Sorry for the Long Delay

There hasn’t been a blog posted here since Aug 5th. The last few articles were scheduled ahead of time as I had back surgery on Aug 3rd. My overnight stay in the hospital turned out to be 5 days in the hospital. I had side affects like fluid build up in the sac by the lung. Could hardly breathe and that had to drained. And other side issues. Got out on Tuesday, and ended up in the Emergency Room the next day for another side-affect.

“Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me.” (Psalms 40:11 KJV)

But all is not lost. Dr. James J. S. Johnson [Dr. Jim, to me] has kept the main blog active with some very interesting articles. So, if you are not a follower of Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus [the main blog], take a look at the last articles that were posted over there. I trust, with the Lord’s continued healing, that things will get back to normal soon.

Shake a Leg (or 2 or 3 or 4), Crab-Eater! – Aug 7

Crazy as a Coot! – Aug 8

Pinyon Jay, Grand Canyon’s Forester – Aug 9

Killdeer atop Killdeer: Appreciating Help from Others – Aug 10

Loggerhead Shrike: Converting Thorns into Meat-hooks – Aug 11

Oystercatchers Must be Gentiles – Aug 12

Eggs Taste Better if Salted – Aug 13

Penguin Eggs Tragedy – Aug 14

Emma’s Stories Retold – Lizzy and the Penguin Catapult

Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) ©WikiC

Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) ©WikiC

Emma’s Stories Retold – Lizzy and the Penguin Catapult

~ by Emma Foster

Once there was a penguin named Lizzy who lived with many other penguins in cold Antarctica.

As the penguins traveled through the winter, Lizzy watched with great interest all the eggs that lay on the penguin dad’s feet. Lizzy was too young to go fishing with all the mother penguins that year, so she was traveling with the father penguins to someplace slightly warmer.

Emperor with egg on feet ©WikiC

Emperor with egg on feet ©WikiC

Eventually all of the penguins came to an enormous, icy lake that was too large to go around. The penguin parents huddled together and decided to build a catapult out of some wood they brought with them to build their homes. The catapult would shoot penguins one at a time over the lake. The penguins decided this because the dad penguins could not cross the lake with eggs; and, if they all traveled across it at once, the ice might break. The penguins decided the eggs would be safe because there was a lot of snow on the other side of the lake which would cushion their landing.

Gentoo Penguin - Paradise Bay

Gentoo Penguin – Paradise Bay

Lizzy helped build the catapult and it wasn’t long before it was finally completed.

The first penguin had to be launched by the catapult, but no penguin was willing to do it. Lizzy was a brave penguin and decided to go first.

The catapult was launched, and Lizzy flew through the air. She was actually flying!

Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) by Bob-Nan

Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) by Bob-Nan

Lizzy landed softly and safely in the snow on the other side of the lake and waved to the other penguins. One by one, the rest of the penguins catapulted over the lake with the eggs. When they were all safely on the other side, they traveled to their new home.

The End


Lee’s Addition:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (Philippians 4:6 NKJV)

Thanks, Emma, for another delightful story. Lizzy is one brave little Penguin and also willing to help out.

I am sure the penguins, even though not humans, were thankful to their Creator for taking care of them.

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind? (Job 12:7-10 NKJV)

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See more of Emma’s Bird Tales

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ABC’s of the Gospel

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Some Homes in the Green Forest – Chapter 18

Redtail the Hawk - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Redtail the Hawk – Burgess Bird Book ©©

Some Homes in the Green Forest

The Crow, the Oven Bird and the Red-tailed Hawk.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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CHAPTER 18. Some Homes in the Green Forest.

Listen to the story read.

Reddy Fox wasted very little time waiting for Peter Rabbit to come out from under that pile of brush where he had hidden at Sammy Jay’s warning. After making some terrible threats just to try to frighten Peter, he trotted away to look for some Mice. Peter didn’t mind those threats at all. He was used to them. He knew that he was safe where he was, and all he had to do was to stay there until Reddy should be so far away that it would be safe to come out.

Just to pass away the time Peter took a little nap. When he awoke he sat for a few minutes trying to make up his mind where to go and what to do next. From ‘way over in the direction of the Old Pasture the voice of Blacky the Crow reached him. Peter pricked up his ears, then chuckled.

