Rockefeller the Saw-Whet Owl in Christmas Tree

Rockefeller the Saw-Whet Owl ©BBC

Here’s an interesting story about a Saw-Whet Owl which showed up in the Rockefeller Christmas tree being delivered.

Northern Saw-Whet Owls are like other Owls. They appear on the “Do Not Eat” list. Too cute to eat this Little Owl.

“And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,” (Leviticus 11:16-17 KJV)

Saw-whet Owl by Ray

Saw-whet Owl by Ray

Birds of the Bible – Owls

Bible Birds – Owls

Northern Saw-Whet Owls – All About Birds

Northern Saw-Whet Owls – Wikipedia

Birds With Arms?

Thought you might enjoy watching these:



If birds had arms, then they would not be able to fly or do the amazing things that the Creator meant for them to do. We were all given exactly what we need by our Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator of all.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3 KJV)

Transfered from the Kid’s Blog – Thought you might enjoy it.

See:

If Dogs Could Fly: More than Wings are Needed for Flying High!

The Wise Owl

Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) Reinier Munguia

Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) Reinier Munguia

The Wise Owl

Have you ever heard of someone described as being “wise as an owl”? I suppose, more than anything else, that the owl’s large head and wide-open eyes mark him out as a symbol of wisdom. In any case, he is a remarkable bird, wonderfully designed and fitted by the wisdom and power of the Creator for his peculiar life. At night he is able to see far better than in the day; and in the day he is able to safely hide himself from his enemies.

Can you see in the dark?

Are you wise like the owl? Are you able to see in the night? Do you wonder what I mean? Let me try to tell you…

You see, sin has produced spiritual darkness in this world—a darkness so great that when Jesus was here as the Light of the world, “men loved darkness rather than Light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). And what did they do? They crucified Him because they did not want Him; they did not love Him. They did not see Him to be the Son of God who came to shed His blood and to die so that sinners like you and me might be saved.

Let me ask you: Do you know Him as the Son of God who died for you? Do you love Him? If so, then you, like the owl, have wide-open eyes in this time of night caused by the Lord Jesus Christ’s absence from this world. If you do not, then BE WISE and trust Him as your Saviour. Then you will be able to say with the blind man who Jesus healed, “One thing I KNOW, that, whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25).

White-fronted Scops Owl (Otus sagittatus) by MAMuin

White-fronted Scops Owl (Otus sagittatus) by MAMuin

Are you safe from the enemy?

Are you wise like the owl? Are you able to safely hide yourself in the day? Again, do you wonder what I mean? Let me tell you…

This is the daytime of God’s salvation and grace, but do you know that the enemy of your soul stalks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour? Who is that, do you ask? It is none other than Satan, the Devil, who has many deceitful tricks to make you fall into his hands. You are no match for his power nor his cunning, so you need a refuge from him—a hiding place for your soul. Is there such a hiding place? Yes! The Hiding Place is the same One who gives light so the wise may see. It is the Lord Jesus Christ (Psalm 32:7). He is referred to as the ROCK of our Salvation (Psalm 95:1)—the place of strength, safety and security. He defeated the Devil at the Cross where He was smitten for our sins, and became the “Rock of Ages” cleft for sinners. Your safety depends solely upon hiding in Him. There is no other salvation for you than in the Lord Jesus. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

How to be wise

BE WISE! Come to the Lord Jesus Christ NOW! How do you come? Come just as you are, confessing to Him that you are a sinner, and tell Him you believe He died for your sins on Calvary. He will then become your Saviour.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

You will then have in Jesus Christ a Light in the darkness, and a Hiding Place from danger and judgment for time and eternity. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

—D.T.J.

Volume 1 – #1 & #2 – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography Active

Volume #1 and #2 are now active again here. There are twenty articles to read. These were originally posted around 2012 here, but they were originally written in 1897. Birds Illustrated by Color Photography Volume 1, Number 1, January 1897 and Volume 1, Number 2, February 1897

When you look at the Vol1 #2 articles, there are old photos of advertisements back then (1897) that are quite interesting. I enjoyed re-reading these again while I was moving the post back. If you have the time, you just might enjoy these:

Ad for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Ad for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Volume 1, Number 1, January 1897 (Articles will be Green when re-activated on Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus)

The Nonpareil – Painted Bunting
The Resplendent Trogon
The Mandarin Duck
The Golden Pheasant
The Australian Grass Parrakeet
The Cock-Of-The-Rock
The Red Bird Of Paradise
The Yellow Throated Toucan
The Red-Rumped Tanager
The Golden Oriole

Volume 1, Number 2, February 1897

The Blue Jay
The Swallow-Tailed Indian Roller
The Red Headed Woodpecker and The Drummer Bird
Mexican Mot Mot
King Parrot Or King Lory
The American Robin – The Bird Of The Morning
The Kingfisher – The Lone Fisherman
The Red Wing Black Bird – The Bird Of Society
Blue Mountain Lory
The American Red Bird

These are being prepared. Stay Tuned!!

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

An Ad for Birds Illustrated, 1897

An Ad for Birds Illustrated, 1897

The Three Sparrows by Emma Foster

The Three Sparrows

By Emma Foster

Three Sparrows ©Tony Northrup

Three sparrows, Tip, Tap, and Top, once lived on a college campus, inside a dormitory courtyard. They had built a nest under the metal stair railing leading up to the second floor. They flew out into the courtyard every day to search for food or continue building their nests. Usually however, the three of them preferred to watch the students.Eagle on Pumpkin - Stencil

As fall approached, the birds noticed the cooler weather outside. The leaves started to change color and fall, and more students sat outside in their hammocks to study. One evening, Tip, Tap, and Top noticed how many of the students gathered outside, carrying pumpkins into the courtyard. The students sat down in circle and began carving pumpkins. The three sparrows watched as some of the students cut the top off the pumpkins, took the insides out, and drew faces on the pumpkins. Some of the students even brought paint to paint flowers and birds and other designs on the pumpkins. Top’s favorite pumpkin was one with an eagle painted on it, which he believed to be a very majestic sparrow that resembled himself.

Very Majestic Sparrow Pumpkin

Very Majestic Sparrow Pumpkin

Later that night, after the sun set, Tip hopped off the second-floor railing to examine the pumpkins more closely. Out of all three sparrows, Tip could spot small details the best, which was why it was his job to find food most of the time. While Tip flapped by all the pumpkins, he noticed something pink and something else shiny sitting on the opposite side of the courtyard.

