Hurricane Irma and the Animals at the Zoos

Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) female Zoo Miami by Dan

Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) female Zoo Miami by Dan

“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:37-41 KJV)

We here in Florida are preparing for Hurricane Irma to impact our state in the next few days. Dan and I have put in our supplies, and our just waiting to make a final decision to stay or go to a shelter. When we lived in Fort Lauderdale years ago, we went through the fringe of Hurricane Andrew. As you know, we like to visit zoos, especially Zoo Miami. During Andrew, the then Miami Metro Zoo was devastated. Thankfully, it was rebuilt and renamed Zoo Miami.

Thought I would check to see what is being done around the state at some of our favorite Zoos. What I found was more of what they did in previous hurricanes to protect the animals.

Victoria Crowned Pigeon (Goura victoria) by Lee at Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami is right in the path of a direct hit from Irma. The Wings of Asia aviary was built to new strong hurricane strengths, and we trust it can stand up to this new threat. Here are some links to what preparations are happening.

Animal caretakers prepping for Irma with lessons learned from Andrew

“Zoo Miami’s flamingos won’t be riding out Hurricane Irma in a bathroom like they were 25 years ago when Hurricane Andrew devastated the park.

Instead, the park’s majestic birds will be inside their steel and concrete enclosure—an upgrade from the iconic photo that shows the birds huddled in a hay-filled bathroom.

“It’s one of the things we learned from Andrew,” said Ron Magill a spokesman for Zoo Miami. “They will be safe.” CLICK THE LINK TO READ THE REST.

Here are two clips from the Hurricane Andrew damage.


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Wrinkled Hornbill (Aceros corrugatus) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Wrinkled Hornbill (Aceros corrugatus) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Brevard Zoo – Viera, Florida [from an article in Florida Today] They are on a “wait and see,”

“VIERA — Officials at Brevard Zoo, like a lot of people, are keeping a careful eye on Hurricane Irma.

But as of now it’s business as usual for the zoo staff and the 800 animals there.

Elliot Zirulnik, the communications manager at the zoo, said the zoo has a hurricane plan in place, which includes two-week stockpiles of food for the animals.

If a hurricane warning is issued for the area, then zoo staff will work on securing the animals.

The 800 animals at the zoo consist of 165 species.

“It’s a lot of work but it’s something our team is prepared for,” Zirulnik said.

The zoo is located in Viera, off Wickham Road, near Interstate 95.”

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Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) Jax Zoo by Lee

Jacksonville Zoo

Couldn’t find where they have written about the current hurricane approaching, but here is an interesting article about last year when Hurrican Matthew came through.

The Jacksonville Zoo bringing in ‘ride-out’ team to help protect animals, facility from Hurricane Matthew

I did not list Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa because it appears the hurricane is going to go up the east coast of Florida. They will prepare in Tampa, but also “wait and see.”

Inca Tern at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee

The Lord is in control of this storm and already knows where it will go, what and who will be affected by Hurricane Andrew. Your prayers for our residents of Florida; both we humans and the critters.

“The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7 KJV)

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Birdwatching at Zoos

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo’s Parrots Plus

Macaw Flyover Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Macaw Flyover Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

You have seen many articles of our birdwatching adventures to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida. There are quite a few YouTube videos of the Zoo. Among some photos from our adventures, I wanted to share a few their videos. It starts off showing the Parrot Flyover with Macaws. Later in the video there are some baby Turacos. There are other animals shown.

For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: (James 3:7 KJV)

Violet Turaco (Musophaga violacea) by Lee at LPZ

Violet Turaco (Musophaga violacea) by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

Here is a much better photo of a Violet (Violaceous) Turaco  (Musophaga violacea) that I took at the Brevard Zoo, Melbourne, Florida.

Violet Turaco (Musophaga violacea) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Violet Turaco (Musophaga violacea) Brevard Zoo by Lee

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Birdwatching Trips to Lowry Park Zoo
Lowry Park Zoo
Sunday Inspiration – Turacos
Musophagidae – Turacos
Houston Zoo – Vacation – Part 2 – Macaw and Turacos
Lord’s Avian Wonders – Can’t We Talk In Private? – Macaw

Gideon

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Lord’s Avian Wonders – Some Zoo Critters

Thought I would share some more photos from the Zoo and a video that has challenged me. So far, in this new year the Lord is treating me well. I trust it is starting out alright for you also.

