As creationists, the pressure from the “scientific community” might make us feel ashamed of our beliefs. But instead of running and hiding, let us hear what Creation Speaks:
“In the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?” Psalms 11:1
Have you been frustrated in your attempts to photograph a reclusive bird? Have you chased a “nemesis bird” only to come up empty handed every time? Birders and photographers know all too well the wariness of some species. This caution is something that has been programed in them by their Creator.
After the Fall, no doubt the cruelty of man toward beast began to rise. And after the Flood, God allowed animals to be food for man. But in His grace toward His animal creation, God put a flight instinct within animals to keep them from being exterminated. Genesis 9:2 says, “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird of the air.”
So fear of man is a God-given instinct within animals, but let it not be so with the Christian, especially when it comes to making a stand for the Word of God. I am sometimes criticized and mocked on other nature-related platforms for my belief in a young earth and literal, six-day creation. The instinct to “flee as a bird” might rise up within me when challenged by the “scientific community,” but I take an example – and courage – from a few bold birds that don’t flee because of the fear of man.
It seems when all other critters keep themselves hidden, the Mockingbirds are ever visible. Although though the “dread of man” may affect their feathered friends, they are always bold and out front, letting their voices be heard. So when the fear of man comes upon me; when I want to hide my creationist views, or flee from an evolutionist’s mockery, I remember those intrepid avians and make my stand. Why should I flee like a bird to the mountains? My trust is in the Lord!
“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:” 1 Timothy 6:20
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.
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3 NKJV)
I just published Proud As A Peacock? on the Birds of the Bible for Kids blog and thought I’d share it here also.
In a recent post, Rabbit Chasing Sandhill Crane, I mentioned that Dan and I have been re-reading “Things I Have Learned” by Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. Today, I’d like to tell another short excerpt about the singing of a Mockingbird and the strutting of a Peacock.
The lesson has to do with having a “big head.” The Lord has given every Christian certain abilities or “talents.” How we use them and how we may feel about those gifts. Some believe that those talents were their own and lean toward becoming an “egomaniac”
“The Bible recognized that. God tells you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. You are not so tremendously important.” School might grieve for a few days if you died, but.. “…I have seen many a man die whom nobody knew how to get along without, and yet somehow or other things went right on. The world kept moving.”
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) By Dan
“Young people, I meet many people along life’s way who are failures because they overemphasize their own importance. That is the temptation of talented people. The fact that you have talents does not mean you are brilliant. Some people with much talent have little reasoning ability. Some people have special gifts for which they deserve no credit whatever. The just have gifts.”
“What credit does a mockingbird deserve for singing? He is just made that way. When a mockingbird sings, he is not strutting his stuff.”
“A peacock struts. He has tail feathers, but he didn’t make them. God Almighty bent over heaven and stuck all those feathers in his tail. I know some people who can sing and play and act. That is about all they can do; yet they get to thinking they are wonderful.”
Peacock at Magnolia Plantation by Dan
“What have you on this earth you didn’t get from somebody else? What are you stuck up about? Do you know the cure for the big head is? It is to sit down and realize two things: first, anything you have, you got from God; and you are custodian of that gift –a trustee. Then think of somebody else in the world who has something you don’t have.”
Quotes from, Things I Have Learned, Chapel Talks by Bob Jones Sr , 1992
There once was a Mockingbird named Georgina who lived in a large bustling city in the south. She had built her nest on top of a street light in the middle of a busy street. Every day, Georgina would watch the busy cars drive by as they beeped their horns. The scenery was nice during the winter, which was always mild, but Georgina never liked the city during the summertime. It was too hot and crowded for her.
Every day, since Georgina was a mockingbird, she would try to mimic the sounds that she heard in the city all of the time. But the hotter it became, the more Georgina grew tired of all the noises in the city and the hard work of mimicking them.
It was on one very busy, very hot day that Georgina decided that she needed a vacation. She decided that it would have to be somewhere cool and near the ocean. First she needed a map.
Georgina was flying around one day when she found a quarter that someone had dropped on the sidewalk. Georgina picked it up in her beak and used to it buy a map by the newspaper stand.
When Georgina flew back to her nest above the busy street, she searched the map looking for a place that seemed like a good vacation spot. Eventually she decided that she needed to fly north because it was colder up north no matter what time of the year.