Tip flew to the object and recognized it as something the students carried around with them to identify themselves and to get into their rooms. Tip called for Tap and Top. Tap, the strongest sparrow who was in charge of building the nests, carried it back with him to the nest. But just as they got the wallet back to the nest and looked at the picture on the ID, Tip noticed the same girl come out of one of rooms looking for the wallet in the courtyard, while her friend held the door open so she could get back inside. Tip told Tap to hurry and return it, but when Tap flew back with the wallet, he wasn’t fast enough. The girl returned to her room just as Tip and Top tried to help carry the wallet. Top, however, flew so fast that the lanyard slipped out of his beak and he ran into the door, causing a massive thump.

Tip, Tap, and Top tried to think of a new plan. Top suggested running into the door to get the girl’s attention, while Tap argued that they should just leave the wallet by the door. Tip, on the other hand, had an idea to use the key to get into the room. With Top’s help, he brought the wallet to the door then had Top hold the wallet steady while he inserted the key. Tap flew against the door as best he could, but the door’s weight only let him open it a few inches. Tip yanked the key out with his beak, and he and Top dropped the wallet inside. However, only part of the wallet made it through.

Tip, Tap, and Top all panicked when they heard the girl coming. Tap lifted the top of the pumpkin by the door, and the three of them sneaked inside.

Once the coast seemed clear, and the girl found her wallet (though she had no idea what the commotion was about), Tip, Tap, and Top returned to their nest. From then on, they agreed that was the last time Tip could do any exploring whenever students carved pumpkins. However, they did all agree that pumpkins seemed comfortable to live in. Once winter arrived, they decided, they would each pick their own pumpkin to nestle into before it grew too cold for them in their nest.


Lee’s Addition:

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a difficult time.” (Proverbs 17:17 HCSB)

These sparrows were definitely trying to be helpful.

I think I like these three adventurous sparrows. Who knows, maybe Tip, Tap, and Top will become another series of stories for Emma. We have all enjoyed the adventures of Reginald the Turkey Commander.

Emma’s Stories

Wordless Birds

Garfield’s Face and Bird’s Faces

Face Not Woke Up Yet! ©Garfield

Face Not Awake Yet! ©Garfield

Just thought you might enjoy seeing some birds who may not have their Face Awake Yet!

Shoebill by Lee Lowry Park Zoo

Shoebill by Lee Lowry Park Zoo

King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) ©WikiC – National Zoo-Washington-USA

King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) by Lee at Brevard Zoo

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) ©WikiC

“So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:21 NKJV)

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

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

Bornean Frogmouth (Batrachostomus mixtus) juv ©©RichardWellis

Papuan Frogmouth (Podargus papuensis) by Africaddict

“Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.” (1 Corinthians 15:34 NKJV)

Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) ©Flickr Wayne Butterworth

There are many more birds that could give Garfield competition. Just thought you might enjoy seeing some of God’s Handiwork. Even if we aren’t the prettiest or most handsome person, God still loves us, even as He love all of His Creations.

Bird’s With Faces Like Garfield’s Face With different birds

ABC’s of the Gospel

Tickle Me Tuesday – Christmas Bird Videos

Just thought you needed a diversion from all the last minute gift wrapping and cooking. Enjoy these birds with a Christmas attitude.

“A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” (Proverbs 15:13 KJV)

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22 KJV)

“Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.” (1 Chronicles 16:9 KJV)

What is the Gospel?

The Autobiography of a Duck

Pecking duckling ©WikiC

Pecking duckling ©WikiC

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A DUCK.
FOUNDED UPON FACT.

“How queer, my child! what a long, broad mouth you have, and what peculiar feet!”

It was my mother, a big brown hen, who spoke. I had stepped from my egg, only a short while before, and as I was the only one hatched out of the whole thirteen, my poor mother was greatly disappointed.

Now, to add to her troubles, there seemed to be something very peculiar about my appearance.

“Yes,” she went on still watching me critically, “I have raised many families, but never a chick like you. Well! well! don’t cry about it. Your yellow dress is very pretty. It doesn’t pay to be too sensitive, as you will find, I am afraid, when you have lived with these chickens. Some of them are dreadfully trying. Dear! dear! how stiff I am! This setting is tiresome work.”

“I wonder what sort of home we are going to have.”

Our home, into which we moved a few hours later, proved to be an upturned soap box. Seven little chickens were there before us.

“The same old story,” said my mother with a knowing air. “People imagine we hens have no sense. I did not hatch those chickens, but I am expected to care for them, as though I did. Some mothers would peck them so they would be glad to stay away.”

She had too good a heart for this, however, and I was very glad to have these brothers and sisters.

Chick ©PD

Chick ©PD

They were different from me, though, in many ways, principally, in their dislike for water. They hated even to get their feet wet, while I dearly loved to get in the pond, and swim around on its surface, or even dive down to the bottom, where such nice fat worms lived.

My poor mother never could understand my tastes. The first time she saw me on the water, she came rushing towards me, screaming and beating her wings.

“Oh, my child! my child!” she cried, with tears in her eyes. “You will drown! You will drown!”

I loved her, and so could not bear to see her distress. It was hard to be different from all the others.

I had a little yellow sister who was a great comfort to me at these times. I could never persuade her to try the water,—but she always sat upon the edge of the pond while I had my swim. We shared everything with each other; even our troubles.

About this time, my voice began to change. It had been a soft little “peep,” but now it grew so harsh, that some of the old hens made unpleasant remarks about it, and my mother was worried.

“It isn’t talking. It’s quacking,” said an old, brown-headed hen who was always complaining of her nerves.

She was very cross and spent most of her time standing on one leg in a corner and pecking any poor chicken that came in her reach.

“Don’t you know why it’s quacking?” asked a stately Buff Cochin who was a stranger in the yard; having arrived only that morning. “That child isn’t a chicken. She’s a duck.”

“What you giving us?” said a dandified Cock, who was busy pluming his feathers. “Whoever heard of a duck?”

“Not you, I daresay,” answered the Buff with a contemptuous sniff. “It’s easy to see you have never been away from this yard. I have traveled, I would have you understand, and I know a duck, too.”

“Well, I don’t care what you call her,” snapped the cross one. “I only hope she’ll keep her voice out of my hearing. The sound of it gives me nervous prostration.”

Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) chick ©USFWS

Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) chick ©USFWS

As for poor me,—I stole quietly away, and went up into a corner of the chicken house to cry. I was a duck, alas! and different from all about me. No wonder I was lonely.

My mother asked the cause of my trouble, and when I told her she looked sad and puzzled. “I don’t know what a duck is,” she sighed, “things have been strangely mixed. But cheer up. Whatever comes you are still my child.”

That was indeed a comfort to me. For never had chicken or duck a better mother.

There was consolation also, in what the kind old Buff Cochin told me.

I had nothing to be ashamed of, she said, for ducks were much esteemed by those who knew them.

From her this had more weight, for we all regarded the Buff Cochin as very superior. They were well born, and well bred, and had seen life in many places. Their husband, too, was a thorough gentleman.

