Rabbit Chasing Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Cranes in side yard – The Guard Sandhill watching

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” (2 Timothy 4:7 KJV)

Dan and I have been re-reading “Things I Have Learned” by Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. One of his messages was about “Rabbit Chasers.” It has to do with a “Possum” dog getting sidetracked by a Rabbit. [More about that later.]

The day after reading that part, I was looking out our kitchen window and spotted the four Sandhill Cranes in our side yard. They come by frequently. It is a mom, dad, and two juveniles.

About that time a rabbit appeared close to the house next door. [He was in our front yard on Easter Morning when we back out on the way to church. Yeah! The Easter Bunny!, I told Dan.] The rabbit was minding his own business when the “guard” Sandhill took out after him. Now, I call that Sandhill a “rabbit chaser.”

Sandhill Crane with Wings Spread – Threatening ©Maria Michell Pixabay

This is not the first time we have watched a Sandhill take-off after an animal. Years, ago, we were watching several Sandhill Cranes walking through the travel-trailer park where we were staying. A small kitten, thought he would “take on” one of these tall birds. The Sandhill opened up his wings, making him look “really big” and took two steps toward the small cat. Haven’t seen a cat run that fast in a long time. :)

Back to the book and the “Rabbit Chasers.” To shorten the message, it was about what a good “Possum” dog does, compared to a “Rabbit Chaser.” A good dog will go over hill and dale, through water, etc. and never gets off of the trail until he either trees his opossum, or he loses it. On the other hand, a dog that starts on the scent of his prey, comes across the trail of a rabbit, and changes course to follow the rabbit, is a “Rabbit Chaser.”

This Dog Adopted His Opossum. Back to the drawing board.

Dr. Bob takes that story and tells the students in chapel, to finish what they started. [“Finish The Job” was another of his saying.] The student starts college and then they meet a girl or boy, they start wavering about finishing. There are other things to get us off-track also. [Sound familiar] He mentions other things, but basically, he was challenging the students to stay on course and finish what they started. A very good lesson for all of us. I had hoped to find an online version to share a link to, but it doesn’t seem to be available. The book is still available. Things I Have Learned at the school.

“The Son of God came all the way from heaven to this earth. I am speaking reverently. He got on the trail of His Father’s will. Everything tried to stop Him, but He stayed on the trail.” … “One day He hung on the cross in agony and blood. After awhile He cried, ‘It is finished.’ He stayed on the trail. He never got off. He said, ‘I came to do My Father’s will, and now it is done.’ He died for us. And my Bible says, ‘He shall see the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied.’ ..”You will never be happy off the trail.” [From Things I Have Learned, p106.]

There is much more I would love to share about that message, but, I’ll leave you to read the book if you would like.

“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24 KJV)

Here are some of his many sayings that Dr Bob Jones Sr. shared with students [of which we both were at one time].

  • “It is a sin to do less than your best.”
  • “The door to the room of success swings on the hinges of opposition.”
  • “It is no disgrace to fail; it is a disgrace to do less than your best to keep from failing.”
  • “God will not do for you what He has given you strength to do for yourself.”
  • “Don’t sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.”

Wholesome Words – Chapel Sayings

Wholesome Words

Sharing The Gospel

 

Friendly and Welcome Visitors

Goldfinches at feeders by Lee thru screen

Goldfinches at feeders by Lee thru screen

Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. (Psalms 96:1-4 NKJV)

For the last two weeks, I have had to stay close to home. First, the disc in my back slipped a little more, causing great pain and lack of mobility. (The biggest slip was back in August) Then, after making it almost through the winter without bronchitis, it caught up with me. The pollen was so heavy, that it was necessary to just stay home to get things back in control. So, this was all mentioned for several reasons. 1) Prayers are always accepted. 2) I was able to work on my online course from the School of Biblical Apologetics. 3) Best of all, the Lord kept sending Avian Wonders for me to watch and be reminded that He always cares for them and us.

