Bird of the Moment – White-eared Monarch

White-eared Monarch (Carterornis leucotis) © Ian

In February we had the Satin Flycatcher as bird of the moment. This is a generally uncommon member of the Monarch Flycatcher (Monarchidae) that I’d had trouble photographing until one obligingly turned up at my bird bath last October. Here is another member of the family that is also elusive, the White-eared Monarch. It’s generally rather uncommon and it tends to stay out of sight in the foliage of tall trees so spotting it is hard and photographing it is more so.

Its movements are not well understood but it tends to move from the highlands to coastal areas in winter and is mainly a winter visitor in the Townsville region. In Where to Find Birds in North-east Queensland Jo Wieneke particularly recommends the Nelly Bay end of the Nelly Bay to Arcadia walking track along Gustav Creek on Magnetic Island, where the trees are not very tall, for this and other Monarchs and Fantails.

White-eared Monarch (Carterornis leucotis) © Ian

It so happened that we were staying on Mandalay Avenue within walking distance of the start of the track last July for the weekend workshop of the North Queensland Recorder Society so I checked out the walking track before the workshop began. Sure enough, I found all the species listed in the the ebook including a couple of pairs of White-eared Monarchs so the photographic drought was at an end.

White-eared Monarch (Carterornis leucotis) © Ian

The birds I saw on that occasion were all adults. The juveniles look confusingly different with plumage in varying shades of grey rather than black and white so I’ve included a distant photo of a juvenile taken from a boat on the Daintree River north of Cairns. If nothing else it illustrates the difficulty of finding these birds in thick foliage.

White-eared Monarch (Carterornis leucotis) Juvenile © Ian

It’s geographical range comprises the ranges and coasts of eastern Queensland from Cape York to just south of the New South Wales border north of the Tweed River. It’s rarer in the southern part of the range so North-eastern Queensland is the best place to look for it.

For the taxonomists, it is the only Australian member of a small genus whose other members are the striking Golden Monarch (C. chrysomela) of New Guinea, which is orange-yellow and black, and the White-naped and Tanimbar Monarchs (C. pileatus and C. castus, sometimes treated as a single species) of the Moluccas and Lesser Sundas east of New Guinea. These latter two look much more like the White-eared Monarch than the Golden Monarch both in colour and patterning, posing an interest problem for the bio-geographers.

Since publishing Diary of a Bird Photographer Volume 2 I’ve merged Volumes 1 and 2 and plan to publish the combined work at the end of this year, including all the 2019 Birds of the Moment. My more immediate aim was to produced a combined taxonomic index making it easy for me to see which species have been covered since 2002 and which are candidates for future BIrds of the Moment. This combined volume will be a free update to purchasers of Volume 2. Sales so far have been slow so if you want to encourage me with the Bird of the Moment, I’d encourage you to show your interest and take advantage of this offer.

Ian’s Birding Ebook

Birdway Store on Payhip

A couple of purchasers have expressed a preference for the earlier bank transfer and Dropbox download, so if you rather do that too, just let me know Ian@birdway.com.au or ianbirdway@gmail.com and I can also arrange download through the website as an alternative to Dropbox. I’ve had inquiries about giving the ebooks as gifts: contact me if you wish to do so.

Greetings,
Ian


Lee’s Addition:

Ian’s comment, in the first paragraph, caught my interest. “It’s generally rather uncommon and it tends to stay out of sight in the foliage of tall trees so spotting it is hard and photographing it is more so.” It brought to mind the verses of trusting in the shadow of God’s protection.

“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.” (Psalms 36:7 NKJV)

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalms 91:1 NKJV)

Ian’s “Moment” wasn’t so long this time. Thanks, Ian, for another interesting article about a beautiful bird.

Ian’s last Bird of the Moment was about the Gentoo Penguin.

