From Decorah Eagles – Most Adorable Eaglet

“Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalms 103:5 KJV)

“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)

What an interesting video! Enjoy!

Bible Birds – Eagle

Birds of the Bible – Eagle

Wordless Birds

Bible Bird – Gier Eagle (Egyptian Vulture)

and the gier-eagle,

“But these are they of which ye shall not eat: … And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,” (Deuteronomy 14:17 KJV)

Gier eagleHeb. raham = “parental affection,” Leviticus 11:18 ; Deuteronomy 14:17 ; RSV, “vulture”), a species of vulture living entirely on carrion. “It is about the size of a raven; has an almost triangular, bald, and wrinkled head, a strong pointed beak, black at the tip, large eyes and ears, the latter entirely on the outside, and long feet.” It is common in Egypt, where it is popularly called “Pharaoh’s chicken” (the Neophron percnopterus), and is found in Palestine only during summer. Tristram thinks that the Hebrew name, which is derived from a root meaning “to love,” is given to it from the fact that the male and female bird never part company.

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) Flying ©WikiC

The name Gier Eagle is no longer used. It is known by other names today, such as; Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) or White Scavenger Vulture, or Pharaoh’s Chicken.
Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) 18 day old ©WikiC

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus)
18 day old ©WikiC

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) Egg ©WikiC

“The Egyptian vulture  is a small Old World vulture and the only member of the genus Neophron. It is widely distributed; the Egyptian vulture is found from the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa to India.”

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) ©WikiC

“It is widely distributed; the Egyptian vulture is found from the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa to India. The contrasting underwing pattern and wedge-shaped tail make it distinctive in flight as it soars in thermals during the warmer parts of the day. Egyptian vultures feed mainly on carrion but are opportunistic and will prey on small mammals, birds, and reptiles. They also feed on the eggs of other birds, breaking larger ones by tossing a large pebble onto them.”

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) ©WikiC

“The use of tools is rare in birds and apart from the use of a pebble as a hammer, Egyptian vultures also use twigs to roll up wool for use in their nest. Egyptian vultures that breed in the temperate regions migrate south in winter while tropical populations are relatively sedentary.” Wikipedia

Whatever this bird is called, I still wouldn’t want to eat it.

Relocated from the Kid’s Blog

Bible Birds – Eagles

Bible Birds

Wordless Toucan

Are Ostriches Stupid ? – Creation Moments

ARE OSTRICHES STUPID?

Job 39:13-15

“Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust, and forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.”

Ostriches are certainly comical looking birds. Whenever I see a picture of one, it certainly makes me smile.  Mind you, if you meet one up close, you might not laugh so much because they can cause a lot of damage with their legs, and particularly with their feet. But where ostriches come to our notice, as biblical Christians, is that many people think that the Bible is completely mistaken about ostriches, and, therefore, these supposed errors invalidate Scripture.

The main contentious verse is in Job 39. In this chapter, God is telling Job about the various things that He has created to silence Job and show him that his complaints are irrelevant. In verses 14 and 15, the accusation is that the ostrich is pictured as stupid for leaving its eggs in the sand and accidentally crushing them. Then, we are told, the Bible tells us that the mother ostrich forgets, or even neglects, her young.

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Actually, much of this is based on a false anthropomorphism. We should not expect that an animal is going to show human characteristics. In any case, the mother ostrich does tend to leave her young because the care of newly hatched chicks seems to be the job of the father ostrich, so there is no error in what the Bible is claiming.

So when were ostriches created? They are clearly birds, but they appear designed to live on land. We must assume, therefore, that God made them on Day Six.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your wisdom in creation, and, like Job, we must stand with our mouths stopped, in awe at Your greatness. Amen.

Author:  Paul F. Taylor

Ref:  Ostrich in the Bible, accessed 1/30/2019. Image: CC BY-SA 4.0 International.

