Whinchat, Redstart, & Redchat: Debunking the “Speciation” Myth Again

Whinchat-perching.Parrotletsuk-photo

WHINCHAT photo credit: Parrotletsuk.typepad.com

 Whinchat, Redstart, and Redchat:  Debunking the “Speciation” Myth Again

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Are not two sparrows [στρουθια] sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows [στρουθιων].   (Matthew 10:29-31)

Are not five sparrows [στρουθια] sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows [στρουθιων].   (Luke 12:6-7)

It’s good to know that we are worth far more, to God Himself, than many “sparrows”.  However, the term “sparrows” (as quoted above) is an English translation of the New Testament Greek noun strouthion, a fairly general word for “small bird’ that can include many varieties of perching songbirds, in general, including yet not limited to the birds we label “sparrows”(1) —  including the Whinchat, a sometimes inconspicuous little songbird that resembles a thrush, wheatear, or a flycatcher.  (Or maybe a redstart?)

Whinchat-male.ScottishOrnithologistsClub

WHINCHAT Scottish Ornithologists’ Club

It was my privilege, on July 13th of AD2006, to view a Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) among some roadside weeds, while in the fine company of my wonderful wife (Sherry) and Dr. Bill Cooper, England’s top-tier gentleman and scholar.

The bird-book that I was using, that day (as Laird Bill drove us along a motorway between Harwich and London), described the common Whinchat as follows:

Restless, short-tailed chat that perches openly on bush-tops, tall weeds and fences, flicking its wings and tail. Males in summer distinctive.  Females and autumn birds can be confused with the female Stonechat, but Whinchat’s conspicuous creamy eyebrows, boldly streaked rump and white wedges at base of tail (often noticed as birds flick tail to balance in the wind) are reliable fieldmarks.

[Quoting Chris Knightley & Steve Madge, POCKET GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF BRITAIN AND NORTH-WEST EUROPE (Yale Univ. Press, 1998), page 212.]  The Whinchat is a summer migrant, visiting (and nesting in) Great Britain and much of western Europe during the spring and summer months, migrating south to northwestern Africa for the winter months.  Its habits are typical of many other insect-eating passerines:

Nests on heaths, grassy moors, rough fields, damp rushy meadows and young coniferous plantations. Like Stonechat, pounces to the ground for insects, returning to same slightly elevated perch or flying quickly to another sprig nearby.  Broken song mixes short musical phrases with dry churrs and distinct pauses.  Call an agitated tu-tek, tu-tek-tek. Widespread on migration, often in some numbers in coastal bushes and fields.

[Again quoting Chris Knightley & Steve Madge, POCKET GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF BRITAIN AND NORTH-WEST EUROPE (Yale Univ. Press, 1998), page 212.]

The Whinchat has other names, including Paapje (Dutch), Braunkehlchen (German), Traquet tarier (French), and Buskskvätta (Swedish: “bush chat”).  [See Roger Tory Peterson, Guy Mountfort, & P.A.D. Hollom, BIRDS OF BRITAIN AND EUROPE (Houghton Mifflin / Peterson Field Guides, 5th rev. ed., 1993), pages 175-176.]  Moreover, to the chagrin of taxonomic “splitters”, the Whinchat is known to hybridize with the Siberian Stonechat and the Common (European) Stonechat of western (and southern) Europe.  [See Eugene McCarthy, HANDBOOK OF AVIAN HYBRIDS OF HE WORLD (Oxford, 2006), page 238.] – proving that those 3 chats descend form a common ancestor pair that survived the worldwide Flood aboard Noah’s Ark.

More surprising, to the birding community, is the capture and DNA verification (by the Lista Bird Observatory in Vest-Agder, Norway, during September AD2013) of a hybrid parented by male Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) and a female Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra), published in the Journal of Ornithology.(2)

Redchat-Redstart-Whinchat-hybrid.Norway-JonasLangbraten-photo

Common Redstart x   Whinchat HYBRID

Photograph by Jonas Langbråten

(18 Sept. AD2013, Lista Bird Observatory, Vest-Agder, Norway)

The male Redstart-Whinchat hybrid was captured by bird-banding volunteers, near the southern tip of Norway’s peninsula.

“We have a standardized bird banding project where we mark migratory birds in the spring and autumn. We have volunteer bird watchers going every hour to catch birds in mist nets to band them,” says Jan Erik Røer from the Norwegian Ornithological Society.

[Quoting Ingrid Spilde’s “Mysterious Bird was Unique Cross of Two Unrelated [sic] Species”, Science Nordic, (3-11-AD2015), at http://sciencenordic.com/mysterious-bird-was-unique-cross-two-unrelated-species . ]

The hybrid’s unofficial name is rødskvett (“redchat”), blending parts of the Norwegian words (Buskskvett and Rødstjert) for its two parents.

Needless to say, this little “redchat” has caused a lot of confusion and controversy among evolutionists at the Natural History Museum in Oslo, where the “speciation” mythology (of supposed biogenetic divergence, “13.3 million years” ago) is popularly taught, as if there was real “science” (empirical or forensic) to support that imaginary scenario.(3)

Once again the “speciation” myth of “natural selection”-advocating evolutionists, both theistic and atheistic, is debunked by the real-world evidence.


