Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/11/21

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks feeding 6/11 by Lee

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/11/21

This morning our Whistling Duck pair came looking for food, as is becoming their routine. Dan was planning to mow the grass today, so the food dishes were empty and stacked on the patio. So, I put one close by and gave them some food.

Church Signs:

God likes it when you smile, but he loves it when He is the reason!

The will of God will never take you to where the grace of God will not protect you.

Truths To Consider:

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks looking to see if they should go that way.  6/11

“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)

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks maybe asking or deciding which way to go.  6/11

“And they said unto him, Ask counsel, we pray thee, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous.” (Judges 18:5 KJV)

Decisions! Decisions! Always best when the Lord is involved in seeking answers.

Good News

Paintbrush Birds – Gouldian Finch

Gouldian Finch - Male adult @Wikipedia

Gouldian Finch – Male adult @Wikipedia

Paintbrush Birds – Gouldian Finch

The Gouldian finch (Chloebia gouldiae), also known as the Lady Gouldian finch, Gould’s finch or the rainbow finch, is a colorful passerine bird that is native to Australia. Both sexes are brightly colored with black, green, yellow, and red markings. The females tend to be less brightly colored. One major difference between the sexes is that the male’s chest is purple, while the female’s is a lighter mauve.

Gouldian finches’ heads may be red, black, or yellow. Formerly considered three different kinds of finches, it is now known that these are color variants that exist in the wild. Selective breeding has also developed mutations (blue, yellow and silver instead of a green back) in both body and breast color.

Black-headed male Gouldian @Finch Frankfurt Zoo

Black-headed male Gouldian Finch @Frankfurt Zoo

Prior to the Australian government’s ban on the export of Australian fauna, Gouldian finches were exported worldwide. These birds have resulted in viable breeding populations being held in many countries.

Captive breeding has resulted in several colour mutations. Mutations vary by country, with some existing only in Australia (the Australian yellow and the Australian “dilute”) and others existing in greater number in the United States, such as the blue bodied Gouldian. The most common body mutations in the United States are blue, pastel green (single and double-factor, resulting in “dilute” and yellow males and yellow females), and pastel blue (again, single and double-factor producing “pastel” and silver males, and silver hens).

(Wikipedia with editing)

FUN FACTS – San Diego Zoo

  • Only the male Gouldian finch sings.
  • The Gouldian finch is also known as the Lady Gould’s finch, named for the wife of John Gould, a famous 19th century British ornithologist and artist.
  • Gouldian finches prefer temperatures constantly above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius).

What a beautiful colorful array of the rainbow.

Great Verses:

“Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.” (Psalms 40:5 NKJV)

“We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.” (Psalms 78:4 NKJV)

What will you do with Jesus?

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/7-10/21

Swallow-tailed Kite - the one bird I got a photo of as it flew overhead

Swallow-tailed Kite – the one bird I got a photo of as it flew overhead previously.

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/7-10/21

Since the last post, on 6/6/21, it has been sort of quiet out back. On June 7th, the busiest morning greeted us with the Muscovys and Pekins coming by for breakfast, while a Red-winged Blackbird landed on the hanging feeder. The Tricolored Heron walked along the shore. The best delight was when a Swallow-tailed Kite flew by. They are in the area for only a couple of months each year.

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) by Daves BirdingPix

Later, while we were eating lunch, the Whistling Duck pair (becoming regulars) were eating, when another pair of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks showed up, and the “turf war was on!” They jump up in the air and put their feet out toward the other duck. This time, both pairs got into it at the same time. Of course, you never have time to grab a camera. About the time they got back on the ground, a White Ibis decided to walk in between the two feuding pairs, and the war was over. I guess I’ll have to re-name him the Peace Ibis.

On 6/8/21, another Roseate Spoonbill flew by and a Great Blue Heron.

Yesterday, 6/9/21, a Roseate Spoonbill flew by again. The Muscovys were on the other side of the pond along with an Anhinga hanging out to dry. The Red-winged Blackbird chowed down again at the hanging feeder. Then it was off to church.

Church Signs:

A large heart can be filled with very little.

A grateful mind is a great mind.

Truths To Consider:

“I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart. Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it. Incline my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness.” (Psalms 119:32-36 NKJV)

What is the Gospel?

Paintbrush Birds – Lilac-breasted Roller

Lilac-breasted-Roller@wikipediacommons

The Lilac-breasted Roller is another beautiful candidate as a Paintbrush Bird. Our Master Creator has provided us with another neatly painted bird.