See

Are Ostriches Stupid? Creation Moments

Bible Birds – Ostrich

Birds of the Bible – Ostrich.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children Update

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ian

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ian

In the last few days, the Burgess Bird Book for Children, has been receiving all kinds of birds back to Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures. It has almost been more enjoyable than watching the birds return in the fall. (Other than all the work involved in reactivating these great stories.)

This series of stories were written by Thornton W. Burgess.  “The Burgess Bird Book for Children is a zoology book written in the form of a story featuring Peter Rabbit. Peter learns from his friend Jenny Wren all about the birds of North America, and we meet many of them in the Old Orchard, the Green Meadow, and the Green Forest.” (From Loyalbooks) Besides updating the stories with current photos of our avian wonders, I added scripture and questions for the younger (and older readers) to ponder. Also, for each of these stories, there is a public domain recording of the book being read.

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

From the Preface:

“This book was written to supply a definite need. Its preparation was undertaken at the urgent request of booksellers and others who have felt the lack of a satisfactory medium of introduction to bird life for little children. As such, and in no sense whatever as a competitor with the many excellent books on this subject, but rather to supplement these, this volume has been written.

Its primary purpose is to interest the little child in, and to make him acquainted with, those feathered friends he is most likely to see. Because there is no method of approach to the child mind equal to the story, this method of conveying information has been adopted. So far as I am aware the book is unique in this respect. In its preparation an earnest effort has been made to present as far as possible the important facts regarding the appearance, habits and characteristics of our feathered neighbors. It is intended to be at once a story book and an authoritative handbook. While it is intended for little children, it is hoped that children of larger growth may find in it much of both interest and helpfulness.”

Since it has been several years since this series was started, you might enjoy reading through, or listening, to some of these. You might even enjoy sharing these with your children or grand-children. They just might adopt your love for birds and birdwatching.

Enjoy! And stay tuned as more are produced in the future. (These 18 posts were all that were finished. There were 45 written by Burgess in total. Who know, maybe, if the interest is there, they might be extended.)

Here are the 18 stories:

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) by Ray

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) by Ray

Eastern Phoebe on Beautyberry

Eastern Phoebe on Beautyberry 12-19-19 by Lee

Red-winged Blackbird at Bok Sanctuary

Red-winged Blackbird at Bok Sanctuary by Lee

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

Purple Martin (Progne subis) ©USFWS

This verse has to do with teaching children the things of the Lord, but His creation also applies:

“Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren,” (Deuteronomy 4:9 NKJV)

Sharing The Gospel

Four More Volumes Activated (48) – Birds Illustrated Serial

BIRDS – ILLUSTRATED BY COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

A MONTHLY SERIAL

Again, the birds have been returning home. It’s fall, and time for the winter birds to arrive down here in Florida. Since birdwatching, for “real”, has slowed down outside my windows, the birds have been returning in droves here on my computer. In the last few days, I was able to reactivate almost 50 more articles for the “Birds Illustrated by Color Photography” series. To be honest, I had forgotten how much work had gone into producing these. Trust you will take some time to look through many of these. There are some really interesting birds sounds and videos in quite a few of them.

Enjoy, and Stay Tuned! as they continue to return back to our Kid’s Section. These are actually for “Kids of All Ages”!

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) ©WikiC

Volume 1, Number 5, May 1897

Nesting Time
National Council of Women
The Screech Owl
The Orchard Oriole
The Marsh Hawk
The Black-Capped Chickadee
The Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher
The Prothonotary Yellow Warblers
The Indigo Bunting
The Night Hawk
The Wood Thrush
The American Catbird

Dunnock (Prunella modularis) Singing ©WikiC

“By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches.” (Psalms 104:12 NKJV)

Volume 1, Number 6, June 1897

The Bird Song 1 – Many Sounds to listen to
The Yellow-throated Vireo
The Mocking Bird
June and the Birds and Farmers
The Black-Crowned Night Heron
The Ring-Billed Gull
The Loggerhead Shrike
The Baltimore Oriole
The Snowy Owl
June, Birds And Farmers
The Scarlet Tanager
The Ruffed Grouse
The Black And White Creeping Warbler

