Paintbrush Birds – Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting Subspecies (Passerina ciris ciris) ©WikiC

Every since my first encounter with a Painted Bunting, they have been one of top favorites. [notice I have lots of favorites :)] When we lived in south Florida, I turned to look out my window and saw one of the Avian Wonders on my feeder hanging under the awning. Wow!!! I am sure my eyes were about ready to pop out!! What a beauty! This definitely qualifies for a Paintbrush Bird. In fact, it looks like the Creator had several bushes with a dab of color on each and painted these gorgeous birds.

Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) ©Flickr Ralph Arvesen

The male painted bunting is often described as the most beautiful bird in North America and as such has been nicknamed nonpareil, or “without equal”. Its colors, dark blue head, green back, red rump, and underparts, make it extremely easy to identify, but it can still be difficult to spot since it often skulks in foliage even when it is singing. The plumage of female and juvenile painted buntings is green and yellow-green, serving as camouflage. Once seen, the adult female is still distinctive, since it is a brighter, truer green than other similar songbirds.

Painted Bunting – Female ©WikiC Dan_Pancamo

The juveniles have two inserted molts in their first autumn, each yielding plumage like an adult female. 

The painted bunting occupies typical habitat for a member of its family. It is found in thickets, woodland edges with riparian thickets, shrubbery and brushy areas. In the east, the species breeds in maritime hammocks and scrub communities. Today, it is often found along roadsides and in suburban areas, and in gardens with dense, shrubby vegetation. The wintering habitat is typically the shrubby edges along the border of tropical forests or densely vegetated savanna. The breeding range is divided into two geographically separate areas. These include southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, southern and eastern Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, northern Florida, coastal Georgia, the southern coast and inland waterways such as the Santee River of South Carolina and northern Mexico. They winter in South Florida, Cuba, the Bahamas, along both coasts of Mexico and through much of Central America. Occasionally, they may be vagrants further north, including to New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The bird is also found every few years as far north as New Brunswick, Canada. (Wikipedia, with editing)

Great Verses:

“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors.” (Genesis 37:3 NKJV)

“The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” (Genesis 9:16 NKJV) [Maybe the Lord gave us a “small reminder” of His rainbow for bright sunny days when our Painted Bunting is flitting about.]

See More Paintbrush Birds:

Other post about the Painted Bunting:

Paintbrush Birds – Blue-footed Booby

Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) by Ian

Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) by Ian

The Blue-footed Booby is not what you might think of as a “Paintbrush Bird,” but I thought that the color of his feet qualifies him. :)

Actually, these feet look more like he stepped into a bucket of paint, instead of a Paintbrush being used on them. Yet, we know that their the Creator made those feet blue with His Creative Touch.

The young are not born with blue feet, but eventually their feet will turn blue. 

Blue-footed Boobies with young by Ian

From Wikipedia: “The blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii) is a marine bird native to subtropical and tropical regions of the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is one of six species of the genus Sula – known as boobies. It is easily recognizable by its distinctive bright blue feet, which is a sexually selected trait. Males display their feet in an elaborate mating ritual by lifting them up and down while strutting before the female. The female is slightly larger than the male and can measure up to 90 cm (35 in) long with a wingspan up to 1.5 m (5 ft).

The natural breeding habitats of the blue-footed booby are the tropical and subtropical islands of the Pacific Ocean. It can be found from the Gulf of California south along the western coasts of Central and South America to Peru. About half of all breeding pairs nest on the Galápagos Islands. Its diet mainly consists of fish, which it obtains by diving and sometimes swimming under water in search of its prey. It sometimes hunts alone, but usually hunts in groups.

Blue-footed Boobie by Ian

Great Verses to consider:

“My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.” (Psalms 121:2-3 NKJV)

“Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:26-27 NKJV)

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV)

See other Blue-footed Booby posts:

More Paintbrush Birds:

4 Things God Wants You to Know

Does Woodstock’s Nest Need A Plumber?

Woodstock With A Towel

Woodstock With A Towel (Peanuts)


I couldn’t resist this. I got tickled today when we came up behind a truck at a stoplight. Here is what it says:

Nest Plumbing by Lee

Nest Plumbing by Lee

Not sure if Woodstock was in need of Repairs, a new Drain (which most nest shouldn’t have a problem with), some Re-piping, or maybe a Water Heater.

