Bible Birds – Masked Lapwing

CHA-Char Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) at Lowry Park Zoo 3-27-2018

Both times the Lapwing is mentioned in the Bible, it is in the “Do Not Eat” lists in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:19 KJV)
And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Deuteronomy 14:18 KJV)

We were at Zoo Tampa (new name of Lowry Park Zoo) several years ago. We saw the Masked Lapwing again and I always enjoy that look he has. The Yellow mask make him quite attractive, don’t you think?

“The masked lapwing is the largest representative of the family Charadriidae. It measures from 30 to 37 cm (12 to 15 in) in length and has a wingspan of 75–85 cm (30–33 in). The nominate subspecies (V. m. miles) weighs 191–300 g (6.7–10.6 oz), while the southern race (V. m. novaehollandiae) is larger and weighs 296–412 g (10.4–14.5 oz). The subspecies from northern Australia and New Guinea (V. m. miles) has an all-white neck and large yellow wattles with the male having a distinctive mask and larger wattles. The subspecies found in the southern and eastern states of Australia and in New Zealand (V. m. novaehollandiae), and often locally called the spur-winged plover, has a black neck-stripe and smaller wattles. (Note that the northern-hemisphere spur-winged plover is a different bird.)

The birds have a wide range of calls which can be heard at any time of the day or night: the warning call, a loud defending call, courtship calls, calls to its young, and others. Since this bird lives on the ground it is always alert and even though it rests it never sleeps properly.” [Wikipedia – Masked Lapwing]

A masked lapwing blinking the left eye (the nictitating membrane is used rather than the eyelids). Note origin of the membrane from the medial canthus. Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) Eye ©WikiC

It is always amazing to see the different ways the Lord created His birds. Even how this Lapwing blinks show design and not something that just happened.

We see them frequently in many Zoos. Next time you are visiting a zoo, see if they have the Lapwings. If you are living in Australia or New Zealand, you can look for them in the Wild.

Bible Birds – Lapwings

Bible Birds

Wordless Birds

Do Not Eat The Gripe Or The Aliet!

PEREGRINE FALCON (National Park Service photo / public domain)

Here are two more birds that are listed on the “Do Not Eat” list. A Gripe and an Aliet.

Leviticus 11:13 These things be of (the) fowls which ye shall not eat, and shall be eschewed of you (and shall be shunned by you); an eagle, and a gripe, [and] an aliet,
Deuteronomy 14:12 (but) eat ye not unclean birds, that is, an eagle, and a gripe, and an aliet,
These verses are in the Wycliffe Bible (WYC) version. “The earliest existing edition is from 1525, but manuscripts of that only have a part of Matthew. Of the whole New Testament, the earliest manuscripts available are from 1526. Old Testament books are from later, 1530’s for some. This means that these two birds mentioned, the Gripe and the Aliet, were the names they were called by back then. Languages change over hundreds of years.

Australian Hobby by Ian Montgomery

Interesting note about how these birds are listed in the “Do Not Eat List” Here is what the Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Abridged Edition): Old Testament says:

13-19 There was no easy rule of thumb for clean birds. A negative list is given that in cases is difficult to translate with certainty. The different modern versions vary in detail. In general carrion-eating and fish-eating birds were forbidden, just as they are not used for food today. Chickens are not mentioned in the OT. The eating of bird eggs and the mother bird together is forbidden in Deuteronomy 22:6, apparently for conservation reasons. If the eggs are taken, the mother bird will lay more; but if the mother bird is taken, there will be no more eggs! Doves, their eggs, and their young were eaten.

After doing some searching on Google, the Gripe doesn’t seem to be a recognizable bird today. When searching for the Aliet, After just about giving up, this interesting article was found:

Hearldry is a displaying of different Coats of Arms. The bird in on this Crest or Coat of Arms is the Aliet:

These verses in other translations indicate some type of birds of prey. That is what is article is saying also. If you can read the “old English”, notice that it mentions “This Fowl hath her Tallons or Pounces inwardly crooked like a hook.” That is a good description of a Hawk, Falcon, or some other type of bird of prey. “and is called in Latine [Latin], Falco (faith Calepine). Falco is the genus for Falcons and includes 15 Kestrels, 22 Falcons and 4 Hobbys.

It also mentions the “Alietus is a little Fowl that preyeth upon small birds…”

American Kestrel by AestheticPhotos

Falcons, Kestrels and Hobbies are part of the Falconidae Family.

 

Porphyrion On The “Do Not Eat” List?

Is The Porphyrion On The Do Not Eat List? This is one of the reasons we post a Disclaimer about the different Bible versions. When the Birds of the Bible articles were written several years ago, I used my e-Sword program to search for the names of different species of birds on the “Do Not Eat List.” Now, the BibleGateway Bibles are also available for me to use. Time to check these new resources to see if any other name of bird is in one of their Bible translations.