A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. (Deuteronomy 11:12 KJV)

Sacred Ibis Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Sacred Ibis Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Squirrel Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Squirrel Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 KJV)

Bald Eagle Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Bald Eagle Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Bald Eagle Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Le

Bald Eagle Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Le

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

Inca Tern Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Inca Tern Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Inca Tern Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Inca Tern Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (Psalms 119:160 KJV)

“Winning Life’s Battles” by Pastor Nathan Osborne was a great message that challenged for AD 2016. It is worth the time to watch. Our pastor’s messages are now being placed on the Faith Baptist Church website.

“Reach for the impossible” was one of his points that challenged my heart. I have some interesting challenges coming during this new year and the Lord has and is using this message to encourage me.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13 KJV)

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:4-5 KJV)

I trust we will all have a productive new year. Whether it is accepting new challenges or just doing regular things like birdwatching and, then after finding the bird, trying to get a decent photo of it. :0)

Kookaburra Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Kookaburra Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Kookaburra Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Kookaburra Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. (Ecclesiastes 7:8 KJV)

(Bolding in verses is mine)

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Birdwatching Trip – Zoo 12-31-15

Rainbow Lorikeet by Dan

Rainbow Lorikeet by Dan

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

Off we went on the last day of 2015 to try to pick up our updated Lowry Park Zoo passes. They still weren’t ready to issue all of the new ones, so, all was not lost. Never head to a zoo without a camera.

The place was sort of crowded because they were throwing a “Noon Days Eve” party for the young folks. At noon they had a count-down to Noon “10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1”. Then they shot off paper confetti and ribbons. They were all having a great time. Most of those kids would never make to 12 midnight anyway. For that matter, neither did Dan or I. :)

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Over in the Lorikeet feeding aviary, they seemed more colorful than normal and several of them were bouncing around and carrying on. Must have been their way of celebrating the coming New Year AD 2016. Also, like those celebrating, sometimes they get carried away and start becoming destructive.

A new Orangutan was born on December 21st and hoped to see the little one, but Momma had different plans. She was laying with the baby between her and her big arm and had a piece of cardboard over her. Her mate was nearby with leaves over his head. (This is normal for these at this zoo.)

Mom and Papa Orangutan

Mom and Papa Orangutan

Mom Orangutan looking out and weary.

Mom Orangutan looking out and weary.

Papa Orangutan blocks the view.

Papa Orangutan blocks the view.

When a crowd came around to look also, he got up and sat right in front of her to block all views. The Lord even gives His critters a sense that they need privacy.

Here is a beautiful creation that takes your breath away. Wow! How did the Lord come up with so many designs in all His critters, not just the birds. I have no idea what the second fish is. He looks happy. If you know, leave a comment.

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this, (Job 12:7-9 NKJV)

Off to check out the other birds and see what else was going on. Enjoy the photos. These were our last ones of AD 2015. By the way, the first bird I spotted this year was a Sandhill Crane. (Later the same day, 1st, saw a Belted Kingfisher and a Bald Eagle, plus more normal residents.

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You can see videos of a Masked Lapwing, a Demoiselle Crane and a Blue-faced Honeyeater that I also took by clicking the links.

Birdwatching Trips

Good News

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Lord’s Avian Wonders – Sunbittern saying, “Where is It?”

At Lowry Park Zoo recently, we observed a Sunbittern rearranging the area. The bird keeper came by and put it all back in. He said, it is a normal occurrence.

To me, it reminds me of those of you who will be opening presents for Christmas. Invariably, some piece of a toy or something gets mixed in with all the discarded wrapping paper and the search begins. Merry Christmas.

“Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? “When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:8-10 NASB)

Bonus: A Bali Myna was singing away at the newly remodeled entry aviary. This is just as you enter the Main Aviary at Lowry.

Lord’s Avian Wonders – A Christmas Turkey?

“The works of the LORD are great, Studied by all who have pleasure in them.” (Psalms 111:2 NKJV)

While updating our passes at Lowry Park Zoo last week, I found this startled “Turkey” insisting that he was not a “Turkey”

Non-Turkey at Lowry Park Zoo cropped

Startled Non-Turkey at Lowry Park Zoo (cropped)

To me, he had wattles like a turkey!

Well, maybe it’s not a turkey after all. It is actually is a Guineafowl. Plus, they are not even in the same family.

Guinefowl at Lowry Park Zoo

Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris) at Lowry Park Zoo

Turkeys have to keep a low profile during the Christmas season as you have learned from several of Emma’s stories about the Commander Turkey. 

