Turf War Whistlers

Duck Fight Posture

Our Black-bellied Whistling Ducks have continued to stay with us since showing up March 1st. I originally thought that they flew off that evening to migrate north. Since then, I admit I made a false assumption. The Florida flocks of Whistlers do not basically migrate. What they do in the evening, is take flight to find a place to feed.

Apparently, the Texas Whistling Ducks do some migration, and are showing up in more southern states. About the only migration here in Florida seems to be around the Sarasota area. Why? I haven’t found out yet. So, since the first of March, we have had a constant flock of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks outside our back door and on the retaining pond. Anywhere from 100-300+ daily. It’s like living at a wildlife refuge. I LOVE IT!!!!

My camera is just about worn out taking so many photos and videos. [of course, I’ve thrown many photos away] We have had more laughs watching the “turf wars” between the different groups within the group. According to All About Birds – Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, this is common:

Duck Fight – Here We Come

“Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks have long legs and spend more time than other ducks walking on land or perching in trees. You may see them perched on fences, telephone lines, or in Spanish moss. They are gregarious year-round, forming flocks of up to 1,000 birds. They form lifelong pair bonds and breed in their first year of life. Males spar by chasing or nipping at each other, or with a threat display that involves stretching their neck forward and opening their bill.

Duck Fight – On The Attack

Here are some of the videos of them and their “Turf Wars.” I tried to stay silent while filming, but it was too interesting. I kept chuckling.

The first video was started to record that injured Whistler when the war broke out. That duck will be written about later.

A few days later, they were still having their “Turf” discussions:

Hope you enjoyed this birdwatching adventure. Apparently, they seem to be sticking around our neighborhood. Who know what will happen next?

“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” (James 4:1 NKJV)
“But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet.” (Mark 13:7 NKJV)

Birds of the Bible – Birds “Singing”?

Whistling Ducks Encountering A Turtle

All About Birds – Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

Good News Tracts – Various Topics

Whistling Ducks Encountering A Turtle

Whistling Ducks Looking As Turtle Disappears

Our welcoming Whistling Duck provided some entertainment when they encountered our local Turtle. He was trying to mind his own business, but the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks where quite curious. Here is a video, I attempted to patch together. Still trying to learn the procedure.

“Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind’; and it was so.” (Genesis 1:24 NKJV)

Oh, the joys of looking out our back door! I hope the main flock that took off on Saturday are safely at their migration destination. Or at least, getting close.

If you missed the first part of this Whistling-duck adventure, see: Birds of the Bible – “Singiing”?

Birds of the Bible – Whistling Ducks

Birds of the Bible

Sharing The Gospel

Great Egret Nest – Gatorland

Eggs in Great Egret Nest Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

Eggs in Great Egret Nest Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

Just wanted to share a nest that we observed at Gatorland this week.  The Great Egret was standing and I was able to get a photo of the three eggs. Then I turned the video on while she inspected the nest and then settled down on the eggs.

After I had moseyed on down the boardwalk, I took this photo looking back at where I was standing:

Showing How close I was to nest Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

Showing How close I was to nest Gatorland 02252021 by Lee

If you make it larger, you will see how close we can get to some of these nest. This nest was the closest one to the rail. It is always enjoyable to journey over to Gatorland during the nesting season.

“If a bird’s nest happens to be before you along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, with the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young; you shall surely let the mother go, and take the young for yourself, that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days.” (Deuteronomy 22:6-7 NKJV)

We left both the mother and the eggs alone. I’m looking forward to more days in the future to go bird watching. Lord Willing!

More to come on this latest trip to Gatorland.

Gatorland Again – February 2021

Good News

Ten Beautiful Hummingbirds

An interesting video with ten of the most beautiful Hummingbirds in the world.

What a Creator! Such variety and colors. I love the way the sun reflects on them and its affect on them.

How well are we reflecting?

