Photos from Honeymoon Island State Park

The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; (Matthew 13:1-3 KJV)

We recently took a short visit to Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin, Florida. (See – Another Birdwatching TripGrey Kingbird at Honeymoon Island SP)

These are some of the photos taken that day. It was hot, summer and not many birds available to watch unfortunately. It was enjoyable just the same and we plan on going back again when the fall birds start migrating through or stopping for the winter.

 

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And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work. (Zephaniah 2:14 KJV)

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Grey Kingbird at Honeymoon Island SP

Grey Kingbird by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP 7-4-2014

Grey Kingbird by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP 7-4-2014

All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O LORD, When they have heard the words of Your mouth. And they will sing of the ways of the LORD, For great is the glory of the LORD. (Psalms 138:4-5 NASB)

The Grey Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis) which we saw at Honeymoon Island SP last week was a Life Bird for me. Most Americans call it Gray, but the I.O.C. List of Birds use the Grey spelling. Either way, grey or gray, it is the same bird. That is one reason they use the Scientific name of Tyrannus dominicensis to ID the bird.

Recently I purchased the Latin for Bird Lovers book, because I have tried to see what these “scientific” mean on my own and thought this would be interesting. The book has over 3,000 bird names. I found it to be something quite useful, for me, at least. So let’s see what our Tyrannus dominicensis actually means.

  • Tyrannus “ti-RAN-nus” – “Tyrant, as in Tyanannus Allugularis, The White-throated Kingbird” [p.205]
  • dominicensis“doe-min-ib-SEN-sis-” – “After the Commonwealth of Dominica in the West Indies, as in Pluvialis dominica, the American Golden Plover, which passes through the West Indies during migrations.” [p.61]

So, we have a Tyrant that is from or passes through Dominica. The Kingbirds do belong to the Tyrannidae – Tyrant Flycatchers FamilyThere are 14 birds in the Tyrannus genus, which is the first part of the scientific name, Tyrannus Dominicensis, the second part of the name has 5 birds with that ending. That includes not only this Grey Kingbird, but also the Caribbean Martin (Progne dominicensis),  Antillean Siskin (Spinus dominicensis)Hispaniolan Oriole (Icterus dominicensis) and the Hispaniolan Spindalis (Spindalis dominicensis).

This was my 250th Life Bird record on eBird.

Grey Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis) by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP

Grey Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis) by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP

The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. (Psalms 84:3 NASB)

“The Grey or Gray Kingbird, also known as Pitirre (Tyrannus dominicensis) is a passerine bird. It breeds from the extreme southeast of the USA, mainly in Florida, through Central America, from Cuba to Puerto Rico as well as eastward towards all across the Lesser West Indies, south to Venezuela, Trinidad, Tobago the Guiana and Colombia. Northern populations are migratory, wintering on the Caribbean coast of Central America and northern South America.

Grey Kingbird by Dan

Grey Kingbird by Dan at HISP

This tyrant flycatcher is found in tall trees and shrubs, including the edges of savanna and marshes. It makes a flimsy cup nest in a tree. The female incubates the typical clutch of two cream eggs, which are marked with reddish-brown. Grey Kingbirds wait on an exposed perch high in a tree,which is where we found it, occasionally sallying out to feed on insects, their staple diet.

The adult Grey Kingbird is an average-sized kingbird. It measures 9.1 in (23 cm) in length and weighs from 1.3 to 1.8 oz (37 to 52 g). The upper parts are grey, with brownish wings and tail, and the underparts are white with a grey tinge to the chest. The head has a concealed yellow crown stripe, and a dusky mask through the eyes. The dark bill is heavier than that of the related, slightly smaller, Tropical Kingbird. The sexes are similar, but young birds have rufous edges on the wing coverts, rump and tail.

Grey Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis) by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP

The call is a loud rolling trill, pipiri pipiri, which is the reason behind many of its local names, like pestigre or pitirre, in the Spanish-speaking Greater Antilles, or “petchary” in some of the English-speaking zones.

(from xeno-canto)

Like other kingbirds, these birds aggressively defend their territory against intruders, including mammals and much larger birds such as caracaras and Red-Tailed Hawks. This phenomenon has led to the widespread adoption of the pitirre as a nationalist symbol (a sort of David vs. Goliath figure) in Puerto Rico.

It is found in increasing numbers in the state of Florida, and is more often found inland though it had been previously restricted to the coast. The species was first described on the island of Hispaniola, then called Santo Domingo, thus the dominicensis name.” (from Wikipedia with editing)

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP

I added this Northern Mockingbird which was also there at the State Park. At first we kept thinking the Kingbird was a Mockingbird. If you compare the photos, you will notice the Mockingbird has a white spot on its wings and also a black spot near its ear. They are very close though. Also, Dan’s photo of the Kingbird came out more brownish. It may be that he caught a younger one. There were several at the park.

Isn’t the Lord great in that He makes us work for the IDs of these birds. As I have said, He should have put name tags on them, but then we wouldn’t learn about His creativity, would we? It is good for us to learn new things. Never get bored with learning.

Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. (Psalms 25:4 NASB)

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. (Psalms 32:8 KJV)

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Gideon

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Another Birdwatching Trip

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP

The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth! (Psalms 8:8-9 NKJV)

We just got back from another birdwatching trip. This time we birded the Honeymoon Island State Park and MacDill AFB beach. Was gone overnight and have many photos to prep. Here are just a few photos for now.

These Double-crested Cormorants were just sitting along the Gulf shore and one was sleeping. They seem to be tired and may have decided to stay on shore because of Hurricane Arthur’s bands of rain that kept sweeping the area the last two days. A man walked between the two and they didn’t even move.

Grey Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis) by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP

Grey Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis) by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP

This photo of a Kingbird, which is the best shot I have ever had of one, was also at the state park. (Actually, just checked, these are the only ones I have taken of Grey Kingbirds. This was a LIFE BIRD for me. Yeah!)

Today, July 4th, we checked out the shore on Tampa Bay at the base. The birds were few, but enough to give us a chance to get some photos. Without so many species, maybe I’ll be able to ID them. My ID’s of shorebirds is still weak. I will pouring be over my bird books again. Praise the Lord for bird books. (I still think the Lord should have hung tags on them.)

Trust those of us celebrating the Fourth have had a good day. We have!

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Honeymoon Island State Park

Birdwatching Trips

Birdwatching

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