Bible Birds – Black Swans by Bellamoonnature

Black Swan by Lee

Black Swan by Lee

Bellamoon sent a link to some of his videos. The one below of the Black Swans and their family is super. He previously gave me permission to use his music for videos I put together, but this is better than anything I could ever do.

Several verses came to mind about “under his wings” while watching this:

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, (Psalms 17:8 KJV)

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. (Psalms 36:7 KJV)

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

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

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! (Luke 13:34 KJV)

There are verses that help us think about how kind these swans are to their young:

For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth. (Psalms 26:3 KJV)

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

Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD. (Psalms 107:43 KJV)

Links:

Bellamoonnature 

Bible Birds – Swans

Birds of the Bible – Swans

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Bible Birds – Swan Introduction

Bible Birds – Swan Introduction

Swan (Cygnus olor)II at Bok Tower By Dan'sPix

Swan (Cygnus olor)II at Bok Tower By Dan’sPix

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

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

Swans are mentioned in these two verses in the KJV Bible. Some other versions list it as another bird. For now, let us learn about the beautiful Swans that the Lord created.

Both of the Swan verses above are found in the “do not eat” list that the Lord gave to the “children of the LORD your God.” Who would want to eat such great looking birds?

Swans are in the Anatidae Family which includes Ducks, Geese and Swans. There are seven species which include these:

Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba)
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
Black-necked Swan (Cygnus melancoryphus)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus)
Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus)

Some Interesting Facts:

  • The Trumpeter Swan has the most contour feathers of any bird. (25,216) That doesn’t count the downy feathers.
  • Swans can fly as fast as 60 miles per hour!
  • A male swan is called a cob, and a female swan is called a pen.
  • A baby swan is called a cygnet.
  • The largest species, including the mute swan, trumpeter swan, and whooper swan, can reach length of over 1.5 m (60 inches) and weigh over 15 kg (33 pounds). Their wingspans can be almost 3 m (10 ft).

 

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Bible Birds – Swan

Birds of the Bible – Swan

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Black Swan

Anatidae – Ducks, Geese and Swans Family

Wordless Birds

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Bible Birds – Get Off My Back

Laughing Gull landing on Brown Pelican

Laughing Gull landing on Brown Pelican

I am like a pelican of the wilderness; I am like an owl of the desert. (Psalms 102:6 NKJV)

Yesterday we were at the beach at MacDill AFB in Tampa. Apparently the fish were numerous, because the Brown Pelicans, Forster’s Tern, Laughing Gulls, Ospreys and others were diving in.

Laughing Gull landing on Brown Pelican

Laughing Gull landing on Brown Pelican

What really amazed me were the Laughing Gulls landing on the backs of the Brown Pelicans. Checking the internet to find out about this, I came across this very interesting article, The Pelican and the Gull. It appears this is a common practice for the Laughing Gull to steal some of the Pelicans food.

Here are some excerpts from that article:

One method the laughing gull has of getting food is to steal fish from another seabird that inhabits the region, the brown pelican. The laughing gull accomplishes this larceny by waiting for the brown pelican to make a successful dive….

When the pelican has a bill full of fish and water, it transfers the fish to the pouch that hangs below its bill. The pelican cannot fly away or swallow the fish until the water is drained from the pouch. Laughing gulls either circle closely above the pelican or land on the pelican’s bill or head. The gull may even give the pelican a sharp peck or two. If the pelican pays too much attention to the antics of the laughing gull and not enough attention to the delicate draining and swallowing process, the pelican may lose some of the trapped fish. The gull then swoops down and scoops up the pelican’s hard-earned catch, flying away at top speed from the scene of the crime and makes short work of his ill-gotten gains.

Of course, I could make all kinds of applications about not stealing, pecking someone on the head, or getting on their backs without permission. Because of the curse we are all under, the birds included, this kind of things happen. Eagles steal from Ospreys, Cuckoos lay eggs in other species nest, etc. For us, we know that stealing is wrong and I trust we don’t. Also, we are supposed to “love one another.” Not so sure this is being displayed here.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32 KJV)

Here is another sequence of photos I took of an exchange between the Gull and the Pelican (cropped):

Pelican catching fish and Gull circling

Pelican catching fish and Gull circling

Laughing Gull watching Brown Pelican preparing to land

Laughing Gull watching Brown Pelican preparing to land

Laughing Gull lands on Pelican as he comes up

Laughing Gull lands on Pelican as he comes up

Would you hurry up

Would you hurry up

Brown Pelican and Laughing Gull - Waiting

Waiting

Brown Pelican and Laughing Gull - Slipping Off

Slipping Off

Brown Pelican leaving Laughing Gull

Watching His Food Source Leave

Maybe I can catch him

Maybe I can catch him

These photos were taken with my zoom because they were out quite a way from the shore. The following two photos were closer up as they both posed on posts for us.