“A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” (Proverbs 15:13 KJV)

Woodstock has been known to have other issues with his nest. Plus, Snoopy and Woodstock have shown up here on the blog regularly. In case you missed them, or need some good laughter, check these out:

Woodstock’s New Visit and Nest

Orni-Theology and Woodstock’s High-rise Nest

Woodstock and the I.O.C. 9.1 Update

A Merry Heart Is Like Medicine

Smoothing A Ruffled Feather

Bad Feather Day Again

Smoothing A Ruffled Feather III

Woodstock’s Migration Fear

Woodstock’s Dilemma

Woodstock’s Mating Dance

Woodstock’s New Hairdo

Flying Is Safer – At Least For Woodstock

Birdwatching, Bugs, and Woodstock

Partridges In Pear Tree – Snoopy’s Version

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/22/21

Birdwatching and Blessings – Sandhill Cranes

Today’s main visitors were three Sandhill Cranes. They were also here yesterday:

Sandhill Cranes feeding 6/21 by Lee

Sandhill Cranes feeding yesterday 6/21 by Lee

Today, because of the rain we had last night, and the fact that the food plates had been visited yesterday, they were empty of food, but full of water. So, I stepped out and put the hanging feeder on the ground. It didn’t take time for the Sandy’s to find it.

Sandhill Cranes feeding 6/22 by Lee

Sandhill Cranes feeding 6/22 by Lee

Earlier there had been two Fish Crows here, but before I could get the camera, they took off.

Sandhill Crane upclose 6/22 by Lee

Sandhill Crane up close 6/22 by Lee

Look at that pose! It was nice of him/her to give me a great chance to zoom in. This was the guard Crane. There is usually one on duty.

Church Signs:

Looking for a lifeguard? Ours walks on water.

A father is someone you can look to no matter how tall you get.

Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up.

Failure and success are on the same road. Success is just further down that road.

Truths To Consider:

“Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty?” (Job 11:7 NKJV)

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalms 139:23-24 KJV)

“Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” (Psalms 141:3 KJV)

Previous:

Wordless Birds – With Hummingbirds

Paintbrush Birds – Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) by

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) by Dan

Description and Details

The Mandarin Duck is definitely one of Our Creator’s Masterpieces, far as I’m concerned. I love my local Wood Ducks, but this duck is absolutely one of my favorites! My first glimpse of the Mandarin Ducks was at the Miami Zoo, now Zoo Miami, years ago. They have such clean lines and details that were and are just breathtaking! Later we viewed them many times at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, now Zoo Tampa.

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) Zoo Miami by Lee

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) Zoo Miami by Lee

“In the wild, mandarin ducks breed in densely wooded areas near shallow lakes, marshes or ponds. They nest in cavities in trees close to water and during the spring, the females lay their eggs in the tree’s cavity after mating. A single clutch of nine to twelve eggs is laid in April or May. Although the male may defend the brooding female and his eggs during incubation, he himself does not incubate the eggs and leaves before they hatch. Shortly after the ducklings hatch, their mother flies to the ground and coaxes the ducklings to leap from the nest. After all of the ducklings are out of the tree, they will follow their mother to a nearby body of water.

Mandarins feed by dabbling or walking on land. They mainly eat plants and seeds, especially beech mast. The species will also add snails, insects and small fish to its diet. The diet of mandarin ducks changes seasonally; in the fall and winter, they mostly eat acorns and grains. In the spring, they mostly eat insects, snails, fish and aquatic plants. In the summer, they eat dew worms, small fish, frogs, mollusks, and small snakes. They feed mainly near dawn or dusk, perching in trees or on the ground during the day.” (Wikipedia with editing)
 

The Mandarin Duck has been featured before, and some of those articles are linked below. I rediscovered this video that I took at the Zoo:

Great Verses:

“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Genesis 2:2-3 KJV)

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.” (Isaiah 40:28 NKJV)

 

Previous Posts about the Mandarin Duck:

Gideon

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/17/21

Red-winged Blackbird at S. Lake Howard Nature Pk. by Lee

Red-winged Blackbird at S. Lake Howard Nature Pk. by Lee

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/17/21

Quiet is the word for our yard lately. Other than the Red-winged Blackbird and Mockingbird arguing over who would get to sit on the feeder pole, it has been rather boring.

This morning, only one of the Whistling Ducks showed up to feed. Maybe, the other one is sitting on a nest. That would be exciting. There are no Duck boxes around the neighborhood, so they would have to go to another location for nesting. I can only wish! It would be great to see some immature Whistling Duck swimming behind their parents.

Northern Mockingbird on Hook by Lee

Church Signs:

Life is good because God is great!

To have more, desire less.

The teakettle sings even when its up to its neck in hot water.