“The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you;” (Numbers 6:25 NKJV)

Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) by Raymond Barlow

Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) by Raymond Barlow

“Make Your face shine upon Your servant; Save me for Your mercies’ sake.” (Psalms 31:16 NKJV)

Copper-rumped Hummingbird by Judd Patterson

Copper-rumped Hummingbird by Judd Patterson

“Make Your face shine upon Your servant, And teach me Your statutes.” (Psalms 119:135 NKJV)

Marvelous Spatuletail (Loddigesia mirabilis) ©©Dubi Shapiro

“”You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV)

Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis) by Dario Sanches

Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis) by Dario Sanches

Good News

Perfect Squirrel Proof Feeder – Hopefully

Squirrel Reaching for Feeder ©DailyMail.Co.uk

Dan shared a video with me about a man who tries to make a Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder. If you have some time to spare, you will enjoy watching his attempt to keep the squirrels from his feeders.

I know we have all had this problem, but, I’m not sure I would go through this. Might be easier just to by a Squirrel feeder and a Bird feeder.

We were trying to find some verses to use for this, and this verse caused us a chuckle. Remember how they were flying off that contraption and heading toward the net? This could apply to that:

“You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride on it; You spoil my success.” (Job 30:22 NKJV)

There are many applications that could be made from these diligent squirrels who kept at it until they succeeded in getting the food. Here is one:

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. [What the squirrels failed to do] But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:2-6 NKJV) {Bold and brackets mine.]

Sharing the Gospel

Flamingo Filtering at Gatorland – 12/30/20

Surface Filtering

Today Dan and I finally went on a short birding trip. We drove over to Orlando’s Gatorland (45 miles). I finally have something to write about besides the birds seen through our back patio door.

It was sort of quiet, as far as the number of birds, this time of year. We normally go over in late January or February. Then there are nesting birds. I never saw even one nest today. Yet, what we did see was great, as always. So, this is the first post of some of the interesting sights today.

We were watching the Flamingos, which is almost at the end or the path we take around Gatorland. What impressed me today was watching this Flamingo filtering on the surface. Here is a video of what I saw:

I didn’t know what that was actually called until I came home and looked it up. Normally, they put their necks down in the water and “filter” along the bottom. Less often they “filter” on the surface, which this Flamingo was doing today. It gives a great way to see how they are actually filtering. I was amazed just watching.

“Flamingos filter-feed on brine shrimp. Their oddly shaped beaks are specially adapted to separate mud and silt from the food they eat, and are uniquely used upside-down. The filtering of food items is assisted by hairy structures called lamellae which line the mandibles, and the large rough-surfaced tongue. (Wikipedia – Filter Feeders)

“Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.” (KJV)  or the ERV says, “You guide the people, but you are blind! Think about a man picking a little fly out of his drink and then swallowing a camel! You are like that.” Matthew 23:24

Here are some more of the photos from the Flamingo pond:

A Few Other Flamingo and Gatorland Articles:

Phoenicopteridae – Flamingos

Tickle Me Tuesday’s – Flamingos

Sunday Inspiration – Flamingos and Tropicbirds

“F” is for Flamingos and Frigatebirds: “F” Birds, Part 1

Gatorland’s Taxi Service

Gatorland’s Fearless Egret

Gatorland From Dan’s Camera

Sharing The Gospel

 

Update and Release of Rockefeller

In Rockefeller the Saw-Whet Owl in Christmas Tree, you were introduced to Rockefeller, the little Saw-Whet Owl that was found in the Christmas Tree.

They promised they would release him last week-end, but released the owl last Tuesday, November the 24th. Here is a video of that release.

As this little owl was given compassion, and they helped him renew his strength, so we need “renewal” from time to time.

“Restore us to You, O LORD, that we may be restored; Renew our days as of old,” (Lamentations 5:21 NASB)

“and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:23-24 NKJV)

The Wise Owl

Sparrow Frozen To A Fence – DoDo

Another interesting video from “the dodo” channel.

“Bird Frozen To Metal Fence Rescued by Kind Man | This little bird landed on a fence that was so cold, his feet froze to it and he couldn’t fly away. But luckily the nicest guy came along and knew exactly what to do.”

Not sure if this bird prayed like this, but it would apply to us if we were in such a predicament as this.

“Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me.” (Psalms 40:13 KJV)

P.S. This wouldn’t happen here in Central Florida. :)

See more from “the dodo” channel.