Pelicans belong to the Pelecanidae – Pelicans Family and are on of the Birds of the Bible.

Mature Brown Pelican by Dan at MacDill

Mature Brown Pelican by Dan at MacDill

The Brown Pelican is the smallest of the eight species of pelican, although it is a large bird in nearly every other regard. It is 42–54 in (106–137 cm) in length, weighs from 6.1 to 12 lb (2.75 to 5.5 kg) and has a wingspan from 6.0 to 8.2 ft (1.83 to 2.5 m). Through most of its range, the brown pelican is an unmistakable bird. Like all pelicans, this species has a very large bill, 11 to 13.7 in (28 to 34.8 cm) long in this case, with a gular pouch on the bottom for draining water when it scoops out prey. The head is white but often gets a yellowish wash in adult birds. The bill is grayish overall in most birds, though breeding birds become reddish on the underside of the throat. The back, rump, and tail are streaked with gray and dark brown, sometimes with a rusty hue. In adult pelicans, the breast and belly are a blackish-brown and the legs and feet are black. The juvenile is similar but has a brownish-gray neck and white underparts.

This bird is readily distinguished from the American White Pelican by its non-white plumage, smaller size and its habit of diving for fish from the air, as opposed to co-operative fishing from the surface. The Peruvian Pelican, previously considered a subspecies of Brown Pelican, is now considered to be a separate species. It has very similar plumage to the Brown, but it is noticeably larger. The Brown and Peruvian pelicans may overlap in some areas along the Pacific coast of South America.

the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after their kinds; (Deuteronomy 14:15 NKJV)

Laughing Gull on post

Laughing Gull on post by Lee

The Laughing Gull is a member of the Laridae – Gulls, Terns and Skimmers Family and is a Bird of the Bible also. The Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) is a medium-sized gull of North and South America. It breeds on the Atlantic coast of North America, the Caribbean, and northern South America. Northernmost populations migrate further south in winter, and this species occurs as a rare vagrant to western Europe. The Laughing Gull’s English name is derived from its raucous kee-agh call, which sounds like a high-pitched laugh “ha… ha… ha…”.

This species is easy to identify. It is 14–16 in (36–41 cm) long with a 39–43 in (98–110 cm) wingspan. The summer adult’s body is white apart from the dark grey back and wings and black head. Its wings are much darker grey than all other gulls of similar size except the smaller Franklin’s Gull, and they have black tips without the white crescent shown by Franklin’s. The beak is long and red. The black hood is mostly lost in winter.

Laughing Gulls take three years to reach adult plumage. Immature birds are always darker than most similar-sized gulls other than Franklin’s. First-year birds are greyer below and have paler heads than first-year Franklin’s, and second-years can be distinguished by the wing pattern and structure. Laughing Gulls breed in coastal marshes and ponds in large colonies. The large nest, made largely from grasses, is constructed on the ground. The 3 or 4 greenish eggs are incubated for about three weeks. These are omnivores like most gulls, and they will scavenge as well as seeking suitable small prey. Like most other members of the genus Leucophaeus, the Laughing Gull was long placed in the genus Larus. (Wikipedia with editing)

Interesting Links:

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Bible Birds – Peacocks I

 

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. (1 Kings 10:22 KJV)

For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. (2 Chronicles 9:21 KJV)

In my reading today in I Kings 10, I came to the peacocks arriving to Israel via the Navy of Tharshish or Tarshish. We have written about them in Birds of the Bible – Peacocks (2008) and Birds of the Bible – Pied Peacock and Allies (2011). It’s time to see what else can be discovered about these beautifully created birds by the Lord.

Peacock Feather

Peacock Feather

We know He, The LORD, questioned Job about the Peacocks “goodly wings” in Job 39.

Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? (Job 39:13 KJV)

Now, in I Kings and II Chronicles, the Peacocks are arriving in ships by the Navy of Tharshish. It appears that every three years those ships arrived with its precious cargos. Where had the ships gone to collect these items. There is speculation by some writers that the ships went west to Spain and other think in another way toward India and areas in that direction. The Bible does not say, so, we really don’t know.

Does that make you curious? It make me wonder where they found those peacocks.