Truths To Consider:

“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.” (Proverbs 13:10 KJV)

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11 KJV)

Previous:

Pastor Jerry Smith – Testimony

Paintbrush Birds – European Bee-eater

European Bee-eater @Francesco Pellegrini

European Bee-eater @Francesco Pellegrini

Description and Details

“The European bee-eater (Merops apiaster) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family, Meropidae. It breeds in southern Europe and in parts of north Africa and western Asia. It is strongly migratory, wintering in tropical Africa. This species occurs as a spring overshoot north of its range, with occasional breeding in northwest Europe.”

“This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly coloured, slender bird. It has brown and yellow upper parts, whilst the wings are green and the beak is black. It can reach a length of 27–29 cm (10.6–11.4 in), including the two elongated central tail feathers. Sexes are alike. Female tends to have greener rather than gold feathers on shoulders. Non-breeding plumage is much duller and with a blue-green back and no elongated central tail feathers.

European Bee-Eater – (Merops apiaster)

Great Verses:

“TO LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.” (Psalms 104:24-25 KJV)

“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 KJV)

More European Bee-eaters:

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) by Ian

More Paintbrush Birds:

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/11/21

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks feeding 6/11 by Lee

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/11/21

This morning our Whistling Duck pair came looking for food, as is becoming their routine. Dan was planning to mow the grass today, so the food dishes were empty and stacked on the patio. So, I put one close by and gave them some food.

Church Signs:

God likes it when you smile, but he loves it when He is the reason!

The will of God will never take you to where the grace of God will not protect you.

Truths To Consider:

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks looking to see if they should go that way.  6/11

“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)

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks maybe asking or deciding which way to go.  6/11

“And they said unto him, Ask counsel, we pray thee, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous.” (Judges 18:5 KJV)

Decisions! Decisions! Always best when the Lord is involved in seeking answers.

Good News

Paintbrush Birds – Gouldian Finch

Gouldian Finch - Male adult @Wikipedia

Gouldian Finch – Male adult @Wikipedia

Paintbrush Birds – Gouldian Finch

The Gouldian finch (Chloebia gouldiae), also known as the Lady Gouldian finch, Gould’s finch or the rainbow finch, is a colorful passerine bird that is native to Australia. Both sexes are brightly colored with black, green, yellow, and red markings. The females tend to be less brightly colored. One major difference between the sexes is that the male’s chest is purple, while the female’s is a lighter mauve.

Gouldian finches’ heads may be red, black, or yellow. Formerly considered three different kinds of finches, it is now known that these are color variants that exist in the wild. Selective breeding has also developed mutations (blue, yellow and silver instead of a green back) in both body and breast color.

Black-headed male Gouldian @Finch Frankfurt Zoo

Black-headed male Gouldian Finch @Frankfurt Zoo

Prior to the Australian government’s ban on the export of Australian fauna, Gouldian finches were exported worldwide. These birds have resulted in viable breeding populations being held in many countries.

Captive breeding has resulted in several colour mutations. Mutations vary by country, with some existing only in Australia (the Australian yellow and the Australian “dilute”) and others existing in greater number in the United States, such as the blue bodied Gouldian. The most common body mutations in the United States are blue, pastel green (single and double-factor, resulting in “dilute” and yellow males and yellow females), and pastel blue (again, single and double-factor producing “pastel” and silver males, and silver hens).

(Wikipedia with editing)

FUN FACTS – San Diego Zoo

  • Only the male Gouldian finch sings.
  • The Gouldian finch is also known as the Lady Gould’s finch, named for the wife of John Gould, a famous 19th century British ornithologist and artist.
  • Gouldian finches prefer temperatures constantly above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius).

What a beautiful colorful array of the rainbow.

Great Verses:

“Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.” (Psalms 40:5 NKJV)

“We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.” (Psalms 78:4 NKJV)

What will you do with Jesus?

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/7-10/21

Swallow-tailed Kite - the one bird I got a photo of as it flew overhead

Swallow-tailed Kite – the one bird I got a photo of as it flew overhead previously.

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/7-10/21

Since the last post, on 6/6/21, it has been sort of quiet out back. On June 7th, the busiest morning greeted us with the Muscovys and Pekins coming by for breakfast, while a Red-winged Blackbird landed on the hanging feeder. The Tricolored Heron walked along the shore. The best delight was when a Swallow-tailed Kite flew by. They are in the area for only a couple of months each year.