Georgina left the busy city early one morning to fly north. She decided that she would come back in a few weeks when it was sure to not be as hot. For now, it was cool because it was early in the morning.
Georgina guessed that if she followed the map she would be able to travel farther up north in the direction she wanted to fly. She would stop when it became cold enough.
After a few days, the weather was still hot, but it was nice because Georgina was flying close to a beach. Georgina settled on top of a tall palm tree and made her nest out of broken sticks and twigs. She watched the waves ripple back and forth. Seagulls flew in all directions and the palm trees swayed. Georgina liked the peace and quiet. This was much better than the city.
But after a while, Georgina began to become uncomfortable. She had gone on vacation to get away from the noises of the city, but the ocean was pretty noisy too. Georgina mimicked a lot of the noises of the beach, but she eventually began to get tired of it. It was really hot near the beach as well. She didn’t remember mockingbirds ever going to the beach, and the heat was probably why. Georgina began to miss the city and all of its noises.
Georgina decided it was time to fly back to the city. As she began traveling back, the weather didn’t seem as hot as she remembered it to be. When she flew back to her nest on top of the street light, the weather already felt cooler in the city.
Georgina decided she would never go back to the beach. She would always be content where she was. Even if the summer was a little uncomfortable in the city with all the people, Georgina would stay all year round. And the next time she decided to travel, Georgina would buy a travel magazine.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Philippians 4:11 KJV)
Great story, Emma. Many times humans act like Georgina and become discouraged with how things are. They think like the cattle. They think the “grass is greener on the other side.” Maybe a nest in a tree rather than on a street light. Keep up the great stories. We are all enjoying them.
All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O LORD, When they have heard the words of Your mouth. And they will sing of the ways of the LORD, For great is the glory of the LORD. (Psalms 138:4-5 NASB)
The Grey Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis) which we saw at Honeymoon Island SP last week was a Life Bird for me. Most Americans call it Gray, but the I.O.C. List of Birds use the Grey spelling. Either way, grey or gray, it is the same bird. That is one reason they use the Scientific name of Tyrannus dominicensisto ID the bird.
Recently I purchased the Latin for Bird Lovers book, because I have tried to see what these “scientific” mean on my own and thought this would be interesting. The book has over 3,000 bird names. I found it to be something quite useful, for me, at least. So let’s see what our Tyrannus dominicensis actually means.
Tyrannus – “ti-RAN-nus” – “Tyrant, as in Tyanannus Allugularis, The White-throated Kingbird” [p.205]
dominicensis – “doe-min-ib-SEN-sis-” – “After the Commonwealth of Dominica in the West Indies, as in Pluvialis dominica, the American Golden Plover, which passes through the West Indies during migrations.” [p.61]
Grey Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis) by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP
The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. (Psalms 84:3 NASB)
“The Grey or Gray Kingbird, also known as Pitirre (Tyrannus dominicensis) is a passerine bird. It breeds from the extreme southeast of the USA, mainly in Florida, through Central America, from Cuba to Puerto Rico as well as eastward towards all across the Lesser West Indies, south to Venezuela, Trinidad, Tobago the Guiana and Colombia. Northern populations are migratory, wintering on the Caribbean coast of Central America and northern South America.
Grey Kingbird by Dan at HISP
This tyrant flycatcher is found in tall trees and shrubs, including the edges of savanna and marshes. It makes a flimsy cup nest in a tree. The female incubates the typical clutch of two cream eggs, which are marked with reddish-brown. Grey Kingbirds wait on an exposed perch high in a tree,which is where we found it, occasionally sallying out to feed on insects, their staple diet.
The adult Grey Kingbird is an average-sized kingbird. It measures 9.1 in (23 cm) in length and weighs from 1.3 to 1.8 oz (37 to 52 g). The upper parts are grey, with brownish wings and tail, and the underparts are white with a grey tinge to the chest. The head has a concealed yellow crown stripe, and a dusky mask through the eyes. The dark bill is heavier than that of the related, slightly smaller, Tropical Kingbird. The sexes are similar, but young birds have rufous edges on the wing coverts, rump and tail.
Grey Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis) by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP
The call is a loud rolling trill, pipiri pipiri, which is the reason behind many of its local names, like pestigre or pitirre, in the Spanish-speaking Greater Antilles, or “petchary” in some of the English-speaking zones.