Checking the history of Peacocks from CreationWiki and Wikipedia, they say that there are two species of Peafowl from Asia and one species from Africa. Is that were they got these Peacocks mentioned here in Scripture? When you are reading the Bible, do questions like this every give you an urge to dig a little deeper?

First, the “Peacocks” are the males. The females are called “Peahen” and their chicks are called “Peachicks.”  Collectively the birds are called Peafowl. They all belong to the Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies Family.

The two species from India-Asia are the Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

and the Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus).

Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) by Ian

Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus) by Ian

The African member of the family is the Congo Peacock (Afropavo congensis).

Congo Peacock (Afropavo congensis) M F ©WikiC

Congo Peacock (Afropavo congensis) M F ©WikiC

Here are some of the thought of various commentaries:

JFB – once in three years — that is, every third year. Without the mariner’s compass they had to coast along the shore. The ivory, apes, and peacocks might have been purchased, on the outward or homeward voyage, on the north coast of Africa, where the animals were to be found. They were particularized, probably as being the rarest articles on board.

Geneva – By Tharshish is meant Cilicia, which was abundant in the variety of precious things.

Darby – 1 Kings 10:1-29 – The king of Tyre also was dependent on the king of Israel; and the queen of Sheba comes from the far south to delight herself in the wisdom of the head of God’s people, and to be filled with wonder at the sight of his glory, and to praise Jehovah who had raised him so high, and who had blessed the people in giving him to be their king. She also came with gifts; for the king’s renown had spread into distant lands. Nevertheless, although it was a true report that she had heard, the sight of his glory went far beyond all that had been said of it.

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) at Cincinnati Zoo by Lee

We have no clear idea of where they came from, and it really does not matter other than we are told they came by ship. We know that Solomon was the wisest and wealthiest king because God promised him back when he prayed for wisdom.

And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in….. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. (1 Kings 3:7-14 KJV)

(Javan) Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus muticus) by Lee at Zoo Miami

(Javan) Green Peafowl (Pavo muticus muticus) by Lee at Zoo Miami

Wow! Is that not true of those of us who know the Lord? The Lord answers our prayers many times by giving us much more than we ever asked for. As long as our prayers are in line with His Word.

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, (Ephesians 3:17-20 KJV)

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Bible Birds – Facts About Bird Eggs

 

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) by Bob-Nan

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) by Bob-Nan

Eggs

Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust, And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. (Job 39:13-15 KJV)

The largest bird egg is from the Ostrich Sturthio camelus. The egg measures 15 – 20 cm long, 10 – 15 cm in diameter and weighs 1 – 1.78 kg.
Largest egg ~ Ostrich  ~ measuring 17.8 by 14 cm (7 by 4.5 in)
Smallest egg laid relative to body weight ~ Ostrich egg ~ at 1.5%

Ostrich Egg ©WikiC

Ostrich Egg ©WikiC

An ostrich egg needs to be boiled for 2 hours to get a hard-boiled egg.

Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg? (Job 6:6 KJV)

Thinking

Largest Egg – living ~ Ostrich
Largest Egg – ever ~ Elephant Bird Aepyornis maximus From Madagascar 39cm/15.4in long = 12 litres/2.6 gallons, 220 chicken eggs, egg weighed 27 pounds.

Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) by Ian

Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) by Ian

Largest egg laid by a passerine ~ 5 7 g (2 oz) by Australian Lyrebirds
Largest egg laid relative to body weight ~ Little Spotted Kiwi at 26%

Vervain Hummingbird (Mellisuga minima) ©WikiC

Vervain Hummingbird (Mellisuga minima) ©WikiC

Smallest known egg ~ the Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima of Jamacia and nearby islets. The egg is barely the size of a pea and measures less than 10 mm in length and weighs 0.356 g.
You could put 4700 bee hummingbird eggs inside one ostrich egg. The Bee Hummingbird egg is the size of a small pea and weighs .02 ounces. World’s Smallest Bird
Smallest egg ~ West Indian Vervain Hummingbird ~ at 10 mm (0.39 in) in length and 0.375 g (0.0132 oz)
Smallest Egg – living ~ Vervain Hummingbird Mellisuga minima ~ the size of pea

Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:12-13 KJV)

Shape

Different Eggs- Birds and Others - from Wikipedia

Different Eggs- Birds and Others – from Wikipedia

The majority of avian eggs match the shape of chicken eggs, but there are some exceptions.