Ian’s Bird of the Week Articles

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Topaz

Topaz ©Flickr James St John

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) ©WikiC

“The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, …. the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.” (Revelation 21:19a-20 NKJV)

Topaz is a bit more common than Sardonyx, Sardius, and Chrysolite. Plus, there are birds with Topaz in their names. So this ninth stone of the foundation of the New Jerusalem should be easier to discover. Topaz is mentioned in five verse in the Bible: Exodus 28,17, 39:10; Job 28:19 [topaz of Ethiopia], Ezekiel 28:13, and our verse above – Revelation 21:20.

Quartz-Topaz-gem ©WikiC

Topaz – TO’PAZ, n. [Gr.] A mineral, said to be so called from Topazos, a small isle in the Arabic gulf, where the Romans obtained a stone which they called by this name, but which is the chrysolite of the moderns. The topaz is of a yellowish color. It sometimes occurs in masses, but more generally crystallized in rectangular octahedrons. Topaz is valued as a gem or precious stone, and is used in jewelry. It consists of silex, fluoric acid and alumin, in the following proportions; alumin 57 parts, silex 34, and fluoric acid 7 or 8.
Of topaz there are three subspecies, common topaz, shorlite and physalite. [Webster Dictionary 1828]

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) Reflection ©Flickr Budgora

Topaz – topazion (G5116) is mentioned in Rev_21:20, as the ninth of the foundation stones of the wall of the heavenly Jerusalem; the stone is of a yellow color (though there are topazes of other colors) and is almost as hard as the diamond. It has the power of double refraction, and when heated or rubbed becomes electric. [Vines New Testament]

Fiery Topaz (Topaza pyra) ©WikiC

Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan (Cropped by Lee)

Topaz From Brazil-©NaturhistorischesMuseum-WikiC

Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan

Ruby-Topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) male ©WikiC

Crimson Topaz (Topaza pella) ©WikiC

Bird-Wings-Wing-Colored-Ara-Parrot-©Maxpixel

Other Articles In This Series:

What will you do with Jesus?

Did Birds’ Lungs Evolve? – Creation Moments

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) ©Lucas Texas

Job 39:26-27

“Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south? Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?”

I remember buying a foot pump to inflate the tires on my first car. My choice was between two pumps. On the cheaper model, the foot operated a piston entering a cylinder in which the air would be compressed and forced through a tube into the tire. When the foot was lifted, valves prevented air getting back into the cylinder from the tire, and, instead, dragged air in from the outside. Each depression of the foot repeated this operation. In a sense, the lungs of mammals and reptiles would resemble two such pumps side by side.

The second model featured two pistons and cylinders angled in opposite directions. Pressing with the foot began the first stage of tire compression as before, but on releasing the foot, the second cylinder pushed air into the tire while the first refilled with external air. The next foot depression allowed cylinder 2 to refill while cylinder 1 pumped. Thus, there was air pumped into the tire on both depression and release of the foot. The two cylinders worked in tandem, in opposite directions. This second continuous pump is like the two lungs in a bird.

Birds Lungs ©Creation Moments PD

Even some well-known evolutionary scientists have pointed out how impossible it would be for one mechanism to evolve into the other because the transitional form would not be able to process air for breathing at all, and would suffocate. So bird lungs could not have evolved from dinosaurs, but, instead, are designed by God for exactly their purpose.

 Prayer: Father, when we think about birds, as with all other animals, we acknowledge that You have made them fit for purpose, to be able to live and work the way that You have designed them to do. Amen.

Ref: Quick, D.E and Ruben, J.A., Cardio-Pulmonary Anatomy in Theropod Dinosaurs: Implications From Extant Archosaurs, JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY 270:1232–1246 (2009), pp. 1232-1246.  Image: Public Domain.

Source: Did Birds’ Lungs Evolve?

See Interesting Things for more articles like this.

Bad Feather Day

“He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.” (Psalms 135:7 KJV)

First Woodstock had a Ruffled Feather, now he is grumbling because he is having a Bad Feather Day.

