Kneeling Before Royalty?

Gambel's Quail and Dan at Desert Mus-Tucson by Lee

Gambel’s Quail and Dan at Desert Mus-Tucson by Lee

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. (Psalms 95:6 KJV)

Bow down Your ear to me, deliver me speedily! Be my Rock of refuge, a strong Fortress to save me! Yes, You are my Rock and my Fortress; therefore for Your name’s sake lead me and guide me. (Psalms 31:2-3 AMP)

Ian’s Horned Parakeet newsletter showed that the “horn” was really feathers. While on vacation, we also saw birds with prominent feathers. One was walking around the aviary and it was near Dan. He was kneeling down to get a photo and I caught him doing so.

Those western quails like to parade around like they are Royalty. Not really, but they are cute with that bobbing curved topknot. It bobs because of the way they walk around putting their head up and down or “bobbing”.

Gambel's Quail by Dan at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Gambel’s Quail by Dan at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

The first quail we encountered were three Gambel’s Quail marching across the road on a street in Tuscon. Then in an aviary we saw this Gambel’s Quail. This is what Dan was taking while I was taking his photo.

We also saw the Scaled Quail there at the Desert Museum’s aviary.

Scaled Quail by Dan at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Scaled Quail by Dan at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Here are the photos we took of these two quail at the aviary on our vacation:

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (Romans 14:11 KJV)

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 KJV)

The Gambel’s quail (Callipepla gambelii) is a small ground-dwelling bird in the New World quail family. It inhabits the desert regions of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Texas, and Sonora; also New Mexico-border Chihuahua and the Colorado River region of Baja California. The Gambel’s quail is named in honor of William Gambel, a 19th-century naturalist and explorer of the Southwestern United States.  (Wikipedia)

The Scaled quail (Callipepla squamata), also commonly called blue quail or cottontop, is a species of the New World quail family. It is a bluish gray bird found in the arid regions of the Southwestern United States to Central Mexico. This bird is named for the scaly appearance of its breast and back feathers. Along with its scaly markings, the bird is easily identified by its white crest that resembles a tuft of cotton. (Wikipedia)



Say’s Phoebe and Nest

On our vacation, we spent the night in El Centro, California. In the morning, while loading the luggage back in the car, I noticed a bird flying in and out of a corner. Investigating, here is what I found:

Say's Phoebe nestling at El Centro Ca by Lee

Say’s Phoebe nestling at El Centro Ca by Lee

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)

The nest with a young bird in it was patiently waiting for mom/pop to show up with some more food. Sure enough, the parent came and went but didn’t stay long enough for me to get a photo. Finally, they landed on a spot long enough to get a few photos. (He/she was in the direct sun and not the best photo.)

Say's Phoebe (Sayornis saya) at El Centro Ca by Lee

Say’s Phoebe (Sayornis saya) at El Centro Ca by Lee

Yeah! A new Life Bird for my list. This is a Say’s Phobe. Been reading up on this beautiful creation from the Creator. The Say’s phoebe (Sayornis saya) is a passerine bird in the Tyrannidae – Tyrant Flycatchers Family. A common bird in the western United States. It prefers dry, desolate areas. This bird was named for Thomas Say, the American naturalist.

Here is a better photo from Flickr by Dawn Ellner:

Say's Phoebe (Sayornis saya) ©©Flickr Dawn Ellner

Say’s Phoebe (Sayornis saya) ©©Flickr Dawn Ellner

The adult Say’s phoebe is a drab, chunky bird. It is gray-brown above with a black tail and buffy cinnamon below, becoming more orange around the vent. The tail is long and the primaries end just past the rump on resting birds. The wings seem pale in flight and resemble a female mountain bluebird. The juvenile is similar to adult, but has buffy orange to whitish wingbars and a yellow gape. Adult birds are 7.5 in (19 cm) long. They have a 13 in (33 cm) wingspan and they weigh 0.75 oz (21 g). Their diet is almost exclusively insects which they dart out to capture. Sometimes they hover over grass to catch the insects.