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:18 NKJV)

Here are some of the decorations as you enter the zoo:

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Guineafowl – Numididae

Pheasants and allies – Phasianidae

Lowry Park Zoo

Gospel Presentation

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White-breasted Cormorant Update

White-breasted Cormorant (Phalacrocorax lucidus) SD Zoo by Lee

White-breasted Cormorant (Phalacrocorax lucidus) SD Zoo by Lee

In yesterday’s article, White-breasted Cormorants at San Diego Zoo I mentioned that we had never seen these before. When it posted, at the bottom of the article, it loaded the Latest Challenge of Zoo Photography which was taken at Lowry Park Zoo. I have added an Update to yesterday’s article.

But now that I look at the two of them together, it does make me wonder if they are the same species.???

I got through the netting.

I got through the netting.

They both have that beautiful green eye, but their little patch of color below the eye is different. Huh?

Interesting. They may come from different parts of Africa or it could be their ages or sex. If you know, drop a comment.

As James tells us, we are to admit when we mess up. It was unintentional.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16 KJV)

At least it gave me something to write about today! :)
(By the way, if you wonder why I don’t have the smiley faces turned on, it is because I use so many “(” and “)” that they get turned into faces. I need the quotes for the names of the birds more than I need smileys. :)

Boat-billed Heron at Lowry Park Zoo

Boat-billed Heron Lowry Park Zoo by Dan

Boat-billed Heron Lowry Park Zoo by Dan

For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills or upon the mountains where thousands are. I know and am acquainted with all the birds of the mountains, and the wild animals of the field are Mine and are with Me, in My mind. (Psalms 50:10-11 AMP)

We went to Lowry Park Zoo recently because they opened up early for a special event for the kids. We headed to the aviary to get there while they were feeding the birds. Usually, that happens before the zoo opens. Besides that, most people were at the event and we had the aviary to us and the birds. Yeah!

One of my favorite birds in there is the Boat-billed Heron. I think they are just cute. Two of them like to sit just above or to the side of the walkway. (In fact, one of them managed to plaster Dan and his camera on a previous visit. Yuk!) This time they behaved and was able to shoot a video right up under one of my avian friends. They are adorable, to me.

Here is the video I took of our friendly Boat-bill Heron (of course my mouth was running in amazement) :

We have had other articles on this bird, but just had to share this latest Birdwatching Adventure.

Who Paints The Leaves?

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Latest Challenge of Zoo Photography

White-breasted Cormorants at Lowry Park Zoo 12-26-14 by Lee

 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. (Isaiah 34:11 KJV)

With my new Panasonic Lumix FZ200 camera in hand, off we went to Lowry Park Zoo the day after Christmas. I was itching to try out the 600 zoom compared to my 450 on the FZ47. I was content with the older camera, because as I have said before, I am a birdwatcher, not a photographer. I don’t know an “F-stop” from a “bus stop”. I shoot in Program mode.

That aside, I use the camera often, probably more than binoculars. Why? Maybe I am a little bit of a photographer because I like to see the birds when I get home. Many times I keep my bad shots because they are at least “proof shots” that I really did see the bird or to help ID it later. I leave the real good shots for Dan to take.because he knows what a “F-stop” is.

First Attempt - See the neat knots?

First Attempt – See the neat knots?

Back to my challenge. Taking photos at a Zoo can be quite challenging to say the least. Especially for “program mode” photographers. For some reason, zoos like to keep something between you and the birds, unless you are in an aviary with them. That “something” is usually a fence, bars, netting, or something to try to shoot through. They seem to like to keep their birds safe. :)

Another Attempt - Nice knots!

Another Attempt – Nice knots!

I tried again,

Nope - Not yet!

Nope – Not yet!

I backed out the zoom and tried to find the other one.

There he is

Different color netting, but same blurry bird photo.

Yuk!

Yuk!

Then, I finally got through the netting enough to see that beautiful bird.

Look at that beauty!

Look at that beauty!

Wow!

I got through the netting.

Even got the chest and some feather design.

Yeah! I got through

Yeah! I got through

Look at those eyes!

What pretty green eyes

What pretty green eyes

Our Creator gave the White-breasted Cormorants a beautiful eye color and overall neat appearance. Just this one encounter, trying to get a photo takes you through a wide range of emotions; frustration, wanting to give up, then determination and joy when you can finally see the bird clear. Reminds me of what I have been reading in Ecclesiastes.

