A Fishing Party – Chapter 21

Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) by Lee Circle B

Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) by Lee Circle B

A Fishing Party

The Great Blue Heron and the Kingfisher.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

Chapter 21

Listen to the story read.

A Fishing Party.

Peter Rabbit sat on the edge of the Old Briar-patch trying to make up
his mind whether to stay at home, which was the wise and proper thing
to do, or to go call on some of the friends he had not yet visited. A
sharp, harsh rattle caused him to look up to see a bird about a third
larger than Welcome Robin, and with a head out of all proportion to
the size of his body. He was flying straight towards the Smiling Pool,
rattling harshly as he flew. The mere sound of his voice settled the
matter for Peter. “It’s Rattles the Kingfisher,” he cried. “I think I’ll
run over to the Smiling Pool and pay him my respects.”

Belted Kingfisher on 11/25/20 by Lee

So Peter started for the Smiling Pool as fast as his long legs could
take him, lipperty-lipperty-lip. He had lost sight of Rattles the
Kingfisher, and when he reached the back of the Smiling Pool he was in
doubt which way to turn. It was very early in the morning and there was
not so much as a ripple on the surface of the Smiling Pool. As Peter sat
there trying to make up his mind which way to go, he saw coming from the
direction of the Big River a great, broad-winged bird, flying slowly. He
seemed to have no neck at all, but carried straight out behind him were
two long legs.

Great Blue Heron; Walton County, Georgia birding photogaphy blog by williamwisephoto.com

Longlegs the Great Blue Heron! I wonder if he is coming here,”
exclaimed Peter. “I do hope so.”

Peter stayed right where he was and waited. Nearer and nearer came
Longlegs. When he was right opposite Peter he suddenly dropped his long
legs, folded his great wings, and alighted right on the edge of the
Smiling Pool across from where Peter was sitting. If he seemed to have
no neck at all when he was flying, now he seemed to be all neck as he
stretched it to its full length. The fact is, his neck was so long that
when he was flying he carried it folded back on his shoulders. Never
before had Peter had such an opportunity to see Longlegs.

He stood quite four feet high. The top of his head and throat were
white. From the base of his great bill and over his eye was a black
stripe which ended in two long, slender, black feathers hanging from
the back of his head. His bill was longer than his head, stout and
sharp like a spear and yellow in color. His long neck was a light
brownish-gray. His back and wings were of a bluish color. The bend of
each wing and the feathered parts of his legs were a rusty-red. The
remainder of his legs and his feet were black. Hanging down over his
breast were beautiful long pearly-gray feathers quite unlike any Peter
had seen on any of his other feathered friends. In spite of the
length of his legs and the length of his neck he was both graceful and
handsome.

Great Blue Heron Lake Morton by Dan

“I wonder what has brought him over to the Smiling Pool,” thought Peter.

He didn’t have to wait long to find out. After standing perfectly still
with his neck stretched to its full height until he was sure that no
danger was near, Longlegs waded into the water a few steps, folded his
neck back on his shoulders until his long bill seemed to rest on his
breast, and then remained as motionless as if there were no life in him.
Peter also sat perfectly still. By and by he began to wonder if Longlegs
had gone to sleep. His own patience was reaching an end and he was just
about to go on in search of Rattles the Kingfisher when like a flash the
dagger-like bill of Longlegs shot out and down into the water. When he
withdrew it Peter saw that Longlegs had caught a little fish which he at
once proceeded to swallow head-first. Peter almost laughed right out as
he watched the funny efforts of Longlegs to gulp that fish down his long
throat. Then Longlegs resumed his old position as motionless as before.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) from Jim JS Johnson

It was no trouble now for Peter to sit still, for he was too interested
in watching this lone fisherman to think of leaving. It wasn’t long
before Longlegs made another catch and this time it was a fat Pollywog.
Peter thought of how he had watched Plunger the Osprey fishing in the
Big River and the difference in the ways of the two fishermen.

Plunger hunts for his fish while Longlegs waits for his fish to come to
him,” thought Peter. “I wonder if Longlegs never goes hunting.”

As if in answer to Peter’s thought Longlegs seemed to conclude that
no more fish were coming his way. He stretched himself up to his full
height, looked sharply this way and that way to make sure that all was
safe, then began to walk along the edge of the Smiling Pool. He put each
foot down slowly and carefully so as to make no noise. He had gone but
a few steps when that great bill darted down like a flash, and Peter
saw that he had caught a careless young Frog. A few steps farther on he
caught another Pollywog. Then coming to a spot that suited him, he once
more waded in and began to watch for fish.