  • Budgies, for instance, tend to lay very round eggs.
  • Fast-flying, stream-lined birds like swifts and swallows lay long, elliptical eggs.
  • Owls tend to lay very spherical eggs.
  • Roundest eggs ~ Owls, Tinamous
Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) ©©Flickr

Northern Royal Albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) ©©Flickr

The Royal Albatross’ eggs take 79 days to hatch.
Precocial birds like chickens, ostriches, ducks, and seagulls hatch ready to move around. They come from eggs with bigger yolks than altricial birds like owls, woodpeckers, and most small songbirds that need a lot of care from parents in order to survive.

Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo) egg ©©Wong Dermayu

Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo) egg ©©Wong Dermayu

Longest interval between eggs laid ~ Maleo ~ at 1012 day intervals

Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) by Robert Scanlon by Robert Scanlon

Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) by Robert Scanlon by Robert Scanlon

Largest clutch laid by a nidicolous species ~ 19 eggs laid by a European Blue Tit
Largest clutch laid by a nidifugous species ~ 28 by a Bobwhite Quail
Largest average clutch size ~ 15-19 by a Gray Partridge
Smallest clutch size ~ 1 egg laid every 2 years by Albatrosses

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) By Dan'sPix

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) By Dan’sPix at Lake Hollingsworth

Greatest number of eggs laid consecutively ~ 146 by a Mallard
Most valuable bird ~ 8 billion domestic chickens ~ produce 562 billion eggs annually
Highest price paid for an egg ~ 1,000 British pounds for an egg of extinct Aepyornis maximus

And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. (Isaiah 10:14 KJV)

Shell

Bird eggshells are diverse. For example:

  • Cormorant eggs are rough and chalky
  • Tinamou eggs are shiny
  • Duck eggs are oily and waterproof
  • Cassowary eggs are heavily pitted

Tiny pores in bird eggshells allow the embryo to breathe. The domestic hen’s egg has around 7500 pores.

The most yolks ever found in a single chicken’s egg is nine.

Nests

Mallee Fowl Mound ©©

Largest individual nest ~ Mallee Fowl Australia Leipoa ocellata ~ builds a mound 5 m (16.5ft) high and 11 metres (36ft) wide. A mound this size means the bird moved 250 cubic metres of vegetation and 300 tons of soil.
Smallest nest ~

  • many seabirds do not make a nest at all, nest on ground or
  • in case of Fairy Tern on a branch of a tree
  • The prize goes to the Hummingbirds for their thimble sized (1cm squared) nests.

The largest nest was built by a pair of Bald Eagles Haliaeetus leucocephalus was 2.9 m wide and 6 m deep.

Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) ©WikiC

Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) ©WikiC

The Rhinoceros Auklet Cerorhinca monocerata which measures 35 cm and nests on islands in the North Pacific excavates a burrow of 2 – 3 m in length. Burrows up to 6 m are not uncommon and 8 m burrows have also been found.

The only species of parrot that builds a nest is the Quaker Parrot. The Quakers link their nests together to form structures akin to “bird condominiums”. These nests can reach weights greater than 200 lbs.

Largest recorded nesting bird colony: 136 million Passenger Pigeon nesting in an area in Wisconsin covering 1,942 sq km (750 sq mi)

Isn’t it amazing how the Lord created each bird’s egg to help it survive and for it to do His command to:

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:22 NKJV)

(Various internet resources used and Wikipedia)

See Also:

Formed By Him – Bird Eggs
When I Consider – Guillemot
Egg And Nest Identification
Bird Eggs Photo Search
Hummingbird Nest & Eggs

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Bible Birds – Common Ostrich

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Dan and I were on vacation and stopped by the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens in Columbia, SC. I have see Ostriches before, but it has been awhile. We see the Emus at Lowry Park Zoo often, but they are not nearly as tall as the Ostrich. I had forgotten that the Lord had created such a huge bird.

The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, But are her wings and pinions like the kindly stork’s? For she leaves her eggs on the ground, And warms them in the dust; She forgets that a foot may crush them, Or that a wild beast may break them. She treats her young harshly, as though they were not hers; Her labor is in vain, without concern, Because God deprived her of wisdom, And did not endow her with understanding. When she lifts herself on high, She scorns the horse and its rider. (Job 39:13-18 NKJV)

The Ostrich does belong to the Struthionidae Family. Currently there are two; the Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) and the Somali Ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes). The one we saw was the Common. The Ostrich is the largest bird in the world! They are omnivorous flightless birds but make up for their inability to fly with the powerful legs they possess. These birds were built for speed. That is why the reference to the horse and rider. Ostriches can give a horse competition for at least a burst of speed.

