Birds Illustrated Completely Moved Here

Snowy Egret in Breeding Plumage at Gatorland by Dan

Both Volume I and Volume II are completely moved here to the Birds of the Bible for Kids blog. As best I could, all the links to photos, information and articles should be working properly.

I trust you will enjoy reading the articles. If you are not familiar with the Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, at the beginning of the index, they mention that the articles are written for the younger reader. Then, more information is given about the bird on a normal reading level. After that, I updated with current photos and information. Even though the original articles were produced in a magazine in 1897, they are worth repeating here.

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography Vol #1 – Complete covered the first Volume. Here is a list of the articles for Volume II. Please enjoy discovering interesting avian wonders from their Creator.

Volume 2, Number 1, July 1897

Wood Duck by Dan at Lake Hollingsworth

Wood Duck by Dan at Lake Hollingsworth [Real-not a painting]

Bird Song – July
The Bald-Headed Eagle
The Semi-Palmated Ring Plover
The Mallard Duck
The American Avocet
The Canvas-Back Duck
The Wood Duck
The Anhinga Or Snake Bird
The American Woodcock
The American Scoter
Old Abe
The Snowy Heron

Volume 2, Number 2, August 1897

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) male by Raymond Barlow

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) male by Raymond Barlow

Bird Song
The American Osprey
The Sora Rail
The Kentucky Warbler
The Red Breasted Merganser
The Yellow Legs
The Skylark
Wilson’s Phalarope
The Evening Grosbeak
The Turkey Vulture
To A Water-Fowl
Gambel’s Partridge

Volume 2, Number 3, September 1897

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) by BirdingPix

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) by BirdingPix

Bird Song – September
The Yellow Warbler
The Hermit Thrush
The Song Sparrow
The Cuckoo
The Ruby-Throated Humming Bird
The House Wren
The Phoebe
The Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
The Mourning Dove
How The Birds Secured Their Rights
The Captive’s Escape
The White-Breasted Nuthatch

Volume 2, Number 4, October 1897

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus swainsoni) by Ian

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus swainsoni) by Ian

The Blackburnian Warbler
The Lost Mate
The American Goldfinch
The Chimney Swift
Shore Lark
The Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker
The Warbling Vireo
The Wood Pewee
The Snowflake
The Slate-Colored Junco
The Kingbird

Volume 2, Number 5, November 1897

Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena) by Daves BirdingPix

Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena) by Daves BirdingPix

John James Audubon
The Summer Tanager
The American White-Fronted Goose
The Turnstone
The Belted Piping Plover
The Wild Turkey
The Cerulean Warbler
The Yellow-Billed Tropic Bird
The European Kingfisher
The Vermilion Fly-Catcher     Version II
The Lazuli Bunting
Bird Miscellany Plus

Volume 2, Number 6, December 1897

American Flamingo Beak at Gatorland by Lee

American Flamingo Beak at Gatorland by Lee

The Ornithological Congress
The Mountain Bluebird
The English Sparrow
Allen’s Humming Bird
The Green-Winged Teal
The Black Grouse
The American Flamingo
The Verdin
The Bronzed Grackle
The Ring-Necked Pheasant
More Bird Miscellany
The Yellow-Breasted Chat

Birds Vol 2 #6 – The Volume II. July to December 1897 – Index

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Wordless Birds

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography Vol #1 – Complete

Eastern Wood Pewee (Contopus virens) by Raymond Barlow

Eastern Wood Pewee (Contopus virens) by Raymond Barlow

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography Vol #1 – Complete

All the Volume #1 articles have been relocated to this blog, and hopefully, the links are all working. Yesterday, Vol 1 #5 and Vol #1 #6 were finished. The author of this series provided an Index of the first 6 volumes in alphabetical order by the last name of the bird.

Birds Vol 1 #6 – The Volume 1. January to June 1897 – Index

There really is much information in these post by a variety of birds. I rediscovered the Vol 1 #6 Bird Song I which was a joy for me to find. Here is an excerpt from that article:

Lee’s Addition:

By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches. (Psalms 104:12 KJV)

and the doors on the street are shut as the sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of song will sing softly. (Ecclesiastes 12:4 NASB)

What a delightful article about the birds singing. I suppose I can supplement  this by adding some sounds of these birds. I use xeno-canto.org because they are available and have many to choose from.

Northern Mockingbird ( imitating Ash-throated Flycatcher, Juniper Titmouse, Western Scrub-Jay, and probably more)

Grey Catbird (meaw)

difficult notes of the Yellow-breasted Chat (whistles, grunts and rattles)

Carolina Wren sings, ‘cheerily, cheerily, cheerily.’

A Flicker, (kleeeyer or wik-wik-wik)

a Wood-pewee, (pee-a-weee and pee-yer)

Eastern Phoebe follow in quick succession. (fee-beee (last syllable raspy)

Then a Tufted Titmouse squeals. (peter peter peter)

English Sparrow

Tawny Owl (Best I can find out who is the “Tu-whit, tu-who”)

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Enjoy checking out the latest updated articles, especially Volumes 1 #5 and 1 #6.

The Birds, Illustrated by Color Photography

Birds Vol 1 #6 – The Volume 1. January to June 1897 – Index

Wordless Toucan

Two More Volumes Finished – Vol 1 #3 and #4

Flash Light Picture made with “Dexter” Camera

Flash Light Picture made with “Dexter” Camera

Two More Volumes Finished – Vol 1 #3 and #4 of the Birds Illustrated by Color Photography

There really are some interesting birds in these volumes also. It takes time to update the links to articles and photos. In six years time, websites and blogs come and go. I would rather the articles be accurate as to just put them up as fast as I can. Besides that, the twenty plus posts will take time to read.

The American Cross Bill and The Legend article is quite interesting. Also, the Amateur Photography post shows some older camera information with links to more photography topics.

Of course, there are many birds to check out. Enjoy these latest two Volumes:

Volume 1, Number 3, March 1897

Little Boy Blue – The Blue Bird
The Swallow
The Brown Thrush
The Japan Pheasant
The Flicker
The Bobolink

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

The Crow and The Common Crow
The Return Of The Birds
The Black Tern
The Meadow Lark
The Long-Eared Owl (Great Horned)

Northern Long-eared Owl by DavesBP

Northern Long-eared Owl by DavesBP – Not the one mentioned in the article. But I think this owl is COOL!

Volume 1, Number 4, April 1897

The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
The Canada Jay
The Purple Gallinule
Smith’s Painted Longspur
The American Cross Bill and The Legend 
Bird Day In The Schools
The California Woodpecker

California Woodpecker for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

California Woodpecker for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

The Piedbill Grebe
The Bohemian Wax-Wing
The Marsh Wren
The Arizona Green Jay
Amateur Photography

“And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12 KJV)

Birds, Illustrated – Volume 1, # 2 – Now Ready

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Volume 1, Number 2 of the Birds, Illustrated by Color Photography is re-activated and trust all the links are working correctly.

Volume 1, Number 2, February 1897

 

Red Bird - Northern Cardinal for Birds Illustrated

Red Bird – Northern Cardinal for Birds Illustrated

See Also:

Birds, Illustrated by Color Photography Vol 1, # 1, Jan. 1987 Reactivated

Birds, Illustrated by Color Photography Vol 1, # 1, Jan. 1987 Reactivated 

So far as I know, the following articles are active and the links should be working. When this series was first introduced back in 2011, they were a delight to work on. As these have been brought back over here to the Birds of the Bible for Kids blog, again, I have enjoyed re-reading many of them. Many like me, may have forgotten what was in them. Some of you have never read these. There are many more that will be released as soon as I [try to] get the links correct. This is part of re-opening the Kids Blog.

Enjoy reading about some great birds from our Creator.

Lee’s Addition:

Above is the Cover Photo and Preface to a monthly magazine written about Birds. The different birds are illustrated with a lovely Colorful Illustration and then details about the individual bird. Some of the birds have poems and stories also included. The Birds, Illustrated by Color Photography was begun in January of 1897 and went until at least February 1898. Why produce these pages? For one, they are very interesting and as birdwatchers, reading about the various birds that were so beautifully created, is enjoyable. The writers back in 1897 and 1898 spent many hours preparing this magazine, so why not re-visit their work. Just because time moves on does not mean everything from the past should be forgotten.

Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. (Proverbs 22:28 KJV)

Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished? (Job 30:2 KJV)

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. (Psalms 143:5 KJV)

These will be produced with updates to today and current photos also. Some of the names have been changed since then and that will be shown. Also, current links to more information will be provided, like our Birds of the Bible and Birds of the World, plus others. Some editing will happen, as I have already found one incident to remove because it was offensive to a people group. This book was digitized by the great people at the Project Gutenberg and this is in the Public Domain, including the Illustrations.

Most articles have two parts. The first is geared to the reading level for children and the other part for more mature readers. I trust you enjoy reading and learning about the birds.

Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) - Drawing

Volume 1, Number 1, January 1987 (Articles now active here.)

The Nonpareil – Painted Bunting
The Resplendent Trogon
The Mandarin Duck
The Golden Pheasant
The Australian Grass Parrakeet
The Cock-Of-The-Rock
The Red Bird Of Paradise
The Yellow Throated Toucan
The Red-Rumped Tanager
The Golden Oriole

Rounded Up Some Bluebirds

Vol. 2 – 6 The Mountain Bluebird, which is from the Kid’s Section, had some Bluebirds skip out and break their links. They were too pretty to let them get away.

The Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited has some very interesting information about birds, but written from a young reader’s level. Here is the Mountain Bluebird reblogged with some added information and the Bluebirds back on their posts.

This was written back in 2013. Trust you enjoy this article and links to other Bluebird articles.

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Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) for Birds Illustrated

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) for Birds Illustrated

From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences. Copyrighted by
Nature Study Pub. Co., 1897, Chicago.

THE MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD.

imgi

N an early number of Birds we presented a picture of the common Bluebird, which has been much admired. The mountain Bluebird, whose beauty is thought to excel that of his cousin, is probably known to few of our readers who live east of the Rocky Mountain region, though he is a common winter sojourner in the western part of Kansas, beginning to arrive there the last of September, and leaving in March and April. The habits of these birds of the central regions are very similar to those of the eastern, but more wary and silent. Even their love song is said to be less loud and musical. It is a rather feeble, plaintive, monotonous warble, and their chirp and twittering notes are weak. They subsist upon the cedar berries, seeds of plants, grasshoppers, beetles, and the like, which they pick up largely upon the ground, and occasionally scratch for among the leaves. During the fall and winter they visit the plains and valleys, and are usually met with in small flocks, until the mating season.

Nests of the Mountain Bluebird have been found in New Mexico and Colorado, from the foothills to near timber line, usually in deserted Woodpecker holes, natural cavities in trees, fissures in the sides of steep rocky cliffs, and, in the settlements, in suitable locations about and in the adobe buildings. In settled portions of the west it nests in the cornice of buildings, under the eaves of porches, in the nooks and corners of barns and outhouses, and in boxes provided for its occupation. Prof. Ridgway found the Rocky Mountain Bluebird nesting in Virginia City, Nevada, in June. The nests were composed almost entirely of dry grass. In some sections, however, the inner bark of the cedar enters largely into their composition. The eggs are usually five, of a pale greenish-blue.

The females of this species are distinguished by a greener blue color and longer wings, and this bird is often called the Arctic Bluebird. It is emphatically a bird of the mountains, its visits to the lower portions of the country being mainly during winter.

Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbits’ tread.
The Robin and the Wren are flown, and from the shrubs the Jay,
And from the wood-top calls the Crow all through the gloomy day.
—Bryant.

Summary:

MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD.Sialia arctica. Other names: “Rocky Mountain” and “Arctic Bluebird.”

Range—Rocky Mountain region, north to Great Slave Lake, south to Mexico, west to the higher mountain ranges along the Pacific.

Nest—Placed in deserted Woodpecker holes, natural cavities of trees, nooks and corners of barns and outhouses; composed of dry grass.

Eggs—Commonly five, of pale, plain greenish blue.


Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Daves BirdingPix

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Daves BirdingPix

Lee’s Addition:

…In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? … If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD’S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. … For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.
(Psalms 11:1,3,4,7 KJV)

The Mountain Bluebird belongs to the Turdidae – Thrushes Family and as such have Thrush characteristics. Since blue is my favorite color, the bluebirds are some of my favorites. The Lord has used such variety in His coloration, that I am happy that blue was one of them. We have also the Eastern and Western Bluebirds plus the Asian and Philippine Fairy-bluebirds.

The Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) is a medium-sized bird weighing about 1.1 ounces (30 g) with a length from 6.3–7.9 in (16–20 cm). They have light underbellies and black eyes. Adult males have thin bills that are bright turquoise-blue and somewhat lighter beneath. Adult females have duller blue wings and tail, grey breast, grey crown, throat and back. In fresh fall plumage, the female’s throat and breast are tinged with red-orange; brownish near the flank contrasting with white tail underparts. Call is a thin few; Song is warbled high chur chur.

The mountain bluebird is migratory. Their range varies from Mexico in the winter to as far north as Alaska, throughout the western U.S. and Canada. Northern birds migrate to the southern parts of the range; southern birds are often permanent residents. Some birds may move to lower elevations in winter. They inhabit open rangelands, meadows, generally at elevations above 5,000 feet. Contrary to popular belief, mountain bluebirds are not a species of concern in the United States. The turn around in mountain bluebird numbers is due to the overwhelming efforts of landowners in the West to provide nest boxes for these birds. At one time, mountain bluebird numbers were threatened because of increased agricultural activities destroying habitats.

These birds hover over the ground and fly down to catch insects, also flying from a perch to catch them. They mainly eat insects, over 90%, and berries. They may forage in flocks in winter, when they mainly eat grasshoppers. Mountain bluebirds will come to a platform feeder with live meal worms, berries, or peanuts.

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery nest

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery nest

Their breeding habitat is open country across western North America, including mountain areas, as far north as Alaska. They nest in pre-existing cavities or in nest boxes. In remote areas, these birds are less affected by competition for natural nesting locations than other bluebirds. Mountain bluebirds are a monogamous breed. The male can be seen singing from bare branches. The singing takes place right at dawn, just when the sun rises. Females usually build the nests themselves. Eggs: pale blue and unmarked, sometimes white. Clutch Size: 4-5 eggs. Young are naked and helpless at hatching and may have some down. Incubation normally last 14 days and the young will take about 21 days before they leave the nest. Both males and females fiercely protect the nest.

It is the state bird of Idaho and Nevada.

Mountain bluebirds are cavity nesters and can become very partial to a nest box, especially if they have successfully raised a clutch. They may even re-use the same nest, though not always. Providing nest boxes is a great way to observe these beautiful birds. Mountain bluebirds will not abandon a nest if human activity is detected close by or at the nest. Because of this, mountain bluebirds can be easily banded while they are still in the nest.

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Margaret Sloan

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Margaret Sloan

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Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) by Ian Montgomery

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources, with editing)

Next Article – The English Sparrow

The Previous Article – The Ornithological Congress

Gospel Presentation

Links:

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Birds Vol 2 #6 – The Volume II. July to December 1897 – Index

Yellow-Breasted Chat (Icteria virens) by USGS

Yellow-Breasted Chat (Icteria virens) by USGS

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VOLUME II. JULY TO DECEMBER, 1897.

INDEX.

Anhinga, or Snake Bird, Anhinga Anhinga pages  Page  26-27
Avocet, American, Recurvirostra Americana 14-15
Audubon, John James 161
Bird Song Jul – Sep
More Bird MiscellanyBird Miscellany Plus 195-235
Blue Bird, Mountain, Sialia arctica 203-205
Bunting, Lazuli, Passerina amoena 196-198-199
Chimney Swift, Chætura pelagica 131-133
Captive’s Escape 116
Chat, Yellow-Breasted, Icteria virens 236-238-239
Cuckoo, Yellow-Billed, Coccyzus americanus 94-95
Dove, Mourning, Zenaidura macrura 111-112-113
Duck, Canvas-back, Athya valisneria 18-20
Duck, Mallard, Anas boschas 10-11-13
Duck, Wood, Aix Sponsa 21-23-24
Eagle, Baldheaded, Haliœtus lencocephalus 2-3-5
Flamingo, Phœnicopterus ruber 218-221
Flycatcher, Vermillion, Pyrocephalus rubineus mexicanus     Ver II 192-193
Gold Finch, American, Spinus tristis 128-129-130
Goose, White-fronted, Anser albifrons gambeli 166-168-169
Grackle, Bronzed, Quiscalus quiscula 228-230-231
Grosbeak, Evening, Cocothraustes vespertina 68-70-71
Grouse, Black, Tetrao tetrix 217-220-223
Heron, Snowy, Ardea candidissima 38-39
How the Birds Secured Their Rights 115
Humming Bird, Allen’s Selasphorus alleni 210-211
Humming Bird, Ruby-Throated, Trochilus colubris 97-100-103
Junco, Slate Colored, Junco hyemalis 153-155
Kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus 156-158-159
Kingfisher, European, Alcedo ispida 188-190-191
Kinglet, Ruby-crowned, Regulus calendula 108-110
Lark, Horned, Otocoris alpestris 134-135
Lost Mate 126
Merganser, Red-Breasted, Merganser serrator 54-55
Nuthatch, White-Breasted, Sitta carolinensis 118-119
Old Abe 35
Ornithological Congress 201
Osprey, American, Pandion paliœtus carolinenses 42-43-45
Partridge, Gambel’s, Callipepla gambeli 78-79
Phalarope, Wilson’s, Phalaropus tricolor 66-67
Pheasant, Ring-Necked, Phasianus torquatus 232-233
Phœbe, Sayornis phœbe 106-107
Plover, Belted Piping, Aegialitis meloda circumcincta 174-175
Plover, Semipalmated Ring, Aegialitis semi-polmata 6-8-9
Rail, Sora, Porzana Carolina 46-48-49
Sapsucker, Yellow-bellied, Sphyrapicus varius 137-140-143
Scoter, American, Oidemia deglandi 32-33
Skylark, Alauda arvensis 61-63-64
Snake Bird, (Anhinga) Anhinga anhinga 26-27
Snowflake, Plectrophenax nivalis 150-151-152
Sparrow, English, Passer domesticus 206-208-209
Sparrow, Song, Melospiza fasciata 90-91-93
Summaries (See each bird)
Tanager, Summer, Piranga rubra 163-165
Teal, Green winged, Anas carolinensis 213-214-215
The Bird’s Story-More Miscellany 224
Thrush, Hermit, Turdus Aonalaschkae 86-88-89
To a Water Fowl 76
Tropic Bird, Yellow-billed, Phaethon flavirostris 184-186-187
Turkey, Wild, Meleagris gallopava 177-180-183
Turnstone, Arenaria interpres 170-171
Verdin, Auriparus flaviceps 226-227
Vireo, Warbling, Vireo gilvus 138-141
Vulture, Turkey, Catharista Atrata 72-73-75
Warbler, Blackburnian, Dendroica blackburnia 123-125
Warbler, Cerulean, Dendrœca caerulea 178-181
Warbler, Kentucky, Geothlypis formosa 50-51-53
Warbler, Yellow, Dendroica æstiva 83-85
Woodcock, American, Philohela minor 28-30-31
Wren, House, Troglodytes ædon 98-101-104
Wood Pewee, Contopus Virens 144-146-147-
Yellow Legs, Totanus flavipes 58-60

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How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:17 NKJV)

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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Next Article – TBA

The Previous Article – The Yellow-breasted Chat

Wordless Birds

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Vol 2, #6 – The Yellow-breasted Chat

Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) for Birds Illustrated

Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) for Birds Illustrated

From col. F. M. Woodruff. Copyrighted by
chicago colortype co. Nature Study Pub. Co., 1897, Chicago.

THE YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.

I am often heard, but seldom seen. If I were a little boy or a little girl, grown people would tell me I should be seen and not heard. That’s the difference between you and a bird like me, you see.

It would repay you to make my acquaintance. I am such a jolly bird. Sometimes I get all the dogs in my neighborhood howling by whistling just like their masters. Another time I mew like a cat, then again I give some soft sweet notes different from those of any bird you ever heard.

In the spring, when my mate and I begin house-keeping, I do some very funny things, like the clown in a circus. I feel so happy that I go up a tree branch by branch, by short flights and jumps, till I get to the very top. Then I launch myself in the air, as a boy dives when he goes swimming, and you would laugh to see me flirting my tail, and dangling my legs, coming down into the thicket by odd jerks and motions.

It really is so funny that I burst out laughing myself, saying, chatter-chatter, chat-chat-chat-chat! I change my tune sometimes, and it sounds like who who, and tea-boy.

You must be cautious though, if you want to see me go through my performance. Even when I am doing those funny things in the air I have an eye out for my enemies. Should I see you I would hide myself in the bushes and as long as you were in sight I would be angry and say chut, chut! as cross as could be.

Have I any other name?

Yes, I am called the Yellow Mockingbird. But that name belongs to another. His picture was in the June number of Birds, so you know something about him. They say I imitate other birds as he does. But I do more than that. I can throw my voice in one place, while I am in another.

It is a great trick, and I get lots of sport out of it.

Do you know what that trick is called? If not, ask your papa. It is such a long word I am afraid to use it.

About my nest?

Oh, yes, I am coming to that. I arrive in this country about May 1, and leave for the south in the winter. My nest is nothing to boast of; rather big, made of leaves, bark, and dead twigs, and lined with fine grasses and fibrous roots. My mate lays eggs, white in color, and our little ones are, like their papa, very handsome.

Yellow-Breasted Chat (Icteria virens) WikiC

Yellow-Breasted Chat (Icteria virens) WikiC


THE YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.

imga1

COMMON name for this bird, the largest of the warblers, is the Yellow Mockingbird. It is found in the eastern United States, north to the Connecticut Valley and Great Lakes; west to the border of the Great Plains; and in winter in eastern Mexico and Guatemala. It frequents the borders of thickets, briar patches, or wherever there is a low, dense growth of bushes—the thornier and more impenetrable the better.

“After an acquaintance of many years,” says Frank M. Chapman, “I frankly confess that the character of the Yellow-Crested Chat is a mystery to me. While listening to his strange medley and watching his peculiar actions, we are certainly justified in calling him eccentric, but that there is a method in his madness no one who studies him can doubt.”

By many observers this bird is dubbed clown or harlequin, so peculiar are his antics or somersaults in the air; and by others “mischief maker,” because of his ventriloquistic and imitating powers, and the variety of his notes. In the latter direction he is surpassed only by the Mockingbird.

The mewing of a cat, the barking of a dog, and the whistling sound produced by a Duck’s wings when flying, though much louder, are common imitations with him. The last can be perfectly imitated by a good whistler, bringing the bird instantly to the spot, where he will dodge in and out among the bushes, uttering, if the whistling be repeated, a deep toned emphatic tac, or hollow, resonant meow.

In the mating season he is the noisiest bird in the woods. At this time he may be observed in his wonderful aerial evolutions, dangling his legs and flirting his tail, singing vociferously the while—a sweet song different from all his jests and jeers—and descending by odd jerks to the thicket. After a few weeks he abandons these clown-like maneuvers and becomes a shy, suspicious haunter of the depths of the thicket, contenting himself in taunting, teasing, and misleading, by his variety of calls, any bird, beast, or human creature within hearing.

All these notes are uttered with vehemence, and with such strange and various modulations as to appear near or distant, in the manner of a ventriloquist. In mild weather, during moonlight nights, his notes are heard regularly, as though the performer were disputing with the echoes of his own voice.

“Perhaps I ought to be ashamed to confess it,” says Mr. Bradford Torrey, after a visit to the Senate and House of Representatives at Washington, “but after all, the congressman in feathers interested me most. I thought indeed, that the Chat might well enough have been elected to the lower house. His volubility and waggish manners would have made him quite at home in that assembly, while his orange colored waistcoat would have given him an agreeable conspicuity. But, to be sure, he would have needed to learn the use of tobacco.”

The nest of the Chat is built in a thicket, usually in a thorny bush or thick vine five feet above the ground. It is bulky, composed exteriorly of dry leaves, strips of loose grape vine bark, and similar materials, and lined with fine grasses and fibrous roots. The eggs are three to five in number, glossy white, thickly spotted with various shades of rich, reddish brown and lilac; some specimens however have a greenish tinge, and others a pale pink.

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Summary:

YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.Icteria virens.

Range—Eastern United States to the Great Plains, north to Ontario and southern New England; south in winter through eastern Mexico to Northern Central America.

Nest—In briar thickets from two to five feet up, of withered leaves, dry grasses, strips of bark, lined with finer grasses.

Eggs—Three or four, white, with a glossy surface.


Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) by Daves BirdingPix

Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) by Daves BirdingPix

Lee’s Addition:

Like a crane or a swallow, so I chattered; I mourned like a dove; My eyes fail from looking upward. O LORD, I am oppressed; Undertake for me! (Isa 38:14 NKJV)
Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. (Psa 96:1 NKJV)

The Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) is a large songbird in the Muscicapidae – Chats, Old World Flycatchers Family. They are one of 313 members of that family. Another one of the Lord’s beautiful creatures. I haven’t seen that many, but they would sure be a delight to see.

Identification Tips: From USGS

Length: 6.25 inches
The largest warbler
Thick bill
White spectacles
Yellow throat and breast
Whitish belly and undertail coverts
Olive upperparts
Fairly long tail
Dark legs
Females and males similar in plumage
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Yellow-Breasted Chat (Icteria virens) USGS

Yellow-Breasted Chat (Icteria virens) USGS

The song of this bird is an odd, variable mixture of cackles, clucks, whistles and hoots. Their calls are harsh chak’s. Unlike most warblers, this species has been known to mimic the calls of other birds. Thus, less experienced field birdwatchers sometimes overlook chats after mistaken their song for species such as Gray Catbirds and Brown Thrashers, which share similar habitat preferences and skulking habits, though are generally much more abundant. During the breeding season, Chats are at their most conspicuous as they will usually sing from exposed locations and even fly in the open while gurgling their songs.


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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources, with editing)

Next Article – Volume II. July to December 1897 Index

The Previous Article – More Bird Miscellany

Sharing The Gospel

Links:

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Vol 2, #6 – More Bird Miscellany

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest ready to eat ©WikiC

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest ready to eat ©WikiC

BIRD MISCELLANY.

Knowledge never learned of schools
Of the wild bee’s morning chase,
Of the wild-flowers’ time and place,
Flight of fowl and habitude
Of the tenants of the wood;
How the tortoise bears his shell;
How the woodchuck digs his cell;
And the ground-mole makes his well;
How the robin feeds her young;
How the oriole’s nest is hung.
—Whittier.


Mangrove Warbler (Dendroica petechia) (aka Yellow) by Anthony747

Mangrove Warbler (Dendroica petechia) (aka Yellow) by Anthony747

Consider the marvelous life of a bird and the manner of its whole existence…. Consider the powers of that little mind of which the inner light flashes from the round bright eye; the skill in building its home, in finding its food, in protecting its mate, in serving its offspring, in preserving its own existence, surrounded as it is on all sides by the most rapacious enemies….

When left alone it is such a lovely little life—cradled among the hawthorn buds, searching for aphidæ amongst apple blossoms, drinking dew from the cup of a lily; awake when the gray light breaks in the east, throned on the topmost branch of a tree, swinging with it in the sunshine, flying from it through the air; then the friendly quarrel with a neighbor over a worm or berry; the joy of bearing grass-seed to his mate where she sits low down amongst the docks and daisies; the triumph of singing the praise of sunshine or of moonlight; the merry, busy, useful days; the peaceful sleep, steeped in the scent of the closed flower, with head under one wing and the leaves forming a green roof above.
—Ouida.


Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans) on nest by Nikhil

Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans) on nest by Nikhil

THE BIRD’S STORY.

“I once lived in a little house,
And lived there very well;
I thought the world was small and round,
And made of pale blue shell.

I lived next in a little nest,
Nor needed any other;
I thought the world was made of straw,
And brooded by my mother.

One day I fluttered from the nest
To see what I could find.
I said: ‘The world is made of leaves,
I have been very blind.’

At length I flew beyond the tree,
Quite fit for grown-up labors;
I don’t know how the world is made,
And neither do my neighbors.”


Lee’s Addition:

By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. (Psalm 104:12 NKJV)

These three miscellaneous articles give various lessons. The Bird Miscellany informs us that book learning only goes so far, then you need to go out and observe what is going on around you. Same way with bird watching. You can read all the books, but you won’t become a birdwatcher until you go watch birds.

The second segment talks of a peaceful bird just enjoying its life. Last, the Bird’s Story reminds us of growing up.

Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:14 NKJV)

Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife. (Proverbs 17:1 NKJV)

If you have an opinion, leave a comment. Always interesting to hear different points of view.

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources, with editing)

Next Article – The Yellow-breasted Chat

The Previous Article – The Ring-necked Pheasant

ABC’s of the Gospel

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Vol 2, #6 – The Ring-necked Pheasant

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) "Ring-necked" for Birds Illustrated

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) “Ring-necked” for Birds Illustrated

From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences. Copyrighted by
Nature Study Pub. Co., 1897, Chicago.

THE RING-NECKED PHEASANT.

imgw

E are fortunate in being able to present our readers with a genuine specimen of the Ring-Necked species of this remarkable family of birds, as the Ring-Neck has been crossed with the Mongolian to such an extent, especially in many parts of the United States, that they are practically the same bird now. They are gradually taking the place of Prairie Chickens, which are becoming extinct. The hen will hatch but once each year, and then in the late spring. She will hatch a covey of from eighteen to twenty-two young birds from each setting. The bird likes a more open country than the quail, and nests only in the open fields, although it will spend much time roaming through timberland. Their disposition is much like that of the quail, and at the first sign of danger they will rush into hiding. They are handy and swift flyers and runners. In the western states they will take the place of the Prairie Chicken, and in Ohio will succeed the Quail and common Pheasant.

While they are hardy birds, it is said that the raising of Mongolian-English Ring-Necked Pheasants is no easy task. The hens do not make regular nests, but lay their eggs on the ground of the coops, where they are picked up and placed in a patent box, which turns the eggs over daily. After the breeding season the male birds are turned into large parks until February.

The experiment which is now being made in Ohio—if it can be properly so termed, thousands of birds having been liberated and begun to increase—has excited wide-spread interest. A few years ago the Ohio Fish and Game Commission, after hearing of the great success of Judge Denny, of Portland, Oregon, in rearing these birds in that state, decided it would be time and money well spent if they should devote their attention and an “appropriation” to breeding and rearing these attractive game birds. And the citizens of that state are taking proper measures to see that they are protected. Recently more than two thousand Pheasants were shipped to various counties of the state, where the natural conditions are favorable, and where the commission has the assurance that the public will organize for the purpose of protecting the Pheasants. A law has been enacted forbidding the killing of the birds until November 15, 1900. Two hundred pairs liberated last year increased to over two thousand. When not molested the increase is rapid. If the same degree of success is met with between now and 1900, with the strict enforcement of the game laws, Ohio will be well stocked with Pheasants in a few years. They will prove a great benefit to the farmers, and will more than recompense them for the little grain they may take from the fields in destroying bugs and insects that are now agents of destruction to the growing crops.

The first birds were secured by Mr. E. H. Shorb, of Van Wert, Ohio, from Mr. Verner De Guise, of Rahway, N. J. A pair of Mongolian Pheasants, and a pair of English Ring-Necks were secured from the Wyandache Club, Smithtown, L. I. These birds were crossed, thus producing the English Ring-Neck Mongolian Pheasants, which are larger and better birds, and by introducing the old English Ring-Neck blood, a bird was produced that does not wander, as the thoroughbred Mongolian Pheasant does.

Such of our readers as appreciate the beauty and quality of this superb specimen will no doubt wish to have it framed for the embellishment of the dining room.

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Summary:

RING-NECKED PHEASANT.Phasianus torquatus. (Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) – Today)

Range—Throughout China; have been introduced into England and the United States.

Nest—On the ground under bushes.

Eggs—Vary, from thirteen to twenty.


Pheasant (Phasianus colchius) by Robert Scanlon

Pheasant (Phasianus colchius) by Robert Scanlon

Lee’s Addition:

“As a partridge that broods but does not hatch, So is he who gets riches, but not by right; It will leave him in the midst of his days, And at his end he will be a fool.” (Jer 17:11 NKJV)

What a lovely creation from the Creator. The male is especially beautiful and brightly feathered. The Common Pheasant is in the Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies. Family which currently has 182 species. Partridges are also part of the family and are closely related.

It is native to Asia and has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. In parts of its range, namely in places where none of its relatives occur such as in Europe (where it is naturalized), it is simply known as the “pheasant”. Ring-necked Pheasant is both the name used for the species as a whole in North America and also the collective name for a number of subspecies and their intergrades which have white neck rings.

It is a well-known gamebird, among those of more than regional importance perhaps the most widespread and ancient one in the whole world. The Common Pheasant is one of the world’s most hunted birds; it has been introduced for that purpose to many regions, and is also common on game farms where it is commercially bred. Ring-necked Pheasants in particular are commonly bred and were introduced to many parts of the world; the game farm stock, though no distinct breeds have been developed yet, can be considered semi-domesticated. The Ring-necked Pheasant is the state bird of South Dakota, one of only three U.S. state birds that is not a species native to the United States.

There are many colour forms of the male Common Pheasant, ranging in colour from nearly white to almost black in some melanistic examples. These are due to captive breeding and hybridization between subspecies and with the Green Pheasant, reinforced by continual releases of stock from varying sources to the wild.

The adult male Common Pheasant of the nominate subspecies Phasianus colchicus colchicus is 24–35 in. in length with a long brown streaked black tail, accounting for almost 20 in. of the total length. The body plumage is barred bright gold and brown plumage with green, purple and white markings. The head is bottle green with a small crest and distinctive red wattle. P. c. colchicus and some other races lack a white neck ring.

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Female

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Female

The female (hen) is much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage all over and measuring 20–25 in. long including a tail of around 8 in. Juvenile birds have the appearance of the female with a shorter tail until young males begin to grow characteristic bright feathers on the breast, head and back at about 10 weeks after hatching.

In the USA, Common Pheasants are widely known as “Ring-necked Pheasants“. More colloquial North American names include “chinks” or, in Montana, “phezzens“. In China, meanwhile, the species is properly called zhi ji (雉鸡) – “pheasant-fowl” –, essentially implying the same as the English name “Common Pheasant”. Like elsewhere, P. colchicus is such a familiar bird in China that it is usually just referred to as shan ji (山雞), “mountain chicken”, a Chinese term for pheasants in general.

There are about 30 subspecies in five (sometimes six) groups. These can be identified according to the male plumage, namely presence or absence of a white neck-ring and the color of the uppertail (rump) and wing coverts.

Common Pheasants feed solely on the ground but roost in sheltered trees at night. They eat a wide variety of animal and vegetable type-food, like fruit, seeds and leaves as well as a wide range of invertebrates, with small vertebrates like snakes, lizards, small mammals, and birds occasionally taken.

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Egg

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Egg

The males are often accompanied by a harem of several females. Common Pheasants nest on the ground, producing a clutch of around ten eggs over a two-three week period in April to June. The incubation period is about 23–26 days. The chicks stay near the hen for several weeks after hatching but grow quickly, resembling adults by only 15 weeks of age.

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Chick One Hour Old

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Chick One Hour Old

Two links, one to a photo and the other to information that I do not like, but it happens:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Game_birds_Borough_Market.jpg – Game birds at Borough Market in London.

http://www.featherstore.com/English-Ringneck-Pheasant-Tails-10-12-p/erpt1.htm – Tail feathers for sale.

One remark to these is that Our Heavenly Father knows when they fall.

… And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave (consent) and notice. (Mat 10:29 AMP)

My other remark is that, like the Partridge, they are “Clean” birds and are allowed to be eaten. I can handle that, but those that only hunt them for a plaque on their wall or feathers for a hat, for me, it is sad.

Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of the LORD, for the king of Israel has come out to seek a single flea like one who hunts a partridge in the mountains. (1Sa 26:20 ESV)

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources, with editing)

Next Article – More Bird Miscellany

The Previous Article – The Bronzed Grackle

ABC’s of the Gospel

Links:

Ring-necked Pheasant – All About Birds

Common Pheasant – Wikipedia

Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies. Family

Bible Birds – Partridge

Birds of the Bible – Partridge

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Vol 2, #6 – The Bronzed Grackle

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) "Bronzed Grackle" for Birds Illustrated

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) “Bronzed Grackle” for Birds Illustrated

From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences. Copyrighted by
Nature Study Pub. Co., 1897, Chicago.

THE BRONZED GRACKLE.

You can call me the Crow Blackbird, little folks, if you want to. People generally call me by that name.

I look something like the Crow in the March number of Birds, don’t I? My dress is handsomer than his, though. Indeed I am said to be a splendid looking bird, my bronze coat showing very finely in the trees.

The Crow said Caw, Caw, Caw! to the little boys and girls. That was his way of talking. My voice is not so harsh as his. I have a note which some people think is quite sweet; then my throat gets rusty and I have some trouble in finishing my tune. I puff out my feathers, spread my wings and tail, then lifting myself on the perch force out the other notes of my song. Maybe you have seen a singer on the stage, instead of a perch, do the same thing. Had to get on his tip-toes to reach a high note, you know.

Like the Crow I visit the cornfields, too. In the spring when the man with the plow turns over the rich earth, I follow after and pick up all the grubs and insects I can find. They would destroy the young corn if I didn’t eat them. Then, when the corn grows up, I, my sisters, and my cousins, and my aunts drop down into the field in great numbers. Such a picnic as we do have! The farmers don’t seem to like it, but certainly they ought to pay us for our work in the spring, don’t you think? Then I think worms as a steady diet are not good for anybody, not even a Crow, do you?

We like nuts, too, and little crayfish which we find on the edges of ponds. No little boy among you can beat us in going a-nutting.

We Grackles are a very sociable family, and like to visit about among our neighbors. Then we hold meetings and all of us try to talk at once. People say we are very noisy at such times, and complain a good deal. They ought to think of their own meetings. They do a great deal of talking at such times, too, and sometimes break up in a fight.

How do I know? Well, a little bird told me so.

Yes, we build our nest as other birds do; ours is not a dainty affair; any sort of trash mixed with mud will do for the outside. The inside we line with fine dry grass. My mate does most of the work, while I do the talking. That is to let the Robin and other birds know I am at home, and they better not come around.
Yours,
Mr. Bronzed Grackle.


THE BRONZED GRACKLE.

First come the Blackbirds clatt’rin in tall trees,
And settlin’ things in windy congresses,
Queer politicians though, for I’ll be skinned
If all on ’em don’t head against the wind.
—Lowell.

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Y the more familiar name of Crow Blackbird this fine but unpopular bird is known, unpopular among the farmers for his depredations in their cornfields, though the good he does in ridding the soil, even at the harvest season, of noxious insects and grubs should be set down to his credit.

The Bronzed Grackle or Western Crow Blackbird, is a common species everywhere in its range, from the Alleghenies and New England north to Hudson Bay, and west to the Rocky Mountains. It begins nesting in favorable seasons as early as the middle of March, and by the latter part of April many of the nests are finished. It nests anywhere in trees or bushes or boughs, or in hollow limbs or stumps at any height. A clump of evergreen trees in a lonely spot is a favorite site, in sycamore groves along streams, and in oak woodlands. It is by no means unusual to see in the same tree several nests, some saddled on horizontal branches, others built in large forks, and others again in holes, either natural or those made by the Flicker. A long list of nesting sites might be given, including Martin-houses, the sides of Fish Hawk’s nests, and in church spires, where the Blackbirds’ “clatterin’” is drowned by the tolling bell.

The nest is a coarse, bulky affair, composed of grasses, knotty roots mixed with mud, and lined with fine dry grass, horse hair, or sheep’s wool. The eggs are light greenish or smoky blue, with irregular lines, dots and blotches distributed over the surface. The eggs average four to six, though nests have been found containing seven.

The Bronze Grackle is a bird of many accomplishments. He does not hop like the ordinary bird, but imitates the Crow in his stately walk, says one who has watched him with interest. He can pick beech nuts, catch cray fish without getting nipped, and fish for minnows alongside of any ten-year-old. While he is flying straight ahead you do not notice anything unusual, but as soon as he turns or wants to alight you see his tail change from the horizontal to the vertical—into a rudder. Hence he is called keel-tailed.

The Grackle is as omnivorous as the Crow or Blue Jay, without their sense of humor, and whenever opportunity offers will attack and eat smaller birds, especially the defenseless young. His own meet with the like fate, a fox squirrel having been seen to emerge from a hole in a large dead tree with a young Blackbird in its mouth. The Squirrel was attacked by a number of Blackbirds, who were greatly excited, but it paid no attention to their demonstrations and scampered off into the wood with his prey. Of their quarrels with Robins and other birds much might be written. Those who wish to investigate their remarkable habits will do well to read the acute and elaborate observations of Mr. Lyndes Jones, in a recent Bulletin of Oberlin College. He has studied for several seasons the remarkable Bronze Grackle roost on the college campus at that place, where thousands of these birds congregate from year to year, and, though more or less offensive to some of the inhabitants, add considerably to the attractiveness of the university town.

The breeding habitat is open and semi-open areas across North America east of the Rocky Mountains. The nest is a well-concealed cup in dense trees (particularly pine) or shrubs, usually near water; sometimes, the Common Grackle will nest in cavities or in man-made structures. It often nests in colonies, some being quite large. Bird houses are also a suitable nesting site. There are 4-7 eggs.

This bird is a permanent resident in much of its range. Northern birds migrate in flocks to the southeastern United States.

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Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) by Raymond Barlow

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) by Raymond Barlow

Summary:

BRONZED GRACKLE.Quiscalus quiscula æneus. (Now Common Grackle)

Range—Eastern North America from the Alleghenies and New England north to Hudson Bay, west to the Rocky Mountains.

Nest—In sycamore trees and oak woodlands a coarse bulky structure of grasses, knotty roots, mixed with mud, lined with horse hair or wool.

Eggs—Four to six, of a light greenish or smoky-blue, with lines, dots, blotches and scrawls on the surface.


Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) ©©Eric Begin

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) ©©Eric Begin at Flickr

Lee’s Addition:

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Mat 6:26 NKJV)

The “Bronzed Grackle” is actually a subspecies of the Common Grackle. They are in the Icteridae – Oropendolas, Orioles & Blackbirds Family which has 108 members (IOC 3.4). In that family, there are 11 different Grackles. What a beautiful creation from the Lord. When this bird is out in the sun, it just shines.

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

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

Adult Common Grackles measure from 28 to 34 cm (11 to 13 in) in length, span 14–18 in (36–46 cm) across the wings and weigh 74–142 g (2.6–5.0 oz).[2] Common grackles are less sexually dimorphic than larger grackle species but the differences between the sexes can still be noticeable. The male, which averages 4.3 oz (122 g), is larger than the female, at an average of 3.3 oz (94 g).

Adults have a long, dark bill, pale yellowish eyes and a long tail; its feathers appear black with purple, green or blue iridescence on the head, and primarily bronze sheen in the body plumage. The adult female, beyond being smaller, is usually less iridescent; her tail in particular is shorter, and unlike the males, does not keel in flight and is brown with no purple or blue gloss. The juvenile is brown with dark brown eyes.

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) Chick ©WikiC

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) Chick ©WikiC

The common grackle forages on the ground, in shallow water or in shrubs; it will steal food from other birds. It is omnivorous, eating insects, minnows, frogs, eggs, berries, seeds, grain and even small birds and mice. Grackles at outdoor eating areas often wait eagerly until someone drops some food. They will rush forward and try to grab it, often snatching food out of the beak of another bird. Grackles prefer to eat from the ground at birdfeeders, making scattered seed an excellent choice of food for them. In shopping centers, grackles can be regularly seen foraging for bugs, especially after a lawn trimming.

Along with some other species of grackles, the common grackle is known to practice “anting,” rubbing insects on its feathers to apply liquids such as formic acid secreted by the insects. (See Birdwatching – Anting)

This bird’s song is particularly harsh, especially when these birds, in a flock, are calling. Songs vary from, year round “Chewink Chewink” to a more complex breeding season “Ooo whew,whew,whew,whew,whew” call that gets faster and faster and ends with a loud “Crewhewwhew!” It also occasionally sounds like a power line buzzing. The grackle can also mimic the sounds of other birds or even humans, though not as precisely as the mockingbird, which is known to share its habitat in the Southeastern United States.

By Chris Parrish xeno-canto

In the breeding season, males tip their heads back and fluff up feathers to display and keep other males away. This same behavior is used as a defensive posture to attempt to intimidate predators. Male common grackles are less aggressive toward one another, and more cooperative and social, than the larger boat-tailed grackle species.

Grackles tend to congregate in large groups, popularly referred to as a plague. This enables them to detect birds invading their territory, and predators, which are mobbed en masse to deter the intruders.

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula quiscula) - Purple Form By Dan'sPix

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula quiscula) – Purple Form By Dan’sPix

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources, with editing)

Next Article – The Ring-necked Pheasant

The Previous Article – The Verdin

ABC’s of the Gospel

Links:

Common Grackle – All About Birds

Common Grackle – Wikipedia

Common Grackle – National Geographic

Common Grackle – IBC Video

Common Grackle – xeno-canto

Icteridae – Oropendolas, Orioles & Blackbirds Family

Birdwatching – Anting

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Vol 2, #6 – The Verdin

Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) for Birds Illustrated

Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) for Birds Illustrated

From col. F. M. Woodruff. Copyrighted by
Nature Study Pub. Co., 1897, Chicago.

THE VERDIN.

imga1

DAINTY little creature indeed is the Yellow-headed Bush Tit, or Verdin, being smaller than the largest North American Humming Bird, which inhabits southern Arizona and southward. It is a common bird in suitable localities throughout the arid regions of Northern Mexico, the southern portions of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and in Lower California. In spite of its diminutive size it builds a remarkable structure for a nest—large and bulky, and a marvel of bird architecture. Davie says it is comparatively easy to find, being built near the ends of the branches of some low, thorny tree or shrub, and in the numerous varieties of cacti and thorny bushes which grow in the regions of its home.

The nest is globular, flask-shaped or retort shape in form, the outside being one mass of thorny twigs and stems interwoven, while the middle is composed of flower-stems and the lining is of feathers. The entrance is a small circular opening. Mr. Atwater says that the birds occupy the nests during the winter months. They are generally found nesting in the high, dry parts of the country, away from tall timber, where the thorns are the thickest. From three to six eggs are laid, of a bluish or greenish-white or pale blue, speckled, chiefly round the larger end, with reddish brown.

Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) ©WikiC

Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) ©WikiC


“The woods were made for the hunters of dreams,
The brooks for the fishers of song.
To the hunters who hunt for the gunless game
The woods and the streams belong.
There are thoughts that moan from the soul of the pine,
And thoughts in the flower-bell curled,
And the thoughts that are blown from the scent of the fern
Are as new and as old as the world.”

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Summary:

VERDIN.Auriparus flaviceps. Other name: “Yellow-headed Bush Tit.”

Range—Northern regions of Mexico and contiguous portions of the United States, from southern Texas to Arizona and Lower California.

Nest—Globular, the outside being one mass of thorny twigs and stems interwoven, and lined with feathers.

Eggs—Three to six, of a bluish or greenish white color, speckled with reddish brown.


Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) by Daves BirdingPix

Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) by Daves BirdingPix

Lee’s Addition:

but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.” (Mar 4:32 NKJV)

Verdins are in the Remizidae – Penduline Tits Family which only has 12 members. The Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) is a species of penduline tit. It is the only species in the genus Auriparus, and the only species in the family to be found in the New World.

The Verdin is a very small bird. At 4.5 inches in length, it rivals the American Bushtit as one of the smallest passerines in North America. It is gray overall, and adults have a bright yellow head and rufous “shoulder patch” (the lesser coverts). Unlike the tits, it has a sharply pointed bill.

Verdins are insectivorous, continuously foraging among the desert trees and scrubs. They are usually solitary except when they pair up to construct their conspicuous nests. Verdins occasionally try to obtain tidbits of dried sugar-water from hummingbird feeders.

Verdins are permanent residents of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, ranging from southeastern California to Texas, throughout Baja California and into central Mexico, north of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt.

The common name of the family reflects the tendency of most species to construct elaborate pear-shaped nests. These nests are woven from spiderweb, wool and animal hair and soft plant materials and is suspended from twigs and branches in trees. The nests of the African genus Anthoscopus are even more elaborate than the Eurasian Remiz, incorporating a false entrance above the true entrance which leads to a false chamber. The true nesting chamber is accessed by the parent opening a hidden flap, entering and then closing the flap shut again, the two sides sealing with sticky spider webs.

Verdins are known to build two types of nest; one for raising chicks and one for the winter, which has thicker insulation. A nest built in the summer has the opening toward the prevailing winds.

Following are a series of photos showing Verdins working on their nests. (From Verdin and Nest Photographs and Sound Recording @Earle Robinson)

Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) Building Nest 1 ©Earle Robinson

Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) Building Nest ©Earle Robinson

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Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) Building Nest 2 ©Earle Robinson

Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) Building Nest ©Earle Robinson

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Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) Building Nest 3©Earle Robinson

Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) Building Nest ©Earle Robinson

(Wikipedia and other internet sources)

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for October 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources, with editing)

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The Previous Article – The American Flamingo

Wordless Birds

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