Great Blue Heron at Lake Morton watching for fish, by Lee

Peter was suddenly reminded of Rattles the Kingfisher, whom he had quite
forgotten. From the Big Hickory-tree on the bank, Rattles flew out over
the Smiling Pool, hovered for an instant, then plunged down head-first.
There was a splash, and a second later Rattles was in the air again,
shaking the water from him in a silver spray. In his long, stout, black
bill was a little fish. He flew back to a branch of the Big Hickory-tree
that hung out over the water and thumped the fish against the branch
until it was dead. Then he turned it about so he could swallow it
head-first. It was a big fish for the size of the fisherman and he had a
dreadful time getting it down. But at last it was down, and Rattles set
himself to watch for another. The sun shone full on him, and Peter gave
a little gasp of surprise.

Kingfisher Diving Sequence ©SMedia-Cache (Not the kind of kingfisher in the story, but it shows how they dive down.)

“I never knew before how handsome Rattles is,” thought Peter. He was
about the size of Yellow Wing the Flicker, but his head made him look
bigger than he really was. You see, the feathers on top of his head
stood up in a crest, as if they had been brushed the wrong way. His
head, back, wings and tail were a bluish-gray. His throat was white and
he wore a white collar. In front of each eye was a little white spot.
Across his breast was a belt of bluish-gray, and underneath he was
white. There were tiny spots of white on his wings, and his tail was
spotted with white. His bill was black and, like that of Longlegs, was
long, and stout, and sharp. It looked almost too big for his size.

Belted Kingfisher; Walton County Georgia

Presently Rattles flew out and plunged into the Smiling Pool again, this
time, very near to where Longlegs was patiently waiting. He caught a
fish, for it is not often that Rattles misses. It was smaller than the
first one Peter had seen him catch, and this time as soon as he got back
to the Big Hickory-tree, he swallowed it without thumping it against the
branch. As for Longlegs, he looked thoroughly put out. For a moment or
two he stood glaring angrily up at Rattles. You see, when Rattles had
plunged so close to Longlegs he had frightened all the fish. Finally
Longlegs seemed to make up his mind that there was room for but one
fisherman at a time at the Smiling Pool. Spreading his great wings,
folding his long neck back on his shoulders, and dragging his long legs
out behind him, he flew heavily away in the direction of the Big River.

Rattles remained long enough to catch another little fish, and then
with a harsh rattle flew off down the Laughing Brook. “I would know him
anywhere by that rattle,” thought Peter. “There isn’t any one who can
make a noise anything like it. I wonder where he has gone to now. He
must have a nest, but I haven’t the least idea what kind of a nest he
builds. Hello! There’s Grandfather Frog over on his green lily pad.
Perhaps he can tell me.”

So Peter hopped along until he was near enough to talk to Grandfather
Frog. “What kind of a nest does Rattles the Kingfisher build?” repeated
Grandfather Frog. “Chug-arum, Peter Rabbit! I thought everybody knew
that Rattles doesn’t build a nest. At least I wouldn’t call it a nest.
He lives in a hole in the ground.”

“What!” cried Peter, and looked as if he couldn’t believe his own ears.

No Breath, but cute -Frog Playing Violin at Swamp Magnolia Plantation by Lee

Grandfather Frog grinned and his goggly eyes twinkled. “Yes,” said he,
“Rattles lives in a hole in the ground.”

“But–but–but what kind of a hole?” stammered Peter.

“Just plain hole,” retorted Grandfather Frog, grinning more broadly than
ever. Then seeing how perplexed and puzzled Peter looked, he went on to
explain. “He usually picks out a high gravelly bank close to the water
and digs a hole straight in just a little way from the top. He makes
it just big enough for himself and Mrs. Rattles to go in and out of
comfortably, and he digs it straight in for several feet. I’m told that
at the end of it he makes a sort of bedroom, because he usually has a
good-sized family.”

“Do you mean to say that he digs it himself?” asked Peter.

Grandfather Frog nodded. “If he doesn’t, Mrs. Kingfisher does,” he
replied. “Those big bills of theirs are picks as well as fish spears.
They loosen the sand with those and scoop it out with their feet. I’ve
never seen the inside of their home myself, but I’m told that their
bedroom is lined with fish bones. Perhaps you may call that a nest, but
I don’t.”

