Creation Moments – How Many Feathers?

Tongtianlong Cropped ©WikiC

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:25

 Today, we often see pictures of dinosaurs covered in feathers, which used to be represented with bare scales. Why has this change occurred? There is a preconceived notion, held by many evolutionists, that birds evolved from therapod dinosaurs, such as tyrannosaurus and the smaller raptor dinosaurs.

One such dinosaur reported in the media just a few years ago was Tongtianlong limosus. Apparently, its name means “muddy dragon on the road to heaven”. This sheep-sized dinosaur was discovered in China, and the fossil had an arched neck and raised head, as if it was trying to get free of something. Artists’ impressions of the creature show it covered with feathers, and reporters and researchers alike assume that this is correct. One scientific commentator said, “Modern birds came from dinosaurs … and it’s dinosaurs like Tongtianlong that give us a glimpse of what the ancestors of modern birds would have looked like. Fossils like these capture evolution in action.” Yet, this is simply not the case and appears to be an example of circular reasoning. The fossil shows no sign of feathers – not even the so-called dubious proto-feathers associated with other finds. It is simply the type of dinosaur that has caused it to be so classified by evolutionists, exercising more artistic license than is appropriate for serious scientific work.

In the Bible we read that God made birds on day five, and He made land animals on day six, so birds could not have evolved from dinosaurs.

Prayer: Lord God, You made everything right, in the way that You designed it, according to Your glory. Amen.

Author: Paul F. Taylor

Ref: Robinson, P. (2016), Sorry, how many feathers did you find?, < https://creation.com/sorry-how-many-feathers-did-you-find >, accessed 5/1/2019. Image: CC BY-SA 4.0 International.

Used With Permission: © 2020 Creation Moments, Inc.


“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” Adolf Hitler

“If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” [Jesus’ Words] (John 3:12 NASB)

If people do not believe the things that the Lord said about His Creation, and continue to make up false theories, how will they ever believe the truth of Christ’s offer of salvation?

Will they prepare for heaven? God’s Word is true, yet many refuse to believe it. They would rather lie, than accept the truth. So sad. Maybe a good title for this article should have been,

“How Many Lies!”

Creation Moments – How Many Feathers?

Creation Moments

More Creation Moment articles here

What will you do with Jesus?

Walter the Directionally Challenged Goose, Part 2

Walter the Directionally Challenged Goose, Part 2

by Emma Foster

Walter with injured foot, in Part 1

Walter the goose didn’t have to worry about flying south for the winter now that he lived at the veterinary clinic. Whenever winter returned, Walter was safe and warm inside the clinic, and during the summer he could walk outside and explore. However, Walter made sure to stay close to the clinic so he wouldn’t get lost. He was still directionally challenged.

One summer day Walter was walking around by the garage at the veterinary clinic. A truck drove up and parked in front of the garage. Walter had to quickly waddle out of the way to avoid getting run over, but when he was a good distance away he noticed a trailer attached to the back end of the truck. Inside the trailer was a small horse.

Horse in Trailer ©WikiC

The horse looked out the window when Walter approached the trailer. Walter had seen many different kinds of animals during his short time at the vet, but he had never seen a horse before. When Walter craned his neck to see inside, he could tell that the horse was nervous. Every now and then, Walter needed to come into the rooms to calm the other animals down, since they were nervous about being at the vet. Walter asked the horse his name to help him not feel so nervous. The horse said that his name was Angus. He also mentioned that he didn’t know why he was there, but this was his first time at the vet without his mother.

Walter sat by the trailer while the vets came out and Angus was brought out of the trailer. Angus became so nervous that he bolted, jumping a fence and running into the fields. Walter flapped after him, determined that his new friend would overcome his fear.

A Goose and her horse ©Flickr Lisa Donahoo

A Goose and her horse ©Flickr Lisa Donahoo

Walter flew over a small field and a patch of trees. By then, the vets and Angus’s owner were far behind. Walter searched for a long time, turning in different directions before resting on a tree stump to see where he was. To his surprise, when he looked ahead, he noticed the veterinary clinic! He had gone in circles, since he was so directionally challenged.