However, he also was having his troubles now. He was losing his old feathers, and his new ones were long in coming. Consequently, his appearance was shabby, and he staid away from the hens.

Duck Drawing ©PD

Duck Drawing ©PD

Poor fellow, he looked quite forlorn, leaning up against a sunny corner of the barn, trying to keep warm. I believe he felt the loss of his tail feathers most for the young roosters who strutted by in their fine new coats, made sneering remarks about it.

I was very sorry for him, but my own troubles were getting to be as much as I could bear; for just when I needed a sympathetic mother she was taken from me and her place filled by a big, bare-headed hen as high tempered as she was homely.

“Raising a duck,” she said with a contemptuous sniff at me. “I never supposed I’d come to that. Well, I’ll keep you, but understand one thing, don’t go quacking around me, and don’t bring your wet and mud into the house. I’m not your other mother. My children don’t rule me. I won’t have that Mrs. Redbreast saying my house is dirty. There’s no standing that hen anyhow. I’ll give her my opinion if she puts on her airs around me. There’s too much mixture here. One can’t tell where breed begins or ends.”

It was not many days later, before my mother and Mrs. Redbreast came to words and then blows. The cause was only a worm, but it was enough. Mrs. Redbreast insisted that it was hers. My mother thought otherwise, and with a screech of defiance rushed upon her enemy. Dust and feathers flew. We children withdrew to a safe distance, and with necks stretched watched in fear and trembling.

The fight, though fierce, was short. Our mother was victorious, but she had lost the tail feathers of which she had been so proud, and I am sure she never forgave Mrs. Redbreast.

Chicks and Ducklings ©PD

Chicks and Ducklings ©PD

Like children, chickens and ducks grow older and bigger with the passing days.

In time we were taken from our mothers and put to roost with the older hens and cocks. I was not made to roost so I spent my nights alone in a corner of the chicken house.

It was quieter down there—for up above the chickens all fought for best place, and their cackling and fluttering was disturbing.

The old gentleman was very heavy. Not only was it hard for him to fly up to the roost, but equally hard for him to hold on when once there. Yet I could never persuade him to rest on the floor with me. Like his kind, he preferred the discomfort of sleeping on a pole—a taste I cannot understand.

Three Ducklings ©WikiC

Three Ducklings ©WikiC

I was four months old before I saw one of my own kind. Then, one day three ducks were brought into the yard. They did not seem to mind being stared at, but fell to eating corn and talking among themselves.

“Horribly greedy,” said Mrs. Redbreast. “I for one don’t care to associate with them.”

“Now you know what you look like, old quacker,” snapped the cross hen, with a peck at me. “My poor nerves will suffer sadly now.”

These unkind remarks scarcely disturbed me, however. There was a new feeling stirring in my heart. I am afraid you will have to be a duck, and live a long time without other ducks, to understand it. Here were companions, whose natures and tastes were like mine, and I was content.

Louise Jamison.


Lee’s Addition:

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 KJV)

Trust you enjoyed this delightful bird tale about a duck. This was written by Louise Jamison in the Birds and Nature Vol. X, No. 3, Octorber 1901.

Near the end, when our duckling met up with some of her own and made this remark: “Here were companions, whose natures and tastes were like mine, and I was content.” I couldn’t but think of how we as Christian feel a certain bond when we are around like believers.

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9 KJV)

that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3 ESV)

This is from Gutenberg’s ebooks.

Kid’s Section

Bird Tales

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The Watchman of the Old Orchard – Chapter 7

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

The Watchman of the Old Orchard

The Kingbird and the Great Crested Flycatcher.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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CHAPTER 7. The Watchman of the Old Orchard.

Listen to the story read.

A few days after Chebec and his wife started building their nest in the Old Orchard Peter dropped around as usual for a very early call. He found Chebec very busy hunting for materials for that nest, because, as he explained to Peter, Mrs. Chebec is very particular indeed about what her nest is made of. But he had time to tell Peter a bit of news.

“My fighting cousin and my handsomest cousin arrived together yesterday, and now our family is very well represented in the Old Orchard,” said Chebec proudly.

Slowly Peter reached over his back with his long left hind foot and thoughtfully scratched his long right ear. He didn’t like to admit that he couldn’t recall those two cousins of Chebec’s. “Did you say your fighting cousin?” he asked in a hesitating way.

“That’s what I said,” replied Chebec. “He is Scrapper the Kingbird, as of course you know. The rest of us always feel safe when he is about.

“Of course I know him,” declared Peter, his face clearing. “Where is he now?”

At that very instant a great racket broke out on the other side of the Old Orchard and in no time at all the feathered folks were hurrying from every direction, screaming at the top of their voices. Of course, Peter couldn’t be left out of anything like that, and he scampered for the scene of trouble as fast as his legs could take him. When he got there he saw Redtail the Hawk flying up and down and this way and that way, as if trying to get away from something or somebody.

For a minute Peter couldn’t think what was the trouble with Redtail, and then he saw. A white-throated, white-breasted bird, having a black cap and back, and a broad white band across the end of his tail, was darting at Redtail as if he meant to pull out every feather in the latter’s coat.

Scrapper the Kingbird, Redeye the Vireo - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Scrapper the Kingbird, Redeye the Vireo – Burgess Bird Book ©©

He was just a little smaller than Welcome Robin, and in comparison with him Redtail was a perfect giant. But this seemed to make no difference to Scrapper, for that is who it was. He wasn’t afraid, and he intended that everybody should know it, especially Redtail. It is because of his fearlessness that he is called Kingbird. All the time he was screaming at the top of his lungs, calling Redtail a robber and every other bad name he could think of. All the other birds joined him in calling Redtail bad names. But none, not even Bully the English Sparrow, was brave enough to join him in attacking big Redtail.

When he had succeeded in driving Redtail far enough from the Old Orchard to suit him, Scrapper flew back and perched on a dead branch of one of the trees, where he received the congratulations of all his feathered neighbors. He took them quite modestly, assuring them that he had done nothing, nothing at all, but that he didn’t intend to have any of the Hawk family around the Old Orchard while he lived there. Peter couldn’t help but admire Scrapper for his courage.

As Peter looked up at Scrapper he saw that, like all the rest of the flycatchers, there was just the tiniest of hooks on the end of his bill. Scrapper’s slightly raised cap seemed all black, but if Peter could have gotten close enough, he would have found that hidden in it was a patch of orange-red. While Peter sat staring up at him Scrapper suddenly darted out into the air, and his bill snapped in quite the same way Chebec’s did when he caught a fly. But it wasn’t a fly that Scrapper had. It was a bee. Peter saw it very distinctly just as Scrapper snapped it up. It reminded Peter that he had often heard Scrapper called the Bee Martin, and now he understood why.