“Reddy Fox has gone back to the Old Pasture and Blacky has discovered him there,” he thought happily. You see, he understood what Blacky was saying. To you or me Blacky would have been saying simply, “Caw! Caw!” But to all the little people of the Green Forest and Green Meadows within hearing he was shouting, “Fox! Fox!”

“I wonder,” thought Peter, “where Blacky is nesting this year. Last year his nest was in a tall pine-tree not far from the edge of the Green Forest. I believe I’ll run over there and see if he has a new nest near the old one.”

So Peter scampered over to the tall pine in which was Blacky’s old nest. As he sat with his head tipped back, staring up at it, it struck him that that nest didn’t look so old, after all. In fact, it looked as if it had recently been fixed up quite like new. He was wondering about this and trying to guess what it meant, when Blacky himself alighted close to the edge of it.

There was something in his bill, though what it was Peter couldn’t see. Almost at once a black head appeared above the edge of the nest and a black bill seized the thing which Blacky had brought. Then the head disappeared and Blacky silently flew away.

“As sure as I live,” thought Peter, “that was Mrs. Blacky, and Blacky brought her some food so that she would not have to leave those eggs she must have up there. He may be the black-hearted robber every one says he is, but he certainly is a good husband. He’s a better husband than some others I know, of whom nothing but good is said. It just goes to show that there is some good in the very worst folks. Blacky is a sly old rascal. Usually he is as noisy as any one I know, but he came and went without making a sound. Now I think of it, I haven’t once heard his voice near here this spring. I guess if Farmer Brown’s boy could find this nest he would get even with Blacky for pulling up his corn. I know a lot of clever people, but no one quite so clever as Blacky the Crow. With all his badness I can’t help liking him.”

Twice, while Peter watched, Blacky returned with food for Mrs. Blacky. Then, tired of keeping still so long, Peter decided to run over to a certain place farther in the Green Forest which was seldom visited by any one. It was a place Peter usually kept away from. It was pure curiosity which led him to go there now. The discovery that Blacky the Crow was using his old nest had reminded Peter that Redtail the Hawk uses his old nest year after year, and he wanted to find out if Redtail had come back to it this year.

Halfway over to that lonesome place in the Green Forest a trim little bird flew up from the ground, hopped from branch to branch of a tree, walked along a limb, then from pure happiness threw back his head and cried, “Teacher, teacher, teacher, teacher, teacher!” each time a little louder than before. It was Teacher the Oven Bird.

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) by Raymond Barlow

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) by Raymond Barlow

In his delight at seeing this old friend, Peter quite forgot Redtail the Hawk. “Oh, Teacher!” cried Peter. “I’m so glad to see you again!”

Teacher stopped singing and looked down at Peter. “If you are so glad why haven’t you been over to see me before?” he demanded. “I’ve been here for some time.”

Peter looked a little foolish. “The truth is, Teacher,” said he very humbly, “I have been visiting the Old Orchard so much and learning so many things that this is the first chance I have had to come ‘way over here in the Green Forest. You see, I have been learning a lot of things about you feathered folks, things I hadn’t even guessed. There is something I wish you’d tell me, Teacher; will you?”

“That depends on what it is,” replied Teacher, eyeing Peter a little suspiciously.

“It is why you are called Oven Bird,” said Peter.

“Is that all?” asked Teacher. Then without waiting for a reply he added, “It is because of the way Mrs. Teacher and I build our nest. Some people think it is like an oven and so they call us Oven Birds. I think that is a silly name myself, quite as silly as Golden Crowned Thrush, which is what some people call me. I’m not a Thrush. I’m not even related to the Thrush family. I’m a Warbler, a Wood Warbler.”

“I suppose,” said Peter, looking at Teacher thoughtfully, “they’ve given you that name because you are dressed something like the Thrushes. That olive-green coat, and white waistcoat all streaked and spotted with black, certainly does remind me of the Thrush family. If you were not so much smaller than any of the Thrushes I should almost think you were one myself. Why, you are not very much bigger than Chippy the Chipping Sparrow, only you’ve got longer legs. I suppose that’s because you spend so much time on the ground. I think that just Teacher is the best name for you. No one who has once heard you could ever mistake you for any one else. By the way, Teacher, where did you say your nest is?”

