Lake Morton Swan Roundup – 2016

Catching Swans on Lake Morton for the Annual Roundup ©Fox13

Catching Swans on Lake Morton for the Annual Roundup ©Fox13

“And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,” (Leviticus 11:18 KJV)

In 2014 I wrote about going birdwatching at Lake Morton – Lake Morton Birdwatching after Round-up . Well, they are currently in the midst of doing so again. Today’s paper mentioned the annual round-up and thought you might enjoy seeing this years version. First, here is a video from last year:

Fox 13  had this article – 36th annual Lakeland Swan Roundup Underway.

“For some reason, Steve Platt, the Lakeland Parks and Recreation guy in charge of the 2016 Swan Roundup, agreed to let me on a boat to go after the target of the morning.

This is the 36th annual swan roundup. It takes place on picturesque Lake Morton.


On the day one, Tuesday, city employees catch the swans. The following day, local veterinarian Dr. Patricia Mattson and her staff give the swans physicals. They weigh, vaccinate and microchip the birds.

“The Lake Morton swans are a community icon and families have been interacting with the birds for decades,” explained Bob Donahay, director of parks & recreation. “It is very important to us to make sure our Lakeland flock is doing well so we schedule the swan roundup each year with the primary purpose to check on the health of our birds.”

Dr. Mattson, and the folks who preceded her, Dr. Geoffrey Gardner and his dad, Dr. Wade Gardner, provide their services for free.

This year, the goal was to catch close to 70 swans to get them ready for their physicals on Wednesday.

“The swans are consuming too much white bread and the heavy gluten diet, with very little nutritional value, is taking a toll on Lakeland’s swan population,” Dr. Mattson offered. “Many of the swans have a calcium deficiency because they feast on bleached white bread and this is just one of the items that will be reviewed during the swans’ annual health checkup.”

I got onto the boat, laid on my stomach, and held a big fishing net in my right hand. In an instant, I was zipping across the water. There ahead, floating peacefully was the target — a beautiful white mute swan.


As we got closer, the swan realized something was up and began to swim faster and faster away from the rumble of the rumble of the motor. As we closed in, thinking I would never pull this off, I try to net the swan, and to my amazement, I did. It was quite an adrenaline rush.

With instruction, I grabbed the massive bird, carefully keeping its wings and big floppy feet from breaking loose of my grip. When we got back to shore, I put it into a holding pen where it will stay until tomorrow.

That’s when the real fun will begin. An assembly line of workers will take each swan one by one to the vet who will weigh it, take a blood sample, and record the findings.

After that, Lakeland’s most loved residents are good for another year.

In Genesis 1:28, originally dominion over the birds was given to Adam. That meant to care for them. I am glad that the city of Lakeland cares about their Swans.

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”


Here are links to more coverage of this event:

Lakeland Patch

The Ledger

Lake Morton Birdwatching after Round-up

No this was not white bread in the following photos:

Birdwatching at Lake Morton – 11/22/13

Birdwatching at Lake Morton – October 21, 2011

Birdwatching at Lake Morton – 11/22/13

Liarbird or Lyrebird – AussieBirder’s Neat Blog

My friend from Australia, whom I’ve met through blogging, has a really interesting post. It is about the Lyrebird which we have written about before. He has a segment about a young lyrebird practicing his mating dance. I love it. There are other birds mentioned also. Aussiebirder always has neat articles. Enjoy!

Lyrebird or Liarbird – A Rainforest Treasure


As we leave an unusually wet winter and enter the beautiful early spring, with wildflowers blooming, I took off early one morning into the Southern Highlands to Barren Grounds National Park for another attempt at finding the elusive and endangered Eastern Ground Parrot.


Above photo is taken from the sign in the park of the two endangered species of birds in Australia which live in the scrubby heathlands of the highlands. One reason why these birds have become endangered is that both these birds are predominately ground dwellers, and seldom fly.  This makes them very vulnerable to predators, especially humans, ferule cats and foxes.

………….To read the rest of the article and see his video and recordings  CLICK HERE:

Thanks, AussieBirder, for such an interesting article.

See Also:

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Displaying Superb Lyrebird

Birds Displaying


Birds of the Bible – Murmurations?