We were at Gatorland on Friday last week and it was quite winding. Some of their feathers were whipping in the breeze also. I did not see Snoopy there with a can of “Feather Spray”. Those bird just had to preen and get thing straighten out.

Great Egret on a windy day at Gatorland by Lee

Great Egret on a windy day at Gatorland

Great Egret on a windy day at Gatorland

Cattle Egret in Breeding Plumage and Wind

Cattle Egret in Breeding Plumage and Wind

Cattle Egret in Breeding Plumage and Wind and not happy about it. Where’s the Feather Spray?

Great Blue Heron before gust on a windy day at Gatorland

Great Blue Heron with gust on a windy day at Gatorland

Great Blue Heron with gust on a windy day at Gatorland

Wind is mentioned over a hundred times in the Bible. Here are two verse that show who is in control of the wind:

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” (Psalms 1:1-4 KJV)

“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:39-41 KJV)

Smoothing A Ruffled Feather

All Our Gatorland Birdwatching Trips

 

Ian’s Bird of the Moment – Gentoo Penguin

As I’ve finally published Volume 2 of the ebook Diary of a Bird Photographer, please bear with me as I begin with a commercial. It is a compilation of the more than 240 Bird of the Week/Moment episodes sent out in the period 2010 to 2018. As these episodes grew in contents over the years, the ebook ended up as a hefty tome of 130,000 words and more than a thousand photos,with the fixed format pdf version running to more than 1,100 pages.

Like its popular predecessor Volume 1 it is designed for ease of use with many internal links, external links to relevant websites particularly additional photos on the Birdway website, and a comprehensive alphabetical index to bird species. Volume 2 contains a new taxonomic index in case for browsing the episodes by members of particular families such as Barn Owls or Honeyeaters. Read more about it by clicking on the image below or its caption to take you to page on the Birdway website.

Diary of a Bird Photographer, Vol 2 by Ian Montgomery

Diary of a Bird Photographer Volume 2

When I retired and wrapped up the Birdway company, I could no longer sell ebooks through the Apple or Google book stores and I started selling them by gettiing intending buyers to contact me for bank account details. This was inconvenient for everyone concerned – particularly for payments in other than Australian dollars – so I have now started selling them through the Payhip website. Payhip takes payment by credit card or PayPal so you can pay and download the books immediately. The new Diary Volume 2 is priced at six Australian dollars. You can visit the Payhip Birdway Store by clicking on the image or caption below.

Ian’s Birding Ebook

The Birdway eBook Store on Payhip

The cover photo of me on the ship the Spirit of Enderby on the trip to the Sub-Antarctic Islands in 2011 brings back great recollections of a memorable voyage, the highlight of which for many of us was the visit to Macquarie Island and its four species of penguins. Two of these, King Penguin and Royal Penguin feature as birds of the week in Volume 2, but here is one, the Gentoo Penguin, which hasn’t been honoured in these pages with its fifteen minutes of fame, to quote Andy Warhol.

Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) by Ian

On the morning of our day on the island, the King and Royal Penguins provide us with endless amusement on the main beach on the sheltered eastern size of the island, number 3 on the Google Earth screen capture below. At lunch time we went to the Research Station, number 1, at lunchtime to meet the personnel and we find the Gentoos in reasonable numbers in their preferred breeding habitat, the tussocky grass just south of the station.

Northern Tip of Macuarie Island from Google Earth by Ian

Gentoos look to me quite small and dumpy in illustrations and photos, but they are fairly large, with a length up to 80cm/32in and weighting between 4.5-8.5kg/10-19lbs. Unlike the curious King and Royal Penguins they don’t take much notice of us and stand or lie around looking rather bored. Adult Gentoos, first two Gentoo photos, have a white eye ring, a white patch over each eye and a white line joining the two patches across the top of the head. Their plumage is blackish and the bill and legs are brightly coloured, red or orange.

Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) by Ian

Most of the Gentoos have finished breeding bur their are still a few juveniles in the breeding area, like this rather woolly individual on the left below below. Unlike other Penguin species, Gentoos will relay if the first clutch is lost, so maybe this has happened here. Gentoos are unusual in that the parents continue feeding the young for up to two months after they have fledged.

Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) by Ian

Unlike the Royal and King Penuins on the sheltered eastern beach, the non-breeding Gentoos show a preference for the exposed beach on the western side of the island. The beach in this photo faces northwest and is shown and number 2 in the Google Earth image above. This beach is also popular with the Macquarie (Imperial) Shags which are busy ferrying seaweed as building material for nests on a rocky headland. The thick-skinned Elephant Seals are also at home on this beach and you can see their prostrate forms in the photo below.

Western Side of Macuarie Island by Ian

Immature Gentoos are to be seen wandering around on this beach either full of the joys of Spring (next photo) or pretending to be Elephant Seas (following photo). You can see that their plumage is browner than that of the adults, the white supra-orbital patches and eye-rings are incompletely developed and their bills and feet are less brightly coloured. Gentoos take two years to reach sexual maturity but I suppose, given their proximity to the nesting colony, that these ones are older juveniles from the current breeding.

Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) Juvenile by Ian

The Gentoo is the most northerly of the three species in the genus Pygoscelis and its circumpolar range is mainly north of Antarctica, breeding on Sub-Antarctic islands in the southern Indian and Atlantic Oceans. The only place it breeds on Antarctica itself is on the Antarctic Peninsula south of South America. The other two members of the genus, the Chinstrap and Adelie Penguins, have more southerly ranges particularly the Adelie. The specific name papua, odd for a Sub-Antartic species, does in fact refer to the natives of New Guinea as J.R. Forster, who named it in 1781, as he thought erroneously that they had curly feathers.

Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua) Juvenile by Ian

The fourth species of Penguin on Macquarie is the Southern Rockhopper Rockhoppers indeed, they are not to be found on the easily accessible part of the island where we spend the day. In the afternoon we return to the ship in the Zodiacs and do a detour via the rocky headland shown as number 4 on the Google Earth image to have a look at them.

I’ve been leading a fairly sedentary existence since my last visit to Europe three years ago. Editing Volume 2 of the Diary has given me itchy feet, so a visit to South America this coming October is being planned.

Greetings

Ian Montgomery


“All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.: (1 Corinthians 15:39 KJV)

They may swim in the sea, but those Gentoo Penguins are still birds.

Thanks again, Ian, for another Bird of the Moment. They are always a welcome surprise when they arrive. Glad you were able to complete your second volume of the Bird Photographer Diary. We have produced many of those Bird of the Week articles here over the years. We have been enjoying your adventures around the world as you seek our Avian Wonders.

See Ian’s Birds of the Week

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Walter the Directionally Challenged Goose

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Walter the Directionally Challenged Goose by Emma Foster

Once there was a large Canadian goose named Walter. He lived in the north beside a little pond, and he went south for the winter. Sometimes he got lost because he didn’t know which way was North and which way was South. Walter was directionally challenged. On the times he did not get lost, he usually stayed by the beach where it was warm.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) ©USFWS

Is That South?

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Ian

Or Is That South?

Walter loved to stay by his little pond because it had just the right amount of grass, the water was always cool, and he always had plenty to eat. After successfully making his way back to the pond after flying south for the winter, Walter looked forward to relaxing in the warm spring sun. However, he noticed that it was a bit colder than he remembered it being at that time of year.

Walter started thinking. Maybe he had come back too early or maybe he had come back too late and it was already winter again. A few moments later it started to snow, and Walter began to shiver. He decided that he would just have to go back south for the rest of the winter, though he first had to figure out which way South was again. After thinking for another minute in the snow, Walter soared into the sky and began flying, nearly running into a few trees in the process.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) by Kent Nickel

After flying for what felt like hours, Walter thought that the air seemed a bit warmer. He didn’t know if he was South yet because he hadn’t found a beach or anything. Eventually, however, he found a large lake that seemed like the perfect place to spend the winter. Walter dove down toward the lake, skimming down to what he thought was water.

