Hang On To Your Hat – I.O.C. 8.1 Update Underway

Mixed Flock Eating 122717 Merritt Is NWR by Lee

“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8 KJV)

The new I.O.C. 8.1 Update was released on the 25th of January and I began updating this blog. There were a few minor changes at the beginning of the Taxonomic Order. They added a Sclater’s Crowned Pigeon and deleted the Ruwenzori Nightjar. (Simple enough). Then the Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) became the (Radjah radjah) and the Grey Noddy (Anous albivittus became albivitta)

Four more birds had name changes; White-headed Stilt to Pied Stilt, Southern Crowned Pigeon to Scheepmaker’s Crowned Pigeon, Indigo-crowned Quail-Dove to Purple Quail Dove, and the Admirable Hummingbird is now the Talamanca Hummingbird. Okay so far.

Mixed Flock Flyiing 122717 Merritt Is NWR by Lee

When we were at Merritt Island NWR in late December. There was a mixed flock of birds along the trail eating and drinking, then something spooked them and they all flew up at once and scattered. (Photo taken through the windshield) Why mention this?

Mixed Flock Flyiing 122717 Merritt Is NWR by Lee

The Antbirds, of the Thamnophilidae Family, were relaxing in their Taxonomy order within the family until the IOC decided to throw them all up in the air. All 236 have landed in a totally different sequence than before. So, the dust is flying as I am working on the newest update.

Stay tuned! This is just the beginning. There were eight new families created from others as we get further down the Taxonomic order of these families. I’ll let you know when some more family pages are updated. (I have been basically reworking this site.)

Once some dusk clears, I’ll present the links to the Families. [This dust is not helping my bronchitis. :) (of which I am about over with.)]

Birds of the World

Avian And Attributes – (X) Excellence

Avian And Attributes – (X) Excellence

Xingu Scale-back Antbird (Willisornis vidua) young male ©WikiC

“It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, The excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, The excellency of our God.” (Isaiah 35:2 NKJV)


Avian and Attributes – (X) Excellence

EX’CELLENCE
EXCELLENCY, n. [L. excellentia.] The state of possessing food qualities in an unusual or eminent degree; the state of excelling in any thing.

1. An valuabale quality; any thing highly laudable, meritorious or virtuous, in persons, or valuable and esteemed, in things. Purity of heart, uprightness of mind, sincerity, virtue, piety, are excellencies of character; symmetry of parts, strength and beauty are excellencies of body; an accurate knowledge of an art is an excellence in the artisan; soundness and durability are excellencies in timber; fertility, in land; elegance, in writing. In short, whatever contributes to exalt man, or to render him esteemed and happy, or to bless society, is in him an excellence.

2. Dignity; high rank in the scale of beings. Angels are beings of more excellence than men; men are beings of more excellence than brutes.

3. A title of honor formerly given to kings and emperors, now given to embassadors, governors, and other persons, below the rank of kings, but elevated above the common classes of men.

…”O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!” (Psalms 8:1 NKJV)


Xingu Scale-back Antbird(Willisornis vidua) ©Pinterest – Antpitta Com

Xingu Scale-backed Antbird

The Xingu Scale-backed Antbird or Xingu Antbird (Willisornis vidua), is a species of antbird from the south-eastern Amazon in Brazil. Until 2011, it was usually included as a subspecies of the scale-backed antbird. Its English name refers to the Xingu River. In addition to the nominate subspecies, it includes the subspecies W. v. nigrigula.

It is distributed in the central south and east of the Brazilian Amazon, from the eastern end of Amazonas to the east to Maranhão and south to the north of Mato Grosso . This species is fairly common in their habitat natural, the understory of humid forests of terra firme up to 1350  m. of altitude. 

(Thamnophilidae – Antbirds Family) (Xingu Antbird) – Wikipedia and Spanish Wiki


More Avian and Attributes

Birds whose first name starts with “X”

Good News

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[Definitions from Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), unless noted. Bird info from Wikipedia plus.]

Creation Moments – Bird that Lies and Steals

Barred Antshrike (Thamnophilus doliatus) by Ian

Barred Antshrike (Thamnophilus doliatus) by Ian

The Bird that Lies and Steals from Creation Moments©2013

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 )

Many species of birds live in communities that are quite complex and even resemble human communities.

In the Amazon rainforests of Peru, 20 or more mixed species of birds will flock together in the lower levels of the rainforest canopy. Each flock has a leader and organizer – the bluish-slate ant-shrike. Each morning the ant-shrike will assemble its flock with loud calls.

