Joy in the Sharing

Psalm 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation

Female Northern Cardinal; Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March, 2020 ©

“What kind of a bird is that?” a friend at church asked excitedly while pointing toward a nearby tree. It was just a typical female Northern Cardinal, yet I experienced a spark of joy as I provided the answer! Not because a cardinal is an overly exciting bird, but simply because someone asked me about a bird!

Over time, things can become stale. When migration ends and we’re left with the usual summertime residents, birding can become boring. As our bird lists get longer, lifers are harder to come by and our joy wanes.

In much the same way, our Christianity can also become lukewarm over time. The joy fades with the same Bible reading plan year after year; the same pastor standing in the pulpit Sunday after Sunday; the same few members doing all the work. Church activities become just another check box on the daily to-do list. Is that you?

In the book Good Birders Still Don’t Wear White, bird guide Carlos A. Bethancourt gives us a clue how to break that boredom and restore joy: “When I see the joy and delight on the faces of the birders – some first-timers to the neotropics – I often think back to my first sighting of that species, and it’s nearly as exhilarating for me as if it were my lifer as well. My excitement is in the sharing.

The Lord Jesus commissioned us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” This command wasn’t solely for the growth of the church, but for our own sakes! Jesus knows the exciting rejuvenation and joy that we’d experience in sharing the gospel. There is nothing better than stepping out in faith and sharing your testimony with a stranger to exhilarate your Christian walk. Has your Christianity become lukewarm, stale, or boring? The joy is in the sharing!

Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Mistaken Identity – Birds and Ancestors

Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) by Judd Patterson

Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) by Judd Patterson

Here is an interesting email notice:

SK?????@?.com via
3:13 PM (4 minutes ago) to BRDBRAIN

Mental error, Brown Thrasher not Brown Creeper. S???? Tampa, Fl

To subscribe, unsubscribe or view archives of the brdbrain listserv list, please visit us on the web at:

Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) ©USFWS

I belong to the BRDBRAIN reports that come out about bird sitings here in Florida. The University of Florida has several “listserv list.” Birds being one of them. When someone spots especially a bird that is uncommon to the area, they report it. Then, as true birders, especially those trying to build their “Life List” of birds, they scurry off to see it and add it to their Lists. Most of you know what I am referring to.

So, in this case, S???? had reported the wrong bird and was correcting his error. We have all had to “eat crow” over something we have said. At least I have.

In the last article, Where are you from? – Correction, one of my blogging friends made a reply and I answered them. Aussiebirder has a great blog and you should drop by there to see it. I answered them but would like to use this blog to further explain how things happen with bird lists and ancestry lists.

Their remark: “From my findings some of these genealogy companies, especially the ones using DNA typings do not contribute any practical links to a specific family with any accuracy or even traceable evidence.” and here is my reply, “It was not really ancestry’s fault as much as those who blindly connect people to their trees without much research. My problem came before I received my DNA results. This might just be a good topic for a post. I am finding quite a bit from my results. Humm. A post topic. Hope the “only birders” won’t mind. :)”

I just now bolded, the part I would like to address. Just as the person above misidentified the wrong bird, those doing their genealogy, do the same thing. Ancestry and other like services [My Heritage, Family Tree, Geni, etc.], provide “Hints” for a possible fact to be applied to the Family tree they are working on.

We, birders and genealogist, are so eager to add another “notch” to our list, that we overlook some of the other facts. Did the bird have red or black eyes, stripes or streaks, etc? Did the person that you are trying to add live long enough to produce offspring? [That is a favorite mistake that I see. They are like 7 years old when their child is born. WHOA!!

Broken Limb/Branch off of Tree

I had to “chop that branch” off my tree because I had mistakenly not checked all the facts. My new DNA results are actually helping me find some of my great nieces and nephews from parts of our family that we had lost track of. [By the way, I am trying to see if that tree might produce another limb, just as interesting as the other.

Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) ©WikiC [At least it’s brown! :) ]

As you study the birds more and more and have practical experience in the field, you are less apt to make mistakes. Are you ever going to be right 100% of the time? Dream on!

Am I ever going to remove another limb from my tree, or at least a “twig”? Most likely.

What we do is keep doing our best and do not be afraid to admit that a mistake was made. Not admitting a mistake is worse than making a mistake and not admitting it. Especially, not trying to correct our mistakes.


Our paster is always telling us to, “tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth.”