Nest – Adherent also under eaves, bridges, in wells; of grass, forbs, moss, plant fibers, lined with fine materials, especially hair. Female believed to build nest. The Eggs – White, mostly unmarked, some (last laid) with small red spots. 0.8″ (19 mm). The female incubates for 12-14 days. Development is altricial (immobile, downless, eyes closed, fed). Young leave the nest after 14-16 days. Both sexes tend young. “Say’s Phoebe is common around people, often nesting on buildings.” (All About Birds)

(Info from Wikipedia, internet and Thayer’s Birding Software)

More about that nest in the next post. Photos can be clicked on to enlarge them.

(Update: Orni-Theology and The Nest)

Good News

Cactus, Birds and Boots

Gila Woodpecker Hole Desert Mus-Tucson by Lee

Gila Woodpecker Hole Desert Mus-Tucson by Lee

Again, while at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, we learned more about the “Cactus Boot.” I was aware that Woodpeckers, especially the local Gila Woodpecker,  make their homes in cactus, especially Saguaro Cactus. I also knew that the cactus, to prevent loss of moisture, seals around the “wound”, a.k.a. nest cavity. Another way the Lord created the plants and birds to survive in the harsh conditions of a desert.

Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis) Desert Mus-Tucson by Lee

Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis) Desert Mus-Tucson by Lee

One of the docents gave a short lesson about the cactus and the Saguaro boot that was very interesting. First, notice the ribs or pleats on the cactus. These allow the cactus to expand during the rainy times to allow storage of water. Then as the dry seasons arrive, they will contract again. Wise creation design. The Anatomy section of the Cactaceae (cactus family) has a great explanation about this. “A fully hydrated large stem is more than 90 percent water and weighs 80 pounds per foot (120 kg per meter).”

The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing. … They shall see the glory of the LORD, The excellency of our God. (Isaiah 35:1-2 NKJV)

Showing the ribs of a dead Saguaro and holes where the Woodpeckers had their boot.

Showing the ribs of a dead Saguaro and holes where the Woodpeckers had their boot.

“Near the center of the stem is a cylinder of 13 to 20 woody ribs running the length of the main stem and branching into the arms. In the upper part of a stem the ribs are separate; as the stem ages the ribs continue to grow and fuse into a latticed cylinder.”

Cactus Boot Lesson

Cactus Boot Lesson

When the Gila Woodpecker and other birds make the nest in the cactus, a hole is created, to the birds preference and then the cactus seals around that area. When they take these cavity nest out of old/dead cactus it looks like a “boot.”

Cactus Boot Desert Mus-Tuscon by Lee

Cactus Boot Desert Mus-Tuscon by Lee

The Gila woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis) is a medium-sized woodpecker of the desert regions of the southwestern United States and western Mexico. In the U.S., they range through southeastern California, southern Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. (Wiki)

PIC-Pici Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis) Desert Mus-Tucson cr(11)

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Matthew 8:20 NKJV)

Besides the Saguaros, they also make nest in mesquite trees. Their cavaties in the cacti are later used by other species, even the elf owl. They usually lay 3-5 white eggs.

Here are some photos of the Cactus, Birds and Boots:

Psalms 33:1-8 NKJV
(1) Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.
(2) Praise the LORD with the harp; Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
(3) Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.
(4) For the word of the LORD is right, And all His work is done in truth.
(5) He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
(6) By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
(7) He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses.
(8) Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.


The Chase Begins…

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

While we were at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum we wanted to see as many birds as possible. Birds from this part of the country were to be prize catches. We spotted a wren and we both turned our cameras on it. We had just arrived and it was the first native bird we saw.

Well, let the chase begin because that bird would not stay put, nor would it come out in the open. Here is a series of photos we took trying to get a “whole bird” photo:

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 KJV)

The Wren was not trying to avoid us, he was only searching for something to eat and we were searching for it.