Birds Vol 1 #6 – The Volume 1. January to June 1897 – Index

Volume 2, Number 1, July 1897

Bird Song – July – Sounds for listening by ear
The Bald-Headed Eagle
The Semi-Palmated Ring Plover
The Mallard Duck
The American Avocet
The Canvas-Back Duck
The Wood Duck
The Anhinga Or Snake Bird
The American Woodcock
The American Scoter
The Snowy Heron
Old Abe

“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)

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) male by Raymond Barlow

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) male by Raymond Barlow

Volume 2, Number 2, August 1897

The American Osprey
The Sora Rail
The Kentucky Warbler
The Red Breasted Merganser
The Yellow Legs
The Skylark
Wilson’s Phalarope
The Evening Grosbeak
The Turkey Vulture
To A Water-Fowl
Gambel’s Partridge

Kid’s Section

Bible Birds

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography

Wordless Toucan

Two More Volumes Updated – Vol 1 #3 and #4

Flash Light Picture made with “Dexter” Camera

Flash Light Picture made with “Dexter” Camera

Two More Volumes Updated – Vol 1 #3 and #4 of the Birds Illustrated by Color Photography

There really are some interesting birds in these volumes also. It takes time to update the links to articles and photos. In six years time, websites and blogs come and go. I would rather the articles be accurate as to just put them up as fast as I can. Besides that, the twenty plus posts will take time to read.

The American Cross Bill and The Legend  article is quite interesting. Also, the Amateur Photography post shows some older camera information with links to more photography topics.

Of course, there are many birds to check out. Enjoy these latest two Volumes:

Volume 1, Number 3, March 1897

Little Boy Blue – The Blue Bird
The Swallow
The Brown Thrush
The Japan Pheasant
The Flicker
The Bobolink

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

The Crow and The Common Crow
The Return Of The Birds
The Black Tern
The Meadow Lark
The Long-Eared Owl (Great Horned)

Northern Long-eared Owl by DavesBP

Volume 1, Number 4, April 1897

The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
The Canada Jay
The Purple Gallinule
Smith’s Painted Longspur
The American Cross Bill and The Legend 
Bird Day In The Schools
The California Woodpecker

California Woodpecker for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

California Woodpecker for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

The Piedbill Grebe
The Bohemian Wax-Wing
The Marsh Wren
The Arizona Green Jay
Amateur Photography

“And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12 KJV)

See also:

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

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

ABC’s Of The Gospel

The Little Bird’s Song – McGuffey’s Third Reader

Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii) by Kent Nickell

Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii) by Kent Nickell

THE LITTLE BIRD’S SONG.

1. A little bird, with feathers brown,
Sat singing on a tree;
The song was very soft and low,
But sweet as it could be.

2. The people who were passing by,
Looked up to see the bird
That made the sweetest melody
That ever they had heard.

3. But all the bright eyes looked in vain;
Birdie was very small,
And with his modest, dark-brown coat,
He made no show at all.

4. “Why, father,” little Gracie said
“Where can the birdie be?
If I could sing a song like that,
I’d sit where folks could see.”

Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus) by Kent Nickell

Philadelphia Vireo (Vireo philadelphicus) by Kent Nickell

5. “I hope my little girl will learn
A lesson from the bird,
And try to do what good she can,
Not to be seen or heard.

6. “This birdie is content to sit
Unnoticed on the way,
And sweetly sing his Maker’s praise
From dawn to close of day.

“To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” (Psalms 30:12 NKJV)

7. “So live, my child, all through your life,
That, be it short or long,
Though others may forget your looks,
They’ll not forget your song.”