“I didn’t say,” retorted Teacher. “What’s more, I’m not going to say.”

“Won’t you at least tell me if it is in a tree?” begged Peter.

Teacher’s eyes twinkled. “I guess it won’t do any harm to tell you that much,” said he. “No, it isn’t in a tree. It is on the ground and, if I do say it, it is as well hidden a nest as anybody can build. Oh, Peter, watch your step! Watch your step!” Teacher fairly shrieked this warning.

Peter, who had just started to hop off to his right, stopped short in sheer astonishment. Just in front of him was a tiny mound of dead leaves, and a few feet beyond Mrs. Teacher was fluttering about on the ground as if badly hurt. Peter simply didn’t know what to make of it. Once more he made a movement as if to hop. Teacher flew right down in front of him. “You’ll step on my nest!” he cried.

Peter stared, for he didn’t see any nest. He said as much.

“It’s under that little mound of leaves right in front of your feet!” cried Teacher. “I wasn’t going to tell you, but I just had to or you certainly would have stepped on it.”

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) Nest ©WikiC

Very carefully Peter walked around the little bunch of leaves and peered under them from the other side. There, sure enough, was a nest beneath them, and in it four speckled eggs. “I won’t tell a soul, Teacher. I promise you I won’t tell a soul,” declared Peter very earnestly. “I understand now why you are called Oven Bird, but I still like the name Teacher best.”

Feeling that Mr. and Mrs. Teacher would feel easier in their minds if he left them, Peter said good-by and started on for the lonesome place in the Green Forest where he knew the old nest of Redtail the Hawk had been. As he drew near the place he kept sharp watch through the treetops for a glimpse of Redtail. Presently he saw him high in the blue sky, sailing lazily in big circles. Then Peter became very, very cautious. He tiptoed forward, keeping under cover as much as possible. At last, peeping out from beneath a little hemlock-tree, he could see Redtail’s old nest. He saw right away that it was bigger than it had been when he saw it last. Suddenly there was a chorus of hungry cries and Peter saw Mrs. Redtail approaching with a Mouse in her claws. From where he sat he could see four funny heads stretched above the edge of the nest.

“Redtail is using his old nest again and has got a family already,” exclaimed Peter. “I guess this is no place for me. The sooner I get away from here the better.”

Red-tailed Hawk- Cochran Shoals Unit Chattahoochee River by SSlayton

Red-tailed Hawk- Cochran Shoals Unit Chattahoochee River by SSlayton

Just then Redtail himself dropped down out of the blue, blue sky and alighted on a tree close at hand. Peter decided that the best thing he could do was to sit perfectly still where he was. He had a splendid view of Redtail, and he couldn’t help but admire this big member of the Hawk family. The upper parts of his coat were a dark grayish-brown mixed with touches of chestnut color. The upper part of his breast was streaked with grayish-brown and buff, the lower part having but few streaks. Below this were black spots and bars ending in white. But it was the tail which Peter noticed most of all. It was a rich reddish-brown with a narrow black band near its end and a white tip. Peter understood at once why this big Hawk is called Redtail.

It was not until Mr. and Mrs. Redtail had gone in quest of more food for their hungry youngsters that Peter dared steal away. As soon as he felt it safe to do so, he headed for home as fast as he could go, lipperty-lipperty-lip. He knew that he wouldn’t feel safe until that lonesome place in the Green Forest was far behind.

Yet if the truth be known, Peter had less cause to worry than would have been the case had it been some other member of the Hawk family instead of Redtail. And while Redtail and his wife do sometimes catch some of their feathered and furred neighbors, and once in a while a chicken, they do vastly more good than harm.

This story gives good examples of friends watching out for friends. Also, friends love their neighbors and go for visits now and then.