Murmuration by Dailymail

Murmuration by Dailymail

“Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?” (Isaiah 60:8 KJV)

While working on one of my on-line courses, Birds in Biblical Perspective, I just watched an amazing DVD – Flight: The Genius of Birds. One of the segments mentioned the murmurations of Starlings. I have watched videos of these before and we have mentioned murmurations on this site twice before: Sunday Inspiration – Starlings, Mynas and Rhabdornis by me and Choreographed Choir on the Wing: Birds of a Feather Flock Together by James J. S. Johnson.

While looking for some verses for my assignment, I found the verse quoted above from Isaiah. I have used that verse in reference to the “doves,” but did you notice the first part of the verse? Had I not just watched that video, it would have been missed again. “Who are these that fly as a cloud” Should I add a new Bird of the Bible, the Starlings?

Starling Murmuration ©Flickr Donald Macauley

Starling Murmuration ©Flickr Donald Macauley

Who gave those birds the knowledge to fly like that? Are Starlings the only birds that fly in murmurations like that? How do they keep from running into each other? Questions, questions, questions. Let’s see what we can find out about this phenomenon.

“Surprising as it may be, flocks of birds are never led by a single individual. Even in the case of flocks of geese, which appear to have a leader, the movement of the flock is actually governed collectively by all of the flock members. But the remarkable thing about starling flocks is their fluidity of motion. As the researchers put it, “the group respond[s] as one” and “cannot be divided into independent subparts.” (How Do Starling Flocks Create Those Mesmerizing Murmurations?-All About Birds)

Another quote from this article tells of a recent study, “on starling flocks appeared in the journal PLOS Computational Biology. The researchers, led by George Young at Princeton, did their own analysis of murmuration images to see how the birds adjust to their flockmates. They determined that starlings in large flocks consistently coordinate their movements with their seven nearest neighbors. They also found that the shape of the flock, rather than the size, has the largest effect on this number; seven seems optimal for the tightly connected flocks that starlings are known for.”

 European Starling

European Starling ©WikiC

“Recent studies of starling flocks have shown that each bird modifies its position, relative to the six or seven animals directly surrounding it, no matter how close or how far away those animals are.” (Wikipedia, emphasis mine)

Some of the Commentators had this to say about the verse:

Notes of Dr. Constable – “Isaiah 60:8 The prophet further saw people coming from the west as thick as clouds into the Promised Land. They reminded him of doves flying to their dovecotes. Who are these, he asked?”

CBNotes – “Who are these . . . ? Referring probably to the ships whose sails are compared to wings, developed in next verse.”

Flock of Starlings Acting As A Swarm ©WikiC

Flock of Starlings Acting As A Swarm ©WikiC

Geneva Bible Translation Notes – “Isaiah 60:8 Who [are] these (i) [that] fly as a cloud, and as doves to their windows? (i) Showing what great number will come to the Church, and with what great diligence and zeal.”

John Gill – “Isaiah 60:8 Who are these that fly as a cloud,…. Referring to the vast number of converts before mentioned, who are compared to a “cloud” for the number of them, covering Judea as the clouds do the heavens; and for their elevation and situation, being raised from an earthly to a heavenly state; called with a high calling, and made partakers of an heavenly one; and for their being filled with the grace of God, as clouds with water; and for their unanimity, their coming together in a body, making as it were one cloud, and that openly and publicly, professing Christ, and joining themselves to his church, in the face of the world; and so the Targum,”

“who are these that come publicly as the swift clouds?”

and chiefly are they compared to a cloud for their swiftness in motion to Christ and his church; sinners; sensible of danger from the avenging justice of God, from his law, and from his wrath and displeasure, and eternal death, and being apprized of salvation and safety in Christ, make haste and flee to him as swiftly as a cloud driven by the winds;”

Starling and Murmeration (Fair Use credit  -    Allaboutbirds.Net

Starling and Murmeration (Fair Use credit – Allaboutbirds.Net

Guzik – “a. Your sons shall come from afar: Through this passage, one of the great themes is regathering. We may suppose that in the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus, every Jewish person remaining on the earth will be gathered into the land of Israel from every nation on earth. The present day regathering of Israel is a precious preview of this ultimate and complete regathering.”