“I’m going straight down the Laughing Brook to look for that hole,”
declared Peter, and left in such a hurry that he forgot to be polite
enough to say thank you to Grandfather Frog.

***

  • What kind of birds is Longlegs?
  • How does Longlegs fish?
  • How does Longlegs swallow his fish?
  • What kind of bird is Rattles?
  • Do Longlegs and Rattles fish the same way?
  • How does Rattles fish?
  • Both Longlegs and Rattles fish differently. The Lord created them differently, but they both like fish.
  • Do we make fun of someone, or tease them if they do something a little differently than we do?

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV)

***

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Yellow-fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes flavifrons) by Dario Sanches

 

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A Fisherman Robbed – Chapter 20

King Eagle Plunger the Osprey - Burgess Bird Book ©©

King Eagle Plunger the Osprey – Burgess Bird Book ©©

A Fisherman Robbed

The Osprey and the Bald-headed Eagle.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

*

Listen to the story read.

CHAPTER 20. A Fisherman Robbed.

Just out of curiosity, and because he possesses what is called the
wandering foot, which means that he delights to roam about, Peter Rabbit
had run over to the bank of the Big River. There were plenty of bushes,
clumps of tall grass, weeds and tangles of vines along the bank of the
Big River, so that Peter felt quite safe there. He liked to sit gazing
out over the water and wonder where it all came from and where it was
going and what, kept it moving.

He was doing this very thing on this particular morning when he happened
to glance up in the blue, blue sky. There he saw a broad-winged bird
sailing in wide, graceful circles. Instantly Peter crouched a little
lower in his hiding-place, for he knew this for a member of the Hawk
family and Peter has learned by experience that the only way to keep
perfectly safe when one of these hook-clawed, hook-billed birds is about
is to keep out of sight.

So now he crouched very close to the ground and kept his eyes fixed on
the big bird sailing so gracefully high up in the blue, blue sky over
the Big River. Suddenly the stranger paused in his flight and for a
moment appeared to remain in one place, his great wings heating rapidly
to hold him there. Then those wings were closed and with a rush he shot
down straight for the water, disappearing with a great splash. Instantly
Peter sat up to his full height that he might see better.

“It’s Plunger the Osprey fishing, and I’ve nothing to fear from him,” he
cried happily.

Out of the water, his great wings flapping, rose Plunger. Peter looked
eagerly to see if he had caught a fish, but there was nothing in
Plunger’s great, curved claws. Either that fish had been too deep or
had seen Plunger and darted away just in the nick of time. Peter had a
splendid view of Plunger. He was just a little bigger than Redtail the
Hawk. Above he was dark brown, his head and neck marked with white. His
tail was grayish, crossed by several narrow dark bands and tipped with
white. His under parts were white with some light brown spots on his
breast. Peter could see clearly the great, curved claws which are
Plunger’s fishhooks.

Eastern Osprey trying to catch fish by Ian

Up, up, up he rose, going round and round in a spiral. When he was well
up in the blue, blue sky, he began to sail again in wide circles as when
Peter had first seen him. It wasn’t long before he again paused and
then shot down towards the water. This time he abruptly spread his great
wings just before reaching the water so that he no more than wet his
feet. Once more a fish had escaped him. But Plunger seemed not in the
least discouraged. He is a true fisherman and every true fisherman
possesses patience. Up again he spiraled until he was so high that Peter
wondered how he could possibly see a fish so far below. You see, Peter
didn’t know that it is easier to see down into the water from high above
it than from close to it. Then, too, there are no more wonderful eyes
than those possessed by the members of the Hawk family. And Plunger the
Osprey is a Hawk, usually called Fish Hawk.

Osprey Catching Fish by Ian

A third time Plunger shot down and this time, as in his first attempt,
he struck the water with a great splash and disappeared. In an instant
he reappeared, shaking the water from him in a silver spray and flapping
heavily. This time Fetes could gee a great shining fish in his claws.
It was heavy, as Peter could tell by the way in which Plunger flew. He
headed towards a tall tree on the other bank of the Big River, there to
enjoy his breakfast. He was not more than halfway there when Peter was
startled by a harsh scream.

He looked up to see a great bird, with wonderful broad wings, swinging
in short circles about Plunger. His body and wings were dark brown, and
his head was snowy white, as was his tail. His great hooked beak was
yellow and his legs were yellow. Peter knew in an instant who it was.
There could be no mistake. It was King Eagle, commonly known as Bald
Head, though his head isn’t bald at all.