“Do you live on bees altogether?” asked Peter.

Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) by Margaret Sloan Eating

Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) by Margaret Sloan Eating

“Bless your heart, Peter, no,” replied Scrapper with a chuckle. “There wouldn’t be any honey if I did. I like bees. I like them first rate. But they form only a very small part of my food. Those that I do catch are mostly drones, and you know the drones are useless. They do no work at all. It is only by accident that I now and then catch a worker. I eat all kinds of insects that fly and some that don’t. I’m one of Farmer Brown’s best friends, if he did but know it. You can talk all you please about the wonderful eyesight of the members of the Hawk family, but if any one of them has better eyesight than I have, I’d like to know who it is. There’s a fly ‘way over there beyond that old apple-tree; watch me catch it.”

Peter knew better than to waste any effort trying to see that fly. He knew that he couldn’t have seen it had it been only one fourth that distance away. But if he couldn’t see the fly he could hear the sharp click of Scrapper’s bill, and he knew by the way Scrapper kept opening and shutting his mouth after his return that he had caught that fly and it had tasted good.

“Are you going to build in the Old Orchard this year?” asked Peter.

“Of course I am,” declared Scrapper. “I—”

Just then he spied Blacky the Crow and dashed out to meet him. Blacky saw him coming and was wise enough to suddenly appear to have no interest whatever in the Old Orchard, turning away toward the Green Meadows instead.

Peter didn’t wait for Scrapper to return. It was getting high time for him to scamper home to the dear Old Briar-patch and so he started along, lipperty-lipperty-lip. Just as he was leaving the far corner of the Old Orchard some one called him. “Peter! Oh, Peter Rabbit!” called the voice. Peter stopped abruptly, sat up very straight, looked this way, looked that way and looked the other way, every way but the right way.

“Look up over your head,” cried the voice, rather a harsh voice. Peter looked, then all in a flash it came to him who it was Chebec had meant by the handsomest member of his family. It was Cresty the Great Crested Flycatcher. He was a wee bit bigger than Scrapper the Kingbird, yet not quite so big as Welcome Robin, and more slender. His throat and breast were gray, shading into bright yellow underneath. His back and head were of a grayish-brown with a tint of olive-green. A pointed cap was all that was needed to make him quite distinguished looking. He certainly was the handsomest as well as the largest of the Flycatcher family.

Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus) by Margaret Sloan

Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus) by Margaret Sloan

“You seem to be in a hurry, so don’t let me detain you, Peter,” said Cresty, before Peter could find his tongue. “I just want to ask one little favor of you.”

“What is it?” asked Peter, who is always glad to do any one a favor.

“If in your roaming about you run across an old cast-off suit of Mr. Black Snake, or of any other member of the Snake family, I wish you would remember me and let me know. Will you, Peter?” said Cresty.

“A—a—a—what?” stammered Peter.

“A cast-off suit of clothes from any member of the Snake family,” replied Cresty somewhat impatiently. “Now don’t forget, Peter. I’ve got to go house hunting, but you’ll find me there or hereabouts, if it happens that you find one of those cast-off Snake suits.”

Before Peter could say another word Cresty had flown away. Peter hesitated, looking first towards the dear Old Briar-patch and then towards Jenny Wren’s house. He just couldn’t understand about those cast-off suits of the Snake family, and he felt sure that Jenny Wren could tell him. Finally curiosity got the best of him, and back he scampered, lipperty-lipperty-lip, to the foot of the tree in which Jenny Wren had her home.

“Jenny!” called Peter. “Jenny Wren! Jenny Wren!” No one answered him. He could hear Mr. Wren singing in another tree, but he couldn’t see him. “Jenny! Jenny Wren! Jenny Wren!” called Peter again. This time Jenny popped her head out, and her little eyes fairly snapped. “Didn’t I tell you the other day, Peter Rabbit, that I’m not to be disturbed? Didn’t I tell you that I’ve got seven eggs in here, and that I can’t spend any time gossiping? Didn’t I, Peter Rabbit? Didn’t I? Didn’t I?”

“You certainly did, Jenny. You certainly did, and I’m sorry to disturb you,” replied Peter meekly. “I wouldn’t have thought of doing such a thing, but I just didn’t know who else to go to.”

“Go to for what?” snapped Jenny Wren. “What is it you’ve come to me for?”

“Snake skins,” replied Peter.

“Snake skins! Snake skins!” shrieked Jenny Wren. “What are you talking about, Peter Rabbit? I never have anything to do with Snake skins and don’t want to. Ugh! It makes me shiver just to think of it.”

“You don’t understand,” cried Peter hurriedly. “What I want to know is, why should Cresty the Flycatcher ask me to please let him know if I found any cast-off suits of the Snake family? He flew away before I could ask him why he wants them, and so I came to you, because I know you know everything, especially everything concerning your neighbors.”

Jenny Wren looked as if she didn’t know whether to feel flattered or provoked. But Peter looked so innocent that she concluded he was trying to say something nice.

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Like birds flying about, So will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem. Defending, He will also deliver it; Passing over, He will preserve it.” (Isaiah 31:5 NKJV)

  • Who are the two birds featured in this tale?
  • Who is the larger of the two?
  • Which one has a yellow throat and which one has a white throat?
  • Why is Scrapper called a Kingbird
  • Does Scrapper only eat bees?
  • What was Cresty looking for? Why?
  • What is another name for Scrapper?
  • What was on the tip of their bills?

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Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)

Links:

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Links:

Wood Pewee of Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

 

Next Chapter (Old Clothes and Old Houses)

 

 

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Savannah Sparrow by Ray   Wordless Birds

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An Old Friend In a New Home – Chapter 6

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) by Dan

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) by Dan

An Old Friend In a New Home

The Phoebe and the Least Flycatcher

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

*

CHAPTER 6. An Old Friend In a New Home.

Listen to the story read.

Every day brought newcomers to the Old Orchard, and early in the morning there were so many voices to be heard that perhaps it is no wonder if for some time Peter Rabbit failed to miss that of one of his very good friends. Most unexpectedly he was reminded of this as very early one morning he scampered, lipperty-lipperty-lip, across a little bridge over the Laughing Brook.

“Dear me! Dear me! Dear me!” cried rather a plaintive voice. Peter stopped so suddenly that he all but fell heels over head. Sitting on the top of a tall, dead, mullein stalk was a very soberly dressed but rather trim little fellow, a very little larger than Bully the English Sparrow. Above, his coat was of a dull olive-brown, while underneath he was of a grayish-white, with faint tinges of yellow in places. His head was dark, and his bill black. The feathers on his head were lifted just enough to make the tiniest kind of crest. His wings and tail were dusky, little bars of white showing very faintly on his wings, while the outer edges of his tail were distinctly white. He sat with his tail hanging straight down, as if he hadn’t strength enough to hold it up.