Hawker – “Isaiah 60:8-9 – Reader! pause, I pray you over these sweet verses. Can there be a more delightful thought, than that of souls flying to Christ, as doves, who by instinct take shelter in their houses? Mark what Jesus said, Joh_12:32; and do not overlook how the glory of Jehovah in covenant, as God, is folded up in the blessed relation. Yes! Christ’s glory is his Father’s honour; and it is the most blessed of all thoughts that God the Father is glorified in his dear Son, in the instance of every individual soul redeemed; Joh_13:31-32.”

Oh, that all Christians would blend that well together. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)

Haydock – Isaiah 60:8 – “Clouds. They are thy children, accompanied by strangers.”

Matthew Henry – “2. What multitudes shall come to the church. Great numbers shall come, Gentiles (or nations) of those that are saved, as it is expressed with allusion to this, Rev_21:24. Nations shall be discipled (Mat_28:19), and even kings, men of figure, power, and influence, shall be added to the church. They come from all parts (Isa_60:4): Lift up thy eyes round about, and see them coming, devout men out of every nation under heaven, Act_2:5. See how white the fields are already to the harvest, Joh_4:35. See them coming in a body, as one man, and with one consent: They gather themselves together, that they may strengthen one another’s hands, and encourage one another. Come, and let us go, Isa_2:3. “They come from the remotest parts: They come to thee from far, having heard the report of thee, as the queen of Sheba, or seen thy star in the east, as the wise men, and they will not be discouraged by the length of the journey from coming to thee. There shall come some of both sexes. Sons and daughters shall come in the most dutiful manner, as thy sons and thy daughters, resolved to be of thy family, to submit to the laws of thy family and put themselves under the tuition of it. They shall come to be nursed at thy side, to have their education with thee from their cradle.” The church’s children must be nursed at her side, not sent out to be nursed among strangers; there, where alone the unadulterated milk of the word is to be had, must the church’s new-born babes be nursed, that they may grow thereby, 1Pe_2:1, 1Pe_2:2. Those that would enjoy the dignities and privileges of Christ’s family must submit to the discipline of it.”

MHCC – It predicts the purity and enlargement of the church. The conversion of souls is here described. They fly to Christ, to the church, to the word and ordinances, as doves to their own home; thither they fly for refuge and shelter, thither they fly for rest. What a pleasant sight to see poor souls hastening to Christ!

Amazing to watch these. What a beautiful show of our Creators love and concern for the avian wonders as they settle in for the night. “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.” (Psalms 4:8 KJV)

JFB – “Isaiah 60:8 The prophet, seeing in vision new hosts approaching quickly like a cloud of doves,”

Pulpit – “Who are these, etc.? The prophet beholds the waters of the Mediterranean Sea covered with numerous ships, whose sails remind him of white clouds moving across the blue expanse of heaven, and again of doves wending their way homewards to their accustomed dove-cotes. The “windows” of the dove-cotes are the openings through which the birds pass into the towers where they breed.”

Wesley – “Isaiah 60:8 A cloud – These metaphors import the number as well as speed, of those that should be begotten by the apostles doctrine.”

Defender’s Study Bible – “fly as a cloud. In context, the peoples of the world are seen coming from all parts of the world, by various means. In Isaiah’s vision, he apparently sees some even coming by air.”

Young’s Analytical Concordance has this to say about Isaiah 60:8: “A thickness, thick cloud,  עָב ‛âb”  Strongs adds this to the definition – “awb  Masculine and feminine; from H5743; properly an envelope, that is, darkness (or density, 2Ch_4:17); specifically a (scud) cloud; also a copse: – clay, (thick) cloud, X thick, thicket. Compare H5672” It appears that both of these concordances agree that the word used is for a cloud, and a dark or thick one.

These are just some of the comments. As you can tell, their ideas are all over the place as to what this cloud is. Yet, most of them seem to agree that it is also a future prophesy of when the gathering of believers at the end time. They will be coming from afar, yet they will all blend together as one. Just like these starlings gather together and move as a unit.

In the future, if the Lord allows me the privilege of seeing one of these Starling Murmurations, it will definitely bring Isaiah 60:8 to remembrance. To me, they will be one of the Birds of the Bible, if it only by a visual picture of what a flying cloud would look like. For now, I am not going to add the Starlings to the list of Birds of the Bible, even though it would have almost been possible.

One more video to enjoy. After watching this one, there is a good possibility that there could be a Murmurations Chapter II.

