Emma’s Bird Tales Retold – Reginald, Turkey Commander

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Daves BirdingPix

Reginald – (Wild Turkey by Daves BirdingPix)

Reginald, Turkey Commander

By Emma Foster

There once was a turkey named Reginald who lived in the backwoods of Louisiana. Every year Reginald would band together with many other turkeys in a secret fortress underground to protect themselves from hunters hunting for turkeys to eat on Thanksgiving. Reginald and his friends had built the fortress a long time ago.

Reginald could tell it was Thanksgiving when one day he saw many hunters lurking in the backwoods searching for a turkey to eat on that special day. Reginald quickly went home to grab his Army helmet which he used as protection from gun shots, and called all his friends to their special underground fortress.

Many turkeys came prepared for the day. Most of them wore their Army helmets. Many other turkeys were there as well.  They had brought food for Thanksgiving.  Not just people celebrated Thanksgiving, turkeys did too, but without the turkey.

Soon there was a big party going on in the fortress. Not one hunter was aware that all the turkeys in the backwoods were in the underground fortress. The turkeys were joyously celebrating Thanksgiving. They were very thankful they were not “on the menu” that day.

turkey1

Reginald was happy that the hunters could not find any turkeys. All the hunters eventually had to go to the grocery store to get a turkey, and every hunter from the backwoods hates to go to the grocery store and buy a turkey.

Soon Thanksgiving was over, and all the turkeys rejoiced. Even so, Reginald always made sure his Army helmet was where he needed it in case a hunter was nearby.

The End


Lee’s Addition:

“… But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. (1 Corinthians 7:7b KJV)

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:4 KJV)

Emma has given us another great Bird Tale. I have been holding this for a while, waiting to get closer to Thanksgiving, but it is too adorable to hold any longer. So, it’s a little early, but ENJOY!

I keep encouraging her to write a tale for us, because she is developing into a gifted author. May we all encourage our young people to develop whatever talent the Lord has given them.

Maybe we can get a follow-up on Reginald and his friends.

Reginald – (Wild Turkey by Daves BirdingPix)
Reginald, Turkey Commander
By Emma Foster

There once was a turkey named Reginald who lived in the backwoods of Louisiana. Every year Reginald would band together with many other turkeys in a secret fortress underground to protect themselves from hunters hunting for turkeys to eat on Thanksgiving. Reginald and his friends had built the fortress a long time ago.

Reginald could tell it was Thanksgiving when one day he saw many hunters lurking in the backwoods searching for a turkey to eat on that special day. Reginald quickly went home to grab his Army helmet which he used as protection from gun shots, and called all his friends to their special underground fortress.

Many turkeys came prepared for the day. Most of them wore their Army helmets. Many other turkeys were there as well.  They had brought food for Thanksgiving.  Not just people celebrated Thanksgiving, turkeys did too, but without the turkey.

Soon there was a big party going on in the fortress. Not one hunter was aware that all the turkeys in the backwoods were in the underground fortress. The turkeys were joyously celebrating Thanksgiving. They were very thankful they were not “on the menu” that day.

Reginald was happy that the hunters could not find any turkeys. All the hunters eventually had to go to the grocery store to get a turkey, and every hunter from the backwoods hates to go to the grocery store and buy a turkey.

Soon Thanksgiving was over, and all the turkeys rejoiced. Even so, Reginald always made sure his Army helmet was where he needed it in case a hunter was nearby.

The End

Lee’s Addition:

“… But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. (1 Corinthians 7:7b KJV)

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:4 KJV)

Emma has given us another great Bird Tale. I have been holding this for a while, waiting to get closer to Thanksgiving, but it is too adorable to hold any longer. So, it’s a little early, but ENJOY!

I keep encouraging her to write a tale for us, because she is developing into a gifted author. May we all encourage our young people to develop whatever talent the Lord has given them.

Maybe we can get a follow-up on Reginald and his friends.

Mrs. Patterson’s Parrot – by Emma Foster

George, The Hummingbird

Norman Joins The Baseball Team

Bird Tales

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Bald Eagles Protecting Their Young In Snowstorm

“To the Chief Musician. Set to “Do Not Destroy.” a Michtam of David When He Fled from Saul into the Cave. Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by. I will cry out to God Most High, To God who performs all things for me.” (Psalms 57:1-2 NKJV)

“He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. ” (Psalms 91:4 NKJV)

Shared from the Decorah Eagles YouTube Page

“DECORAH EAGLES & EAGLETS IOWA USA 🐣🐣🐣 After spending days enduring severe, horrendous weather conditions, protecting their three precious eaglets from the gale force winds, wet and freezing cold, Mom and Dad Eagle warm our hearts with this beautiful moment… a family moment of love, care, protection and devotion in the wild ♥ amazing nature!”

Trust you enjoy this as much as I did!

Bible Birds – Osprey Introduction

and the osprey

Bible Birds – Osprey Introduction

“But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the osprey,” (Deuteronomy 14:12 KJV)

The Osprey is another bird on the “Do Not Eat” list. Here in central Florida, we see Ospreys quite frequently. Their nest are usually noticeable on platforms placed for them. On a road between Eagle Lake and Bartow, (which I have renamed “Osprey Road”) there is a nest in the V structure of almost every power distribution pole. There are at least 15-20 nests in about a mile or so. The Ospreys will show up after the first of the year and stay for about 4 months while they breed and raise their young.

 

The Osprey is in a family by itself. They are widely distributed around the world. They are closely related to the Hawk and the Falcon. They are 21-24 inches long with a wingspan of 54-72 inches. The females are slightly larger and both look alike. Their diet is almost entirely fish, but they do eat small rodents and birds. When fishing, they fly 30 to 100 feet above the water and will hover when they find a fish. They will plunge into the water with their feet under them to catch the fish. “Rises from water with fish gripped in both feet, pauses in midair to shake water from plumage, and to arrange fish with the head pointed forward, which reduces its resistance to air, flies with it to” perch or nest to feed young. Can carry up to four or more pounds.

