“At the noise of the stamping hooves of his strong horses, At the rushing of his chariots, At the rumbling of his wheels, The fathers will not look back for their children, Lacking courage,” (Jeremiah 47:3 NKJV)
“Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?” (Job 39:26 KJV)
The next upper display case had Hawks and Owl specimen. The three Hawks give a size perspective of those hawks. The largest is the Red-Shouldered Hawk, then the Northern Harrier (female), and the Broad-Winged Hawk.
BJU Waterman Bird Collection Hawks and Owls Display 2018
“And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,” (Deuteronomy 14:15-16 KJV)
The Owls went from small to the large Great Horned Owl being the largest. The two small owls are the Boreal Owl, and the Common Screech Owl. Out of the five species, we have only seen the Red-shouldered Hawk, the Harrier and a Great Horned Owl in the wild. Again, I think these birds look pretty good, considering how long they have be preserved. [Before 1910]
Hawks and Owls are both mentioned in Scripture and are therefore – Birds of the Bible. Birds of the Bible – Hawks and Birds of the Bible – Owls. Did you notice their coloration? Most sleep during the day and the Lord, their Creator, has provided them with a camouflage that helps many of them look like bark on trees.
Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) Tail by Lee
[My favorite “bark” covered bird is the Tawny Frogmouth. We see them in the zoos.] Back to this article.
Here are some very informative articles with great photos about these birds from WhatBird and All About Birds. The WhatBird links have sounds to which you can listen.
Red-shouldered Hawk BJU Bird Collection 2018
The Red-shouldered Hawk and the Barred Owl occupy the same range in the eastern United States. They prefer the same moist woodland habitats and eat similar animals. The hawk is active during the day, and the owl is active at night. [WhatBird]
Unusual among hawks, Northern Harriers use their sense of hearing to help locate prey. They have an owl-like facial disk to help with directional hearing and soft feathers for a quieter flight. [WhatBird]
The Eastern Screech Owl was first described by Carolus Linnaeus, in 1758. They have also been called the Common Screech Owl, Ghost Owl, Dusk Owl, Little-eared Owl, Spirit Owl, Whickering Owl, Little Gray Owl, Mottled Owl, Mouse Owl, Cat Owl, Shivering Owl, and Little Horned Owl.” [WhatBird]
Once there was an owl who lived in the attic of a library. His name was Leonard and his cousin’s name was Art. One day Leonard received a letter from Art telling him that Art had just published his own book.
Leonard watched people come and go to and from the library every day checking out different kinds of books. Leonard decided that it would be a great idea to have his own library. Then he could watch people check out books every day, and Art’s book could be checked out every day as well.
Leonard had to find some land for sale first. He flew to the library Art lived in, and asked for his help. Art told him how the librarian who owned the library he lived in was retiring and had already put the place up for sale. If Leonard couldn’t buy this library, Art wouldn’t have any place to live.
So Leonard went to the librarian. The librarian, Frank, said that he was going to retire and someone else would have to buy the property because he was in so much debt.
Leonard and Art got together and decided to hold a fundraiser to save the library. They began by posting flyers all over town. The fundraiser would be held that Saturday at the library. Leonard and Art decided that they would have a race to raise money for it. Many people who lived nearby, saw the sign, and decided they would run in the race.
On that Saturday, all the people, including many birds, made their way to the starting line to start running the race. Everyone would run or fly around the entire library and down several streets downtown nearby.
Art blew the whistle and Leonard watched excitedly s everyone started running as fast as they could. The birds flew up above the buildings to watch everyone run around the library and up the next street. They flew above them to cheer the runners on.
Leonard was excited to see how much money they had raised at the end of the day, so the race seemed to take a really long time. When the first runners ran around the corner to the finish line, Leonard flew after them for the rest if the day.
Barn Owl at Flamingo Gardens by Lee
Everyone cheered when Leonard flew past the finish line with the first runner. When all of the donations were counted up, the total was ten thousand dollars, which was more than enough to keep the library open.
Frank decided that he would still retire, but since Leonard was so excited about keeping the library open, he decided to let Leonard run the library for him when he retired.
