Words and Birds of Encouragement: Overcomer

Self-isolation blues, financial troubles, loved ones fallen ill, fear of contracting coronavirus… these weights are burdening many. On top of that, we may be unable to congregate in our churches or visit our favorite birding spots. Although a pale substitute for both, I pray you are uplifted by this short series of Words and Birds of Encouragement. For what can be more encouraging than the birds of this world and words of the world to come! William

Male Yellow-rumped Warbler in bright breeding plumage. Athens, Clarke County, Georgia, USA. April 2018. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. Revelation 2:7

We are called to make it through the days of trial and adversity. But we aren’t supposed to just grit our teeth and endure, coming out the other side angrier than we went in, like Godzilla breaking from the rubble of a building collapsed upon him. Instead, we are to be overcomers; we are to pass through trial and adversity with our testimony intact!

And to the overcomer there is a reward: like the Yellow-rumped Warblers that eat the late winter fruits of the holly and Wax Myrtle, we will dine upon the fruit of the tree of life in the paradise of God! This virus quarantine will end in a harvest of souls into the church as the doors re-open. So keep your chin up, overcomer, greater days approach… in this world and the next!


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Words and Birds of Encouragement: Paradise

Self-isolation blues, financial troubles, loved ones fallen ill, fear of contracting coronavirus… these weights are burdening many. On top of that, we may be unable to congregate in our churches or visit our favorite birding spots. Although a pale substitute for both, I pray you are uplifted by this short series of Words and Birds of Encouragement. For what can be more encouraging than the birds of this world and words of the world to come! William

Orange-crowned Warbler; Walton County, Georgia. December, 2019. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

“Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’” Luke 23:43

What will paradise be like? Let your imagination roll… sunsets without haze and smog; rivers and lakes without floating trash; streets filled with smiling people free of anger and worry; and clear, wide blue skies filled with the flight of birds… and no window strikes! And even better, we will walk in the cool of the garden with our Lord and Savior whose blood re-opens the door to Eden.  It will be paradise for all! It may not be today (but then again, it may!). Even so, come, Lord Jesus.


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Garden Longing

“And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where… even as the garden of the Lord” Genesis 13:10

All winter, we long for spring and the day we can get back to dressing and keeping our backyard gardens. We feel a strong inward desire to rejuvenate our backyard bird sanctuaries for the return of our beloved hummingbirds and other avian friends. But why is there such an affinity within us for gardens?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird in my backyard garden; Clarke County, Georgia. July, 2014. ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

In the Old Testament book of Genesis, the nomads Abraham and his nephew decide to split up and settle down. In making his choice of a new homeland, Lot looks towards the plains of Jordan and sees a fertile land “like the garden of the Lord” (Genesis 13:10). That same internal “garden longing” in his heart was triggered and leads Lot east.

I believe our love of gardens stems from a longing to return to Eden, that perfect state of beauty and fellowship with our Creator that man enjoyed in the beginning; where man walked with God “in the garden in the cool of the day”. When Adam’s eyes were opened, his first sight was a garden with “every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden.” Our love of gardens stems from a desire to return to Eden, to return to a place that place of paradise that was lost through sin.

Even though we see disease, decay and corruption in this world today, one day we will return to paradise. As the story of this present age comes to its final chapter, a new book will be written. One where we will see a new heaven and a new earth brought forth (Isaiah 65:17, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1). Until then, let us enjoy our backyard gardens as a small piece of Eden; as a reminder of the blessed and perfect garden in world yet to come. As you till your soil with your hands, remember in your heart that one day, “thou shalt be with me in paradise.”

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Avian And Attributes – Paradise

Paradise Tanager (Tangara chilensis) by Juan D Ramirez Rpo on Flickr From Pinterest

“And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43 KJV)


Avian and Attributes – Paradise

PAR’ADISE, n. [Gr.] The garden of Eden, in which Adam and Eve were placed immediately after their creation.
1. A place of bliss; a region of supreme felicity or delight.
The earth
Shall all be paradise–
2. Heaven, the blissful seat of sanctified souls after death.
This day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23.
3. Primarily, in Persia, a pleasure-garden with parks and other appendages.

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7 KJV)


Paradise Birds

Paradise Drongo 

Paradise Drongo Photo

The paradise drongo or ribbon-tailed drongo (Dicrurus megarhynchus) is a species of bird in the family Dicruridae. It is endemic to New Ireland in the Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea.

Paradise Jacamar

Paradise Jacamar (Galbula dea) ©Arthur Grosset

The Paradise Jacamar (Galbula dea) distributed throughout tropical rainforests and savanna of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and the Guyanas. Its range encompasses nearly the entire Amazon Basin, except in the northwest basin in parts of Colombia and Venezuela, (the northeast is the three countries of the Guyanas, which drain to the Atlantic-Caribbean). The diet consists mainly of butterflies and other flying insects.

Paradise Riflebird

Paradise Riflebird-Australia-Birdway

Paradise Riflebird (Ptiloris paradiseus) is medium-sized, up to 30 cm long. The male is black with an iridescent greenish blue crown, throat and central tail feathers. It has a black curved bill, black feet, dark brown iris and yellow mouth. The female is an olive brown bird with barred blackish below with a long white brow above her eye. The species is Endemic to eastern Australia, where it occurs in the rainforests of New South Wales and central Queensland.

Paradise Riflebird (Ptiloris paradiseus) Female ©WikiC

Paradise Shelduck

Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata) by Ian 2

Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata) by Ian 2

The Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata) is a large goose-like duck endemic to New Zealand. It is a shelduck, a group of large goose-like birds which are part of the bird family Anatidae. The genus name Tadorna comes from Celtic roots and means “pied waterfowl”. Known to the Māori as pūtangitangi, but now commonly referred to as the “paradise duck”, it is a prized game bird. Both the male and female have striking plumage: the male has a black head and barred black body, the female a white head with a chestnut body. The paradise shelducks usually live as pairs, grazing on grass and weeds, and will raid crops, particularly when molting.

Paradise Tanager

Paradise Tanager (Tangara_chilensis) -DenverZoo-WikiC

Paradise Tanager (Tangara chilensis) -DenverZoo-WikiC

The Paradise Tanager (Tangara chilensis) is a brilliantly multicolored, medium-sized songbird whose length varies between 13.5 and 15 cm. It has a light green head, sky blue underparts and black upper body plumage. Depending on subspecies, the rump is yellow and red or all red. The beak is black and the legs are grey.

Found in humid tropical and subtropical forests in the western and northern Amazon Basin in South America, it occurs in Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil and the Guianas. Despite its scientific name, it is not found in Chile.

Paradise-crow

Paradise-crow (Lycocorax pyrrhopterus) ©©Flickr

The Paradise-crow (Lycocorax pyrrhopterus) also known as the silky crow, is a medium-sized crow-like bird-of-paradise. One of the few monogamous birds-of-paradise, the paradise-crow is endemic to lowland forests of North Maluku in Indonesia. The diet consists mainly of fruits and arthropods.


More Avian and Attributes

Birds whose first name starts with “P”

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[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]