Strutting Like A Peacock?

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

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'sPix

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.”

Patagonian Mockingbird (Mimus patagonicus) ©WikiC

“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

Things I Have Learned

 

Georgina Goes on Summer Vacation – by Emma Foster

Northern Mockingbird Viera Wetlands

Northern Mockingbird Viera Wetlands

Georgina Goes on Summer Vacation

~ by Emma Foster

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.

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) At Sunset Beach NC ©WikiC

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) At Sunset Beach NC ©WikiC

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.

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) In Flight ©Flickr Tom Wicker

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) In Flight ©Flickr Tom Wicker

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.

THE END


Lee’s Addition:

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.

See more of Emma’s stories along with some of our other guest writers.

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Grey Kingbird at Honeymoon Island SP

Grey Kingbird by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP 7-4-2014

Grey Kingbird by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP 7-4-2014

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 dominicensis to 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]

So, we have a Tyrant that is from or passes through Dominica. The Kingbirds do belong to the Tyrannidae – Tyrant Flycatchers FamilyThere are 14 birds in the Tyrannus genus, which is the first part of the scientific name, Tyrannus Dominicensis, the second part of the name has 5 birds with that ending. That includes not only this Grey Kingbird, but also the Caribbean Martin (Progne dominicensis),  Antillean Siskin (Spinus dominicensis)Hispaniolan Oriole (Icterus dominicensis) and the Hispaniolan Spindalis (Spindalis dominicensis).

This was my 250th Life Bird record on eBird.

Grey Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis) by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP

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

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.

(from xeno-canto)

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

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)

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Gideon

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Northern Mockingbird

What the Northern Mockingbird lacks in bright colors, it makes up for in vocal prowess.Category: People & BlogsTags: NorthernMockingbird

“Northern Mockingbird” Video is from petersonfieldguides at YouTube


See Also:
Eye of the Beholder – Mockingbird
Interesting Things – Lyre Bird


Eye of the Beholder – Mockingbird

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)

Also

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)

Update 7/23/08: Check out   “Mockingbird Imitates Surprising Sounds