God has designed the Osprey with several interesting features. Their feet have four equal length toes with “long, strong claws, curved about one-third of a circle, and completely round.” “The lower surface, or pads, of the toes are covered with spicules, which help it hold slippery fishes; also, it is the only hawk that has outer toe reversible as in owls; this enables it to grasp its prey with two toes in front, tow in back. Its plumage is compact, which helps blunt its impact and reduces wetting when it plunges into the water.”

All quotes from (The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds).

More Bible Birds

Birds of the Bible – Ospreys on Leesbird.com

Old Clothes and Old Houses – Chapter 8

Eastern Wood Pewee (Contopus virens) by Raymond Barlow

Eastern Wood Pewee (Contopus virens) by Raymond Barlow

Old Clothes and Old Houses

The Wood Peewee and Some Nesting Places.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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CHAPTER 8. Old Clothes and Old Houses.

Listen to the story read.

“I can’t stop to talk to you any longer now, Peter Rabbit,” said Jenny Wren, “but if you will come over here bright and early to-morrow morning, while I am out to get my breakfast, I will tell you about Cresty the Flycatcher and why he wants the cast-off clothes of some of the Snake family. Perhaps I should say WHAT he wants of them instead of WHY he wants them, for why any one should want anything to do with Snakes is more then I can understand.”

With this Jenny Wren disappeared inside her house, and there was nothing for Peter to do but once more start for the dear Old Briar-patch. On his way he couldn’t resist the temptation to run over to the Green Forest, which was just beyond the Old Orchard. He just HAD to find out if there was anything new over there. Hardly had he reached it when he heard a plaintive voice crying, “Pee-wee! Pee-wee! Pee-wee!” Peter chuckled happily. “I declare, there’s Pee-wee,” he cried. “He usually is one of the last of the Flycatcher family to arrive. I didn’t expect to find him yet. I wonder what has brought him up so early.”

It didn’t take Peter long to find Pewee. He just followed the sound of that voice and presently saw Pewee fly out and make the same kind of a little circle as the other members of the family make when they are hunting flies. It ended just where it had started, on a dead twig of a tree in a shady, rather lonely part of the Green Forest. Almost at once he began to call his name in a rather sad, plaintive tone, “Pee-wee! Pee-wee! Pee-wee!” But he wasn’t sad, as Peter well knew. It was his way of expressing how happy he felt. He was a little bigger than his cousin, Chebec, but looked very much like him. There was a little notch in the end of his tail. The upper half of his bill was black, but the lower half was light. Peter could see on each wing two whitish bars, and he noticed that Pewee’s wings were longer than his tail, which wasn’t the case with Chebec. But no one could ever mistake Pewee for any of his relatives, for the simple reason that he keeps repeating his own name over and over.

Wood Pewee of Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

“Aren’t you here early?” asked Peter.

Pewee nodded. “Yes,” said he. “It has been unusually warm this spring, so I hurried a little and came up with my cousins, Scrapper and Cresty. That is something I don’t often do.”

“If you please,” Peter inquired politely, “why do folks call you Wood Pewee?”

Pewee chuckled happily. “It must be,” said he, “because I am so very fond of the Green Forest. It is so quiet and restful that I love it. Mrs. Pewee and I are very retiring. We do not like too many near neighbors.”

“You won’t mind if I come to see you once in a while, will you?” asked Peter as he prepared to start on again for the dear Old Briar-patch.

“Come as often as you like,” replied Pewee. “The oftener the better.”

Back in the Old Briar-patch Peter thought over all he had learned about the Flycatcher family, and as he recalled how they were forever catching all sorts of flying insects it suddenly struck him that they must be very useful little people in helping Old Mother Nature take care of her trees and other growing things which insects so dearly love to destroy.

But most of all Peter thought about that odd request of Cresty’s, and a dozen times that day he found himself peeping under old logs in the hope of finding a cast-off coat of Mr. Black Snake. It was such a funny thing for Cresty to ask for that Peter’s curiosity would allow him no peace, and the next morning he was up in the Old Orchard before jolly Mr. Sun had kicked his bedclothes off.

Jenny Wren was as good as her word. While she flitted and hopped about this way and that way in that fussy way of hers, getting her breakfast, she talked. Jenny couldn’t keep her tongue still if she wanted to.

“Did you find any old clothes of the Snake family?” she demanded. Then as Peter shook his head her tongue ran on without waiting for him to reply. “Cresty and his wife always insist upon having a piece of Snake skin in their nest,” said she. “Why they want it, goodness knows! But they do want it and never can seem to settle down to housekeeping unless they have it. Perhaps they think it will scare robbers away. As for me, I should have a cold chill every time I got into my nest if I had to sit on anything like that. I have to admit that Cresty and his wife are a handsome couple, and they certainly have good sense in choosing a house, more sense than any other member of their family to my way of thinking. But Snake skins! Ugh!”

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) by Raymond Barlow

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) by Raymond Barlow

“By the way, where does Cresty build?” asked Peter.

In a hole in a tree, like the rest of us sensible people,” retorted Jenny Wren promptly.

Peter looked quite as surprised as he felt. “Does Cresty make the hole?” he asked.

“Goodness gracious, no!” exclaimed Jenny Wren. “Where are your eyes, Peter? Did you ever see a Flycatcher with a bill that looked as if it could cut wood?” She didn’t wait for a reply, but rattled on. “It is a good thing for a lot of us that the Woodpecker family are so fond of new houses. Look! There is Downy the Woodpecker hard at work on a new house this very minute. That’s good. I like to see that. It means that next year there will be one more house for some one here in the Old Orchard. For myself I prefer old houses. I’ve noticed there are a number of my neighbors who feel the same way about it. There is something settled about an old house. It doesn’t attract attention the way a new one does. So long as it has got reasonably good walls, and the rain and the wind can’t get in, the older it is the better it suits me. But the Woodpeckers seem to like new houses best, which, as I said before, is a very good thing for the rest of us.”

Who is there besides you and Cresty and Bully the English Sparrow who uses these old Woodpecker houses?” asked Peter.

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by J Fenton

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by J Fenton

“Winsome Bluebird, stupid!” snapped Jenny Wren.

Peter grinned and looked foolish. “Of course,” said he. “I forgot all about Winsome.”

“And Skimmer the Tree Swallow,” added Jenny.

“That’s so; I ought to have remembered him,” exclaimed Peter. “I’ve noticed that he is very fond of the same house year after year. Is there anybody else?”

