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

Paintbrush Birds – Wood Ducks

My most favorite duck is the Wood Duck. To me, it seems as if someone took a paintbrush and created such a beautiful Avian Wonder. Of course, that Creator was the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Great Creator. So, the Wood Duck is our first Paintbrush Bird to start off another new Series. Paintbrush Birds

“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)

This picture that Dan took at Lake Hollingsworth, in Lakeland, Florida, is real. I was right there beside Dan when we took photos. Of course, his turned out the best, and it is not a painting.

Mr and Mrs Wood Duck by Lee

Mr and Mrs Wood Duck by Lee at Lake Hollingsworth

When we watch the birds, I have to just pause in awe at colors and designs of the birds. Everywhere we look, if our eyes are truly open, we can see that these Avian Wonders just didn’t evolve.

“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.” (Genesis 1:21-22 NKJV)

The animals, birds, fish, and even humans are under the curse now, but what might the originally created have looked like? Wow! I WOW! now when I see the beauty that is around us even now. I also see the scars from the fall around also.

Back to this series I’m starting. The desire is to showcase some of these birds that look like they were “hand-painted.” Also, after finding similar post, more information will be given about the bird itself. Trust you enjoy these efforts.

Wood Ducks belong to the Anatidae Family Here is a previous video from the Petersen Birding videos here. It is definitely worth watching. It provides quite a lot of information about this beautifully created Wood Duck.

Here are a few close ups of the Wood Duck. You decide about the “Painter!”

I just realized while viewing Ray’s Wood Duck that I have the five colors I need to make another Wordless Bird. Red, Yellow, Black, White and Green.

Previous Articles about the Wood Duck:

Our Ducky Backyard

“D” is for Ducks, Dabblers and Divers: “D” Birds, Part 1 by JJSJ

While looking for more Wood Duck articles, I found these interesting post along the same ideas as this “new” series, that may not be so “new” :)

 

Some Shared Videos From Dr. Johnson

JJSJ, as those of you regular readers know, is Dr. James J.S. Johnson, who has written many posts here. He sent me several links to very interesting tales of birds on video. I forget to post them, so, here are two of the latest videos:

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) by Africaddict

The White Fronted Bee Eaters video was produced by the San Diego Zoo. They have one of the most complex Social Structures. Enjoy!

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV)

“And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 AMP)

This latest one is about a Woman who gives toys to Magpies. She is from Australia.

I found these both rather interesting.  Here in Florida, we are not blessed with neither of these kinds of birds. Trust you enjoy learning about these two Avian Wonders.

Check out the many post from “Dr. Jim”, as I like to call him:

James J. S. Johnson’s Posts

Wordless Birds

Birdwatching and Blessings – 6/1/21

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in yard

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in yard

While we were eating breakfast, I was making a list of the birds that were out our back door. You have seen many of the photos, and posts about these Breakfast Blessings. Yet, like Tuesday, we were just eating and watching the antics of our Avian Wonders. There is always a squabble or two going on over something, one standing watch guard, as the rest are eating, seeing a new injury, or a bird that hasn’t stopped  or flown by lately. What a delight!

Also, in our reading of Scripture, there is always a passage, or verse that catches your attention. Plus, I have a daily calander this year that has sayings from Church Signs. Humm! What if I tie all three of these into a series for the blog? So, after thinking along that trail, here is the first attempt at writing a new series.

Birdingwatching and Blessings – 6/1/21

We were blessed with having a parade of birds come into view while having our breakfast this morning. A couple of Mourning Doves landed first, and then two Loggerhead Shrikes landed on the feeder hook. First time we have spotted two of them. The Black-Bellied Whistling Duck couple showed up next to check out the ground feeders. They are becoming quite regular visitors. Mornings and in the evening. Three Boat-tailed Grackles landed across the water, and flew over to harrass the Whistling Ducks.

The neighborhood Muscovy ducks waddled and strutted around, while a Green Heron landed by the water. He looked around a minute or two, and then flew off. I walked outside to put some more seed in the feeders, when I heard and saw a Killdeer fly by. Had it not been calling, I would have missed seeing it. As I was walking back in the house, when I turned to close the door, a Tricolored Heron landed by the water. Not bad for a span of about 30 minutes!! [No photos for any of this.]

Church Signs:

Here are two to start us off:

Fix another person’s crown without telling the world it was crooked.

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

Truths To Consider:

God’s Steadfast Love and Compassion
“Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.  He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:18-19)

What a great promise!

Stay tuned as this series is developed. Lord’s Blessing on you.

[P.S. It’s dated two days ago because that is when these birds were spotted and the series idea began to grow.]

A New Flyover

I have to admit that eating breakfast, or other meals here at home are quite an adventure. We have been in our new home just under 20 months now, and our list of birds either seen or flying by, just keeps increasing.