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) by Raymond Barlow

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) by Raymond Barlow

“All the earth shall worship You And sing praises to You; They shall sing praises to Your name.” Selah” (Psalms 66:4 NKJV)


Title: McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Reader, Author: William Holmes McGuffey
Release Date: January 23, 2005 [EBook #14766]

McGuffey’s Reader 3rd Grade – Bird Friends

3rd Grade – Humming Birds

McGuffey’s Third Grade Reader

All McGuffey’s Readers

*

Wordless Birds

ABC’s of the Gospel

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

 

The Sandpiper – Fourth Grade McGuffey’s Reader

Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) ©WikiC

Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) ©WikiC

McGuffey Readers were a series of graded primers for grade levels 1-6. They were widely used as textbooks in American schools from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, and are still used today in some private schools and in homeschooling.

Here is a story of The Eagle from the Fourth Grade Reader. (From Gutenberg) Pictures are current photos.

Fourth Grade McGuffey Reader

XLIX. THE SANDPIPER. 
By CELIA THAXTER.

1. Across the lonely beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I,
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
The scattered driftwood, bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I.

Rock Sandpiper (Calidris ptilocnemis) by Ian

2. Above our heads the sullen clouds
Scud, black and swift, across the sky;
Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds
Stand out the white lighthouses high.
Almost as far as eye can reach
I see the close-reefed vessels fly,
As fast we flit across the beach,
One little sandpiper and I.

Least Sandpiper at Fort DeSoto by Lee

Least Sandpiper at Fort DeSoto by Lee

3. I watch him as he skims along,
Uttering his sweet and mournful cry;
He starts not at my fitful song,
Nor flash of fluttering drapery.
He has no thought of any wrong,
He scans me with a fearless eye;
Stanch friends are we, well-tried and strong,
The little sandpiper and I.

Rock Sandpiper (Calidris ptilocnemis) ©USFWS

4. Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night,
When the loosed storm breaks furiously?
My driftwood fire will burn so bright!
To what warm shelter canst thou fly?
I do not fear for thee, though wroth
The tempest rushes through the sky;
For are we not God’s children both,
Thou, little sandpiper, and I?

DEFINITIONS.—l. Sand’pi-per, a bird of the snipe family, found along the seacoast. Drift’wood. wood tossed on shore by the waves. Bleached, whitened. Tide, the regular rise and fall of the ocean which occurs twice in a little over twenty-four hours. 2. Scud, fly hastily. Shrouds, Winding sheets, dresses of the dead. Close’reefed, with sails contracted as much as possible. 3. Fit’ful, irregularly variable. Draper-y, garments. Scans, looks at care-fully. Stanch, firm. 4. Wroth, angry.

“I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.” (Psalms 55:8 NKJV)

You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:14 NKJV)

Title: McGuffey’s Fourth Eclectic Reader, Author: William Holmes McGuffey
Release Date: February 2, 2005 [EBook #14880], Language: English

McGuffey’s Fourth Grade Reader 

Wordless Birds – With Hummingbirds

Fourth Grade McGuffey’s Reader – The Eagle

Fourth Grade McGuffey Reader

“Does the eagle mount up at your command, And make its nest on high?” (Job 39:27 NKJV)

McGuffey Readers were a series of graded primers for grade levels 1-6. They were widely used as textbooks in American schools from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, and are still used today in some private schools and in homeschooling.

Here is a story of The Eagle from the Fourth Grade Reader. (From Gutenberg) Pictures are current photos.

Bald Eagle (close up) LP Zoo by Lee

Bald Eagle (close up) LP Zoo by Lee

XXIX. THE EAGLE. (84)

1. The eagle seems to enjoy a kind of supremacy over the rest of the inhabitants of the air. Such is the loftiness of his flight, that he often soars in the sky beyond the reach of the naked eye, and such is his strength that he has been known to carry away children in his talons. But many of the noble qualities imputed to him are rather fanciful than true.

2. He has been described as showing a lofty independence, which makes him disdain to feed on anything that is not slain by his own strength. But Alexander Wilson, the great naturalist, says that he has seen an eagle feasting on the carcass of a horse. The eagle lives to a great age. One at Vienna is stated to have died after a confinement of one hundred and four years.