Peter’s eyes looked as if they would pop out of his head, for it was
quite plain to him that King Eagle was after Plunger, and Peter didn’t
understand this at all. You see, he didn’t understand what King Eagle
was screaming. But Plunger did. King Eagle was screaming, “Drop that
fish! Drop that fish!”

Plunger didn’t intend to drop that fish if he could help himself. It was
his fish. Hadn’t he caught it himself? He didn’t intend to give it up to
any robber of the air, even though that robber was King Eagle himself,
unless he was actually forced to. So Plunger began to dodge and twist
and turn in the air, all the time mounting higher and higher, and all
the time screaming harshly, “Robber! Thief! I won’t drop this fish! It’s
mine! It’s mine!”

Now the fish was heavy, so of course Plunger couldn’t fly as easily and
swiftly as if he were carrying nothing. Up, up he went, but all the time
King Eagle went up with him, circling round him, screaming harshly, and
threatening to strike him with those great cruel, curved claws. Peter
watched them, so excited that he fairly danced. “O, I do hope Plunger
will get away from that big robber,” cried Peter. “He may be king of the
air, but he is a robber just the same.”

Plunger and King Eagle were now high in the air above the Big River.
Suddenly King Eagle swung above Plunger and for an instant seemed to
hold himself still there, just as Plunger had done before he had shot
down into the water after that fish. There was a still harsher note in
King Eagle’s scream. If Peter had been near enough he would have seen
a look of anger and determination in King Eagle’s fierce, yellow eyes.
Plunger saw it and knew what it meant. He knew that King Eagle would
stand for no more fooling. With a cry of bitter disappointment and anger
he let go of the big fish.

Bald Eagle – San Diego Zoo

Down, down, dropped the fish, shining in the sun like a bar of silver.
King Eagle’s wings half closed and he shot down like a thunderbolt. Just
before the fish reached the water King Eagle struck it with his great
claws, checked himself by spreading his broad wings and tail, and then
in triumph flew over to the very tree towards which Plunger had started
when he had caught the fish. There he leisurely made his breakfast,
apparently enjoying it as much as if he had come by it honestly.

As for poor Plunger, he shook himself, screamed angrily once or twice,
then appeared to think that it was wisest to make the best of a bad
matter and that there were more fish where that one had come from, for
he once more began to sail in circles over the Big River, searching
for a fish near the surface. Peter watched him until he saw him catch
another fish and fly away with it in triumph. King Eagle watched him,
too, but having had a good breakfast he was quite willing to let Plunger
enjoy his catch in peace.

Late that afternoon Peter visited the Old Orchard, for he just had to
tell Jenny Wren all about what he had seen that morning.

“King Eagle is king simply because he is so big and fierce and strong,”
sputtered Jenny. “He isn’t kingly in his habits, not the least bit. He
never hesitates to rob those smaller than himself, just as you saw him
rob Plunger. He is very fond of fish, and once in a while he catches one
for himself when Plunger isn’t around to be robbed, but he isn’t a very
good fisherman, and he isn’t the least bit fussy about his fish. Plunger
eats only fresh fish which he catches himself, but King Eagle will eat
dead fish which he finds on the shore. He doesn’t seem to care how long
they have been dead either.”

“Doesn’t he eat anything but fish?” asked Peter innocently.

“Well,” retorted Jenny Wren, her eyes twinkling, “I wouldn’t advise you
to run across the Green Meadows in sight of King Eagle. I am told he is
very fond of Rabbit. In fact he is very fond of fresh meat of any kind.
He even catches the babies of Lightfoot the Deer when he gets a chance.
He is so swift of wing that even the members of the Duck family fear
him, for he is especially fond of fat Duck. Even Honker the Goose is not
safe from him. King he may he, but he rules only through fear. He is
a white-headed old robber. The best thing I can say of him is that he
takes a mate for life and is loyal and true to her as long as she lives,
and that is a great many years. By the way, Peter, did you know that
she is bigger than he is, and that the young during the first year after
leaving their nest, are bigger than their parents and do not have white
heads? By the time they get white heads they are the same size as their
parents.”

“That’s odd and its hard to believe,” said Peter.

“It is odd, but it is true just the same, whether you believe it or
not,” retorted Jenny Wren, and whisked out of sight into her home.