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: …A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; …A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away (blurry photos); …A time to love, And a time to hate; …What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 NKJV)

Enjoy all the photos of the cormorants and even some from a previous trip:

The white-breasted cormorant (Phalacrocorax lucidus) is much like the widespread great cormorant and if not a regional variant of the same species, is at least very closely related. It is distinguished from other forms of the great cormorant by its white breast and by the fact that subpopulations are freshwater birds. Phalacrocorax lucidus is not to be confused with the smaller and very different endemic South Australian black-faced cormorant, which also is sometimes called the white-breasted cormorant.

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Birdwatching Trips

Lowry Park Zoo

White-breasted Cormorant – Wikipedia

White-breasted Cormorant – Dallas Zoo

Wordless Birds

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Singing Dogs at Lowry Park Zoo

Singing Dogs at Lowry Pk Zoo

Singing Dog at Lowry Pk Zoo

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

On one of our trips to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL, the New Guinea Singing Dogs were enjoying themselves with a duet.

Here is the video of them chorus howling.

 

 

The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. (Isaiah 14:7 KJV)

The dogs were mentioned in Bali Myna and Singing Dogs. It also contains a video taken that day.

The New Guinea singing dog (also known as the New Guinea dingo, Hallstrom dog, bush dingo, New Guinea wild dog, and singer) is a wild dog once found throughout New Guinea. New Guinea singing dogs are named for their unique vocalization. Little is known about New Guinea singing dogs in their native habitat. There are only two confirmed photographs of wild singing dogs. Current genetic research indicates that the ancestors of New Guinea dingoes were probably taken overland through present day China to New Guinea by travelers

Compared to other species in its genus, the New Guinea singing dog is described as relatively short-legged and broad-headed. These dogs have an average shoulder height of 12–18 in (31–46 centimetres) and weigh 20–31 lb (9–14 kilograms). They do not have rear dewclaws.

Singing Dog Sign LPZ by Lee

Singing Dog Sign LPZ by Lee

The limbs and spine of Singers are very flexible, and they can spread their legs sideways to 90°, comparable to the Norwegian Lundehund. They can also rotate their front and hind paws more than domestic dogs, which enables them to climb trees with thick bark or branches that can be reached from the ground; however their climbing skills do not reach the same level as those of the gray fox.

The eyes, which are highly reflective, are almond-shaped and are angled upwards from the inner to outer corners with dark eye rims. Eye color ranges from dark amber to dark-brown. Their eyes exhibit a bright green glow when lights are shown in at them in low light conditions. These two features allow singing dogs to see more clearly in low light, a trait which is unusual in canids.

New Guinea singing dogs have erect, pointed, fur-lined ears. As with other wild dogs, the ‘ears’ perk or lay forward, which is suspected to be an important survival features for the species. The ears can be rotated like a directional receiver to pick up faint sounds. Singer tails should be bushy, long enough to reach the hock, free of kinks, and have a white tip.

Singing Dogs at Lowry Pk Zoo

Singing Dog at Lowry Pk Zoo

New Guinea singing dogs are named for their distinctive and melodious howl, which is characterized by a sharp increase in pitch at the start and very high frequencies at the end. According to observations the howling of these dogs can be clearly differentiated from that of Australian dingoes, and differs significantly from that of grey wolves and coyotes.

An individual howl lasts an average of 3 seconds, but can last as long as 5 seconds. At the start, the frequency rises and stabilizes for the rest of the howling, but normally shows abrupt changes in frequency.

New Guinea singing dogs sometimes howl together, which is commonly referred to as chorus howling. During chorus howling, one dog starts and others join in shortly afterward. In most cases, chorus howling is well synchronized, and the howls of the group end nearly simultaneously. Spontaneous howling is most common during the morning and evening hours. When they are kept with dogs that bark, Singers may mimic the other dogs. (Wikipedia with editing)

Do you sing?

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

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See:

Birds Of The Bible – Joy And Laughter

Bali Myna at Lowry Park and Palm Beach Zoos

(Found this on the Kid’s Blog, never posted here.)

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Birds of the Bible – Barred Owl (at Lowry)

Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) LPZ by Dan 2014

Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) LPZ by Dan 2014

When we entered the Lowry Park Zoo today, we were greeted by the Barred Owl being displayed on a handler’s gloved hand. What a beautiful owl. She was so calm as all the kids and us older ones enjoyed seeing her so close.