Bang! Walter flew straight into a giant garage door then tumbled down toward the water. The garage door was so close to the lake that Walter accidentally misdirected his flight by a few feet. He felt fine, but he decided to lie there for a few minutes before getting up. After a while, he fell asleep.

When Walter woke up, he realized he was in a small cage. He flailed about trying to get out. He was afraid because he didn’t know where he was, but he was able to calm down when a lady came in and gave him some food. Walter noticed a while later that his foot was bandaged.

Canadian Goose with injured foot

Walter stayed at the veterinary clinic for a few days while his foot healed. When he was able to walk a little better, he waddled around the clinic, where he met new people. The veterinarians at the clinic always said hello when Walter wandered into the front lobby, and he always had plenty to eat. He grew very comfortable at the clinic because he was never lonely.

A few days later, some of the vets took Walter to the lake where he had attempted to land earlier and set him free. For a while, he kept following them back to the truck because he didn’t want them to leave.

When the truck pulled away, Walter sat by the lake, sad. After a few minutes of thinking, he suddenly came up with a good idea. He flew up into the air, swooped down, and hit the same garage door again, though this time lightly enough so that he wouldn’t get injured as badly.

The veterinarians came back and took him to the clinic, even though Walter was perfectly fine this time. The vets at the clinic ultimately decided to let Walter stay since he liked it there so much, and Walter was very happy now because he didn’t have to worry about which way was South and which way was North.


Lee’s Addition:

Wow! Emma. Another great story. This is very interesting, especially because of all the birds that are migrating north now. I hope there aren’t any other “directionally challenged” birds facing Walter’s dilemma.

Maybe Walter should have prayed and read Psalm 143:8 before he travels.

“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk [FLY], for I lift up my soul unto thee.” (Psalms 143:8 KJV)

See Emma’s Other Stories

 

Birds of the Bible – Mountain Bird’s Majestic Cedar IV

Cèdre de la Chaux (Cuisery) – Branches ©WikiC

Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will take also one of the highest branches of the high cedar and set it out. I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and will plant it on a high and prominent mountain. On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it; and it will bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a majestic cedar. Under it will dwell birds of every sort; in the shadow of its branches they will dwell. And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the LORD, have brought down the high tree and exalted the low tree, dried up the green tree and made the dry tree flourish; I, the LORD, have spoken and have done it.” (Ezekiel 17:22-24 NKJV)

That tree above is not on a mountain, but that is quite a majestic Cedar tree to me. How about the trunk of that same tree? WOW! Think the birds could find a home in a Cedar Tree?

Cèdre de la Chaux (Cuisery) – trunk ©WikiC 2

Flicker in Cedar Tree ©Flickr Todd Petit

Here is another Cedar Tree, this time planted back in 1886 AD. There is plenty of places for birds to dwell.

Cedar tree planted c.1886 by Edward VII when Prince of Wales, in the Gardens of Easton Lodge ©WikiC

Syrian Woodpecker (Dendrocopos syriacus) in Israel ©WikiC

What are these verses referring to? Here are some comments from several Commentaries:

“17:22, 23 one of the highest branches. This is messianic prophecy stating that God will provide the Messiah from the royal line of David (“the high cedar”) and establish Him in His kingdom (like a mountain, cf. Dan. 2:354445). He will be “a high branch” reigning in the height of success. “Branch” is a name for Messiah (cf. 34:232437:2425Is. 4:2Jer. 23:533:15Zech. 3:86:12). Messiah will be “a tender one” (v. 22) growing into a “majestic cedar” (v. 23). Under His kingdom rule, all nations will be blessed and Israel restored.” [NKJV MacArthur Study Bible 17:22,23]

Lacrimose Mountain Tanager (Anisognathus lacrymosus) ©FlickrScott Loarie

17:24 — “I bring down the high tree, exalt the low tree, dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will perform it.”

