After the Storm – Zoos

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) by Dan at Zoo Miami

“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” (Proverbs 12:10 KJV)

“Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.” (Psalms 36:6 KJV)

If you will recall, before Hurricane Irma attacked our state, we shared this blog with you: Hurricane Irma and the Animals at the Zoos

I was checking around the state to see what was being done to prepare for the Hurricane. Now, almost two months later, how did the Zoos do during and after the storm. We were discussing maybe visiting one of the zoos in a month or so, and I was wondering how much damage they received. Actually, one of our favorite birding places here in Lakeland, the Circle B Bar Reserve, just re-opened today, October 13, 2017. They had numerous downed trees and flooding.

While checking out my most favorite birding place at a Zoo, Zoo Miami, they are actually opening back up tomorrow, October 14th for the first time since Hurricane Irma.

Here are some articles and video that you might find informative as to how they did and how they protected their animals.


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Zoo Miami to Open Oct. 14, after Hurricane Irma
In the article, you will see a photo like this. Click it and the photos will open. Click through them to see some of the damage. WPLG1 of 62 PHOTOS: Ron Magill shares photos of Zoo Miami after Hurricane Irma

“We greatly look forward to opening Zoo Miami again,” Zoo Miami director Carol Kruse said.

Huge Ficus Tree at Zoo Miami ©RonMagill

Zoo Miami’s Massive Ficus, Downed by Irma, to Remain as Hyena ‘Furniture’

Go to Google and search: “Zoo Miami irma” and you will find many photos of the protected animals and damage around the Zoo. Most of these are Copyrighted and can not be shared here.

Here one more interesting article:

Hurricane Irma: survival stories from 27 zoos & sanctuaries 

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Birdwatching Trips

 

Hurricane Irma and the Animals at the Zoos

Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) female Zoo Miami by Dan

Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) female Zoo Miami by Dan

“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:37-41 KJV)

We here in Florida are preparing for Hurricane Irma to impact our state in the next few days. Dan and I have put in our supplies, and our just waiting to make a final decision to stay or go to a shelter. When we lived in Fort Lauderdale years ago, we went through the fringe of Hurricane Andrew. As you know, we like to visit zoos, especially Zoo Miami. During Andrew, the then Miami Metro Zoo was devastated. Thankfully, it was rebuilt and renamed Zoo Miami.

Thought I would check to see what is being done around the state at some of our favorite Zoos. What I found was more of what they did in previous hurricanes to protect the animals.

Victoria Crowned Pigeon (Goura victoria) by Lee at Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami is right in the path of a direct hit from Irma. The Wings of Asia aviary was built to new strong hurricane strengths, and we trust it can stand up to this new threat. Here are some links to what preparations are happening.

Animal caretakers prepping for Irma with lessons learned from Andrew

“Zoo Miami’s flamingos won’t be riding out Hurricane Irma in a bathroom like they were 25 years ago when Hurricane Andrew devastated the park.

Instead, the park’s majestic birds will be inside their steel and concrete enclosure—an upgrade from the iconic photo that shows the birds huddled in a hay-filled bathroom.

“It’s one of the things we learned from Andrew,” said Ron Magill a spokesman for Zoo Miami. “They will be safe.” CLICK THE LINK TO READ THE REST.

Here are two clips from the Hurricane Andrew damage.


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Wrinkled Hornbill (Aceros corrugatus) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Wrinkled Hornbill (Aceros corrugatus) Brevard Zoo by Lee

Brevard Zoo – Viera, Florida [from an article in Florida Today] They are on a “wait and see,”

“VIERA — Officials at Brevard Zoo, like a lot of people, are keeping a careful eye on Hurricane Irma.

But as of now it’s business as usual for the zoo staff and the 800 animals there.

Elliot Zirulnik, the communications manager at the zoo, said the zoo has a hurricane plan in place, which includes two-week stockpiles of food for the animals.

If a hurricane warning is issued for the area, then zoo staff will work on securing the animals.

The 800 animals at the zoo consist of 165 species.

“It’s a lot of work but it’s something our team is prepared for,” Zirulnik said.

The zoo is located in Viera, off Wickham Road, near Interstate 95.”