I started with Leviticus 11:18 and Deuteronomy 14:17 [The beginning of the “Do Not Eat List” of birds] Looking through the list, Porphyrion caught my attention.

When I first started searching this word out on Google, here is what came up: “In Greek mythology, Porphyrion (Ancient Greek: Πορφυρίων) was one of the Gigantes (Giants)…” Whoa! That’s not a bird, but a Greek Mythology character, and not a very nice one. That is the reason for this title.

Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) ©WikiC

Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) ©WikiC

Ah! But further researching found that the Porphyrion is actually another name for the Swamphen. Notice the scientific name in the photo.

Porphyrio porphyrio. That is most likely why the Douay-Rheims 1899 [American edition DRA] translated it that way. They are the only English Bible that translates the bird this way.

They translated the two verses as:

“And the swan, and the bittern, and the porphyrion,” Leviticus 11:18 DRA

“And the cormorant, the porphyrion, and the night crow,” Deuteronomy 14:17 DRA
also
“and a dipper, a porphyrio, and a rearmouse, a cormorant,” WYC [Here’s a verse to check out :) ]

Purple Gallinule at Lake Hollingsworth by Lee

Here is a bit about this Swamphen family:

“Porphyrio is the swamphen or swamp hen bird genus in the rail family. It includes some smaller species which are usually called “purple gallinules”, and which are sometimes separated as genus Porphyrula or united with the gallinules proper (or “moorhens”) in Gallinula. The Porphyrio gallinules are distributed in the warmer regions of the world.

The genus Porphyrio was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 with the western swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) as the type species. The genus name Porphyrio is the Latin name for “swamphen”, meaning “purple“. [Wikipedia – Swamphen]

Purple Gallinule by Lee at Lake Parker 1-7-12

Purple Gallinule by Lee at Lake Parker 1-7-12

Searching this blog, there is a previous post written about the porphyrion or Swamphen in 2013. Birds of the Bible – Name Study – Swamphen or Waterhen
Stay tuned for more searches of the Birds of the Bible – Do Not Eat list!
[Yes, I believe in using the main translations of the Bible; like KJV, NKJV, and NASB, but these searches are for just finding different birds to write about. God created all the birds, and I find it interesting to see how these birds are translated.]

Bible Birds – Sea Gulls Introduction

Bible Birds – Sea Gulls Introduction

Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) by Ian

Bible Birds – Sea Gulls

“the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind;” (Leviticus 11:16 NKJV)

“and the ostrich, and the night-hawk, and the sea-mew, and the hawk after its kinds;” (Leviticus 11:16 JPS)

The Sea Gull or Sea-mew is mentioned in many versions of the Bible. It is unclear if this is the correct bird, but many believe so. This bird is listed with others on the “Do Not Eat” list. The Jewish people were reminded not to eat some birds.

Leviticus chapter 11 and Deuteronomy chapter 14 have those lists. The LORD was protecting His people from becoming sick. Also, some birds were not to be eaten because “God said not to”. Have your parents ever told you not to eat something because it would make you sick. Did you do it anyway? That is disobedience. These people were to be obedient, just as you and I are supposed to obey.

Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) by Ian

Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) by Ian

The Gulls or Seagulls are seabirds in the Laridae family. They are closely related to the terns and only distantly related to auks, skimmers, and more distantly to the waders. An older name for gulls is mews, cognate with German Möwe, Danish måge, Dutch meeuw, and French mouette; this term can still be found in certain regional dialects.

Gulls are typically medium to large birds, usually grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They typically have harsh wailing or squawking calls; stout, longish bills; and webbed feet. Most gulls are ground-nesting carnivores which take live food or scavenge. Live food often includes crabs and small fish. Gulls have unhinging jaws which allow them to consume large prey. Gulls are typically coastal or inland species, rarely going far out to sea, except for the kittiwakes.

The large species take up to four years to attain full adult plumage, but two years is typical for small gulls. Large white-headed gulls live long, with a maximum age of 49 years recorded for the herring gull.

Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides) chick-egg nest ©USFWS

Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides) chick-egg nest ©USFWS

Gulls nest in large, densely packed, noisy colonies. They lay two or three speckled eggs in nests composed of vegetation. The young are relatively mature from the moment of birth, born with dark mottled down and mobile upon hatching.

Laughing Gull landing on Brown Pelican

Laughing Gull landing on Brown Pelican by Lee

Gulls are resourceful, inquisitive, and intelligent, the larger species in particular. For example, many gull colonies display mobbing behavior, attacking and harassing predators and other intruders. Certain species have exhibited tool-use behavior, such as the herring gull, using pieces of bread as bait with which to catch goldfish, for example.

More Information:

Story of the Wordless Book

Lee’s Three Word Wednesday – 12/28/16

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Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) by Ian

AND THE KITE

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“And the vulture, and the kite after his kind;” (Leviticus 11:14 KJV)

Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) by Ian

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More Daily Devotionals

Accipitridae – Family (Kites, Hawks & Eagles)

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