The Lord wants us to remember that He is absolutely sovereign. If a nation becomes powerful and prominent, it does so because He allowed it. If a nation falls, it does so because He permitted it to happen. God rules among the nations, and only He can truly give His children hope. [NASB Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible Notes]

Brown-necked Raven of Israel

Brown-necked Raven, Israel ©WikiC

17:22 I will take: The Hebrew is emphatic: “I Myself will take” In contrast to human kings, God declared that He personally would pick out, plant, and make prominent a tender one—that is, a twig or a sprig. Cedar branches are symbolic of rulers on the Davidic throne (see 17:341213), and elsewhere of a line of David’s descendants prophesied to produce the Messiah (see 2 Sam. 7:16Is. 11:1–5Jer. 22:24–3023:1–6Zech. 6:9–13Matt. 1:1–17). If not directly messianic in intention, vv. 22–24 at least have strong messianic implications. Thus, with reference to His humanity, we discover a new title for the Savior Jesus. He is the Tender One.”

“17:2324 What was accomplished in the restoration under Zerubbabel was a fulfillment of this promise. But as is often the case in biblical prophecy, the greater fulfillment is still to come in the reign of the Savior King. The establishment of the cedar twig, the Messiah, over Israel will make the nation a fruitful and majestic cedar where diverse people will live in unity and harmony. all the trees of the field: All nations will realize that the Lord is their sovereign God and that He has accomplished what He said He would do.”

Mountain Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus sindianus) by Nikhil Devasar

Mountain Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus sindianus) by Nikhil Devasar

“For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills Shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
(Isaiah 55:12 NKJV) Would that big cedar clap? Yes!

I like to just let God’s Work speak for itself.

“Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; Let the sea roar, and all its fullness; Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the LORD. For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with His truth.” (Psalms 96:11-13 NKJV)


Gideon

How Are We Reflecting God’s Light?

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl) by Judd Patterson

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl) by Judd Patterson

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.” (Isaiah 60:1 KJV)

Yesterday’s article, Precious Stones and Birds – Colors, show how light can be changed into different colors as it passes through a prism.  Also, that the Lord God, the Creator of all we see here on earth is the source of light. Today you will see how light reflecting on bird’s feathers, especially Hummingbirds, helps demonstrate that fact.

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Here are some videos and photos of Hummingbirds showing how the light reflects on these birds.

ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD VANCOUVER, BC (2018)

Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) Little color from side ©WikiC

Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) With Light Shining on it ©WikiC

Light reflects off the feathers of Hummingbirds. Here are some photos:

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) by Michael Woodruff

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) by Michael Woodruff

Scintillant Hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla) by Judd Patterson

Scintillant Hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla) by Judd Patterson

The Ruby-topaz Hummingbird is a nice example of how the light shinning on the hummer.

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, not reflecting light

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) Some Reflection ©Flickr Neil DeMaster

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) No Reflection ©Flickr Budgora

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) Some Reflection ©Flickr Budgora

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) Reflection ©Flickr Dick Knight

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) Reflection ©Flickr Budgora

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) ©WikiC

How well are we reflecting the Lord’s light?

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16 KJV)

Wordless Birds – With Hummingbirds

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Chalcedony

Chalcedony (Variety Agate) Quartz ©WikiC

“And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;” (Revelation 21:19 KJV)

The Chalcedony stone in the foundation of the New Jerusalem is really a challenge. I have consulted the internet and my Bible programs, e-Sword and Bible Gateway. Also searched the Latin or scientific terms for names even close to “Chalcedony.” Most to no avail as far as finding birds that have chalcedony or a derivative in their names.

As you will see from the quotes below, most seem to mention white (and milky), gray (grey), blue, or a pearly color. Let me see. Out of over 10,000 birds, surely I can find a few to share with you.