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Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) Jax Zoo by Lee

Jacksonville Zoo

Couldn’t find where they have written about the current hurricane approaching, but here is an interesting article about last year when Hurrican Matthew came through.

The Jacksonville Zoo bringing in ‘ride-out’ team to help protect animals, facility from Hurricane Matthew

I did not list Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa because it appears the hurricane is going to go up the east coast of Florida. They will prepare in Tampa, but also “wait and see.”

Inca Tern at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee

The Lord is in control of this storm and already knows where it will go, what and who will be affected by Hurricane Andrew. Your prayers for our residents of Florida; both we humans and the critters.

“The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7 KJV)

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Birdwatching at Zoos

Mystery Bird Solved at Zoo Miami

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Mystery Bird at Zoo Miami by Lee

“My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.” (Pro 6:20-21 KJV)

Finally sat down and started naming my photos from our latest trip to Zoo Miami’s Wings of Asia Aviary. Since we spent the whole day, just in that Aviary, except for lunch, the photos are not in any order. Ducks especially have a way of swimming by and then another, then back they come again. Most of you photographers know how it is. And as I’ve always stated, I wish the Lord had hung name tags on birds so we could more easily identify them. :o)

I was fortunate to receive a list of the current birds from the workers, which has been a huge help. With at least 500 birds and 88 species in one aviary, it can get complicated putting names on the right birds.

I had gone through these photos before I came to the one above:

Lady Amherst's Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) Zoo Miami by Lee

Lady Amherst’s Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae) Zoo Miami by Lee

Now there is a beautifully designed avian wonder from the Creator. More about this bird later.

The Siamese Fireback is also in the Pheasant family.

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) Zoo Miami by Lee

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) Zoo Miami by Lee

So, when our mystery bird showed up, which family do you think I kept looking through? The Pheasants and allies – Phasianidae Family. I searched high and low.

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Guess what this bird is!

Can you guess what this bird is?

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Mystery Bird and a Red-vented Bulbul at the Zoo

I about fell out of my computer chair when I found out.

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Maybe a close up of the face will help. Zoo Miami by Lee

Our Mystery Bird turns out to actually be a Pigeon!!!. This is a Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) [Green-naped Pheasant Pigeon] as Zoo Miami calls it.

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Zoo Miami by Lee

I Just Couldn’t Believe THIS IS A PIGEON!!!!!

“The pheasant pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) is a genus of large terrestrial pigeon found in the primary rainforests of New Guinea and nearby islands. It ranges primarily over hilly and lower mountain areas, but can also be found in lowlands.

There are four species, [actually subspecies] which differ primarily in the presence or absence of a small crest and in the colour of the nape. The two best known are the western nominate (O. nobilis) with a greenish nape and O. n. aruensis from the Aru Islands with a white nape. [We saw this at the Cincinnati Zoo] The two remaining species, O. n. cervicalis from the eastern part of its range and O. n. insularis from Fergusson Island, have a grey nape and a black nape (concolour with the remaining black neck) respectively.” [Wikipedia with editing]

COL-Colu Pheasant Pigeon (Otidiphaps nobilis) (Green-naped) Cincinnati Zoo 2016 - Lee (2).JPG

Pheasant Pigeon [White-naped]  (Otidiphaps nobilis) Cincinnati Zoo 2016 – Lee

Pheasant Pigeon – Wikipedia

 

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Saffron Finch at the Cloud Forrest

Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan (Cropped by Lee)

Saffron Finch – Male at Zoo Miami by Dan (Cropped by Lee)

“…covered with silver, and her (his) feathers with yellow gold.” (Psalms 68:13b KJV) (modified)

Dan and I took a ride down to Miami last week. A 200 mile ride. We stayed two nights before heading back home via Flamingo Gardens in Davie, Florida. We really have not been birdwatching too much lately, so this makes up for a very hot summer and health reasons. Monday and Tuesday we spent at Zoo Miami. On Monday, because we didn’t get there until 2 PM, we visited their Cloud Forrest and Amazon and Beyond Area. We spent all day Tuesday in the fantastic Wings of Asia Aviary. So, let the tales begin:

 Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola) by Lee

Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola) by Lee

I want to introduce you to the Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola). They are actually Tanagers from the Amazon Basin of South America. The Saffron Finch likes the open and semi-open lowlands and are widely distributed in “Columbia, northern Venezuela (where it is called “canario de tejado” or “roof canary”), western Ecuador, western Peru, eastern and southern Brazil (where it is called “canário da terra” or “native canary”), Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, northern Argentina, and Trinidad and Tobago. It has also been introduced to Hawaii, Puerto Rico and elsewhere.”

Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan

Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan

“Although commonly regarded as a canary, it is not related to the Atlantic canary. Formerly, it was placed in the Emberizidae but it is close to the seedeaters. The male is bright yellow with an orange crown which distinguishes it from most other yellow finches (the exception being the orange-fronted yellow finch). The females are more confusing and are usually just a slightly duller version of the male, but in the southern subspecies S. f. pelzelni they are olive-brown with heavy dark streaks.”

Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan

Saffron Finch Zoo Miami by Dan

“Typically nesting in cavities, the saffron finch makes use of sites such as abandoned rufous hornero (Furnarius rufus) nests, bamboo branches and under house roofs – this species is tolerant of human proximity, appearing at suburban areas and frequenting bird tables. They have a pleasant but repetitious song which, combined with their appearance, has led to them being kept as caged birds in many areas.” (quotes are from Wikipedia’s Saffron Finch)

Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola) Female ©WikiC

Saffron Finch (Sicalis flaveola) Female ©WikiC

I didn’t see the female, if they had one, but thought you might like to see the difference between the male and the female.

Interesting Facts from WhatBird.com

  • Members of Thraupidae Family
  • They are about 6 inches in length.
  • The Saffron Finch is also known as the Yellow Finch and Pelzeln’s Finch.
  • It was first described by Carolus Linnaeus in 1766.
  • A group of finches has many collective nouns, including a “charm”, “company”, and “trembling” of finches.

Here is some video that I shot of this beauty. I tried to catch him in the trees and that is a challenge, as any birdwatcher knows. But then, to my surprise, he just decided that he needed a bath. Wow!

We have lots of photos from the trip, so stay tuned!

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalms 51:7)

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Birdwatching Trips

Zoo Miami and the Wings of Asia FL

Thraupidae Family – Tanagers and Allies

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Falcated Duck at Zoo Miami

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) by Dan at ZM

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) by Dan at ZM

While we were on our latest visit to the Wings of Asia Aviary at Zoo Miami, the Falcated Duck caught my attention. We have seen it before, because there are photos of them, but for some reason, it was just another duck then. The sun caught its iridescent head and I started looking closer this time. Wings of Asia has one male and one female at this time.

These Falcated Duck (Teal) are just one more example of the variety and beauty the Lord gave His creatures when they were created.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:3 KJV)

Apparently when the male wears his breeding plumage, that green really shines.

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) ©WikiC

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) ©WikiC

I tried to get photos of his beautiful feathers at the back, but my photos aren’t the best, but maybe you can catch some of the great beauty that the Lord gave these Falcated Ducks.

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Falcated Ducks are mainly from Asia and belong to the Anatidae – Ducks, Geese and Swans Family. By the way, “falcate” means “curved or hooked like a sickle.” (Wordsmith)

Males and females have similar lengths at 19-21.5 in (46 to 53 cm.) Their weight can range from 422 to 770 grams, with males weighing more than their female counterparts. Wingspans range from 31-36 in (79 to 91 cm). The breeding male is unmistakable. Most of the body plumage is finely vermiculated grey, with the long sickle-shaped tertials, which give this species its name, hanging off its back. The large head is dark green with a white throat, and a dark green collar and bronzed crown. The vent region is patterned in yellow, black and white.

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) Female ©WikiC

Falcated Duck (Anas falcata) Female ©WikiC

The female falcated duck is dark brown, with plumage much like a female wigeon. Its long grey bill is an aid to identification. The eclipse male is like the female, but darker on the back and head. In flight both sexes show a pale grey underwing. The blackish speculum is bordered with a white bar on its inner edge. Young birds are buffer than the female and have short tertials. Juveniles have plumage similar to females of the species.