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot back at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

“Ostriches usually weigh from 140–320 lb (63 to 145 kilograms), Ostriches of the East African race (S. c. massaicus) averaged 250 lb (115 kg) in males and 220 lb (100 kg) in females, while the nominate subspecies was found to average 240 lb (111 kg) in unsexed adults. At sexual maturity (two to four years), male ostriches can be from 6 ft 11 in to 9 ft 2 in (2.1 to 2.8 m) in height, while female ostriches range from 5 ft 7 in to 6 ft 7 in (1.7 to 2 m) tall. New chicks are fawn with dark brown spots. During the first year of life, chicks grow about 10 in (25 cm) per month. At one year of age, ostriches weigh around 100 lb (45 kilograms). Their lifespan is up to 40 or 45 years.” (Wikipedia with editing)

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Foot front at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

I am not sure how tall these were, but they had to be close to 8 feet. As I was observing them, I was trying to remember all that the verses said about them. That is one reason I took pictures of their feet. I knew that their feet and legs helped  them run, but also that those same feet were a danger to their young ones. They do have big feet and with an interesting shape as you can see from the photos.

If you notice the size of their head to their body, maybe that is how the Lord “did not endow her with understanding.” The head is interesting though because they are one of the few birds that have eyelashes. They have acute eyesight and hearing, the long neck and legs keep their head up to 9 ft (2.8 m) above the ground, and their eyes are said to be the largest of any land vertebrate – 2.0 in (50 mm) in diameter; they can therefore perceive predators at a great distance. The eyes are shaded from sun light falling from above. However, the head and bill are relatively small for the birds’ huge size”

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Head at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Head at Riverbanks Zoo SC by Lee

Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. (Psalms 96:1-4 NKJV)

Links:

Bible Birds – Ostrich

Birds of the Bible – Ostrich

Struthionidae – Ostriches

Ostrich – Creation Wiki

Ostrich – Wikipedia

Ostrich – The Largest Bird with the Biggest Eyes

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Hoopoe Chick Looks Out

Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) by W Kwon

Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) by W Kwon

the stork, the heron after its kind, and the hoopoe and the bat. (Deu 14:18)

Hoopoes are a favorite avian wonder for me. When I first learned about this lovely colored bird with that neat top notch, they won my heart.
Here is a video of a parent feeding a chick. Eventually, the youngster decides to look around. Enjoy!!

Bible Birds – Hoopoe

Birds of the Bible – Hoopoe

Wordless Bird

Bible Birds – Herons in Tampa Bay

Reddish, Snowys, Greats Egrets and Great Blue Heron 5-10-13 by Lee at MacDill

Reddish, Snowys, Greats Egrets and Great Blue Heron (5-10-13) by Lee

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

Herons are one of the species listed on the “Do not eat list” as has been written about before in the various Birds of the Bible – Heron and Bible Birds – Heron articles. The first one was written back in 2008 when I first started the blog.

Since we were out birdwatching last week over in Tampa at the bay, I thought I would share some of those photos and update the Heron information some more. We saw a Great Blue Heron, several Little Blue Herons, and several others that are “after her kind” and in the same Ardeidae – Heron, Bittern  family. There were Snowy Egrets and Great Egrets fishing along with the others. The Little Blue Herons were in breeding plumage which you could tell because of their exceptionally blue beaks. (Not real clear-I was zoomed from quite a distance)

Little Blue Heron and Snowy Egrets by Lee from distance

Little Blue Heron and Snowy Egrets by Lee from distance

Herons are only mentioned twice in Scripture; Leviticus 11:19 and in Deuteronomy 14:18. That modern-day family, Ardiedae, currently has 72 members which includes not only Herons and Egrets, but also Bitterns. Some of them are grouped together like, Tiger Herons, Night Herons, Pond Herons, Reef Herons and Cattle Egrets. Not sure about the Tiger Herons but the night, pond, reef, and cattle name give you a clue as to where you might find them out and about.

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

The herons are long-legged freshwater and coastal birds in the family Ardeidae, (some are called “egrets” or “bitterns” instead of “heron”). Within Ardeidae, all members of the genera Botaurus and Ixobrychus are referred to as “bitterns”, and — including the Zigzag Heron or Zigzag Bittern — are a monophyletic group within the Ardeidae. However, egrets are not a biologically distinct group from the herons, and tend to be named differently because they are mainly white and/or have decorative plumes. Although egrets have the same build as herons, they tend to be smaller.