“But you be watchful in all things,…” (2 Timothy 4:5a NKJV)

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  • Who was the one warning the animal and bird friends?
  • What is a call of the Crow?
  • Is it good for us to warn others of danger?
  • What does Peter really think it says?
  • Who was the little bird that Peter spotted up in the tree?
  • Why is he called by that name?
  • When Peter began to leave, why did the little bird become upset?
  • What bird was Peter looking for, yet had to make sure that bird didn’t see him?
  • Why didn’t Peter want to be seen?
  • Who sees us all the time? Can we hide from Him?

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“A friend loveth at all times,…” (Proverbs 17:17a KJV)

Links:

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Links:

 

  Next Chapter (A Maker of Thunder and a Friend in Black. Coming Soon)

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Gold/Yellow = Heaven

  

 

  Wordless Birds

 

 

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Viera Wetlands – Candy Corn Moorhen

Common Moorhen by Dan at Viera Wetlands

The Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) has a bill that reminds me so much of Candy Corn. On our latest trip to Viera Wetlands, Dan was able to capture this adult with his camera. We showed you the young one with big feet in Big Feet on July 5th.

Young Moorhen at Viera Wetlands

Here are some more photos taken previously:

Common Moorhen Parent and baby Moorhen at Lake Hollingsworth

Another Baby Moorhen at Lake Hollingsworth by Lee

Baby Moorhen – Big feet and undeveloped beak color. Lake Hollingsworth – by Lee

Baby Moorhen with Big Feet above and Adult Common Moorhen below with big feet

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) PB Zoo by Lee

Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” (Genesis 1:20 NKJV)

Back to the Candy Corn beak:

Baby Moorhen No Feathers on Wing at Lake Hollingsworth Cropped by Lee

Fact from All About Birds:

  • Newly hatched Common Gallinule chicks have spurs on their wings that help them climb into the nest or grab onto vegetation.

Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata) Lowry Park Zoo

Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata) Amazon and Beyond-wild – Zoo Miami – by Lee

Moorhens [Gallinule – They keep changing the names]- All About Birds

Big Feet

Wordless Waterbirds

Wordless Waterbirds

Common Moorhen by Dan

Wordless Waterbirds

Gold/Yellow = Heaven

The GOLD/Yellow tip of the beak reminds us of Heaven. The Bible tells us Heaven has a street of gold! But the best part about Heaven is that God, who created you and me, lives there. The Bible, God’s Word, says: “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” — John 3:16 Jesus, God the Son, is in Heaven preparing a place for all who put their trust in Him. (John 14:2-3) God is holy and perfect. He cannot allow anything in Heaven that is less than perfect, so there’s one thing that can never be in Heaven. Can you think of what that might be?

Black/Dark = Sin

It is sin! That is what this DARK back and head of the bird reminds us of. Sin is anything you think, say, or do that does not please God, like lying, cheating, being selfish, or hurting others. The Bible says: “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” — Romans 3:23 That means everyone, big or little, young or old! No matter where you live or who you are, you have sinned. Everyone is born with a “want to” to do wrong. God says that sin must be punished (Romans 6:23), and the punishment for sin is to be separated from God forever in a place of suffering….a place called Hell. But God has a wonderful plan so that you will not have to be punished for your sin!

Red = Jesus Blood

God sent Jesus Christ, His perfect Son, to be born as a little baby. Jesus lived a perfect life….He never sinned. When He was grown, wicked men nailed Him to a cross. This Moorhens beak is RED reminding us of Jesus’ blood. The Bible says that without the giving of blood there can be no forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22). So Jesus Christ willingly died to take your sin punishment. “…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures.“— 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Now, because of what Jesus has done for you, you can have your sins forgiven. Read on to see how!

White = Clean Heart

The Bible says: “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believed on His name.” — John 1:12 The WHITE beak of the Hawaiian Coot reminds us of a CLEAN heart. How can you have a clean heart? A = Admit to God you are a sinner and want to turn away from those sins. B = Believe in Jesus Christ, that He is God’s perfect Son who died for your sin, was buried, and rose again. C = Call on Him to save you from your sin. Would you like to do that right now? He has promised to hear, and once you are His child, He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). Take a moment and talk to God right now. It will change your life forever. Only one more color! What can it mean?