The Anas falcata are known to have very striking and beautiful sickle feathers. This is in comparison with many other birds like swams and geese.

Medium dabbling duck with long black and white tertial feathers extending over black rump. Body white, black, gray in finely-scaled pattern. The crested iridescent head is green and purple-brown. White throat has black ring; black tail and black-green speculum are edged in white.

Breeds and winters in southeastern Asia but strongly migratory. Birds seen in North America beyond Alaska may be escaped captives from private collections or wild birds. Favors wetlands, lakes, ponds, rivers, estuaries, and marshes. Near-threatened in the wild. Most U.S. sightings occur between Pacific and Californian coasts, Baja peninsula, Mexico, India, and Canada. (From internet sources including WhatBird and Wikipedia)

Here’s a short clip I took of him washing his feathers at Zoo Miami.

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In 2011 a Falcated Duck family showed up at the Colusa Natiional Wildlife Refuge. Rare visitors from their normal range. It brought the photographers to catch the rare glimpse of these beautiful birds. Watch this video to see them in action,

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Falcated Duck – Audubon

Falcated Duck – WhatBird

Falcated Duck – Wikipedia

Falcated Duck Make Rare Appearance

Birds of the World – Anatidae – Ducks, Geese and Swans

Wordless Birds

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Birds of Asia – Cotton Pygmy Goose

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) at Wings of Asia by Lee

 And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. (1 Kings 4:33 KJV)

Let me introduce you to another interesting avian friend from His Creator’s Hand. This is the Cotton Pygmy Goose or Cotton Teal (Nettapus coromandelianus) which is a small perching duck that breeds in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, southeast Asia and south to northern Australia.

Small individuals of this species are the smallest waterfowl on earth, at as little as 5.6 oz (160 g) and 10 in (26 cm). White predominates in this bird’s plumage. Bill short, deep at base, and goose-like.

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) PB Zoo by Lee

Male in breeding plumage is glossy blackish green crown, with white head, neck, and underparts; a prominent black collar and white wing-bar. Rounded head and short legs. In flight, the wings are green with a white band, making the male conspicuous even amongst the huge flying flocks of the lesser whistling duck, which share the habitat. Female paler, without either black collar and only a narrow or nonexistent strip of white wing-bar. In non-breeding plumage (eclipse) male resembles female except for his white wing-bar. Flocks on water bodies (jheels), etc.

The call is a peculiar clucking, uttered in flight

It is largely resident, apart from dispersion in the wet season, but Chinese birds make long-distance migrations to winter further south. It nests in tree holes, laying 8–15 eggs. The nesting season is July to September (SW. monsoon). Its nest is a natural hollow in a tree-trunk standing in or near water, sometimes lined with grass, rubbish and feathers. The eggs, are ivory white.

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) at Wings of Asia by Lee

Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) at Wings of Asia by Lee

This is an abundant species in Asia, although the slightly larger Australian race appears to be declining in numbers.

Found on all still freshwater lakes (jheels), rain-filled ditches, inundated paddy fields, irrigation tanks, etc. Becomes very tame on village tanks wherever it is unmolested and has become inured to human proximity. Swift on the wing, and can dive creditably on occasion.[citation needed] Found in ponds and lakes in southern Pakistan . However numbers are declining and it is definitely endangered.

Its food is chiefly seeds and vegetable matter, especially water lilies; also insects, crustaceans, etc. (From Wikipedia with editing)

I enjoyed watching this female Pygmy Goose floating and took a short video of her.

I just made a page for  Zoo Miami and the Wings of Asia under the Birdwatching Trips. There are most of the articles that have been written about our visits to the Zoo, but especially to the Wings of Asia Aviary. That is where we spend most of our time. This last trip was our fourth visit down to Miami to see those amazing birds.