Great Egret (Ardea alba) Swallowing MacDil by Lee

Great Egret (Ardea alba) Swallowing by Lee

The classification of the individual heron/egret species is fraught with difficulty, and there is still no clear consensus about the correct placement of many species into either of the two major genera, Ardea and Egretta. Similarly, the relationship of the genera in the family is not completely resolved. However, one species formerly considered to constitute a separate monotypic family Cochlearidae, the Boat-billed Heron, is now regarded as a member of the Ardeidae.

Although herons resemble birds in some other families, such as the storks, ibises, spoonbills and cranes, they differ from these in flying with their necks retracted, not outstretched. They are also one of the bird groups that have powder down. Some members of this group nest colonially in trees, while others, notably the bitterns, use reedbeds.

The largest species of heron is the Goliath Heron, which stand up to 152 cm (60 in) tall. The necks are able to kink in an s-shape, due to the modified shape of the sixth vertebrae. The neck is able to retract and extend, and is retracted during flight, unlike most other long-necked birds. The neck is longer in the day herons than the night herons and bitterns. The legs are long and strong and in almost every species are unfeathered from the lower part of the tibia (the exception is the Zigzag Heron). In flight the legs and feet are held backward. The feet of herons have long thin toes, with three forward pointing ones and one going backward.

Reddish-Snowys-Greats Egrets -Great Blue Heron by Lee

Reddish-Snowys-Greats Egrets – Snowy in front with yellow feet

The herons are a widespread family with a cosmopolitan distribution. They exist on all continents except Antarctica, and are present in most habitats except the coldest extremes of the Arctic, extremely high mountains and the driest deserts. Almost all species are associated with water, they are essentially non-swimming waterbirds that feed on the margins of lakes, rivers, swamps, ponds and the sea. They are predominately found in lowland areas, although some species live in alpine areas, and the majority of species occur in the tropics.

While the family exhibits a range of breeding strategies, overall the herons are monogamous and mostly colonial. Most day-herons and night-herons are colonial, or partly colonial depending on circumstances, whereas the bitterns and tiger-herons are mostly solitary nesters. Colonies may contain several species as well as other types of waterbird. In a study of Little Egrets and Cattle Egrets in India the majority of the colonies surveyed contained both species. (Wikipedia with editing)

See:

Bible Birds – Herons [younger readers]

Bible Birds

Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Heron – Page

Birds of the Bible – Herons – Article

Heron – Wikipedia

Ardeidae – Heron, Bitterns  family

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Bible Birds – Hawk Migration

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) ©USFWS

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) ©USFWS

Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south? (Job 39:26 ESV)

Job was being asked by the Lord if he knew how and why the Hawk knows that it needs to go south for the winter. The Lord is smarter than we are and when He created the birds, He gave them instincts (knowledge) to do certain tasks. He put within the Hawks and other birds that migrate (travel to other areas) the knowledge of when and where to go.

Why do they migrate? There are various reasons why they travel, many great distances, for the winter or summer. The weather turns cold in the northern part of the world (northern hemisphere) in the winter and many birds cannot survive in really cold weather. In the summer, those birds go back north, because it gets cold down where they spent the winter. (The seasons are reversed in the northern and southern hemispheres.) So, some birds just keep going north and south each year so they can live in warm weather.

Other birds move around or migrate because their food supply ends and they go to the next area to be able to feed themselves. The Lord promised the birds and animals to provide for them, but He does not “spoon-feed” them. They have to go where He has provided for them.

And to all the animals on the earth and to every bird of the air and to everything that creeps on the ground–to everything in which there is the breath of life–I have given every green plant for food. And it was so. (Genesis 1:30 AMP)

A tree in Daniel has this promise given about it:

Its leaves were fair and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The living creatures of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches; and all flesh was fed from it.  (Daniel 4:12 AMP)

Crane Hawk (Geranospiza caerulescens) ©WikiC

Crane Hawk (Geranospiza caerulescens) ©WikiC

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? (Matthew 6:26 AMP)

Those are very good promises by the Lord, the Creator, that He will provide for them. That last verse also gives you and I the promise that He will also provide for us, because we are worth more. He loves us and has given us much more. See The Wordless Birds.

We will tell more things about the Hawks in other Bible Bird – Hawks articles.

See Also:

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Bible Birds – Dove and Pigeon Distribution

Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata) by Robert Scanlon

Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata) by Robert Scanlon

Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; (Genesis 8:8 KJV)

Doves and Pigeons are mentioned many times throughout Scripture. When people all over the world read about them in their Bible, they probably have an idea of what that bird looks like. Why?