Chebec the Least Flycatcher, Dear Me the Phoebe - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Chebec the Least Flycatcher, Dear Me the Phoebe – Burgess Bird Book ©©

“Hello, Dear Me!” cried Peter joyously. “What are you doing way down here? I haven’t seen you since you first arrived, just after Winsome Bluebird got here.” Peter started to say that he had wondered what had become of Dear Me, but checked himself, for Peter is very honest and he realized now that in the excitement of greeting so many friends he hadn’t missed Dear Me at all.

Dear Me the Phoebe did not reply at once, but darted out into the air, and Peter heard a sharp click of that little black bill. Making a short circle, Dear Me alighted on the mullein stalk again.

“Did you catch a fly then?” asked Peter.

“Dear me! Dear me! Of course I did,” was the prompt reply. And with each word there was a jerk of that long hanging tail. Peter almost wondered if in some way Dear Me’s tongue and tail were connected. “I suppose,” said he, “that it is the habit of catching flies and bugs in the air that has given your family the name of Flycatchers.”

Dear Me nodded and almost at once started into the air again. Once more Peter heard the click of that little black bill, then Dear Me was back on his perch. Peter asked again what he was doing down there.

“Mrs. Phoebe and I are living down here,” replied Dear Me. “We’ve made our home down here and we like it very much.”

Peter looked all around, this way, that way, every way, with the funniest expression on his face. He didn’t see anything of Mrs. Phoebe and he didn’t see any place in which he could imagine Mr. and Mrs. Phoebe building a nest. “What are you looking for?” asked Dear Me.

“For Mrs. Phoebe and your home,” declared Peter quite frankly. “I didn’t suppose you and Mrs. Phoebe ever built a nest on the ground, and I don’t see any other place around here for one.”

Dear Me chuckled. “I wouldn’t tell any one but you, Peter,” said he, “but I’ve known you so long that I’m going to let you into a little secret. Mrs. Phoebe and our home are under the very bridge you are sitting on.”

“I don’t believe it!” cried Peter.

But Dear Me knew from the way Peter said it that he really didn’t mean that. “Look and see for yourself,” said Dear Me.

So Peter lay flat on his stomach and tried to stretch his head over the edge of the bridge so as to see under it. But his neck wasn’t long enough, or else he was afraid to lean over as far as he might have. Finally he gave up and at Mr. Phoebe’s suggestion crept down the bank to the very edge of the Laughing Brook. Dear Me darted out to catch another fly, then flew right in under the bridge and alighted on a little ledge of stone just beneath the floor. There, sure enough, was a nest, and Peter could see Mrs. Phoebe’s bill and the top of her head above the edge of it. It was a nest with a foundation of mud covered with moss and lined with feathers.

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) Nest ©WikiC

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) Nest ©WikiC

“That’s perfectly splendid!” cried Peter, as Dear Me resumed his perch on the old mullein stalk. “How did you ever come to think of such a place? And why did you leave the shed up at Farmer Brown’s where you have build your home for the last two or three years?”

“Oh,” replied Dear Me, “we Phoebes always have been fond of building under bridges. You see a place like this is quite safe. Then, too, we like to be near water. Always there are many insects flying around where there is water, so it is an easy matter to get plenty to eat. I left the shed at Farmer Brown’s because that pesky cat up there discovered our nest last year, and we had a dreadful time keeping our babies out of her clutches. She hasn’t found us down here, and she wouldn’t be able to trouble us if she should find us.”

“I suppose,” said Peter, “that as usual you were the first of your family to arrive.”

“Certainly. Of course,” replied Dear Me. “We always are the first. Mrs. Phoebe and I don’t go as far south in winter as the other members of the family do. They go clear down into the Tropics, but we manage to pick up a pretty good living without going as far as that. So we get back here before the rest of them, and usually have begun housekeeping by the time they arrive. My cousin, Chebec the Least Flycatcher, should be here by this time. Haven’t you heard anything of him up in the Old Orchard?”

“No,” replied Peter, “but to tell the truth I haven’t looked for him. I’m on my way to the Old Orchard now, and I certainly shall keep my ears and eyes open for Chebec. I’ll tell you if I find him. Good-by.”

“Dear me! Dear me! Good-by Peter. Dear me!” replied Mr. Phoebe as Peter started off for the Old Orchard.

Perhaps it was because Peter was thinking of him that almost the first voice he heard when he reached the Old Orchard was that of Chebec, repeating his own name over and over as if he loved the sound of it. It didn’t take Peter long to find him. He was sitting out on the up of one of the upper branches of an apple-tree where he could watch for flies and other winged insects. He looked so much like Mr. Phoebe, save that he was smaller, that any one would have know they were cousins. “Chebec! Chebec! Chebec!” he repeated over and over, and with every note jerked his tail. Now and then he would dart out into the air and snap up something so small that Peter, looking up from the ground, couldn’t see it at all.

Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus) by Raymond Barlow

Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus) by Raymond Barlow

“Hello, Chebec!” cried Peter. “I’m glad to see you back again. Are you going to build in the Old Orchard this year?”

“Of course I am,” replied Chebec promptly. “Mrs. Chebec and I have built here for the last two or three years, and we wouldn’t think of going anywhere else. Mrs. Chebec is looking for a place now. I suppose I ought to be helping her, but I learned a long time ago, Peter Rabbit, that in matters of this kind it is just as well not to have any opinion at all. When Mrs. Chebec has picked out just the place she wants, I’ll help her build the nest. It certainly is good to be back here in the Old Orchard and planning a home once more. We’ve made a terribly long journey, and I for one am glad it’s over.”

“I just saw your cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Phoebe, and they already have a nest and eggs,” said Peter.

“The Phoebes are a funny lot,” replied Chebec. “They are the only members of the family that can stand cold weather. What pleasure they get out of it I don’t understand. They are queer anyway, for they never build their nests in trees as the rest of us do.”

“Are you the smallest in the family?” asked Peter, for it had suddenly struck him that Chebec was a very little fellow indeed.

Chebec nodded. “I’m the smallest,” said he. “That’s why they call me Least Flycatcher. I may be least in size, but I can tell you one thing, Peter Rabbit, and that is that I can catch just as many bugs and flies as any of them.” Suiting action to the word, he darted out into the air. His little bill snapped and with a quick turn he was back on his former perch, jerking his tail and uttering his sharp little cry of, “Chebec! Chebec! Chebec!” until Peter began to wonder which he was the most fond of, catching flies, or the sound of his own voice.

