The Owl – McGuffey’s 2nd Grade Reader

Western Screech Owl (Megascops kennicottii)(captive) by Raymond Barlow

Western Screech Owl (Megascops kennicottii)(captive) by Raymond Barlow

McGuffey Readers were a series of graded primers for grade levels 1-6. They were widely used as textbooks in American schools from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, and are still used today in some private schools and in homeschooling.


oak dusk fight squeak ruf’fled

bag Fred whoo a wake’ creep’ing


1. “Where did you get that owl, Harry?”

2. “Fred and I found him in the old, hollow oak.”

3. “How did you know he was there?”

4. “I’ll tell you. Fred and I were playing ‘hide and seek’ round the old barn, one night just at dusk.

5. “I was just creeping round the corner, when I heard a loud squeak, and a big bird flew up with something in his claws.

6. “I called Fred, and we watched him as he flew to the woods. Fred thought the bird was an owl, and that he had a nest in the old oak.

Barn Owls (Family Tytonidae) with catch ©Pixelbirds

7. “The next day we went to look for him, and, sure enough, he was there.”

8. “But how did you catch him? I should think he could fight like a good fellow with that sharp bill.”

9. “He can when he is wide awake; but owls can’t see very well in the daytime, and he was taking a nap.

Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) LPZ by Dan 2014

Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) LPZ by Dan 2014

10. “He opened his great eyes, and ruffled up his feathers, and said, “Whoo! Whoo!’ ‘Never mind who,’ Fred said, and slipped him into a bag.”

Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo) by Nikhil Devasar

Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo) by Nikhil Devasar

May kinds of owls are mentioned in the Bible. Most of them are listed as birds to not eat.

“… the short-eared owl, ;… the little owl, the fisher owl, and the screech owl; the white owl,… (Leviticus 11:16-18 NKJV)

McGuffey’s Reader for 2nd Grade:

ABC’s of the Gospel

More McGuffey’s Second Grade Reader Stories

Owls in Flight: Being Quiet on Purpose

Owls in Flight:  Being Quiet on Purpose

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.   (1st Thessalonians 4:11)

Image result for barn owl flight

Barn Owls, like other owls, are aerial predators who hunt by night — quietly.  This airborne silence arms hunting owls with the element of surprise, as has been proven by acoustical studies documented in a BBC video YouTube recording:

[ “Experiment!  How Does an Owl Fly So Silently?  Super Powered Owls”  BBC ]

One of the stellar creation biologists/ecologists, nowadays, is Dr. David Catchpoole, from down under — with years of service as a scientist for the Queensland (Australia) Department of Primary Industries, specializing in tropical fruit tees (especially mango), as well as years of service teaching tropical horticulture at James Cook University.

Once an atheist evolutionist, Dr. Catchpoole is now (and has been for decades) a Bible-believing creation scientist, quick to glorify God for His magnificent creatures.  In a recent article Dr. Catchpoole described how God has designed and bioengineered owls, because they are nocturnal birds of prey, to fly quietly.

If you watch an owl flapping or gliding, it’s like viewing film footage with the sound on ‘mute’ — they are so silent.  That’s because their wings have velvety surfaces, comb-like serrations at the leading edge, and trailing-edge fringes which dramatically suppress the sound of air rushing over the wings.  Therefore the owl’s prey (mice and voles) can be taken by surprise.  Also, with wing noise suppressed to a level below the owl’s own hearing range, they can better hear (and thus locate) prey while flying — crucial for hunting at night. …

Owl wings have already inspired quieter fan blades in computers.  More recently, [biomimetics technology] researchers using wind tunnel facilities have explored these noise suppression characteristics in more detail, especially the leading-edge [single-barb-tipped] serrations.  The owl wing design also efficiently resolves the trade-off between effective sound suppression [needs for surprising prey] and aerodynamic force production [needed for flying]. In striving to understand how, [biomimetics technology] researchers see an ultimate goal of mimicking those design aspects across many man-made technologies.  For example, so the blades of multi-rotor drones can ‘chop’ the air more quietly, without unduly sacrificing lift; similarly in other aircraft, wind turbines, and fluid machinery in general.

[Quoting David Catchpoole, “As Silent as a Flying Owl”, CREATION, 40(2):56 (April-June 2018).]   Although the night-flying Barn Owl doesn’t put out much sound, it does take sound in, through its sensitive hearing system.  In fact, short feathers (near its ears) are designed into grooves (by each ear) that facilitates efficient reception of airborne sound waves (revealing where its prey is) into the owl’s ears!