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) by Daves BirdingPix

Later, while we were eating lunch, the Whistling Duck pair (becoming regulars) were eating, when another pair of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks showed up, and the “turf war was on!” They jump up in the air and put their feet out toward the other duck. This time, both pairs got into it at the same time. Of course, you never have time to grab a camera. About the time they got back on the ground, a White Ibis decided to walk in between the two feuding pairs, and the war was over. I guess I’ll have to re-name him the Peace Ibis.

On 6/8/21, another Roseate Spoonbill flew by and a Great Blue Heron.

Yesterday, 6/9/21, a Roseate Spoonbill flew by again. The Muscovys were on the other side of the pond along with an Anhinga hanging out to dry. The Red-winged Blackbird chowed down again at the hanging feeder. Then it was off to church.

Church Signs:

A large heart can be filled with very little.

A grateful mind is a great mind.

Truths To Consider:

“I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart. Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it. Incline my heart to Your testimonies, And not to covetousness.” (Psalms 119:32-36 NKJV)

What is the Gospel?

Paintbrush Birds – Lilac-breasted Roller

Lilac-breasted-Roller@wikipediacommons

The Lilac-breasted Roller is another beautiful candidate as a Paintbrush Bird. Our Master Creator has provided us with another neatly painted bird.

Description and Details

“The lilac-breasted roller (Coracias caudatus) is an African bird of the roller family, Coraciidae. It prefers open woodland and savanna, and it is for the most part absent from treeless places. Usually found alone or in pairs, it perches conspicuously at the tops of trees, poles or other high vantage points from where it can spot insects, lizards, scorpions, snails, small birds and rodents moving about on the ground.[2] Nesting takes place in a natural hole in a tree where a clutch of 2–4 eggs are laid, and incubated by both parents, who are extremely aggressive in defense of their nest, taking on raptors and other birds.

“The diet of the lilac-breasted roller consists of arthropods and small vertebrates, including ground-dwelling insects, spiders, scorpions, centipedes and millipedes, snails, and a variety of small vertebrates, including small birds. Slow-moving lizards, chameleons and snakes, and the blind, burrowing Afrotyphlops and Leptotyphlops species are especially vulnerable to them when crossing roads. In East Africa, they join other perch hunters like Taita fiscals and pale flycatchers to make opportunistic use of grassland fires, and in South Africa are likewise seen in association with kites, storks, swallows and bee-eaters when burning of firebreaks drive small animals unto roads.

Because they feed mainly on terrestrial prey, lilac-breasted rollers will perch to scout from a higher vantage point (including from atop of large herbivorous mammals) before swooping in and grabbing prey with their beaks. If their prey is small, they will swallow it on the ground. These aggressive birds will carry larger prey back to a perch and beat it until it is dismembered. (Wikipedia)

Lilac-breasted Roller @Answersafrica

Lilac-breasted Roller @Answersafrica

Great Verses:

While looking for a verse with “Roll or Roller” in it, I came across this great truth from our Lord:

“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” (Proverbs 16:3 KJV) [or as the Amplified version states this verse]

Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3 AMP)

Lilac-breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus) by Africaddict

More Paintbrush Birds:

Who Paints The Leaves?

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/6/21

Loggerhead Shrike on hook - by Lee Closeup

Loggerhead Shrike on hook – by Lee Closeup

Birdingwatching and Blessings –

On June 3rd, 4th, and 5th, the birds visiting the yard slowed down. On Thursday the 3rd, a White Ibis, the normal four Pekins, a female Anhinga and a Boat-tailed Grackle wandered around, and a Great Egret flew by. Friday, the 4th was even slower with only the female Anhinga, Muscovy, the four Pekins, the White Ibis and two Sandhill Cranes strutting around.

Yesterday was even less entertaining with the Pekins, Boat-tailed Grackle, and the Loggerhead Shrike. The Shrike was gathering grass and flying across the pond to a tree. We actually spotted a second Shrike. Wonder if they are making a nest. That would be blessing to see baby Shrikes later on. Today is Sunday and we really didn’t spend much time at breakfast.

Isn’t it just like the birds to slow down their morning visits when I decide to start a new series. We have gotten some rain finally in the last few days, and maybe the worms have come up for air. The birds may busy catching them instead of coming by here. Oh, well. Stay tuned!

Church Signs:

How cool is it that the same God who created mountains and oceans and galaxies thought the world needed one of you too!

A good example has twice the value of good advice.

Truths To Consider:

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 NKJV)
“For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (John 13:15-17 NKJV)

A couple more great Church Signs and Verses. There are some challenges here for us to consider.

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/1/21

The Amazing Butterfly