Green = Growth

The GREEN around this Purple Gallinule stands for things that grow. When you ask God to forgive you and save you, you become His child. God wants you to get to know Him better and to grow to become more like Him. These four things will help you grow:

1. PRAY (talk to God every day)
2. READ & OBEY THE BIBLE (to know what He says, then do it)
3. TELL OTHERS ABOUT JESUS
4. GO TO A BIBLE-BELIEVING CHURCH (where you can learn more about pleasing Him)

As a child of God, if you should sin again, stop and tell Him about it. He promises in His Word… “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” — 1 John 1:9 Ask God to help you live a life to please Him! Share the Good News of this story with someone else.


The Wordless Book has been used for many years by CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship). These words are from CEF.


Photo Credits – Common Moorhen by Dan at Viera Wetlands; Hawaiian Coot (Fulica alai) Cropped ©WikiCPurple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus) by Densie Russell;

Secretarybird – The Note Taker

Secretarybird look straight at the lens – ©Pinterest – Rudi Luyten

You would like me to take a note?

Secretarybird -Notice the eyelashes – ©Pinterest

Looking down to start writing! [Notice the eyelashes]

“Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart,” (Proverbs 3:3 NKJV)

These Secretarybird photos were on Pinterest and I decided to share them.

Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius) by Africaddict

Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius) by Africaddict

Secretarybirds were named this because: “The secretary bird’s English name was once thought to come from the 1800s, when Europeans first spotted these birds. Back then, male secretaries wore gray tailcoats and dark knee-length pants. They also used goose-quill pens that they carried behind their ears. This long-legged bird shares many of these same physical features: long, dark quills at the back of the head; long, gray wing and tail feathers that resemble a tailcoat; and black feathers that go midway down the legs like short pants. It’s fun to imagine how the two “secretaries” compare!” From San Diego Zoo – Secretary Bird Nice photos in this article to check out!

Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius) by Lee

Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius) by Lee

These are one of my many favorite birds. With over 10,700 birds in the world, it is easy to have many favorites that the Lord, their Creator, has given us to enjoy.

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Secretary Bird – The Walker

The Wise Owl

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck Trying To Decide

Shall I Go To The This Way?

Shall I Go To That Way?

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. (1 Kings 18:21 KJV)

Still Undecided As To Which Way To Go by Lee

Elijah went there and stood in front of the people. He said, “How long will it take you to make up your minds? If the LORD is the one and only God, follow him. But if Baal is the one and only God, follow him.” The people didn’t say anything. (1 Kings 18:21 NIrV)

Just About Decided

Elijah challenged the people: “How long are you going to sit on the fence? If GOD is the real God, follow him; if it’s Baal, follow him. Make up your minds!” Nobody said a word; nobody made a move. (1 Kings 18:21 MSG)

This Black-bellied Whistling-Duck was undecided about where to go. There were quite a few Whistling Ducks at Viera Wetlands, and they were playing “musical palm tree stubs.” They kept landing on these tree tops and chasing the other off. Yet, this verse comes to mind.

I trust all of us are decided about WHO we are going to follow.

Now for a picture of a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck by Dan [the much better photographer]

Black-bellied Whistling Duck by Dan

The Black-bellied Whistling-Duck is a large, gooselike duck with a long neck, long legs, and short tail. In flight, look for their broad wings, long neck, and hunched back.

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks are dark overall: a chestnut breast and black belly are set off by a bright-pink bill and legs, grayish face, and broad white wing stripe, also visible in flight. Immatures are duller than adults, with a dark bill, pale breast, and mottled black belly. [Info from All About Birds]
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Andre Rieu – Amazing Grace

Thought you might enjoy this video. Andre Rieu – Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis) by Nikhil Devasar

Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis) by Nikhil Devasar

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Injured Roseate Spoonbill at Flamingo Gardens by Lee

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea) Neal Addy Gallery

Prothonotary Warbler (Protonotaria citrea) Neal Addy Gallery

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) ©WikiC

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.


Birds in Hymns

What will you do with Jesus?

 

More Robbers – Chapter 17

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) at Bok Tower By Dan'sPix

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) at Bok Tower By Dan’sPix

More Robbers

The Crow and the Blue Jay.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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Listen to the story read.

CHAPTER 17. More Robbers.