Again Jenny Wren nodded. “Yank-Yank the Nuthatch uses an old house, I’m told, but he usually goes up North for his nesting,” said she. “Tommy Tit the Chickadee sometimes uses an old house. Then again he and Mrs. Chickadee get fussy and make a house for themselves. Yellow Wing the flicker, who really is a Woodpecker, often uses an old house, but quite often makes a new one. Then there are Killy the Sparrow Hawk and Spooky the Screech Owl.”

Peter looked surprised. “I didn’t suppose THEY nested in holes in trees!” he exclaimed.

“They certainly do, more’s the pity!” snapped Jenny. “It would be a good thing for the rest of us if they didn’t nest at all. But they do, and an old house of Yellow Wing the Flicker suits either of them. Killy always uses one that is high up, and comes back to it year after year. Spooky isn’t particular so long as the house is big enough to be comfortable. He lives in it more or less the year around. Now I must get back to those eggs of mine. I’ve talked quite enough for one morning.”

“Oh, Jenny,” cried Peter, as a sudden thought struck him.

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ray

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) by Ray

Jenny paused and jerked her tail impatiently. “Well, what is it now?” she demanded.

“Have you got two homes?” asked Peter.

“Goodness gracious, no!” exclaimed Jenny. “What do you suppose I want of two homes? One is all I can take care of.”

“Then why,” demanded Peter triumphantly, “does Mr. Wren work all day carrying sticks and straws into a hole in another tree? It seems to me that he has carried enough in there to build two or three nests.”

Jenny Wren’s eyes twinkled, and she laughed softly. “Mr. Wren just has to be busy about something, bless his heart,” said she. “He hasn’t a lazy feather on him. He’s building that nest to take up his time and keep out of mischief. Besides, if he fills that hollow up nobody else will take it, and you know we might want to move some time. Good-by, Peter.” With a final jerk of her tail Jenny Wren flew to the little round doorway of her house and popped inside.


Lee’s Addition:

“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)

 

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  • What is Peter Rabbit still trying to find?
  • Has he found out why it is need for yet?
  • Who is our newest arrival?
  • Is he on time or early?
  • What does Pewee’s bill look like?
  • Is tail longer or shorter than his wings?
  • Can you find and name the birds listed that use tree holes?
  • Were the birds friendly and kind in this chapter?

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)

“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)

Links:

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Links:

Longbill the Woodcock - Burgess Bird Book ©©Thum

 

  Next Chapter (Longbill and Teeter.)

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

  

  

 ABC’s of the Gospel

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Evolutionary Scientist Find A Surprise! – Creation Moments

EVOLUTIONARY SCIENTISTS FIND A SURPRISE!

“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.” Matthew 24:44

Painting: Passenger PigeonAccording to the Bible’s history, human beings were created perfectly by God about 6,000 years ago. We should note that this means we were not only morally perfect, but genetically perfect as well. According to evolutionists, our ancestors split off from the monkeys millions of years ago. Both viewpoints agree that each generation of human beings adds mutations to the ongoing human gene pool.

How many mutations are added by each human generation? Researchers with the University of Sussex and the University of Edinburgh looked for the answer to this question. They examined DNA from living parents and children, as well as known mutation rates for mammals. They assumed that some mutations would be fatal and thus not added to the overall gene pool. They also assumed that a very few mutations might be helpful, an assumption that has never be demonstrated to be true. They finally calculated that 100 harmful mutations are added to the human gene pool by each generation. Their published conclusion was that, considering the millions of years humans have been evolving, we should have easily accumulated enough mutations to make us extinct a long time ago!

This research is clear evidence for a recent appearance of man, and implies that the Earth was created a relatively short time ago, as portrayed by the Genesis. However, human life on Earth will end when Jesus Christ returns to collect all believers to live in a new heavens and Earth.

Prayer:
Lord, Your Word is true so I eagerly await Your return for me. Amen.
Notes:
Notes: Nature, 1/28/99, “High genomic deleterious mutation rates in hominids,” pp. 344-347. Photo: The passenger pigeon, one of hundreds of species of extinct birds. (PD)
Used with permission of Creation Moments©2018

Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes † migratorius †) ©WikiC Specimen

The Watchman of the Old Orchard – Chapter 7

Grey Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis) by Lee at Honeymoon Is SP

The Watchman of the Old Orchard

The Kingbird and the Great Crested Flycatcher.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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CHAPTER 7. The Watchman of the Old Orchard.

Listen to the story read.

A few days after Chebec and his wife started building their nest in the Old Orchard Peter dropped around as usual for a very early call. He found Chebec very busy hunting for materials for that nest, because, as he explained to Peter, Mrs. Chebec is very particular indeed about what her nest is made of. But he had time to tell Peter a bit of news.

“My fighting cousin and my handsomest cousin arrived together yesterday, and now our family is very well represented in the Old Orchard,” said Chebec proudly.

Slowly Peter reached over his back with his long left hind foot and thoughtfully scratched his long right ear. He didn’t like to admit that he couldn’t recall those two cousins of Chebec’s. “Did you say your fighting cousin?” he asked in a hesitating way.

“That’s what I said,” replied Chebec. “He is Scrapper the Kingbird, as of course you know. The rest of us always feel safe when he is about.

“Of course I know him,” declared Peter, his face clearing. “Where is he now?”

At that very instant a great racket broke out on the other side of the Old Orchard and in no time at all the feathered folks were hurrying from every direction, screaming at the top of their voices. Of course, Peter couldn’t be left out of anything like that, and he scampered for the scene of trouble as fast as his legs could take him. When he got there he saw Redtail the Hawk flying up and down and this way and that way, as if trying to get away from something or somebody.

For a minute Peter couldn’t think what was the trouble with Redtail, and then he saw. A white-throated, white-breasted bird, having a black cap and back, and a broad white band across the end of his tail, was darting at Redtail as if he meant to pull out every feather in the latter’s coat.