Leonard was really happy to run the library, and Art was happy that he would be living in the same library. Every day, Leonard would help people check out books while Art continued to write more books. Both Leonard and Art couldn’t have been happier, especially since they were able to save the library.
And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. (Job 28:28 KJV)
O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. (Psalms 104:24 KJV)
Well, Emma has given us another enjoyable story to enjoy. I assume that since Leonard and Art will both be living in the library, they will become even “Wiser Owls.”
“There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow:” (Isaiah 34:15a)
What makes owls so good at catching prey as they fly through the night sky? Part of the credit obviously goes to their amazing eyes that are able to see with such clarity in low-light conditions. But owls also have another design feature that allows them to sneak up on their prey without being noticed. Owls, you see, were designed to fly in virtual silence.
The authors of the book Discovery of Design point out that owls have an uneven forward fringe on their wings. Unlike the sharp, well-defined edge on most birds, the uneven fringe decreases air turbulence and produces less noise. In addition, the feathers covering the owl’s wings, body and legs are velvety soft. This helps to dampen and absorb the sound of rushing air.
Airplane designers are now exploring these features to create quieter military and commercial aircraft. Thanks to the owl, engineers are looking into a retractable brush-like fringe for airplane wings and a velvety coating on the landing gear.
In the book’s introduction, the authors point out that inventors and design engineers frequently look to nature for inspiration. But as creationists, they emphasize that the designs found in nature are not the product of evolution. Rather, the designs were embedded in the material universe by supernatural acts of creation. The purpose of these designs was not only for the benefit of living things but also so they could be discovered and put to use for the welfare of mankind.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, the creation not only inspires designs that benefit mankind, they inspire us to worship our Creator! I am filled with awe as I learn more about Your creation. Amen.
D. DeYoung and D. Hobbs, Discovery of Design: Searching Out the Creator’s Secrets, pp. 9-10, 66-67 (Master Books, 2012).
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31 KJV)
Wanted to share with you two blogs I follow.
Sandra Conner’s, In Love With Words, had a neat post about a truck that was crying. It is worth reading.
In Love With Words – Crying Truck and Virginia Creeper
Virginia Creeper wasn’t beautiful and was generally considered a nuisance wherever she grew. But she had a kind heart, and when she heard sobbing out by the alley, she crawled over to investigate. She found Barney, the discarded garbage truck, soaking the ground with his tears……..
Indian Scops Owl (Otus bakkamoena) pair by Nikhil Devasar
Sunday Inspiration – Owls
The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate. (Isaiah 34:14-15 KJV)
How Great Thou Art by Sean Fielder (from Faith Baptist Church)
They live in a wide range of habitats from deserts to forests, and from temperate latitudes to the tropics. Little is known of many of them. The barn-owls are mostly nocturnal (active at night), and generally non-migratory, living in pairs or singly.
The barn-owls’ main characteristic is the heart-shaped facial disc, formed by stiff feathers which serve to amplify and locate the source of sounds when hunting. Their wing feathers were created to eliminate sound caused by flying, aiding both the hearing of the owl listening for hidden prey and keeping the prey unaware of the owl. Barn-owls overall are darker on the back than the front, usually an orange-brown colour, the front being a paler version of the back or mottled, although there is considerable variation even amongst species. The bay-owls closely resemble the Tyto owls but have a divided facial disc, ear tufts, and tend to be smaller.
Western Screech Owl (Megascops kennicottii)(captive) by Raymond Barlow
The Typical Owls (Strigidae Family) is a large family that comprises around 189 living species in 25 genera. The typical owls have a cosmopolitan distribution and are found on every continent except Antarctica.
While typical owls vary greatly in size, with the smallest species, the Elf Owl, being a hundred times smaller than the largest, the Eurasian Eagle-Owl and Blakiston’s Fish Owl, owls generally share an extremely similar body plan. They tend to have large heads, short tails, cryptic plumage and round facial discs around the eyes. The family is generally arboreal (live in trees) (with a few exceptions like the Burrowing Owl) and obtain their food on the wing. The wings are large, broad, rounded and long.
