of those dark evergreen trees.  The eagles are easy to see, because their bald heads contrast in color against the dark green trees, so the trees look like Christmas trees decorated in popcorn balls, except that the white spots that look like popcorn are really the heads of the bald eagles!

What kind of family life do eagles have?   Usually an eagle family has a father eagle and a mother eagle (who both act like they are “married” to each other), and a small number of hatched eagle children (one, two, or three) until the smaller eagles grow up large enough to fly away and start their own families (with mates for themselves).   Unlike many animals, the mother eagles are usually larger in size than the father eagles.  Bald eagle mates usually try to have one or more new eagle babies each spring.       After the eggs are laid the parent eagles take turns incubating them, to keep them warm enough to grow until it is time for hatching out of their eggs.  Whenever parent eagles walk around near the eggs they walk very cautiously.  Of course, if they did not, many eagle eggs would be accidentally broken by careless contact with a sharp eagle talon!

When eagles are grown up, at about four years of age, they find a mate to start a family with; so, a fully grown male eagle and a fully grown female eagle become an eagle pair, kind of like getting Bald Eagles 4 for Alaska' Bald Eaglemarried to each other.  The eagle couple will stay together as long as they both live (unless one is captured and prevented from returning to its mate).  Not all birds stay with their mates for life, but the bald eagle does.  The eagle couple will soon become parents, with the female eagle becoming a mother by laying large white fertile eggs that will one day hatch into baby eagles – called eaglets.  The baby eagles are very hungry but they cannot fly to get their own food, just as many other kinds of babies need their parents to care for them, and protect them, and feed them.

The parent eagles are very protective of their baby eaglets; they will attack any other bird that flies too close to the eagle nest, so ravens, gulls, and hawks better stay away and respect the eagle family’s privacy!   The baby eagles do not have “bald”-looking heads, because their heads do not have white feathers.  Baby eagles are blotchy brown-grey colored and begin their hatchling life with light grey-colored fuzzy feathers called “down”.  Young eagles are called nestlings during the time that they live in their parents’ nest.  It takes a while for the little eaglets to grow enough strength in their little wings so they can be ready to fly  like their parents.

Bald Eagles 5 for Alaska' Bald EagleWhen a young eagle finally learns to fly it is called a fledgling.  Eagles are such heavy birds that they don’t Bald Eagles 6 for Alaska' Bald Eaglebuild 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.)

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. (Isa 40:31 KJV)

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.

Bald Eagles 7One example of highness being compared to the nesting habits of eagles is found in the Bible, in the Book of 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 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. (Oba 1:3-4 KJV)

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

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).

During winter bald eagles like to live near seacoasts or near large fast-moving rivers where fish are abundant.  Often, bald eagles must migrate south to avoid wintering in places where the food supply is too sparse or the weather is too harsh.  During spring, when the new baby eagles are hatched from eggs, bald eagles usually prefer to live in northern lands, such as Alaska and Canada, but some start their springtime families as far south as California on the West Coast and as far south as Virginia on the East Coast.  Since a thermal spring keeps the Chilkat River warm enough to prevent it from freezing in late summer and early autumn, many salmon continue to congregate in that unfrozen river during the autumn – this is like an “all-you-can-eat” salmon dinner for Alaskan bald eagles!

One place other than Alaska where bald eagles are easily seen in the later summer is along certain parts of the Snake River near Jackson Hole, Wyoming (part of the Grand Tetons National Park), in nests built in the tops of old dead trees along the river’s forested shoreline.  Of course, bald eagles are usually so high up in a tree (or soaring up in the air) that you really need to use binoculars (holding them with steady hands) to see the bald eagle’s colors, wings, talons, stern-looking face, curled beak, and clawed  talons.     Maybe learning about the salmon feasts of the Alaska bald eagles has made you hungry for some Alaska salmon!  If so, you might visit my favorite salmon bake feasting-place, “Gold Creek Salmon Bake” a few miles outside of Juneau, Alaska, an Alaskan rainforest all-you-can-eat place near an old abandoned gold mine.  But, if that’s not convenient for you at the moment, you might try buying some fresh salmon filets from your local grocery store, – and your family can enjoy a healthy protein-rich meal – a feast fit for the Bald Eagle, America’s national bird!

[The above text on Alaska’s Eagle is adapted from James J. S.  Johnson’s “The Bald Eagle”; © AD2001-AD2013 James J. S. Johnson, here reprinted/used by permission.]

Bald Eagle Brings Nesting Material by Aesthetic Photos

Bald Eagle Brings Nesting Material by Aesthetic Photos

Lee’s Addition:

What an interesting, informative and challenging article about the Bald Eagles. Thank you, Dr. Johnson, for giving permission to post it here.

I am looking forward to some more articles that he will be sharing with us here.

See also:

Institute For Christian Research

Dr. James J. S. Johnson – Guest Author

Birds of the Bible – Eagles

Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks and Eagles

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