Avian and Attributes – Stone

Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) ©WikiC

There is only one bird whose name begins with “Stone”. How does stone describe an attribute of the Lord? How about:

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.” (Exodus 24:12 KJV)

The LORD wrote with his own fingers on those tables of stone, basically what we call today the “10 Commandments.”

“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7 KJV)

“Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.” (Isaiah 8:13-15 KJV)

“Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Matthew 21:42-44 KJV)

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (Ephesians 2:20 KJV)

“Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” (1 Peter 2:7-8 KJV)

Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) ©Flickr Jean

STONE, n. [Gr.]
1. A concretion of some species of earth, as lime, silex, clay and the like, usually in combination with some species of air or gas, with sulphur or with a metallic substance; a hard compact body, of any form and size. In popular language, very large masses of concretions are called rocks; and very small concretions are universally called gravel or sand, or grains of sand. Stones are of various degrees of hardness and weight; they are brittle and fusible, but not malleable, ductile, or soluble in water. Stones are of great and extensive use int he construction of buildings of all kinds, for walls, fences, piers, abutments, arches, monuments, sculpture and the like. When we speak of the substance generally, we use stone in the singular; as a house or wall of stone. But when we speak of particular separate masses, we say, a stone, or the stones.
2. A gem; a precious stone.
Inestimable stones, unvalud jewels.
3. Any thing made of stone; a mirror.
7. In Great Britain, the weight of fourteen pounds. [8, 12, 14, or 16.] [Not used in the United States, except in reference to the riders of horses in races.]
8. A monument erected to preserve the memory of the dead.
Should some relentless eye glance on the stone where our cold relics lie–
9. It is used to express torpidness and insensibility; as a heart of stone.
10. Stone is prefixed to some words to qualify their signification. Thus stone-dead, is perfectly dead, as lifeless as a stone; stone-still, still as a stone, perfectly still; stone-blind, blind as a stone, perfectly blind.
To leave no stone unturned, a proverbial expression which signifies to do every thing that can be done; to use all practicable means to effect an object.
Meteoric stones, stones which fall from the atmosphere, as after the displosion of a meteor.
STONE, a. Made of stone, or like stone; as a stone jug.
STONE, v.t.
1. To pelt, beat or kill with stones.
And they stoned Stephen calling on God and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Acts 7.
2. To harden.
4. To wall or face with stones; to line or fortify with stones; as, to stone a well; to stone a cellar. [edited]

Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) ©WikiC

Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) ©WikiC

The Stone Partridge (Ptilopachus petrosus) is a bird of the new world quail family. This largely brown bird, which commonly holds its tail raised, is found in scrubland and lightly wooded habitats, often near rocks, from Kenya and Ethiopia to Gambia (a large part if its range is in the Sudanian Savanna).

The stone partridge is exceptional among gamebirds in that the female, to human eyes, is showier than the male. Both sexes are predominantly earthy chocolate-brown above, with sparse pale cream-grey spotting. The head, neck and chest are paler brown and have broad cream edging to the feathers that gives the bird a scaled appearance. In males the lower chest and belly are orange-cream; in females, very pale cream. Both sexes raise their crown feathers to form a rudimentary crest but the feathers of females are somewhat longer and hence more obvious when raised.

Eggs are pale pink, fading to cream, juveniles are dark chocolate-brown throughout, molting into adult plumage at several weeks old. In captivity at least, the male plays a major role in both incubation and rearing of the young, offering young small items of food by picking them up, dropping them and calling to the chicks. [Wikipedia with editing]

More Avian and Attributes

Birds whose first name starts with “S”

Good News

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

Heaven’s New Jerusalem and Birds – Introduction

Sapphire Flycatcher (Ficedula sapphira) ©WikiC

I am currently attending a ladies Bible study class on Heaven. It is very interesting, and of course, when the mention of the various precious stones, with their beautiful colors came up, birds fluttered to mind. I have been accused of having a “bird brain.” [Always thinking about things in relation to birds.]

A huge question came to mind. Wonder if I could find birds whose names or colors closely reflected the names of those stones? Sounds like a simple premise. Right? Not so fast, as I am finding out.

Asian Emerald Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx maculatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Asian Emerald Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx maculatus) by Nikhil Devasar

First some of the verses that we were reading from Revelation Chapter 21:

“10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.
21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. (KJV)  [Yes, pearls are not stones]

Things go well with Gold, Jasper, Sapphire, Emerald, Topaz, Jacinth?, and Amethyst. What about chalcedony, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolyte, beryl [maybe], and chrysoprasus?

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus) ©WikiC

King James Study Bible 21:9–21. These verses describe the beauty and glory of the holy Jerusalem. It is called Christ’s bride (cf. v. 2), a reference perhaps to the church as the city’s principal inhabitant. It is an expression of the glory of God. The wall shows its security and protection. Its gates show accessibility. Saved Israel is also present. It has dimensions of approximately 1,500 miles cubed. The gold and precious stones may be earthly materials glorified (cf. 1 Cor. 15:50–54). They depict the glory, beauty, and eternal quality of the city. Jasper is green, sapphire is blue, chalcedonyis green, emerald is green, sardonyx is red and white, sardius is bloodred, chrysolyte is yellow or gold, beryl is green, topaz is greenish gold or yellow, chrysoprasus is green, jacinth is bluish purple, and amethyst is purple quartz. The effect is a magnificent city of brilliant gold adorned with gems of every color. There appears to be only one street (cf. 22:2), also made of pure, radiant gold.

Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus_amethysticollis) ©WikiC

Stones, Precious
“Precious stones are frequently alluded to in Scriptures; they were known and very highly valued in the earliest times. The Tyrians traded in precious stones supplied by Syria. Eze_27:16. The merchants of Sheba and Raamah in south Arabia, and , doubtless, India and Ceylon, supplied the markets of Tyre with various precious stones. The art of engraving on precious stones was known from the very earliest times. Gen_38:18.
The twelve stones of the breastplate were engraved, each one, with the name of one of the tribes. Exo_28:17-21. It is an undecided question whether the diamond was known to the early nations of antiquity. The Authorized Version gives it as the rendering of the Hebrew word, yahalom, but it is probable that the jasper is intended.
Precious stones are used in Scripture, in a figurative sense, to signify value, beauty durability, etc., in those objects with which they are compared. See Son_5:14; Isa_54:11-12; Lam_4:7; Rev_4:3; Rev_21:10; Rev_21:21. [Smith’s Bible Dictionary]

Golden Tanager (Tangara arthus) ©WikiC

The Bible Knowledge Commentary says this of Revelation 21:19-21″

“The decorations of the foundations (with the apostles’ names inscribed on them) include 12 stones involving different colors. The color of the jasper is not indicated. The sapphire was probably blue; the chalcedony comes from Chalcedon, Turkey and is basically blue with stripes of other colors. The emerald is a bright green; the sardonyx is red and white; and the carnelian, called a “sardius” in the NASB, is usually ruby-red in color, though it sometimes has an amber or honey color. In Rev_4:3 the carnelian stone is coupled with the jasper to reflect the glory of God. The chrysolyte is a golden color, probably different from the modern chrysolyte stone which is pale green. The beryl is a sea green; the topaz is a transparent yellow-green; the chrysoprase is also green; the jacinth is violet in color; and the amethyst is purple. The stones together provide a brilliant array of beautiful colors. The gates resemble huge, single pearls, and the street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass (cf. Rev_21:18).
While the beauty of the city may have symbolic meaning, no clue is given as to the precise interpretation. Since it is reasonable to assume that the saints will dwell in the city, it is best to take the city as a literal future dwelling place of the saints and angels.”

Pearl-spotted Owlet (Glaucidium perlatum) Breeding Room by Lee

Pearl-spotted Owlet (Glaucidium perlatum) Breeding Room by Lee

As you can see, it is going to take a while to figure out some of these colors to find possible matching bird colors and names. A friend mentioned that the colors were maybe the same as the ones in the rainbow. Sounds reasonable. When the Lord created the birds, He knew about the rainbow that was going to be given as a promise after the flood. He also knew the colors of the foundations of the New Jerusalem. So, why would he not use those colors in birds when He created them?

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3 KJV)

Stay Tuned!

Jackdaws and Valentines

Western Jackdaw (Coloeus monedula) ©WikiC

Western Jackdaw (Coloeus monedula) ©WikiC

Another blogger, who also enjoys writing about birds, shared this very interesting connection between Jackdaws and Valentine Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day by Grey Feather Photography

Clair starts off with:

“Did you know jackdaws are one of the few birds which truly mate for life?

Jackdaws form pairs as young birds and will then remain together for all of their lives in a partnership sometimes referred to…”

Click here to read the rest of this very interesting article, Happy Valentines Day


“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” (Ephesians 5:25 KJV)

Eleventh Anniversary of Blogging About Birds – Part II

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) by Dan

“Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,” (1 Chronicles 16:12 NKJV)

Yesterday, the Eleventh Anniversary of Blogging About Birds article mentioned our early beginnings for this blog. Today, I’d like to continue with what the Lord has enabled us to do. Over the years, there have been Anniversary articles written. Each one tried to update the latest events, but also, to look back and thank the Lord for His blessings. The Lord wants us to “Remember.” His blessings.

“Remember to magnify His work, Of which men have sung.” (Job 36:24 NKJV)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) by Dan

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) by Dan

Here are six of those years:

“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.” (Psalms 143:5 NKJV)

Actually, yesterday, I used a quotes from Jim Elliot, but was actually thinking of a quote I used in the Happy One Year Anniversary! article. This is what happens as you age. :) Both men were great missionaries and showed tremendous insight in their quotes.

“Our pastor just reminded us of a quote by William Carey, an English Missionary to India:

“Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.”

That article was reposted in 2017. Looking Back – Happy One Year Anniversary! – Repost

In 2010, the 2nd Anniversary rolled around and some quest writers were added. Also, Ian Montgomery started allowing his Bird of the Week articles to be posted. Also, the Plus section, Birds of the World, and Birds in Hymns started up. This is all covered in Second Anniversary of Blog

It appears that I forgot to produce a Third or Fourth year anniversary article. Plenty was going on. The number of visitors to this blog, for which I am thankful for everyone who visits every time, was up to 250,000 on Apr. 9, 2011. 500,000 visits by Mar. 1, 2012, and about 850,000 by the time the Fifth Anniversary rolled around. Formed by Him started around the beginning of 2012. Also, many very talented photographers allowed me the permission to use their photos. There has been a list of them in the right column for years.