Deciding to go back the other way, Walter flew in the opposite direction, took a right, then landed in another field that he had never been in before. Walter sat in the brush and thought, but he did not give up. Suddenly he realized that the tall grass around him was moving a little. Walter crouched down, but Angus pulled his head over the grass and looked down at him. Angus had seen him land in the field. Walter explained that he had been looking for Angus, but he had gotten lost. Angus decided that, if Walter could fly around looking for him and not give up or become afraid, he didn’t have to be afraid about being at the vet for a checkup. He knew Walter would be right there with him.

Mini Horse and Friend

Walter flapped up onto Angus’s back, and Angus trotted back to the clinic, where Angus’s owner and the vets had been waiting for them. They were all extremely glad that they had both returned. Walter stood by Angus the entire time he received his checkup. Angus was very healthy. He did have to receive a few shots, but Walter assured him they weren’t that bad. When Angus’s checkup was over, Angus had to say goodbye to Walter. Walter hoped that he would see Angus again soon, but only for a checkup.


Lee’s Addition:

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NASB)

We met Walter in Walter the Directionally Challenged Goose.  Walter seems to have found his permanent home and a mission to be a encourager. I love Emma’s stories, but it becomes challenging to illustrate these adventures. So forgive the different types of geese and horses.

What I did find is a very interesting story about a real horse and goose. This is not to take away from Emma’s Story, but to show that it could be more true than she thought.

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)

See All of Emma’s Stories

Backyard Birding – Maybe Part III

Gator and Sandhill Cranes 05-20-20 by Lee

Gator and Sandhill Cranes 05-20-20 by Lee

“Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.” (Proverbs 4:26 NKJV)

In Backyard Birding – Maybe Part I and Part II, I referred to our gator that hangs out at the edge of our backyard. Here is the video I promised.

The two Sandhills had been on our back lanai and we had shooed them off. They went down to the water at the end of our yard and started teasing the gator. They jumped up a few times and just looked at him. Then they flew across to the other bank, and that is where I captured this on video.

[I thought I knew how to kill parts of the sound, but it killed it all. So I left the sound on. We were eating our breakfast when all of this was occurring. I was sitting in my chair filming this.]

From the following articles, it is obvious that Sandhill Cranes are quite common here in central Florida. They are fun to watch, except when the peck on the back sliding door.

Sandhill Cranes ousidet window Coventry by Lee

Sandhill Cranes ousidet window Coventry by Lee

“Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 8:7 KJV)

“Sandhill Cranes mate for life, choosing their partners based on dancing displays. Displaying birds stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air.” [All About Birds – Sand Hill Cranes]

More about Cranes:

Backyard Birdwatching – Maybe Part II

Old Bench for Backyard Birdwatching

Old Bench for Backyard Birdwatching

Our gator adventure has been keeping me from using my bench, but we still have lots of birds to watch. Just from a safer distance. In Backyard Birdwatching – Maybe, I explained why I haven’t used my bench too much yet. The talk of the neighborhood, “our own gator,” brings visitors to the water. As I mentioned before, we don’t get to see it most of the time because of the embankment.

When he [or she] moves more to the middle of the water, then we get to see it. When we came home from church, Sunday (5-17), there he was. We both grabbed our cameras, which we now keep at the table by the door. Here is what I saw:

Dan taking a photo of the gator and me taking of photo of him.

Dan taking a photo of the gator and me taking of photo of him.

Then I zoomed in on what he was taking a photo of:

What Dan Was Photographying by Lee 5-17-20

What Dan Was Photographying by Lee 5-17-20

We still have that Variant House Finch stopping by. He feeds at the feeder up by the door. Much safer there. The sun was shining brightly, and it made him almost glow. Here a few I took a few days ago:

Variant House Finch 5-14-20

Variant House Finch 5-14-20

Variant House Finch 5-14-20

Variant House Finch 5-14-20

Also recently, the three species I mentioned in the first post, we spotted though the door on May 16th. Here are a few more closeups:

Great Blue Heron close up

Great Blue Heron close up

“And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.” (Leviticus 11:19 KJV) – Don’t Eat List

Great Blue Heron with neck bent in S

Great Blue Heron with neck bent in S – Sandhill Crane in foreground

Great Egret 5-16-20

Great Egret 5-16-20

I know these are not the greatest photos, but I sure do enjoy seeing so many interesting birds to watch, and even the alligator. Stay tuned for a video I shot this morning.