Presently they both heard Mrs. Chebec calling from somewhere in the middle of the Old Orchard. “Excuse me, Peter,” said Chebec, “I must go at once. Mrs. Chebec says she has found just the place for our nest, and now we’ve got a busy time ahead of us. We are very particular how we build a nest.”

“Do you start it with mud the way Welcome Robin and your cousins, the Phoebes, do?” asked Peter.

“Mud!” cried Chebec scornfully. “Mud! I should say not! I would have you understand, Peter, that we are very particular about what we use in our nest. We use only the finest of rootlets, strips of soft bark, fibers of plants, the brown cotton that grows on ferns, and perhaps a little hair when we can find it. We make a dainty nest, if I do say it, and we fasten it securely in the fork made by two or three upright little branches. Now I must go because Mrs. Chebec is getting impatient. Come see me when I’m not so busy Peter.”


Lee’s Addition:

The family that the Phoebe and the Least Flycatcher belong to is the Tyrant Flycatchers – Tyrannidae Family. It is a very large family, but most do not live here in North America.

How does the story describe Dear Me the Phoebe?

  • What does he like to eat?
  • Where is his nest?
  • What is the nest made out of?
  • Why did he get back before the others in his family?

The Least Flycatcher is called Chebec. Do you know why?

  • Why did he get back later than Dear Me?
  • How is Chebec’s nest different from Dear Me’s?
  • Chebec is the largest or smallest member of the Flycatcher family?

 

*

The birds of the air have their resting-places by them (trees), and make their song among the branches. (Psalms 104:12 BBE)

Links:

*

Links:

Bully the English Sparrow, Chippy the Chipping Sparrow - Burgess Bird Book ©©

 

  Next Chapter (The Watchman of the Old Orchard.)

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

Burgess Bird Book For Children

 

Savannah Sparrow by Ray

 

Wordless Birds – With Hummingbirds

 

 

 

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Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed – Chapter 5

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) ©WikiC

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) ©WikiC

Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed

The Bluebird and the Robin

*

Listen to the story read.

CHAPTER 5. Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed.

Running over to the Old Orchard very early in the morning for a little gossip with Jenny Wren and his other friends there had become a regular thing with Peter Rabbit. He was learning a great many things, and some of them were most surprising.

Now two of Peter’s oldest and best friends in the Old Orchard were Winsome Bluebird and Welcome Robin. Every spring they arrived pretty nearly together, though Winsome Bluebird usually was a few days ahead of Welcome Robin. This year Winsome had arrived while the snow still lingered in patches. He was, as he always is, the herald of sweet Mistress Spring. And when Peter had heard for the first time Winsome’s soft, sweet whistle, which seemed to come from nowhere in particular and from everywhere in general, he had kicked up his long hind legs from pure joy. Then, when a few days later he had heard Welcome Robin’s joyous message of “Cheer-up! Cheer-up! Cheer-up! Cheer-up! Cheer!” from the tiptop of a tall tree, he had known that Mistress Spring really had arrived.

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Peter loves Winsome Bluebird and Welcome Robin, just as everybody else does, and he had known them so long and so well that he thought he knew all there was to know about them. He would have been very indignant had anybody told him he didn’t.

“Those cousins don’t look much alike, do they?” remarked Jenny Wren, as she poked her head out of her house to gossip with Peter.

“What cousins?” demanded Peter, staring very hard in the direction in which Jenny Wren was looking.

“Those two sitting on the fence over there. Where are your eyes, Peter?” replied Jenny rather sharply.

Peter stared harder than ever. On one post sat Winsome Bluebird, and on another post sat Welcome Robin. “I don’t see anybody but Winsome and Welcome, and they are not even related,” replied Peter with a little puzzled frown.

“Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut, Peter!” exclaimed Jenny Wren. “Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut! Who told you any such nonsense as that? Of course they are related. They are cousins. I thought everybody knew that. They belong to the same family that Melody the Thrush and all the other Thrushes belong to. That makes them all cousins.”

“What?” exclaimed Peter, looking as if he didn’t believe a word of what Jenny Wren had said. Jenny repeated, and still Peter looked doubtful.

Then Jenny lost her temper, a thing she does very easily. “If you don’t believe me, go ask one of them,” she snapped, and disappeared inside her house, where Peter could hear her scolding away to herself.

The more he thought of it, the more this struck Peter as good advice. So he hopped over to the foot of the fence post on which Winsome Bluebird was sitting. “Jenny Wren says that you and Welcome Robin are cousins. She doesn’t know what she is talking about, does she?” asked Peter.

Winsome chuckled. It was a soft, gentle chuckle. “Yes,” said he, nodding his head, “we are. You can trust that little busybody to know what she is talking about, every time. I sometimes think she knows more about other people’s affairs than about her own. Welcome and I may not look much alike, but we are cousins just the same. Don’t you think Welcome is looking unusually fine this spring?”

“Not a bit finer than you are yourself, Winsome,” replied Peter politely. “I just love that sky-blue coat of yours. What is the reason that Mrs. Bluebird doesn’t wear as bright a coat as you do?”

“Go ask Jenny Wren,” chuckled Winsome Bluebird, and before Peter could say another word he flew over to the roof of Farmer Brown’s house.

Back scampered Peter to tell Jenny Wren that he was sorry he had doubted her and that he never would again. Then he begged Jenny to tell him why it was that Mrs. Bluebird was not as brightly dressed as was Winsome.

“Mrs. Bluebird, like most mothers, is altogether too busy to spend much time taking care of her clothes; and fine clothes need a lot of care,” replied Jenny. “Besides, when Winsome is about he attracts all the attention and that gives her a chance to slip in and out of her nest without being noticed. I don’t believe you know, Peter Rabbit, where Winsome’s nest is.”

Peter had to admit that he didn’t, although he had tried his best to find out by watching Winsome. “I think it’s over in that little house put up by Farmer Brown’s boy,” he ventured. “I saw both Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird go in it when they first came, and I’ve seen Winsome around it a great deal since, so I guess it is there.”

“So you guess it is there!” mimicked Jenny Wren. “Well, your guess is quite wrong, Peter; quite wrong. As a matter of fact, it is in one of those old fence posts. But just which one I am not going to tell you. I will leave that for you to find out. Mrs. Bluebird certainly shows good sense. She knows a good house when she sees it. The hole in that post is one of the best holes anywhere around here. If I had arrived here early enough I would have taken it myself. But Mrs. Bluebird already had her nest built in it and four eggs there, so there was nothing for me to do but come here. Just between you and me, Peter, I think the Bluebirds show more sense in nest building than do their cousins the Robins. There is nothing like a house with stout walls and a doorway just big enough to get in and out of comfortably.”