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Flying ©WikiC

3. There are several species of the eagle. The golden eagle, which is one of the largest, is nearly four feet from the point of the beak to the end of the tail. He is found in most parts of Europe, and is also met with in America. High rocks and ruined and lonely towers are the places which he chooses for his abode. His nest is composed of sticks and rushes. The tail feathers are highly valued as ornaments by the American Indians.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by AestheticPhotos

4. The most interesting species is the bald eagle, as this is an American bird, and the adopted emblem of our country. He lives chiefly upon fish, and is found in the neighborhood of the sea, and along the shores and cliffs of our large lakes and rivers.

5. According to the description given by Wilson, he depends, in procuring his food, chiefly upon the labors of others. He watches the fish hawk as he dives into the sea for his prey, and darting down upon him as he rises, forces him to relinquish his victim, and then seizes it before it again reaches the water.

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

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

6. One of the most notable species is the harpy eagle. This is said to be bold and strong, and to attack beasts, and even man himself. He is fierce, quarrelsome, and sullen, living alone in the deepest forests. He is found chiefly in South America.

***

Title: McGuffey’s Fourth Eclectic Reader, Author: William Holmes McGuffey
Release Date: February 2, 2005 [EBook #14880], Language: English

McGuffey’s Fouth Grade Reader

ABC’s Of The Gospel

 

McGuffey’s Fifth Reader – VI – The Singing Lesson

Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus frantzii) by Ian

Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus frantzii) by Ian

The Project Gutenberg EBook of McGuffey’s Fifth Eclectic Reader by William Holmes McGuffey

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

Title: McGuffey’s Fifth Eclectic Reader Author: William Holmes McGuffey

VI. THE SINGING LESSON.

Jean Ingelow (b. 1830, d.1897) was born at Boston, Lincolnshire, England. Her fame as a poetess was at once established upon the publication of her “Poems” in 1863; since which time several other volumes have appeared. The most generally admired of her poems are “Songs of Seven” and “The High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire,” She has also written several successful novels, of which, “Off the Skelligs” is the most popular. “Stories Told to a Child,” “The Cumberers,” “Poor Mat,” “Studies for Stories,” and “Mopsa, the Fairy” are also well known. Miss Ingelow resided in London, England, and spent much of her time in deeds of charity.

1. A nightingale made a mistake;
She sang a few notes out of tune:
Her heart was ready to break,
And she hid away from the moon.
She wrung her claws, poor thing,
But was far too proud to weep;
She tucked her head under her wing,
And pretended to be asleep.

Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)

Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)

2. A lark, arm in arm with a thrush,
Came sauntering up to the place;
The nightingale felt herself blush,
Though feathers hid her face;
She knew they had heard her song,
She felt them snicker and sneer;
She thought that life was too long,
And wished she could skip a year.

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by Reinier Munguia

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) by Reinier Munguia

3. “O nightingale!” cooed a dove;
“O nightingale! what’s the use?
You bird of beauty and love,
Why behave like a goose?
Don’t sulk away from our sight,
Like a common, contemptible fowl;
You bird of joy and delight,
Why behave like an owl?

4. “Only think of all you have done;
Only think of all you can do;
A false note is really fun
From such a bird as you!
Lift up your proud little crest,
Open your musical beak;
Other birds have to do their best,
You need only to speak!”

Thrush Nightingale (Luscinia luscinia) ©©SergeyYeliseev

Thrush Nightingale (Luscinia luscinia) ©©SergeyYeliseev

6. The nightingale shyly took
Her head from under her wing,
And, giving the dove a look,
Straightway began to sing.
There was never a bird could pass;
The night was divinely calm;
And the people stood on the grass
To hear that wonderful psalm.

Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus mexicanus) by Michael Woodruff

Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus mexicanus) by Michael Woodruff

6. The nightingale did not care,
She only sang to the skies;
Her song ascended there,
And there she fixed her eyes.
The people that stood below
She knew but little about;
And this tale has a moral, I know,
If you’ll try and find it out.