Backyard Birdwatching – Maybe

Birds of the Bible – Herons

Birds of the Bible – Cranes

Wordless Birds

 

Backyard Birdwatching – Maybe

Old Bench for Backyard Birdwatching

Old Bench for Backyard Birdwatching

Recently, we laid a few blocks down in the backyard so that I [we] could use our old bench. My goal was to be able to watch some of the numerous birds that stop or fly by. Needless to say, the bench needs a little TLC [tender love and care] This was taken May 14th.

I grabbed my camera and took a few photos, thinking I’d start a new series called: Backyard Birdwatching. Real original, right?

Great White Egret - First bird spotted from bench 05-14-20

Great White Egret – First bird spotted from bench 05-14-20

Had to wait for him to get in the clear.

Great White Egret finally in the clear 05-14-20

Great White Egret finally in the clear 05-14-20

I took a few photos and then the next day, decided that plan may be put on hold for awhile. Why? Hang on.

On the 16th, I was able to capture three different species through our door. We were having breakfast when they all appeared. A Great Blue Heron and Great Egret by the water’s edge and the two pesky Sandhill Cranes.

Three species from our door 05-16-20

Three species from our door 05-16-20

Why was I shooting through the door instead of from my bench? Well, this dude showed up the 15th.

Alligator Taken from my neighbor's yard. 05-16-20

Alligator Taken from my neighbor’s yard. 05-16-20

This Alligator is at the end of our yard. Because of the incline by the bank, we don’t get to see him often. So, I went to my neighbor’s yard and took this. She was with me, so if I had to waddle away fast, she could help me. Our neighbor, from across the water, told us that he comes and has layed on our bank at about 6 or 7 every morning for that last few days. Yikes!!

Needless to say, I have not been using my bench, yet!!

“Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.” (Genesis 6:20 NKJV)

We know that at least two of each kind of birds and creeping things were kept alive in the ark. I wonder if the alligators were on board, or swimming? Never thought about that before. Have you?

More later. We had a great view of this gator and the two Sandhill cranes today. Stay turned!

Ian’s Bird of the Moment – Island Thrush

When preparing editions of the Irregular Bird, I enjoy researching the natural history of the species in question. However, as anyone who goes on such a quest on the internet would know, this often proves to be a bit of a rabbit hole leading in unpredictable directions and taking up lots of time.

island_thrush_39679_pp.jpg
Such was the case this time round as I had decided, given our current travel-free situation, to take us on a trip to Christmas Island with photos of about ten of the most interesting species. This led me down endless rabbit holes and the weeks ticked by. One of these that I found particularly interesting, biogeographically and taxonomically, was the Island Thrush and, unlike most of the others, it hasn’t featured previously as an Irregular Bird, or Bird of the Week as it was in 2006.
island_thrush_39685_pp.jpg
This rather smart thrush is one of the typical thrushes comprising the genus Turdus, the members of which are widespread throughout Eurasia, Africa and the Americas and includes such well-known species as the Common Blackbird, the Song and Mistle Thrushes of Eurasia and the American Robin. The Island Thrush is about the same size as the Common Blackbird, to which it is closely related and is also a fine songster with a similar flutey song (listen to it here https://www.xeno-canto.org/204160).
island_thrush_39675_pp.jpg
This particular subspecies erythropleurus (meaning red-sided, or literally red-ribbed) is endemic to Christmas Island and was originally described as a full species Turdus erythropleurus by Sharpe in 1887. Subsequently it was found to be a race of the Island Thrush which is widespread but local through Southeast Asia from Sumatra and the Philippines and tropical Australasia and Oceania as far east as Samoa. Christmas Island is indicated by the brown arrow on the map below.
Island_thrush_distribution.jpg
The first race of the species was described by Latham in 1801. He called it the Grey-headed Blackbird, Turdus poliocephalus (polios is Greek for grey). It occurred only on Norfolk Island (horizontal black arrow on the map) and is now extinct, while another ‘species’ the Vinous-tinted Blackbird Turdus vinitinctus, also now extinct, was described on Lord Howe Island (vertical black arrow). The Christmas Island race is the sole surviving one on Australia territory.
mathews_1928_p27.jpg
You may be struck by the different plumages of the various races, so it isn’t surprising that they were originally treated as different species. The colour plate above was created by the Danish artist Henrik Gronvold, and published in this book, below, an appendix to the Birds of Australia, by Gregory Mathews in 1928. 
mathews_1928.jpg
In fact, all the various populations of the Island Thrush differ greatly from each other in appearance. Below, stolen from Guy Dutson’s Birds of Melanesia, are two other races, one completely black (efatensis on Efate, an island of Vanuatu) and the other with a white head (albifrons on Erromango, another island of Vanuatu). In some race, the sexes are similar, in others they are different and the plumages of the juveniles are quite variable too. In fact the Island Thrush’s main claim to fame is that it is globally the most variable species of bird with nearly 50 subspecies. DNA studies show that the subspecies  appear to be all closely related with one exception: the northernmost one on Taiwan, niveiceps, is considered a candidate for elevation to species rank.
birds_of_melanesia_dutson_7653.jpg
The variability and wide range of the Island Thrush is paradoxical from the point of view of biogeography. On the one hand, varability and divergent subspecies indicates isolation with a lack of genetic flow among populations, i.e. the birds don’t move between islands. On the other hand, the wide range suggests that the Island Thrush is or was very good at getting from one place to another. This apparent contradiction is another mystery waiting to be solved.
turdus_poliocephalus_vinitinctus.jpg
John Gould also illustrated the Vinous-tinted Blackbird on Lord Howe. Like the Grey-headed nominate race of Norfolk Island, the sexes were similar so the browner bird in the plate presumably represents a juvenile. In the background are the two high mountains on Lord Howe, Mount LIdgbird (left) and the flat-topped Mount Gower. This species was quite common until a shipwreck introduced rats to the island in 1918 with fatal consequences for this ground-nesting bird.
mt_lidgbird_mt_gower_lord_howe_3184_900-ps.jpg
Here are the two mountains on Lord Howe in 2013, photographed from the other side of the island from the John Gould illustration. So, we did sort of do a trip even if we ended up on Lord Howe instead of Christmas Island. I will prepare the rest of the photos for a trip to Christmas Island and try not to get too diverted by avian rabbit holes.
 