White-throated Sparrow by Ray Barlow

In 2013, I remembered to produce a Fifth Blog Anniversary post. There I mentioned the second blog site, Birds of the Bible for Kids. That website was started to get back to the roots of the whole purpose of blogging. That is, introducing young people to the Birds that are mentioned in the Bible. Like this main blog, it also has had growing pains. It was started, then I killed it and moved all the articles over here. Then last year, I decided to restart it back up. Much of the ups and downs of doing the “kids blog” has been due to my health issues. Right now it is up and running, not full speed, but then, neither am I running at full speed. Though I am much improved from last summer’s back surgery. Let’s hope and pray that the young people’s blog starts producing more articles.

I forgot again on the Sixth anniversary of the blog, but WordPress reminded me. Never Give Up

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand. I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.” (Psalms 37:23-25 NKJV)

Enough for now. I trust you are enjoying seeing how the Lord leads in our lives. Who ever thought that six years into doing a blog would have lead me to that point. I’ll tell you more in the next part.

Whatever your talent or abilities, if you know the Lord as your Savior, let Him use you. This is just a little blog in the midst of millions, yet the Lord has been using it. That is what I read from your remarks. Thank you for visiting over the years.

Using Whatever Talent the Lord Has Given You written Sept 16, 2010

Eleventh Anniversary of Blogging About Birds

Wood Stork by Lee

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;” Job 12:7

The idea for the Birds of the Bible lessons began when we were members of Bethany Baptist Church in Avon Park, Florida. I used to carry a laptop into a junior Sunday School class, and for five minutes each week, present a different bird mentioned in the Bible.

Then, we moved up to Winter Haven and began attending Faith Baptist Church, where we are still members. For two years there was no outlet for me to present my birds. When Stephen, the assistant to the pastor, at that time, became aware of what I did, he offered me a chance to post on The Fountain. [The church’s blog] I have written about this before, but am still surprised at how the Lord has allowed me to continue this adventure for so long. On February 15th, 2019, it will be eleven years since this began.

The Fountain was/is on the Blogger platform where I cut my “blogging teeth.” They stopped using the blog in 2013, but have kept all their post. So, all my beginning blogs are still there, along with my learning process. Lee’s Birdwatching Adventure was begun so I could learn how to layout articles for the church blog.

My first blog in February, 2008: Birds of the Bible – Introduction (by Lee Dusing)

American White Pelicans at Lake Hollingsworth

On July 05, 2008, Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus was created on the WordPress platform, where it still is today. All those original articles were moved over to the new blog and removed from the old one. What they look like on the church’s blog is how they looked originally.

When all this began, it never crossed my mind that the Lord would allow it to grow to where it is today.  Our pastor is always challenging us to give the Lord whatever talent or ability we have. Let Him decide how it is to be used, and be willing to let Him use us.

“So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” (Genesis 1:21-23 NKJV)

Thank you Lord for letting me love you and your created critters, especially the birds of the air. Another saying our pastor uses is from Missionary Jim Elliot: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” There has been many hours given, and I won’t know until heaven to find out what rewards these efforts may have earned.

Looking through Jim Elliot’s quotes on that link, I found these also:

“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God. ― Jim Elliot

“God always gives his best to those who leave the choice with him.” ― Jim Elliot

“Oh, the fullness, pleasure, sheer excitement of knowing God on earth!”― Jim Elliot

“Lord, make my way prosperous not that I achieve high station, but that my life be an exhibit to the value of knowing God.”― Jim Elliot

“I couldn’t have asked for more than God in deliberate grace has surprised me with!”― Jim Elliot

I am so thankful for the various writers that have contributed to this blog over the years. Two have already gone on to heaven, A J Mithra, and April Lorier. Currently, Ian Montgomery, Dr. James J. S. Johnson, Emma Foster, Golden Eagle, and others are contributing to the blog.

Again, all of these efforts would be of no avail, if you, the reader, had not stopped by to read these articles. Thank you for all your visits over the years. We trust you will continue to stop in to see what new Birdwatching Adventures we have written about.

One of my most favorite videos was on the Eagles post, which isn’t currently working on the Fountain post, The Birds of the Bible ~ Eagles

but here it is:

“Now my days are swifter than a runner; They flee away, they see no good. They pass by like swift ships, Like an eagle swooping on its prey.” (Job 9:25-26 NKJV)

Here are some of the first Birds of the Bible articles on The Fountain:

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

Looking through the Blog Archive [right side] on the Fountain, you will find others also.

Woodstock’s Mating Dance

Woodstock and Mating Dance ©Peanuts

Well, it’s mating time here in Florida for many of our Herons and Egrets. Not that Woodstock is in their family, but he made his efforts.

Great Egret by Dan at Gatorland

We haven’t been to Gatorland yet this year, but reports are coming in for the mating of some and the hatching of other birds over there.

Gatorland 4-2-15 by Lee

Thought you might enjoy seeing some of the previous year’s photos of mating rituals. Maybe Woodstock can improve his technique from seeing them.