“Pigeons and doves are distributed everywhere on Earth, except for the driest areas of the Sahara Desert, Antarctica and its surrounding islands and the high Arctic. They have colonised most of the world’s oceanic islands, reaching eastern Polynesia and the Chatham Islands in the Pacific, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Réunion in the Indian Ocean, and the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean.” (Wikipedia)

They appear almost everywhere. During the time of sacrifices to God, before Jesus Christ became the perfect Sacrifice for our sins; doves, turtle dove and young pigeons were accepted. Just as salvation is available to all, there were birds available, no matter where you were.

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) by Dan

Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) by Dan

Why are they so plentiful?

“The family has adapted to most of the habitats available on the planet. These species may be arboreal, terrestrial or semiterrestrial. Various species also inhabit savannas, grasslands, deserts, temperate woodlands and forests, mangrove forests, and even the barren sands and gravels of atolls.”

Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata) by Margaret Sloan

Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata) has been widely introduced around the world – by Margaret Sloan

Are the Doves and Pigeons called by the same name? No. As they have reproduced and moved to the different areas (distribution), the number of species have grown.

“Some species have large natural ranges. The Eared Dove ranges across the entirety of South America from Colombia to Tierra Del Fuego, the Eurasian Collared Dove has a massive (if discontinuous) distribution from Britain across Europe, the Middle East, India, Pakistan and China, and the Laughing Dove across most of sub-Saharan Africa, as well as India, Pakistan and the Middle East. Other species have a tiny, restricted distribution; this is most common in island endemics. The Whistling Dove is endemic to the tiny Kadavu Island in Fiji, the Caroline Ground-dove is restricted to two islands, Truk and Pohnpei in the Caroline Islands, and the Grenada Dove is restricted to Grenada in the Caribbean. Some continental species also have tiny distributions; for example, the Black-banded Fruit Dove is restricted to a small area of the Arnhem Land of Australia, the Somali Pigeon is restricted to a tiny area of northern Somalia, and Moreno’s Ground Dove is restricted to the area around Salta and Tucuman in northern Argentina.”

Rock Dove (Columba livia) by Ian

Rock Dove (Columba livia) by Ian

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

“The largest range of any species is that of the Rock Dove or Rock Pigeon. This species had a large natural distribution from Britain and Ireland to northern Africa, across Europe, Arabia, Central Asia, India, the Himalayas and up into China and Mongolia. The range of the species increased dramatically upon domestication, as the species went feral in cities around the world. The species is currently resident across most of North America, and has established itself in cities and urban areas in South America, sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The species is not the only pigeon to have increased its range due to the actions of man; several other species have become established outside of their natural range after escaping captivity, and other species have increased their natural ranges due to habitat changes caused by human activity.”

The “Pigeon” (Columba livia) is known by many names because of the different languages spoken, yet they all refer to the same bird. The scientific name,  Columba livia, refers to only that bird, no matter what they call it.

Here are some examples:

English:
Rock Pigeon
Czech:
holub skalní
German:
Felsentaube
Danish:
Klippedue
Spanish:
Paloma Bravía
Finnish:
kalliokyyhky
French:
Pigeon biset
Icelandic:
Bjargdúfa
Italian:
Piccione selvatico
Japanese:
kawarabato
Japanese:
カワラバト(ドバト)
Dutch:
Rotsduif
Norwegian:
Klippedue (Domestisert: Bydue)
Polish:
gołąb miejski
Portuguese:
Pombo-doméstico
Portuguese (Brazil):
Pombo-doméstico
Russian:
Сизый голубь
Slovak:
holub divý
Swedish:
Klippduva
Chinese:
原鸽

(Adapted from the Wikipedia’s “Columbidae” page, especially the “Distribution and Habitat” section.)

Banded Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus cinctus) by Ian

Banded Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus cinctus) by Ian

The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land. (Song of Solomon 2:12 NKJV)

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29 KJV)

As mentioned above, if a person could not afford a lamb or ram, then Turtle Dove and Pigeons were accepted. They were plentiful and available. Since the Lord paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sin, the need to use these birds is no longer needed. As a birdwatcher, I am thankful. As a Christian, I am most thankful for the Lord’s sacrifice for my sins.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)

See:

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Bible Birds – Cranes I

Sarus Crane (Grus antigone) by Lee at Wings of Asia

Sarus Crane (Grus antigone) by Lee at Wings of Asia

The 15 species of Cranes worldwide are: Black Crowned, Black-necked, Brolga, Demoiselle, Eurasian, Grey Crowned, Hooded, Red-Crowned, Sandhill, Sarus(tallest flying bird-6’ tall), Siberian, Wattled, White-naped, and the Whooping Crane (tallest N. American flying bird-5’ tall). The Cranes belong to the Gruidae – Cranes Family.

