“But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.” (Luke 22:56 KJV)
Shoebill by Lee – Closeup
*** P.S. – Today I am to have my back surgery. [In surgery room about 6 hours they told us.] It was originally supposed to be on Tuesday. These blogs were pre-scheduled to cover that time and my recovery. Will add an update when possible. Thanks again for your prayers. ***
Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) at National Aviary by Dan
I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am like an owl of the desert. (Psalms 102:6 NKJV)
Previously, it was mentioned that some bird families have already been featured on the Sunday Inspirations. The next family includes the Herons and Bitterns. It is the Ardeidae, and it was covered in these two articles written in 2014:
Today we will finish up the Pelicaniformes Order, which included the Ibises and Spoonbills [Threskiornithidae], the Herons and Bitterns [Ardeidae], and now today with; the Hamerkop (1) with only one species in the Scopidae family, the Shoebill (1) in the Balaenicipitidae Family, and the Pelicans (8) in the Pelecanidae Family.
[Because this is being scheduled in advance, Lord willing, my back surgery will be performed on this Tuesday, the 20th. Your prayers will be greatly welcome. It will be a 4-5 hour surgery. I think.]
Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) by Africaddict
The Hamerkop, have been a favorite of mine ever since we saw our first one at the National Aviary in Pittsburg, PA. When its head feathers are out, the head looks like a hammer. They also seemed rather tame walking around in the aviary.
Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) by Daves BirdingPix
The Shoebill is another favorite. We have these at the Lowry Park Zoo, in Tampa. I keep trying to get a decent photo, but I have to shoot through a fence. Though, the fence is nice to have between us. He is a nice bird, but that look can be intimidating. :) Here is a close-up taken through the fence.
Shoebill by Lee – Closeup
Living in Florida, we all see Pelicans quite frequently, even inland. The White Pelicans land at many of our lakes, and several years ago, over 5,000 landed at Circle B Reserve in Lakeland, Florida, for a month or so. I’ve shown this video before but thought it fit here again. I was so excited by all of them arriving to land just behind where Dan and I were standing. My utter amazement shows. [along with poor English]
“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)
Brown Pelican with fish and Laughing Gull
Pelicans are a genus of large water birds that makes up the family Pelecanidae. They are characterised by a long beak and a large throat pouch used for catching prey and draining water from the scooped up contents before swallowing. They have predominantly pale plumage, the exceptions being the brown and Peruvian pelicans. The bills, pouches and bare facial skin of all species become brightly coloured before the breeding season. The eight living pelican species have a patchy global distribution, ranging latitudinally from the tropics to the temperate zone, though they are absent from interior South America as well as from polar regions and the open ocean.
White Pelicans by Lee over Circle B Reserve
Pelicans frequent inland and coastal waters where they feed principally on fish, catching them at or near the water surface. They are gregarious birds, travelling in flocks, hunting cooperatively and breeding colonially. Four white-plumaged species tend to nest on the ground, and four brown or grey-plumaged species nest mainly in trees
“God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places.
(2 Samuel 22:33-34 KJV)”
We went to the Lowry Park Zoo this week and were able to get some photos of the Shoebill. What an interesting bird. I was amazed at how large they really are. My shots were through a fence, but Keith’s video was taken in a swamp.
“The Shoebill, Balaeniceps rex, also known as Whalehead, is a very large stork-like bird. It derives its name from its massive shoe-shaped bill.
The Shoebill is a very large bird. The adult is 115-150 cm (45-64 in) tall, 100-140 cm (40-60in) long, 230-260 cm (91-125 in) across the wings and weighs 4 to 7 kg (8.8-15.5 lbs). The adult is mainly grey while the juveniles are browner. It lives in tropical east Africa in large swamps from Sudan to Zambia.”