Description and Details

“The lilac-breasted roller (Coracias caudatus) is an African bird of the roller family, Coraciidae. It prefers open woodland and savanna, and it is for the most part absent from treeless places. Usually found alone or in pairs, it perches conspicuously at the tops of trees, poles or other high vantage points from where it can spot insects, lizards, scorpions, snails, small birds and rodents moving about on the ground.[2] Nesting takes place in a natural hole in a tree where a clutch of 2–4 eggs are laid, and incubated by both parents, who are extremely aggressive in defense of their nest, taking on raptors and other birds.

“The diet of the lilac-breasted roller consists of arthropods and small vertebrates, including ground-dwelling insects, spiders, scorpions, centipedes and millipedes, snails, and a variety of small vertebrates, including small birds. Slow-moving lizards, chameleons and snakes, and the blind, burrowing Afrotyphlops and Leptotyphlops species are especially vulnerable to them when crossing roads. In East Africa, they join other perch hunters like Taita fiscals and pale flycatchers to make opportunistic use of grassland fires, and in South Africa are likewise seen in association with kites, storks, swallows and bee-eaters when burning of firebreaks drive small animals unto roads.

Because they feed mainly on terrestrial prey, lilac-breasted rollers will perch to scout from a higher vantage point (including from atop of large herbivorous mammals) before swooping in and grabbing prey with their beaks. If their prey is small, they will swallow it on the ground. These aggressive birds will carry larger prey back to a perch and beat it until it is dismembered. (Wikipedia)

Lilac-breasted Roller @Answersafrica

Lilac-breasted Roller @Answersafrica

Great Verses:

While looking for a verse with “Roll or Roller” in it, I came across this great truth from our Lord:

“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” (Proverbs 16:3 KJV) [or as the Amplified version states this verse]

Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3 AMP)

Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) by Africaddict

More Paintbrush Birds:

Who Paints The Leaves?

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/6/21

Loggerhead Shrike on hook - by Lee Closeup

Loggerhead Shrike on hook – by Lee Closeup

Birdingwatching and Blessings –

On June 3rd, 4th, and 5th, the birds visiting the yard slowed down. On Thursday the 3rd, a White Ibis, the normal four Pekins, a female Anhinga and a Boat-tailed Grackle wandered around, and a Great Egret flew by. Friday, the 4th was even slower with only the female Anhinga, Muscovy, the four Pekins, the White Ibis and two Sandhill Cranes strutting around.

Yesterday was even less entertaining with the Pekins, Boat-tailed Grackle, and the Loggerhead Shrike. The Shrike was gathering grass and flying across the pond to a tree. We actually spotted a second Shrike. Wonder if they are making a nest. That would be blessing to see baby Shrikes later on. Today is Sunday and we really didn’t spend much time at breakfast.

Isn’t it just like the birds to slow down their morning visits when I decide to start a new series. We have gotten some rain finally in the last few days, and maybe the worms have come up for air. The birds may busy catching them instead of coming by here. Oh, well. Stay tuned!

Church Signs:

How cool is it that the same God who created mountains and oceans and galaxies thought the world needed one of you too!

A good example has twice the value of good advice.

Truths To Consider:

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 NKJV)
“For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (John 13:15-17 NKJV)

A couple more great Church Signs and Verses. There are some challenges here for us to consider.

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/1/21

The Amazing Butterfly

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/1/21

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in yard

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in yard

While we were eating breakfast, I was making a list of the birds that were out our back door. You have seen many of the photos, and posts about these Breakfast Blessings. Yet, like Tuesday, we were just eating and watching the antics of our Avian Wonders. There is always a squabble or two going on over something, one standing watch guard, as the rest are eating, seeing a new injury, or a bird that hasn’t stopped  or flown by lately. What a delight!

Also, in our reading of Scripture, there is always a passage, or verse that catches your attention. Plus, I have a daily calander this year that has sayings from Church Signs. Humm! What if I tie all three of these into a series for the blog? So, after thinking along that trail, here is the first attempt at writing a new series.

Birdingwatching and Blessings – 6/1/21

We were blessed with having a parade of birds come into view while having our breakfast this morning. A couple of Mourning Doves landed first, and then two Loggerhead Shrikes landed on the feeder hook. First time we have spotted two of them. The Black-Bellied Whistling Duck couple showed up next to check out the ground feeders. They are becoming quite regular visitors. Mornings and in the evening. Three Boat-tailed Grackles landed across the water, and flew over to harrass the Whistling Ducks.