***

  • What kind of bird is Plunger?
  • Who was watching Plunger trying to catch a fish?
  • How many tries did it take to catch a fish?
  • Do you give up after the first try, or do you keep trying to accomplish (finish) a goal?
  • What happened to the fish?
  • Did both birds have a meal?
  • Is it right to steal?

“You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.” (Leviticus 19:11 NKJV)

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A Maker of Thunder and a Friend in Black – Chapter 19

One of our readers asked if I might continue this Burgess Bird Book for Children Series in the Bird Tales section. [She is reading them to her children.] Since I already have the stories, photos, and recordings on my computer, I agreed. Here is Chapter 19, and there are 45 chapters all total. So, STAY TUNED!

Strutter_the_Ruffed_Grouse - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Strutter, The Ruffed Grouse – Burgess Bird Book ©©

A Maker of Thunder and a Friend in Black

The Ruffed Grouse and the Crow Blackbird.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

*

Chapter 19. A Maker of Thunder and a Friend in Black.

Listen to the story read.

Peter Rabbit’s intentions were of the best. Once safely away from that
lonesome part of the Green Forest where was the home of Redtail the
Hawk, he intended to go straight back to the dear Old Briar-patch. But
he was not halfway there when from another direction in the Green Forest
there came a sound that caused him to stop short and quite forget all
about home. It was a sound very like distant thunder. It began slowly at
first and then went faster and faster. Boom–Boom–Boom–Boom-Boom-Boom
Boo-Boo-B-B-B-B-b-b-b-b-boom! It was like the long roll on a bass drum.

Peter laughed right out. “That’s Strutter the Stuffed Grouse!” he cried
joyously. “I had forgotten all about him. I certainly must go over and
pay him a call and find out where Mrs. Grouse is. My, how Strutter can
drum!”

Peter promptly headed towards that distant thunder. As he drew nearer
to it, it sounded louder and louder. Presently Peter stopped to try to
locate exactly the place where that sound, which now was more than ever
like thunder, was coming from. Suddenly Peter remembered something.
“I know just where he is,” said he to himself. “There’s a big, mossy,
hollow log over yonder, and I remember that Mrs. Grouse once told me
that that is Strutter’s thunder log.”

Very, very carefully Peter stole forward, making no sound at all. At
last he reached a place where he could peep out and see that big, mossy,
hollow log. Sure enough, there was Strutter the Ruffed Grouse. When
Peter first saw him he was crouched on one end of the log, a fluffy ball
of reddish-brown, black and gray feathers. He was resting. Suddenly he
straightened up to his full height, raised his tail and spread it until
it was like an open fan above his back. The outer edge was gray, then
came a broad band of black, followed by bands of gray, brown and black.
Around his neck was a wonderful ruff of black. His reddish-brown wings
were dropped until the tips nearly touched the log. His full breast
rounded out and was buff color with black markings. He was of about the
size of the little Bantam hens Peter had seen in Farmer Brown’s henyard.

Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) by Raymond Barlow

Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) by Raymond Barlow

In the most stately way you can imagine Strutter walked the length of
that mossy log. He was a perfect picture of pride as he strutted very
much like Tom Gobbler the big Turkey cock. When he reached the end of
the log he suddenly dropped his tail, stretched himself to his full
height and his wings began to beat, first slowly then faster and faster,
until they were just a blur. They seemed to touch above his back but
when they came down they didn’t quite strike his sides. It was those
fast moving wings that made the thunder. It was so loud that Peter
almost wanted to stop his ears. When it ended Strutter settled down to
rest and once more appeared like a ball of fluffy feathers. His ruff was
laid flat.

Peter watched him thunder several times and then ventured to show
himself. “Strutter, you are wonderful! simply wonderful!” cried Peter,
and he meant just what he said.

Strutter threw out his chest proudly. “That is just what Mrs. Grouse
says,” he replied. “I don’t know of any better thunderer if I do say it
myself.”

“Speaking of Mrs. Grouse, where is she?” asked Peter eagerly.

“Attending to her household affairs, as a good housewife should,”
retorted Strutter promptly.

“Do you mean she has a nest and eggs?” asked Peter.

Strutter nodded. “She has twelve eggs,” he added proudly.

“I suppose,” said Peter artfully, “her nest is somewhere near here on
the ground.”

“It’s on the ground, Peter, but as to where it is I am not saying a
word. It may or it may not be near here. Do you want to hear me thunder
again?”