Tricolored Heron on Rail at Gatorland

The birds even brighten up their faces (lore) for mating. Wonder what Woodstock’s beak would look like?

Snowy Egret at Gatorland by Lee

Snowy Egret at Gatorland

Tricolored Heron at Gatorland

Tricolored Heron at Gatorland

Great Egret at Gatorland by Lee

SNOWY EGRETS, showing off for the Dusings (Lee Dusing photo, at Gatorland, Forida)

Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.” (Psalms 104:17 KJV)

When they get through all that displaying, eventually, we should start seeing some of these around there.

Baby Great Egret at Gatorland 3-6-18

Now! To find the time to get over to Gatorland. It’s only about 50 miles away.

A few other Gatorland blogs:

Gatorland’s Taxi Service

Great Egret Preening at Gatorland

Baby Snowy Egrets at Gatorland

Gatorland From Dan’s Camera

Sharing The Gospel

Ian’s Bird of the Moment – Australian Grebe

Now this really is a bird of the moment given the recent floods in Townsville generally and Bluewater in particular where I live. On Tuesday morning I went down to the area below the flood bank to check out the damage from the third flash flood that had occurred the night before. Compared with neighbours who have had their houses and businesses flooded I have got off very lightly but nonetheless the mess made by the floods is a bit sad: carefully nurtured native trees torn up or flattened and lots of flotsam such as trees, branches, tangled fence wires and other debris.

Townsville flooding by Ian

Between floods there has been a persistent knee-deep pond at the bottom of the flood bank below the house (above) and to my delight I found this Australasian Grebe had taken up residence, a good place to be as small fish normally get trapped in this area after floods. It was still there when I returned from the house with my camera.

Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) by Ian

In the second grebe photo, it has just surfaced after a dive and you can see the way grebe legs are attached at the very rear of the body. Very good for swimming and diving, the original outboard motor, but fairly useless for walking on land. Unsurprisingly grebes stay almost permanently on water and build floating nests.

Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) by Ian

The grebe didn’t seem very pleased to see me, third grebe photo, so I left it in peace and when I went down the back again on Wednesday it had moved on and the water levels were dropping.

Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) by Ian

The colours don’t show very well in the current gloomy overcast weather but my visitor was in breeding plumage: generally dark grey with a rufous patch behind the cheeks extending onto the sides of the neck. The fourth grebe photo shows a different bird in breeding plumage just before sunset which, if anything, exaggerates the colours but we are allowed a little artistic license.

Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) by Ian

The fifth grebe photo show one in non-breeding garb. Not only has the plumage changed but the bill is pale too and the patches on the gape look smaller and have lost their yellowish hue. Both sexes are similar in appearance in breeding and non-breeding plumage.

Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) by Ian

The Australasian Grebe has a prolonged breed season, August to April, and breeds opportunistically in response to good aquatic conditions. In the tropics they may breed at any time of the year. When breeding they prefer wetlands with well vegetated shores for cover. At other times they occur on a wide variety of mainly fresh permanent or semi-permanent wetlands and, as I’ve just discovered, on temporary floodwaters. They have benefitted from the building of small reservoirs and dams on farmland.

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) by Ian

 

I haven’t got a photo of a nesting Australasian Grebe but above, sixth grebe photo, is one of the very closely related Little Grebe of Eurasian and Africa, which featured as bird of the moment in 2012.

Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) by Ian

The seventh grebe photo shows a family of Australasian Grebes. The young birds, typically for grebes, are beautifully patterned and in the eighth grebe photo you can see the striped head and neck and red gape patches. Gape patch colours are clearly important in the life of grebes. Presumably red means ‘feed me’ and you can guess what yellow means.

Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) by Ian

Grebes may lose out in the walking stakes and prefer diving to flying when disturbed. They, however, are remarkably strong fliers and can move long distances, usually at night. There is some uncertainty about seasonal movements of the Australasian Grebe in Australia but birds appear to move to the coast from arid regions during drought. It is widespread in Australia, though rare in Tasmania and also occurs in New Guinea, Timor, Java, the Solomons, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. The species colonised New Zealand in the 1970s.

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) by Ian

For a long time it was treated as a race of the very similar Little Grebe (above) but the ranges of the two species overlap without interbreeding in New Guinea. The Little Grebe occurs across Eurasia from Ireland through Europe, South and Southeast Asia to Japan and south to Java and Northern New Guinea. It also occurs widely across sub-Saharan Africa to South Africa and east to Madagascar.

We are fortunate to appreciate the gifts that nature gives us. I went into town on the same day my welcome visitor arrived and was treated to the sight of a large flock of Royal Spoonbills feeding in a flooded park at Bushland Beach and a Wedge-tailed Eagle soaring over the highway near Black River on the way home.

Greetings

Ian


Lee’s Addition:

“If a bird’s nest happens to be before you along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, with the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young;” (Deuteronomy 22:6 NKJV)

Well this newest addition from Ian surprised me. Maybe he is going to get back into the “Bird of the Week” routine like he used to produce. I have always enjoyed these newsletters from Ian. Very thankful that he gave me permission years ago to re-post them here.

I have always enjoyed Grebes here. Of course, ours do not look like the ones he gets to see. Ian said, “Unsurprisingly grebes stay almost permanently on water and build floating nests.” One would have to wade out to the nest in the verses I chose.