DEFINITIONS.—2. Saun’ter-ing, wandering idly, strolling. Snick’er, to laugh in a half-suppressed manner. 4. Crest, a tuft growing on an animal’s head. 5. Di-vine’ly, in a supreme degree. 6. Mor’al, the practical lesson which anything is fitted to teach.

NOTE.—The nightingale is a small bird, about six inches in length, with a coat of dark-brown feathers above and of grayish, white beneath. Its voice is astonishingly strong and sweet, and, when wild, it usually sings throughout the evening and night from April to the middle of summer. The bird is common in Europe, but is not found in America.

“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;” (Song of Solomon 2:12 KJV)

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
(Ephesians 5:19 KJV)

McGuffey’s Fifth Grade Reader

Wordless Birds

Bible Birds – Swallow-tailed Kites

Swallow-tailed Kite by S Slayton

Swallow-tailed Kite by S Slayton

and the red kite, the falcon, and the kite in their kinds, (Deuteronomy 14:13 NASB)

In the Birds of the Bible – Hidden Covenant Part 3, I mistakenly placed this photo of a Swallow-tailed Kite instead of a Swallow. I have since fixed my mistake. A J was talking about the Swallows observing the time of their coming and he used Jeremiah 8:7.

Even the stork in the heavens Knows her appointed times; And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow Observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 NKJV)

The reason I mixed them up is because right now, in this area, the Swallow-tailed Kites are being spotted. I have seen a single one three times and just the other day, Dan and I had two of them skim over the top of trees, right in front of us. They have been in the area for a month or so, and soon they will move on again. They “Observe the time of their coming.” Thus the mistake on my part.

They may be one of the Birds of Prey, but they were beautifully created by the Lord. They are so graceful and enjoyable to watch. I am always amazed at the Creator’s use of such variety in the birds and in all the other neat things around us.

God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (suitable, admirable) and He approved it. (Genesis 1:21 AMP)

According to the Audubon WatchList, “Two subspecies found in the Americas. Northern subspecies (Elanoides forficatus forficatus) breeds in small sections of seven southeastern U.S. states and in southern Mexico. Members of this group migrate to South America in the late summer. Southern subspecies (Elanoides forficatus yetapa) found through much of South America. The estimated U.S. population of approximately 10,000 birds now breeds in fragmented populations from South Carolina south to Florida and west to Louisiana/Texas border with largest known populations in northern Florida. Formerly bred north to Minnesota and west through Texas to Mexico. Significant populations remain in Florida and along the Pascagoula River in Mississippi.”

I really enjoy seeing these Kites because you just have to be looking in the right direction at the right time. Every time they have been spotted by us, they just sort of “appear” over the tops of the trees. They skim so low, that when they come over you, you either see them or you don’t.

Kites are of course one of our Bible Birds – (Glede and Kites). They are mentioned twice in Scripture in the list of “unclean” birds in Leviticus 11:14 and Deuteronomy 14:13. Each time “after its kind” is given. So, our Swallow-tailed Kite is one of those kinds and would like to introduce you to this amazing bird that is so neat to watch flying. When they spread that tail of theirs, it is just super neat.

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) ©Wikipedia

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) ©Wikipedia

(Sounds from xeno-canto)

The Swallow-tailed Kite is a member of the Accipitridae Family (Kites, Hawks & Eagles) Family in the Order Accipitriformes. They are considered Abundance Common according the Thayer Birding software.

They are 24 inches (60 cm) with a very long black forked tail, white head, chest, belly and leading portion of underwing. Their flight feathers are black and their back is also black.

They are a medium-sized, graceful, long-winged, long-tailed hawk with pointed wings, a short, dark, hooked bill. The males and females are similar.