Like other kingbirds, these birds aggressively defend their territory against intruders, including mammals and much larger birds such as caracaras and Red-Tailed Hawks. This phenomenon has led to the widespread adoption of the pitirre as a nationalist symbol (a sort of David vs. Goliath figure) in Puerto Rico.
It is found in increasing numbers in the state of Florida, and is more often found inland though it had been previously restricted to the coast. The species was first described on the island of Hispaniola, then called Santo Domingo, thus the dominicensis name.” (from Wikipedia with editing)
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP
I added this Northern Mockingbird which was also there at the State Park. At first we kept thinking the Kingbird was a Mockingbird. If you compare the photos, you will notice the Mockingbird has a white spot on its wings and also a black spot near its ear. They are very close though. Also, Dan’s photo of the Kingbird came out more brownish. It may be that he caught a younger one. There were several at the park.
Isn’t the Lord great in that He makes us work for the IDs of these birds. As I have said, He should have put name tags on them, but then we wouldn’t learn about His creativity, would we? It is good for us to learn new things. Never get bored with learning.
Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. (Psalms 25:4 NASB)
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. (Psalms 32:8 KJV)
Mockingbird for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897, From col. F. M. Woodruff.
Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited
Vol 1. June, 1897 No. 6
THE MOCKING BIRD.
Some bright morning this month, you may hear a Robin’s song from a large tree near by. A Red Bird answers him and then the Oriole chimes in. I can see you looking around to find the birds that sing so sweetly. All this time a gay bird sits among the green leaves and laughs at you as you try to find three birds when only one is there.
It is the Mocking Bird or Mocker, and it is he who has been fooling you with his song. Nature has given him lots of music and gifted him with the power of imitating the songs of other birds and sounds of other animals.
He is certainly the sweetest of our song birds. The English Nightingale alone is his rival. I think, however, if our Mocker could hear the Nightingale’s song, he could learn it.
The Mocking Bird is another of our Thrushes. By this time you have surely made up your minds that the Thrushes are sweet singers.
The Mocker seems to take delight in fooling people. One gentleman while sitting on his porch heard what he thought to be a young bird in distress. He went in the direction of the sound and soon heard the same cry behind him. He turned and went back toward the porch, when he heard it in another direction. Soon he found out that Mr. Mocking Bird had been fooling him, and was flying about from shrub to shrub making that sound.
His nest is carelessly made of almost anything he can find. The small, bluish-green eggs are much like the Catbird’s eggs.
Little Mocking Birds look very much like the young of other Thrushes, and do not become Mockers like their parents, until they are full grown.
Which one of the other Thrushes that you have seen in Birds does the Mocking Bird resemble?
He is the only Thrush that sings while on the wing. All of the others sing only while perching.
THE MOCKING BIRD.
HE Mocking Bird is regarded as the chief of songsters, for in addition to his remarkable powers of imitation, he is without a rival in variety of notes. The Brown Thrasher is thought by many to have a sweeter song, and one equally vigorous, but there is a bold brilliancy in the performance of the Mocker that is peculiarly his own, and which has made him par excellence the forest extemporizer of vocal melody. About this of course there will always be a difference of opinion, as in the case of the human melodists.
So well known are the habits and characteristics of the Mocking Bird that nearly all that could be written about him would be but a repetition of what has been previously said. In Illinois, as in many other states, its distribution is very irregular, its absence from some localities which seem in every way suited being very difficult to account for. Thus, according to “Birds of Illinois,” while one or two pairs breed in the outskirts of Mount Carmel nearly every season, it is nowhere in that vicinity a common bird. A few miles further north, however, it has been found almost abundant. On one occasion, during a three mile drive from town, six males were seen and heard singing along the roadside. Mr. H. K. Coale says that he saw a mocking bird in Stark county, Indiana, sixty miles southeast of Chicago, January 1, 1884; that Mr. Green Smith had met with it at Kensington Station, Illinois, and that several have been observed in the parks and door-yards of Chicago. In the extreme southern portion of the state the species is abundant, and is resident through the year.
The Mocking Bird does not properly belong among the birds of the middle or eastern states, but as there are many records of its nesting in these latitudes it is thought to be safe to include it. Mrs. Osgood Wright states that individuals have often been seen in the city parks of the east, one having lived in Central Park, New York city, late into the winter, throughout a cold and extreme season. They have reared their young as far north as Arlington, near Boston, where they are noted, however, as rare summer residents. Dr. J. A. Allen, editor of The Auk, notes that they occasionally nest in the Connecticut Valley.