Spending a lot of time in isolation has given me the opportunity to work on the website not only adding birds and mammals from the trip to Brazil and Chile last year (about 120 species at last count), but also digging up neglected photos of other wildlife from earlier trips. If you are interested in checking these out, you can do so via the thumbnails on the Recently Added Photos page: http://www.birdway.com.au/recent_additions.php.
 
Greetings and stay safe,
Ian

Ian Montgomery,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: 0411 602 737 +61-411 602 737
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au

Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au

 

Lee’s Addition:

I am always grateful when I get the surprise Birds of the “Moment” from Ian. When he used to do the Bird of the Week, they were very regular. Now, I love being surprised by Ian. [He is becoming almost as “off-schedule” as I am.] At any rate, what a beautiful and neat looking Thrush. Thanks, Ian for sharing another avian wonder with us.

“Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 8:7 NASB)

Birds of the Bible – Thrushes

Ian’s Birds of the Week/Moment

Clyde and Benny by Emma Foster

Clyde and Benny by Emma Foster

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) by Kent Nickell

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) by Kent Nickell

Clyde was an old crow who lived in a tall pine tree in the darkest part of the woods. Because preferred to spend time away from all the other birds and forest animals, he didn’t have any friends. Many of the other birds avoided him because they were afraid of him.

But one day Clyde returned with a large worm in his mouth to his nest to find something in his nest. That something was a little white egg. Clyde had no idea where the egg had come from or how it had gotten there, but he knew he did not want the egg in his nest. While he was thinking about what to do with it, the egg started shaking. A few moments later, a tiny robin chick popped out, peeping loudly.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) Hatching ©WikiC

Now Clyde really didn’t know what to do. He wanted to be left alone, but the tiny robin flopped out of the egg and stared at him, thinking that Clyde was his mother. Clyde thought for a long time, thinking that he should find another nest somewhere else, but the chick looked too helpless for him to leave. Instead, he reluctantly gave the chick the worm he found and went to look for its mother.

Clyde searched all through the forest, but he couldn’t find any other family of robins. Many of the birds were surprised at seeing Clyde, and most of them hid in the trees to keep away from him. Clyde returned to his nest, back to the chick, and he decided that he would have to keep him. Eventually Clyde decided to call him Benny.

Even though Clyde gave Benny his name, he still did not want Benny around. Clyde begrudgingly found extra worms for Benny and himself. However, once Benny was old enough to fly out of the nest, Clyde showed him how to find the worms for himself so he wouldn’t bother him so much.