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Cotton Pygmy Goose – Wikipedia

Cotton Pygmy Goose – Ducks of the World

Birds of the World

Birdwatching Trips

Zoo Miami and the Wings of Asia

Wordless Birds

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Ruddy and Raja Shelducks at Wings of Asia

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) at Wings of Asia by Dan

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) at Wings of Asia by Dan

We enjoyed our latest birdwatching adventure to Zoo Miami. Caught video of the Ruddy Shelducks discussing something. So this time we will share the two species of Shelducks at the Wings of Asia aviary. The Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) and the Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) are members of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae – Ducks, Geese and Swans. They are in the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae. There are seven species in the Tadorninae subfamily. Wings of Asia has the Ruddy and Raja Shelducks.

Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. (Psalms 104:1 KJV)

The Lord has provided for the Shelducks, as He does for all His critters. They are designed for the conditions they live in, in this case swimming, feeding and migrating, with beaks, feet, wings, and coloration to help them survive.

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) at ZM

Ruddy –  There are very small resident populations of this species in north west Africa and Ethiopia, but the main breeding area of this species is from southeast Europe across central Asia to Southeast Asia. These birds are mostly migratory, wintering in the Indian Subcontinent.

Facts:

  • They are sometimes called Brahminy Ducks.
  • Can be seen in many Zoos in America.
  • In Tibet and Mongolia, Ruddy Shelduck is considered sacred by the Buddhists. It is also a sacred animal in Slavic mythology.

Although becoming quite rare in southeast Europe and southern Spain, the ruddy shelduck is still common across much of its Asian range. It may be this population which gives rise to vagrants as far west as Iceland, Great Britain and Ireland. However, since the European population is declining, it is likely that most occurrences in western Europe in recent decades are escapes or feral birds. Although this bird is observed in the wild from time to time in eastern North America, no evidence of a genuine vagrant has been found.

This is a bird of open country, and it will breed on cliffs, in burrows, tree holes or crevices distant from water, laying 6-16 creamy-white eggs, incubated for 30 days. The both shelduck is usually found in pairs or small groups and rarely forms large flocks. However, moulting and wintering gatherings on chosen lakes or slow rivers can be very large.

The ruddy shelduck is a distinctive species, 22.8-27.5 in (58-70) cm long with a 43-53 in (110–135 cm) wingspan. It has orange-brown body plumage and a paler head. The wings are white with black flight feathers. It swims well, and in flight looks heavy, more like a goose than a duck. The sexes of this striking species are similar, but the male has a black ring at the bottom of the neck in the breeding season summer, and the female often has a white face patch. The call is a loud wild honking.

Not sure what these Ruddy’s were debating about, but it seems the single one lost the discussion and left.

The ruddy shelduck is a common winter visitor in India. This bird is found in large wetlands, rivers with mud flats and shingle banks. Found in large congregation on lakes and reservoirs. It breeds in high altitude lakes and swamps in Jammu & Kashmir. Arrives in north India by October and departs by April. The genus name Tadorna comes from Celtic roots and means “pied waterfowl”, essentially the same as the English “shelduck”.

Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) at Wing of Asia by Dan

Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) at Wing of Asia by Dan

Raja Shelduck – The Radjah Shelduck (Tadorna radjah), is a species of shelduck found mostly in New Guinea and Australia, and also on some of the Moluccas. It is known alternatively as the raja shelduck (IOC Name), black-backed shelduck, or in Australia as the Burdekin duck.

The Raja Shelduck forms long-term pair-bonds, and is usually encountered in lone pairs or small flocks. During the wet season the males commonly become very irritable, and have been observed attacking their mates.

The diet consists mainly of mollusks, insects, sedge materials and algae. Pairs start searching for nesting sites during the months of January and February. They nest close to their primary food source, often in the hollow limbs of trees, which makes habitat destruction a particular issue.

Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) by Dan at Zoo Miami

Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) by Dan at Zoo Miami

The radjah shelduck does not use nesting materials except for some self-supplied down feathers. Egg-laying is usually done by May or June, but depends on the extent of the wet season. The clutches range from 6 to 12 eggs. Incubation time is about 30 days. (Wikipedia edited)

Here are photos of both Shelducks. Some of the photos are from other trips and some from Ian. (PBZ is Palm Beach Zoo)

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Here I Am

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

“Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily. (Psalms 102:2 KJV)

Dan and I just returned from a three-day birdwatching adventure. With almost 1,000 photos and videos to sort, name, and clean-up, I’ll have plenty to post.

The Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is becoming a favorite of mine, because they are so hard to find. The Lord has given them such camouflage and an ability to freeze when threatened, they are a challenge. We were fortunate this time while visiting the Wings of Asia aviary at Zoo Miami. By following the feeder, that enjoys the birds as much as just working there, he helped us find the new Tawny Frogmouth. They now have two of them. This new one is more active and alert. Could it be that the feeder had a cup with 4 mice in it?

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

We actually saw Tawny with his eyes open and I even got a short video of him opening that mouth that gives them their name.

I have written about this bird before, Zoo Miami’s Wings of Asia – Wow! – I, seeing this one, forces me to write again. They belong to the Podargidae – Frogmouths Family which has 16 species of Frogmouths.

Masters of Camouflage Related to Oilbirds, Whip-poor-wills, and Nighthawks, the Tawny Frogmouth’s excellent camouflage covering makes it look like dried leaves. When frightened, the bird freezes in plosition and, with its cryptic colorations, looks like broken bramches.” (Amazing Bird Facts and Trivia, p 135) Isn’t the Lord’s Wisdom fantastic?

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

Another book, (National Geographic, Bird Coloration, p 150-151). says this: “Some birds hide not by being hard to discern, but by appearing not to be birds. The birds that best mimic inanimate objects are found in two groups of distantly related nightjars, the potoos in the Neotropics and the frogmouths in tropical Asia and Australia. Species in both of these groups hunt flying insects at night and rest during the day. Potoos and frogmouths use a strategy to hide during the day that differs … They hide conspicuously in view. The strategy…is to look exactly like an extension of a branch on which the bird sit.”

“Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. (Psalms 143:9 KJV)

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

Tawny Frogmouth at Wings of Asia by Dan

“They are named for their large flattened hooked bills and huge frog-like gape, which they use to capture insects. Their flight is weak. Their longer bristles which may exist to protect the eyes from insect prey.  Tawny frogmouths are large, big-headed birds that can measure from 13 to 21 in (34 to 53 cm) long….stocky and compact with rounded wings and short legs. They have wide, heavy olive-grey to blackish bills that are hooked at the tip and topped with distinctive tufts of bristles. Their eyes are large, yellow, and frontally placed, a trait shared by owls” (Wikipedia)

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This video is of two segments. The keeper tried to get him to come down and then we came back a second time. Several photographers were waiting to get a photo of him coming down, but I guess this calls for another excuse to visit the Wings of Asia.

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Podargidae – Frogmouths Family

Zoo Miami’s Wings of Asia – Wow! – I

Wings of Asia Aviary

Zoo Miami

Sunday Inspiration – Hide Thou Me

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Crested Pigeon at Zoo Miami

COL-Colu Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) at ZM by Lee

Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) at ZM by Lee

And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. (Genesis 15:9 KJV)

The Crested Pigeon was another interesting bird that we were able to watch at the Zoo Miami, Birds of Asia Aviary. I like their Crest. It adds some “class” to this creation from the Lord. They are colorful, but notice in the photos below how they blend in with their surrounding. The Creator has provided them with a nice camouflage design.

The Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes, also commonly known as the Top Notch Pigeon) is a bird found widely throughout mainland Australia except for the far northern tropical areas. They belong to the Columbidae Family and is the only member of the genus Ocyphaps. There are only two Australian pigeon species that possess an erect crest, being the Crested Pigeon and the Spinifex Pigeon. The Crested Pigeon is the larger of the two species.

Habitat is grasslands, brush and wooded areas but they can also be seen at watercourses, homestead gardens, pastoral areas, sports grounds, and golf courses. Their habitat has expanded since settlement has produced pastoral lands (previously they were only found in inland and Western Australia). Foraging for grain, has adapted to grain farming areas, often feeding on the noxious weed of Salvation Jane. They are commonly misidentified as the Topknot Pigeon.

