Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) by Neal Addy Gallery
Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. (Psalms 84:3 KJV)
What an interesting article about the recent Total Eclipse of the Sun. This was posted by Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology and you will enjoy reading it. Dan and I went out to watch the eclipse here in middle Florida. We had about 80% coverage and noticed the swallows here out flying around. Now, this article helps explain what we saw. Enjoy reading this:
What Do Birds Do During a Total Eclipse? Observations from eBird and Radar on August 21, 2017
“26 August, 2017
By Benjamin Van Doren, Andrew Farnsworth, and Ian Davies
Approximately every 18 months a total solar eclipse is visible somewhere on the surface of the Earth. During previous total solar eclipses, numerous observers have reported interesting animal behavior—especially describing birds. With the advent of citizen science and projects like eBird, we now have the opportunity to examine bird behaviors as reported by a large number of observers almost immediately and at a much grander scale. The amazing accounts below of birding during Monday’s total solar eclipse are all from eBird checklists submitted by birders like you—please submit your eclipse sightings if you haven’t already!
We looked at 7,800 checklists submitted to eBird.org on August 21, 2017 and focused on 1,350 checklists submitted from the time of maximum eclipse. Below, we highlight interesting observations from the path of totality (black circular icons with white borders, representing a total eclipse) and outside of it (partial eclipse icons of varying magnitude).”
One quote that made our Swallow behavior make sense:
From Joshua Stone and Nicole Trimmer in Johnson County, Illinois:
Just before totality, the chimney swifts started flying low and acting like it was dusk. They continued during totality, flying low overhead and chittering.
Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight. (Proverbs 26:2 NKJV)
Wanted to share an article I came across about Swallows.
A recent article from the UK’s Daily Mail declared, “Swallows are evolving shorter wings because they keep getting hit by traffic.” Now, the article explains the results of a recent study from the journal Current Biology. The study examined cliff swallows, both living and dead, that build their mud nests on highway overpasses, to see if there were certain traits in swallows that favored their survival. The researchers argued that natural selection should “favor individuals that either learn to avoid cars or that have other traits making them less likely to collide with vehicles.” The study found that the swallows that survived had shorter wingspans, while the ones that died had longer wings…..”
“three enthusiastic brothers, ages 10, 11, and 13, are combining their interest in writing, creationism, and web design to launch the Virtual Creation Zoo. Their goal is to declare the glory of our Creator, and these three boys are doing it! “
Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica) by Nikhil Devasar
Even the stork in the heavens Knows her appointed times; And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow Observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 NKJV)
Yesterday, we introduced the Thrush and used the above verse. Today, we will look at that same verse, but from a different version of Scripture that translates the bird as a Swallow. Here is the same little Greek study for you: The Greek word (the OT was written mostly in Greek) gives the word (H5693) עגוּר -or –‛âgûr (aw-goor’) An unused root meaning to twitter; probably the swallow: – swallow. Translations using the word Swallow, have more than one verse that refers to the bird. The New King James Version has these other verses:
Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young— Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. (Psalms 84:3 NKJV) Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight. (Proverbs 26:2 NKJV) Like a crane or a swallow, so I chattered; I mourned like a dove; My eyes fail from looking upward. O LORD, I am oppressed; Undertake for me! (Isaiah 38:14 NKJV)
So there are at least four verses with the Swallow listed. The Swallows belong to the Hirundinidae – Swallows, martins Family. There are 88 members in the family at present. Many times in the Bible they mention a bird‘s name and then say “after its kind.” For now, let’s just same that it means all of those species in that family. The Swallows also have Saw-wings and Martins in the family. They live on all the continents except Antarctica.
This family is known for their aerial feeding. taking flying insects on the wing. Swallows hunt insects on the wing because they were designed with a slender, streamlined body and long pointed wings, which allow great maneuverability and endurance, as well as frequent periods of gliding. Their body shape allows for very efficient flight, which costs 50-75% less for swallows than equivalent passerines of the same size. Swallows usually forage at around 18.6-25 mph (30–40 km/h), although they are capable of reaching speeds of between 31-40 mph (50–65 km/h) when traveling.
The legs are short, and their feet were created for perching rather than walking, as the front toes are partially joined at the base. Swallows are capable of walking and even running, but they do so with a shuffling, waddling gait. The leg muscles of the river martins (Pseudochelidon) are stronger and more robust than those of other swallows.
The most common plumage is glossy dark blue or green above and plain or streaked underparts, often white or rufous. Species which burrow or live in dry or mountainous areas are often matte brown above (e.g. Sand Martin and Crag Martin). The typical song of swallows is a simple, sometimes musical twittering.
Tree Swallow Song by Allen T Chartier (Cardinal in background)
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) by Raymond Barlow
Our verse above mentions the birds and how they KNOW when it is time to migrate, but what about the end of the verse? The Lord uses birds and other critters as an example, BUT He is mainly trying to teach us something.
Let’s see what some of the different versions say about what we are supposed to learn from these birds.
(HCSB) ”are aware of their migration, but My people do not know the requirements of the LORD.”
(MSG) …know when it’s time to move south for winter… know when it’s time to come back again. But my people? My people know nothing, not the first thing of GOD and his rule.
(NET) …knows when it is time to move on…recognize the normal times for their migration. But my people pay no attention to what I, the LORD, require of them.
Do you know what the Lord wants you to do? Do you know Him as your Savior? If you do, are you doing what the Bible tells us we should do? Are you obeying your parents? And doing what the Lord wants you to do?.
The Lord loves us, just as your parents do. When you obey them you are happier and blessed. When you do not obey, are you happy or sad? The same is true with obeying the Word that the Lord has given us through His Word, the Bible.
American Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) by Daves BirdingPix
“Did you hear the bells this past Monday? The bells at San Juan Capistrano? Thousands of people did hear them, because they gathered, as they do every year, to rejoice in and celebrate the return of the beloved Swallows. These famous swallows begin their flight every year at dawn on February 18th, from the Argentinian city of Goya, and arrive at the San Juan Capistrano mission, without fail, on the morning of March 19th.
According to Argentinian magazine correspondent Enrique Bermudez, who has made a thorough study of the swallows, they fly a total of 7,500 miles one way on this astounding trip, which they have been making every year for at least 200 years…..”