This strange arrangement has a very good purpose. The ant-shrike watches over the flock like a mother watches her children. When a bird-eating hawk appears overhead, the ant-shrike shrieks a warning so that members of the flock can take cover. But as often as half the time, the ant-shrike sounds the alarm when there is no hawk. The ant-shrike sounds the alarm to distract members of the flock when he sees that they have discovered some choice insects. In this way, the ant-shrike gets up to 85 percent of its food by sounding the false hawk alarm. Nevertheless, the rest of the flock put up with his lying and thieving because of his value as a hawk watcher.

Lying and stealing are, of course, wrong for human beings. And our Creator will hold us each personally responsible for our thoughts and actions. But His Son, Jesus Christ, took our sins upon Himself so that all who believe in Him as their Lord and Savior will stand before Him cleansed of all their sins. Our Creator has promised this!

Prayer:
I thank You, Lord, that You have taken my sin upon Yourself. Help my trust to always rest in what You have done for me and not in what I think I can do to better myself before the heavenly Father. Amen.


Spot-backed Antshrike (Hypoedaleus guttatus) by Dario Sanches

Spot-backed Antshrike (Hypoedaleus guttatus) by Dario Sanches

Lee’s Addition:

A very good lesson from our Antshrike and Creation Moments. Antshrikes belong to the Thamnophilidae – Antbirds Family. The antbird family contains over 200 species, variously called antwrens, antvireos, antbirds and antshrikes. The names refer to the relative sizes of the birds rather than any particular resemblance to the true wrens, vireos or shrikes.

The antbirds are a large family, Thamnophilidae, of passerine birds found across subtropical and tropical Central and South America, from Mexico to Argentina. There are more than 200 species, known variously as antshrikes, antwrens, antvireos, fire-eyes, bare-eyes and bushbirds. They are related to the antthrushes and antpittas (family Formicariidae), the tapaculos, the gnateaters and the ovenbirds. Despite some species’ common names, this family is not closely related to the wrens, vireos or shrikes.

Antbirds are generally small birds with rounded wings and strong legs. They have mostly sombre grey, white, brown and rufous plumage, which is sexually dimorphic in pattern and colouring. Some species communicate warnings to rivals by exposing white feather patches on their backs or shoulders. Most have heavy bills, which in many species are hooked at the tip.

Most species live in forests, although a few are found in other habitats. Insects and other arthropods form the most important part of their diet, although small vertebrates are occasionally taken. Most species feed in the understory and midstory of the forest, although a few feed in the canopy and a few on the ground. Many join mixed-species feeding flocks, and a few species are core members. To various degrees, around eighteen species specialise in following columns of army ants to eat the small invertebrates flushed by the ants, and many others may feed in this way opportunistically.

Silvery-cheeked Antshrike (Sakesphorus cristatus) by AGrosset

Silvery-cheeked Antshrike (Sakesphorus cristatus) by AGrosset

Antbirds are monogamous, mate for life, and defend territories. They usually lay two eggs in a nest that is either suspended from branches or supported on a branch, stump, or mound on the ground. Both parents share the tasks of incubation and of brooding and feeding the nestlings. After fledging, each parent cares exclusively for one chick.

The antbirds are a group of small to medium-sized passerines that range in size from the large Giant Antshrike to the tiny Pygmy Antwren. In general terms, “antshrikes” are relatively large-bodied birds, “antvireos” are medium-sized and chunky, while “antwrens” include most smaller species; “antbird” genera can vary greatly in size. Members of this family have short rounded wings that provide good manoeuvrability when flying in dense undergrowth. The legs are large and strong, particularly in species that are obligate ant-followers. These species are well adapted to gripping vertical stems and saplings, which are more common than horizontal branches in the undergrowth, and thus the ability to grip them is an advantage for birds following swarms of army ants. The claws of these antbirds are longer than those of species that do not follow ants, and the soles of some species have projections that are tough and gripping when the foot is clenched. Tarsus length in antbirds is related to foraging strategy. Longer tarsi typically occur in genera such as the Thamnophilus antshrikes that forage by perch-gleaning (sitting and leaning forward to snatch insects from the branch), whereas shorter tarsi typically occur in those that catch prey on the wing, such as the Thamnomanes antshrikes.

Most antbirds have proportionately large, heavy bills. Several genera of antshrike have a strongly hooked tip to the bill, and all antbirds have a notch or ‘tooth’ at the tip of the bill which helps in holding and crushing insect prey. The two genera of bushbirds have upturned chisel-like bills. (Wikipedia with editing)

Barred Antshrike – Duet Song by Jeremy Minns (xeno-canto)

Barred Antshrike – Call by Jeremy Minns (xeno-canto)

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See:

Creation Moments

Thamnophilidae – Antbirds Family

Antbirds – Wikipedia

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Antbirds ~ An Interesting Family

Great Antshrike (Taraba major) by Ian

Great Antshrike (Taraba major) by Ian

Just finished working on the Typical Antbird Family. (Thamnophilidae – Antbirds) Of the 228 species, there were only 21 links when I started a few day ago, after finishing the Tyrannidae – Tyrant Flycatchers Is Complete Minus One Bird family and article. Other than 4 species that are evading me, it is almost finished. I was side-lined Sunday evening and all day yesterday with some food poisoning. Perked up enough this evening to finish it up.

