Christmas Story to Explain the Meaning of Christmas

This is the 1965 recording of Paul Harvey’s Christmas story classic titled The Man and the Birds. Christmas Day in 2013 I spent the morning putting it all together with a picture slideshow to illustrate the story. I hope you enjoy it. Please share with others.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

“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.” (John 1:1-2 KJV)

Gideon

Wordless Birds

 

Ian’s Bird of the Moment – Grey Falcon

Gray Hawk (falcon hypoleucos) Male by Ian

Bird of the Moment – Grey Falcon by Ian Montgomery

Here is a special bird of the moment for the festive season. If you asked Australian birders to nominate the most sought after diurnal raptor, you’d probably get a choice of two: the Red Goshawk of the Hawk and Eagle family (Accipitridae) and the Grey Falcon of the Falconidae. Rex Whitehead, my birding pal in Mount Isa had told me about a nesting pair of Grey Falcons in the Winton district so I came back to Townsville that way at the end of the camping trip in May.

The Falcons were nesting high up on a very tall communications mast. Rex had told me that they were in its vicinity only from before dusk until shortly after dawn and I took his advice and camped near the base of the mastto maximise my chances of seeing them. Sure enough they arrived in the evening but I got only poor shots of them flying in and perched in shadow on the mast.

 Gray Hawk (falcon hypoleucos) Mating by Ian

I got up early and was rewarded three or four minutes after sunrise by the male flying around calling (first photo) in preparation for mating with the female (second photo) who was perched on the mast near the nest.

This behaviour was repeated two more times over the hour or so. The third photo shows the third mating attempt at a different location just over an hour after sunrise and the fourth photo shows the male flying away four seconds later.

Gray Hawk (falcon hypoleucos) Mating by Ian

The sexes are similar, though the females, as is typical for raptors, are larger. The male has a shorter tail which supposedly makes it look longer winged in flight but I didn’t get any photos of the mainly sedentary female for comparison. The fifth photo shows the female in the same position as during the third mating (third photo) but the male is sitting in the nest.

Gray Hawk (falcon hypoleucos) Male by Ian

Grey Falcons are supposed to use the old nests of other raptors or corvids (ravens and crows) preferably high up. In the arid areas where they occur, tall trees are few so in recent years they’ve taken to nesting in communication masts.

About two hours after sunrise, the birds disappeared as quietly as they’d arrived the previous day and I didn’t see them fly away. This pair had just bred successfully with two young fledging, so it was encouraging to see them preparing to do so again.

Gray Hawk (falcon hypoleucos) Pair by Ian

The Grey Falcon is an Australian endemic sparsely scattered over the drier inland areas of mainland Australia except the southwest, eastern and southern coastal areas and the wetter parts of northern Australia. The breeding range has contracted since the mid 20th century to drier areas north of 26º S. It’s population is estimated at less than 1000 mature individuals and it is classified as vulnerable. Threats include habitat clearing, egg collecting and the taking of young for falconry so I’m sure you’ll understand why I’ve been a bit vague about the actual location of the mast.

Christmas seems to be a time for unrestrained gaudiness, dare I say meretriciousness, in decoration so here is my gaudiest photo from 2018 – taken from my back verandah – to get into the spirit of things. I wish you a joyful, safe and happy festive season and a peaceful and fulfilling 2019.

Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) Male by Ian

Greetings
Ian


Lee’s Addition:

“I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” (John 12:46 KJV)

Thanks, Ian, for showing us one of Australia’s endemic birds. When I first saw the rosy colored Falcon, I thought you had made a mistake. Lighting makes a lot of difference.

I especially love your Christmas addition of that lovely Sunbird.

Merry Christmas, Ian, and all of you that are reading this post.

