Artistic Birds – Galliformes Order I

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) WikiC

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) WikiC

As mentioned, these “Artistic Birds” will be presented in “sort of” the Taxonomic Order. The first few orders do not have any particularly “artistic” birds. They were mostly created to blend in with their environment. Most likely for protection. These first Orders are:

But when we arrive at the Galliformes Order, the Creator’s Artistically Colorful Hand appears on many of these birds. There are five families in this Order.

[Clicking on these links have many photos of those in the families. Scientific and English links are identical.]

Megapodiidae ~~~ (English) – Megapodes – Not very colorful
(Scientific) –Cracidae ~~~ (English) – Chachalacas, Curassows & Guans – This group has fancy “hairdos” and throat pouches

Bare-faced Curassow (Crax fasciolata) Female ©WikiC

Bare-faced Curassow (Crax fasciolata) ©BirdPhotos

Bare-faced Curassow (Crax fasciolata) ©BirdPhotos

(Scientific) – Numididae ~~~ (English) – Guineafowl – Crested Guineafowl is the only one of note.

Crested Guineafowl (Guttera pucherani) ©WikiC

(Scientific) – Odontophoridae ~~~ (English) – New World Quail – Quails have artistic markings that help them blend in for protection. My favorite that shows an Artistic design is the Gambel’s Quail with this “painted” lines and that fancy feather.

Gambel's Quail (Callipepla gambelii) ©WikiC

Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii) ©WikiC

(Scientific) – Phasianidae ~~~ (English) – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies – This family is loaded with Artistic Birds, so, today here is just one of the beauties. More posts will present more of the Lord’s Hand at work in the design of these birds. What a Creator!

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) Male ©© NotMicroButSoft

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) Male ©© NotMicroButSoft

It is native to forests in mountainous areas of western China, but feral populations have been established in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, the Falkland Islands, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.[3] In England they may be found in East Anglia in the dense forest landscape of the Breckland as well as Tresco on the Isles of Scilly.

Golden Pheasant Magnolia Plantation by Lee Charleston 2014

The adult male is 90–105 cm (35–41 in) in length, its tail accounting for two-thirds of the total length. It is unmistakable with its golden crest and rump and bright red body. The deep orange “cape” can be spread in display, appearing as an alternating black and orange fan that covers all of the face except its bright yellow eye with a pinpoint black pupil.

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) ©WikiC

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) ©WikiC

to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of artistic workmanship.” (Exodus 35:32-33 NKJV) [These were workers that were given special gifts to work on the tabernacle. Wonder if any of them had seen “artistic birds” to help them visualize what their works?]

Click this link to see a full photo of this bird. When it comes up, click it again. Wow!

  Full Length Photo


GALLIFORMES – Fowl, Quail, Guans, Currasows, Megapodes

Artistic Work In Birds – Introduction

Artistic Birds – Frigatebirds

Wordless Birds

How To Learn A Bird’s Name

Topography of a Bird - Bluebird

Topography of a Bird – Bluebird – Color Key to NA Birds, 1912

INTRODUCTION

HOW TO LEARN A BIRD’S NAME

Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)

“How can I learn to know the birds?” is the first question of the seeker after bird-lore. The scientist’s reply, “By shooting them and studying their structure and markings in detail,” may do for the few who, like himself, desire to know the birds scientifically; but it is emphatically not the answer to give the ninety and nine who, while they desire to secure an intimate, accurate knowledge of birds, will not gain it at the sacrifice of bird-life.

In the present volume, therefore, an attempt has been made so to group, figure, and describe our birds that any species may be named which has been definitely seen. The birds are kept in their systematic Orders, a natural arrangement, readily comprehended, but, further than this, accepted classifications have been abandoned and the birds have been grouped according to color and markings.

A key to the Orders gives the more prominent characters on which they are based; telling for example, the external differences between a Duck and a Grebe. In comparatively few instances, however, will the beginner have much difficulty in deciding to what Order a bird belongs. Probably eight times, out of ten the unknown bird will belong to the Order Passeres, or Perching Birds, when one has only to select the color section in which it should be placed, choose from among the colored figures the bird whose identity is sought, and verify one’s selection by reading the description of the bird’s characteristics and the outline of its range.

In the case of closely related species, and particularly subspecies, the subjects of range and season are of the utmost importance. Most subspecies resemble their nearest allies too closely to be identified in life by color alone, and in such cases a bird’s name is to be learned by its color in connection with its distribution and the season in which it is seen.

During the breeding period, unless one chance to be in a region where two races intergrade, subspecific names may be applied to the bird in nature with some certainty, for it is a law that only one subspecies of a species can nest in the same area; but during migrations and in the winter, when several subspecies of one species may be found associated, it is frequently impossible to name them with accuracy.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

For example, during the summer one need have no hesitancy in calling the Robins of the lowlands of South Carolina the Southern Robin (Turdus migratorius achrusterus) but later, when the Northern Robins (Turdus migratorius migratorius) begin to appear, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish them in life from the resident birds.