It was time to renew our annual pass, so off we went to the zoo even, though it was a dreary light rainy day. We didn’t have lots of snow like many of you up north, so, I am not complaining, and the Barred Owl was a nice addition to the visit. We have introduced the Barred Owl several years ago, but am sharing her again.

Identification Tips:

  • Length: 17 inches Wingspan: 44 inches
  • Sexes similar
  • Rather large owl
  • Dark eyes and yellow bill
  • Back brown, mottled with pale spots and dark bars
  • Underparts pale with long, brown streaks
  • Chest pale with brown barring
  • Face pale with dark concentric rings surrounding eye

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Here are all the verses in the King James Version of the Bible that mention owls.

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Owl

Leviticus 11:16 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind,
Leviticus 11:17 And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,
Deuteronomy 14:15 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind,
Deuteronomy 14:16 The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,
Psalm 102:6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.
Isaiah 34:11 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.
Isaiah 34:14 The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.
Isaiah 34:15 There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate.

Owls

Job 30:29 I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.
Isaiah 13:21 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.
Isaiah 34:13 And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.
Isaiah 43:20 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.
Jeremiah 50:39 Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there, and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.
Micah 1:8 Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.

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References to check out:

{This is a little short due to being involved in another project, but wanted to share these photos.)

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African Penguins at the Lowry Park Zoo

African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) by Lee LPZ

African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) by Lee LPZ

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. (Psalms 91:4 KJV)

When we went to the Lowry Park Zoo yesterday and enjoyed seeing the normal birds and animals that our Lord has created for us to observe. The African Penguins need to be highlighted. One young immature penguin caught my attention. He or she was in the process of shedding it “peach fuzz.” (That is my term.)

The top photo shows a young penguin is already wearing a normal “coat of feathers.” Then I spotted a younger African Penguin standing next to its parent. Sizes of parent and youth were almost the same, but appearances were quite different.

African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) by Lee LPZ

African Penguin parent and young one by Lee LPZ

When it turned around, I thought, that is one that only a mother could love. :)

African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) by Lee LPZ

African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) by Lee LPZ

“The African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is also known as the Blackfooted Penguin. …They have a black stripe and black spots on the chest, the spots being unique for every penguin, like human fingerprints. They have pink sweat glands above their eyes. The hotter the penguin gets, the more blood is sent to these sweat glands so it may be cooled by the surrounding air, thus making the glands more pink. The males are larger than the females and have larger beaks,” (from Lowry Park Zoo Penguins) That is what that pink is above the eyes. They belong to the Spheniscidae – Penguins Family.

African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) by Lee LPZ

African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) by Lee LPZ

The African Penguin is a pursuit diver and feeds primarily on fish and squid. Once extremely numerous, the African Penguin is declining due to a combination of threats and is classified as endangered. It is a charismatic species and is popular with tourists in the region.

African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) by Lee LPZ

African Penguin wing with feathers appearing.

As their name suggests, African penguins live in Africa. They are mostly found on small islands off the coast of southern Africa. African penguins have two nicknames — black-footed penguins and jackass penguins. The first name comes from their black feet. The second comes from the sound they make. When African penguins call out, they shriek like donkeys.

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African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) by Lee LPZ

African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) in transition

Chicks fledge at 60 to 130 days, the timing depending on environmental factors such as quality and availability of food. The fledged chick then go to sea on their own and return to their natal colony after a lengthy time period of 12–22 months to molt into adult plumage. When penguins molt, they are unable to forage as their new feathers are not waterproof yet; therefore they fast over the entire molting period, which in African Penguins takes about 20 days.

African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) by Lee LPZ

African Penguin molting it’s “Peach Fuzz” by Lee LPZ

“Baby African penguins have gray down feathers covering their entire bodies when they first break out of the shells. Then, their backs turn gray-blue and their bellies white. They don’t yet have white bands on their faces and black bands across their chests like their parents. Baby African penguins are helpless, so their parents do not leave them alone. There is always one parent staying home to take care of the young. The other goes out to catch fish and squid. Baby African penguins grow fast. In about 8-18 weeks, they are ready to bid their parents goodbye and live by themselves.” (edhelper.com)

(Information from various websites)

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Here are all the photos I took of the Penguins. Some are not so good, but I was trying to capture my little “peach fuzz” penguin.

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