Owls are generally nocturnal and spend much of the day roosting. They are often perceived as tame since they will allow people to approach quite closely before taking flight, but they are instead attempting to avoid detection. The cryptic plumage (help camouflage them) and inconspicuous locations (not likely to be seen or noticed) adopted are an effort to avoid predators and mobbing by small birds.
We will learn more about these beautifully created birds in other Bible Birds – Owls articles.
And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. (Isaiah 34:13 KJV)
Dan and I went over to the Lowry Park Zoo/Zoo Tampa in Tampa again today. I was wanting to check out my Christmas present of a new camera. Enjoying learning to use it and retaking a lot of photos of birds to compare the old ones with the new ones on this camera. (It is still a point-and-shoot, but it has an improved “program mode.” Dan is our good photographer.)
But when we entered the zoo, we were met by one of the zookeepers holding a beautiful Barred Owl. We had not encountered this Owl in our previous trips. While sharing some of the photos, I thought you might like to learn a little about them.
Face pale with dark concentric rings surrounding eye
The Spotted Owl is most similar, but can be separated with attention to its barred, not streaked, underpart coloration. Short-eared Owl is similar in size, but is not barred on the chest nor is as heavily streaked below, does not share the concentric rings in the facial disks, has yellow eyes and a dark bill, and is found in quite different habitat. Great Gray Owl is superficially similar, but much larger, gray rather than brown below, and has differently patterned underparts.”
Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) LPZ by Lee
“The Barred Owl (Strix varia) is a large typical owl native to North America. It goes by many other names, including Eight Hooter, Rain Owl, Wood Owl, and Striped Owl, but is probably best known as the Hoot Owl based on its call.
The usual call is a series of eight accented hoots ending in oo-aw, with a downward pitch at the end. The most common mnemonic device for remembering the call is “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all.” It is noisy in most seasons. When agitated, this species will make a buzzy, rasping hiss. While calls are most common at night, the birds do call during the day as well.” (Wikipedia)
Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) LPZoo by Lee
Looking the other way. No, they cannot turn their heads all the way around. Notice also that this owl does not have ear tufts like some owls.
Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) LPZ by Lee – Side of head
“Breeding habitats are dense woods across Canada, the eastern United States, and south to Mexico;in recent years it has spread to the western United States. Recent studies show suburban neighborhoods can be ideal habitat for barred owls. Using transmitters, scientists found that populations increased faster in the suburban settings than in old growth forest. The main danger to owls in suburban settings is from cars. The increased offspring offset the death rate due to impacts from cars and disease.”
The Barred Owl’s nest is often in a tree cavity, often ones created by pileated woodpeckers; it may also take over an old nesting site made previously by a red-shouldered hawk, cooper’s hawk, crow, or squirrel. It is a permanent resident, but may wander after the nesting season. If a nest site has proved suitable in the past they will often reuse it as the birds are non-migratory. In the United States, eggs are laid from early-January in southern Florida to mid-April in northern Maine, and consist of 2 to 4 eggs per clutch. Eggs are brooded by the female with hatching taking place approximately 4 weeks later. Young owls fledge four to five weeks after hatching. These owls have few predators, but young, unwary owls may be taken by cats. The most significant predator of Barred Owls is the Great Horned Owl. The Barred Owl has been known to live up to 10 years in the wild and 23 years in captivity.” (Wikipedia)
Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) LPZ by Lee
“Owl” is mentioned 8 times in the King James Bible and “Owls” is mentioned 6 times. So that makes our friend here a “Bird of the Bible” and of course a “Bird of the World.” Owls are another of the Lord’s great creations.
It was a great birdwatching day at the Zoo. Cool, but the sun was bright and no clouds. I had some other great finds today, but will save them for later.
Southern Boobook ( Ninox boobook) by Ian Montgomery
Here’s one for the lovers of owls – which, I imagine, includes almost everybody. This is the commonest and most widespread owl in Australia, and its plaintive ‘boobook’ or ‘morepork’ call is a familiar sound in a huge range of habitats from tropical rainforest, through leafy suburbs and city parks to almost treeless regions of the dry interior. Despite both its abundance and lots of effort on my part, it has eluded my camera since, as a graduate student, I took some slide photos of one through a window of the Zoology Department of Sydney University in the mid 1970s.