Crow Getting Worm ©PxHere

Crow Getting Worm ©PxHere

Unfortunately, teaching Benny how to fly took what felt like hours to Clyde. Benny was a very clumsy little robin. The first time, Benny fluttered out of the nest, dropped, and flopped onto the branch below them. Clyde had to set Benny on his back, take him back up to the nest, then start all over again. Finally, Benny was able to fly a few feet to the next branch, which was a great relief to Clyde.

Once Benny, learned how to fly, however, Benny would not leave Clyde alone. He followed Clyde wherever he went, even after Clyde showed Benny where to actually find food. Whenever Clyde passed other birds or animals, they wondered who the tiny robin was because they had no idea where he came from.

Clyde became so tired of Benny following him around that one day, he took Benny to an unfamiliar part of the forest. Now that he thought Benny could take care of himself, he figured he could lose Benny somewhere in the woods. When they reached a small river, Clyde waited for Benny to start searching for food like he had been told. Once Benny was distracted, Clyde flew off, not looking back until he was far away from the river.

Clyde returned to his nest, but he realized it felt empty and quiet. It was just like before Benny arrived, when all the other birds were afraid of him and he had no one to talk to. Clyde started to feel very lonely, and he realized he shouldn’t have left Benny all by himself. Clyde immediately wanted to fly back to the river.

As Clyde made his way back, he realized he had taken a wrong turn. All of the trees looked unfamiliar. Clyde sat down on a branch and thought for a long time on where to go. He worried abut Benny, since he was lost as well. He cawed for Benny for a long time, but he never received an answer. Finally, Clyde heard a rustling of branches a little way off.

Crow in Nest ©NeedPix

Clyde the Crow in Nest ©NeedPix

When Clyde rounded the corner he saw something flapping from branch to branch, shaking the leaves. Clyde realized that the bird was Benny, and that he couldn’t fly well because he had found the largest worm Clyde had ever seen.

American Robin on Nest ©Alarmy

Benny the American Robin inn Nest ©Alarmy

Clyde returned to Benny, who dropped the worm, surprised that Clyde was so frantic. Benny hadn’t even known that Clyde had gone, but Clyde still apologized. He helped Benny take the worm back to the nest. Every day after that, Clyde and Benny spent all their time together. Even after Benny grew up. Benny placed his nest directly in the tree beside Clyde’s.


“Here’s my concern: that you care for God’s flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously.” (1 Peter 5:2 MSG)

Lee’s Addition:

Emma sent this delightful story to me recently. I trust you will enjoy it as much as I have putting the photos in. She, like many students, college or younger, has been finishing her classes at home.

The verse above has to do with pastors, but the principles apply to this story. Not so sure Clyde was so willing at first, but he came around. Thanks again,Emma, for another tale for us.

See All Of Emma’s Stories Here

 

Laughing Is Good For The Soul

Kookaburra Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Laughing Kookaburra Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

A friend sent me a message with a Kookaburra video. and was wondering if this is a Kookaburra. In response, I reminded her of these previous articles here. We all need to laugh and let off some of our pent up boredom, fustration, idleness, loneliness, or just Need A Good Laugh for our soul’s Well-being.

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. (Proverbs 15:13 KJV)

Meet Merlin, from the Orlando Sea World:

Here are some of the articles from the past with these good-natured birds:

Kookaburra – Chattery Birds With A Merry Heart – 2010

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Laughing Kookaburra -2011

Kookaburra Encounter – 2014

Tickle Me Tuesday Revived – Laughing Kookaburras – 2019

Kingfishers And Kookaburras – From Creation Moments – 2020

Kookaburra at Brevard Zoo by Dan

Laughing Kookabura Brevard Zoo

Laughing Kookabura Brevard Zoo

Lee and Kookaburra at Brevard Zoo by Dan

Have a great day, and may you keep a smile on your face and in your heart.

 

Interesting Visitor To Our Feeder

House Finch on Feeder by Lee

House Finch on Feeder by Lee

Do you know what a House Finch looks like? We have been fortunate to have several families of these Finches visit our bird feeders lately. It is always enjoyable to have these little birds come by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. In fact, these little flying avian wonders come by for snacks also. In other words, keep your eye on the feeders.