Lavender Waxbill (Estrilda caerulescens) ©WikiC

Lavendar Blue Chalcedony ©Mineral_net

THE GEMSTONE CHALCEDONY
“Chalcedony is the form of Quartz that is compact and microcrystalline. It occurs in many different forms, colors, and patterns, and many varieties have been used as gemstones since antiquity. In the gemstone trade, the term Chalcedony is often used specifically to describe the white, gray, or blue translucent type of Chalcedony, but its technical term includes all additional varieties.” [Minerals.net]

Chalcedony
“Rev_21:19. With it the third foundation of the wall of New Jerusalem is adorned. An agate-like quartz in modern mineralogy, of pearly luster and transparent, found in the Travascus mine in Cornwall. Cups, plates, knife handles, etc. are formed of it in India. Pliny makes it resemble turquoise; others make it of a light brown. The chalcedony of Theophrastus is called from Chalcedon in ancient Thrace, and was the copper emerald obtained from the mines there.” [Fausset’s Bible Dictionary, emphasis mine]

Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) by Ian

Polished Agate Portion ©Mineral.net

“Chalcedony. Chalcedony occurs only in Rev_21:19. The name is applied, in modern mineralogy, to one of the varieties of agate. It is generally translucent and exhibits a great variety of colors. So named because, it was found near the ancient Chalcedon, near Constantinople.” [Smith’s Bible Dictionary]

chalkedon (G5472), the name of a gem, including several varieties, one of which resembles a cornelian, is “supposed to denote a green silicate of copper found in the mines near Chalcedon” (Swete, on the Apocalypse), Rev_21:19.” [Vine’s]

Crowned Woodnymph (Thalurania colombica) by RScanlon

Crowned Woodnymph (Thalurania colombica) by RScanlon

Chalcedony moss agate gem Mineral.net

“CHALCEDONY, n. A subspecies of quartz, a mineral called also white agate, resembling milk diluted with water, and more or less clouded or opake, with veins, circles and spots. It is used in jewelry.
The varieties of chalcedony are common chalcedony, heliotrope, chrysoprase, plasma, onyx, sard and sardonyx.” [Webster’s Dictionary 1828]

Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea) ©©LipKee

Milky Stork (Mycteria cinerea) ©©LipKee

Quartz Article_Figure Milky Quartz ©IUBloomingtion

THE GEMSTONE CHALCEDONY
“Chalcedony is the form of Quartz that is compact and microcrystalline. It occurs in many different forms, colors, and patterns, and many varieties have been used as gemstones since antiquity. In the gemstone trade, the term Chalcedony is often used specifically to describe the white, gray, or blue translucent type of Chalcedony, but its technical term includes all additional varieties.” [Minerals.net]

Blue-grey Tanager (Thraupis episcopus) by Raymond Barlow

Blue-grey Tanager (Thraupis episcopus) by Raymond Barlow

Agate – Blue Lace – Chalcedony – Nambia ©Stephanie Clifford

Chalcedony has a waxy luster, and may be semitransparent or translucent. It can assume a wide range of colors, but those most commonly seen are white to gray, grayish-blue or a shade of brown ranging from pale to nearly black. The color of chalcedony sold commercially is often enhanced by dyeing or heating.” [Wikipedia – Chalcedony]

Whatever that third layer is going to look like, it will be spectacular!!!

“The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;” (Revelation 21:19b KJV)


*** Articles in this Series so far:

Wordless Birds – With Hummingbirds

 

Luzon Water Redstart

“I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.” (Psalms 50:11 NKJV)

Myra, a follower, now a friend, from the Philippines, shared this video of a Luzon Water Redstart. Her daughters journeyed up Mt. Pulag a few weeks ago. They spotted the Redstart and captured it with their phone’s camera. Myra always ask them to “bird watch for me.” And now, Myra is sharing that video with us. Thanks, Myra, and your two daughters.

“The Luzon water redstart (Phoenicurus bicolor) is a species of bird in the family Muscicapidae. It is endemic to the Philippines. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, and rivers. It is threatened by habitat loss.