Adults have a long, deeply forked tail. white head, neck, chest, underwing coverts, belly, and undertail coverts, a slate gray back and upperwings, black tail and flight feathers. Whereas the immature is duller than adult with fine streaks on head and breast and has a shorter, less deeply-forked tail than adult.

Thayer also says of their habitat and behavior – ” Wet open woodlands, bottomlands, wooded river swamps, marshes, wetlands, and along rivers, ponds and lakes. Agile and graceful in flight. Eats in flight by bending head and neck under body to eat prey held in talon. Will drink in flight, much like a swallow. Gregarious. Will sweep low over open fields and grasslands to catch food or soar very high for flying insects.”

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) by Africaddict

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) by Africaddict

The Swallow-tails like to breed in “Lowland forest, especially swampy areas extending into open woodland. 1 brood. Mating system is monogamous. Displays are In flight: easy sailing, curving chase often over water. On perch: mutual approach on horizontal limb, face-off, female quickly turns or backs under limb. They also do courtship feeding.

The nest is usually in treetop concealed by thick foliage and they place it on a foundation of preceding year’s nest. It consist of sticks, twigs, moss, pine needles, leaves, lichen. Lined with fine materials, few feathers. Both sexes help with nest construction.

The eggs are white, marked with browns, occasionally lavender, often concentrated at end. 1.8” (47 mm). Both sexes incubate.  with Incubation taking 28 days. Development is semialtricial (immobile, downy, eyes open, fed). Young are able to fly after 36-42 days. Both sexes tend young.

The spend their winters from Colombia and Venezuela S. Marsh drainage, deforestation, and shooting are responsible for reduction in population and range.

Miscellaneous notes; Occasionally nest in loose colonies of a few pairs. Bathe and drink by skimming water surface like swallow. Occasionally soar at great heights. Up to 200 pieces used in nest, carried individually, may require up to 800 miles of flight. Formerly known as American Swallow-tailed Kite; changed by AOU in 1996.

From Thayer Birding Software, The Birder’s Handbook, Wikipedia, and other internet sources.

See also:

Originally posted in 2018 on Birds of the Bible For Kids Blog)

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Bible Birds – Osprey Introduction

and the osprey

Bible Birds – Osprey Introduction

“But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey,” (Deuteronomy 14:12 KJV)

The Osprey is another bird on the “Do Not Eat” list. Here in central Florida, we see Ospreys quite frequently. Their nest are usually noticeable on platforms placed for them. On a road between Eagle Lake and Bartow, (which I have renamed “Osprey Road”) there is a nest in the V structure of almost every power distribution pole. There are at least 15-20 nests in about a mile or so. The Ospreys will show up after the first of the year and stay for about 4 months while they breed and raise their young.

Osprey Family by Phillip Simmons

The Osprey is in a family by itself. They are widely distributed around the world. They are closely related to the Hawk and the Falcon. They are 21-24 inches long with a wingspan of 54-72 inches. The females are slightly larger and both look alike. Their diet is almost entirely fish, but they do eat small rodents and birds. When fishing, they fly 30 to 100 feet above the water and will hover when they find a fish. They will plunge into the water with their feet under them to catch the fish. “Rises from water with fish gripped in both feet, pauses in midair to shake water from plumage, and to arrange fish with the head pointed forward, which reduces its resistance to air, flies with it to” perch or nest to feed young. Can carry up to four or more pounds.

God has designed the Osprey with several interesting features. Their feet have four equal length toes with “long, strong claws, curved about one-third of a circle, and completely round.” “The lower surface, or pads, of the toes are covered with spicules, which help it hold slippery fishes; also, it is the only hawk that has outer toe reversible as in owls; this enables it to grasp its prey with two toes in front, tow in back. Its plumage is compact, which helps blunt its impact and reduces wetting when it plunges into the water.”

All quotes from (The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds).

More Bible Birds

Bible Birds – Osprey

Birds of the Bible – Ospreys

(Originally posted in 2018 on Birds of the Bible For Kids Blog)