Birds Are Wonderful: S, T, and U !

BIRDS  ARE  WONDERFUL  . . .  S,  T,  and  U !

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Jesus said: “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink . . . Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, . . . your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”   (Matthew 6:25-26)


For ushering in the year of our Lord 2020,  below follows the seventh installment of alphabet-illustrating birds of the world, as part of this new series (“Birds Are Wonderful  —  and Some Are a Little Weird*).  The letter S is illustrated by Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Stork, and Starling.  The letter T illustrated by Turkey, Trumpeter Swan, and Turnstone.  The letter U illustrated by Ural Owl, Udzungwa partridge, and Umbrellabird.

“S” BIRDS:   Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Storks, and Starlings.



“T” BIRDS:  Turkey, Trumpeter Swan, and Turnstone.


“U” BIRDS:  Ural Owl, Udzungwa Partridge, and Umbrellabird.



Birds are truly wonderful — some are gracefully beautiful, like the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher — and some, like the bizarre-displaying Umbrellabird, are fascinatingly unusual, if not also a little weird!  (Stay tuned for more, D.v.)

* Quoting from “Birds Are Wonderful, and Some Are a Little Weird”, (c) AD2019 James J. S. Johnson   [used here by permission].


Scissortail in flight (Cornell Lab photo)


Avian and Attributes – Undefiled

Long-wattled Umbrellabird (Cephalopterus penduliger) ©©Mindoconexion

Long-wattled Umbrellabird (Cephalopterus penduliger) ©©Mindoconexion

“For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;” (Hebrews 7:26 KJV)

“To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,” (1 Peter 1:4 KJV)

Avian and Attributes – Undefiled


UNDEFI’LED, a. Not defiled; not polluted; not vitiated. (Webster 1828)

un-dḗ-fı̄ld´: In the Old Testament תּם, tām, “perfect,” presents the positive side. Hence, Psa_119:1 is translated in the Revised Version: “Blessed are they that are perfect in the way.” In the New Testament ἀμίαντος, amı́antos, presents the negative side, “unstained” “unsullied” “without taint.” Used to describe the sinlessness of Christ (Heb_7:26), to declare the marriage act free from all guilt, disgrace or shame (Heb_13:4), to contrast the heavenly inheritance with earthly possessions (1Pe_1:4). (ISBE)

Long-wattled Umbrellabird (Cephalopterus penduliger) ©WikiC

Umbrellabirds are birds in the genus Cephalopterus. They are found in rainforests of Central and South America. With a total length of 35–50 cm (14–19.5 in), they are among the largest members of the Cotinga family, and the male Amazonian Umbrellabird is the largest passerine in South America.

They are almost entirely black, and have a conspicuous crest on the top of their head, vaguely resembling an umbrella (hence their common name). All have an inflatable wattle on the neck, which serves to amplify their loud, booming calls. This wattle may reach a length of 35 cm (14 in) in the long-wattled umbrellabird, but it is smaller in the two remaining species, and covered in bare, bright red skin in the bare-necked umbrellabird. Females resemble males, but are noticeably smaller and have a reduced crest and wattle.

They feed on fruits, large insects and occasionally small vertebrates (e.g. lizards). (Cotingadae – Cotinga Family)

More Avian and Attributes

Birds whose last name start with “U”

Sunday Inspiration – There Is A Redeemer

Good News

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

Long-wattled Umbrellabird – The Dawn Dancer..

Long-wattled Umbrellabird – The Dawn Dancer..  – by a j mithra

The Long-wattled Umbrellabird (Cephalopterus penduliger) is large bird that got its name because of its head feathers, which resemble an Elvis Presley hair-do that can be opened like an umbrella surrounding the bird’s head in all directions.

The first half of the name comes from another strange characteristic, the long wattle that hangs from the neck of the bird. This is a fleshy appendage covered in feathers that looks like a long, black tie and it is used for males during their exotic sexual courtship.

Long-wattled Umbrellabird (Cephalopterus penduliger) by Wikipedia

Long-wattled Umbrellabird (Cephalopterus penduliger) by Wikipedia

It is a large, charismatic, midnight-black bird, with a maximum wingspan of about two feet. Males have long crest feathers that, depending on their mood, they can retract like slicked-back pompadours (cool, relaxed) or expand to completely cover their heads (amorous, aroused). With his crest retracted, a male looks like Elvis on a bad hair day; with it expanded, he looks like Liberace on steroids…

During the August-to-February mating season, groups of between five and fifteen males gather every morning and afternoon at special sites called leks, each of which typically covers about 4.5 acres were most males stake out their own territories within a lek.

Beginning in the predawn darkness, the males sit on their favored perches and bellow their moo calls out into the forest around them. Ecuadorians call the bird the pajaro toro, meaning bull-bird, because the male’s song resembles nothing so much as a lost bovine mooing in the forest. The calls travel more than half a mile, to attract females. These males begin their calls at predawn darkness..

Have we ever realized that Jesus loves to talk to us in the predawn darkness?

The Manna would melt and that is the reason Manna collecting became a predawn exercise for the Israelites…
JESUS, the Word is our heavenly Manna…

How many of us have the habit of reading the Word of God as our predawn exercise? Just imagine, if our Bible had melted just like Manna after daybreak, most of us by now, would’ve starved to death isn’t it?

And they gathered it (Manna) every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted. (Exodus 16:21)

As the day breaks, they begin to extend and retract their crests. They ruffle the feathers on their wattles and bob them up and down. They spread their wings out in a vulture-like pose and make a strange gurgling sound. They briskly beat their wings against their bodies. Sometimes they pull small branches off their perching trees and beat them against the limbs or trunk.

They spend hours each morning and afternoon in such elaborate displays, often nearly falling off their branches from the exertion. After they mate, the female is all by herself as she flies back to her home area in the forest, sometimes a few miles away and proceeds with the business of nesting.

These birds practice their mating ritual so hard for hours, that they even fall off their branches due to exertion..

JESUS is the copyright owner of the greatest and the most awesome mating ritual ever found on the face of the earth displayed at the Cross of Calvary..

It was not the nails which held Him to the cross but, it was the love that HE had for you and me that held HIM…

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

These birds are endangered due to habitat loss, and their extinction would not only mean the loss of a very interesting-looking animal, but also a disruption for the forest dynamics. This is because Umbrellabirds are one of the few birds large enough to disperse big seeds that are typical of mature forests.

The long-wattled umbrellabird (Cephalopterus penduliger) lays claim to the title of best-dressed dinner guest at fruit-bearing Chapil palm trees..

The mating behavior of umbrellabirds might have important consequences for chapils and other plants whose fruits they disperse…

It takes an hour for these birds to digest the Chapil Palm fruits. So, the males, bring a high proportion of the seeds they eat back to their lek sites. That is where they spend most of their time. But, the females disperse the seeds after they fly back to their home areas, which maybe miles away from the lek…

JESUS, the bride sows HIS seed in the Church…
But, like these birds, it is the duty of the Church-the bride to spread the seeds among their home areas, their family and friends…
We call ourselves as the bride, but, do we carry the seed home to spread it in our home area? Or just leave back the seed in church every Sunday before we get back home?

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:8)

Your’s in YESHUA,
a j mithra

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The Umbrellabird is part of the Cotingidae – Cotingas Family of the Passeriformes Order