“[Even the migratory birds are punctual to their seasons.] Yes, the stork [excelling in the great height of her flight] in the heavens knows her appointed times [of migration], and the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane observe the time of their return. But My people do not know the law of the Lord [which the lower animals instinctively recognize in so far as it applies to them].” (Jeremiah 8:7 AMP)

The most surprising was the American Goldfinches that started coming to my feeders. Very seldom do any come by to dine. Maybe one or two at most. Several times over a week or so, we saw as many as 14 at one time. We figured that they were probably a small flock making their way north for the summer, and with the Lord’s help, landed here to rest and “tank-up” for the rest of their journey. They seem to have now continued their migration. Haven’t seen but the one or two who come by occasionally for the last two days. (OOPS!!!) Just looked out the window while working on this article and now there are at least 10 of them out there feeding. YEAH!!

Here are some of the photos of them, unfortunately, photographed through a screened window.

Sandhill Youngster in Yard 3-26-16

Sandhill Youngster in Yard 3-26-16

Then on Saturday, mom and pop Sandhill Crane came to the yard with their two new youngsters. This time, Dan was able to take the camera and get a few photos of them.

Yesterday, Easter, we drove over to Tampa to the Bayside Community Church to hear Dr. James J. S. Johnson from the Institute for Creation Research speak. On the way over, we had two Swallow tailed Kites fly right over us. They migrate through here this time of the year. They seem to stay for about 2-3 months and then head on north. They are so beautiful to watch.

Swallow-tailed Kite (same)

Swallow-tailed Kite

We always have the Lord’s Wonders to behold, if we just stay alert. He sends blessings to us, even when we may think we are “down.”

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James J. S. Johnson

Institute for Creation Research

Lee’s Three Word Wednesday – 2/17/16

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Sandhill Cranes "Colts" and parents by Lee

NEWNESS OF LIFE

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Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4 NKJV)

Sandhill Cranes “Colts” and parents by Lee

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Few Word Devotionals

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Latest Visitors to Yard

A few days ago while I was filling up my feeders, I looked up and here came Mom and Pop Sandhill Crane with their two latest youngsters. (The 2015 family) Needless to say I stopped and watched them for a while and then remembered to go get my camera. Here are some of those images. I shared a little seed with them. Not suppose to feed cranes, but even if I put seed in that hanging tray for the other birds, they have been known to eat from it. ( I felt sorry for the little ones. :) )

It looks like the little Sandhills need to grow into their knees.

Leaving

Leaving

I always enjoy when the Sandhill Crane parents bring their little ones by to check them out. When you get to watch the Lord’s created critters up close and see how really look and act is enjoyable. The Cranes are mentioned in Scripture and so they are some of our Birds of the Bible.

Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me. (Isaiah 38:14 KJV)

The parents made some chatter when I got too close to the little ones, but didn’t get it on video. Here is video of them in the yard (The noise is Dan edging the driveway):

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You can tell by how many articles that I’ve written about that the cranes, that I like them and they visit often:

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Sandhill Crane Greeting

Sandhill Cranes in side yard

Sandhill Cranes in side yard

Today, when we looked out in our side yard, we were greeted by two Sandhill Cranes walking around. Grabbed the camera and here are some of the photos that I took. I have been so busy working on the blog, that we haven’t taken the time to go birdwatching. So, our great Lord just sent me some of His beauties.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. (Psalms 34:8 KJV)

Sandhill Standing Guard Crop

Sandhill Standing Guard Crop

They stroll through here from time to time, but haven’t seen them for a while. As usual, one stands guard, while one eats. Some how our flat feeder came off the hook and they found it. :))

Sandhill Cranes in side yard

Sandhill Cranes in side yard

He, the guard came over and was trying to encourage her to finish up.

Sandhill Cranes in side yard

Sandhill Cranes in side yard

Zoomed in on his beak and was surprised to find so much dirt in it. They do a lot of probing in people’s yards and are considered pests by some. Not me, I love them coming to visit. They can probe all they want, just as long as they let me take their photo.

Sandhill Crane Beak Crop

Sandhill Crane Beak Crop

 

Here are the photos that were taken this morning.

