Our Missionaries – African Pied Wagtail

Brubru (Nilaus afer) ©Wiki My first guess

Years ago there were a few posts that featured some of the birds our missionaries see in their various locations. It was 2009 and 2010 actually. I even made a page to hold the different articles. What Our Missionaries See. It is located at the end of the Birds of the Bible list.

Recently, the thought of reviving that series has crossed my mind. Today, one of our Pastors, who moved on to a new position, has challenged me to ID a bird he keeps seeing in Uganda. Pastor Peter Brock is also a good friend who enjoys birdwatching. After three emails back and forth, and some photos, our mystery bird has been identified. At first I thought it was a Brubru, seen above.

Mystery Bird 1 by Pastor Pete

Mystery Bird 2 by Pastor Pete

He sent those two photos, then he got a better shot and sent this one.

Mystery Bird 3 by Pastor Pete

After this third photo, the search was back on to correct my first idea. How would you go about figuring out what bird he is seeing?

Back to Google, this was my search; “black and white bird with white brow in uganda” This search brought up some black and white birds, and the very first photo was:

African Pied Wagtail from Kenya http://www.ngkenya.com/fauna/birds.html

Aha!! That looks like his mystery bird. When I clicked that link, and looked down through those birds, the next link led me to a positive ID on this bird.

“Common bird of parks, lawns, pastures and farmland. Pumps long tail up and down as it forages along ground.” The link with that photo brought me to this beautiful African Pied Wagtail:

African Pied Wagtail from http://www.ngkenya.com

“Sharp black-and-white plumage and a long bobbing tail make this common bird farms and urban gardens easily recognizable.” [It is now that I figured it out.]

You can find out more about this beautiful avian wonder at African Pied Wagtail, Wikipedia, Kenya Natural History Guide, and HBAlive

We sense from Scripture, that challenging our minds is a good thing.

“And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised.” (Ecclesiastes 1:13 NKJV)

I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation,…” (Ecclesiastes 7:25a NASB)

Pastor Peter Brock now works with Reaching and Teaching International Ministries .



Mystery Bird Solved at Zoo Miami

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Mystery Bird at Zoo Miami by Lee

“My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.” (Pro 6:20-21 KJV)

Finally sat down and started naming my photos from our latest trip to Zoo Miami’s Wings of Asia Aviary. Since we spent the whole day, just in that Aviary, except for lunch, the photos are not in any order. Ducks especially have a way of swimming by and then another, then back they come again. Most of you photographers know how it is. And as I’ve always stated, I wish the Lord had hung name tags on birds so we could more easily identify them. :o)

I was fortunate to receive a list of the current birds from the workers, which has been a huge help. With at least 500 birds and 88 species in one aviary, it can get complicated putting names on the right birds.

I had gone through these photos before I came to the one above:

Lady Amherst's Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) Zoo Miami by Lee

Lady Amherst’s Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) Zoo Miami by Lee

Now there is a beautifully designed avian wonder from the Creator. More about this bird later.

The Siamese Fireback is also in the Pheasant family.

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) Zoo Miami by Lee

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) Zoo Miami by Lee

So, when our mystery bird showed up, which family do you think I kept looking through? The Pheasants and allies – Phasianidae Family. I searched high and low.

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Guess what this bird is!

Can you guess what this bird is?

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Mystery Bird and a Red-vented Bulbul at the Zoo

I about fell out of my computer chair when I found out.

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Maybe a close up of the face will help. Zoo Miami by Lee

Our Mystery Bird turns out to actually be a Pigeon!!!. This is a Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) [Green-naped Pheasant Pigeon] as Zoo Miami calls it.

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

I Just Couldn’t Believe THIS IS A PIGEON!!!!!

“The pheasant pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) is a genus of large terrestrial pigeon found in the primary rainforests of New Guinea and nearby islands. It ranges primarily over hilly and lower mountain areas, but can also be found in lowlands.

There are four species, [actually subspecies] which differ primarily in the presence or absence of a small crest and in the colour of the nape. The two best known are the western nominate (O. nobilis) with a greenish nape and O. n. aruensis from the Aru Islands with a white nape. [We saw this at the Cincinnati Zoo] The two remaining species, O. n. cervicalis from the eastern part of its range and O. n. insularis from Fergusson Island, have a grey nape and a black nape (concolour with the remaining black neck) respectively.” [Wikipedia with editing]

COL-Colu Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Cincinnati Zoo 2016 - Lee (2).JPG

Pheasant Pigeon [White-naped]  (Otidiphaps nobilis) Cincinnati Zoo 2016 – Lee

Pheasant Pigeon – Wikipedia




Swallow-tailed and Palkachupa Cotinga

PAS-Coti Swallow-tailed Cotinga (Phibalura flavirostris)  ©WikiC

PAS-Coti Swallow-tailed Cotinga (Phibalura flavirostris)

While working on the latest I.O.C. Version 4.4 update (which is now complete), this bird caught my attention.

Wikipedia has this in their article about this neat bird: “The swallow-tailed cotinga (Phibalura flavirostris) is a species of passerine bird. As suggested by its common name, it has traditionally been considered a member of the cotinga family. Following the recent removal of several members from this family (now placed in Tityridae), the placement of this aberrant species is unclear. It is therefore considered incertae sedis by SACC.”

What this means that in a recent previous update, they took this bird out of the Cotinga family and placed it in an Uncertain Family holding place “Incertae Sedis” by itself. Now with this update, they put this one back in with the Cotingas, but have given it the “Phibalura” genus name. (Okay, so what is so interesting about that?)

Palkachupa Cotinga (Phibalura boliviana) ©©Benjamin-Skolnik_U

Palkachupa Cotinga (Phibalura boliviana) ©©Benjamin-Skolnik_U

Continuing Wikipedia: “Currently, it is monotypic within the genus Phibalura, but it has been suggested that the taxon boliviana should be considered a separate species, the Bolivian swallow-tailed cotinga or Palkachupa cotinga (P. boliviana). The nominate taxon (P. f. flavirostris) is found in Atlantic forest in south-eastern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and Argentina (Misiones only). The taxon boliviana, which only was rediscovered in 2000 (after 98 years without any records), is restricted to the vicinity of Apolo in Bolivia. Both populations are threatened by habitat loss.”

“Eighty percent of the Palkachupa Cotinga’s habitat has been destroyed by clearing and burning forest for firewood and pasture; unfortunately, this destruction is ongoing. Parts of the cotinga’s former range are now completely treeless. Nesting success in remaining habitat is low; predation by jays and severe weather are the biggest causes of breeding failure.” (American Bird Conservancy)

It appears that the sub-species of the Swallow-tailed, the now added Palkachupa disappeared from sight for over 98 years. I find that amazing, but considering where it lives, is understandable. That brings to mind some promises from these bird’s Creator.

1) He promised to provide for them. The Lord takes care of many things without man’s help.

Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. (Genesis 1:30 NKJV)

And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.’ (Deuteronomy 11:15 NKJV)

They give drink to every beast of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst. By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. He waters the hills from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. (Psalms 104:11-13 NKJV)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NKJV)

2) We can learn from them – to trust their Creator who knows exactly where they are. We or the bird may be out of sight of man, but never from God. The Bible says the Lord will never leave us.

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, And makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?’ (Job 35:11 NKJV)

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5 KJV)

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”(Revelation 4:11 NKJV)


Articles about the Swallow-tailed

Birds of the World