Peter nodded quite as if he understood all about the advantages of a house with walls. “That reminds me,” said he. “The other day I saw Welcome Robin getting mud and carrying it away. Pretty soon he was joined by Mrs. Robin, and she did the same thing. They kept it up till I got tired of watching them. What were they doing with that mud?”

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

“Building their nest, of course, stupid,” retorted Jenny. “Welcome Robin, with that black head, beautiful russet breast, black and white throat and yellow bill, not to mention the proud way in which he carries himself, certainly is a handsome fellow, and Mrs. Robin is only a little less handsome. How they can be content to build the kind of home they do is more than I can understand. People think that Mr. Wren and I use a lot of trash in our nest. Perhaps we do, but I can tell you one thing, and that is it is clean trash. It is just sticks and clean straws, and before I lay my eggs I see to it that my nest is lined with feathers. More than this, there isn’t any cleaner housekeeper than I am, if I do say it.

“Welcome Robin is a fine looker and a fine singer, and everybody loves him. But when it comes to housekeeping, he and Mrs. Robin are just plain dirty. They make the foundation of their nest of mud,—plain, common, ordinary mud. They cover this with dead grass, and sometimes there is mighty little of this over the inside walls of mud. I know because I’ve seen the inside of their nest often. Anybody with any eyes at all can find their nest. More than once I’ve known them to have their nest washed away in a heavy rain, or have it blown down in a high wind. Nothing like that ever happens to Winsome Bluebird or to me.”

Jenny disappeared inside her house, and Peter waited for her to come out again. Welcome Robin flew down on the ground, ran a few steps, and then stood still with his head on one side as if listening. Then he reached down and tugged at something, and presently out of the ground came a long, wriggling angleworm. Welcome gulped it down and ran on a few steps, then once more paused to listen. This time he turned and ran three or four steps to the right, where he pulled another worm out of the ground.

“He acts as if he heard those worms in the ground,” said Peter, speaking aloud without thinking.

“He does,” said Jenny Wren, poking her head out of her doorway just as Peter spoke. “How do you suppose he would find them when they are in the ground if he didn’t hear them?”

“Can you hear them?” asked Peter.

“I’ve never tried, and I don’t intend to waste my time trying,” retorted Jenny. “Welcome Robin may enjoy eating them, but for my part I want something smaller and daintier, young grasshoppers, tender young beetles, small caterpillars, bugs and spiders.”

Peter had to turn his head aside to hide the wry face he just had to make at the mention of such things as food. “Is that all Welcome Robin eats?” he asked innocently.

“I should say not,” laughed Jenny. “He eats a lot of other kinds of worms, and he just dearly loves fruit like strawberries and cherries and all sorts of small berries. Well, I can’t stop here talking any longer. I’m going to tell you a secret, Peter, if you’ll promise not to tell.”

Of course Peter promised, and Jenny leaned so far down that Peter wondered how she could keep from falling as she whispered, “I’ve got seven eggs in my nest, so if you don’t see much of me for the next week or more, you’ll know why. I’ve just got to sit on those eggs and keep them warm.”

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  1. What bird family do the Bluebird and Robin belong to?
  2. Why is it good that Mrs. Bluebird isn’t brightly dressed?
  3. When the Robin runs and then stops, what is he doing? What might he find to eat?
  4. What colors are the Robin’s head, breast, throat and bill?
  5. What does the Robin’s song sound like?
  6. Should we have an attitude like the Robin’s Song?

“Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. (James 5:13 NASB)

“A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. (Proverbs 15:13 NASB)

“Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 NASB)

Links:

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Links:

Chebec the Least Flycatcher, Dear Me the Phoebe - Burgess Bird Book ©©

 

  Next Chapter – An Old Friend In a New Home. 

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

Burgess Bird Book For Children

 

Green-billed Toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus) ©WikiC

Wordless Toucan

  

 

Wordless Birds – Toucan

 

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Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty – Chapter 4

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) by Quy Tran

Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty

The Chipping, Vesper and Tree Sparrows

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

*

Listen to the story read.

CHAPTER 4. Chippy, Sweetvoice, and Dotty.

For a while Jenny Wren was too busy to talk save to scold Mr. Wren for spending so much time singing instead of working. To Peter it seemed as if they were trying to fill that tree trunk with rubbish. “I should think they had enough stuff in there for half a dozen nests,” muttered Peter. “I do believe they are carrying it in for the fun of working.” Peter wasn’t far wrong in this thought, as he was to discover a little later in the season when he found Mr. Wren building another nest for which he had no use.

Finding that for the time being he could get nothing more from Jenny Wren, Peter hopped over to visit Johnny Chuck, whose home was between the roots of an old apple-tree in the far corner of the Old Orchard. Peter was still thinking of the Sparrow family; what a big family it was, yet how seldom any of them, excepting Bully the English Sparrow, were to be found in the Old Orchard.

“Hello, Johnny Chuck!” cried Peter, as he discovered Johnny sitting on his doorstep. “You’ve lived in the Old Orchard a long time, so you ought to be able to tell me something I want to know. Why is it that none of the Sparrow family excepting that noisy nuisance, Bully, build in the trees of the Old Orchard? Is it because Bully has driven all the rest out?”

Johnny Chuck shook his head. “Peter,” said he, “whatever is the matter with your ears? And whatever is the matter with your eyes?”

“Nothing,” replied Peter rather shortly. “They are as good as yours any day, Johnny Chuck.”

(Chipping Sparrow singing ©xeno-canto.org by Ian Cruickshank)

Johnny grinned. “Listen!” said Johnny. Peter listened. From a tree just a little way off came a clear “Chip, chip, chip, chip.” Peter didn’t need to be told to look. He knew without looking who was over there. He knew that voice for that of one of his oldest and best friends in the Old Orchard, a little fellow with a red-brown cap, brown back with feathers streaked with black, brownish wings and tail, a gray waistcoat and black bill, and a little white line over each eye—altogether as trim a little gentleman as Peter was acquainted with. It was Chippy, as everybody calls the Chipping Sparrow, the smallest of the family.

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) by Daves BirdingPix

Peter looked a little foolish. “I forgot all about Chippy,” said he. “Now I think of it, I have found Chippy here in the Old Orchard ever since I can remember. I never have seen his nest because I never happened to think about looking for it. Does he build a trashy nest like his cousin, Bully?”

Johnny Chuck laughed. “I should say not!” he exclaimed. “Twice Chippy and Mrs. Chippy have built their nest in this very old apple-tree. There is no trash in their nest, I can tell you! It is just as dainty as they are, and not a bit bigger than it has to be. It is made mostly of little fine, dry roots, and it is lined inside with horse-hair.”

“What’s that?” Peter’s voice sounded as it he suspected that Johnny Chuck was trying to fool him.