Who are these that fly as a cloud” (Isaiah 60:8a KJV)


Birds of the Bible

Sunday Inspiration – Starlings, Mynas and Rhabdornis by Lee

Choreographed Choir on the Wing: Birds of a Feather Flock Together by James J. S. Johnson

Designed For Flight – Creation Moments YouTube

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) by Lee

“Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:5 KJV)

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.” (Isaiah 40:28 KJV)

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)II at Bok Tower By Dan'sPix

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)II at Bok Tower By Dan’sPix


Interesting Things

Creation Moments

Wordless Toucan


Blue Manakins – Displaying or Lekking

Blue Manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata) by ©AGrosset

Blue Manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata) by ©AGrosset

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. (Genesis 1:21-22 KJV)

I came across a couple of videos of Blue Manakins doing what they were commanded to do by the Lord, by multiplying. Well, to do this, they have to attract the females. There are many birds that use the method of the displaying at a lek. The noun, “lek“, is “a traditional place where males assemble during the mating season and available engage in competitive displays that attract females.” The verb, “lekked, lekking” is defined as, “a male to assemble in a lek and engage in competitive displays.” (definitions from

Blue Manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata) Female ©CTimm

Blue Manakin (Chiroxiphia caudata) Female ©CTimm

Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. (Genesis 8:17 KJV)

The Blue Manakins (Chiroxphia caudata) are members of the Manakins – Pipridae Family. They were previously called the Swallow-tailed Manakin. They are found “in north-eastern Argentina, southern and south-eastern Brazil, and Paraguay. Its typical habitat is wet lowland or montane forest and heavily degraded former forest. Males have a bright blue body, black head wings and tail and a red crown. Females and juveniles are olive-green. At breeding time, males are involved in lekking behaviour when they sing and dance to impress females.” (Wikipedia)

Not the clearest, but it is difficult in a jungle to video:

From another lek:

Now for the clearest  of all:


Wikipedia Video of Lekking


Birds of the Bible – American Kestrel

American Kestrel at National Aviary by Dan

American Kestrel at National Aviary by Dan

If you watched the 19 Funny Bird Videos posted recently, you saw the American Kestrel. It fascinated me that they could hold their head so steady. So, I went looking to find out how and why they do that.

Number one, the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) is part of the Falconidae – Caracaras, Falcons family. Being part of this family, it is therefore a Bird of the Bible. They Falcon is mentioned in at least two verses. In the list of birds to not eat in Leviticus:

“the kite, and the falcon after its kind;” (Leviticus 11:14 NKJV)

The Sparrow Hawk, as it was formerly called, now the American Kestrel, is the “smallest, most numerous, and most widespread North American falcon. Of the 13 kestrel species that occur throughout the world, it is the only one found in the Western Hemisphere” (Birds of North America) They live on open areas and like to hunt from perches or even utility lines. This place of perching moves as the wind blows. Our Great Creator designed these birds to have the ability to do as you will see in the videos.

As I watched this reaction, several verses came to mind.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV)

My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: (Proverbs 3:21 KJV)

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
(Hebrews 6:19 KJV)

(Sorry, I don’t know the code to kill the music.)

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. (Hebrews 3:13-15 KJV)


Funny Bird Videos

Bird of the Bible – Falcons

Bible Birds – Falcons

Falconidae – Caracaras, Falcons


Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo’s Parrots Plus

Macaw Flyover Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

Macaw Flyover Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

You have seen many articles of our birdwatching adventures to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida. There are quite a few YouTube videos of the Zoo. Among some photos from our adventures, I wanted to share a few their videos. It starts off showing the Parrot Flyover with Macaws. Later in the video there are some baby Turacos. There are other animals shown.

For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: (James 3:7 KJV)

Violet Turaco (Musophaga violacea) by Lee at LPZ

Violet Turaco (Musophaga violacea) by Lee at Lowry Park Zoo

Here is a much better photo of a Violet (Violaceous) Turaco  (Musophaga violacea) that I took at the Brevard Zoo, Melbourne, Florida.