Of course Peter said he did, and that was sufficient excuse for Strutter
to show off. Peter stayed a while longer to gossip, but finding Strutter
more interested in thundering than in talking, he once more started for
home.

“I really would like to know where that nest is,” said he to himself
as he scampered along. “I suppose Mrs. Grouse has hidden it so cleverly
that it is quite useless to look for it.”

On his way he passed a certain big tree. All around the ground was
carpeted with brown, dead leaves. There were no bushes or young trees
there. Peter never once thought of looking for a nest. It was the last
place in the world he would expect to find one. When he was well past
the big tree there was a soft chuckle and from among the brown leaves
right at the foot of that big tree a head with a pair of the brightest
eyes was raised a little. Those eyes twinkled as they watched Peter out
of sight.

“He didn’t see me at all,” chuckled Mrs. Grouse, as she settled down
once more. “That is what comes of having a cloak so like the color
of these nice brown leaves. He isn’t the first one who has passed me
without seeing me at all. It is better than trying to hide a nest, and I
certainly am thankful to Old Mother Nature for the cloak she gave me.
I wonder if every one of these twelve eggs will hatch. If they do, I
certainly will have a family to be proud of.”

Meanwhile Peter hurried on in his usual happy-go-lucky fashion until
he came to the edge of the Green Forest. Out on the Green Meadows just
beyond he caught sight of a black form walking about in a stately way
and now and then picking up something. It reminded him of Blacky the
Crow, but he knew right away that it wasn’t Blacky, because it was so
much smaller, being not more than half as big.

Grackle by Dan

“It’s Creaker the Grackle. He was one of the first to arrive this spring
and I’m ashamed of myself for not having called on him,” thought Peter,
as he hopped out and started across the Green Meadows towards Creaker.
“What a splendid long tail he has. I believe Jenny Wren told me that he
belongs to the Blackbird family. He looks so much like Blacky the Crow
that I suppose this is why they call him Crow Blackbird.”

Just then Creaker turned in such a way that the sun fell full on his
head and back. “Why! Why-ee!” exclaimed Peter, rubbing his eyes with
astonishment. “He isn’t just black! He’s beautiful, simply beautiful,
and I’ve always supposed he was just plain, homely black.”

It was true. Creaker the Grackle with the sun shining on him was truly
beautiful. His head and neck, his throat and upper breast, were a
shining blue-black, while his back was a rich, shining brassy-green.
His wings and tail were much like his head and neck. As Peter watched
it seemed as if the colors were constantly changing. This changing of
colors is called iridescence. One other thing Peter noticed and this
was that Creaker’s eyes were yellow. Just at the moment Peter couldn’t
remember any other bird with yellow eyes.

“Creaker,” cried Peter, “I wonder if you know how handsome you are!”

“I’m glad you think so,” replied Creaker. “I’m not at all vain, but
there are mighty few birds I would change coats with.”

“Is–is–Mrs. Creaker dressed as handsomely as you are?” asked Peter
rather timidly.

Creaker shook his head. “Not quite,” said he. “She likes plain black
better. Some of the feathers on her back shine like mine, but she says
that she has no time to show off in the sun and to take care of fine
feathers.”

“Where is she now?” asked Peter.

“Over home,” replied Creaker, pulling a white grub out of the roots of
the grass. “We’ve got a nest over there in one of those pine-trees on
the edge of the Green Forest and I expect any day now we will have four
hungry babies to feed. I shall have to get busy then. You know I am
one of those who believe that every father should do his full share in
taking care of his family.”

“I’m glad to hear you say it,” declared Peter, nodding his head with
approval quite as if he was himself the best of fathers, which he isn’t
at all.

“May I ask you a very personal question, Creaker?”

“Ask as many questions as you like. I don’t have to answer them unless I
want to,” retorted Creaker.

“Is it true that you steal the eggs of other birds?” Peter blurted the
question out rather hurriedly.

Creaker’s yellow eyes began to twinkle. “That is a very personal
question,” said he. “I won’t go so far as to say I steal eggs, but I’ve
found that eggs are very good for my constitution and if I find a nest
with nobody around I sometimes help myself to the eggs. You see the
owner might not come back and then those eggs would spoil, and that
would be a pity.”

“That’s no excuse at all,” declared Peter. “I believe you’re no better
than Sammy Jay and Blacky the Crow.”