As you can see, it finally came out in the clear. Those of you who like to photograph critters will understand the joy and agony of attempts like this. After all these attempts, I later found out that we had seen Cactus Wrens before, so it wasn’t a new “Life Bird.”

Later, we saw Cactus Wrens several more times and they showed off and didn’t give us such a hassle as the first one. Oh, the joys of birdwatching!

Here are some more Cactus Wren photos with the more cooperative birds:

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: (Psalms 139:23 KJV)

Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. (Lamentations 3:40 KJV)

I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:10 KJV)

Trust you enjoyed this adventure of our search for the Cactus Wren. They are members of the Wrens – Troglodytidae Family that has 84 species.


Wrens – Troglodytidae Family

Wren – Wikipedia

Sea To Sea in 2015

Wordless Birds



Sea To Sea In 2015 Page Created

Gull with feet in the Pacific by Lee

Gull with feet in the Pacific by Lee

So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. (2 Corinthians 5:9 ESV)

Just finished creating a Sea To Sea In 2015 page. Pages are different than post because they are more permanent. This site has lots of pages and are usually used for reference, like the Birds of the Bible pages. Each Bird of the Bible has it’s own page and as articles are written, a link is added to the page.

The Sea to Sea in 2015 is a place where all these articles about our vacation, that took us from “Sea to Shining Sea,” can be listed.

Also, if you haven’t checked out the menus on the left side lately, you will find other “pages” have been added or updated. If you hold your mouse over “Birdwatching” you will see eight (8) more pages pop-up. One of those is Birdwatching Trips. That is where you will find pages of birdwatching trips we have taken. “Sea to Sea” is found under the Around the U.S.A. section.

Jacksonville, Florida Beach Sunrise while packing to go home.

Jacksonville, Florida Beach Sunrise while packing to go home.

Pages help make an index of the topics and the writers here. Search works all the time.

Check back, from time to time, as all these pages are being updated.


Sea To Sea In 2015

Tombstone Shootout – Vacation

Tombstone AZ 2015 by Lee

After quickly passing through New Mexico, (NM Going West), Interstate 10 brings you to Arizona. While stopped at the Welcome Center, again to get maps and brochures, we were told to not miss stopping in Tombstone. We dove the about 25 miles south of I-10 to get there, but well worth the detour.

Have you not asked those who travel the road? … (Job 21:29a NKJV)

We both grew up watching “westerns” and even remember riding one of these as a kid. So, going to Tombstone brought back lots of memories.

Tombstone AZ 5-9-2015 (86)

They have a reenactment of the Shootout at OK Corral, so we watched it. I have a clip of the beginning of it, just to whet your taste. If you want to see it, go to Tombstone. At the end of the video is a Jester, or whatever you want to call him, entertaining some kids.

Many people were dressed up and after talking to several of them, not all were workers in the different businesses. Some where just townspeople who dress and come to town to just be part of the “happenings” like this man and his dog.

Local residents

Local residents

Thinking back, we never took a single photo of a bird in Tombstone. Either they were not around or we were just too busy seeing all the sites. Not to worry, there are plenty more bird photos to come. Stay turned! :)

“The very mention of Tombstone brings to mind images of the lawless Old West, gunfights at the O.K. Corral, epic feuds between the Earps and the Mclaurys and Clantons, Gold Rush fever and the promise of silver and gold. The heritage of the American West is still alive here today, where historic saloons, post offices and the famous Boot Hill cemetery stand restored and painstakingly preserved alongside more modern, tourist-focused recreations of period architecture.” From TripAdvisor

As Christians, we have a different type of “Fight” to get involved in:

The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:14 NKJV)

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12 NKJV)

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8 NKJV)


Tombstone, Arizona – Wikipedia

Tombstone Web

In case you missed the last few Vacation articles:

Good News