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Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me. (Isaiah 38:14 KJV)

Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 KJV)

Birds of the Bible – Cranes

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Odds and Ends – Jan 2014

Sandhill Cranes and American White Ibis by Lee across street

Sandhill Cranes and American White Ibis by Lee across street

I am behind the scene kicking up dust again. The new I.O.C. World Bird List Version 4.1 just came out on the 7th. Yesterday, they finally released the Excel spreadsheet to update our sites. As you may know, I use the IOC’s list for my Birds of the World lists. So each page has to be updated, even if it is only changing 3.5 to 4.1. It still has to be done. There are around 350 pages involved.

There now 10,518 extant species and 150 extinct species of birds of the world (Version 4.1), with subspecies (20,976) and annotations. Classification of 40 Orders, 232 Families (plus 5 Incertae sedis), 2274 Genera are included. They added 12 new species and deleted one.

Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii) by Ian

Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii) by Ian

One of the big changes is in the Taxonomic orders of the Parrots and Falcons. They are now placed just before the Passerines and right after the Woodpeckers. I have that much done and am now starting on the Passeriformes Order. (Those are the perching birds and also the largest Order) Another big change is a reshuffling of the Muscicapidae – Chats, Old World Flycatchers family. (It is on my “to do” list :o) )

In the mean time, we had the privilege of seeing 22 Sandhill Cranes feeding across the street from my backyard a few days back. Then today, we spotted that same group feeding about a 1/2 mile down the road. Two more groups were spotted of 7 and 4. That is about the most I have ever seen in one day.

Did you enjoy the Sunday Inspiration – Eagles I posted Sunday? I am thinking about making that a weekly post. Either using photos of different families or some theme like “Rock Birds” in a slideshow and play a song related to the Rock of our salvation, etc. Sundays are busy for us and I don’t always post on that day. It is a day of “rest” you know.

On Duty Sandhill Crane by Lee

On Duty Sandhill Crane by Lee

By the way, when Sandhills eat, there is always at least one who is on guard and watches over the others. Brings to mind a couple of verses.

Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17 NKJV)

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV)

Back to the dust, I have work to do.

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Birdwatching Adventure – Florida Scrub Jay

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Highlands Hammock S Pk by Lee

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Highlands Hammock S Pk

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 6:26 NKJV)

The main reason we went to Highlands Hammock State Park yesterday was to find some Florida Scrub Jays. The ranger told us where to find theirs and also where more could be found in another park.

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Highlands Hammock S Pk by Lee

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Highlands Hammock SPk 10-14-13

Went on the drive where the Wilderness Camping Area is located. Florida Scrub Jays prefer the scrub areas. The ranger told us that they had recently had a controlled burn and this family moved in right after that. From the pictures, you will see the kind of habitat they like.

Our new "Birding Mobile"

This is the area where we found the Scrub Jays at Highlands Hammock S P.

We found the Florida Scrub Jays, but they never got very close. We were also initiating our new “birding mobile”, as I have named it. Off the subject, but here is a photo of a Red-shouldered Hawk I shot through the “moonroof.” My first attempt at that. Next time, when we are not right under a hawk, it will be opened.

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) Highlands Hammock SPk 10-14-13 Thru moonroof

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) Highlands Hammock SPk 10-14-13

After driving through the rest of that park, we headed for the Lake June-in-Winter State Park. Never heard of it before. It is very tiny and we were the only ones there. Well, the birds of course were there, especially the Scrub Jays. We were able to get quite a few photos of them and they were quite friendly. There were also three Sandhill Cranes plus sounds of birds I do not recognize. The photos will be intermingled with some information about the jays from Wikipedia.

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Lake June-in-Winter SPk

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Lake June-in-Winter SPk

The Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) is one of the species of scrub jay native to North America. It is the only species of bird endemic to the U.S. state of Florida and one of only 15 species endemic to the United States. Because of this, it is heavily sought by birders who travel from across the country to observe this unique species. It is possibly derived from the ancestors of Woodhouse’s Scrub Jay, the inland forms of the Western Scrub-jay. They belong to the Corvidae – Crows, Jays, Ravens Family.