Ian’s Bird of the Week series

Save the Parrots

Bird of the Moment: Satin and Leaden Flycatchers

Satin Flycatcher (Myiagra cyanoleuca) Male ©Ian Montgomery

Bird of the Moment: Satin and Leaden Flycatchers by Ian Montgomery

One day last October, I was doing the dishes in the upstairs kitchen and checking, as one does, bird activity in the two bird baths below when this unusual one arrived. I keep my binoculars on the kitchen window sill for moments like this and I was astonished to see that it was a male Satin Flycatcher, very rare in North Queensland.

Happily it stayed around long enough for me to grab the camera and get a few photo both at the bird bath and, second photo, in a nearby shrub before it flew away. Satin Flycatchers are notoriously difficult to distinguish from their close relatives Leaden Flycatchers but in the right light and at the right angle – i.e. from above – the overall satiny blue sheen is unmistakable.

Leaden Flycatcher last featured as bird of the week/moment in 2003 with this one photo below, so now is a good opportunity to review it and the question of distinguishing the two species. Graeme Chapman wrote an article – ‘Mixed Up Myiagras’ – on identifying Monarch Flycatchers in the June 2003 issue of Wingspan, the Birds Australia magazine and I’m going to quote extensively from that.

The key field mark for distinguishing Leaden and Satin Flycatchers is the shape of the demarcation between the dark throat patch and the white breast and belly. In the male Leaden Flycatcher (above) the line curves upwards where the dark throat patch meets the wing producing a right angle or slightly acute angle in the white part. In the Satin Flycatcher, see the next two photos, the demarcation curves downward at the sides where it disappears below the wing and there is no sharp angle, rather a curve through a decidedly obtuse angle.

This is perhaps easier to see in the photo below, where the bird is obligingly lifting its wing as it preens.

To add to the problem, male Leaden Flycatchers have a bluish sheen on the throat patch and to a lesser extent on the head. Given the refractive, iridescent nature of such colours in feathers (optical structure rather than pigment) the actual colour produced depends on light conditions and angle. The Leaden Flycatcher in the photo below looks quite bluish (thought the back and wings are greyer) and could easily be mistaken for a Satin. Here the angle of the white area comes to the rescue and this bird is definitely a Leaden.

I haven’t mentioned females or juveniles yet: they’re even harder than the males. Females and juveniles of both species have reddish buff breasts but these are very variable in intensity and lack the clear demarcation with the white breast that comes to the aid of identifying males. In general, female Satins are darker overall than Leadens and have a bluish sheen on the head. But be warned, the heads of female Leadens can be slightly bluish too as in the photo below. I regret that I haven’t got a photo of a female Satin.

If all else fails, habitat, location and time of year are important. Satin Flycatchers breed in moist forests; in Tasmania (from which Leadens are absent) and Victoria this includes both inland and coastal forests but in New South Wales the Satin occurs only in damp wooded gullies in the high country along the Great Dividing Range. Given the problems of identification, there is uncertainty whether they breed in Southeast Queensland and Graeme Chapman couldn’t confirm breeding there.

John Young reported finding breeding pairs in Northern Queensland in highland rainforest (two pairs near Paluma, December 1984, and one pair at Wallaman Falls, November 1991) but it isn’t known whether this is part of its normal breeding range or even the same race as he reported the birds as being larger and darker than southern ones and the eggs being 20% larger.

Leaden Flycatchers occur in a wide variety of wooded habitats and may be found breeding in the same areas as Satin Flycatchers.

Leaden Flycatcher (Myiagra rubecula) Female in nest by Ian

Timing is important as the Satin Flycatcher is a migrant and winters mainly in New Guinea. The late Andrée Griffin lived in Paluma, about 40km from my place as the flycatcher flies, for many years and kept careful records of birds. She reported to Graeme Chapman that Satin Flycatchers arrived there each year on their way south at the beginning of October and were seen for about a fortnight. That date coincides well with my record of 12 October and Len Ezzy, a local birder, recorded one a week later at the Townsville Town Common. In 2016, I thought I saw a female Satin Flycatcher having a bathe in my pool on 22 September, but she didn’t hang around while I got the camera.

Flooded Creek by Ian – Townsville, Australia

For those of you who have heard the news about flooding in Townsville in general and Bluewater in particular on Wednesday, I’m happy to report that my house is high up enough above the creek to have been spared so far, unlike some unfortunate residents farther down the creek. Upper Bluewater has had over 900mm of rain in the last three days and it is hard to imagine it ever exceeding that. This is what Bluewater Creek looked like from just outside my house shortly after the flood peaked on Wednesday. The creek is normally invisible from here in a gorge about 200 metres away where the distant trees are.

Greetings – Ian


Ian’s Birds of the Moment come in quite unannounced. Never know when to expect something from “down under.” Yet, everytime, Ian has a very interesting bird/birds to introduce us to. Thank you, Ian for stopping by with another set of beautiful avian wonders.

The verses below remind us that the Lord provides for his critters and birds. In this case, the “hills” might have been a bit over filled.