Their most distinctive behaviour is the beating and whistling sound their wings make when they take off. This is most likely to draw the attention of predators to birds on the wing, and away from any birds remaining on the ground and as an alarm call to other pigeons. When the birds land, the tail tilts upwards and the flight patterns are similar to the those of the Spotted Turtle-Dove. They are generally solitory. Although they can be seen in pairs, they can be highly social and tend to be seen in packs. They are highly gregarious birds when in contact with humans. (Wikipedia)


COL-Colu Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) at ZM by Lee

Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) at ZM by Lee

And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. (Psalms 55:6 KJV)

Lee’s Addition:

I trust you enjoy the Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes). My computer is off line, in fact, not even set up. A new flooring is being installed in that room and it is getting a new coat of paint. So it will be down for several days. This is being scheduled ahead of time.

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Fawn-breasted Bowerbird at Zoo Miami

Fawn-breasted Bowerbird by Dan ZM

Fawn-breasted Bowerbird by Dan ZM

One of the neatest thing to watch on this last trip to the Wings of Asia Aviary at Zoo Miami was the Fawn-breasted Bowerbird working on his bower. “The bower itself is that of “avenue-type” with two sides of wall of sticks and usually decorated with green-colored berries.” In his case, he had green leaves laid out in front.

The Fawn-breasted Bowerbird (Chlamydera cerviniventris) is a medium-sized, up to 13 in (32 cm) long, bowerbird with a greyish brown spotted white plumage, a black bill, dark brown iris, yellow mouth and an orange buff below. Both sexes are similar. The female is slightly smaller than the male.

The Fawn-breasted Bowerbird is distributed in New Guinea and northern Australia, where it inhabits the tropical forests, mangroves, savanna woodlands and forest edges. Its diet consists mainly of figs, fruits and insects. The nest is a loose cup made of small sticks up in a tree. The bower itself is that of “avenue-type” with two sides of wall of sticks and usually decorated with green-colored berries. (Wikipedia with editing)

Fawn-breasted Bowerbird by Dan ZM

Fawn-breasted Bowerbird by Dan ZM

The Bowerbirds are in the Ptilonorhynchidae-Bowerbird Family. There are twenty species in the family, of which, 16 are Bowerbirds.

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Here are two video clips of him working on the bower. Notice how he goes in and out the other end of the bower. Unfortunately we were only able to view it from the side. One shot he is actually placing the stick upright in the ground. (I recorded him for a bit and then Dan came along. As I was explaining it to him, I got tickled, so ignore the snorts.) I was absolutely amazed watching this bird, which the Lord created, knowing how to make his bower chamber.

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Did you notice the birds chirping and singing in the background. It is so peaceful in that aviary. The birds have so much room and places to hang out. You actually “bird watch” there.

Fawn-breasted Bowerbird (Chlamydera cerviniventris) Sign Zoo Miami by Lee

Fawn-breasted Bowerbird (Chlamydera cerviniventris) Sign Zoo Miami by Lee

Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 8:17 NKJV)

This is the sign telling about the Bowerbird and their name for it; a “Seduction Chamber.” We know that the Lord commanded the birds to reproduce and this bird is only following instructions. He builds his bower to entice a female to be his mate.

We were discussing this and several verses came to our minds:

My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. (Proverbs 1:10 NKJV)

And you shall stone him with stones until he dies, because he sought to entice you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. (Deuteronomy 13:10 NKJV)

And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. (Mark 13:21-22 KJV)

And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (1 John 2:25-26 KJV)

The Fawn-breasted is fine in what he is doing, but we can learn by watching and taking heed for ourselves.

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: (Job 12:7 KJV)

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Zoo Miami – Fun Page

Ptilonorhynchidae-Bowerbird Family

Fawn-breasted Bowerbird – Wikipedia

Bowerbirds – Wikipedia

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Zoo Miami’s Greater Yellownape

Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) female Zoo Miami by Lee

Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) female Zoo Miami by Lee

For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck. (Proverbs 1:9 NKJV)

Here is one of my favorites at Zoo Miami’s Wings of Asia Aviary. They have 87 species and they are all my favorites, but this one is further up the scale. This is a Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) female and believe it is the only Yellownape there at present.