Ian’s Bird of the Week

Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks and Eagles

Nectariniidae – Sunbirds

Wordless Birds

Christmas Bird from the Christmas Islands

Christmas Island White-eye (Zosterops natalis) by Ian

Christmas Island White-eye (Zosterops natalis) by Ian

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:11-12 KJV)

MERRY CHRISTMAS from Dan and I, and from our writers, who add so much to this blog. James J. S. Johnson, Emma Foster, and Ian Montgomery are the other authors currently. We have produced quite a few articles about “Christmas Birds,” yet not much about the birds named “Christmas.” Here is a brief description of them, with links to other “Christmas Bird” articles over the years.

Christmas Boobook (Ninox natalis) by Ian

Christmas Boobook (Ninox natalis) by Ian

The Christmas Boobook (Ninox natalis), also known more specifically as the Christmas Island hawk-owlis a species of owl in the family Strigidae. Closely related to the hawk owls of Southeast Asia and Australia. N. natalis was first classified at species level by J.J.Lister in 1888. It was not until 1998 however that DNA testing confirmed its status as a separate species from other owls.

The Christmas Island Hawk Owl is a small, rufous-brown hawk-owl with a barred breast, dark chestnut facial mask, whitish brow, lores and throat, yellow eyes, legs and feet. It is approximately 26–29 cm in length and 130-190 grams in weight with the female slightly larger than the male. The double-noted hoot, boo-book, has a clucking quality with the second note usually lower in pitch. The begging call of juveniles is a high-pitched trill.

Christmas Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi) by Ian

Christmas Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi) by Ian

Christmas Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi) or Christmas Island Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi) is a seabird of the frigatebird family Fregatidae which is endemic to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. The Christmas frigatebird is a large lightly built seabird with brownish-black plumage, long narrow wings and a deeply forked tail. It has a wingspan of around 2.15 m (7.1 ft). The male has an egg shaped white patch on its belly and a striking red gular sac which it inflates to attract a mate. The female is slightly larger than the male and has a white breast and belly. They feed on fish taken in flight from the ocean’s surface (mostly flying fish), and sometimes indulge in kleptoparasitism, harassing other birds to force them to regurgitate their food.

Christmas Island Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula whartoni) by Ian

Christmas Island Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula whartoni) by Ian

Christmas Imperial Pigeon (Ducula whartoni), is a large (39 cm in length, 450-700 g in weight) pigeon, mainly dark grey in colour with an iridescent sheen. Fruit from forest trees with occasional buds and leaves are it main diet. It builds a platform nest of twigs high in a forest tree. It utters a deep booming call.

See: Ian’s Bird of the Week – Christmas Imperial Pigeon

Christmas Island Swiftlet (Collocalia natalis) ©Christmas IS Wildlife

Christmas Island Swiftlet (Collocalia natalis), also known as the Christmas glossy swiftlet or the Christmas cave swiftlet, is a small bird in the swift family Apodidae. It is endemic to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the eastern Indian Ocean. It was formerly commonly treated as a subspecies of the glossy swiftlet.

Christmas Shearwater (Puffinus nativitatis) ©WikiC 2 FK Starr

Christmas Shearwater (Puffinus nativitatis) is a medium-sized shearwater of the tropical Central Pacific. It is a poorly known species due to its remote nesting habits, and it has not been extensively studied at sea either.

The Christmas Shearwater nests on remote islands of the Central Pacific: the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Tuamotu, the Marshall Islands, Kiritimati (for which the species is named) and Sala-y-Gómez. It has become locally extinct on a number of islands, including Wake Island. Outside of the breeding season it ranges across the Pacific, having been recorded off the coast of Mexico and Guatemala in the east, and Bonin Islands in the west. Further south it is rare, having been recorded off Fiji only twice (one time in early to mid-May).

Christmas White-eye (Zosterops natalis) by Ian

Christmas White-eye (Zosterops natalis) by Ian

The Christmas White-eye (Zosterops natalis) is a species of bird in the family Zosteropidae. It is endemic to Christmas Island. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist shrubland. It is threatened by habitat loss.

See also: Ian’s Bird of the Week – Christmas Island White-eye

It is always refreshing to take a look back at other Christmas Blogs. Just as we are all looking back to the first “Christmas” event, when the Saviour of the World, took on human flesh, as a baby. Totally human, totally God. It is difficult for us to wrap our thoughts around that truth.

Some Christmas Birds (Re-posted)

The Christmas Birds Series in 2013

In 2014 – Sunday Inspiration – Christmas Birds  Please watch the video near the end.

MAY YOUR CHRISTMAS BE FILLED WITH BLESSINGS AS YOU REMEMBER THE REASONS FOR CELEBRATING OUR SAVIOUR’S BIRTH.

Lee’s Seven Word Sunday – 12/25/16

***

Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis) 2-day olds ©USFWS

FOR UNTO YOU IS BORN THIS DAY

***



For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11 KJV)

Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis) 2-day olds ©USFWS

*

Remember the story about the farmer who saw chickens frantically running scared around, at the beginning of a violent thunderstorm?  So the farmer tried to shoo the chickens into the nearby barn, where they all could wait out the storm quite safely.  But the chickens would not heed his helpful directions, so they continued in their group panic attack, wearing themselves out as they were frantically scurrying in circles, terrified at the noise and lightning bolts.  The man thought, “if only I could become a chicken, I could join them, and explain the way to safety – they could follow me into the barn and be safe!”

Thinking about this, later, he told his Bible teacher that he knew a little bit what God felt, when God decided to become a human, in order to secure our safety, when we were spiritually lost and confused (and living in fear of death), as sinners without hope in the world.  “But that is only a little bit comparable to what God did, when He chose to become human (as the Lord Jesus Christ) – at Christmas”, replied the Bible teacher.  “Do you mean because it wasn’t necessary for me to die for the chickens, and then rise from the dead 3 days later?” asked the farmer.  “Yes”, agreed the Bible teacher, “that and a lot more – because were you then willing to not only become a chicken long enough to get them into the barn, but also to continue being yourself — as well as being a chicken — simultaneously — forever, so that your rescued chickens would enjoy eternity with you as their Kinsman-King?”

Accordingly, as you look at the baby Red-cockaded Woodpeckers (above), ask yourself:  would I be willing to become one of them, and somehow continue to be myself (also), FOREVER, if that’s what would be necessary to save their little chicken “souls”?  CHRISTmas is huge in importance to us, of course – yet it was (and continues to be) huge to our incarnate God, the Lord Jesus Christ, too. (JJSJ)

More Daily Devotionals

*

Sunday Inspiration – Merry Christmas 2016

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2 KJV)

All of us from Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas. Dan and I, James J. S. Johnson [Dr. Jim], Emma Foster, Ian, and all our other guest authors wish you a peaceful and blessed day as you consider all the importance of what this Christmas Day represents.

Last Sunday, our pastor, had a very good message that emphasizes this and the importance of worship. I have linked it here and trust you will be blessed by it. Also enjoy our quartet singing the “Beautiful of Star of Bethlehem,” and Angel singing “Noel.” Next week we will get back to our regular Sunday Inspiration format.

*

More Sunday Inspirations

Gospel Message

*

Christmas Island White-eye (Zosterops natalis) by Ian

Christmas Island White-eye (Zosterops natalis) by Ian

Sunday Inspiration – Christmas At Faith 2016

Christmas Decorations at Faith 2014

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14 KJV)

Today is a little different from our normal post. Last Sunday evening we had the Christmas Cantata at our church, Faith Baptist Church in Winter Haven, Florida. It was absolutely fantastic!