Hawk Stuck In Grill Of Car – Dodo Channel

Dan found this on The DoDo channel and I thought we would share it here:

But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. (Hawk in the case) (Psalms 10:14 NIV)

From The Breakfast Table – 7/24/20

White Ibis checking out our yard.

White Ibises checking out our yard.

Well, while eating our breakfast today, we had another birdwatching adventure. Since I have been staying in more again because of this Covid-19 pandemic, there have been no trips to watch birds. No birds, no posts. Thankfully, Dr. Johnson (JJSJ) and William Wise have been adding post here.

With the heat of summer, the birds are less frequent this time of year. Many migrate north, but they will return this fall. Also thankfully, there are those who are resident birds and hang around. Today was a show of Northern Mockingbirds. When we moved here recently, I brought a Beautyberry shrub with me. My neighbor helped me prune it, and it is the best it has ever been. I have been watching the little berries develop, and now, some of them are ripening up.

Northern Mockingbird on Hook 2

Northern Mockingbird on Hook

“For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice,” [double sliding door] (Proverbs 7:6 NASB)

First a few White Ibises walked through the yard, and then the Mockingbirds started to appear. I have only seen one most of the time. Must be something about those berries that brought the whole family in. Before breakfast was over, five had come in at once. Three of them seem like juveniles or almost mature, the other two, I assume are the adults.

Here are some of the photos I took while sitting at the breakfast table:

American White Ibises checking for whatever:

White Ibis checking out our yard.

White Ibis checking out our yard.

Northern Mockingbirds on the hook and the Beautyberry plant:

Northern Mockingbird on Hook

2 Northern Mockingbirds on Hook

Young Northern Mockingbird on Hook

Eating berries

“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” (Matthew 6:26 NASB)

All these visitors made for an entertaining and blessed start to our day. Here is a video of some of this activity. All from my chair at breakfast.

Video of Mockingbirds:

And video of Juvenile Mockingbird

Good News

Creation Moment’s – Tool Users That Are Something To Crow About

New Caledonian Crow (Corvus moneduloides) by Ian Montgomery

Genesis 4:22

And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.”

Many creatures have been found that use sticks, leaves and other items as tools. Chimpanzee parents teach their youngsters to poke sticks in termite holes to get termites. However, no animal has shown an instinctive tendency to make and use tools, until now.

Caledonian crows are among the known tool-users. A pair of captive New Caledonian crows were having trouble incubating their four eggs. So researchers decided to incubate and raise the young crows themselves. Upon hatching, the young crows were separated into two pairs. One pair received lessons on how to use twigs to poke food out of slots. The other pair received no lessons, nor were they allowed to see their siblings using tools. When they were given sticks and leaves, they spontaneously began using the twigs to poke food out of a slot. One of them also tore a leaf into a food poker. After evaluating all the behavioral data, researchers concluded that while crows have a natural tendency to make and use tools, they also learn how to make improved tools from their elders.

Tool making is not what separates man from animals, although we can make tools far superior to those made by animals. The Bible tells us that the earliest man was made in the image of God and that the earliest generations of man were already making iron tools.

Prayer: Father, thank You for making me for a relationship with You and making a relationship possible through Christ. Amen.

Author: Paul A. Bartz

Ref: Science News, 1/15/05, p. 38, S. Milius, “Crow Tools.” Image: New Caledonian crow (PD)

© 2020 Creation Moments. (Used with permission)


Lee’s Addition:

We have had several previous articles about the tool usage of birds:

Birds of the Bible – Uniquely Created Tools

Interesting Things – Fleas, Birds and Tools

The Best Toolmakers in the World by Emma Foster

The Crow and the Screwdriver – by Emma Foster

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Hope for Hard Times

 

Bird Song Hero: Learning Game

Bird Song Hero: Learning Game is from Cornell Lab of Ornithology

“Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders.” (1 Chronicles 16:8-9 NASB)

For the full challenge, including the Bird Song Hero Ultimate round and free bird song downloads, visit: http://biology.allaboutbirds.org/bird….

Thought you might enjoy this challenge.