Our chairs at the table are by double-sliding glass doors. Just this morning while eating breakfast we saw two White-bellied Whistling Ducks [in the yard], Muscovy and Pekin ducks by the water, along with a Great Blue Heron walking along the shore. A female Anhinga diving for fish, A Great Egret flying by low over the water, and the Grackles and Fish Crows flying around. Not bad for a breakfast meal.

Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) by Quy Tran

Yesterday, we added a new flyover to our list of birds seen from our windows and patio. A Roseate Spoonbill flew by my view while sitting at the table. [No pictures taken for any of the above]

Here is our growing LIST OF BIRDS: [in the order we wrote them down – also added an article posted on the blog of each type listed. Most by me, but also by Dr. Jim and William Wise]

  1. Muscovy Ducks – Proud Muscovy Duck
  2. Kingfisher – That “Devil Bird” Kingfisher
  3. American Woodcock – Tickle Me Tuesday – Bouncy Woodcock
  4. Bald Eagle – ALASKA’S BALD EAGLE by James J. S. Johnson
  5. Loggerhead Shrikes – Social Distancing and Mask by Birds
  6. Eastern Phoebe – Unsung Heroes
  7. Palm Warblers – Palm Warbler Through Our Window
  8. House Sparrows – Eye of the Beholder – House Sparrows
  9. House Finches – Today’s Visitor To The Feeder – House Finch
  10. Mallard Ducks – Lots of Ducks and Geese
  11. Mottled Ducks – Our Ducky Backyard
  12. Eastern Wood-Pewee – Vol. 2, No. 4 – The Wood Pewee
  13. Redwinged Blackbirds – Redwing Pond
  14. Mourning Doves – Bible Birds – Doves and Pigeons
  15. Boat-tailed Grackles – Gatorland Grackle
  16. Sandhill Cranes – Rabbit Chasing Sandhill Crane
  17. Great Egrets – Great Egret by Dan
  18. Great Blue Herons – Great Blue Herons – Gatorland
  19. Little Blue Herons – Lord’s Avian Wonders – Little Blue Heron – Searching
  20. Tricolored Herons – Tricolored Herons at Gatorland
  21. Anhingas – Eye of the Beholder – Anhinga
  22. White Ibises – Appreciating White Ibises (and Other Birds in Florida)
  23. Red Shouldered Hawk – Beware, Squirrels: Red-shouldered Hawk!
  24. Wood Storks – Latest Wood Stork Encounter
  25. Green Heron – Backyard Birding – Green Heron
  26. Cardinals – Cardinals Watching Out For Fallen Baby
  27. Northern Mockingbirds – Sunday Inspiration – Mockingbirds and Thrashers
  28. Ospreys – Osprey Feeding On His Catch of the Day
  29. Snowy Egret – Close Encounter With A Snowy
  30. Killdeer – Lee’s Four Word Thursday – 3/17/16
  31. Limpkin – The Limpkin – Created Special..
  32. Cattle Egrets – Bad Feather Day
  33. Runner Duck – Our Ducky Backyard
  34. Wood Ducks – Birds Vol 2 #1 – Wood Duck
  35. Roseate Spoonbill – Birds of the Bible – Roseate Spoonbill

Since we haven’t been doing much birding lately, I trust looking through this list, you will also enjoy a bit of the past birding adventures.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:” (Psalms 103:2 KJV)

Wordless Whistling Ducks

Our Ducky Backyard

This week, our total of ducks visiting, or seen, from our backyard, just grew some more.

So far we had counted:

Muscovy Ducks

Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck

Pekin and Runner Ducks

Peking Ducks and one unknown Duck by Lee

Peking Ducks and one Runner Duck by Lee

Mallard Ducks

Mallard male non-breeding Apr 21 2021 by Lee

Mallard male non-breeding Apr 21 2021 by Lee

Mottled Ducks

Mottled Ducks by Lee

Mottled Ducks by Lee

Mottled Ducks by Lee

Mottled Duck by Lee

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in yard

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in yard

And now this week:

Wood Ducks

Needless to say, we have quite a “Ducky” yard, wouldn’t you say?

“Of all clean birds ye shall eat.” (Deuteronomy 14:11 KJV)

Our visiting ducks are for watching, not eating. The only ducks eaten here have been the ones the alligator chose to be his dinner.

Ducks belong to:

CLASS – AVES, Order – ANSERIFORMES, Family – Anatidae – Ducks, Geese & Swans

Wordless Whistling Ducks

Ian’s Irregular Bird – Toco Toucan

Please forgive the shock of another Irregular Bird: I’m currently full of good intentions, which I’ll talk about later. I have Toucans on my mind at the moment, which I’ll also mention later, so here is the Toco Toucan which was well up on our list of wanted birds on our visit to the Pantanal in Brazil in September 2019.

Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco) by Ian

We found our first one, above, on our first day driving into the Pantanal, feeding on a lone fruiting tree beside the road. This gave us the impression that this large species would be easy to find, but we saw very few after that and I photographed only this one other bird, below, feeding on another fruiting tree beside the river on the way from Porto Jofre to the Meeting of the Waters National Park (Encontro das Águas) to look for Jaguars. This species of Toucan is readily identified by its diagnostic yellow and orange, black-tipped bill and in the second photo, you can just see the red undertail coverts and white rump, both also characteristic of this species.
With a length of 60cm/24in and weight to 800gm/1.8lbs this is the largest of the seven or eight species of large Toucan (genus Ramphastos). It is also the only one that doesn’t inhabit forests; it occurs on forest edges and in grasslands. It has a wide range in South America from Guyana south to northern Argentina, avoiding the forested regions of the Amazon Basin. It nests in cavities in trees, river banks or termite nests. Both adults incubate and feed the young, predominantly on insects when very young but gradually switching to the adult diet of fruit such as figs as the nestlings grow older.

Guinness Toucan Poster from Ian

Guinness Toucan Poster from Ian

Toucans are strange and spectacular birds and it is not surprising that they have captured the popular imagination. I remember this poster for Guinness in the bar of Greystones Golf Club, Co. Wicklow, when I was a kid in Ireland in the 1950s. Guinness has used the Toucan as a mascot since the 1930s. Who knows, maybe Guinness helped spark my interest in birds, though there was another one about Gnus – “The New Gnu at the Zoo; Guinness is Good for You” – which aroused only a mild interest in even-toed, horned ungulates. The toucan artist has taken a bit of license with a slightly hybrid design (the black spot on the bill is missing, the patch around the eye is blue and green and the yellow and red breast bands are normally barely visible on the Toco Toucan) but it is certainly a Toco Toucan and not one of the other species (http://www.birdway.com.au/ramphastidae/).
The reason why I have Toucans on my mind is because I usually wear tropical shirts when I go folk dancing with the Townsville dancers, suitable for dancing in the tropics even if most of the dance originate in eastern Europe and the Middle East. One of the dancers gave me a pair of socks featuring flamingos to go with a flamingo shirt that I have, so I went on a search for suitable socks to go with another shirt with Toucans and Macaws. As you can see toucan on both the socks and the shirt is a Toco Toucan and I couldn’t resist sharing them and photos of the real thing with you.
One of the reasons the Irregular Bird has been very rare recently is that I started doing a series on island birding so we could get vicarious pleasure from pretending to travel when we were prevented from doing so by Covid-19. I got bogged down on a trip to Macquarie Island, preparing lots of photos and researching lots of species and never finished it. So, I’ve decided to go back to the original format of dealing with a single species at a time, and hopefully that will be easier to do and more frequent. I haven’t taken many photos since the pandemic started, but there are plenty of species left in the library to keep us going until and if things get back to normal.
Greetings
Ian


Ian Montgomery,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: 0411 602 737 +61-411 602 737
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au

Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au

Lee Addition:

Toucans are part of the Ramphastidae Family.

Love those Toucans. In fact, the Green-billed Toucan is one of the Wordless Bird posts.

Wordless Toucan

Tricolored Herons at Gatorland 2021

Tricolored Heron Nest – Well Hidden at Gatorland

On our last trip to Gatorland, I mentioned the Snowy and Great Egrets youngsters. [Poor Mama Feeding Chicks] There were other nest around of Tricolored Herons with chicks. Finding the nest were not as easy as the Egrets who seem to be less secretive about where the nest are placed. The Tricolored Herons on the other hand seem to like to hide them more.

Tricolored Heron Nest at Gatorland

Tricolored Heron Nest at Gatorland

I did manage to find one nest that was hidden, and took some video of them being fed. It is zoomed in and quite dark in there, but you can see them moving around. Occasionally, you can see the parent.

Also, there was a nest in a palm tree:

Tricolored Nest in Palm Tree at Gatorland

It was hard to focus on them through all the branches, but enjoy!

“Who provides food for the raven (and Tricolored Herons), When its young ones cry to God, And wander about for lack of food?” (Job 38:41 NKJV)
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26 NKJV)

More Gatorland Visits

Sharing The Gospel

Poor Mama Feeding Chicks

Great Egret Feeding Chicks at Gatorland by Lee

Great Egret Feeding Chicks at Gatorland by Lee

Yesterday we went back over to Gatorland to see how the chicks have been progressing. Here is a video of a parent feeding the growing chicks. I felt so sorry for her (I assume). It was an unexpected visit, because another plan for the day, of Dan’s, fell through. So, we decided to see how much the birds had grown since our visit in March. Needless to say, this should be the last on until fall. It was a BIT warm.

I still have articles and photos to show from our March visit, but an issue with my eye slowed me down. All is well now after a small laser treatment last week. My camera eye was blurry, but now all is clear again. So, stayed tuned as I try to get more tales out.

I guess because of my eye problem, I was so worried when one of the youngsters grabbed her beak and got mighty close to the eye. Because eyes are mentioned so many times in Scripture, here are a few promises:

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” (Psalms 32:8 NKJV)

“Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy,” (Psalms 33:18 NKJV)

“The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” (Psalms 34:15 KJV)

Gatorland Trips

Good News