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (James 5:16 NASB)

Where Are You From? II – Correction

Where Are You From? – II

Where Are You From? – I

Life List of All the Birds We Have Seen – Part I

Snowy Egret in Breeding Plumage at Gatorland by Dan

Snowy Egret in Breeding Plumage at Gatorland by Dan

There is a Page on this blog called Life List of All the Birds We Have Seen. It has needed to be updated, plus with all the broken links that I have been repairing, this is going to be the main emphasis for a while. The Avian and Attributes articles will continue to be produced also. As the links are fixed and updated, the Parts will grow longer.

There is a reason for using the Life List of All the Birds We Have Seen, because it has the Families of the Birds of the World in Taxonomic order. As I find the birds we have seen, I will also be fixing the broken links on the Family pages. [So far, almost 1/3 to 1/2 of the family member page has broken links. It is becoming more obvious that the site WAS hacked.] This helps to fix each Family page in order, without jumping around.

Most of the page is self-explanatory. This is a list of ALL birds we, Dan and I, have SEEN. With photos where possible, because we did not take a picture of EVERY bird. Whether out in the wild, or in a zoo or similar place, THEY COUNT as far as this list is concerned. [Most bird counts are only for wild/free birds.]

**************** Life List of All the Birds We Have Seen ************

White-eared Catbird (Ailuroedus buccoides) Houston Zoo by Lee

“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Genesis 2:3 KJV)

Under Construction – Still Finding Our Pictures to put with the Birds

[The best photos are at Dan’s Photo Site USNDANSPIX or just Dan’s Pix]

I’ve decided to not only include wild birds we have seen, but also birds we have seen in zoos also. Most lists don’t let you include them, but still, I have seen them in person, so, they count to me. Going to put these in Taxonomic order and use the IOC names.

The ones we have seen in the wild (264 species[edit]) have a “*”  and the ones we saw at zoos are marked with the following code. A name in parenthesis is what they call them. The two numbers in brackets [ total birds in family –  our count ]

Zoo Abbreviations (BZ=Brevard Zoo, CZ=Cincinnati Zoo, HZ=Houston Zoo, LPZ=Lowry Park Zoo, JZ=Jacksonville Zoo, NA=National Aviary, NZ=National Zoo, MZ=Memphis Zoo, PB=Palm Beach Zoo, RZ=Riverbanks Zoo (SC), SAZ=San Antonio Zoo, SDZ=San Diego Zoo, TBF=Titusville Birding Festival, WA=Wings of Asia (at MetroZoo before Hurricane Andrew and new Wings of Asia at Zoo Miami or ZM=Zoo Miami),

Names with an extra name in (parenthesis) are what the Zoos calls them. Listed by Families:

Ostriches – Struthionidae [2-2]
Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) MZ RZ
Somali Ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes) SDZ

Rheas – Rheidae [2-0 ]

Kiwis – Apterygidae [5-0]

Cassowaries, Emus – Casuariidae [4- ]
Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) BZ by Lee HZ
Emu Photos (Dromaius novaehollandiae) LPZ by Lee, BZ by Dan

Tinamous – Tinamidae [47-1]
Elegant Crested Tinamou (Eudromia elegans) ZM by Dan, by Lee,  HZ by Lee

Screamers – Anhimidae [3-1]

Southern Screamer (Chauna torquata) San Diego Zoo by Lee

Magpie Goose – Anseranatidae [1-1]

Magpie Goose (Anseranas semipalmata) by Lee LPZ

Magpie Goose (Anseranas semipalmata) by Lee Lowry Park Zoo

************ To Be Continued ***********

Ducks, Geese and Swans – Anatidae [173- ]

Megapodes (Family Megapodiidae)  [21- ]
Australian Brushturkey (Alectura lathami) NA
Wattled Brushturkey (Aepypodius arfakianus) WA

To see the rest of this page, Life List of All the Birds We Have Seen

Alternative Bird Lists

Various Lists

Various Lists

“Then the LORD said to Moses, “Number every firstborn male of the sons of Israel from a month old and upward, and make a list of their names. (Numbers 3:40 NASB)

Saw this on Alternative Life List from About, which was a side-link from Keeping a Life Yard List.

“Many birders keep a life list, but the guidelines for what birds count on a life list that will be accepted by organizations or competitions can be strict. Fortunately, there are many alternative ways to keep a life list, from serious to silly, and each one adds a new dimension to enjoying the record-keeping side of birding.