Southern Boobook (Ninox boobook) by Ian Montgomery
This weekend just past was the occasion of the AGM of Birds Australia North Queensland and it was held at a large cattle station (property) called Trafalgar about 50km southwest of Charters Towers outside Townsville. We went spotlighting in the station truck, ideally equipped for birding safari-style with two bench seats placed longitudinally back-to-back on the rear, on a clear Sunday night and after finding a rather flighty barn owl, we encountered a Boobook in a tree beside the road that was much more cooperative. Having photographed it from the truck, I eventually got down and set up the tripod much closer to the the owl. It stayed put, despite my flash and 3 spotlights and when we finally left, it was still there. The portrait in the first photo is in fact cropped from a photo that includes the whole bird, so you can appreciate that the conditions for photography were excellent.
Later we found a Tawny Frogmouth, also a willing subject, and on the road itself, a suicidal young Owlet-Nightjar – nearly got run over – which let me approach it so closely that I could no longer focus with my 500mm lens (minimum focusing distance 4.5m/15ft). The consensus seemed to be that it was the best night’s spotlighting ever. The clear sky with no light pollution meant that we could see both the Southern Cross and the Big Dipper/Plough simultaneously, and on the way back a just-past-full moon rose in the east.
The Boobook is a smallish owl ranging in size from 25-28cm/10-11in for males and 30-36cm/12-14in for females. This one seemed relatively large to me, so it was probably female. The current taxonomic treatment is to treat as a single species the various boobooks in Australia, New Zealand, southern New Guinea, Timor and some islands of eastern Indonesia. This leaves only the Sumba Boobook (Sumba is west of Timor) as a separate species, so there isn’t a ‘Northern’ Boobook as such.
Owls are an interesting species. Most of them are nocturnal, so we don’t see them very frequently. At least I don’t see them, but since I like to stay up late, I have heard them at night. Sometimes they are thought of as wise and drawings are made of them with glasses. Maybe that is because they have such huge eyes in respect to their head size. God has given them great ability to see at night with more rods than cones in their eyes that help gather light. They do not move their eyes up and down or side to side as we do, but instead move their head. No, they do not turn it all the way around. They can turn it 270 degrees though.
When owls fly, they are swift and silent as they hunt for prey, such as small animals and rodents. Their wings were designed to give them stealth. Their hearing is very sensitive and they can locate prey even if there is very low light. The sound of an owl can be “eerie” or of a “hoot” or “screech” sound.
There are at least 222 owl species worldwide.
There are 19 species here in the continental U.S.
The Elf Owl is the smallest in the world. It is 5.75 inches and likes the desert.
The Great Horned Owl is our largest in the US. It is 22 inches. They are also the only known predator of the Bald Eagle.
The little owl, owl, and big owl are mentioned in scripture.
The owls are in the “unclean” list. Lev 11:16-17, Deut 14:15-16
Here is an interesting quote from Wayne Blank’s Birds of the Bible. “Some insects and other creatures wear a disguise which actually frightens birds away. Most small birds are afraid of owls, and one insect has a clever way…the owl butterfly has large ‘eyes’ on its wings.”
The destruction of Babylon in Isaiah 13:19-22 mentions the owls that inhabit the deserted or wasted area. In comparing verse 21, it was interesting how the different Bible translations described them. Here are a few examples: “full of doleful creatures” (ASV); “hoot owls” (CEV); “ful of great Owles” (Bishops); “howling creatures” (ESV); the KJV, NASB, and NKJV all call them “owls”; and the MSG has “vacant houses with eerie night sounds.”
Other references to owls are found in Isaiah 34:11-13, Jeremiah 50:39, and Micah 1:8.
In Isaiah 43:20 the beast of the field, dragons, and owls honor the Lord because he has given water in the wilderness and rivers in the desert to provide drink for them. The next verse tells of his people giving praise. This brings to mind the hymn, Fairest Lord Jesus
Fairest Lord Jesus! Ruler of all nature!
O Thou of God and man the Son!
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown!
Fair are the meadows, Fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.
Fair is the sunshine, Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host:
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer,
Than all the angels heav’n can boast.
Beautiful Saviour! Lord of the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, Praise, adoration,
Now and forevermore be Thine!