Enjoy and may you have a blessed Christmas.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:1-2, 26-28 KJV)

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:8-16 KJV)

Christmas Decorations at Faith 2014

“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. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-14 KJV)

*

Watch other services at Faith Baptist

Faith Baptist Church Website

*

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)

*

More Sunday Inspirations

*

Merry Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. (1 John 1:1-4 KJV)

I would like to share with you our Christmas Cantata presented on December 13, 2015 at Faith Baptist Church in Winter Haven, Florida. They all did fantastic and thought you would enjoy it also.

It was entitled, “Lord of Glory” Christmas Cantata

May the Lord bless you as you share Christmas with family and friends. Dan and I would both like to wish you a great Christmas day full of blessings from the Lord.

*

 

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.

Merry Christmas 2014

Jesus Knocking at Door

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20 KJV)”

Merry Christmas to all our readers, visitors and writers of Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus. I am no longer the only writer and all of us who are involved wish you the best Christmas ever.

My thanks go to Ian, Baron Brown (Golden Eagle), James J. S. Johnson, Emma Foster, Dottie Malcolm, and other guest writers. Also, thanks to Dan, of course, and for all the photographers who have given permission to use their fantastic photos.

The best Christmas present you can ever receive is to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. Have you put your faith and trust in the Lord and accepted Him?

*

*

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)

(This video is narrated by Pastor Nathan Osborne and the music is played by Sean Fielder)

See:

Sharing the Gospel

Gideon

*

Christmas Village at Faith

Christmas Village from balcony by Lee

Christmas Village from balcony by Lee

“And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: … (Luke 8:1 KJV)

Yesterday I stopped by our church, Faith Baptist Church, and took some photos of the Christmas Village that is set up each year at this time. Our choir gets a few weeks of rest as the Village takes over the choir loft. They were setting up microphones and other things for tonight. The Village will be the background for our Christmas Candlelight service, which is always very special.

Christmas Decorations at Faith 2014

Jared Malcolm made them, starting with the Church and then the House. Each year another building was added. Now we have quite a village! Jared is now a missionary in Brazil, but even this year he made sure something new was added. He added the “City of Faith” Water tower and a Flagpole while he was home for a few weeks this year.

City of Faith Water Tower and Flag Pole

City of Faith Water Tower and Flag Pole

It has always been viewed by me from my pew, but while taking the photos, I saw a lot of details that I had no idea were there.

Christmas Decorations at Faith 2014 c (8)

The manger scene of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus was made by Margaret Lofton this year for our Christmas float. It is now in the foyer.

Christmas Decorations at Faith 2014

So, trust you enjoy the slideshow of the village, church decorations, and the manger scene.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

P.S. – Thanks to the therapy I have been taking, I actually climbed the stairs to the balcony to take some of the photos. Praise the Lord! That is a great Christmas present.

Lord Bless you as you enjoy this Christmas Eve. May we remember why Jesus came to earth.

Gospel Message

*

 

Joyous Christmas 2013

Dove in Snow ©©Flickr Roguey000

Dove in Snow ©©Flickr Roguey000

I’ve dusted the Christmas post from the past. But the message is still the same and I wanted to present our pastor’s illustration at the Cantata ’08. It has a very good message.

Christmas of 2013 is here and those of us at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures; Lee, Dan, A J, Ian and all the guest writers would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas. We are busy doing things for the special day when we celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.  We will be seeing our relatives again this year and will enjoy our time together. Tonight, Christmas Eve, we will be sharing the Candlelight Service with all of our friends at church. We hope your Christmas Day and week are just as enjoyable as ours will be.

During all the festivities, pause to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. We enjoy our birdwatching adventures throughout the year, and try to write and photograph our friends the birds, but our goal is to show God’s magnificent creation and point you to Him. We do not worship nature, but we do worship the Lord who created it all.

Please watch the video of my pastor, Nathan Osborne, III, as he gave an excellent illustration about birds out in the cold and snow. It helps to explain the true meaning of Christmas. (Part of our Christmas cantata, “From the Manger to the Cross”)

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:11-14 KJV)

*

Sharing The Gospel

*