Creaker chuckled, but he did not seem to be at all offended. Just then
he heard Mrs. Creaker calling him and with a hasty farewell he spread
his wings and headed for the Green Forest. Once in the air he seemed
just plain black. Peter watched him out of sight and then once more
headed for the dear Old Briar-patch.

“There are three things which are stately in their march, Even four which are stately when they walk: The lion which is mighty among beasts And does not retreat before any, The strutting rooster, the male goat also, And a king when his army is with him. If you have been foolish in exalting yourself Or if you have plotted evil, put your hand on your mouth.” (Proverbs 30:29-32 NASB)

*

  • Who did Peter hear first in the forest?
  • What did that bird sound like? What kind of instrument?
  • Are we supposed to act better than others?
  • Did he find Mrs. Grouse? Why not?
  • How is the Grackle different from a Crow?

“A friend loveth at all times,…” (Proverbs 17:17a KJV)

*

Links:

Bible Birds

Birds Vol #6 – The Ruffled Grouse

Home, Home on the Sage: Nothing to Grouse about!

Fusion Unplugged by Boat-tailed Grackles by AJMithra

 

  Next Chapter (A Fisherman Robbed.)

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Gold/Yellow = Heaven

  

 

Wordless Birds

 

 

**

Paintbrush Birds – Blue-footed Booby

Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) by Ian

Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) by Ian

The Blue-footed Booby is not what you might think of as a “Paintbrush Bird,” but I thought that the color of his feet qualifies him. :)

Actually, these feet look more like he stepped into a bucket of paint, instead of a Paintbrush being used on them. Yet, we know that their the Creator made those feet blue with His Creative Touch.

The young are not born with blue feet, but eventually their feet will turn blue. 

Blue-footed Boobies with young by Ian

From Wikipedia: “The blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii) is a marine bird native to subtropical and tropical regions of the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is one of six species of the genus Sula – known as boobies. It is easily recognizable by its distinctive bright blue feet, which is a sexually selected trait. Males display their feet in an elaborate mating ritual by lifting them up and down while strutting before the female. The female is slightly larger than the male and can measure up to 90 cm (35 in) long with a wingspan up to 1.5 m (5 ft).

The natural breeding habitats of the blue-footed booby are the tropical and subtropical islands of the Pacific Ocean. It can be found from the Gulf of California south along the western coasts of Central and South America to Peru. About half of all breeding pairs nest on the Galápagos Islands. Its diet mainly consists of fish, which it obtains by diving and sometimes swimming under water in search of its prey. It sometimes hunts alone, but usually hunts in groups.

Blue-footed Boobie by Ian

Great Verses to consider:

“My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.” (Psalms 121:2-3 NKJV)

“Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:26-27 NKJV)

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV)

See other Blue-footed Booby posts:

More Paintbrush Birds:

4 Things God Wants You to Know

Does Woodstock’s Nest Need A Plumber?

Woodstock With A Towel

Woodstock With A Towel (Peanuts)


I couldn’t resist this. I got tickled today when we came up behind a truck at a stoplight. Here is what it says:

Nest Plumbing by Lee

Nest Plumbing by Lee

Not sure if Woodstock was in need of Repairs, a new Drain (which most nest shouldn’t have a problem with), some Re-piping, or maybe a Water Heater.

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

Woodstock has been known to have other issues with his nest. Plus, Snoopy and Woodstock have shown up here on the blog regularly. In case you missed them, or need some good laughter, check these out:

Woodstock’s New Visit and Nest

Orni-Theology and Woodstock’s High-rise Nest

Woodstock and the I.O.C. 9.1 Update

A Merry Heart Is Like Medicine

Smoothing A Ruffled Feather

Bad Feather Day Again

Smoothing A Ruffled Feather III

Woodstock’s Migration Fear

Woodstock’s Dilemma

Woodstock’s Mating Dance

Woodstock’s New Hairdo

Flying Is Safer – At Least For Woodstock

Birdwatching, Bugs, and Woodstock

Partridges In Pear Tree – Snoopy’s Version

Minnesota Bird Songs

Grey Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) by Raymond Barlow

Grey Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) by Raymond Barlow

Dr. Jim (JJSJ) sent me this link and I think you will also enjoy it. If you look down through there, you will see a Catbird. Now, you will be able to hear him along with all the other Minnesota bird songs. Enjoy!! [Thanks, Dr. Jim]

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mcvmagazine/bird_songs_interactive/index.html

“…When one rises up at the sound of a bird, …” (Ecclesiastes 12:4 NKJV)

Catbird at Gatorland

James J. S. Johnson

Sharing The Gospel

Reginald and Oliver’s Florida Parade

AMERICAN TURKEYS

Reginald, the Turkey Commander, and Oliver’s Florida Parade

by Emma Foster

That year, when Reginald, Oliver, and the other turkeys celebrated Christmas in their fortress, which protected them from hunters during the winter, lots of snow covered the ground in the woods. The turkeys grew restless having to stay inside their fortress all the time, so they went to Reginald and asked if they could go south for the winter. Oliver approved of the idea because he had heard of something called the ocean, and he believed that going south for the winter would mean they could all go to the beach.