The neighborhood Muscovy ducks waddled and strutted around, while a Green Heron landed by the water. He looked around a minute or two, and then flew off. I walked outside to put some more seed in the feeders, when I heard and saw a Killdeer fly by. Had it not been calling, I would have missed seeing it. As I was walking back in the house, when I turned to close the door, a Tricolored Heron landed by the water. Not bad for a span of about 30 minutes!! [No photos for any of this.]

Church Signs:

Here are two to start us off:

Fix another person’s crown without telling the world it was crooked.

Failure and success are on the same road. Success is just further down that road.

Truths To Consider:

God’s Steadfast Love and Compassion
“Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.  He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18-19)

What a great promise!

Stay tuned as this series is developed. Lord’s Blessing on you.

[P.S. It’s dated two days ago because that is when these birds were spotted and the series idea began to grow.]

Poor Mama Feeding Chicks

Great Egret Feeding Chicks at Gatorland by Lee

Great Egret Feeding Chicks at Gatorland by Lee

Yesterday we went back over to Gatorland to see how the chicks have been progressing. Here is a video of a parent feeding the growing chicks. I felt so sorry for her (I assume). It was an unexpected visit, because another plan for the day, of Dan’s, fell through. So, we decided to see how much the birds had grown since our visit in March. Needless to say, this should be the last on until fall. It was a BIT warm.

I still have articles and photos to show from our March visit, but an issue with my eye slowed me down. All is well now after a small laser treatment last week. My camera eye was blurry, but now all is clear again. So, stayed tuned as I try to get more tales out.

I guess because of my eye problem, I was so worried when one of the youngsters grabbed her beak and got mighty close to the eye. Because eyes are mentioned so many times in Scripture, here are a few promises:

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” (Psalms 32:8 NKJV)

“Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy,” (Psalms 33:18 NKJV)

“The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” (Psalms 34:15 KJV)

Gatorland Trips

Good News

Birds and Flowers Helping Christians

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Stephen Nielsen writes a blog called Prayer A to Z or just Stephen Nielsen. This is an excerpt from his How Birds and Flowers Can Help a Christian article. I am sure you will enjoy reading the whole post:

Birds

Jesus said, “Look at the birds of the air [Look at and think about them].”

  1. They don’t sow or reap or gather.
  2. Yet God our Father feeds them.
  3. And we are better (closer to God) than they are; we are His children. So, He definitely will care for us.
  4. Also, what good will it do anyway to worry about these things. Will worrying change anything? Will it extend your life?

Let’s look at the birds and all humans, how God provides for them.”……

Stephen has based this post on Matthew 6:25-30. What a great promise for us today. Thanks, Stephen, for another great lesson from the Lord and His Avian Wonders.

Matthew 6:25-30

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

Birds Learning About Worms ©BirdsOutsideMyWindow

How Birds and Flowers Can Help a Christian

Prayer A to Z

Stephen Nielsen

Good News

Great Blue Herons – Gatorland

Great Blue Heron Gatorland 03-23-21

We walked Gatorland in the opposite direction that we normally take. This Blue Heron had just landed and was walking on the rail.

Great Blue Heron Gatorland Cropped

Even though we see Great Blue Heron often, it is always great to watch that stately pose they present. As we have mentioned before, the Heron is mentioned in Leviticus and Deuteronomy as birds to not eat. Birds of the Bible – Herons

“the stork, the heron after its kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.” (Lev. 11:19 NKJV)
“the stork, the heron after its kind, and the hoopoe and the bat.” (Deut. 14:18 NKJV)

Later on, we encountered another “GBH” [Great Blue Heron] near the other end of the boardwalk. I saw Dan watching something, and then as he started taking photos, I realized it was the Heron.

Dan Watching Great Blue Heron (On rail near the tree)

Dan Taking Photo of Great Blue Heron

Not to be out done, I took out my camera and zoomed in on the Heron.

Great Blue Heron Gatorland

Great Blue Heron Gatorland

Great Blue Heron Gatorland 03-23-21

Great Blue Heron Gatorland 03-23-21

What was the highlight of this encounter was when this bird was chased by another GBH, and caught the heron with its wings fully extended.

Two Great Blue Herons Flying

Two Great Blue Herons Flying – Cropped

Great Blue Heron Flying at Gatorland – Cropped More

What beauty and majesty that the Lord used when He created the flying Avian Wonders for us to enjoy, and realize His awesome power. In church Sunday we sang the hymn, “I Sing The Mighty Power Of God.” This verse expresses some of what I feel when we are out bird watching.

I sing the goodness of the Lord, who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures through the Word, and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky.

Stay tuned for more of this latest trip to Gatorland.

Catbird At Gatorland

Birds of the Bible – Herons

Other Gatorland Posts:

Great Egret Nest At Gatorland

Gatorland Again – February 2021

Flamingo Filtering at Gatorland – 12/30/20

Gator Tail Anyone?

