Lee’s Five Word Friday – 4/21/17 ex


American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) ©WTTW



“Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.”  (Ruth 1:7)

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) ©WTTW


More Daily Devotionals


Birds of the Bible – Get Off My Back

Laughing Gull landing on Brown Pelican

Laughing Gull landing on Brown Pelican

I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am like an owl of the desert. (Psalms 102:6 NKJV)

Yesterday we were at the beach at MacDill AFB in Tampa. Apparently the fish were numerous, because the Brown Pelicans, Forster’s Tern, Laughing Gulls, Ospreys and others were diving in.

Laughing Gull landing on Brown Pelican

Laughing Gull landing on Brown Pelican

What really amazed me were the Laughing Gulls landing on the backs of the Brown Pelicans. Checking the internet to find out about this, I came across this very interesting article, The Pelican and the Gull. It appears this is a common practice for the Laughing Gull to steal some of the Pelicans food.

Here are some excerpts from that article:

One method the laughing gull has of getting food is to steal fish from another seabird that inhabits the region, the brown pelican. The laughing gull accomplishes this larceny by waiting for the brown pelican to make a successful dive….

When the pelican has a bill full of fish and water, it transfers the fish to the pouch that hangs below its bill. The pelican cannot fly away or swallow the fish until the water is drained from the pouch. Laughing gulls either circle closely above the pelican or land on the pelican’s bill or head. The gull may even give the pelican a sharp peck or two. If the pelican pays too much attention to the antics of the laughing gull and not enough attention to the delicate draining and swallowing process, the pelican may lose some of the trapped fish. The gull then swoops down and scoops up the pelican’s hard-earned catch, flying away at top speed from the scene of the crime and makes short work of his ill-gotten gains.

Of course, I could make all kinds of applications about not stealing, pecking someone on the head, or getting on their backs without permission. Because of the curse we are all under, the birds included, this kind of things happen. Eagles steal from Ospreys, Cuckoos lay eggs in other species nest, etc. For us, we know that stealing is wrong and I trust we don’t. Also, we are supposed to “love one another.” Not so sure this is being displayed here.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32 KJV)

Here is another sequence of photos I took of an exchange between the Gull and the Pelican (cropped):

Pelican catching fish and Gull circling

Pelican catching fish and Gull circling

Laughing Gull watching Brown Pelican preparing to land

Laughing Gull watching Brown Pelican preparing to land

Laughing Gull lands on Pelican as he comes up

Laughing Gull lands on Pelican as he comes up

Would you hurry up

Would you hurry up

Brown Pelican and Laughing Gull - Waiting


Brown Pelican and Laughing Gull - Slipping Off

Slipping Off

Brown Pelican leaving Laughing Gull

Watching His Food Source Leave

Maybe I can catch him

Maybe I can catch him

These photos were taken with my zoom because they were out quite a way from the shore. The following two photos were closer up as they both posed on posts for us.

Pelicans belong to the Pelecanidae – Pelicans Family and are on of the Birds of the Bible.

Mature Brown Pelican by Dan at MacDill

Mature Brown Pelican by Dan at MacDill

The Brown Pelican is the smallest of the eight species of pelican, although it is a large bird in nearly every other regard. It is 42–54 in (106–137 cm) in length, weighs from 6.1 to 12 lb (2.75 to 5.5 kg) and has a wingspan from 6.0 to 8.2 ft (1.83 to 2.5 m). Through most of its range, the brown pelican is an unmistakable bird. Like all pelicans, this species has a very large bill, 11 to 13.7 in (28 to 34.8 cm) long in this case, with a gular pouch on the bottom for draining water when it scoops out prey. The head is white but often gets a yellowish wash in adult birds. The bill is grayish overall in most birds, though breeding birds become reddish on the underside of the throat. The back, rump, and tail are streaked with gray and dark brown, sometimes with a rusty hue. In adult pelicans, the breast and belly are a blackish-brown and the legs and feet are black. The juvenile is similar but has a brownish-gray neck and white underparts.

This bird is readily distinguished from the American White Pelican by its non-white plumage, smaller size and its habit of diving for fish from the air, as opposed to co-operative fishing from the surface. The Peruvian Pelican, previously considered a subspecies of Brown Pelican, is now considered to be a separate species. It has very similar plumage to the Brown, but it is noticeably larger. The Brown and Peruvian pelicans may overlap in some areas along the Pacific coast of South America.

the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after their kinds; (Deuteronomy 14:15 NKJV)

Laughing Gull on post

Laughing Gull on post by Lee

The Laughing Gull is a member of the Laridae – Gulls, Terns and Skimmers Family and is a Bird of the Bible also. The Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) is a medium-sized gull of North and South America. It breeds on the Atlantic coast of North America, the Caribbean, and northern South America. Northernmost populations migrate further south in winter, and this species occurs as a rare vagrant to western Europe. The Laughing Gull’s English name is derived from its raucous kee-agh call, which sounds like a high-pitched laugh “ha… ha… ha…”.

This species is easy to identify. It is 14–16 in (36–41 cm) long with a 39–43 in (98–110 cm) wingspan. The summer adult’s body is white apart from the dark grey back and wings and black head. Its wings are much darker grey than all other gulls of similar size except the smaller Franklin’s Gull, and they have black tips without the white crescent shown by Franklin’s. The beak is long and red. The black hood is mostly lost in winter.

Laughing Gulls take three years to reach adult plumage. Immature birds are always darker than most similar-sized gulls other than Franklin’s. First-year birds are greyer below and have paler heads than first-year Franklin’s, and second-years can be distinguished by the wing pattern and structure. Laughing Gulls breed in coastal marshes and ponds in large colonies. The large nest, made largely from grasses, is constructed on the ground. The 3 or 4 greenish eggs are incubated for about three weeks. These are omnivores like most gulls, and they will scavenge as well as seeking suitable small prey. Like most other members of the genus Leucophaeus, the Laughing Gull was long placed in the genus Larus. (Wikipedia with editing)

Interesting Links:


Australian Pelicans – The Corporate Feeders..

Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) by Ian at Birdway

Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) by Ian at Birdway

Australian Pelicans – The Corporate Feeders.. ~ by ajmithra

Australian Pelicans feed together in large numbers..
They herd fishes to shallow waters,
and surround them in decreasing circles..

  • This corporate fishing helps them gather more food..
  • Israelites gathered Manna together…

How many of us believe in Corporate feeding of the Word of God?

  • Corporate worship helped Jesophat overcome his enemies.
  • God descends when we congregate In His mighty name..
  • When God descends satan flees…

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Mathew 18:20)

Yours in YESHUA,
a j mithra

Please visit us at:


Pelicans belong to the Pelecanidae – Pelicans Family. They are also a Bird of the Bible.


Birds of the Bible – Pelican Study

Great White Pelican by Birdway

Great White Pelican by Birdway

In Previous articles about the Pelicans; Birds of the Bible – Pelicans and Pelicans II they were introduced as being in the Pelecanidae family.  Here in the U.S. we have the American White Pelican and the Brown Pelican. They are listed as “unclean” in the Scriptures (Levitucus 11:18 and Deuteronomy 14:17), meaning they were not to be eaten by the Israelites.

Depending on which version of the Bible you use, “Pelican” is not always used in one, but shows up in another. That is what makes “birdwatching the Scriptures” so interesting. Take for instance Isaiah 34:11:

But the pelican and the porcupine shall possess it, Also the owl and the raven shall dwell in it. And He shall stretch out over it The line of confusion and the stones of emptiness. (NKJV)

Using e-Sword Free Bible Program’s” compare feature, observe these differences.
Pelican and porcupine – ASV, NKJV, RV
Pelican and hedgehog – NASB, NAS77, YLT
Pelican and bittern – Darby, JPS
Pelican and herons – GW
Cormorant and bittern – KJV, MKJV, Webster
Hawk and porcupine – ESV
Owls and ravens only mentioned – GNB
Owls, hawks, and wild animals – CEV
Birds of the waste land – BBE

Another interesting verse:

Flocks will lie down in her midst, All beasts which range in herds; Both the pelican and the hedgehog Will lodge in the tops of her pillars; Birds will sing in the window, Desolation will be on the threshold; For He has laid bare the cedar work. (Zephaniah 2:14 NASB)

This verse uses pelican, raven, hedgehog, owl, cormorant depending on the version.

When Nave’s Topical Bible‘s – Pelican and Torrey’s Topical Textbook‘s – Birds are referenced, it appears that they used the King James Version (KJV).

Australian Pelican by Birdway

Australian Pelican by Birdway

All of that said to help you realize as you study the Bible, looking for birds, be aware that just because it’s not found on the first search, try another version and the bird may appear. I personally prefer to use the KJV, NKJV, NASB, and ESV as my main versions. The others are fine, some better than others, but those mentioned, in my opinion, are closer to the originals. Why they vary, I am not sure. The Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries in the KJV and NASB use H6893, which is kaw-ath’ , which means “probably the pelican (from vomiting): – cormorant.”

We do know that the Pelicans are mentioned in the Bible and I really enjoy watching them. We get to see the American White and the Brown Pelicans here in Florida. It would be neat to see the Austrailian, Dalmation, Great White, Pink-backed, Peruvian and Spot-billed Pelicans.

I also love to watch the pelicans skim over the water and also fly in formation like a squadron of bombers. I have included two videos of them skimming. Visit the Pelican Videos and Photos for more. See the Sidebar.

*All photos used with permission.

Pelican in flight in Cuba

Another by arlens47 that “Follows the flight of a pelican as he starts to go out to sea, then reverses course and lands in the water off the coast of Santa Cruz, California. Background music is Thorn Birds Theme by the Joe Reisman Orchestra.

Flight of the Pelican


Birdwatching Trips – Circle B Bar Reserve

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill by Dan

Time gets away from me and I realized that two trips were made to the Circle B Bar that were never written about. So I am going to combine the two. On February 24th and the on March 10th we made our way to one of the neatest places to bird here in central Florida. Both days were cloudless and cool but nice. The biggest problem out there right now is that we are in draught conditions and some of the water holes are drying. It seems the birds that like shallower water are finding  it great, but some have moved on.

White Pelicans at distance with friends

One group of White Pelicans at distance with friends

The highlight of both trips were the White Pelicans. There numbers were in the 1000’s. I gave up counting after 1,000 and found out that a week earlier over 5,000 had been counted. It was neat to watch them lift up in groups and circle abit until they got in their V-formations and then head off. It was awesome to watch. My other joy was watching my first Common Yellowthroat that I had seen up close. He looks like a “yellow bandito” with a black mask (The picture is blurry, but you can see him). We also spot a “huge” alligator and an otter. Below is a list of what was spotted on those two trips. We were with some home schoolers on one of those trips, so we were training as well as looking. There are many more birds to see out there. My life list is up to 73 out there, plus the ones I couldn’t ID.

White Pelicans by Lee

White Pelicans by Lee

Mottled Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Bobwhite
Pied-billed Grebe
American White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat

Roseate Spoonbill
Wood Stork
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Red-shouldered Hawk
Purple Gallinule
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Sandhill Crane
Lesser Yellowlegs
Wilson’s Snipe
Mourning Dove

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk by Dan

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue Jay
Tree Swallow
Tufted Titmouse
Sedge Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Northern Mockingbird
Palm Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Boat-tailed Grackle

For more visits to Circle B Bar Reserve

Birds of the Bible – Pelicans II

Australian Pelican

Australian Pelican

We were birdwatching at Lake Hollingsworth this week and spotted 11 American White Pelicans on the lake and also 5 Brown Pelicans hanging out with them. Over them were at least 10 or so Osprey circling hoping for some leftovers or fish to be scared up. So, this week we will revisit the “Birds of the Bible – Pelicans.”

In the first article we covered the American White Pelicans and the Brown Pelicans (our North American Pelicans), but there are six more around the world. They are  the:

Australian Pelican widespread on the inland and coastal waters of Australia and New Guinea, also in Fiji, parts of Indonesia and as a vagrant to New Zealand. Medium-sized by pelican standards: 5.3-6 ft long with a wingspan of 6–8.3 ft and weighing 9–29 lb). It is predominantly white with black along the primaries of the wings. The pale, pinkish bill is enormous, even by pelican standards, and is the largest bill in the avian world. The record-sized bill was 19.5 in long.

Dalmation Pelican It breeds from southeastern Europe through Asia to China in swamps and shallow lakes. The nest is a crude heap of vegetation. The largest of the pelicans, averaging 67 inches in length, 24-33 lbs in weight and just over 10 ft in wingspan. On average, it’s the world’s heaviest flying species. Peruvian Pelican The Peruvian birds are nearly twice the bulk of the Brown Pelican, averaging 15.4 lb in weight; they are also longer, measuring about 5 ft overall.

Great White Pelican Also known as the Eastern White Pelican or Great White Pelican, it breeds from southeastern Europe through Asia and in Africa in swamps and shallow lakes. The tree nest is a crude heap of vegetation. A large pelican, at 22 lbs, 63 in long and with a 110 inch wingspan. It differs from the Dalmatian Pelican, the only larger species of pelican, by its pure white, rather than greyish-white, plumage, a bare pink facial patch around the eye and pinkish legs.