Dan and I went back down to Zoo Miami this week and spent two days just in the Aviary. When we were there earlier this year, most of my photos did not come out well. After some adjustments to my Panasonic Lumix FZ47 point-n-shoot (which I shoot in “program mode”), things didn’t do much better at first the first day. More adjustments and these came out better. Tuesday night in the motel, Dan made some more fixes. Yesterday, I finally got some really nice photos which I will share later.

Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) female Zoo Miami by Dan

Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) female Zoo Miami by Dan

My son, keep your father’s command, And do not forsake the law of your mother. Bind them continually upon your heart; Tie them around your neck. (Proverbs 6:20-21 NKJV)

For those of you into photography, the problem is that the Aviary is well landscaped with lots of trees and is covered with its wire mesh. My ISO and lens speed were to low to compensate for the environment. My camera normally does well when I am “outdoors” and not in an aviary. (As for ISOs and F-stops, I don’t know much them. I would rather study about the birds and let Dan worry about the camera.)

Back to our Yellownape. This is another neat creation from its Creator. They belong to the Woodpecker – Picidae Family. At the aviary, they call it the Greater Yellow Naped Woodpecker.

List of birds at Wings of Asia - Greater Yellow Nape

List of birds at Wings of Asia – Greater Yellownape

From a copy of their list, you can tell it is a female and the only one. The list has the number of males first, then number of females and then the third number is unknown sex. Every day they check on the birds and try to find each one. If after 3 days a bird isn’t spotted, then a real search begins. By following the counters around, who were very friendly and willing to help with names of birds, many of the birds come out and into view. Could it be because the counters have food with them? In fact some of the birds make themself right at home on the cart.

Counters with friends

Counters with friends

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Counters with friends making themselves at home

Counters with friends making themselves at home

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Counters with friends making themselves at home

Counters with friends making themselves at home

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Actually the Yellownape came in close the second day, but I failed to get her photo, but Dan captured her in the second photo as she was eating worms from the hole in the tree. The worker had just placed some worms there to bring the birds in closer so they could be counted.

The Greater Yellownape is a large, olive-green woodpecker with prominent yellow-crested nape and throat. Dark olive-green with grey underparts. Crown brownish and flight feathers chestnut barred with black. Bill often looks whitish. “Nape” is the back or base of the neck area. See Birdwatching Term – Nape

It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. (Wikipedia)

Included in the photos below is a photo of a male from Wikipedia. Notice his line on his chin is more yellow than the female. Here is more of a rusty color.

Here are the photos of the Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha).

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. …It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ” (Luke 15:20, 32 NKJV)

See:

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Siamese Fireback by Dan

Siamese Fireback by Dan's Pix

Siamese Fireback by Dan’s Pix at Zoo Miami

As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool. (Jeremiah 17:11 KJV)

I was browsing through some of Dan’s photos on his Dan’s Pix site and came across the Siamese Fireback. We saw this bird in the Wings of Asia Aviary at Zoo Miami. This is another of the Lord’s interesting creations.

The Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) also known as Diard’s Fireback is a fairly large, approximately 31.5 in (80 cm) long, pheasant. The male has a grey plumage with an extensive red facial skin, crimson legs and feet, ornamental black crest feathers, reddish brown iris and long curved blackish tail. The female is a brown bird with blackish wing and tail feathers.

The Siamese Fireback is distributed to the lowland and evergreen forests of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam in Southeast Asia. Very dense forests, bamboo and evergreen from sea-level to 2,000 feet. This species is also designated as the national bird of Thailand.

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) ©WikiC

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) ©WikiC (You can see the yellow on its back)

The female usually lays between four to eight rosy eggs. They have a more subtle coloration that helps them blend into the area while nesting.

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) female by Lee ZM

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) female by Lee ZM

Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. (Proverbs 26:20 NKJV)

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) female by Lee ZM

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) female by Lee ZM

The scientific name commemorates the French naturalist Pierre-Médard Diard. (Information from various internet sources.)

The three Firebacks are part of the Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies Family. Partridges, Pheasants, Grouse, Quail, Francolin, Peafowl, Peacocks and others make up this family.

Crestless Fireback (Lophura erythrophthalma) IBC

Crested Fireback (Lophura ignita) by Ian

Siamese Fireback (Lophura diardi) by Dan’s Pix

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