Violet Turaco (Musophaga violacea) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Violet Turaco (Musophaga violacea) Brevard Zoo by Lee


Birdwatching Trips to Lowry Park Zoo
Lowry Park Zoo
Sunday Inspiration – Turacos
Musophagidae – Turacos
Houston Zoo – Vacation – Part 2 – Macaw and Turacos
Lord’s Avian Wonders – Can’t We Talk In Private? – Macaw



Belgium’s Geese Parade


For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: (James 3:7 KJV)

Yesterday, we saw this Goose at Lake Morton in Lakeland, Florida. Looks like it has a nice stride, but not sure it would want to be one of these Belgium parading Geese. Then again, what do I know what that bird would like to do.

Enjoy the Geese Parades from Belgium.

Goose Parade March Zelda Style! (Bremmen Mask Song from Majora’s Mask)

A Young Goose Watching


Wordless Birds


Amazing Video by Richard Sidey

King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) by Bob-Nan

King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) by Bob-Nan

These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. (Psalms 107:24 KJV)



Jeanie Boyette, who has written poems here on the blog, sent me this link. What a fantastic video! How can we not thank our Great Creator as we watch this. Richard Sidey produced this show of God’s Wonder’s.



Birds of the Bible – Thrush Songs

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) ©USFWS

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) ©USFWS

Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 NASB)

Discovered a very nice YouTube Channel, and thought you might enjoy watching and listening to three Thrushes. They are from the Turdidae Family. The Channel belongs to Lang Elliott’s Nature Channel. These songs are blessings from their Creator who put songs in their heart for us to enjoy.

Thrushes are plump, soft-plumaged, small to medium-sized birds, inhabiting wooded areas, and often feed on the ground. The smallest thrush may be the forest rock thrush, at 21 g (0.74 oz) and 14.5 cm (5.7 in). However, the shortwings, which have ambiguous alliances with both thrushes and Old World flycatchers, can be even smaller. The lesser shortwing averages 12 cm (4.7 in). The largest thrush is the blue whistling thrush, at 178 g (6.3 oz) and 33 cm (13 in). The great thrush is similar in length, but less heavily built. Most species are grey or brown in colour, often with speckled underparts.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. (Psalms 28:7 NKJV)

They are insectivorous, but most species also eat worms, land snails, and fruit. Many species are permanently resident in warm climates, while others migrate to higher latitudes during summer, often over considerable distances.

I will sing to the LORD, Because He has dealt bountifully with me. (Psalms 13:6 NKJV)

Thrushes build cup-shaped nests, sometimes lining them with mud. They lay two to five speckled eggs, sometimes laying two or more clutches per year. Both parents help in raising the young.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. (Psalms 28:7 NKJV)

The songs of some species, including members of the genera Catharus, Myadestes, Sialia and Turdus, are considered to be among the most beautiful in the avian world. (Wikipedia with editing)



Wordless Birds

Sunday Inspiration – Weavers and Allies

Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus) by Nikhil Devasar

Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus) by Nikhil Devasar

Where the birds make their nests;  (Psalms 104:17a NKJV)

This week’s birds have interesting names. Weavers do exactly what the name implies. The Lord created them with the ability to take grasses plus other material and weave their nest. Some can be quite a masterpiece. Also in the family of 109 species are the Malimbus, Quelea, Fody, Bishops, and the Widowbird. When A J Mithra was writing for the blog, before he went on to be with the Lord, he wrote four devotionals about these birds. (See Below)

Long-tailed Widowbird (Euplectes progne) ©WikiC

Long-tailed Widowbird (Euplectes progne) ©WikiC

This family’s species “are seed-eating birds with rounded conical bills, most of which are from Sub-Saharan Africa, with fewer species in tropical Asia. A few species have been introduced outside their native range. The weaver group is divided into the buffalo, sparrow, typical, and widow weavers. The males of many species are brightly coloured, usually in red or yellow and black, some species show variation in colour only in the breeding season.” (Wikipedia)

Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work. (Exodus 35:35 KJV) (bolding mine)

That verse tells about the abilities that the Lord gave those who were going to work on the Tabernacle. They had been filled with wisdom that the Lord had put in their hearts. The same great Creator gave these Weaver birds a wisdom to do this weaving. What a Great God We Serve.

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“Jesus What A Might Name” – Pastor Jerry w/Choir and Orchestra


More Sunday Inspirations

Ploceidae – Weavers, Widowbirds

Ploceidae – Wikipedia

Articles by A J Mithra: