“Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 8:7 KJV)
Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) at Palm Beach Zoo by Lee
“And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier-eagle,” (Leviticus 11:18)
I have always enjoyed trying to whistle and today we lead off our latest Family, the Anatidae, in the Answeriformes Order. The Anatidae family has ducks, geese, swans, and a few others that add up to 173 species. The Whistling Ducks do make a whistling sound, which I notice more when they are flying. We have the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks here locally. In fact, some hang out at the pond in our housing area.
Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) by Lee at Palm Beach Zoo
Audio of a Black-bellied Whistling Duck from xeno-canto.
The Anatidae are the biological family of birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans. The family has a cosmopolitan distribution, occurring on all the world’s continents. These birds are adapted for swimming, floating on the water surface, and in some cases diving in at least shallow water. (The magpie goose is no longer considered to be part of the Anatidae, but is placed in its own family
They are generally herbivorous, and are monogamous breeders. A number of species undertake annual migrations. A few species have been domesticated for agriculture, and many others are hunted for food and recreation. Five species have become extinct since 1600, and many more are threatened with extinction.
Whistling ducks are found in the tropics and subtropics. As their name implies, they have distinctive whistling calls. The whistling ducks have long legs and necks, and are very gregarious, flying to and from night-time roosts in large flocks. Both sexes have the same plumage, and all have a hunched appearance and black underwings in flight.
The white-backed duck (Thalassornis leuconotus) is a waterbird of the family Anatidae. It is distinct from all other ducks, but most closely related to the whistling ducks in the subfamily Dendrocygninae, though also showing some similarities to the stiff-tailed ducks in the subfamily Oxyurinae. It is the only member of the genus Thalassornis.
These birds are well adapted for diving. On occasions they have been observed to stay under water for up to half a minute. They search especially for the bulbs of waterlilies. From danger, they also escape preferentially by diving; hence, the namesake white back is hardly visible in life. (Information from Wikipedia)
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) by Ian
The black geese of the genus Branta are waterfowl belonging to the true geese and swans subfamily Anserinae. They occur in the northern coastal regions of the Palearctic and all over North America, migrating to more southernly coasts in winter, and as resident birds in the Hawaiian Islands. Alone in the Southern Hemisphere, a self-sustaining feral population derived from introduced Canada geese is also found in New Zealand.
The scientific name Branta is a Latinised form of Old Norse Brandgás, “burnt (black) goose). The black geese derive their vernacular name for the prominent areas of black coloration found in all species. They can be distinguished from all other true geese by their legs and feet, which are black or very dark grey. Furthermore, they have black bills and large areas of black on the head and neck, with white (ochre in one species) markings that can be used to tell apart most species.[note 1] As with most geese, their undertail and uppertail coverts are white. They are also on average smaller than other geese, though some very large taxa are known, which rival the swan goose and the black-necked swan in size.
The Nene (Branta sandvicensis), also known as nēnē and Hawaiian goose, is a species of goose endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The official bird of the state of Hawaiʻi, the nene is exclusively found in the wild on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauaʻi, Molokai, and Hawaiʻi. The Hawaiian name nēnē comes from its soft call. The species name sandvicensis refers to the Sandwich Islands, an old name for the Hawaiian Islands. (Above information from Wikipedia)
The first two photos show how the different zoos call the same bird by different names. This is why the scientific name is very important. Also, Dan and I have been fortunate to have seen most of these birds either in the wild or in zoos. It is always a joy to watch the Lord’s Creations in person.
I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: (Ecclesiastes 2:6)
In those pools of water, most likely you will find one of these.
“I’d Rather Have Jesus” ~ by Faith Baptist Orchestra*
“And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,” (Leviticus 11:18 KJV)
In 2014 I wrote about going birdwatching at Lake Morton – Lake Morton Birdwatching after Round-up . Well, they are currently in the midst of doing so again. Today’s paper mentioned the annual round-up and thought you might enjoy seeing this years version. First, here is a video from last year:
“For some reason, Steve Platt, the Lakeland Parks and Recreation guy in charge of the 2016 Swan Roundup, agreed to let me on a boat to go after the target of the morning.
This is the 36th annual swan roundup. It takes place on picturesque Lake Morton.
On the day one, Tuesday, city employees catch the swans. The following day, local veterinarian Dr. Patricia Mattson and her staff give the swans physicals. They weigh, vaccinate and microchip the birds.
“The Lake Morton swans are a community icon and families have been interacting with the birds for decades,” explained Bob Donahay, director of parks & recreation. “It is very important to us to make sure our Lakeland flock is doing well so we schedule the swan roundup each year with the primary purpose to check on the health of our birds.”
Dr. Mattson, and the folks who preceded her, Dr. Geoffrey Gardner and his dad, Dr. Wade Gardner, provide their services for free.
This year, the goal was to catch close to 70 swans to get them ready for their physicals on Wednesday.
“The swans are consuming too much white bread and the heavy gluten diet, with very little nutritional value, is taking a toll on Lakeland’s swan population,” Dr. Mattson offered. “Many of the swans have a calcium deficiency because they feast on bleached white bread and this is just one of the items that will be reviewed during the swans’ annual health checkup.”
I got onto the boat, laid on my stomach, and held a big fishing net in my right hand. In an instant, I was zipping across the water. There ahead, floating peacefully was the target — a beautiful white mute swan.
As we got closer, the swan realized something was up and began to swim faster and faster away from the rumble of the rumble of the motor. As we closed in, thinking I would never pull this off, I try to net the swan, and to my amazement, I did. It was quite an adrenaline rush.
With instruction, I grabbed the massive bird, carefully keeping its wings and big floppy feet from breaking loose of my grip. When we got back to shore, I put it into a holding pen where it will stay until tomorrow.
That’s when the real fun will begin. An assembly line of workers will take each swan one by one to the vet who will weigh it, take a blood sample, and record the findings.
After that, Lakeland’s most loved residents are good for another year.
In Genesis 1:28, originally dominion over the birds was given to Adam. That meant to care for them. I am glad that the city of Lakeland cares about their Swans.
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
There are several different rose types, and each is very different. There are many different types of roses with many different colors and different sizes, The pictures in this photo gallery provide examples of some of the types of roses available.