Scrapper the Kingbird, Redeye the Vireo - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Scrapper the Kingbird, Redeye the Vireo – Burgess Bird Book ©©

He was just a little smaller than Welcome Robin, and in comparison with him Redtail was a perfect giant. But this seemed to make no difference to Scrapper, for that is who it was. He wasn’t afraid, and he intended that everybody should know it, especially Redtail. It is because of his fearlessness that he is called Kingbird. All the time he was screaming at the top of his lungs, calling Redtail a robber and every other bad name he could think of. All the other birds joined him in calling Redtail bad names. But none, not even Bully the English Sparrow, was brave enough to join him in attacking big Redtail.

When he had succeeded in driving Redtail far enough from the Old Orchard to suit him, Scrapper flew back and perched on a dead branch of one of the trees, where he received the congratulations of all his feathered neighbors. He took them quite modestly, assuring them that he had done nothing, nothing at all, but that he didn’t intend to have any of the Hawk family around the Old Orchard while he lived there. Peter couldn’t help but admire Scrapper for his courage.

As Peter looked up at Scrapper he saw that, like all the rest of the flycatchers, there was just the tiniest of hooks on the end of his bill. Scrapper’s slightly raised cap seemed all black, but if Peter could have gotten close enough, he would have found that hidden in it was a patch of orange-red. While Peter sat staring up at him Scrapper suddenly darted out into the air, and his bill snapped in quite the same way Chebec’s did when he caught a fly. But it wasn’t a fly that Scrapper had. It was a bee. Peter saw it very distinctly just as Scrapper snapped it up. It reminded Peter that he had often heard Scrapper called the Bee Martin, and now he understood why.

“Do you live on bees altogether?” asked Peter.

Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) by Margaret Sloan Eating

Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) by Margaret Sloan Eating

“Bless your heart, Peter, no,” replied Scrapper with a chuckle. “There wouldn’t be any honey if I did. I like bees. I like them first rate. But they form only a very small part of my food. Those that I do catch are mostly drones, and you know the drones are useless. They do no work at all. It is only by accident that I now and then catch a worker. I eat all kinds of insects that fly and some that don’t. I’m one of Farmer Brown’s best friends, if he did but know it. You can talk all you please about the wonderful eyesight of the members of the Hawk family, but if any one of them has better eyesight than I have, I’d like to know who it is. There’s a fly ‘way over there beyond that old apple-tree; watch me catch it.”

Peter knew better than to waste any effort trying to see that fly. He knew that he couldn’t have seen it had it been only one fourth that distance away. But if he couldn’t see the fly he could hear the sharp click of Scrapper’s bill, and he knew by the way Scrapper kept opening and shutting his mouth after his return that he had caught that fly and it had tasted good.

“Are you going to build in the Old Orchard this year?” asked Peter.

“Of course I am,” declared Scrapper. “I—”

Just then he spied Blacky the Crow and dashed out to meet him. Blacky saw him coming and was wise enough to suddenly appear to have no interest whatever in the Old Orchard, turning away toward the Green Meadows instead.

Peter didn’t wait for Scrapper to return. It was getting high time for him to scamper home to the dear Old Briar-patch and so he started along, lipperty-lipperty-lip. Just as he was leaving the far corner of the Old Orchard some one called him. “Peter! Oh, Peter Rabbit!” called the voice. Peter stopped abruptly, sat up very straight, looked this way, looked that way and looked the other way, every way but the right way.

“Look up over your head,” cried the voice, rather a harsh voice. Peter looked, then all in a flash it came to him who it was Chebec had meant by the handsomest member of his family. It was Cresty the Great Crested Flycatcher. He was a wee bit bigger than Scrapper the Kingbird, yet not quite so big as Welcome Robin, and more slender. His throat and breast were gray, shading into bright yellow underneath. His back and head were of a grayish-brown with a tint of olive-green. A pointed cap was all that was needed to make him quite distinguished looking. He certainly was the handsomest as well as the largest of the Flycatcher family.

Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus) by Margaret Sloan

Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus) by Margaret Sloan

“You seem to be in a hurry, so don’t let me detain you, Peter,” said Cresty, before Peter could find his tongue. “I just want to ask one little favor of you.”

“What is it?” asked Peter, who is always glad to do any one a favor.

“If in your roaming about you run across an old cast-off suit of Mr. Black Snake, or of any other member of the Snake family, I wish you would remember me and let me know. Will you, Peter?” said Cresty.

“A—a—a—what?” stammered Peter.

“A cast-off suit of clothes from any member of the Snake family,” replied Cresty somewhat impatiently. “Now don’t forget, Peter. I’ve got to go house hunting, but you’ll find me there or hereabouts, if it happens that you find one of those cast-off Snake suits.”

Before Peter could say another word Cresty had flown away. Peter hesitated, looking first towards the dear Old Briar-patch and then towards Jenny Wren’s house. He just couldn’t understand about those cast-off suits of the Snake family, and he felt sure that Jenny Wren could tell him. Finally curiosity got the best of him, and back he scampered, lipperty-lipperty-lip, to the foot of the tree in which Jenny Wren had her home.

“Jenny!” called Peter. “Jenny Wren! Jenny Wren!” No one answered him. He could hear Mr. Wren singing in another tree, but he couldn’t see him. “Jenny! Jenny Wren! Jenny Wren!” called Peter again. This time Jenny popped her head out, and her little eyes fairly snapped. “Didn’t I tell you the other day, Peter Rabbit, that I’m not to be disturbed? Didn’t I tell you that I’ve got seven eggs in here, and that I can’t spend any time gossiping? Didn’t I, Peter Rabbit? Didn’t I? Didn’t I?”

“You certainly did, Jenny. You certainly did, and I’m sorry to disturb you,” replied Peter meekly. “I wouldn’t have thought of doing such a thing, but I just didn’t know who else to go to.”

“Go to for what?” snapped Jenny Wren. “What is it you’ve come to me for?”

“Snake skins,” replied Peter.

“Snake skins! Snake skins!” shrieked Jenny Wren. “What are you talking about, Peter Rabbit? I never have anything to do with Snake skins and don’t want to. Ugh! It makes me shiver just to think of it.”

“You don’t understand,” cried Peter hurriedly. “What I want to know is, why should Cresty the Flycatcher ask me to please let him know if I found any cast-off suits of the Snake family? He flew away before I could ask him why he wants them, and so I came to you, because I know you know everything, especially everything concerning your neighbors.”