Reginald surveyed the woods outside the fortress. He knew it would be too cold for there to be any hunters around, and enough of the snow had melted for them to be able to walk easily. So the day after Christmas, Reginald, Oliver, and the other turkeys set off in a southerly direction, their army helmets strapped to their heads.

Reginald knew that they would miss the New Year, and he wondered what they would do and where they would go when they made it South. The turkeys trudged through the snow in a line, like a parade, with Reginald in the lead. At first, Oliver stood guard at the end of the line, but he slipped so many times in the slush that Reginald had him move to the front, where he could shove Oliver back up in case he fell again.

Eventually, the weather grew a bit warmer, and the turkeys noticed less snow on the ground. The snow completely disappeared the farther they traveled. A few days after New Year’s Day, Reginald noticed a few more roads, with cars driving past, and he also noticed that many of the trees seemed smaller, with round oranges stuck to them. Reginald decided to make camp among the rows of oranges, a little way away from the road.

Turkeys in Orange Grove ©Pinterest

At first, Reginald thought that they would be found by hunters, but as cars sped by, the drivers didn’t seem to notice them. They settled comfortably in the orange grove, but Oliver pestered Reginald constantly about going to see the ocean. Finally, Reginald had had enough, and he told Oliver that he was pretty sure they were not near any ocean. Oliver, shocked and depressed at not being able to see the ocean, went off by himself, past the orange grove. While he wandered around pouting, he heard a rustling in the nearby bushes. To Oliver’s surprise, another turkey popped out of the bushes. She was taller, with shinier feathers, and she introduced herself as Ginger. She explained that she lived with a few other wild turkeys on the land, owned by a man who kept an animal sanctuary.

Oliver brought Ginger back to meet the other turkeys. Reginald felt relieved when he found out where they were because that meant that they were protected from any hunters that happened to pass by.

Turkey in Line ©Musselcoundty.org

Convinced that Ginger knew the land better than anyone, he told her about wanting to see the ocean. Ginger realized how much Oliver wanted to go, so she told Reginald that she had an idea. Ginger announced that they were going to the ocean. The turkeys formed another parade line, with Ginger at the head.

The turkeys headed down the side of the road, where people often slowed their cars down to watch them. Ginger led the turkeys across a few fields and beyond one small side road, where they did not have to worry about cars. They reached a large lake at the base of another hill.

Oliver Will Have To Wait His Turn. (Great Egret on Alligator at Gatorland)

Oliver was overjoyed! He believed they had finally made it to the ocean. He raced down to the edge of the lake and jumped on a wide log to get a better view of his surroundings. The log jumped in fright. An alligator lifted his head, knocking Oliver off his back and into the shallow water. Oliver scrambled out of the water and back to Reginald. The alligator, however, apologized, saying that his name was Sid. He invited Oliver onto his back so that he could show him around the lake.

Turkey Swimming in Lake @United Poultry

Turkey Swimming in Lake @United Poultry

The turkeys, along with Reginald and Ginger sat by the lake for the rest of the day, while Sid carefully swam around the “ocean” with Oliver on his back. Oliver waved to Reginald every now and then, while Reginald sat in the grass. The turkeys seemed very happy living down South, away from hunters. Thinking about how everyone was enjoying their expedition, Reginald decided to wait until it was warmer before heading back to their fortress.


Lee’s Addition:

“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding;” “Then you will walk safely in your way, And your foot will not stumble.”
(Proverbs 313, :23 NKJV)

Thanks, Emma, for another enjoyable tale from the Turkey Commander and Oliver. A photo of Oliver’s Gator Taxi was a bit hard to find, so trust this one will suffice. Just never surprised where that flock of turkeys will show up next. Keep up the good work!

Check out all of Emma’s previous stories here:

Emma’s Stories

The Wise Owl

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