“It’s a fact,” said Johnny, nodding his head gravely. “Goodness knows where they find it these days, but find it they do. Here comes Chippy himself; ask him.”

Chippy and Mrs. Chippy came flitting from tree to tree until they were on a branch right over Peter and Johnny. “Hello!” cried Peter. “You folks seem very busy. Haven’t you finished building your nest yet?”

“Nearly,” replied Chippy. “It is all done but the horsehair. We are on our way up to Farmer Brown’s barnyard now to look for some. You haven’t seen any around anywhere, have you?”

Peter and Johnny shook their heads, and Peter confessed that he wouldn’t know horsehair if he saw it. He often had found hair from the coats of Reddy Fox and Old Man Coyote and Digger the Badger and Lightfoot the Deer, but hair from the coat of a horse was altogether another matter.

“It isn’t hair from the coat of a horse that we want,” cried Chippy, as he prepared to fly after Mrs. Chippy. “It is long hair from the tail or mane of a horse that we must have. It makes the very nicest kind of lining for a nest.”

Chippy and Mrs. Chippy were gone a long time, but when they did return each was carrying a long black hair. They had found what they wanted, and Mrs. Chippy was in high spirits because, as she took pains to explain to Peter, that little nest would not soon be ready for the four beautiful little blue eggs with black spots on one end she meant to lay in it.

“I just love Chippy and Mrs. Chippy,” said Peter, as they watched their two little feathered friends putting the finishing touches to the little nest far out on a branch of one of the apple-trees.

Bully the English Sparrow, Chippy the Chipping Sparrow - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Bully the English Sparrow, Chippy the Chipping Sparrow – Burgess Bird Book ©©

“Everybody does,” replied Johnny. “Everybody loves them as much as they hate Bully and his wife. Did you know that they are sometimes called Tree Sparrows? I suppose it is because they so often build their nests in trees?”

“No,” said Peter, “I didn’t. Chippy shouldn’t be called Tree Sparrow, because he has a cousin by that name.”

Johnny Chuck looked as if he doubted that, “I never heard of him,” he grunted.

Peter grinned. Here was a chance to tell Johnny Chuck something, and Peter never is happier than when he can tell folks something they don’t know. “You’d know him if you didn’t sleep all winter,” said Peter. “Dotty the Tree Sparrow spends the winter here. He left for his home in the Far North about the time you took it into your head to wake up.”

“Why do you call him Dotty?” asked Johnny Chuck.

“Because he has a little round black dot right in the middle of his breast,” replied Peter. “I don’t know why they call him Tree Sparrow; he doesn’t spend his time in the trees the way Chippy does, but I see him much oftener in low bushes or on the ground. I think Chippy has much more right to the name of Tree Sparrow than Dotty has. Now I think of it, I’ve heard Dotty called the Winter Chippy.”

“Gracious, what a mix-up!” exclaimed Johnny Chuck. “With Chippy being called a Tree Sparrow and a Tree Sparrow called Chippy, I should think folks would get all tangled up.”

“Perhaps they would,” replied Peter, “if both were here at the same time, but Chippy comes just as Dotty goes, and Dotty comes as Chippy goes. That’s a pretty good arrangement, especially as they look very much alike, excepting that Dotty is quite a little bigger than Chippy and always has that black dot, which Chippy does not have. Goodness gracious, it is time I was back in the dear Old Briar-patch! Good-by, Johnny Chuck.”

American Tree Sparrow by Ray

American Tree Sparrow by Ray

Away went Peter Rabbit, lipperty-lipperty-lip, heading for the dear Old Briar-patch. Out of the grass just ahead of him flew a rather pale, streaked little brown bird, and as he spread his tail Peter saw two white feathers on the outer edges. Those two white feathers were all Peter needed to recognize another little friend of whom he is very fond. It was Sweetvoice the Vesper Sparrow, the only one of the Sparrow family with white feathers in his tail.

“Come over to the dear Old Briar-patch and sing to me,” cried Peter.

Sweetvoice dropped down into the grass again, and when Peter came up, was very busy getting a mouthful of dry grass. “Can’t,” mumbled Sweetvoice. “Can’t do it now, Peter Rabbit. I’m too busy. It is high time our nest was finished, and Mrs. Sweetvoice will lose her patience if I don’t get this grass over there pretty quick.”

“Where is your nest; in a tree?” asked Peter innocently.

“That’s telling,” declared Sweetvoice. “Not a living soul knows where that nest is, excepting Mrs. Sweetvoice and myself. This much I will tell you, Peter: it isn’t in a tree. And I’ll tell you this much more: it is in a hoofprint of Bossy the Cow.”

“In a WHAT?” cried Peter.

“In a hoofprint of Bossy the Cow,” repeated Sweetvoice, chuckling softly. “You know when the ground was wet and soft early this spring, Bossy left deep footprints wherever she went. One of these makes the nicest kind of place for a nest. I think we have picked out the very best one on all the Green Meadows. Now run along, Peter Rabbit, and don’t bother me any more. I’ve got too much to do to sit here talking. Perhaps I’ll come over to the edge of the dear Old Briar-patch and sing to you a while just after jolly, round, red Mr. Sun goes to bed behind the Purple Hills. I just love to sing then.”

“I’ll be watching for you,” replied Peter. “You don’t love to sing any better than I love to hear you. I think that is the best time of all the day in which to sing. I mean, I think it’s the best time to hear singing,” for of course Peter himself does not sing at all.

(Vesper Sparrow singing ©xeno-canto.org by Chris Parrish)

That night, sure enough, just as the Black Shadows came creeping out over the Green Meadows, Sweetvoice, perched on the top of a bramble-bush over Peter’s head, sang over and over again the sweetest little song and kept on singing even after it was quite dark. Peter didn’t know it, but it is this habit of singing in the evening which has given Sweetvoice his name of Vesper Sparrow.

“Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” (Psalms 100:2 KJV)

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  • Who was the first new Sparrow we meet?
  • What were they busy doing?
  • Their nest was being built with what material?
  • What was the one thing needed to finish their nest?

*

  • Who was the next Sparrow that showed up?
  • Why did it confuse Johnny Chuck?
  • Why did the name “Dotty” fit for that sparrow?
  • Was Dotty or Chippy larger?

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  • Sweetvoice is what kind of Sparrow?
  • What were these Sparrows making their nest out of?
  • Where was their nest?
  • When does Sweetvoice like to sing?

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Are you busy doing the things that need to done? Do you sing? Most thought better of Chippy than Bully. Are more like Chippy or Bully?

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
(Ephesians 5:19-20 KJV)

Links:

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Links:

 Next Chapter –  Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed

 

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

  

Burgess Bird Book For Children

 

 

  

 ABC’s of the Gospel

 

 

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Burgess Bird Book For Children

 

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