By the sounds of rejoicing among the feathered folks of the Old Orchard Johnny Chuck knew that it was quite safe for him to come out. He was eager to tell Skimmer the Tree Swallow how glad he was that Mr. Blacksnake had been driven away before he could get Skimmer’s eggs. As he poked his head out of his doorway he became aware that something was still wrong in the Old Orchard. Into the glad chorus there broke a note of distress and sorrow. Johnny instantly recognized the voices of Welcome Robin and Mrs. Robin. There is not one among his feathered neighbors who can so express worry and sorrow as can the Robins.

Johnny was just in time to see all the birds hurrying over to that part of the Old Orchard where the Robins had built their home. The rejoicing suddenly gave way to cries of indignation and anger, and Johnny caught the words, “Robber! Thief! Wretch!” It appeared that there was just as much excitement over there as there had been when Mr. Blacksnake had been discovered trying to rob Skimmer and Mrs. Skimmer. It couldn’t be Mr. Blacksnake again, because Farmer Brown’s boy had chased him in quite another direction.

“What is it now?” asked Johnny of Skimmer, who was still excitedly discussing with Mrs. Skimmer their recent fright.

“I don’t know, but I’m going to find out,” replied Skimmer and darted away.

Johnny Chuck waited patiently. The excitement among the birds seemed to increase, and the chattering and angry cries grew louder. Only the voices of Welcome and Mrs. Robin were not angry. They were mournful, as if Welcome and Mrs. Robin were heartbroken. Presently Skimmer came back to tell Mrs. Skimmer the news.

“The Robins have lost their eggs!” he cried excitedly. “All four have been broken and eaten. Mrs. Robin left them to come over here to help drive away Mr. Blacksnake, and while she was here some one ate those eggs. Nobody knows who it could have been, because all the birds of the Old Orchard were over here at that time. It might leave been Chatterer the Red Squirrel, or it might have been Sammy Jay, or it might have been Creaker the Grackle, or it might have been Blacky the Crow. Whoever it was just took that chance to sneak over there and rob that nest when there was no one to see him.”

Crow at Flamingo Gardens by Lee (210)

Crow at Flamingo Gardens by Lee

Just then from over towards the Green Forest sounded a mocking “Caw, caw, caw!” Instantly the noise in the Old Orchard ceased for a moment. Then it broke out afresh. There wasn’t a doubt now in any one’s mind. Blacky the Crow was the robber. How those tongues did go! There was nothing too bad to say about Blacky. And such dreadful things as those birds promised to do to Blacky the Crow if ever they should catch him in the Old Orchard.

“Caw, caw, caw!” shouted Blacky from the distance, and his voice sounded very much as if he thought he had done something very smart. It was quite clear that at least he was not sorry for what he had done.

All the birds were so excited and so angry, as they gathered around Welcome and Mrs. Robin trying to comfort them, that it was some time before their indignation meeting broke up and they returned to their own homes and duties. Almost at once there was another cry of distress. Mr. and Mrs. Chebec had been robbed of their eggs! While they had been attending the indignation meeting at the home of the Robins, a thief had taken the chance to steal their eggs and get away.

Of course right away all the birds hurried over to sympathize with the Chebecs and to repeat against the unknown thief all the threats they had made against Blacky the Crow. They knew it couldn’t have been Blacky this time because they had heard Blacky cawing over on the edge of the Green Forest. In the midst of the excited discussion as to who the thief was, Weaver the Orchard Oriole spied a blue and white feather on the ground just below Chebec’s nest.

“It was Sammy Jay! There is no doubt about it, it was Sammy Jay!” he cried.

At the sight of that telltale feather all the birds knew that Weaver was right, and led by Scrapper the Kingbird they began a noisy search of the Old Orchard for the sly robber. But Sammy wasn’t to be found, and they soon gave up the search, none daring to stay longer away from his own home lest something should happen there. Welcome and Mrs. Robin continued to cry mournfully, but little Mr. and Mrs. Chebec bore their trouble almost silently.

“There is one thing about it,” said Mr. Chebec to his sorrowful little wife, “that egg of Sally Sly’s went with the rest, and we won’t have to raise that bothersome orphan.”

“That’s true,” said she. “There is no use crying over what can’t be helped. It is a waste of time to sit around crying. Come on, Chebec, let’s look for a place to build another nest. Next time I won’t leave the eggs unwatched for a minute.”

Meanwhile Jenny Wren’s tongue was fairly flying as she chattered to Peter Rabbit, who had come up in the midst of the excitement and of course had to know all about it.

Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) at Lake Morton By Dan'sPix

Fish Crow (Corvus ossifragus) at Lake Morton By Dan’sPix

Blacky the Crow has a heart as black as his coat, and his cousin Sammy Jay isn’t much better,” declared Jenny. “They belong to a family of robbers.”

“Wait a minute,” cried Peter. “Do you mean to say that Blacky the Crow and Sammy Jay are cousins?”

“For goodness’ sake, Peter!” exclaimed Jenny, “do you mean to say that you don’t know that? Of course they’re cousins. They don’t look much alike, but they belong to the same family. I would expect almost anything bad of any one as black as Blacky the Crow. But how such a handsome fellow as Sammy Jay can do such dreadful things I don’t understand. He isn’t as bad as Blacky, because he does do a lot of good. He destroys a lot of caterpillars and other pests.

“There are no sharper eyes anywhere than those of Sammy Jay, and I’ll have to say this for him, that whenever he discovers any danger he always gives us warning. He has saved the lives of a good many of us feathered folks in this way. If it wasn’t for this habit of stealing our eggs I wouldn’t have a word to say against him, but at that, he isn’t as bad as Blacky the Crow. They say Blacky does some good by destroying white grubs and some other harmful pests, but he’s a regular cannibal, for he is just as fond of young birds as he is of eggs, and the harm he does in this way is more than the good he does in other ways. He’s bold, black, and bad, if you ask me.”

Remembering her household duties, Jenny Wren disappeared inside her house in her usual abrupt fashion. Peter hung around for a while but finding no one who would take the time to talk to him he suddenly decided to go over to the Green Forest to look for some of his friends there. He had gone but a little way in the Green Forest when he caught a glimpse of a blue form stealing away through the trees. He knew it in an instant, for there is no one with such a coat but Sammy Jay. Peter glanced up in the tree from which Sammy had flown and there he saw a nest in a crotch halfway up. “I wonder,” thought Peter, “if Sammy was stealing eggs there, or if that is his own nest.” Then he started after Sammy as fast as he could go, lipperty-lipperty-lip. As he ran he happened to look back and was just in time to see Mrs. Jay slip on to the nest. Then Peter knew that he had discovered Sammy’s home. He chuckled as he ran.

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) by Daves BirdingPix

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) by Daves BirdingPix

I’ve found out your secret, Sammy Jay!” cried Peter when at last he caught up with Sammy.

“Then I hope you’ll be gentleman enough to keep it,” grumbled Sammy, looking not at all pleased.

“Certainly,” replied Peter with dignity. “I wouldn’t think of telling any one. My, what a handsome fellow you are, Sammy.”

Sammy looked pleased. He is a little bit vain, is Sammy Jay. There is no denying that he is handsome. He is just a bit bigger than Welcome Robin. His back is grayish-blue. His tail is a bright blue crossed with little black bars and edged with white. His wings are blue with white and black bars. His throat and breast are a soft grayish-white, and he wears a collar of black. On his head he wears a pointed cap, a very convenient cap, for at times he draws it down so that it is not pointed at all.

“Why did you steal Mrs. Chebec’s eggs?” demanded Peter abruptly.

Sammy didn’t look the least bit put out. “Because I like eggs,” he replied promptly. “If people will leave their eggs unguarded they must expect to lose them. How did you know I took those eggs?”

“Never mind, Sammy; never mind. A little bird told me,” retorted Peter mischievously.

Sammy opened his mouth for a sharp reply, but instead he uttered a cry of warning. “Run, Peter! Run! Here comes Reddy Fox!” he cried.

Peter dived headlong under a great pile of brush. There he was quite safe. While he waited for Reddy Fox to go away he thought about Sammy Jay. “It’s funny,” he mused, “how so much good and so much bad can be mixed together. Sammy Jay stole Chebec’s eggs, and then he saved my life. I just know he would have done as much for Mr. and Mrs. Chebec, or for any other feathered neighbor. He can only steal eggs for a little while in the spring. I guess on the whole he does more good than harm. I’m going to think so anyway.”

Peter was quite right. Sammy Jay does do more good than harm.

*

When they found the feather, a verse comes to mind:

… and be sure your sin will find you out.  (Numbers 32:23b NKJV)

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  • Why were Welcome Robin and Mrs. Robin upset?
  • Which bird was the one who destroyed the eggs?
  • What did their friends try to do to help the Robins?
  • Should we do that for our friends also?
  • Who was the next robber?
  • How did they know it was him?
  • Both the Crow and the Blue Jay are cousins. Why?
  • Why did Peter decide that Sammy Blue Jay was okay?
  • Can we sin just a little and then do lots of good? Does that make it right?

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NKJV)

Links:

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Links:

Redtail the Hawk - Burgess Bird Book ©©Thum

 

 

 

Next Chapter (Some Homes in the Green Forest. Coming Soon)


Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 


 

 

Wordless Birds

 

 


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Birds Who Build Pyramids by Creation Moments

BIRDS WHO BUILD PYRAMIDS

Listen and or Watch


Job 12:7″But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee…”

Bee-eaters are birds whose way of life and behavior are both intelligent and unusual. There are 24 species of bee-eaters.
Birds Who Build Pyramids
Bee-eaters make their living catching and eating bees and wasps with stingers. The poison in many of these stinging insects is powerful enough to kill bee-eaters, but the birds are not only skilled at avoiding stings, they know how to remove the poison from the bee when they eat it. Having captured a bee or wasp, a bee-eater will take it to a branch where he will pound its head and rub its stinging end until all of the poison has been removed from the insect’s venom sac. Once the poison is removed, the bee-eater enjoys lunch.

Bee-eaters are described as lively and sociable. You seldom see one roosting all by itself. And when the weather is cool, bee-eaters huddle together to keep each other warm. There are even reports that bee-eaters will roost on each other’s backs, forming a feathered pyramid made out of birds.

Bee-eaters Huddled Together – from email

Now, it’s possible that bee-eaters figured out that they were warmer when huddled together, although even that much intelligence had to come from their Creator. But how could bee-eaters simply “discover” how to detoxify bees? If this ability evolved by trial and error, there would probably be no descendants of the first bee-eaters around today. Obviously, this dangerous behavior would not favor survival. This makes the bee-eater one of God’s own arguments against evolution!

Southern Carmine Bee-eater (Merops nubicus) by Marc at Africaddict

Southern Carmine Bee-eater (Merops nubicus) by Marc at Africaddict

Prayer: “Lord, not only does Your wisdom surround us, but You have so generously given intelligence and wisdom to so many of Your creatures. I thank You for the wonder Your handiwork inspires. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Notes:
Clanbake. Natural History, Mar. 1990. p. 94. Photo: A male Blue-throated Bee-eater presents his mate with a captured insect. Photo taken by Lip Kee Yap and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Used with permission of Creation Moments

 

Tawny Frogmouths at the Zoo

Tawny Frogmouth at Brevard Zoo 4-3-18 by Lee

At the Brevard Zoo recently, we saw two Tawny Frogmouths. They were in one of their aviaries. [An aviary is a large area where birds can fly freely.] It also makes it easier to take photos, because you are in the aviary with the birds and critters. You do not have to take the photos through cage wires, etc.

Tawny Frogmouth [either young or famale] at Brevard Zoo

“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)

The Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is a species of frogmouth native to and found throughout the Australian mainland and Tasmania. Tawny frogmouths are big-headed, stocky birds often mistaken for owls due to their nocturnal habits [night time] and similar coloring.

Tawny Frogmouth at Brevard Zoo 4-3-18 by Lee

Fun Fact: “Their silvery-grey plumage patterned with white, black, and brown streaks and mottles allows them to freeze into the form of a broken tree branch and become practically invisible in broad daylight.”

This one might be thinking, “What you looking at?

Tawny Frogmouth at Brevard Zoo 4-3-18 by Lee

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41 NKJV)