Birdwatching Term – Frontal Shield

White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera) Cropped ©WikiC

White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera) Cropped ©WikiC

Frontal Shield

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. (Psalm 91:4 KJV)

The Coot article  mentioned the shield. “Coots have prominent frontal shields or other decoration on the forehead…”

What is a “frontal shield”?

The place above the upper beak (upper mandible) has a platelike area. It is made of a fleshy material. When the Lord created those birds that have the shield, He gave them each a different looking shield. It is neat to see the variety that the shields have. I am sure that the bird uses them to know which are their kind.

Below are some photos of the various Frontal Shields on the birds. There are more birds that have shield, but this just a sample of these unique birds.

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You have also given me the shield of your salvation: and your right hand has held me up, and your gentleness has made me great.
(Psalms 18:35 AKJV)

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Birdwatching Term – Nape

Blue-naped Mousebird (Urocolius macrourus) at Cincinnati Zoo)

Blue-naped Mousebird at Cincinnati Zoo)

Nape

My son, listen to your father’s discipline, and do not neglect your mother’s teachings, because discipline and teachings are a graceful garland on your head and a golden chain around your neck. (Proverbs 1:8-9 GW)

Nape – An easy definition is the back of the neck.

 Blue-naped Mousebird - Blue Nape (Back of Neck)

Blue-naped Mousebird – Blue Nape (Back of Neck)

Topography of a Bird - Bluebird - Color Key to NA Birds - Nape

Parts of Bird – Nape in Blue

Notice the Nape is between the Crown and the Back

There are quite a few birds that have colored napes that help identify them, such as Woodpeckers, Grebes, etc. Our Blue-naped Mousebird is one where the color of the “nape” is used in its name. While learning to bird watch, I kept saying (and still do) that the Lord should have placed little signs on them. That way when we look at them through binoculars, scopes, cameras, or our eyes, that we could just read the sign.

That is not the way it is, but there are many clues do that help us ID the birds. The variety of the birds with their colors and shapes keep us busy, but aren’t we thankful that He didn’t make them all alike. How boring that would be.

Here are the “-naped” birds of the world:

Chestnut-naped Francolin (Pternistis castaneicollis)
Red-naped Ibis (Pseudibis papillosa)
White-naped Crane (Grus vipio)
Black-naped Tern (Sterna sumatrana)
White-naped Pigeon (Columba albinucha)
Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon (Columba delegorguei)
Western Bronze-naped Pigeon (Columba iriditorques)
Island Bronze-naped Pigeon (Columba malherbii)
Scaly-naped Pigeon (Patagioenas squamosa)
Red-naped Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus dohertyi)
Black-naped Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus melanospilus)
Purple-naped Lory (Lorius domicella)
White-naped Lory (Lorius albidinucha)
Blue-naped Parrot (Tanygnathus lucionensis)
Yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata)
Scaly-naped Amazon (Amazona mercenarius)
White-naped Swift (Streptoprocne semicollaris)
Red-naped Trogon (Harpactes kasumba)
Golden-naped Barbet (Megalaima pulcherrima)
Golden-naped Woodpecker (Melanerpes chrysauchen)
Red-naped Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis)
White-naped Woodpecker (Chrysocolaptes festivus)
Blue-naped Pitta (Hydrornis nipalensis)
Rusty-naped Pitta (Hydrornis oatesi)
Grey-naped Antpitta (Grallaria griseonucha)
Chestnut-naped Antpitta (Grallaria nuchalis)
Ochre-naped Ground Tyrant (Muscisaxicola flavinucha)
Rufous-naped Ground Tyrant (Muscisaxicola rufivertex)
White-naped Xenopsaris (Xenopsaris albinucha)
White-naped Honeyeater (Melithreptus lunatus)
Red-naped Bushshrike (Laniarius ruficeps)
Rufous-naped Whistler (Aleadryas rufinucha)
Rufous-naped Greenlet (Hylophilus semibrunneus)
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)
Black-naped Monarch (Hypothymis azurea)
White-naped Monarch (Carterornis pileatus)
Azure-naped Jay (Cyanocorax heilprini)
White-naped Jay (Cyanocorax cyanopogon)
Rufous-naped Tit (Periparus rufonuchalis)
White-naped Tit (Parus nuchalis)
Rufous-naped Lark (Mirafra africana)
White-naped Yuhina (Yuhina bakeri)
Rufous-naped Wren (Campylorhynchus rufinucha)
Chestnut-naped Forktail (Enicurus ruficapillus)
Purple-naped Sunbird (Hypogramma hypogrammicum)
Golden-naped Weaver (Ploceus aureonucha)
Golden-naped Finch (Pyrrhoplectes epauletta)
Blue-naped Chlorophonia (Chlorophonia cyanea)
White-naped Brush Finch (Atlapetes albinucha)
Pale-naped Brush Finch (Atlapetes pallidinucha)
Rufous-naped Brush Finch (Atlapetes latinuchus)
Golden-naped Tanager (Tangara ruficervix)
Green-naped Tanager (Tangara fucosa)
White-naped Seedeater (Dolospingus fringilloides)

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You can see by the photos that the “nape” can be narrow or very broad. Other birds have napes that are different colors, but do not have the word “nape” in their names. Some of the Woodpeckers that have napes were include above.

Nape – All About Birds

More Birdwatching Terms

Wordless Birds

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Birdwatching Term – Lobed Feet

Giant Coot (Fulica gigantea) Loped Feet ©©Flickr

Giant Coot (Fulica gigantea) Loped Feet ©©Flickr

Lobed Feet

Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. (Psalms 18:36 KJV)

In the Coot article  they said: “Like other rails, they have long, lobed toes that are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. Coots have strong legs and can walk and run fast.”

Answers gives this definition: “Feet that have toes with stiff scale-covered flaps that extend to provide a surface analogous to webbing on a duck as an aid in swimming.”

The Lord designed these “lobed feet” to help the birds walk over uneven ground, in and out of water. He cares about all His creatures.

American Coot - from Color Key To North American Birds

American Coot – from Color Key To North American Birds

This Drawing from Color Key To North American Birds helps you to see their feet better.

It is neat to watch them walk around and see those “big feet.”

This video I took shows their feet.

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