You can check out the Identification of House Finches as All About Birds – House Finch ID

When a Finch with a different color lands on your feeder, you get excited and question yourself, “What is this?” This happened lately, and out came the bird guides and a search of the internet bird sites, like All About Birds and others.

This eye opener landed on our feeder last week:

Varient House Finch on Feeder by Lee

Variant House Finch on Feeder by Lee

Varient House Finch on Feeder by Lee

Variant House Finch on Feeder by Lee

“He gives to the beast its food, And to the young ravens [or Finches] that cry.” (Psalms 147:9 NKJV)

Varient House Finch on Feeder by Lee

Variant House Finch on Feeder by Lee

What happened to this fellow? Apparently, diet or what the bird eats, affects its color. “Male House Finches are generally red, but under certain certain circumstances they may be orange or yellow instead. Different subspecies may show color variations, but differences in color are also attributed to diet.” From this article, I Saw A House Finch That Was Orange Or Yellow Instead Of Red.

“Who provides food for the raven [or Finch], When its young ones cry to God, And wander about for lack of food?” (Job 38:41 NKJV)

Keep your eyes open while bird watching. You never know what might show up! Stay Tuned!

Who Paints The Leaves?

 

Chicken, Magpie, and Easter Greetings

*

“Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” For centuries, Christians have used this greeting to celebrate Resurrection Day, better known as Easter.1 Ironically, there are two birds that can remind us of the historicity and importance of Christ’s rising from the dead, three days after His death and burial.

CHICKENS

Amazingly, the Lord Jesus once compared His own willingness and ability to care and protect humans to that of a chicken—specifically, a mother hen—who uses her own body to protectively care for her own hatchling baby chicks.2 How good it is to belong to the Lord Jesus Christ forever! When He offers to take us in and protect us, we should be eager and grateful to accept His care and security.

But we more closely associate a male chicken (rooster) with the arrest, trials, torture, and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

Readers might have already guessed that male chickens are associated with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection because of the rooster who crowed after Peter ignominiously denied the Lord Jesus, thrice, in fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy.3 In fact, this incident is so important that it is reported by all four gospel writers.3

For example, Mark reports this disappointing failure of Peter, involving the tattletale fowl, a sad chapter in the life of the usually bold apostle: Peter’s triple failure to stand up for Christ, as predicted by Christ Himself. This display of Peter’s imperfect courage and loyalty (even though his inward belief never failed) is linked to the twice-crowing of a rooster.

A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.4

What a sad note to end with! Except, as proven three days later, that wasn’t really the end.5

MAGPIES

Most people are unlikely to guess that magpies—such as the Australian magpie (Cracticus tibicen6)—can be associated with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. How so?

The most famous variety of this “butcherbird,” formerly called the “piping shrike” or “white-backed crow shrike,” is now called the white-backed magpie (Cracticus tibicen telonocua). But many call it the Australian magpie because it appears on the official state flag of South Australia.

Whatever you want to call it, it is famous for its flute-like call, entertaining with a complex repertoire of vocalizations. The black-and-white opportunist has habituated to human-dominated habitats, such as the agricultural fields of farms, gardens, and even wooded parklands.6

The Australian magpie is not timid. It will defend its territory against raptors trespassing therein, such as brown goshawks. The Australian magpie is not a picky eater. Its diet includes both plants and animals. Its preferred diet, however, is dominated by a variety of larval and adult invertebrates, such as insects (like ants, moths, beetles, bees, wasps, cockroaches) and arachnids (like spiders and stinger-wielding scorpions!), as well as earthworms and millipedes. The Australian magpie is also known to eat some small vertebrates, such as mice, skinks, frogs, and toads.6

Some compare the problem-solving resourcefulness and the brash cockiness of this bird to the national reputation displayed by many Aussie ex-patriots.

The Australian magpie is quite a clever problem-solver. It has been observed breaking off the stingers of bees and wasps before swallowing such dangerous bugs!7

By now you’ve likely guessed why this bird reminds us of Resurrection Day—the Australian magpie’s power to neutralize a dangerous stinger.

But insect or arachnid stingers are nothing compared to the powerful sting of death. Yet, Christ’s bodily resurrection on the third day defeated death’s “stinger.”