Here are some of the List they suggest:

  • Geographic Lists:
  • Seasonal Lists:
  • Photographic Lists:
  • Subspecies Lists
  • Sound Lists
On Way to Lowry Pk Zoo - Crossed County line at 8:42

On Way to Lowry Pk Zoo – Crossed County line at 8:42

Then they list Silly Options For Fun Life Lists:

  • Captive Birds: (See them often)
  • Extinct Birds: (That might be a little difficult)
  • Taxidermy Birds: (Don’t do too many museums)
  • Hollywood Birds: (That might be interesting, you hear them in the backgrounds a lot)
  • Book Birds: (Yep, not too hard)
  • Dream Birds: (That would be hard if you don’t dream much – Wish Birds might be better)
  • Missed Birds: (That might be REAL easy)

I think I need to keep a Captive Bird List (my Zoos, Aviaries, Wildlife Rehabs and other places that have birds that are not free to leave.)

The Photographic Life List also sounds interesting. (I have plenty of “proof shots”)

eBird Report

eBird Report

Do you keep a list of birds? I do, but am not always faithful to record them. As we go on trips, I record all the birds I see as Dan drives. I include even the county, time, temp, and whether clear, cloudy, etc. I use eBird to keep North American birds, but again, don’t always log my findings until later. (or when I re-find my notepad)

Here are photos of some list written on trips and outings. You can tell if I forgot my Notepad, I am resourceful.

My List of ALL the Birds I Have Seen is really a combination of many of these.

I have written about Birdwatching Lists before, but found that article interesting and thought you might like to see how I do some of the listing. As you can see, it is not very scientific. Sometimes I draw a marking or shape to help ID it later. Now days, I try to capture my unknowns with my camera. Easier than drawing and I get to keep my eye on the bird.

What ever way you keep a list or lists is up to each one. The main thing is to get out and enjoy the beautiful birds the Lord has created for us to enjoy. I would rather miss getting something on my list, than missing the opportunity to watch the bird as long as possible. For some birds will only give you a glimpse of itself before it dashes away.

Finding a verse to use that had the word “list” in it required me to use my e-Sword again. Looking at different versions I was able to find some The KJV used, “number of their names,” the CJV used “determine how many there are,” DRB used “shalt take the sum of them” and the CRV used probably the best for this, “Write their names on a list”

Check out some other articles we have written about this:


Your First Bird Sighted in 2013 – Please Comment

Marian (Naturalist at Avon Park Range) and Lee 2004

Marian (Naturalist at Avon Park Range) and Lee 2004

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2 NKJV)

Well here we are at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. Wow! What a fast year, now we get to renew ourselves and start afresh with a new list of birds for the year.

What will it be? The first one you sight. Will it be an old familiar friend or something new to you? Let us know what you see. Please leave a comment and tell us your first bird of 2013. You might even tell us your last bird of 2012. As I write this, it is only 9:00 am on Dec 31st, but some of you around the world are all ready celebrating the new year.

When you leave your bird sighted, tell us at least where you are, even if it is only your country. If you don’t see Comments on the page, click the Leave a Comment at the end of the article and it will take you to the full article.

I am excited to read about your first (and last) birds from around the world. I will post mine as soon as I spot them in the morning.


Wordless Birds


Birdwatcher or Bird Collector?

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) at Bok Tower By Dan'sPix

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) at Bok Tower By Dan’sPix

I just finished reading an article in the August 2012 issue of “BirdWatching” Magazine by Maeve Kim. It is called “Born-Again Bird-Watcher.” The title caught my interest since I am a “Born-again Christian.” The article, of course, had nothing to do with religion but was about watching birds.

She, Maeve, had progressed from being a birdwatcher that just loved to watch birds and make notes in a field notebook.

“My old field notebooks are full of exclamation points and underlinings and capital letters. “GREEN HERON at beaver pond! Glowing chestnut throat and neck! Gorgeous!”
I described everything I saw about a bird’s physical appearance, behavior, and song. Often, my notebook entries ended with questions that I hoped might be answered if I watched more birds.”

Progression went from lots of information to just a “checklist” were just seeing the bird and checking it off became the main goal. This is called a “Bird Getter” and not a bird watcher. Long interesting story short, Maeve has now gone back to “watching” the birds even common ones. It is a very good article.

Wood Duck male – Lake Morton 6-28-12 by Lee

As I have “progressed” in my own birdwatching I also have learned about “journals,” “notebooks” and “lists.” I enjoy seeing my “Life List of Birds” grow, but I try not to just want to “check them off” so the list will grow. As a Christian believing that the Lord created the birds, I enjoy watching them, their behaviors, their sounds, how they fly and eat and writing about them. I am amazed at His design and paintbrush used. How each bird was given just the right beak, feet, song, flight pattern, etc. is awesome.

She said, “True Bird-Watchers enjoy every single minute that they’re out birding. They don’t come home feeling cheated because they didn’t get a rare Dovekie. Instead, they celebrate every time they see a Black Guillemot’s (her common) red feet flashing under cold water.”