The Mocking Bird has a habit of singing and fluttering in the middle of the night, and in different individuals the song varies, as is noted of many birds, particularly canaries. The song is a natural love song, a rich dreamy melody. The mocking song is imitative of the notes of all the birds of field, forest, and garden, broken into fragments.
The Mocker’s nest is loosely made of leaves and grass, rags, feathers, etc., plain and comfortable. It is never far from the ground. The eggs are four to six, bluish green, spattered with shades of brown.
Wilson’s description of the Mocking Bird’s song will probably never be surpassed: “With expanded wings and tail glistening with white, and the bouyant gayety of his action arresting the eye, as his song does most irresistably the ear, he sweeps around with enthusiastic ecstasy, and mounts and descends as his song swells or dies away. And he often deceives the sportsman, and sends him in search of birds that are not perhaps within miles of him, but whose notes he exactly imitates.”
Very useful is he, eating large spiders and grasshoppers, and the destructive cottonworm.
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) By Dan’sPix
Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king, nor in your bedroom curse the rich, for a bird of the air will carry your voice, or some winged creature tell the matter. (Ecclesiastes 10:20 ESV)
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7 KJV)
Mockingbirds belong to the Mimidae – Mockingbirds, ThrashersFamily and are a passerine or perching bird. The name says alot about the bird because it is known to copy or mimic other birds and sounds. Up to 200 songs have been learned by some. They can also drive you crazy when they sing outside your bedroom window at 3 AM. When they have young, they love to sing. At least the one outside our window did. It is our State Bird here in Florida. Other states, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas also claim them as their State Bird.
Mockingbirds are medium sized and have “Mockingbirds have small heads, a long, thin bill with a hint of a downward curve, and long legs. Their wings are short, rounded, and broad, making the tail seem particularly long in flight.” (All About Birds)
Northern Mockingbird males establish a nesting territory in early February. If a female enters his territory, the male will pursue the female with initial aggressive calls and, if she becomes interested, with softer calls. Once the pair is established, their song becomes more gentle. Northern Mockingbirds tend to be monogamous, and the female may return to the same male from the previous season.
Both the male and female are involved in the nest building. The male does most of the work, while the female perches on the shrub or tree where the nest is being built to watch for predators. The nest is built approximately three to 10 feet above the ground. The outer part of the nest is composed of twigs, while the inner part is lined with grasses, dead leaves, moss or artificial fibers. The eggs are a light blue or greenish color and speckled with dots.] Three to five eggs are laid by the female, and she incubates them for nearly two weeks. Once the eggs are hatched, both the male and female feed the chicks.
The birds aggressively defend their nest and surrounding area against other birds and animals. When a predator is persistent, mockingbirds from neighboring territories, summoned by a distinct call, may join the attack. Other birds may gather to watch as the mockingbirds harass the intruder. In addition to harassing domestic cats and dogs they consider a threat, it is not unheard of for mockingbirds to target humans. They are absolutely unafraid and will attack much larger birds, even hawks. One famous incident in Tulsa, Oklahoma involving a postal carrier resulted in the distribution of a warning letter to residents.
Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 June, 1897 No 6 – Cover
The above article is the first article in the monthly serial that was started in January 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.
Observing the Northern Mockingbird must have some lessons we can learn. I can think of two off hand. Well, actually one of them comes from my husband. The song of the mockingbird uses a “vocal mimicry or appropriation” to make “sounds of other species (as well as non-avian sounds such as the barking of dogs, screeching of machinery, or human whistling) sometimes incorporated into a bird’s repertoire.” (“Vocal Copying,” The Birder’s Handbook) They listen, incorporate, and assimilate those songs and produce sounds into a very melodious song. Their song is usually a phrase repeated three times or so, and then a new phrase is sung. This can go on for hours.
Lesson #1: He could be like a person, who hears things and then repeats it three or more time. Sort of like a gossiper.
Lesson #2: (My preference) He could be like a Christian who listens to sermons, Sunday School lessons, other Biblical lessons, songs, has personal devotions, etc. then meditates and incorporates what they have heard into their life. Their life then produces a “song,” or way of life that is pleasing to others and especially to the Lord.
And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. (1Ti 5:13)
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded; nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (1Ti 6:17-19)
Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, …. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. (1Ti 4:13-15)