These owls hear prey well, but their prey do not hear the owls (usually until it’s too late)!


BARN OWL (Washington Dep’t of Fish & Wildlife)

What can I add to those insights?  Like an owl on the wing, I’ll just be quiet!


Lee’s Two Word Tuesday – 5/10/16


Napping Pallid Scops Owl by Yogesh Bhandarkar From Pinterest

Napping Pallid Scops Owl by Yogesh Bhandarkar From Pinterest



“Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them.  But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. Jonah 1:5

Napping Pallid Scops Owl by Yogesh Bhandarkar From Pinterest


More Daily Devotionals


White-faced Owl – Transformer

Southern White-faced Owl (Ptilopsis granti) ©PD

Southern White-faced Owl (Ptilopsis granti) ©PD

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2 KJV)

Our contributing writer, James J. S. Johnson, sent me a really neat YouTube Video. It is called the Owl Transformer. After you watch this video, I will share the information I found about this cool owl.

There are two White-faced Owls. There is a Southern White-face Owl and a Northern White-faced Owl, but the one in the video is the Northern White-faced Owl. What a fantastic creation from the Creator.

Northern White-faced Owl (Ptilopsis leucotis) ©PD

Northern White-faced Owl (Ptilopsis leucotis) ©PD

These owls, both north and south, are from Africa. This northern one is from a band across Africa between the Sahara and the Equator. The southern owl appears in the southern part of Africa.

It is its “Fight-or-Flight” response that causes this defense mechanism. “When faced with another owl slightly larger than it, the bird flares its wings to appear larger. When faced with something much larger than itself, it pulls its feathers inwards, elongates its body, and narrows its eyes to thin slits. It is thought that it uses this ability to camouflage itself, and it shares the ability with relatives like the African scops owl.

In fact, many different types of owls have some ability to adopt a “concealing posture”, also known by the German word Tarnstellung, in which they squeeze and thin their body to look like a broken tree branch, and some types may also narrow their eyes to slits and fold a wing sideways across their chest in a Dracula-like manner to hide the lighter-colored feathers on their underparts. Such behavior has also been documented in eastern screech owls in a natural setting reacting to threats. (Wikipedia)

The Lord Jesus Christ gives these birds the ability to “transform” for their protection, just as he wants us to “transform” into His Image.

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV)

Here is another video found on YouTube:

Northern white-faced owl – Wikipedia

Southern white-faced owl – Wikipedia

Strigidae – Owls

Sharing The Gospel

Old Mr. Owl Writes A Book

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) by Bob-Nan

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) by Bob-Nan


Daddys Bedtime Story Images

Old Mr. Owl Danced with the Rest

“Old Mr. Owl wanted to write a book and he asked the fairies how to set about doing it,” commenced daddy.

“‘Well,’ said the fairy queen, ‘it makes a good deal of difference, old Mr. Owl, what you want to write about.’

“‘What nonsense!’ he said. ‘It’s just that I want to know how to start off with my book. Just think what a marvelous book it will be—as for as long as folks can remember I’ve been called the Wise Bird—the bird who’s awake at night and whose eyes are so very bright!’

“‘Before I started saying what a fine book it would be, if I were you, I’d write it and give other people the chance to say so,’ said the fairy queen.

“Mr. Owl began to write with his pen, made out of one of Mr. Turkey Gobbler’s best feathers, on a large, flat stone, which he put in the hollow of his tree. Very late in the night, he awakened the fairies who had been sleeping, and told them to listen to his book. Then he called all the owls from the neighborhood with a loud hoot-hoot. But before he began to read, he said:

“‘I’ve not enough light. I will hurt my eyes—my beautiful, wise, big eyes.’

“You see he had made a special arrangement to have his own lights, and when he said that he hadn’t enough, from all over came countless little fireflies. They sparkled and gave the most beautiful light all over the woods, and Mr. Owl put his spectacles on his nose, and said:

“‘Now I see to perfection—which means quite all right.’ And Mr. Owl commenced reading his book.

“It told about the parties, balls, and picnics in fairyland, and of the wild adventures and happenings in the woods. The fairies were absolutely delighted that a book had been written with so much about them in it.

“And the fairy queen was more than happy, for the last chapter was all about her.

“‘Well,’ said Mr. Owl, ‘you made me ashamed of myself for boasting about my book before I had written it, and so the only thing I could do was to write a wise chapter all about you.’