Cranes are tall birds from 3 to 6 feet tall, with wingspans over 6 feet. The tallest Crane is the Sarus and the shortest is the Demoiselle. They fly with their neck straight out and their long legs trailing. They chatter and call when flying. We have plenty of Sandhill Cranes here in Central Florida walking around the neighborhoods. They seem pretty tame sometimes and will eat out of your hand. They were bringing a small flock of Whooping Cranes to Florida every fall that followed an Ultra Light Aircraft from Wisconsin. We have a few non-migratory Whooping Cranes in the area that I have seen in a cow field off US 27.

Sandhill Cranes and Babies in yard

Sandhill Cranes and Babies in yard

There are only two verses in the Bible that mention the Crane.

Cranes migrate by following known paths taught them by their parents, or substitutes. Migrating birds know when and where to go and when to come. When God created them, He put that information in them.

Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me. (Isaiah 38:14 KJV)

“So did I chatter – … The idea here is doubtless that of pain that was expressed in sounds resembling that made by birds – a broken, unmeaning unintelligible sighing; or quick breathing, and moaning. ” Barnes Commentary

Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 KJV)

“The instinct of the migratory birds leads them with unfailing regularity to return every spring from their winter abodes in summer climes (Song of Solomon 2:12); but God’s people will not return to Him even when the winter of His wrath is past, and He invites them back to the spring of His favor.” Jameison, Faussett, and Brown Commentary

As you watch the following video notice that the two Bible verses are being demonstrated. Notice the chattering as they fly about and also that they are heading out for their migration to warmer climates. Migration means travel to another area. Usually here in America, the birds go south in the winter and then return north in the spring as it warms back up. This is God’s way of protecting birds that cannot survive in the cold.

Sandhill Cranes(grey) at the Plate River and some Whooping Cranes (white)

See:

On Our Main Site See:

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Bible Birds – Crane’s Introduction

Crane’s Introduction

Sandhill Cranes and Babies in yard by Lee

Sandhill Cranes and Babies in yard

Even the stork in the heavens knows her times, and the turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming, but my people know not the rules of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 ESV)

Cranes are in the Gruidae Family of the Gruiformes Order. At present, there are 15 species or members of that family. All of them are called Cranes, except for one member. That is the Brolga which is found in New Guinea and Australia. Cranes are another of the Lord’s creation that I enjoy watching. We are fortunate to be able to see Sandhill Cranes almost daily. Just spotted 18 today across from my backyard and will post an article about it soon.

Brolga(Grusrubicunda) by Ian

Brolga(Grusrubicunda) by Ian

Cranes bear a general resemblance to Herons in that they are long-legged, long-necked birds, but when on the wing, they carry the neck fully extended, a habit which will readily distinguish them from the curved neck Herons. Cranes are less aquatic than Herons and are often found feeding on the prairies or pine-barrens where worms, grasshoppers, lizards, roots, etc., form their fare. They nest on the ground laying two buffy eggs thickly marked with brown. The young, unlike the nearly naked, helpless young of Herons, are born covered with down and can soon follow their parents. The Cranes have loud sonorous voices; the Herons raucous croaks.

Sandhill Crane from Color Key to North American Birds, by Frank M. Chapman

Sandhill Crane from Color Key to North American Birds, by Frank M. Chapman

They have the hind-toe elevated, that is, leaving the foot at a higher level than the front toes; tail short; legs usually long. All fly with the neck extended, a fact by which Cranes in flight may be known from Herons. (Color Key to North American Birds, by Frank M. Chapman)

Cranes are a Bible Bird and appear in two verses, the one above (Jeremiah 8:7) and in the following verse:

Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me. (Isaiah 38:14 KJV)

A Sandhill Crane call. Does it sound like a chatter?

[Sandhill Crane Calls(From xeno.canto)

Cranes construct platform nests in shallow water, and typically lay two eggs at a time. Both parents help to rear the young, which remain with them until the next breeding season.

Cranes migrate (travel to a warmer climate in winter) as mention in Jeremiah 8:7. Here is a photo of Common Cranes in Israel gathered together.

Common Cranes in Israel. Many species of crane gather in large groups during migration and on their wintering grounds ©WikiC

Common Cranes in Israel. Many species of crane gather in large groups during migration and on their wintering grounds ©WikiC

Cranes are one of the tallest flying birds, but more on that in another Bible Birds article.

See:

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Wordless Birds
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