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.8

Hallelujah! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

References
1. Morris, H. M. 2006. Christ Is RisenDays of Praise. Posted on ICR.org April 16, 2006, accessed April 7, 2020.
2. Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34. Cansdale, G. S. 1976. All the Animals of the Bible Lands. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 163-165.
3. Matthew 26:34, 26:74-75; Mark 14:30, 14:68-72; Luke 22:34, 22:60-61; John 13:38, 18:27.
4. Mark 14:72.
5. Matthew 12:39-40; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4Romans 10:9Psalm 16:9-10.
6. Taxonomists have also labeled the Australian Magpie as the Australian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen (meaning “trumpeting bare-nose”). Regarding the physical and behavioral traits of the Australian Magpie, see Veltman, C. J., and R. E. Hickson. 1989. Predation by Australian Magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) on Pasture Invertebrates: Are Non-territorial Birds Less Successful? Australian Journal of Ecology. 14(3): 319-326; Cake, M., A. Black, L. Joseph. 2018. The Generic Taxonomy of the Australian Magpie and Australo-Papuan Butcherbirds Is Not All Black and White. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club. 138(4): 346-359; Brown, E. D., and C. J. Veltman. 1987. Ethnogram of the Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) in Comparison to Other Cracticidae and Corvus Species. Ethology (International Journal of Behavioural Biology). 76(4): 309-333. This author also appreciatively thanks Fiona Smith, M.C.Ed.—ICR SOBA graduate and Australian creation science educator/author—for her help with research and perspectives on Australian magpies.
7. Dr. Amy L. Adams notes: “Magpies will walk along the ground searching for food by overturning debris or probing their bills into the dirt. They eat insects, larvae and other invertebrates. Magpies are known to remove the stingers of wasps and bees before eating them.” Adams, A. 2016. Gymnorhina tibicen Australian MagpieMuseums Victoria Collections. Posted on collections.museumvictoria.com, accessed April 7, 2020.
8. 1 Corinthians 15:53-57, quoting Messianic prophecy in Hosea 13:14.

*Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.


James J. S. Johnson Articles Here

Article at I.C.R. https://www.icr.org/article/chicken-magpie-and-easter-greetings/

Today’s Visitor To The Feeder – House Finch

Male House Finch 3-28-20 by Lee

Well, as we all stay home and keep our distances, what is there to do? Like many of you, it seems that the chores around the house seem to take up more time. Cooking, especially seems more time consuming. An occasional meal out, saves time, but, that isn’t happening. At least around here.

We have pretty well stayed close to home. Drive through McDonald’s was a treat.

Thankfully, the birds have not changed their behavior and keep stopping by for free handouts. Today’s visitors were a pair of House Finches. They just started stopping by recently.

Female House Finch 3-28-20 by Lee

“You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth.” (Genesis 7:2-3 NKJV)

I also had a “baby dinosaur” stop by. Actually, it is some sort of chameleon or lizard. I have no idea.

Baby Dinosaur - Chamilian or Lizard by Lee 3-28-20

Baby Dinosaur – Chameleon or Lizard by Lee 3-28-20

Baby Dinosaur - Chamilian or Lizard by Lee 3-28-20

Baby Dinosaur – Chameleon or Lizard by Lee 3-28-20

There have be a few other stopping by and giving us something to do. Stay Tuned!

 