References

  1. When the Lord Jesus referred to God’s watchcare over “sparrows” (English translation for Greek strouthion], He used a Greek word that is more general in its categorical coverage than is our English term “sparrow”. The Greek noun strouthion denotes a bird in the wild, possibly any small perching songbird, including but not limited to what we call “sparrows”. (In fact, the Septuagint translators used strouthion to translate the Hebrew noun tsippôr, in Psalm 84:3a [84:4a BH], which is usually translated simply as “bird” (e.g., Genesis 7:14; Deuteronomy 14:11 & 22:6; Psalm 104:1; Ezekiel 39:4) or “fowl” (e.g., Deuteronomy 4:17; Nehemiah 5:18; Ezekiel 17:23 & 39:17). The Septuagint translators also used strouthion to translate the Hebrew double-noun qe’ath-midbâr in Psalm 102:7b, a construct phrase that refers to some bird or birds that habituate open desert or semi-desert areas.)
  2. See Silje Hogner, Albert Burgas Riera, Margrethe Wold, Jan T. Lifjeld, & Arild Johnsen, “Intergeneric Hybridization Between Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus and Whinchat Saxicola rubetra Revealed by Molecular Analyses”, JOURNAL OF ORNITHOLOGY, 156(3):829-836 (2015), cited in Dave Appleton’s “Common Redstart x Whinchat”, BIRD HYBRIDS (1-13-AD2016), posted at http://birdhybrids.blogspot.com/2016/01/common-redstart-x-whinchat.html . This unexpected hybrid is discussed in Ingrid Spilde’s “Mysterious Bird was Unique Cross of Two Unrelated [sic] Species”, Science Nordic (3-11-AD2015), posted at http://sciencenordic.com/mysterious-bird-was-unique-cross-two-unrelated-species .
  3. See 1st Timothy 6:20, regarding the folly of “’science’ falsely so-called”.  See also, accord, John 3:12.

BIRDWATCHING AT COX ARBORETUM (IN OHIO)

Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.  (Psalm 84:3)

Northern-Cardinal.MotherNatureNetwork

NORTHERN CARDINAL   (Mother Nature Network)

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

BIRDWATCHING AT THE ARBORETUM, AS THE HOURS HURRIED BY

Bright red, flies by, a cardinal male,

As down, we trek, a nature trail;

Here it’s wide, there it’s narrow;

Perched nearby, a chipping sparrow;

(How quickly told is our tale.)

Chipping-Sparrow.AudubonSociety

CHIPPING SPARROW   (Audubon Field Guide)

One of Shakespeare’s plays, MACBETH, includes a cynical comment that compares the transitory experience of human mortality to a fleeting “hour upon the stage”, like a “tale” that is “told” with “sound and fury”, yet “signifying nothing” (MACBETH, Act 5, Scene 5).  It is true that this earthly lifetime is transitory and fleeting (James 4:13-15), yet this earthly life is the opposite of meaningless — unless we foolishly ignore our Maker (Ecclesiastes 12:1).  And our Maker cares so much for us — much more than He cares for little birds, like sparrows (Matthew 10:29-31),  — so much that He has provided a free redemption and abundant life in Christ, available to all who believingly receive Him as personal Savior (John 1:12 & 3:16 & 14:6).  And, thankfully, belonging to Him lasts forever!

English-Sparrow.AllAboutBirds

ENGLISH SPARROW   ( allaboutbirds.org  )

Time flies.  Time zooms by even moreso when one is experiencing a wonderful blessing, as the above limerick briefly notes in fly-by fashion.  Such a time was last Thursday (June 29th AD2017), when I was birdwatching (and butterfly-watching) with my youngest grandson, Hunter, at the Cox Arboretum in Dayton, Ohio.  At the Arboretum we saw various birds (including English Sparrow [a/k/a “House Sparrow”], American Goldfinch, Canada Goose, Mallard, Robin, Northern Cardinal, and Chipping Sparrow), butterflies (including Cabbage White, Pipevine Swallowtail, Black Swallowtail, Spicebush Swallowtail, and Orange Sulphur), other insects (bumblebees, ants, dragonflies, etc.), pond-dwelling fish, slow-moving turtles, and scampering chipmunks.  For me, the Chipping Sparrow was a special highlight — it is a summer breeder during its migrant months in Ohio.  (Hunter accurately described the Chipping Sparrow, who helpfully posed for our observations, as looking like an English Sparrow except “his head has red on it” and “there’s some white by his eyes”.)  Hunter had a one-word comment on the American Goldfinch:  WOW!

The hours of hiking went all too quickly.  It was a precious time for Farfar (Norwegian for “father’s father”) to teach a grandson something of the wonders of God’s creation, and something about the wonderfulness of God Himself.  Thankfully, neither of us fell into any of the ponds — although some inspections of turtles or fish came close to a splashing scenario.  It was a good day — albeit one that hurried by all too quickly.

American-Goldfinch.Fredric-D-Nisenholz-BirdsandBlooms

AMERICAN GOLDFINCH   (Fredric Nisenholz / Birds and Blooms )