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:

Lee’s Four Words – They Gather Themselves Together


Spot-billed Pelicans, Black-headed Ibises & Painted Storks nesting at Garapadu ©WikiC



“The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.  Psalm 104:22



More Daily Devotionals

Woods, Water, and Winged Wonders

Woods, Water, and Winged Wonders

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Dan's Wood Stork Tree up close

WOOD STORKS in evergreen tree   (photo by Dan Dusing)

He sends the springs into the valleys;
They flow among the hills.

They give drink to every beast of the field;
The wild donkeys quench their thirst.

By them the birds of the heavens have their home;
They sing among the branches. …

The trees of the Lord are full of sap,
The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,

Where the birds make their nests;
The stork has her home in the fir trees.

(Psalm 104:10-12 & 104:16-17)

WOOD STORKS in tree   ( image credit: )

Springs and rain fall water the hills.  Wooded hills provide myriads of branches useful for avian nests, providing a hospitable habitat for birds of many kinds.  (Of course, the ecological fact that thriving trees facilitate homes for thriving birds is nothing new — see Daniel 4:11-12).  So, if rainfall is adequate, trees thrive – and where you find trees you also find birds, many birds of many different kinds. Forests are homes for owls, corvids, cardinals, hawks, wood ducks, doves, storks, and miscellaneous passerines galore!


Watch birds as they fly or they walk;

See their plumage and hear them talk!

Look for bird neighborhoods

In green, well-watered woods:

Homes for woodpecker, jay, owl and hawk!

So, take a trek through the woods  –  you should like the hike!   Walk and gawk.  (Is there a fowl on a bough?  Do birds perch on a birch?)  Wherever woods and water abound, look for winged wonders!


STELLER’S JAY on evergreen tree branch   (iStock / Getty image)



Lee’s Four Word Thursday – 6/30/16


Dan's Wood Stork Tree



“The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.” (Psalms 104:16-17 KJV)

Dan’s Wood Stork Tree


More Daily Devotionals


Birds of the Bible – Singing in the Trees

Rockrunner (Achaetops pycnopygius) by Keith Blomerley

By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches. (Psalms 104:12 KJV)

From the verses below, you will see that the birds will be either:

  • in the trees
  • among the branches or foliage
  • between or in the midst of the rocks

Now that we have them placed, lets see how they are producing sound:

  • sing or singing
  • giving out a sound
  • utter or give forth a voice
  • chirp a song
  • lift up their voices

Psalms 104:12

(ABP+) by them the winged creatures of the heaven shall encamp; from between the rocks they shall give out a sound;
(ASV) By them the birds of the heavens have their habitation; They sing among the branches.
(BBE) The birds of the air have their resting-places by them, and make their song among the branches.
(Brenton) By them shall the birds of the sky lodge: they shall utter a voice out of the midst of the rocks.
(CEV) Birds build their nests nearby and sing in the trees.
(Darby) The birds of heaven dwell by them; they give forth their voice from among the branches.
(DRB) Over them the birds of the air shall dwell: from the midst of the rocks they shall give forth their voices.
(ERV) Wild birds come to live by the pools; they sing in the branches of nearby trees.
(ESV) Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches.
(GNB) In the trees near by, the birds make their nests and sing.
(GW) The birds live by the streams. They sing among the branches.
(ISV) Birds of the sky live beside them and chirp a song among the foliage.
(JPS) Beside them dwell the fowl of the heaven, from among the branches they sing.
(KJV) By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.
(KJV-1611) By them shall the foules of the heauen haue their habitation: which sing among the branches.
(LITV) over them the birds of the heavens dwell; they give voice from between the branches.
(MKJV) By them the birds of the heavens will have their place of rest; they sing among the branches.
(NAS77) Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; They lift up their voices among the branches.
(NASB) Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; They lift up their voices among the branches.
(NKJV) By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches.
(RV) By them the fowl of the heaven have their habitation, they sing among the branches.
(Webster) By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.
(YLT) By them the fowl of the heavens doth dwell, From between the branches They give forth the voice.