Ian’s Bird of the Whatever – Bare-faced Curassow

The Irregular Bird, formerly Bird of the Moment, formerly Bird of the Week, #600: Bare-faced Curassow
[This is how Ian titled his email. He is celebrating his 600 article. That is quite a milestone. Congratulations, Ian, Keep them coming. They are always so interesting.]
Bird number 600 after 18 years is a bit of a landmark, so here is something suitably celebratory: the best dressed award for the South American trip: the Bare-faced Curassow. They also win the worst named award as I have to think every time I write it so I don’t say ‘assed’ but that’s probably a reflection on me, not the species.
The most beautiful bird award went to the Hyacinth Macaw#592; the most interesting went to the Sunbittern#591; the most spectacular went to the Andean Condor#593; the most beautiful mammal award went predictably to the Jaguar which also featured briefly in #592; the most unusual mammal to the Armadillo;  the least elegant went to the Collared Peccary; the most amusing and ugliest went to the Capybara, and the most delightful to the Giant Otter; the most beautiful lizard went to the Green Iguana; and the most beautiful snake went to the Yellow Anaconda.
If you can think of any categories I’ve left out let me know and I’ll see what I can do in the next Irregular Bird. A former colleague of mine, the world expert on the different pelagic behaviour of right- and left-footed thongs/jandals/flipflops recently called it Bird of the Undefined Time, which I like very much and set me thinking, but I’m going to settle on The Irregular Bird.
bare_faced_curassow_203516_pp.jpg
The Curassows also won the best hairstyle award so I’ll deal with that first. The male’s is all black, quite original in a dapper and restrained sort of way, very suitable for evening dress/tuxedo. The female couldn’t resist a two-tone look, also restrained and very dignified. I think the black curly tip on a white base is gorgeous and the little black fringe/bang is the perfect finishing touch. Both have the suitably haughty look of famous models and you might be surprised to find that this male is married to this female: it could be an interesting household with two prima donnas, even before any kids come along.
bare_faced_curassow_203186_pp.jpg
Here’s the male in his dinner jacket/tuxedo on the way to the Rio Claro masked ball. He’s wearing a special yellow face mask which doesn’t cover his eyes. It’s partially for epidemiological reasons but fame is important to him and he wants everyone to recognised him and know that he too was invited to this special event. Very suave and practising his red carpet walk, but he doesn’t really need to as he naturally has the sort of elegant, pouty walk that is widely admired by on the cat-walk.
bare_faced_curassow_202985_pp.jpg
The female is wearing a tan-coloured silk ball gown with a brownish black cape and train. Both of these are hand embroidered with stripes consisting of thousands of large pearls and diamonds. Consequently they’re rather heavy and she hopes she doesn’t trip or fall on the way and is secretly looking forward to discarding them with a flourish in front of the cameras of the paparazzi. She’s walking past the resort swimming pool on the way to the ballroom. Those of you familiar with Australian flora will recognised the trunk of the tree and the leaves on the ground as belonging to a rare species of Eucaplyptus specially imported at great expense from a boutique nursery in Humpty Doo, 40km from Darwin in the Northern Territory, a small town better known by ordinary folk for its barramundi (an over-rated freshwater fish with a wonderful name). The climate there is similar to that in the Pantanal, hot and dry for much of the year with a very wet wet season.
bare_faced_curassow_203196_pp.jpg
Masked balls can lead to unexpected results and this mother Curassow is paying the price. She sadly remembers the party times well, don’t we all, but is quite fond of her two chicks. She’s pleased to have both a daughter (centre foreground) and a son, trying to hide under mother’s skirts in the background on the left. He is already sporting a yellow face mask like his dad, is developing a precocious crest and wearing a black waistcoat, unbuttoned to show off his tan. Curassows are vegans naturally, and these ones are looking for the seeds of some super-food they’ve been told about. They also visit salt-licks as they believe that it’s makes their plumage very lustrous. It also leads to high blood pressure but they are young and don’t worry about such matters.
bare_faced_curassow_202135_pp.jpg
Bare-faced Curassows range through central Brazil, eastern Bolivia, most of Paraguay and northern Argentina. Like the rest of us they are regarded as Vulnerable, suffering from hunting by left-wing elements, and are extinct in Rio de Janeiro as they found the Carnival much too vulgar and moved to the provinces particularly the Pantanal in Mato Grosso, a well-known retreat for the rich and famous.
Like all news now whether official or on social media, subject this article to the scrutiny of your b*llsh*t meter.
Stay safe, practise acceptance (very difficult I know) and keep cheerful,
Ian
PS Here is the only prize winner that hasn’t yet made it to the website. I must rectify that today. They’re king of the Iguanas, very large to 2 metres long, perfect for social distancing, with a noble heritage having been described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758 during the reign of Louis XV and when the United States were still British colonies. Like Louis XIV and Bare-faced Curassows, they’re into extravagant balls. This one is lounging on a freshwater beach on a sunny day near the fashionable resort of Porto Jofre in the Southern Pantanal, improving its green tan.
green_iguana_205307-pp.jpg


Ian Montgomery,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: 0411 602 737 +61-411 602 737
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au

Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au

Lee’s Addition:

See my comments above, plus we have posted quite a few of those 600 articles here. Ian gave me permission years ago to use these newsletters. Thank, Ian. And for the great photos of birds you have shared with us.
“Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 8:17 NKJV)
“I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.” (Psalms 50:11 NKJV)

Ian’s Bird of the Week, Moment, Whenever

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