The little birds that are staying out of the camera lens are the:

If anyone knows where to find a photo of them, I would be obliged. Leave a comment if you know where they are hiding.

White-flanked Antwren (Myrmotherula axillaris) by Michael Woodruff

White-flanked Antwren (Myrmotherula axillaris) by Michael Woodruff

When you search the internet for photos, you have to be careful, I am finding out. Some searches show a picture on a page with the correct name, but the photo does not match the named bird. Won’t mention any names, but I will mention one of the more trusted sites that I use. IBC which is actually The Internet Bird Collection headed up, I believe by Josep del Hoyo. He and that group are quite experts in ornithology. They have been producing the Handbook of the Birds of the World. There are over 16 Volumes and counting. Their goal “has been to cover in detail and illustrate every species of bird in the world.” Now there is an undertaking, to say the least.

Ferruginous Antbird (Drymophila ferruginea) by Dario Sanches

Ferruginous Antbird (Drymophila ferruginea) by Dario Sanches

Back to the Antbirds. Wikipedia has this to say about them. ”

The antbirds are a large family, Thamnophilidae, of passerine birds found across subtropical and tropical Central and South America, from Mexico to Argentina. There are more than 200 species, known variously as antshrikes, antwrens, antvireos, fire-eyes, bare-eyes and bushbirds. They are related to the antthrushes and antpittas (family Formicariidae), the tapaculos, the gnateaters and the ovenbirds. Despite some species’ common names, this family is not closely related to the wrensvireos or shrikes.

Antbirds are generally small birds with rounded wings and strong legs. They have mostly sombre grey, white, brown and rufous plumage, which is sexually dimorphic in pattern and coloring.  Some species communicate warnings to rivals by exposing white feather patches on their backs or shoulders. Most have heavy bills, which in many species are hooked at the tip.

Ocellated Antbird (Phaenostictus mcleannani) ©WikiC

Ocellated Antbird (Phaenostictus mcleannani) ©WikiC

Members of this family have short rounded wings that provide good manoeuvrability when flying in dense undergrowth. The legs are large and strong, particularly in species that are obligate ant-followers. These species are well adapted to gripping vertical stems and saplings, which are more common than horizontal branches in the undergrowth, and thus the ability to grip them is an advantage for birds following swarms of army ants. The claws of these antbirds are longer than those of species that do not follow ants, and the soles of some species have projections that are tough and gripping when the foot is clenched. Tarsus length in antbirds is related to foraging strategy. Longer tarsi typically occur in genera such as the Thamnophilus antshrikes that forage by perch-gleaning (sitting and leaning forward to snatch insects from the branch), whereas shorter tarsi typically occur in those that catch prey on the wing, such as the Thamnomanes antshrikes.

Most antbirds have proportionately large, heavy bills. Several genera of antshrike have a strongly hooked tip to the bill, and all antbirds have a notch or ‘tooth’ at the tip of the bill which helps in holding and crushing insect prey. The two genera of bushbirds have upturned chisel-like bills.” (Wikipedia with editing)

Black-crested Antshrike (Sakesphorus canadensis) ©WikiC

Black-crested Antshrike (Sakesphorus canadensis) ©WikiC

It appears the Lord has created these birds with just what they need to survive in their environment. They may well be keeping the ant population in control, but some of the videos with the bird in the middle of an ant army swarm, makes you wonder who is winning.

But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; (Job 12:7 NKJV)

I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. (Psalms 50:11 NKJV)

The Bible has several things to say about the Ants:

The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer; (Proverbs 30:25 NKJV)

Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep—So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:6-11 NKJV)

Not being lazy and providing for yourself are two things one can learn. Also, He provides for the birds of this family by giving them an ample supply of ants and other insects, yet, they have to do the work of catching them. They are not fed directly by the Lord.

The Scripture tells us that “…my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 NKJV). Are we suppose to sit back and just expect things to be provided for us? No, neither do the birds or animals. Yes, the Lord supplies our needs, for example, by having things grow, but they need to be picked and cooked or purchased and cooked. That is only one illustration from thousands.

White-plumed Antbird (Pithys albifrons) ©WikiC

White-plumed Antbird (Pithys albifrons) ©WikiC

Enjoy the ANTBIRD family. They are not the prettiest, but some are quite interesting.

Thamnophilidae – Antbirds

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