Jenny Wren looked as if she didn’t know whether to feel flattered or provoked. But Peter looked so innocent that she concluded he was trying to say something nice.

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Like birds flying about, So will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem. Defending, He will also deliver it; Passing over, He will preserve it.” (Isaiah 31:5 NKJV)

  • Who are the two birds featured in this tale?
  • Who is the larger of the two?
  • Which one has a yellow throat and which one has a white throat?
  • Why is Scrapper called a Kingbird
  • Does Scrapper only eat bees?
  • What was Cresty looking for? Why?
  • What is another name for Scrapper?
  • What was on the tip of their bills?

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Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)

Links:

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Links:

Wood Pewee of Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

 

Next Chapter (Old Clothes and Old Houses.)

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

Savannah Sparrow by Ray    Wordless Birds

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Bible Birds – Pelican Introduction

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) by AestheticPhotos

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) by AestheticPhotos

“And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,” (Leviticus 11:18 KJV)

Bible Birds – Pelican Introduction

The Pelican is mentioned in three verses in the Bible (KJV). In Leviticus 11:18 and in Deuteronomy 14:17, the Pelican is listed as one of the “Do Not Eat” birds. The Jewish people, from God’s chosen people, were given a list of birds that they were not to eat. [My “Do Not Eat” birds]

In Psalms 102:6, it mentions the Pelican in the wilderness. That will be mentioned in a later article.

Pelicans are huge birds that are larger than swans and have a remarkably enormous bill. The lower part of the bill is like a large pouch or bag that can expand to hold quarts of water. The pelican places the fish they catch in this lower part of the bill.

Brown Pelican with fish and Laughing Gull

Brown Pelican with fish in pouch and a Laughing Gull

The White Pelican was recording holding three gallons of water in that pouch. Wow! They belong to the Pelecanidae family which is in the Pelecaniformes Order. There are eight species of Pelicans:

Mature Brown Pelican by Dan at MacDill

Mature Brown Pelican by Dan at MacDill AFB

Great White Pelican, Pink-backed Pelican, Spot-billed Pelican, Dalmatian Pelican, Australian Pelican, American White Pelican, Brown Pelican, and the Peruvian Pelican.

An Old Friend In a New Home – Chapter 6

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) by Dan

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) by Dan

An Old Friend In a New Home

The Phoebe and the Least Flycatcher

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

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CHAPTER 6. An Old Friend In a New Home.

Listen to the story read.

Every day brought newcomers to the Old Orchard, and early in the morning there were so many voices to be heard that perhaps it is no wonder if for some time Peter Rabbit failed to miss that of one of his very good friends. Most unexpectedly he was reminded of this as very early one morning he scampered, lipperty-lipperty-lip, across a little bridge over the Laughing Brook.

“Dear me! Dear me! Dear me!” cried rather a plaintive voice. Peter stopped so suddenly that he all but fell heels over head. Sitting on the top of a tall, dead, mullein stalk was a very soberly dressed but rather trim little fellow, a very little larger than Bully the English Sparrow. Above, his coat was of a dull olive-brown, while underneath he was of a grayish-white, with faint tinges of yellow in places. His head was dark, and his bill black. The feathers on his head were lifted just enough to make the tiniest kind of crest. His wings and tail were dusky, little bars of white showing very faintly on his wings, while the outer edges of his tail were distinctly white. He sat with his tail hanging straight down, as if he hadn’t strength enough to hold it up.

Chebec the Least Flycatcher, Dear Me the Phoebe - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Chebec the Least Flycatcher, Dear Me the Phoebe – Burgess Bird Book ©©

“Hello, Dear Me!” cried Peter joyously. “What are you doing way down here? I haven’t seen you since you first arrived, just after Winsome Bluebird got here.” Peter started to say that he had wondered what had become of Dear Me, but checked himself, for Peter is very honest and he realized now that in the excitement of greeting so many friends he hadn’t missed Dear Me at all.

Dear Me the Phoebe did not reply at once, but darted out into the air, and Peter heard a sharp click of that little black bill. Making a short circle, Dear Me alighted on the mullein stalk again.

“Did you catch a fly then?” asked Peter.

“Dear me! Dear me! Of course I did,” was the prompt reply. And with each word there was a jerk of that long hanging tail. Peter almost wondered if in some way Dear Me’s tongue and tail were connected. “I suppose,” said he, “that it is the habit of catching flies and bugs in the air that has given your family the name of Flycatchers.”

Dear Me nodded and almost at once started into the air again. Once more Peter heard the click of that little black bill, then Dear Me was back on his perch. Peter asked again what he was doing down there.

“Mrs. Phoebe and I are living down here,” replied Dear Me. “We’ve made our home down here and we like it very much.”

Peter looked all around, this way, that way, every way, with the funniest expression on his face. He didn’t see anything of Mrs. Phoebe and he didn’t see any place in which he could imagine Mr. and Mrs. Phoebe building a nest. “What are you looking for?” asked Dear Me.

“For Mrs. Phoebe and your home,” declared Peter quite frankly. “I didn’t suppose you and Mrs. Phoebe ever built a nest on the ground, and I don’t see any other place around here for one.”

Dear Me chuckled. “I wouldn’t tell any one but you, Peter,” said he, “but I’ve known you so long that I’m going to let you into a little secret. Mrs. Phoebe and our home are under the very bridge you are sitting on.”

“I don’t believe it!” cried Peter.

But Dear Me knew from the way Peter said it that he really didn’t mean that. “Look and see for yourself,” said Dear Me.

So Peter lay flat on his stomach and tried to stretch his head over the edge of the bridge so as to see under it. But his neck wasn’t long enough, or else he was afraid to lean over as far as he might have. Finally he gave up and at Mr. Phoebe’s suggestion crept down the bank to the very edge of the Laughing Brook. Dear Me darted out to catch another fly, then flew right in under the bridge and alighted on a little ledge of stone just beneath the floor. There, sure enough, was a nest, and Peter could see Mrs. Phoebe’s bill and the top of her head above the edge of it. It was a nest with a foundation of mud covered with moss and lined with feathers.