Pink-Backed Pelicans

Pink-Backed Pelicans

Pink-backed Pelican A resident breeder in Africa, southern Arabia and Madagascar in swamps and shallow lakes. The nest is a large heap of sticks, into which 2-3 large white eggs are laid. The chicks feed by plunging their heads deep into the adult’s pouch and taking the partially digested regurgitated fish. A small pelican, but the wingspan is still around 7.9 ft with an average weight of 12 lbs. It is much smaller and duller than the Great White Pelican. The plumage is grey and white, with a pink back.

Spot-billed Pelican It breeds in southern Asia from southern Pakistan, Republic of India to Indonesia. It is a bird of large inland and coastal waters, especially shallow lakes. The nest is a heap of vegetation in a tree. A small pelican, at 49-60 in long and a weight of 9-13.2 lbs. It is mainly white, with a grey crest, hindneck and tail. Information taken from Wikipedia

The LORD will be awesome to them, For He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth; People shall worship Him, Each one from his place, Indeed all the shores of the nations. “You Ethiopians also, You shall be slain by My sword.” And He will stretch out His hand against the north, Destroy Assyria, And make Nineveh a desolation, As dry as the wilderness. The herds shall lie down in her midst, Every beast of the nation. Both the pelican and the bittern Shall lodge on the capitals of her pillars; Their voice shall sing in the windows; Desolation shall be at the threshold; For He will lay bare the cedar work. This is the rejoicing city That dwelt securely, That said in her heart, “I am it, and there is none besides me.” How has she become a desolation, A place for beasts to lie down! Everyone who passes by her Shall hiss and shake his fist. (Zep 2:11-15 NKJV)

“Judah had been taunted and mocked by the neighboring nations, Moab and Ammon, but God reminded them that he had “heard the taunts” (Zep_2:8), and that the taunters would be punished for their pride (Zep_2:10). At times the whole world seems to mock God and those who have faith in him. When you are ridiculed, remember that God hears and will answer. Eventually, in God’s timing, justice will be carried out. To predict the destruction of Nineveh 10 years before it happened would be equivalent to predicting the destruction of London, Tokyo, Paris, or New York. Nineveh was the ancient Near Eastern center for culture, technology, and beauty. It had great libraries, buildings, and a vast irrigation system that created lush gardens in the city. The city wall was 60 miles long, 100 feet high, and over 30 feet wide and was fortified with 1,500 towers. Yet the entire city was destroyed so completely that its very existence was questioned until it was discovered, with great difficulty, by 19th-century archaeologists. Nineveh had indeed become as desolate and dry as the desert.” (Notes from the Life Application Bible on Zephaniah 2:8-15)

See also these links:

Interesting link to Our Daily Bread about the Pathetic Pelican.

Birds of the Bible – Pelicans

Pelicans Page with Pictures and Videos

Birds of the Bible – Pelicans

The pelican is in the Pelecanidae family which includes Pelicans, Cormorants, Gannets, etc. We have the American White and Brown Pelicans here in the U.S.
  • The White Pelican (62″ with a 108″ wingspan) is larger than the Brown (48″ with a 84″ wingspan).
  • They both fly with neck tucked.
  • Both have very large bills (White-yellow, Brown-dark) with a throat pouch.
  • The Brown Pelican feeds by plunging from air into the water and also glides low over the water.
  • The White Pelican feeds while swimming and upending to catch fish.
  • The sexes are similar in both White and Brown Pelicans

Brown Pelican flying low, by Ray's Wildlife Photography

The pelican is again listed in the “unclean” list.

And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier-eagle,(Leviticus 11:18 KJV)
And the pelican, and the gier-eagle, and the cormorant, (Deuteronomy 14:17 KJV)
Psalm 102 which is a “prayer of the afflicted” is telling about a heart smitten, groaning bones, basically he is “out of order.”
I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.
(Psalms 102:6 KJV) Most pelicans live near water and owls live in trees.
In spite of his affliction, the Psalm writer concludes with:
Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. (Psalms 102:25-27 KJV)
American White Pelican, by Dan's Pix

American White Pelican, by Dan's Pix

What a great promise. It amazes me sometimes when I “birdwatch the Scriptures,” what treasures are associated with them.

Photos are by permission of Dan’s Pix and Ray’s Wildlife Photography

Brown Pelicans Dive for their food.

American White Pelicans swim along and feed, upending themselves as they do. This video was taken at Lake Hollingsworth.