“And the fairy queen smiled with pleasure and also with amusement—for Mr. Owl had certainly thought he could write a wise book—though the next time, perhaps, he wouldn’t say so before he had written it.

“The fireflies had been sparkling and flashing lights all this time, and finally they whispered:

“‘Have a dance, all of you; we’ll give you the light and dance too. It is not well to read books all the time—you must dance.’

“So they all ended off with a fine dance, and old Mr. Owl, with his book under his wing, danced with the rest of the owls and fairies. But before the evening was over he presented to the fairy queen a copy of his book, which said on the cover, ‘A BOOK, by Wise Mr. Owl.'”

Barred Owl by Ray

Barred Owl by Ray

Lee’s Addition:

But I say to every one of you, through the grace given to me, not to have an over-high opinion of himself, but to have wise thoughts, as God has given to every one a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3 BBE)

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:6 KJV)

Figured it was about time the first chapter was added to the Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories. We do need to be careful not to think too highly of ourselves. Let other complement what you do.


Another Bird Tale From

Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories – Gutenberg ebooks


Mary Graham Bonner

With four illustrations in color by
Florence Choate and Elizabeth Curtis

Daddys Bedtime Story Images

These stories first appeared in the American Press Association Service and the Western Newspaper Union.

Many of the sketches in this volume are the work of Rebecca McCann, creator of the “Cheerful Cherub,” etc.

Daddys Bedtime Story Images
Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories by Mary Graham Bonner – 1917



Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) ©©Flickr

Bird Tales



Daddys Bedtime Story Images


 Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories



Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis) by Nikhil Devasar


 Wordless Birds



Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) baby Reinier Munguia






A Clash of Wills

A tiny owl and an angry woodpecker clash - from Mail Online

A tiny owl and an angry woodpecker clash – from Mail Online

My friend, Pastor Pete, sent me this photo. I am sharing it with you all also. It was posted in the Mail Online. The two were battling over food for their young. Click Here to read the article.

He also sent me a photo of a Blue-footed Booby scratching. Couldn’t find it on line, but found this one by Max Ruckman that is ©©

Blue-footed Booby Scratching ©© Max Ruckman

Blue-footed Booby Scratching ©© Max Ruckman

We have been running all day, but wanted to share something with you. Keep watching those birds. You never know what they will be doing next.

I don’t believe the first two birds are giving a good example of this verse:

Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, (1 Timothy 6:18 NKJV)

and the second one:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NKJV)


Ian’s Bird of the Week – Powerful Owl

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 1

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 1

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Powerful Owl  ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 12/9/2012

My apologies again for a tardy bird of the week, so here is something special. Well, special for me, anyway, as it has been a serious bogey bird for me. All addicted birders and bird photographers have their bogeys, in the sense of ‘an evil or mischievous spirit, a cause of annoyance or harassment’ usually a species that is invisible to the victim or hides whenever the victim is around.

Powerful Owls first cast an evil spell on me on 11 February 1999 when one in Pennant Hills Park made my film camera malfunction so that the entire film was hopelessly underexposed – you can see the wicked gleam in its eye below. As soon as I picked up the film from the chemist the following day, I went back to Pennant Hills Park but the owl was no longer there or no longer visible.

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 2

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 2

Shortly after that I moved from Sydney and switched to digital photography (nowadays we take instant photographic feedback for granted). Since then, whenever I’ve visited Sydney I’ve looked for Powerful Owls in all their usual haunts – Pennant Hills Park, Mitchell Park, Beecroft, Warriewood, Royal Botanic Gardens, Royal National Park, etc. – without success.

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 3

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 3

Last Tuesday I gave a talk on parrots to Birding NSW in Sydney and inquired about POs. Yes, one had been seen in its favourite tree, the White Fig, near the entrance to Government House the previous Saturday. I went there on Wednesday and searched the tree for at least 20 minutes but the owl remained invisible until I decided to leave. Delighted with its success, it let its guard down, the spell weakened and I got the briefest visual sensation, like a shimmering mirage, of a barred tail. Powerful Owls are big 60-65cm/24-26in in length, it was then quite visible from the ground and not very high up, so a spell is the only explanation.

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 4

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 4

The next day, I went birding with Madeleine Murray and we abandoned plans to look for the owl (they’re quite visible to her) and went instead to Port Hacking, south of Sydney, where, lo and behold, we found another one, or to be more accurate Mad found it after I’d walked straight past it as the spell hadn’t entirely dissipated – it normally does so quite quickly after it has been broken once.