“By them [streams] the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. He waters the hills from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works.” (Psalms 104:12-13 NKJV)

Ian’s Birds of the Week [Month, Moment]

Hope for Hard Times

Orni-Theology and Woodstock’s High-rise Nest

Woodstock’s High-rise Nest

Woodstock is not the only bird to live in a nest complex. Birds in this area, central Florida, have at least one bird, the Monk Parakeet, or Quaker Parakeet that makes an “apartment” nest.

Monk Parakeet and Nest

Monk Parakeet and Nest – Near South Lake Howard Nature Park

We used to own two Monk Parakeets, so I was familiar with them when we moved here. In South Florida, where we lived in the past, they were wild there also. In fact, Bandi, our first Monk parakeet had been shot out of the tree next door by teenagers. Some neighbor kids brought her to me and long story short, her wing had to be amputated. So, she never went back to the wild.

Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) Hoppy & Bandi

Hoppy in front, Bandi in back – Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)

Hoppy, our second one, had a broken leg, which our vet fixed up. That is the bandage on his leg. Back to the High-rise.

Sociable Weaver nest (Philetairus socius) © Ingo Arndt-NPL

The Sociable Weaver (Philetairus socius) is a great example of building a “Highrise.” [from 16 Most Amazing Bird Nest ]

Weaverbirds Nests are Like Huts has a great photo of an elaborate “homestead.” Also, it is a very interesting article about how they make the nest.

Sociable Weaver nest (Philetairus socius) ©Dillon Marsh

Then again, maybe Woodstock would like to visit the Montezuma Orpendola and select one of the higher nest apartments.

Montezuma Oropendola (Psarocolius montezuma) Nest Complex ©WikiC

There are many more examples of how the Lord, in His Wisdom, has given the birds the knowledge to build these nest and also, to know that “community” can aid in their protection.

The book of Ecclesiastes has great words of wisdom from Solomon when he refers to one person, versus two or more:

“There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labors, Nor is his eye satisfied with riches. But he never asks, “For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?” This also is vanity and a grave misfortune. Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:8-12 NKJV)


Avian and Attributes – Star

Star Finch (Neochmia ruficauda) ©WikiC

“I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult. (Numbers 24:17 NKJV)

Avian and Attributes: Star

STAR, n.
1. An apparently small luminous body in the heavens, that appears in the night, or when its light is not obscured by clouds or lost in the brighter effulgence of the sun. Stars are fixed or planetary. The fixed stars are known by their perpetual twinkling, and by their being always in the same position in relation to each other. The planets do not twinkle, and they revolve about the sun. The stars are worlds, and their immense numbers exhibit the astonishing extent of creation and of divine power.

5. In Scripture, Christ is called the bright and morning star, the star that ushers in the light of an eternal day to his people. Revelations 22. Ministers are also called stars in Christs right hand, as, being supported and directed by Christ, they convey light and knowledge to the followers of Christ. Revelations 1. The twelve stars which form the crown of the church, are the twelve apostles. Revelations 12.
6. The figure of a star; a badge of rank; as stars and garters.
The pole-star, a bright star in the tail of Ursa minor, so-called from its being very near the north pole.
Star of Bethlehem, a flower and plant of the genus Ornithogalum. There is also the star of Alexandria, and of Naples, and of Constantinople, of the same genus.
STAR, v.t. To set or adorn with stars or bright radiating bodies; to bespangle; as a robe starred with gems.

Star Finch (Neochmia ruficauda) Female front-Male back ©WikiC

Star Finch (Neochmia ruficauda), an estrildid finch, between 4.5—5 inches in length, with crimson fore-parts of the head and a scarlet bill. The upper and lower plumage is yellow-green, white spotted on the underparts, the belly more yellow. The upper tail coverts are scarlet, tail feathers are brownish scarlet. The female has less crimson on the head, and generally duller than the male, the immature star finch is olive to brownish with a grey face and head.

Found in northern coastal regions of Australia, occurring at sparsely wooded habitat of tall grass or rushes around creeks and swamps

Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) X Star Hybrid by Ian

saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:2 NKJV)

Star-chested Treerunner (Margarornis stellatus)

Star-chested Treerunner (Margarornis stellatus)

The Star-chested Treerunner (Margarornis stellatus or Fulvous-dotted Treerunner is a species of bird in the family Furnariidae. It is found in Colombia and Ecuador.

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:10-11 NKJV)

Star-spotted Nightjar (Caprimulgus stellatus) ©WikiC

“For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:17-21 NKJV)

Star-throated Antwren (Rhopias gularis) ©WikiC

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:16-17 NKJV)

Avian and Attributes

Willets At Ding Darling NWR

Willet at Ding Darling NWR by Lee 01-26-2019

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;” (Job 12:7 NKJV)

Previously, we were at Merritt Island NWR and had seen some Willets and I needed help identifying some birds. One of them turned out to be a Willet. I have seen them before, but not very often. Today, we went to Ding Darling NWR over on Sanibel Island, right nearby Fort Myers, Florida.

Today was very cool, around 48-50 degrees, overcast, and very windy. Not a great day for birdwatching, if you have a small temperature range like I do. :) My range is between 65 and 80 degrees. Anyway, back to the adventure.