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) Nest ©WikiC

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) Nest ©WikiC

“That’s perfectly splendid!” cried Peter, as Dear Me resumed his perch on the old mullein stalk. “How did you ever come to think of such a place? And why did you leave the shed up at Farmer Brown’s where you have build your home for the last two or three years?”

“Oh,” replied Dear Me, “we Phoebes always have been fond of building under bridges. You see a place like this is quite safe. Then, too, we like to be near water. Always there are many insects flying around where there is water, so it is an easy matter to get plenty to eat. I left the shed at Farmer Brown’s because that pesky cat up there discovered our nest last year, and we had a dreadful time keeping our babies out of her clutches. She hasn’t found us down here, and she wouldn’t be able to trouble us if she should find us.”

“I suppose,” said Peter, “that as usual you were the first of your family to arrive.”

“Certainly. Of course,” replied Dear Me. “We always are the first. Mrs. Phoebe and I don’t go as far south in winter as the other members of the family do. They go clear down into the Tropics, but we manage to pick up a pretty good living without going as far as that. So we get back here before the rest of them, and usually have begun housekeeping by the time they arrive. My cousin, Chebec the Least Flycatcher, should be here by this time. Haven’t you heard anything of him up in the Old Orchard?”

“No,” replied Peter, “but to tell the truth I haven’t looked for him. I’m on my way to the Old Orchard now, and I certainly shall keep my ears and eyes open for Chebec. I’ll tell you if I find him. Good-by.”

“Dear me! Dear me! Good-by Peter. Dear me!” replied Mr. Phoebe as Peter started off for the Old Orchard.

Perhaps it was because Peter was thinking of him that almost the first voice he heard when he reached the Old Orchard was that of Chebec, repeating his own name over and over as if he loved the sound of it. It didn’t take Peter long to find him. He was sitting out on the up of one of the upper branches of an apple-tree where he could watch for flies and other winged insects. He looked so much like Mr. Phoebe, save that he was smaller, that any one would have know they were cousins. “Chebec! Chebec! Chebec!” he repeated over and over, and with every note jerked his tail. Now and then he would dart out into the air and snap up something so small that Peter, looking up from the ground, couldn’t see it at all.

Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus) by Raymond Barlow

Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus) by Raymond Barlow

“Hello, Chebec!” cried Peter. “I’m glad to see you back again. Are you going to build in the Old Orchard this year?”

“Of course I am,” replied Chebec promptly. “Mrs. Chebec and I have built here for the last two or three years, and we wouldn’t think of going anywhere else. Mrs. Chebec is looking for a place now. I suppose I ought to be helping her, but I learned a long time ago, Peter Rabbit, that in matters of this kind it is just as well not to have any opinion at all. When Mrs. Chebec has picked out just the place she wants, I’ll help her build the nest. It certainly is good to be back here in the Old Orchard and planning a home once more. We’ve made a terribly long journey, and I for one am glad it’s over.”

“I just saw your cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Phoebe, and they already have a nest and eggs,” said Peter.

“The Phoebes are a funny lot,” replied Chebec. “They are the only members of the family that can stand cold weather. What pleasure they get out of it I don’t understand. They are queer anyway, for they never build their nests in trees as the rest of us do.”

“Are you the smallest in the family?” asked Peter, for it had suddenly struck him that Chebec was a very little fellow indeed.

Chebec nodded. “I’m the smallest,” said he. “That’s why they call me Least Flycatcher. I may be least in size, but I can tell you one thing, Peter Rabbit, and that is that I can catch just as many bugs and flies as any of them.” Suiting action to the word, he darted out into the air. His little bill snapped and with a quick turn he was back on his former perch, jerking his tail and uttering his sharp little cry of, “Chebec! Chebec! Chebec!” until Peter began to wonder which he was the most fond of, catching flies, or the sound of his own voice.

Presently they both heard Mrs. Chebec calling from somewhere in the middle of the Old Orchard. “Excuse me, Peter,” said Chebec, “I must go at once. Mrs. Chebec says she has found just the place for our nest, and now we’ve got a busy time ahead of us. We are very particular how we build a nest.”

“Do you start it with mud the way Welcome Robin and your cousins, the Phoebes, do?” asked Peter.

“Mud!” cried Chebec scornfully. “Mud! I should say not! I would have you understand, Peter, that we are very particular about what we use in our nest. We use only the finest of rootlets, strips of soft bark, fibers of plants, the brown cotton that grows on ferns, and perhaps a little hair when we can find it. We make a dainty nest, if I do say it, and we fasten it securely in the fork made by two or three upright little branches. Now I must go because Mrs. Chebec is getting impatient. Come see me when I’m not so busy Peter.”


Lee’s Addition:

The family that the Phoebe and the Least Flycatcher belong to is the Tyrant Flycatchers – Tyrannidae Family. It is a very large family, but most do not live here in North America.

How does the story describe Dear Me the Phoebe?

  • What does he like to eat?
  • Where is his nest?
  • What is the nest made out of?
  • Why did he get back before the others in his family?

The Least Flycatcher is called Chebec. Do you know why?

  • Why did he get back later than Dear Me?
  • How is Chebec’s nest different from Dear Me’s?
  • Chebec is the largest or smallest member of the Flycatcher family?

 

*

The birds of the air have their resting-places by them (trees), and make their song among the branches. (Psalms 104:12 BBE)

Links:

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Links:

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

 

  Next Chapter (The Watchman of the Old Orchard.)

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

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Bible Birds – Masked Lapwing

CHA-Char Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles)

Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) at Lowry Park Zoo 3-27-2018

Both times the Lapwing is mentioned in the Bible, it is in the “Do Not Eat” lists in Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Leviticus 11:19 KJV)
And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. (Deuteronomy 14:18 KJV)

We were at Zoo Tampa (new name of Lowry Park Zoo) several weeks ago. We saw the Masked Lapwing again and I alway enjoy that look he has. The Yellow mask make him quite attractive, don’t you think?

“The masked lapwing is the largest representative of the family Charadriidae. It measures from 30 to 37 cm (12 to 15 in) in length and has a wingspan of 75–85 cm (30–33 in). The nominate subspecies (V. m. miles) weighs 191–300 g (6.7–10.6 oz), while the southern race (V. m. novaehollandiae) is larger and weighs 296–412 g (10.4–14.5 oz). The subspecies from northern Australia and New Guinea (V. m. miles) has an all-white neck and large yellow wattles with the male having a distinctive mask and larger wattles. The subspecies found in the southern and eastern states of Australia and in New Zealand (V. m. novaehollandiae), and often locally called the spur-winged plover, has a black neck-stripe and smaller wattles. (Note that the northern-hemisphere spur-winged plover is a different bird.)

The birds have a wide range of calls which can be heard at any time of the day or night: the warning call, a loud defending call, courtship calls, calls to its young, and others. Since this bird lives on the ground it is always alert and even though it rests it never sleeps properly.” [Wikipedia – Masked Lapwing]

A masked lapwing blinking the left eye (the nictitating membrane is used rather than the eyelids). Note origin of the membrane from the medial canthus. Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) Eye ©WikiC

It is always amazing to see the different ways the Lord created His birds. Even how this Lapwing blinks show design and not something that just happened.

We see them frequently in many Zoos. Next time you are visiting a zoo, see if they have the Lapwings. If you are living in Australia or New Zealand, you can look for them in the Wild.

Bible Birds – Lapwings

Bible Birds

Wordless Birds

Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed – Chapter 5

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) ©WikiC

Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) ©WikiC

Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed

The Bluebird and the Robin

The Burgess Bird Book For Children

*

Listen to the story read.

CHAPTER 5. Peter Learns Something He Hadn’t Guessed.

Running over to the Old Orchard very early in the morning for a little gossip with Jenny Wren and his other friends there had become a regular thing with Peter Rabbit. He was learning a great many things, and some of them were most surprising.

Now two of Peter’s oldest and best friends in the Old Orchard were Winsome Bluebird and Welcome Robin. Every spring they arrived pretty nearly together, though Winsome Bluebird usually was a few days ahead of Welcome Robin. This year Winsome had arrived while the snow still lingered in patches. He was, as he always is, the herald of sweet Mistress Spring. And when Peter had heard for the first time Winsome’s soft, sweet whistle, which seemed to come from nowhere in particular and from everywhere in general, he had kicked up his long hind legs from pure joy. Then, when a few days later he had heard Welcome Robin’s joyous message of “Cheer-up! Cheer-up! Cheer-up! Cheer-up! Cheer!” from the tiptop of a tall tree, he had known that Mistress Spring really had arrived.

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Robin Eating by Jim Fenton

Peter loves Winsome Bluebird and Welcome Robin, just as everybody else does, and he had known them so long and so well that he thought he knew all there was to know about them. He would have been very indignant had anybody told him he didn’t.

“Those cousins don’t look much alike, do they?” remarked Jenny Wren, as she poked her head out of her house to gossip with Peter.

“What cousins?” demanded Peter, staring very hard in the direction in which Jenny Wren was looking.

“Those two sitting on the fence over there. Where are your eyes, Peter?” replied Jenny rather sharply.

Peter stared harder than ever. On one post sat Winsome Bluebird, and on another post sat Welcome Robin. “I don’t see anybody but Winsome and Welcome, and they are not even related,” replied Peter with a little puzzled frown.

“Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut, Peter!” exclaimed Jenny Wren. “Tut, tut, tut, tut, tut! Who told you any such nonsense as that? Of course they are related. They are cousins. I thought everybody knew that. They belong to the same family that Melody the Thrush and all the other Thrushes belong to. That makes them all cousins.”

“What?” exclaimed Peter, looking as if he didn’t believe a word of what Jenny Wren had said. Jenny repeated, and still Peter looked doubtful.

Then Jenny lost her temper, a thing she does very easily. “If you don’t believe me, go ask one of them,” she snapped, and disappeared inside her house, where Peter could hear her scolding away to herself.

The more he thought of it, the more this struck Peter as good advice. So he hopped over to the foot of the fence post on which Winsome Bluebird was sitting. “Jenny Wren says that you and Welcome Robin are cousins. She doesn’t know what she is talking about, does she?” asked Peter.

Winsome chuckled. It was a soft, gentle chuckle. “Yes,” said he, nodding his head, “we are. You can trust that little busybody to know what she is talking about, every time. I sometimes think she knows more about other people’s affairs than about her own. Welcome and I may not look much alike, but we are cousins just the same. Don’t you think Welcome is looking unusually fine this spring?”

“Not a bit finer than you are yourself, Winsome,” replied Peter politely. “I just love that sky-blue coat of yours. What is the reason that Mrs. Bluebird doesn’t wear as bright a coat as you do?”

“Go ask Jenny Wren,” chuckled Winsome Bluebird, and before Peter could say another word he flew over to the roof of Farmer Brown’s house.

Back scampered Peter to tell Jenny Wren that he was sorry he had doubted her and that he never would again. Then he begged Jenny to tell him why it was that Mrs. Bluebird was not as brightly dressed as was Winsome.

“Mrs. Bluebird, like most mothers, is altogether too busy to spend much time taking care of her clothes; and fine clothes need a lot of care,” replied Jenny. “Besides, when Winsome is about he attracts all the attention and that gives her a chance to slip in and out of her nest without being noticed. I don’t believe you know, Peter Rabbit, where Winsome’s nest is.”

Peter had to admit that he didn’t, although he had tried his best to find out by watching Winsome. “I think it’s over in that little house put up by Farmer Brown’s boy,” he ventured. “I saw both Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird go in it when they first came, and I’ve seen Winsome around it a great deal since, so I guess it is there.”

“So you guess it is there!” mimicked Jenny Wren. “Well, your guess is quite wrong, Peter; quite wrong. As a matter of fact, it is in one of those old fence posts. But just which one I am not going to tell you. I will leave that for you to find out. Mrs. Bluebird certainly shows good sense. She knows a good house when she sees it. The hole in that post is one of the best holes anywhere around here. If I had arrived here early enough I would have taken it myself. But Mrs. Bluebird already had her nest built in it and four eggs there, so there was nothing for me to do but come here. Just between you and me, Peter, I think the Bluebirds show more sense in nest building than do their cousins the Robins. There is nothing like a house with stout walls and a doorway just big enough to get in and out of comfortably.”