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher at Circle B Reserve by Lee

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher at Circle B Reserve by Lee

Every time we go to our local parks, I still enjoy watching the antics of our local common birds. May we never tire or grow weary of “only ” seeing a bird that we have seen many times before.

But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. “Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this, (Job 12:7,9 NASB)

How can we learn from the birds if we don’t watch them?



Birdwatching Tips


Birdwatching at Lowry Park Zoo – May 2011

Great Argus (Argusianus argus argus) (Great Malay Argus P) by Lee at LPZ

Great Argus (Argusianus argus argus) (Great Malay Argus Pheasant) by Lee at LPZ

Dan and I were able check out the birds again at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL last Friday. We went to a few of the aviaries we haven’t been in for awhile. We went to the Sulawesi Aviary and saw the Magpie Goose, Masked Lapwing, Great Malay Argus Pheasant , Victorian Crowned Pigeon (SSP), Mandarin Duck, Sulawesi Tarictic (Temminck’s) Hornbill, Demoiselle Crane, Great Malay Argus, Javan Pond Heron and the (Green-naped) Pheasant Pigeon, with the Bar-headed Goose just outside.

Sulawesi Hornbill (Penelopides exarhatus) by Lee LPZ

Sulawesi Hornbill (Penelopides exarhatus) by Lee LPZ

From there we stopped by Lorikeet Landing to see many Lorikeets being feed by visitors. There the Green-naped, Swainson’s, Weber’s and Rainbow Lorikeets carry on with lots of noisy calls (all of these are subspecies of the Rainbow).

Lorikeet being feed by youngster at Lowry Pk Zoo

Lorikeet being feed by youngster at Lowry Pk Zoo

They also have Dusky Lory, Violet-crested Turaco, and Green-winged Teals.

Dusky Lory (Pseudeos fuscata) by Lee at LPZoo

Dusky Lory (Pseudeos fuscata) by Lee at LPZoo

The Wallaroo Station (Australian) greets you with the Palm Cockatoo, Silky, Australorp and Buff Orphington Chickens. Then just inside you can view the sleepy Koala (whoops, that not a bird, but it was in a tree) and the Emu. The Malayan Flying Fox exhibit had those bats, plus the Magpie Goose, Rosy Starlings, Long-billed Corella (new for me), and Red-tailed Black Cockatoo. The Bali Myna was busy singing and showing off for its mate and then we entered the Budgerigar Aviary. Wow! They were everywhere.

Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) by Lee LPZ

Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) by Lee LPZ

We saw more, but will save that for another article. It was enjoyable as usual as we watched the Lord’s Creative Hand through these fantastic birds.

The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever. (Psalms 111:2-3 KJV)

I have also been updating some more of the photos for:
Life List of All Birds We Have Seen

Koala by Lee LPZ

Koala by Lee LPZ


Updating Life List of All Birds We Have Seen

Golden-breasted Starling (Lamprotornis regius) at NA by Lee

Golden-breasted Starling (Lamprotornis regius) by Lee

I have been busy behind the scene working on the “Life List of All Birds We Have Seen” page. It is a work in progress. Decided to list all the birds we have seen in person, whether they were in the wild, seen at zoos or in an aviary.

When the Lord created them, He declared them very good. So why should we not have pleasure in keeping track of them, whether they are free or confined. Many in aviaries at zoos or the National Aviary are being very well taken care of and provided for. Many are being bred to preserve their species.

Praise the LORD! I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, …. The works of the LORD are great, Studied by all who have pleasure in them. His work is honorable and glorious, And His righteousness endures forever. He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The LORD is gracious and full of compassion. (Psalms 111:1-4 NKJV)

I have put them in taxonomic order and used the I.O.C. list of names. (2.5 Version). Searching through old photos and current ones, I am trying to find as many pictures of the birds we have seen as possible. Some of the photos are what I would call a “proof shot,” which means, it’s not great, but you can tell which bird it is. Some are from scanned photos and our first digital cameras. But all links to photos on the page were taken by either Dan or I.

Demoiselle Crane (Anthropoides virgo) at MetroZoo 1989-Photo

I also contacted the Miami Metro Zoo, which had the fabulous Wings of Asia aviary before Hurricane Andrew blew it away. (Rebuilt in 2003) We had an annual pass back then and visited it quite often. That was about the time I really became a birdwatcher. They sent me a list of the birds that were in the aviary just before the hurricane. I am using those birds also on my list. I only have a few photos from there because most were taken on slides which were lost.

Anyway, the page will be updated quite frequently as photos are found and linked to the page. Hope you enjoy them and that you keep better list of the birds you have seen than I did.

See: “Life List of All Birds We Have Seen