The birds were few and not really close in. Most of my photos were taken using my zoom. The Willets were feeding and I happened to be standing by a lady with a nice camera that had a long lens on it. Wanting to show of my new Willet identity skills, I said, “those are Willets, right.?” [That is how you ask when you really aren’t 100% sure.]

“Yes, they are.” Then she said, “I am a biologist and a Shorebird specialists.” About that time, one of the Willets from another group flew by us and she told me that the black and white wing bars are a great clue. Also, they are one of the largest shorebirds in this area.

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR by Lee 01-26-2019

One of the great things about birdwatching is the helpfulness of other birders. Most are willing to share their experience and knowledge about these Avian Wonders from our Creator. Now I have another way to help figure out that I am looking at a Willet.

Here are a few more photos as he flew by:

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR by Lee

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR by Lee

When the bird landed, you could still see the black at the back of its wings. [far left bird]

As we continued to watch and talk, a group of the Willets flew over and landed. It was nice to see all those black and white markings. Once they settled down, close their wings, all that “clue” is again hid. Oh, the joys and challenges of birdwatching.

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR by Lee 01-26-2019

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) at Ding Darling NWR by Lee 01-26-2019

By the way, looking back over previous photos, we were last at Ding Darling in July of 2008. It has been some time since we were there and there were many more birds. Could it be because it was in July and WARMER???

The verse quoted above, “But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;” (Job 12:7 NKJV), reminds us that the Lord has made each species just a bit different. If we study them, “they will tell us.”


Ding Darling NWR – FWS

Ding Darling NWR – Wikipedia

Willet – All About Birds

  • Because they find prey using the sensitive tips of their bills, and not just eyesight, Willets can feed both during the day and at night.

Willet – Wikipedia

Willet (Tringa semipalmata) ©WikiC

White-Eye Changes from I.O.C. Ver 9.1

Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus) by W Kwong

Japanese White-eye now the Warbling White-eye (Zosterops japonicus) by W Kwong

“Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,” (Psalms 17:8 KJV)

Now that all the indexes are updated, I thought you might find it interesting what they did to the White-eye family. The they are part of the Zosteropidae family. Wikipedia gives this about them:

“White-eyes are mostly of undistinguished appearance, the plumage being generally greenish olive above, and pale grey below. Some species have a white or bright yellow throat, breast or lower parts, and several have buff flanks. As their common name implies, many species have a conspicuous ring of tiny white feathers around their eyes.[1] The scientific name of the group also reflects this latter feature, being derived from the Ancient Greek for “girdle-eye”. They have rounded wings and strong legs. Like many other nectivorous birds, they have slender, pointed bills, and brush-tipped tongues.[1] The size ranges up to 15 cm (5.9 in) in length.

All the species of white-eyes are sociable, forming large flocks which only separate on the approach of the breeding season. They build tree nests and lay two to four unspotted pale blue eggs.[citation needed] Though mainly insectivorous, they eat nectar and fruits of various kinds. The silvereye can be a problem in Australian vineyards, through piercing the grape allowing infection or insect damage to follow.

White-eyes are the city bird of Kurayoshi City, in Tottori, Japan.”

Oriental now Indian White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) by Nikhil Devasar

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Psalms 32:8 KJV)

Below are all the White-eyes and their new names or species. This is not the whole Zosteropidae Family. There is one Black-eye in here. [As of the 9.1 Version Update]

Megazosterops
Giant White-eye (Megazosterops palauensis)
Apalopteron
Bonin White-eye (Apalopteron familiare)
Cleptornis
Golden White-eye (Cleptornis marchei)
Rukia
Teardrop White-eye (Rukia ruki)
Long-billed White-eye (Rukia longirostra)
Tephrozosterops
Rufescent Darkeye (Tephrozosterops stalkeri)
Lophozosterops
Grey-hooded White-eye (Lophozosterops pinaiae)
Mindanao White-eye (Lophozosterops goodfellowi)
Streak-headed White-eye (Lophozosterops squamiceps)
Mees’s White-eye (Lophozosterops javanicus)
Cream-browed White-eye (Lophozosterops superciliaris)
Crested White-eye (Lophozosterops dohertyi)
Heleia
Spot-breasted Heleia (Heleia muelleri)
Thick-billed Heleia (Heleia crassirostris)
Oculocincta
Pygmy White-eye (Oculocincta squamifrons)
Woodfordia
Bare-eyed White-eye (Woodfordia superciliosa)
Sanford’s White-eye (Woodfordia lacertosa)
Zosterops
Marianne White-eye (Zosterops semiflavus)
Karthala White-eye (Zosterops mouroniensis)
Mauritius Olive White-eye (Zosterops chloronothos)
Reunion Olive White-eye (Zosterops olivaceus)
Mauritius Grey White-eye (Zosterops mauritianus)
Reunion Grey White-eye (Zosterops borbonicus)

Mountain Blackeye (Chlorocharis emiliae) ©WikiC

“He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?” (Psalms 94:9 KJV)