Our Gatorland Welcome 12-30-20

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Black Vultures Up Close At Gatorland

Wishful Thinking

Dan’s Photos – Wishful Thinking Flamingo and Vulture

Birdwatching and More Photos by Dan

Good News

 

Hair Like Eagles’ Feathers Revisited

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

Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.” (Daniel 4:33 NASB)

In the Birds of the Bible, we’ve written about this verse before Birds of the Bible – Hair Like Eagles Feathers, but it came up again today. In our devotions this morning, we read chapter 8 of Daniel. Along with the reading from it, we were reading our notes from various Study Bibles.

Crowned Eagle (Stephanoaetus coronatus) ©Wiki

Actually, the original article covers most of this about the king, but we read an interesting fact about his behavior. The fact that Nebuchadnezzar was eating grass like cattle is amazing.

This is from the King James Study Bible for Daniel “4:33. Two important questions arise from this incident: (1) Could it happen to a man? and (2) Could it have happened to Nebuchadnezzar? The answer to both questions is Yes. There is a mental illness known as zoanthropy in which a man thinks and acts like an animal. It is also called boanthropy, more specifically, when a man thinks of himself as an ox. In answer to the second question, this illness is not mentioned in Nebuchadnezzar’s annals, but one would not expect such a humiliating experience to be chronicled. On the other hand, his long reign of 43 years (605–562 b.c.) is more than long enough to include the lengthy sickness.”

Philippine Hawk-Eagle (Nisaetus philippensis) ©Flickr Billy Lopue

I am not sure what his hair looked like, so I have added these interesting eagles with feathers that might give an example of the kings hair.

Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) by Lee at Zoo Miami 2014

Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) by Lee at Zoo Miami 2014

As for what his fingernails might have looked like, here are some bird’s claws:

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

Cape Eagle-Owl (Bubo capensis) on Right and Spotted Eagle-Owl on Left ©©

Cape Eagle-Owl (Bubo capensis) on Right and Spotted Eagle-Owl on Left ©©

The best part of this Bible story of Nebuchadnezzar, is how this ends. He come to his senses, and looks toward heaven, as we all should:

Daniel 8:34 “But at the end of [ae]that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my [af]reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever;

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 All the inhabitants of the earth are of no account,
But He does according to His will among the army of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can [ag]fend off His hand
Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’

36 At that time my [ah]reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were [ai]restored to me for the honor of my kingdom, and my state counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my [aj]sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are [ak]true and His ways [al]just; and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.” (Links and scripture from Bible Gateway)

Birds of the Bible – Hair Like Eagles Feathers

Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Eagles

The Wise Owl

Eagle Cinquain

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by Ray Barlow

My blogging friend, Sandra Connor, has challenged her readers to write a Cinquain, then post it. Well, here is my first attempt at writing one of these.

First I had to find out HOW. So, she sent us to her link that explains how: Ahyoka/Cinquain

Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela) by TAJA

Here we go:

Eagles

Flying Aloft

What A Majestic Sight

Displaying, Surveying, Preying

Eagles

I had kidded her about it looking like a tree, but then so does mine.

African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) ©WikiC

African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) ©WikiC

“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 KJV)

If you would like to join the challenge, swing by her sight and check it out. Also, you could leave one below in the comments.

Three-Day Coffee Cinquain Challenge – Day 1

Birds of the Bible – Eagles

Great Egret by Dan

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan in 2020

“…O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.” (Psalms 139:1-3 NKJV)

This Great Egret’s pose caused me to chuckle, but also to think about how their neck can be raised and lowered. “Up and Down” Egrets, Herons, and other birds with long necks seem to like to pull them down. Scrunch them!

At times, especially now, with so many things, like Covid, and other challenges of life, make us want to just go somewhere and hide. Here are a few verses I found about having ups and downs:

Great Egret by Dan at Gatorland in 2015

“I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting That there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.’ “Rain down, you heavens, from above, And let the skies pour down righteousness; Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, And let righteousness spring up together. I, the LORD, have created it.” (Isaiah 45:5-8 NKJV)

Great Blue Heron Lake Morton by Dan

“So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.” (Mark 16:19 NKJV)

Great Egret at Gatorland by Dan (2014)

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They have bowed down and fallen; But we have risen and stand upright.” (Psalms 20:7-8 NKJV)
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:19-20 NKJV)

[bolding and italics mine]

Trust these photos and verses are an encouragement for you today. Lord’s Blessings

Dan’s Pix

Wordless Bird – Green-tail Sunbird