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Lake June-in-Winter SPk

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Lake June-in-Winter SPk

It measures 9.1 to 11 in (23 to 28 cm) in length, and weighs from 2.3 to 3.2 oz (66 to 92 g), with an average 2.83 oz (80.2 g). The wingspan of the jay is 13–14 in (33–36 cm). It has a strong black bill, blue head and nape without a crest, a whitish forehead and supercilium, blue bib, blue wings, grayish underparts, gray back, long blue tail, black legs and feet.

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Lake June-in-Winter SPk

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Lake June-in-Winter SPk

The Florida Scrub Jay is found only in Florida scrub habitat, an ecosystem that exists only in central Florida and is characterized by nutrient-poor soil, occasional drought, and frequent wildfires. Because of its somewhat harsh weather pattern, this habitat is host to a small assortment of very specific plants, including Sand Pine, Sand Live Oak, Myrtle Oak, Chapman’s Oak, Sandhill Oak, Florida Rosemary[11] and various other hardy plants such as Eastern prickly pear.

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Lake June-in-Winter SPk

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Lake June-in-Winter SPk

Florida Scrub Jays are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of acorns, seeds, peanuts, insects, tree frogs, turtles, snakes, lizards, and young mice. Florida Scrub Jays have also been occasionally observed to eat other birds’ eggs or nestlings, but this occurs rarely. They routinely cache thousands of acorns a year, burying them just beneath the surface. The acorns are typically buried in the fall and consumed during the winter and spring. Acorns that are forgotten or missed may germinate, making the Florida Scrub-Jay an effective agent for the dispersal of a variety of oak trees.

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Lake June-in-Winter SPk

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) Lake June-in-Winter SPk

Scrub jays may also take silverware and other shiny objects in a manner similar to the American Crow.

Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) Lake June-in-Winter SPk

Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) Lake June-in-Winter SPk

Here are some more of the photos from this “birdwatching adventure.”

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See also:

Highlands Hammock State Park

Lake June-in-Winter State Park

Corvidae – Crows, Jays, Ravens Family

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Sandhill Crane Juveniles in Backyard

Sandhill Crane "colts"

Sandhill Crane "colts"

Do you remember the blog about the Sandhill Crane “Colt” Birdwatching? The little baby Sandhills were just a day old then on March 14th of this year. Today is August 27th of 2010 and they were visiting in my backyard with their parents. As you can see, they are growing up quite well. We have been watching them over the last five months. Couldn’t resist getting the camera out and updating their progress.

Sandhill Juvenile - 5 months old

Sandhill Juvenile - 5 months old in backyard

They still don’t have all their color yet, but they are just about as tall as the parents. It is neat to be able to watch them grow. Hope you enjoy the photos.

Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) are in the Gruidae Family of the Gruiformes Order.

Even the stork in the heavens knows her times, and the turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming, but my people know not the rules of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 ESV)

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Sandhill Crane “Colt” Birdwatching

Sandhill Crane "colts"

Sandhill Crane "colts"

Our neighbor called 4 or 5 days before telling us that the Sandhill Cranes here in the community were sitting on a nest. Then Sunday afternoon (3/14/10) she called again to tell us that they were walking with the babies (born that morning). So these little Sandhill Crane “colts” are only a day old.

“Sandhill breeding habitat is marshes and bogs in central and northern Canada, Alaska, part of the midwestern and southeastern United States, Siberia and Cuba. They nest in marsh vegetation or on the ground close to water. The female lays two eggs on a mound of vegetation, but it is rare that both chicks hatch and grow to independence. Cranes mate for life; both parents feed the young, calledcolts“, who are soon able to feed themselves. The colts are taught to fly over many weeks when they run and dance with their parents. Dancing is a significant component in the education of young cranes. The Sandhill Crane does not breed until it is two to seven years old, and the average generation time is 12.5 years. It can live up to 25 years in the wild; in captivity it has been known to live more than twice that span. Mated pairs stay together year-round and migrate south as a group with their offspring.” (Wikipedia) This pair is here year-round. Been in our backyard many times.

I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. (Psalms 50:11 ESV)

Thought you might enjoy seeing them. Dan walked over and took these photos.

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