If it were possible to impress the student, who proposes to name the bird in the bush, with the absolute necessity for careful, definite observation he would be saved many disappointing and discouraging experiences.

It is not possible to examine your bird too thoroughly. Never be satisfied with a superficial view and a general impression. Look at your bird, if you can, from several points of view; study its appearance in detail, its size, bill, crown, back, tail, wings, throat, breast, etc., and AT ONCE enter what you see in a note-book kept for that purpose. In this way, and this way alone, can you expect to compete with those who use the gun.

It does not follow, however, that because one does not collect specimens of birds one cannot study them scientifically. While the student may not be interested in the classification of birds purely from the standpoint of the systematist, he is strongly urged to acquaint himself with at least the arrangement of the Orders and Families of our birds and their leading structural characters.

To the student who desires to prepare himself for his work afield such a study may well come before he attempts to name the birds. But where the chief end in view is to learn a bird’s name, the more technical side of the subject may be deferred. In any event, it should not be neglected. This orderly arrangement of knowledge will not only be practical benefit in one’s future labors but it will bring with it that sense of satisfaction which accompanies the assurance that we know what we know.

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton

As one learns to recognize bird after bird it is an admirable plan to classify systematically one’s list of bird acquaintances under their proper Orders and Families. These may be learned at once from the systematic table at the end of the book, where the numbers which precede each species are arranged serially, and hence systematically.

In some instances, as an aid to identification in the field, descriptions of birds’ notes have been included. It is not supposed that these descriptions will convey an adequate idea of a bird’s song to a person who has never heard it, but it is hoped that they may occasionally lead to the recognition of calls or songs when they are heard.

An adequate method of transcribing bird’s notes has as yet to be devised and the author realizes only too well how unsatisfactory the data here presented will appear to the student. It is hoped, however, that they may sometimes prove of assistance in naming birds in life.

As has been said before, the aim of this volume is to help students to learn the names of our birds in their haunts. But we should be doing scant justice to the possibilities of bird study if, even by silence, we should imply that they ended with the learning to know the bird. This is only the beginning of the quest which may bring us into close intimacy with the secrets of nature. The birds’ haunts and food, their seasons and times of coming and going; their songs and habits during courtship, their nest-building, egg-laying, incubating and care of their young, these and a hundred other subjects connected with their lives may claim our attention and by increasing our knowledge of bird-life, add to our love of birds.

***

The above is from the Color Key To North American Birds, 1912. Some of that information is going to be incorporated into various articles, especially the Birdwatching and Birds of the World sections.

*

Eye of the Beholder – Bird Names

Mom and Baby at Lake Hollingsworth

Mom and Baby at Lake Hollingsworth

Last week, Dan and I went to Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland, our favorite place to go birding when we don’t have a lot of time, my legs aren’t working well, or Dan has a new, used camera to check out. That was the case, I was just checking out the normal birds for this time of the year and photographed this female mallard and her chick. In other words, there aren’t many. Most of them have gone back north to do what God commanded them to do when they came off the ark.

Then God spoke to Noah, saying, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 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.” So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark. (Genesis 8:15-19 NKJV)

So, the birds have been reproducing and reproducing and reproducing. I have been working on a project for this blog behind the scenes and it has to do with the bird families of the world. The numbers keep changing, but the count is over 10,000 species (living) worldwide. All the Birding committees work hard on putting them into Order, Families, Genus, and then giving them a  Scientific name and an English name. As I have been working on this project, I couldn’t help but think about how well the birds have obeyed.

What amazes me, is how they (Birding committees) decide how to classify them. I have a hard enough time, getting some birds just into the right family, let alone figuring them all out. Warblers being the hardest for me. Here is my idea of this whole process, from a human classification.

Smith Family:
Dad – Black hair, blue eyes, normal ears, round eyes
Mom – blond hair, green eyes, normal ears, slant eyes
Child #1 – Black hair, green eyes, ears stick out, round eyes
Child #2 – Blond hair, blue eyes, long ear lobes, slant eyes
Child #3 – Brown hair, blue eyes, normal ears, beady eyes
Child #4 – Red hair, black eyes, pointed ears, bushy eyebrows
The children grow up and each find a mate with similar characteristics, they move away and continue to have children with their same characteristics and some more variations show up. Etc, etc.

Now along come the classifying committees! Can you imagine how they would try to classify the human race?
I’ll leave that to your imagination.

To get a glimpse of my project, click List of ORDERS of the Birds in Taxonomic Order Just realize, this is a work in progress.