This species was formerly placed in the genus Rhyacornis but was moved to Phoenicurus based on the results of a molecular phylogenetic study published in 2010.” [Wikipedia]

Luzon Water Redstart (Phoenicurus bicolor) ©Myra

I have to admit, I chuckled when I saw how the video ended. How many times have we watched a bird, only to have it disappear into the bushes or leaves. BUT! At least it was spotted.

Here is an interesting article with two videos about this little avian wonder from our Lord. Luzon Water Redstart, Take 2

Happy Birdwatching!!

Why Use The Ark?

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) ©WikiC

An article in the latest issue of Answers in Genesis Magazine, “As The Bird Flies,”, p.20, tells about the Willow Warbler. This little bird weighs only “0.4 ounce (10 g) … and migrate more than 8,000 miles (13,000 km) from eastern Siberia to Kenya and Tanzania in Africa.”

The article goes on to tell how much research has been done with this bird and its migratory habits. The internet has many articles about this fantastic avian wonder from the Lord. Another article, Study: Siberian Willow Warblers Migrate Incredible 8,000 Miles One Way.

“All populations are highly migratory, with the subspecies P. t. yakutensis migrating up to 12,000 km from eastern Siberia to southern Africa along the Asian – East African Flyway, one of the longest migrations of any for a bird of its size. Approximate timings are:

October to March: wintering in sub Saharan Africa.
Mid March to mid May: migrates and arrives in the breeding range.
Late April to August: breeding season, usually only one brood but rarely two.
August to October: migrates back to Africa.” [Wikipedia – Willow Warbler]

Answers article continues with this remark: “Their surprisingly complex navigational abilities showcase the Creator’s ingenious design”

They then challenge those who sort of believe in creation, but the flood gives them problems. Many only believe in a “Local Flood.” My take on this and theirs is: Why Get In The Ark When You Can Fly? “Why couldn’t the animals just leave the area instead of getting on a ship, especially if a bird that weights less than a few paper clips can trave more than 8,000 miles?”

“In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.” (Genesis 7:13-14 KJV)

“And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.” (Genesis 7:19-23 KJV)

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) ©WikiC

Sharing The Gospel

Longing For Robins by Dorothy Belle Malcolm

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by Ian

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by Ian

It has been 10 years since I’ve seen a robin in my yard. When they came then, it was an amazing sight which I have cherished. Once there was a Baltimore Oriole, however, that was many years ago. In the meantime, there are a variety that come to my feeder and the neighborhood for which I am happy about and keep food out for them.

Puzzle by a window ©Pxhere

I sit at a table which always has a puzzle on it, and if I don’t make sudden moves, I enjoy watching them. Of course the Sandhill Cranes walk around the neighborhood, The Cooper’s Hawks and Crows don’t come to my yard, but I see them in the trees as I walk.

The regular visitors are Blue Jays, Red-winged Blackbirds, Red-headed Woodpecker, Turtle Doves, Titmice, and Sparrows.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)by Raymond Barlow

American Robin)by Raymond Barlow

In my heart I’m longing for the joy of seeing just one Robin. Maybe it will happen this spring.

2/22/19 Dorothy Malcolm


“But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.” (John 11:22 KJV)

Lee’s Addition:

It has been awhile since Dottie (Dorothy) has written an article for us. I asked her if she would like to write another one. Here is her latest birdwatching desire. The verse is one I have used while birdwatching. I have asked the Lord to please have the bird in that bush come out where I can see it better. Maybe even take a photo. Not surprising, some have appeared to my delight. I think the Lord cares about our desires, especially when observing His Creation. Dottie, we are praying that the Lord will let some Robins land in your yard when they start migrating back north this spring. Stay Tuned!

If you have missed some of Dottie (Dorothy’s) stories, they are listed below. She is also Emma Foster’s grandmother. Humm! Wonder if that is where Emma started her interest in her birdwatching tales? Emma’s Stories

Dorothy (Dottie) Belle Malcolm’s: