Do You Have Questions About Easter?

Do You Have Questions About Easter?

1. Why is Good Friday good?

The reason “Good Friday” is good isn’t simply because we have a day off work or school or eat candy! Rather, it is because we remember Jesus’ death on the cross which happened two thousand years ago. However, we must be clear: what happened to Jesus was wicked, unfair, and plain not good. He was betrayed by his friends, falsely accused, mocked and tortured, and killed on the cross.

Crucifixion was left for the worst of the worst offenders. It was humiliating, slow, painful, and understood as being under God’s curse (Deuteronomy 21:23).

We all get angry at the wrong things that we see throughout the world: poverty, abuse, cruelty, starvation. It is right to feel angry about what happened to Jesus, which was unjust: Jesus was innocent and didn’t deserve to die (Luke 23:41). More than that, Jesus is the Son of God, the author of life, and so should have been treated with the respect he deserved (Mark 12:6-8). However, instead of worshipping him, he was killed.

If what happened on Good Friday isn’t good at all, then why is it called Good Friday? Well, it’s because of what Jesus accomplished by his death on the cross: We can now be friends with God!

1 Peter 3:18 says: “Christ died once for our sins. An innocent person died for those who are guilty. Christ did this to bring you to God.”

It’s called Good Friday because it’s good for us.

2. Why didn’t Jesus avoid being crucified?

I know if I was the Son of God, I would zap the soldiers and get out of there! Right from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he knew that it would lead to his death (Mark 2:20, 8:31, 9:12, 10:33-34)—but, he decided to walk to his death in Jerusalem (Luke 9:51). Rather than encouraging his disciples to defend him from being captured, he told them to do nothing, and went with his accusers (John 18:11). If his disciples weren’t enough, he could have called on twelve armies of angels to rescue him (Matthew 26:53)! But, instead, he did nothing. Even when he was left to die on the cross, he was still in control of the situation (John 10:18).

If this is the case, then why didn’t Jesus avoid being crucified? It’s because Jesus loves us!

John 15:13 says: “The greatest way to show love for friends is to die for them.”

Jesus loves us so much that he was willing to put his actions where his mouth was. Instead of avoiding the cross, he willingly died on it. But, the question remains: “Why was this necessary?”

3. Why did Jesus die?

Have you ever hit someone, like your brother or sister? Or said something mean like, “No one likes you!” Or thought something like, “I wish that person was never born!”

These are examples of sin. Sin stops us from being friends with God, and needs to be fixed.

Jesus, on his way to the cross, asked God if there was any other way we could be friends with him (Matthew 26:39,42). But there was not—the cross is the place where Jesus fixed the problem of sin by taking the punishment on himself.

This happened when Jesus cried out from the cross, “Everything is done!” It is at that point that he had suffered separation from God, and received the punishment we deserve (Mark 15:34; John 19:30). Jesus, who was sinless, died so that we can be friends with God.

2 Corinthians 5:21 says: “Christ [Jesus] never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God.”

We are friends with God because Jesus took our punishment.

4. Did Jesus really die?

Sometimes when I’m playing with my brothers, I’ll pretend to be dead. They jump on me and then leave me alone. You might do the same thing. Did Jesus really die or did he just pretend to be dead?

The Roman soldiers knew how to kill their criminals. Their lives were on the line if they didn’t do their job properly. After Jesus’ death on the cross, Pilate had the people on the crosses checked to see if they were dead.

Check out what John 19:33-35 says: “But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, and they did not break his legs. One of the soldiers stuck his spear into Jesus’ side, and blood and water came out. We know this is true, because it was told by someone who saw it happen. Now you can have faith too.”

John says that from the hole in Jesus’ side, blood and water flowed out. When a person dies, the blood and water separate, and so when John says this we know that Jesus was definitely dead.

5. Did Jesus really come back alive?

The first people at Jesus’ tomb were women. Back in Jesus’ day a court of law wouldn’t trust what a woman would say. If you were making up a story of Jesus coming back to life, you wouldn’t have women being the first people to go to the tomb (Mark 16:1-8).

Some people say that the disciples stole Jesus’ body to make it look like he came back to life. The disciples couldn’t steal the body because there were soldiers guarding the tomb (Matthew 27:62-66). Later, many of the disciples died for what they believed. No one would die for a lie.

Jesus also appeared to over 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:6), and he appeared to these people over a period of forty days, giving them proof that he was alive (Acts 1:3).

Jesus coming back to life is really important. Anyone can die and stay dead. Jesus coming back to life proves that he has died to take away your sin. Jesus has beaten death. It shows he is Christ the Lord, the Son of God (Acts 2:36). We have confidence that we will be raised when Jesus returns.

1 Corinthians 15:20 says: “But Christ has been raised to life! And he makes us certain that others will also be raised to life.” Jesus was raised and went to heaven, and so will everyone who trusts in him.

What about you? Have you trusted in Jesus who died for you and rose again? Celebrate this Easter season with Jesus as your Savior by putting your trust in him today!

ABC’s of the Gospel

CEV Version from MWTB.org

Emma’s Tales Retold – George the Hummingbird

Emma’s Tales Retold – George the Hummingbird

In a tropical rainforest by the shores of Chile, there lived two hummingbirds. One was named George and the other was named Frank. They both lived next door to each other in the rainforest and looked a lot alike. They both had pink, green, and blue feathers which were great camouflage. They were great friends.

Now George and Frank were hummingbirds so they were supposed to be able to fly backward. But George never could fly backward. Finally, one day, he was determined to learn how to fly that way. He flew over to Frank’s house, the next tree over, and knocked on the door with his long beak.

“I need your help,” he said. “I want to finally learn how to fly backward.”

“That will be easy,” said Frank. “I’ll show you.”

They found a big enough space to fly long distances and Frank demonstrated. He flew to a giant palm tree and back quite easily, flying backward. After several attempts, George wasn’t getting any better. The first three times, he fell; and, the fourth time, working his wings the wrong way, he flew into a tree and got his head stuck. Frank had to pull him out.

Then Frank had a solution. He grabbed a battery-powered fan and some rope. He tied the fan onto George’s stomach and turned it on. George was off! Sometimes he would fly so fast, he would run into a tree. A Toucan, living nearby, was so unhappy about this that he squawked angrily and chased them to another tree.

Eventually, George mastered flying backward with the fan, so Frank decided to try him once without it. George tried again and again, but it was always better with the fan. Frank helped him put it back on. George used the fan for flying backward from then on. That was just his way of doing it.

The End

(By Emma Foster a Kids Writer. She is 13.)[Now 18]

One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor…. (Proverbs 12:26 ESV)

Everyone helps his neighbor and says to his brother, “Be strong!” (Isaiah 41:6 ESV)

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More of Emma’s Stories

Her latest story

*** As I am bringing back the Kids articles, thought you might enjoy re-reading these tales.

If you would like to send in a Bird Tale that you have written, send it to Lee@Leesbird.com to be considered. It can be written by a younger writer or written with the young readers in mind. ***

The Wise Owl

Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) Reinier Munguia

Northern Barred Owl (Strix varia) Reinier Munguia

The Wise Owl

Have you ever heard of someone described as being “wise as an owl”? I suppose, more than anything else, that the owl’s large head and wide-open eyes mark him out as a symbol of wisdom. In any case, he is a remarkable bird, wonderfully designed and fitted by the wisdom and power of the Creator for his peculiar life. At night he is able to see far better than in the day; and in the day he is able to safely hide himself from his enemies.

Can you see in the dark?

Are you wise like the owl? Are you able to see in the night? Do you wonder what I mean? Let me try to tell you…

You see, sin has produced spiritual darkness in this world—a darkness so great that when Jesus was here as the Light of the world, “men loved darkness rather than Light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). And what did they do? They crucified Him because they did not want Him; they did not love Him. They did not see Him to be the Son of God who came to shed His blood and to die so that sinners like you and me might be saved.

Let me ask you: Do you know Him as the Son of God who died for you? Do you love Him? If so, then you, like the owl, have wide-open eyes in this time of night caused by the Lord Jesus Christ’s absence from this world. If you do not, then BE WISE and trust Him as your Saviour. Then you will be able to say with the blind man who Jesus healed, “One thing I KNOW, that, whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25).

White-fronted Scops Owl (Otus sagittatus) by MAMuin

White-fronted Scops Owl (Otus sagittatus) by MAMuin

Are you safe from the enemy?

Are you wise like the owl? Are you able to safely hide yourself in the day? Again, do you wonder what I mean? Let me tell you…

This is the daytime of God’s salvation and grace, but do you know that the enemy of your soul stalks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour? Who is that, do you ask? It is none other than Satan, the Devil, who has many deceitful tricks to make you fall into his hands. You are no match for his power nor his cunning, so you need a refuge from him—a hiding place for your soul. Is there such a hiding place? Yes! The Hiding Place is the same One who gives light so the wise may see. It is the Lord Jesus Christ (Psalm 32:7). He is referred to as the ROCK of our Salvation (Psalm 95:1)—the place of strength, safety and security. He defeated the Devil at the Cross where He was smitten for our sins, and became the “Rock of Ages” cleft for sinners. Your safety depends solely upon hiding in Him. There is no other salvation for you than in the Lord Jesus. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

How to be wise

BE WISE! Come to the Lord Jesus Christ NOW! How do you come? Come just as you are, confessing to Him that you are a sinner, and tell Him you believe He died for your sins on Calvary. He will then become your Saviour.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

You will then have in Jesus Christ a Light in the darkness, and a Hiding Place from danger and judgment for time and eternity. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

—D.T.J.

Bible Birds – Great Grey Owl

This video is great. If you do not chuckle, then you should. After the video, we will share some information about this Owl.

“The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,” (Deuteronomy 14:16 KJV)

This Great Grey Owl is a “great owl” for sure. Love those eyes. “The Great Grey Owl or Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) is a very large owl, documented as the world’s largest species of owl by length. It is distributed across the Northern Hemisphere, and it is the only species in the Strix genus found in both Eastern and Western Hemispheres. In some areas it is also called Phantom of the North, cinereous owl, spectral owl, Lapland owl, spruce owl, bearded owl, and sooty owl.’

“Adults have a large rounded head with a grey face and yellow eyes with darker circles around them. The underparts are light with dark streaks; the upper parts are grey with pale bars. This owl does not have ear tufts and has the largest facial disc of any raptor. There is a white collar or “bow tie” just below the beak. The long tail tapers to a rounded end.”

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) WikiC

Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) WikiC

“In terms of length, the great grey owl is believed to exceed the Eurasian eagle-owl and the Blakiston’s fish owl as the world’s largest owl. The great grey is outweighed by those two species as well as several others, including most of the Bubo genus. Much of its size is deceptive, since this species’ fluffy feathers, large head and the longest tail of any extant owl obscure a body lighter than that of most other large owls. The length ranges from 61 to 84 cm (24 to 33 in), averaging 72 cm (28 in) for females and 67 cm (26 in) for males. The wingspan can exceed 152 cm (5 ft 0 in), but averages 142 cm (4 ft 8 in) for females and 140 cm (4 ft 7 in) for males. The adult weight ranges from 580 to 1,900 g (1.28 to 4.19 lb), averaging 1,290 g (2.84 lb) for females and 1,000 g (2.2 lb) for males. The males are usually smaller than females, as with most owl species.”

“They breed in North America from as far east as Quebec to the Pacific coast and Alaska, and from Finland and Estonia across northern Asia. They are permanent residents, although northerly populations may move south and southeast when food is scarce. In Europe, they are found breeding in Norway and Sweden and more numerously through Finland and Russia. Even though the species occurs in Europe, the first great grey owl recognized by science was found in Canada in the late 18th century.”

Information from Wikipedia with editing. See more about them: Great Grey Owl – Wikipedia

The Video was from Paul Dinning Wildlife.

The Owl is a bird that is mentioned in the Bible 10 times. [Leviticus 11:16, 17; Deuteronomy 14:15, 16; Psalm 102:6; Isaiah 34:11, 14, 15]

See:

Wordless Toucan

Taxi Please!

Great Egret on Alligator at Gatorland 3-8-16 by Lee

These two videos are of the Great Egret and Great Blue Heron using –

Gatorland’s Taxi Service.

To say they are somewhat nuts is mild. It is amazing how some mixed critters seem to get along, though.

We always enjoy our trips over to Orlando to see the activity. Sometimes weird and other times fine. The first video shows the Egret trying to let the gator to start moving.  :)

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.” (Isaiah 11:6-7 KJV)

These birds and alligators have learned to get along already. This is just a small taste of what it will be like when sin is removed from the world.

Bible Birds – Herons

Gatorland Birdwatching Trips

Wordless Birds

 

 

Birdwatching Term – Frontal Shield

White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera) Cropped ©WikiC

White-winged Coot (Fulica leucoptera) Cropped ©WikiC

Frontal Shield

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

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

What is a “frontal shield”?

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

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

See:

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Jenny Wren Arrives – Chapter 1

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ray

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ray

Jenny Wren Arrives

Introducing the House Wren

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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CHAPTER I. Jenny Wren Arrives.

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Listen to the story read.

Lipperty-lipperty-lip scampered Peter Rabbit behind the tumble-down stone wall along one side of the Old Orchard. It was early in the morning, very early in the morning. In fact, jolly, bright Mr. Sun had hardly begun his daily climb up in the blue, blue sky. It was nothing unusual for Peter to see jolly Mr. Sun get up in the morning. It would be more unusual for Peter not to see him, for you know Peter is a great hand to stay out all night and not go back to the dear Old Briar-patch, where his home is, until the hour when most folks are just getting out of bed.

Peter had been out all night this time, but he wasn’t sleepy, not the least teeny, weeny bit. You see, sweet Mistress Spring had arrived, and there was so much happening on every side, and Peter was so afraid he would miss something, that he wouldn’t have slept at all if he could have helped it. Peter had come over to the Old Orchard so early this morning to see if there had been any new arrivals the day before.

“Birds are funny creatures,” said Peter, as he hopped over a low place in the old stone wall and was fairly in the Old Orchard.

Jenny Wren - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Jenny Wren – Burgess Bird Book ©©

“Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut!” cried a rather sharp scolding voice. “Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut! You don’t know what you are talking about, Peter Rabbit. They are not funny creatures at all. They are the most sensible folks in all the wide world.”

Peter cut a long hop short right in the middle, to sit up with shining eyes. “Oh, Jenny Wren, I’m so glad to see you! When did you arrive?” he cried.

“Mr. Wren and I have just arrived, and thank goodness we are here at last,” replied Jenny Wren, fussing about, as only she can, in a branch above Peter. “I never was more thankful in my life to see a place than

I am right this minute to see the Old Orchard once more. It seems ages and ages since we left it.”

“Well, if you are so fond of it what did you leave it for?” demanded Peter. “It is just as I said before—you birds are funny creatures. You never stay put; at least a lot of you don’t. Sammy Jay and Tommy Tit the Chickadee and Drummer the Woodpecker and a few others have a little sense; they don’t go off on long, foolish journeys. But the rest of you—”

“Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut!” interrupted Jenny Wren. “You don’t know what you are talking about, and no one sounds so silly as one who tries to talk about something he knows nothing about.”

Peter chuckled. “That tongue of yours is just as sharp as ever,” said he. “But just the same it is good to hear it. We certainly would miss it. I was beginning to be a little worried for fear something might have happened to you so that you wouldn’t be back here this summer. You know me well enough, Jenny Wren, to know that you can’t hurt me with your tongue, sharp as it is, so you may as well save your breath to tell me a few things I want to know. Now if you are as fond of the Old Orchard as you pretend to be, why did you ever leave it?”

Jenny Wren’s bright eyes snapped. “Why do you eat?” she asked tartly.

“Because I’m hungry,” replied Peter promptly.

“What would you eat if there were nothing to eat?” snapped Jenny.

“That’s a silly question,” retorted Peter.

“No more silly than asking me why I leave the Old Orchard,” replied Jenny. “Do give us birds credit for a little common sense, Peter. We can’t live without eating any more than you can, and in winter there is no food at all here for most of us, so we go where there is food. Those who are lucky enough to eat the kinds of food that can be found here in winter stay here. They are lucky. That’s what they are—lucky. Still—” Jenny Wren paused.

“Still what?” prompted Peter.

“I wonder sometimes if you folks who are at home all the time know just what a blessed place home is,” replied Jenny. “It is only six months since we went south, but I said it seems ages, and it does. The best part of going away is coming home. I don’t care if that does sound rather mixed; it is true just the same. It isn’t home down there in the sunny South, even if we do spend as much time there as we do here. THIS is home, and there’s no place like it! What’s that, Mr. Wren? I haven’t seen all the Great World? Perhaps I haven’t, but I’ve seen enough of it, let me tell you that! Anyone who travels a thousand miles twice a year as we do has a right to express an opinion, especially if they have used their eyes as I have mine. There is no place like home, and you needn’t try to tease me by pretending that there is. My dear, I know you; you are just as tickled to be back here as I am.”

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ian

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ian

“He sings as if he were,” said Peter, for all the time Mr. Wren was singing with all his might.

Jenny Wren looked over at Mr. Wren fondly. “Isn’t he a dear to sing to me like that? And isn’t it a perfectly beautiful spring song?” said she. Then, without waiting for Peter to reply, her tongue rattled on. “I do wish he would be careful. Sometimes I am afraid he will overdo. Just look at him now! He is singing so hard that he is shaking all over. He always is that way. There is one thing true about us Wrens, and this is that when we do things we do them with all our might. When we work we work with all our might. When Mr. Wren sings he sings with all his might.”

“And, when you scold you scold with all your might,” interrupted Peter mischievously.

Jenny Wren opened her mouth for a sharp reply, but laughed instead. “I suppose I do scold a good deal,” said she, “but if I didn’t goodness knows who wouldn’t impose on us. I can’t bear to be imposed on.”

“Did you have a pleasant journey up from the sunny South?” asked Peter.

“Fairly pleasant,” replied Jenny. “We took it rather easily, Some birds hurry right through without stopping, but I should think they would be tired to death when they arrive. We rest whenever we are tired, and just follow along behind Mistress Spring, keeping far enough behind so that if she has to turn back we will not get caught by Jack Frost. It gives us time to get our new suits on the way. You know everybody expects you to have new things when you return home. How do you like my new suit, Peter?” Jenny bobbed and twisted and turned to show it off. It was plain to see that she was very proud of it.

“Very much,” replied Peter. “I am very fond of brown. Brown and gray are my favorite colors.” You know Peter’s own coat is brown and gray.

“That is one of the most sensible things I have heard you say,” chattered Jenny Wren. “The more I see of bright colors the better I like brown. It always is in good taste. It goes well with almost everything. It is neat and it is useful. If there is need of getting out of sight in a hurry you can do it if you wear brown. But if you wear bright colors it isn’t so easy. I never envy anybody who happens to have brighter clothes than mine. I’ve seen dreadful things happen all because of wearing bright colors.”

“What?” demanded Peter.

“I’d rather not talk about them,” declared Jenny in a very emphatic way. “‘Way down where we spent the winter some of the feathered folks who live there all the year round wear the brightest and most beautiful suits I’ve ever seen. They are simply gorgeous. But I’ve noticed that in times of danger these are the folks dreadful things happen to. You see they simply can’t get out of sight. For my part I would far rather be simply and neatly dressed and feel safe than to wear wonderful clothes and never know a minute’s peace. Why, there are some families I know of which, because of their beautiful suits, have been so hunted by men that hardly any are left. But gracious, Peter Rabbit, I can’t sit here all day talking to you! I must find out who else has arrived in the Old Orchard and must look my old house over to see if it is fit to live in.”

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Why did Jenny and Peter Wren leave? Do you know what that is called?

How far did they travel?

What color are they and why does Jenny like it?

What kind of tongue did Jenny have? How is your tongue?

Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 NASB)

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Links:

Bully the English Sparrow, Chippy the Chipping Sparrow - Burgess Bird Book ©©

 

  Next Chapter – The Old Orchard Bully

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) ©WikiC   Wordless Birds

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Bible Birds – Lessons From The Heron

Green Heron (Butorides virescens) by Lee

Green Heron (Butorides virescens) by Lee

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; (Job 12:7 NKJV)

I have been thinking about that Green Heron in the video I previously. (Green Heron Fishing With Bread) The verse above makes me think there has to be some lessons to learn from it. These are just some of my thoughts and I am sure you can come up with some of your own.

One that comes to thought right off is that bird’s patience. Are we?

These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. (Psalms 104:27-28 KJV)

The verse used in the article tells how the Lord protects and provides for His creation. Will He not provide for us also. He loves us and wants to meet our needs, just as was provided for this Heron.

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? (Matthew 6:26 NKJV)

Another lesson is that the bird is doing something that we wouldn’t think it could do. You wonder where it learned that behavior. For us, the Lord wants us to do something, and if we are willing, we are amazed at what we can do. Things we would never think we had the capacity to do He helps us perform..

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. (Mark 9:23 KJV)

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13 KJV)

He (the heron) has a goal in mind and isn’t going to give up even though it takes several attempts to accomplish his goal. The Lord tells us to become “fishers of men” and we need to keep trying and not give up. Even when our “bread” is down to hardly anything and you think you might as well give up, you try one more time.

So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. (1 Corinthians 3:7-8 KJV)

On a more light side, I am not so sure that the Heron wasn’t bordering on “gluttony.” Did you see that last part where it is swallowing the fish. Looks like it almost “bit of more than it could chew.”

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (Romans 13:14 KJV)

These are but a few and if you have some, leave a comment and share them with us.

Bible Birds

Bible Birds – Herons

Birds of the Bible – Herons

Birds of the Bible

Wordless Birds

The Autobiography of a Duck

Pecking duckling ©WikiC

Pecking duckling ©WikiC

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A DUCK.
FOUNDED UPON FACT.

“How queer, my child! what a long, broad mouth you have, and what peculiar feet!”

It was my mother, a big brown hen, who spoke. I had stepped from my egg, only a short while before, and as I was the only one hatched out of the whole thirteen, my poor mother was greatly disappointed.

Now, to add to her troubles, there seemed to be something very peculiar about my appearance.

“Yes,” she went on still watching me critically, “I have raised many families, but never a chick like you. Well! well! don’t cry about it. Your yellow dress is very pretty. It doesn’t pay to be too sensitive, as you will find, I am afraid, when you have lived with these chickens. Some of them are dreadfully trying. Dear! dear! how stiff I am! This setting is tiresome work.”

“I wonder what sort of home we are going to have.”

Our home, into which we moved a few hours later, proved to be an upturned soap box. Seven little chickens were there before us.

“The same old story,” said my mother with a knowing air. “People imagine we hens have no sense. I did not hatch those chickens, but I am expected to care for them, as though I did. Some mothers would peck them so they would be glad to stay away.”

She had too good a heart for this, however, and I was very glad to have these brothers and sisters.

Chick ©PD

Chick ©PD

They were different from me, though, in many ways, principally, in their dislike for water. They hated even to get their feet wet, while I dearly loved to get in the pond, and swim around on its surface, or even dive down to the bottom, where such nice fat worms lived.

My poor mother never could understand my tastes. The first time she saw me on the water, she came rushing towards me, screaming and beating her wings.

“Oh, my child! my child!” she cried, with tears in her eyes. “You will drown! You will drown!”

I loved her, and so could not bear to see her distress. It was hard to be different from all the others.

I had a little yellow sister who was a great comfort to me at these times. I could never persuade her to try the water,—but she always sat upon the edge of the pond while I had my swim. We shared everything with each other; even our troubles.

About this time, my voice began to change. It had been a soft little “peep,” but now it grew so harsh, that some of the old hens made unpleasant remarks about it, and my mother was worried.

“It isn’t talking. It’s quacking,” said an old, brown-headed hen who was always complaining of her nerves.

She was very cross and spent most of her time standing on one leg in a corner and pecking any poor chicken that came in her reach.

“Don’t you know why it’s quacking?” asked a stately Buff Cochin who was a stranger in the yard; having arrived only that morning. “That child isn’t a chicken. She’s a duck.”

“What you giving us?” said a dandified Cock, who was busy pluming his feathers. “Whoever heard of a duck?”

“Not you, I daresay,” answered the Buff with a contemptuous sniff. “It’s easy to see you have never been away from this yard. I have traveled, I would have you understand, and I know a duck, too.”

“Well, I don’t care what you call her,” snapped the cross one. “I only hope she’ll keep her voice out of my hearing. The sound of it gives me nervous prostration.”

Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) chick ©USFWS

Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) chick ©USFWS

As for poor me,—I stole quietly away, and went up into a corner of the chicken house to cry. I was a duck, alas! and different from all about me. No wonder I was lonely.

My mother asked the cause of my trouble, and when I told her she looked sad and puzzled. “I don’t know what a duck is,” she sighed, “things have been strangely mixed. But cheer up. Whatever comes you are still my child.”

That was indeed a comfort to me. For never had chicken or duck a better mother.

There was consolation also, in what the kind old Buff Cochin told me.

I had nothing to be ashamed of, she said, for ducks were much esteemed by those who knew them.

From her this had more weight, for we all regarded the Buff Cochin as very superior. They were well born, and well bred, and had seen life in many places. Their husband, too, was a thorough gentleman.

However, he also was having his troubles now. He was losing his old feathers, and his new ones were long in coming. Consequently, his appearance was shabby, and he staid away from the hens.

Duck Drawing ©PD

Duck Drawing ©PD

Poor fellow, he looked quite forlorn, leaning up against a sunny corner of the barn, trying to keep warm. I believe he felt the loss of his tail feathers most for the young roosters who strutted by in their fine new coats, made sneering remarks about it.

I was very sorry for him, but my own troubles were getting to be as much as I could bear; for just when I needed a sympathetic mother she was taken from me and her place filled by a big, bare-headed hen as high tempered as she was homely.

“Raising a duck,” she said with a contemptuous sniff at me. “I never supposed I’d come to that. Well, I’ll keep you, but understand one thing, don’t go quacking around me, and don’t bring your wet and mud into the house. I’m not your other mother. My children don’t rule me. I won’t have that Mrs. Redbreast saying my house is dirty. There’s no standing that hen anyhow. I’ll give her my opinion if she puts on her airs around me. There’s too much mixture here. One can’t tell where breed begins or ends.”

It was not many days later, before my mother and Mrs. Redbreast came to words and then blows. The cause was only a worm, but it was enough. Mrs. Redbreast insisted that it was hers. My mother thought otherwise, and with a screech of defiance rushed upon her enemy. Dust and feathers flew. We children withdrew to a safe distance, and with necks stretched watched in fear and trembling.

The fight, though fierce, was short. Our mother was victorious, but she had lost the tail feathers of which she had been so proud, and I am sure she never forgave Mrs. Redbreast.

Chicks and Ducklings ©PD

Chicks and Ducklings ©PD

Like children, chickens and ducks grow older and bigger with the passing days.

In time we were taken from our mothers and put to roost with the older hens and cocks. I was not made to roost so I spent my nights alone in a corner of the chicken house.

It was quieter down there—for up above the chickens all fought for best place, and their cackling and fluttering was disturbing.

The old gentleman was very heavy. Not only was it hard for him to fly up to the roost, but equally hard for him to hold on when once there. Yet I could never persuade him to rest on the floor with me. Like his kind, he preferred the discomfort of sleeping on a pole—a taste I cannot understand.

Three Ducklings ©WikiC

Three Ducklings ©WikiC

I was four months old before I saw one of my own kind. Then, one day three ducks were brought into the yard. They did not seem to mind being stared at, but fell to eating corn and talking among themselves.

“Horribly greedy,” said Mrs. Redbreast. “I for one don’t care to associate with them.”

“Now you know what you look like, old quacker,” snapped the cross hen, with a peck at me. “My poor nerves will suffer sadly now.”

These unkind remarks scarcely disturbed me, however. There was a new feeling stirring in my heart. I am afraid you will have to be a duck, and live a long time without other ducks, to understand it. Here were companions, whose natures and tastes were like mine, and I was content.

Louise Jamison.


Lee’s Addition:

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 KJV)

Trust you enjoyed this delightful bird tale about a duck. This was written by Louise Jamison in the Birds and Nature Vol. X, No. 3, Octorber 1901.

Near the end, when our duckling met up with some of her own and made this remark: “Here were companions, whose natures and tastes were like mine, and I was content.” I couldn’t but think of how we as Christian feel a certain bond when we are around like believers.

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9 KJV)

that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3 ESV)

This is from Gutenberg’s ebooks.

Kid’s Section

Bird Tales

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Birds Vol 1 #6 – The Black-crowned Night Heron

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. June, 1897 No. 6

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black-crowned night heronblack-crowned night heron.
From col. Chi. Acad. Sciences.

THE BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON.

imgt

HAT a beautiful creature this is! A mounted specimen requires, like the Snowy Owl, the greatest care and a dust tight glass case to preserve its beauty. Dr. Coues’ account of it should be read by those who are interested in the science of ornithology. It is a common bird in the United States and British Provinces, being migratory and resident in the south. Heronries, sometimes of vast extent, to which they return year after year, are their breeding places. Each nest contains three or four eggs of a pale, sea-green color. Observe the peculiar plumes, sometimes two, in this case three, which spring from the back of the head. These usually lie close together in one bundle, but are often blown apart by the wind in the form of streamers. This Heron derives its name from its habits, as it is usually seen flying at night, or in the early evening, when it utters a sonorous cry of quaw or quawk. It is often called Quawk or Qua-Bird.

On the return of the Black-Crowned Night Heron in April, he promptly takes possession of his former home, which is likely to be the most solitary and deeply shaded part of a cedar swamp. Groves of swamp oak in retired and water covered places, are also sometimes chosen, and the males often select tall trees on the bank of the river to roost upon during the day. About the beginning of twilight they direct their flight toward the marshes, uttering in a hoarse and hollow tone, the sound qua. At this hour all the nurseries in the swamps are emptied of their occupants, who disperse about the marshes along the ditches and river shore in search of food. Some of these nesting places have been occupied every spring and summer for many years by nearly a hundred pair of Herons. In places where the cedars have been cut down and removed the Herons merely move to another part of the swamp, not seeming greatly disturbed thereby; but when attacked and plundered they have been known to remove from an ancient home in a body to some unknown place.

The Heron’s nest is plain enough, being built of sticks. On entering the swamp in the neighborhood of one of the heronries the noise of the old and young birds equals that made by a band of Indians in conflict. The instant an intruder is discovered, the entire flock silently rises in the air and removes to the tops of the trees in another part of the woods, while sentries of eight or ten birds make occasional circuits of inspection.

The young Herons climb to the tops of the highest trees, but do not attempt to fly. While it is probable these birds do not see well by day, they possess an exquisite facility of hearing, which renders it almost impossible to approach their nesting places without discovery. Hawks hover over the nests, making an occasional sweep among the young, and the Bald Eagle has been seen to cast a hungry eye upon them.

The male and female can hardly be distinguished. Both have the plumes, but there is a slight difference in size.

The food of the Night Heron, or Qua-Bird, is chiefly fish, and his two interesting traits are tireless watchfulness and great appetite. He digests his food with such rapidity that however much he may eat, he is always ready to eat again; hence he is little benefited by what he does eat, and is ever in appearance in the same half-starved state, whether food is abundant or scarce.


Black-crowned Night Heron at Lake Hollingsworth By Dan

Black-crowned Night Heron at Lake Hollingsworth By Dan

Lee’s Addition:

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax nævius) Crown and back greenish black lower back, wings and tail ashy; head with two or three rounded white plumes, except just after breeding season. Young. Grayish brown streaked with white; below white streaked with blackish; outer webs of primaries, pale rufous. Notes. An explosive qûawk.

Range.—Western hemisphere; breeds in North America north to New Brunswick, Quebec, Manitoba, and Oregon; winters from California and Gulf States southward.

Frequently several nests will be found in the same tree, and I have counted as many as fifty nests in view at the same time. In large swamps in the south they generally nest at a low elevation, while in the marshes of Wisconsin and Minnesota, large colonies of them nest on the ground, making their nest of rushes. Like all Heronries, those of this species have a nauseating odor, from the remains of decayed fish, etc., which are strewn around the bases of the trees. Their eggs number from three to five and are of a pale bluish green color. Size 2.00 × 1.40. 4 eggs. Nest of sticks, about thirty feet up in a pine tree. Many other nests (From the Bird Book)

Adults are approximately 64 cm (25 in) long and weigh 800 g (28 oz). They have a black crown and back with the remainder of the body white or grey, red eyes, and short yellow legs. They have pale grey wings and white under parts. Two or three long white plumes, erected in greeting and courtship displays, extend from the back of the head. The sexes are similar in appearance although the males are slightly larger. Black-crowned Night Herons do not fit the typical body form of the heron family. They are relatively stocky and about 25 in tall (63 cm) with shorter bills, legs, and necks than their more familiar cousins the egrets and “day” herons. Their resting posture is normally somewhat hunched but when hunting they extend their necks and look more like other wading birds.

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) on nest by Nikhil Devasar

These birds stand still at the water’s edge and wait to ambush prey, mainly at night or early morning. They primarily eat small fish, crustaceans, frogs, aquatic insects, small mammals and small birds. During the day they rest in trees or bushes. N. n. hoactli is more gregarious outside the breeding season than the nominate race. (Wikipedia)

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) ©WikiC

Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) ©WikiC

Now there is a case of almost biting off more than you can chew.

The Night Herons are in the Ardeidae – Herons, Bitterns Family of the Pelicaniformes Order. There are 72 species in the family.

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 June, 1897 No 6 - Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 June, 1897 No 6 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for May 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)

Next Article – The Ring-billed Gull

Previous Article – The Mockingbird

 

Sharing The Gospel

Links:

Black-crowned Night Heron – Wikipedia

Black-crowned Night Heron – All About Birds

Bible Birds – Herons

Birds of the Bible – Herons

Herons and Egrets by Dan

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Birds Vol 1 #6 – The Mocking Bird

Mockingbird for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Mockingbird for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897, From col. F. M. Woodruff.

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. June, 1897 No. 6

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THE MOCKING BIRD.

Some bright morning this month, you may hear a Robin’s song from a large tree near by. A Red Bird answers him and then the Oriole chimes in. I can see you looking around to find the birds that sing so sweetly. All this time a gay bird sits among the green leaves and laughs at you as you try to find three birds when only one is there.

It is the Mocking Bird or Mocker, and it is he who has been fooling you with his song. Nature has given him lots of music and gifted him with the power of imitating the songs of other birds and sounds of other animals.

He is certainly the sweetest of our song birds. The English Nightingale alone is his rival. I think, however, if our Mocker could hear the Nightingale’s song, he could learn it.

The Mocking Bird is another of our Thrushes. By this time you have surely made up your minds that the Thrushes are sweet singers.

The Mocker seems to take delight in fooling people. One gentleman while sitting on his porch heard what he thought to be a young bird in distress. He went in the direction of the sound and soon heard the same cry behind him. He turned and went back toward the porch, when he heard it in another direction. Soon he found out that Mr. Mocking Bird had been fooling him, and was flying about from shrub to shrub making that sound.

His nest is carelessly made of almost anything he can find. The small, bluish-green eggs are much like the Catbird’s eggs.

Little Mocking Birds look very much like the young of other Thrushes, and do not become Mockers like their parents, until they are full grown.

Which one of the other Thrushes that you have seen in Birds does the Mocking Bird resemble?

He is the only Thrush that sings while on the wing. All of the others sing only while perching.

THE MOCKING BIRD.

imgt

HE Mocking Bird is regarded as the chief of songsters, for in addition to his remarkable powers of imitation, he is without a rival in variety of notes. The Brown Thrasher is thought by many to have a sweeter song, and one equally vigorous, but there is a bold brilliancy in the performance of the Mocker that is peculiarly his own, and which has made him par excellence the forest extemporizer of vocal melody. About this of course there will always be a difference of opinion, as in the case of the human melodists.

So well known are the habits and characteristics of the Mocking Bird that nearly all that could be written about him would be but a repetition of what has been previously said. In Illinois, as in many other states, its distribution is very irregular, its absence from some localities which seem in every way suited being very difficult to account for. Thus, according to “Birds of Illinois,” while one or two pairs breed in the outskirts of Mount Carmel nearly every season, it is nowhere in that vicinity a common bird. A few miles further north, however, it has been found almost abundant. On one occasion, during a three mile drive from town, six males were seen and heard singing along the roadside. Mr. H. K. Coale says that he saw a mocking bird in Stark county, Indiana, sixty miles southeast of Chicago, January 1, 1884; that Mr. Green Smith had met with it at Kensington Station, Illinois, and that several have been observed in the parks and door-yards of Chicago. In the extreme southern portion of the state the species is abundant, and is resident through the year.

The Mocking Bird does not properly belong among the birds of the middle or eastern states, but as there are many records of its nesting in these latitudes it is thought to be safe to include it. Mrs. Osgood Wright states that individuals have often been seen in the city parks of the east, one having lived in Central Park, New York city, late into the winter, throughout a cold and extreme season. They have reared their young as far north as Arlington, near Boston, where they are noted, however, as rare summer residents. Dr. J. A. Allen, editor of The Auk, notes that they occasionally nest in the Connecticut Valley.

The Mocking Bird has a habit of singing and fluttering in the middle of the night, and in different individuals the song varies, as is noted of many birds, particularly canaries. The song is a natural love song, a rich dreamy melody. The mocking song is imitative of the notes of all the birds of field, forest, and garden, broken into fragments.

The Mocker’s nest is loosely made of leaves and grass, rags, feathers, etc., plain and comfortable. It is never far from the ground. The eggs are four to six, bluish green, spattered with shades of brown.

Wilson’s description of the Mocking Bird’s song will probably never be surpassed: “With expanded wings and tail glistening with white, and the bouyant gayety of his action arresting the eye, as his song does most irresistably the ear, he sweeps around with enthusiastic ecstasy, and mounts and descends as his song swells or dies away. And he often deceives the sportsman, and sends him in search of birds that are not perhaps within miles of him, but whose notes he exactly imitates.”

Very useful is he, eating large spiders and grasshoppers, and the destructive cottonworm.

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) By Dan'sPix

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) By Dan’sPix


Lee’s Addition:

Even in your thoughts, do not curse the king, nor in your bedroom curse the rich, for a bird of the air will carry your voice, or some winged creature tell the matter. (Ecclesiastes 10:20 ESV)

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7 KJV)

Mockingbirds belong to the Mimidae – Mockingbirds, Thrashers Family and are a passerine or perching bird. The name says alot about the bird because it is known to copy or mimic other birds and sounds.  Up to 200 songs have been learned by some. They can also drive you crazy when they sing outside your bedroom window at 3 AM. When they have young, they love to sing. At least the one outside our window did. It is our State Bird here in Florida. Other states, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas also claim them as their State Bird.

Mockingbirds are medium sized and have “Mockingbirds have small heads, a long, thin bill with a hint of a downward curve, and long legs. Their wings are short, rounded, and broad, making the tail seem particularly long in flight.” (All About Birds)

Northern Mockingbird males establish a nesting territory in early February. If a female enters his territory, the male will pursue the female with initial aggressive calls and, if she becomes interested, with softer calls. Once the pair is established, their song becomes more gentle. Northern Mockingbirds tend to be monogamous, and the female may return to the same male from the previous season.

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) eggs ©WikiC

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) eggs ©WikiC

Both the male and female are involved in the nest building. The male does most of the work, while the female perches on the shrub or tree where the nest is being built to watch for predators. The nest is built approximately three to 10 feet above the ground. The outer part of the nest is composed of twigs, while the inner part is lined with grasses, dead leaves, moss or artificial fibers. The eggs are a light blue or greenish color and speckled with dots.] Three to five eggs are laid by the female, and she incubates them for nearly two weeks. Once the eggs are hatched, both the male and female feed the chicks.

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) Juvenile ©WikiC

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) Juvenile ©WikiC

The birds aggressively defend their nest and surrounding area against other birds and animals. When a predator is persistent, mockingbirds from neighboring territories, summoned by a distinct call, may join the attack. Other birds may gather to watch as the mockingbirds harass the intruder. In addition to harassing domestic cats and dogs they consider a threat, it is not unheard of for mockingbirds to target humans. They are absolutely unafraid and will attack much larger birds, even hawks. One famous incident in Tulsa, Oklahoma involving a postal carrier resulted in the distribution of a warning letter to residents.

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 June, 1897 No 6 - Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 June, 1897 No 6 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for May 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)

Next Article – The Black-crowned Night Heron

Previous Article – The Yellow-throated Vireo

ABC’s of the Gospel

Links:

Mimidae – Mockingbirds, Thrashers Family

Northern Mockingbird – Wikipedia

Northern Mockingbird – All About Birds

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Birds Vol 1 #6 – Bird Song 1

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) by Dan

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) by Dan

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. June, 1897 No. 6

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BIRD SONG

“I cannot love the man who doth not love,
As men love light, the song of happy birds.”

imgi

T is indeed fitting that the great poets have ever been the best interpreters of the songs of birds. In many of the plays of Shakespeare, especially where the scene is laid in the primeval forest, his most delicious bits of fancy are inspired by the flitting throng. Wordsworth and Tennyson, and many of the minor English poets, are pervaded with bird notes, and Shelley’s masterpiece, The Skylark, will long survive his greater and more ambitious poems. Our own poet, Cranch, has left one immortal stanza, and Bryant, and Longfellow, and Lowell, and Whittier, and Emerson have written enough of poetic melody, the direct inspiration of the feathered inhabitants of the woods, to fill a good-sized volume. In prose, no one has said finer things than Thoreau, who probed nature with a deeper ken than any of his contemporaries. He is to be read, and read, and read.

But just what meaning should be attached to a bird’s notes—some of which are “the least disagreeable of noises”—will probably never be discovered. They do seem to express almost every feeling of which the human heart is capable. We wonder if the Mocking Bird understands what all these notes mean. He is so fine an imitator that it is hard to believe he is not doing more than mimicking the notes of other birds, but rather that he really does mock them with a sort of defiant sarcasm. He banters them less, perhaps, than the Cat Bird, but one would naturally expect all other birds to fly at him with vengeful purpose. But perhaps the birds are not so sensitive as their human brothers, who do not always look upon imitation as the highest flattery.

A gentleman who kept a note-book, describes one of the matinee performances of the Mocker, which he attended by creeping under a tent curtain. He sat at the foot of a tree on the top of which the bird was perched unconscious of his presence. The Mocker gave one of the notes of the Guinea-hen, a fine imitation of the Cardinal, or Red Bird, an exact reproduction of the note of the Phoebe, and some of the difficult notes of the Yellow-breasted Chat. “Now I hear a young chicken peeping. Now the Carolina Wren sings, ‘cheerily, cheerily, cheerily.’ Now a small bird is shrilling with a fine insect tone. A Flicker, a Wood-pewee, and a Phoebe follow in quick succession. Then a Tufted Titmouse squeals. To display his versatility, he gives a dull performance which couples the ‘go-back’ of the Guinea fowl with the plaint of the Wood-pewee, two widely diverse vocal sounds. With all the performance there is such perfect self-reliance and consciousness of superior ability that one feels that the singer has but to choose what bird he will imitate next.”

Nor does the plaintive, melancholy note of the Robin, that “pious” bird, altogether express his character. He has so many lovely traits, according to his biographers, that we accept him unhesitatingly as a truly good bird. Didn’t he once upon a time tenderly cover with leaves certain poor little wanderers? Isn’t he called “The Bird of the Morning?” And evening as well, for you can hear his sad voice long after the sun has himself retired.

The poet Coleridge claims the credit of first using the Owl’s cry in poetry, and his musical note Tu-whit, tu-who! has made him a favorite with the poets. Tennyson has fancifully played upon it in his little “Songs to the Owl,” the last stanza of which runs:

“I would mock thy chant anew;
But I cannot mimic it,
Not a whit of thy tuhoo,
Thee to woo to thy tuwhit,
Thee to woo to thy tuwhit.

With a lengthen’d loud halloo,
Tuwhoo, tuwhit, tuwhit, tuhoo-o-o.”

But Coleridge was not correct in his claim to precedence in the use of the Owl’s cry, for Shakespeare preceded him, and Tennyson’s “First Song to the Owl” is modeled after that at the end of “Love’s Labor Lost:”

“When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring Owl,
Tu-who;
Tu-whit, tu-who, a merry note.”

In references to birds, Tennyson is the most felicitous of all poets and the exquisite swallow-song in “The Princess” is especially recommended to the reader’s perusal.

Birds undoubtedly sing for the same reasons that inspire to utterance all the animated creatures in the universe. Insects sing and bees, crickets, locusts, and mosquitos. Frogs sing, and mice, monkeys, and woodchucks. We have recently heard even an English Sparrow do something better than chipper; some very pretty notes escaped him, perchance, because his heart was overflowing with love-thoughts, and he was very merry, knowing that his affection was reciprocated. The elevated railway stations, about whose eaves the ugly, hastily built nests protrude everywhere, furnish ample explanation of his reasons for singing.

Birds are more musical at certain times of the day as well as at certain seasons of the year. During the hour between dawn and sunrise occurs the grand concert of the feathered folk. There are no concerts during the day—only individual songs. After sunset there seems to be an effort to renew the chorus, but it cannot be compared to the morning concert when they are practically undisturbed by man.

Birds sing because they are happy. Bradford Torrey has given with much felicity his opinion on the subject, as follows:

“I recall a Cardinal Grosbeak, whom I heard several years ago, on the bank of the Potomac river. An old soldier had taken me to visit the Great Falls, and as we were clambering over the rocks this Grosbeak began to sing; and soon, without any hint from me, and without knowing who the invisible musician was, my companion remarked upon the uncommon beauty of the song. The Cardinal is always a great singer, having a voice which, as European writers say, is almost equal to the Nightingale’s; but in this case the more stirring, martial quality of the strain had given place to an exquisite mellowness, as if it were, what I have no doubt it was,

A Song of Love.”
—C. C. Marble.
[to be continued.]


Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) ©WikiC

Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) ©WikiC

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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Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 June, 1897 No 6 - Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 June, 1897 No 6 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

The above article is an article in the monthly serial for May 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)

Next Article – The Yellow-throated Vireo

Previous Article – The American Catbird

Wordless Birds

Links:

Flights of Fancy – Tawny Owl

Mnemonic Bird Songs

Bird Song Mnemonics

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