Mountain Blackeye (Zosterops emiliae)
Chestnut-flanked White-eye (Zosterops erythropleurus)
Warbling White-eye (Zosterops japonicus) was Japanese White-eye
Swinhoe’s White-eye (Zosterops simplex) Added
Hume’s White-eye (Zosterops auriventer) Added
Lowland White-eye (Zosterops meyeni)
Indian White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) was Oriental White-eye
Sangkar White-eye (Zosterops melanurus) Added
Sri Lanka White-eye (Zosterops ceylonensis)
Rota White-eye (Zosterops rotensis)
Bridled White-eye (Zosterops conspicillatus)
Citrine White-eye (Zosterops semperi)
Plain White-eye (Zosterops hypolais)
Black-capped White-eye (Zosterops atricapilla)
Everett’s White-eye (Zosterops everetti)
Yellowish White-eye (Zosterops nigrorum)
Yellow-ringed White-eye (Zosterops wallacei)
Javan White-eye (Zosterops flavus)
Lemon-bellied White-eye (Zosterops chloris)
Ashy-bellied White-eye (Zosterops citrinella)
Pale-bellied White-eye (Zosterops consobrinorum)
Pearl-bellied White-eye (Zosterops grayi)
Golden-bellied White-eye (Zosterops uropygialis)
Black-ringed White-eye (Zosterops anomalus)
Cream-throated White-eye (Zosterops atriceps)
Sangihe White-eye (Zosterops nehrkorni)
Black-crowned White-eye (Zosterops atrifrons)
Togian White-eye (Zosterops somadikartai)
Seram White-eye (Zosterops stalkeri)
Black-fronted White-eye (Zosterops minor)
Tagula White-eye (Zosterops meeki)
Bismarck White-eye (Zosterops hypoxanthus)
Biak White-eye (Zosterops mysorensis)
Capped White-eye (Zosterops fuscicapilla)
Buru White-eye (Zosterops buruensis)
Ambon White-eye (Zosterops kuehni)
Papuan White-eye (Zosterops novaeguineae)
Yellow-throated White-eye (Zosterops metcalfii)
Christmas White-eye (Zosterops natalis)
Canary White-eye (Zosterops luteus)
Louisiade White-eye (Zosterops griseotinctus)
Rennell White-eye (Zosterops rennellianus)
Vella Lavella White-eye (Zosterops vellalavella)
Gizo White-eye (Zosterops luteirostris)
Ranongga White-eye (Zosterops splendidus)
Solomons White-eye (Zosterops kulambangrae)
Dark-eyed White-eye (Zosterops tetiparius)
Kolombangara White-eye (Zosterops murphyi)
Grey-throated White-eye (Zosterops rendovae)
Malaita White-eye (Zosterops stresemanni)
Santa Cruz White-eye (Zosterops sanctaecrucis)
Vanikoro White-eye (Zosterops gibbsi)
Samoan White-eye (Zosterops samoensis)
Fiji White-eye (Zosterops explorator)
Vanuatu White-eye (Zosterops flavifrons)
Small Lifou White-eye (Zosterops minutus)
Green-backed White-eye (Zosterops xanthochroa)
Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis)
Slender-billed White-eye (Zosterops tenuirostris)
Robust White-eye (Zosterops strenuus)
White-chested White-eye (Zosterops albogularis)
Large Lifou White-eye (Zosterops inornatus)
Kosrae White-eye (Zosterops cinereus)
Grey-brown White-eye (Zosterops ponapensis)
Olive-colored White-eye (Zosterops oleagineus)
Dusky White-eye (Zosterops finschii)
Socotra White-eye (Zosterops socotranus) Added
Principe White-eye (Zosterops ficedulinus)
Annobon White-eye (Zosterops griseovirescens)
Sao Tome White-eye (Zosterops feae)
Black-capped Speirops (Zosterops lugubris)
Principe Speirops (Zosterops leucophaeus)
Mbulu White-eye (Zosterops mbuluensis) Added
Abyssinian White-eye (Zosterops abyssinicus)
Pale White-eye (Zosterops flavilateralis) Added
Seychelles White-eye (Zosterops modestus)
Aldabra White-eye (Zosterops aldabrensis)Added
Kirk’s White-eye (Zosterops kirki)
Mayotte White-eye (Zosterops mayottensis)
Malagasy White-eye (Zosterops maderaspatanus)
Taita White-eye (Zosterops silvanus)
South Pare White-eye (Zosterops winifredae) Added
Orange River White-eye (Zosterops pallidus)
Cape White-eye (Zosterops virens)
Southern Yellow White-eye (Zosterops anderssoni) Added
Mount Cameroon Speirops (Zosterops melanocephalus)
Fernando Po Speirops (Zosterops brunneus)
Forest White-eye (Zosterops stenocricotus)
Heuglin’s White-eye (Zosterops poliogastrus) was Montane White-eye
Kikuyu White-eye (Zosterops kikuyuensis)

Montane White-eye (Zosterops poliogastrus eurycricotus) subspecies now the Broad-ringed White-eye (Zosterops eurycricotus) ©WikiC

“The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.” (Proverbs 20:12 KJV)

Broad-ringed White-eye (Zosterops eurycricotus) Added
Northern Yellow White-eye (Zosterops senegalensis) was African Yellow White-eye
Green White-eye (Zosterops stuhlmanni) Added
Pemba White-eye (Zosterops vaughani)


I.O.C. Version 9.1 (Last Name First List, Now updated)

*


Zosteropidae Family

Woodstock and the I.O.C. 9.1 Update

World Bird Names – I.O.C. Version 9.1