How do birds produce a song? Why are they singing?

“The distinction between songs and calls is based upon complexity, length, and context. Songs are longer and more complex and are associated with courtship and mating, while calls tend to serve such functions as alarms or keeping members of a flock in contact. Other authorities such as Howell and Webb (1995) make the distinction based on function, so that short vocalizations such as those of pigeons and even non-vocal sounds such as the drumming of woodpeckers and the “winnowing” of snipes’ wings in display flight are considered songs. Still others require song to have syllabic diversity and temporal regularity akin to the repetitive and transformative patterns which define music. It is generally agreed upon in birding and ornithology which sounds are songs and which are calls, and a good field guide will differentiate between the two.

Bird song is best developed in the order Passeriformes. Most song is emitted by male rather than female birds. Song is usually delivered from prominent perches although some species may sing when flying. Some groups are nearly voiceless, producing only percussive and rhythmic sounds, such as the storks, which clatter their bills. In some manakins (Pipridae), the males have several mechanisms for mechanical sound production, including mechanisms for stridulation not unlike those found in some insects.”

Anatomy – The avian vocal organ is called the syrinx; it is a bony structure at the bottom of the trachea (unlike the larynx at the top of the mammalian trachea). The syrinx and sometimes a surrounding air sac resonate to sound waves that are made by membranes past which the bird forces air. The bird controls the pitch by changing the tension on the membranes and controls both pitch and volume by changing the force of exhalation. It can control the two sides of the trachea independently, which is how some species can produce two notes at once.” (Wikipedia)

Why are they singing in the verse?

Psalm 104 is about blessing the Lord for all the things He has created and it describes different aspects of that creation. Light, water, clouds, foundations, the deep, mountains, springs, trees, grass, etc. The birds are singing after the springs are described in verse 10 and it gives drink to all. The trees are producing fruit, and the birds are making nest or resting in the trees. Then in verse 12 they are content and are singing. If your read the whole 104th Psalm, you just might find great cause to do your own singing and praising.

For more details see:

Bird Communication (Very detailed but good)

Bird vocalization (Wikipedia)

More Birds of the Bible articles – Click Here

The Seasons Are Fixed By Wisdom Divine

The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies. He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. (Psa 104:16-19)

Charles H. Gabriel (1856-1932)
Words: Paraphrase of Psalm 104; author un­known.
Music: As­pin­wall, Charles H. Gab­ri­el (1856-1932)

The seasons are fixed by wisdom divine,
The slow-changing moon show forth God’s design;
The sun in his circuit his Maker obeys,
And running his journey hastes not nor delays.

The Lord makes the night, when, leaving their lair,
The lions creep forth, God’s bounty to share;
The Lord makes the morning, when beasts steal away
And men are beginning the work of the day.

Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis) by Nikhil Devasar

Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis) by Nikhil Devasar

How many and wise Thy works are, O Lord!
The earth with the wealth of wisdom is stored;
The sea bears in safety the ships to and fro,
And creatures unnumbered it shelters below.

Thy creatures all look to Thee for their food;
Thy hands open wide, they gather the good;

Thy face Thou concealest, in anguish they yearn;
Their breath Thou withholdest, to dust they return.

Thy Spirit, O Lord, makes life to abound,
The earth is renewed, and fruitful the ground;
To God ascribe glory and wisdom and might,
Let God in His creatures forever delight.

Before the Lord’s might earth trembles and quakes,
The mountains are rent, and smoke from them breaks;
The Lord I will worship through all of my days,
Yea, while I have being my God I will praise.

Rejoicing in God, my thought shall be sweet,
While sinners depart in ruin complete;
My soul, bless Jehovah, His Name be adored,
Come, praise Him, ye people, and worship the Lord.


Most information from The Cyber Hymnal

Graceful Prinia is in the Cisticolidae Family

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? (NKJV)

Birds are not exactly mentioned, but they are in Psalm 104 and the Lord does provide for them freely. This is a great hymn and felt it needed to be included.