Peter nodded quite as if he understood all about the advantages of a house with walls. “That reminds me,” said he. “The other day I saw Welcome Robin getting mud and carrying it away. Pretty soon he was joined by Mrs. Robin, and she did the same thing. They kept it up till I got tired of watching them. What were they doing with that mud?”

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) in nest by Ray

“Building their nest, of course, stupid,” retorted Jenny. “Welcome Robin, with that black head, beautiful russet breast, black and white throat and yellow bill, not to mention the proud way in which he carries himself, certainly is a handsome fellow, and Mrs. Robin is only a little less handsome. How they can be content to build the kind of home they do is more than I can understand. People think that Mr. Wren and I use a lot of trash in our nest. Perhaps we do, but I can tell you one thing, and that is it is clean trash. It is just sticks and clean straws, and before I lay my eggs I see to it that my nest is lined with feathers. More than this, there isn’t any cleaner housekeeper than I am, if I do say it.

“Welcome Robin is a fine looker and a fine singer, and everybody loves him. But when it comes to housekeeping, he and Mrs. Robin are just plain dirty. They make the foundation of their nest of mud,—plain, common, ordinary mud. They cover this with dead grass, and sometimes there is mighty little of this over the inside walls of mud. I know because I’ve seen the inside of their nest often. Anybody with any eyes at all can find their nest. More than once I’ve known them to have their nest washed away in a heavy rain, or have it blown down in a high wind. Nothing like that ever happens to Winsome Bluebird or to me.”

Jenny disappeared inside her house, and Peter waited for her to come out again. Welcome Robin flew down on the ground, ran a few steps, and then stood still with his head on one side as if listening. Then he reached down and tugged at something, and presently out of the ground came a long, wriggling angleworm. Welcome gulped it down and ran on a few steps, then once more paused to listen. This time he turned and ran three or four steps to the right, where he pulled another worm out of the ground.

“He acts as if he heard those worms in the ground,” said Peter, speaking aloud without thinking.

“He does,” said Jenny Wren, poking her head out of her doorway just as Peter spoke. “How do you suppose he would find them when they are in the ground if he didn’t hear them?”

“Can you hear them?” asked Peter.

“I’ve never tried, and I don’t intend to waste my time trying,” retorted Jenny. “Welcome Robin may enjoy eating them, but for my part I want something smaller and daintier, young grasshoppers, tender young beetles, small caterpillars, bugs and spiders.”

Peter had to turn his head aside to hide the wry face he just had to make at the mention of such things as food. “Is that all Welcome Robin eats?” he asked innocently.

“I should say not,” laughed Jenny. “He eats a lot of other kinds of worms, and he just dearly loves fruit like strawberries and cherries and all sorts of small berries. Well, I can’t stop here talking any longer. I’m going to tell you a secret, Peter, if you’ll promise not to tell.”

Of course Peter promised, and Jenny leaned so far down that Peter wondered how she could keep from falling as she whispered, “I’ve got seven eggs in my nest, so if you don’t see much of me for the next week or more, you’ll know why. I’ve just got to sit on those eggs and keep them warm.”

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  1. What bird family do the Bluebird and Robin belong to?
  2. Why is it good that Mrs. Bluebird isn’t brightly dressed?
  3. When the Robin runs and then stops, what is he doing? What might he find to eat?
  4. What colors are the Robin’s head, breast, throat and bill?
  5. What does the Robin’s song sound like?
  6. Should we have an attitude like the Robin’s Song?

“Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. (James 5:13 NASB)

“A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. (Proverbs 15:13 NASB)

“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)

Links:

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Links:

Chebec the Least Flycatcher, Dear Me the Phoebe - Burgess Bird Book ©©

 

  Next Chapter – An Old Friend In a New Home

 

 

Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

 

  Burgess-Bird-Book-for-Children

 

Green-billed Toucan (Ramphastos dicolorus) ©WikiC

Wordless Toucan

  

 

  Wordless Toucan

 

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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

The Hamerkop Has It’s Own Family

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) by Africaddict

“And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” (Genesis 1:22-23 NKJV)

What an interesting name for a bird. He is not a policeman (cop), but its head does, sort of, look like a hammer. Don’t you agree?

Goodly Hammer ©Flickr Lenore Edman

Hamerkops are in a family by itself, because the birding authorities are not sure which family to add it to. So, they made a family, called the Scopidae Family.

“The single Hamerkop in this family lives in sub-Saharan Africa and has unique habits and behaviorIt has a few features like those of heronsIt has an odd mix of other habits which are similar to the shoebill, flamingos, and storksIt has ectoparasites that are otherwise found only in ploversGiven this, its origin and relationship to other birds are considered unclear (Roberson 2012), so it is considered here to belong to its own kind.” By Dr. Jean Lightner (See below)

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) at NA by Dan

It is found in Africa, Madagascar to Arabia, living in a wide variety of wetlands, including estuaries, lakesides, fish ponds, riverbanks and rocky coasts.

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) With Nesting Material ©WikiC

The strangest aspect of hamerkop behaviour is the huge nest, sometimes more than 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) across, and strong enough to support a man’s weight. When possible, it is built in the fork of a tree, often over water, but if necessary it is built on a bank, a cliff, a human-built wall or dam, or on the ground. A pair starts by making a platform of sticks held together with mud, then builds walls and a domed roof. A mud-plastered entrance 13–18 centimetres (5.1–7.1 in) wide in the bottom leads through a tunnel up to 60 centimetres (24 in) long to a nesting chamber big enough for the parents and young.

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) Nest in Acacia Tree ©WikiC

Nests have been recorded to take between 10 and 14 weeks to build, and one researcher estimated that they would require around 8000 sticks or bunches of grass to complete. Nesting material may still be added by the pair after the nest has been completed and eggs have been laid. Much of the nesting material added after completion is not sticks but an odd collection of random items including bones, hide and human waste.

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) by Africaddict

Hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) by Africaddict

This is just another one of The Lord’s Avian Wonders. Just thought you might enjoy reading about this neat bird.

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Hamerkop’s Scopidae Family

Pelecaniformes Order

Birdwatching the National Aviary – Tropical Forest

An Initial Estimate of Avian Ark Kinds by Dr. Jean Lightner on November 27, 2013

Wordless Toucan