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 5

Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) by Ian 5

The Powerful Owl is the largest of the Hawk Owls (genus Ninox) and exceeded in size only by the world’s largest owls such as the Grey Grey and the larger Eagle Owls. It is found in eastern and southeastern Australia usually within 200km of the coast from central Queensland to eastern South Australia. It has large territories ranging in size from 3-15 square kilometres so it is nowhere common and is listed as Vulnerable. However, it seems to be quite tolerant of selective logging and can survive in patchy forests. It feeds mainly on arboreal mammals such as possums, but will also take flying foxes (fruit bats) and roosting birds.

Best wishes

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737
Check the latest website updates:
Lee’s Addition:

Glad you sent us a Bird of the Week, Ian. I was starting to worry about you, that maybe you were sick or something. The wait was worth it because this is a beautiful Owl. I am glad you are no longer under this bird’s “evil spell on” you.

The Powerful Owl is part of the Strigidae – Owl Family. To see more photos of them, check out Ian’s photos and our Family page here:

Typical or Hawk Owls – Ian’s Birdway

Strigidae – Owl Family


Birds in Hymns – Hear Me O God, Nor Hide Thy Face

Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) (captive) by Raymond Barlow

Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) (captive) by Raymond Barlow

A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the LORD. Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily. (Psalms 102:1-2 KJV)

Words by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), The Psalms of Da­vid, 1719.

Music: St. Mat­thew, Will­iam Croft (1678-1727), 1708

Al­ter­nate tune: Kings­foldRalph Vaugh­an Will­iams, 1906

Hear Me O God, Nor Hide Thy Face


Hear me, O God, nor hide Thy face;
But answer, lest I die;
Hast Thou not built a throne of grace
To hear when sinners cry?

My days are wasted like the smoke
Dissolving in the air;
My strength is dried, my heart is broke,
And sinking in despair.

My spirits flag like withering grass
Burnt with excessive heat;
In secret groans my minutes pass,
And I forget to eat.

As on some lonely building’s top
The sparrow tells her moan,
Far from the tents of joy and hope
I sit and grieve alone.

My soul is like a wilderness
Where beasts of midnight howl;
There the sad raven finds her place
And there the screaming owl.

Dark, dismal thoughts, and boding fears,
Dwell in my troubled breast;
While sharp reproaches wound my ears,
Nor give my spirit rest.

My cup is mingled with my woes,
And tears are my repast;
My daily bread, like ashes, grows
Unpleasant to my taste.

Sense can afford no real joy
To souls that feel Thy frown;
Lord, ’twas Thy hand advanced me high
Thy hand hath cast me down.

My looks like withered leaves appear;
And life’s declining light
Grows faint as evening shadows are
That vanish into night.

But Thou for ever art the same,
O my eternal God;
Ages to come shall know Thy name,
And spread Thy works abroad.

Thou wilt arise and show Thy face,
Nor will my Lord delay
Beyond th’appointed hour of grace,
That long-expected day.

He hears His saints, He knows their cry,
And by mysterious ways
Redeems the prisoners doomed to die,
And fills their tongues with praise.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8 KJV)

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

Isaac Watts (1674-1748) – See He That Hath Made His Refuge God

Will­iam Croft (1678-1727)

As a boy, Croft was a chor­is­ter at the Cha­pel Roy­al. From 1700-1712, he was or­gan­ist at St. Anne, So­ho, Lon­don. From 1704 on, he was, joint­ly with Jer­e­m­i­ah Clarke, or­gan­ist of the Cha­pel Roy­al. In 1708 he be­came Mas­ter of the Child­ren at Cha­pel Roy­al and or­gan­ist at West­min­ster Ab­bey. In 1713 he re­ceived a Doc­tor of Mu­sic de­gree from Ox­ford Uni­ver­si­ty. In 1726, the Aca­de­my of Vo­cal Mu­sic (lat­er the Aca­de­my of An­cient Mu­sic) was found­ed by 13 mu­si­cians, in­cluding Croft, Pep­usch, Bo­non­ci­ni, and Gem­i­ni­a­ni.

Croft was com­pos­er to Queen Anne and was rec­og­nized as the fore­most church mu­si­cian of his time. Croft al­so wrote in­stru­ment­al works (e.g., cem­balo and so­na­tas for flute (re­cord­er).


More Birds in Hymns

See ~ Wordless Birds

Most information from The Cyber Hymnal  –  Hear Me O God, Nor Hide Thy Face