Peanuts for 3/11/2018 – Copyright Peanuts/Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS
It’s getting time for the birds to think about heading north and start their nests. I couldn’t help but chuckle over Snoopy helping out.
Cormorant Tree at Gatorland by Lee
Egret and Heron nests at Gatorland by Lee 3-6-18
We were at Gatorland recently, in central Florida, and the nests were everywhere. One even had a one-day old Great Egret in it. It really wasn’t so “Great” at this stage of its life.
Great Egret 1-day old chick at Gatorland
I doubt Snoopy helped supply the twigs for these nest, especially with all the Alligators laying around underneath them.
Gators waiting under the nest – Gatorland by Lee 3-6-18
Have a great day!
If a bird’s nest chance to be before thee in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones, or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young: (Deuteronomy 22:6 KJV)
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.
“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.
“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
“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.”
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?
Listen to the story read.
The birds of the air have their resting-places by them (trees), and make their song among the branches. (Psalms 104:12 BBE)
A week ago, we went to Lake Morton in Lakeland for half hour or so. Several of the Swans were sitting on nest and a Peking Duck or a White Mallard was working on her nest. She kept adding twigs and grass to the nest and then walked away.
Have you ever watched a bird build or work on a nest? They add the “walls” and a “floor” and some birds like Weavers, make a “roof” over their nest.
As I watched the bird working on her nest, it reminded me of what was going on at our house. As I mentioned last week, our house was in “disarray” while our “spare” bedroom and two other areas were being worked on. Many spare rooms become a collection of “stuff.” (At least our is)
Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 39:6 KJV)
This was a warning to the Israelites. We all know that there are good things put in “store.”
Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. (1 Corinthians 16:2 KJV)
Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (1 Timothy 6:19 KJV)
Back to our nest. This verse: “Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 8:7 NIV)
Another lesson we can learn from our birds. They do not load their nest with stuff. Some add colorful threads now and then, but there are no hat racks or closets with different feathers hanging. They do not have to decide what color feather they to wear today. No cooking utensils to worry about. No suitcase ready to pack when it become time to migrate. When it is time to go, they go.
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) with youngstersby Raymond Barlow
Must be a lesson there. I am a bit of a pack-rat and it has been interesting around here lately. Especially when all did not go as planned. A mix-up caused a delay, so the disarray has continued longer than expected. Now that the floor is finally completed, I am trying to de-clutter some as “things” are returned to the “spare” room. At least the computer is back up and running. Yeah!
Yep! The birds have the right idea. Lord bless you all as you face your challenges. Maybe the birds will have a hint to help you also.
Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited
Vol 1. May, 1897 No. 5
“There swims no goose so gray, but soon or late, She takes some honest gander for a mate;” There live no birds, however bright or plain, But rear a brood to take their place again. —C. C. M.
UITE the jolliest season of the year, with the birds, is when they begin to require a home, either as a shelter from the weather, a defence against their enemies, or a place to rear and protect their young. May is not the only month in which they build their nests, some of our favorites, indeed, waiting till June, and even July; but as it is the time of the year when a general awakening to life and activity is felt in all nature, and the early migrants have come back, not to re-visit, but to re-establish their temporarily deserted homes, we naturally fix upon the first real spring month as the one in which their little hearts are filled with titillations of joy and anticipation. In May, when the trees have put on their fullest dress of green, and the little nests are hidden from all curious eyes, if we could look quite through the waving branches and rustling leaves, we should behold the little mothers sitting upon their tiny eggs in patient happiness, or feeding their young broods, not yet able to flutter away; while in the leafy month of June, when Nature is perfect in mature beauty, the young may everywhere be seen gracefully imitating the parent birds, whose sole purpose in life seems to be the fulfillment of the admonition to care well for one’s own.
There can hardly be a higher pleasure than to watch the nest-building of birds. See the Wren looking for a convenient cavity in ivy-covered walls, under eaves, or among the thickly growing branches of fir trees, the tiny creature singing with cheerful voice all day long. Observe the Woodpecker tunneling his nest in the limb of a lofty tree, his pickax-like beak finding no difficulty in making its way through the decayed wood, the sound of his pounding, however, accompanied by his shrill whistle, echoing through the grove. But the nest of the Jay: Who can find it? Although a constant prowler about the nests of other birds, he is so wary and secretive that his little home is usually found only by accident. And the Swallow: “He is the bird of return,” Michelet prettily says of him. If you will only treat him kindly, says Ruskin, year after year, he comes back to the same niche, and to the same hearth, for his nest. To the same niche! Think of this a little, as if you heard of it for the first time. But nesting-time with the birds is one of sentiment as well as of industry The amount of affectation in lovemaking they are capable of is simply ludicrous.
The British Sparrow which, like the poor, we have with us always, is a much more interesting bird in this and other respects than we commonly give him credit for. It is because we see him every day, at the back door, under the eaves, in the street, in the parks, that we are indifferent to him. Were he of brighter plumage, brilliant as the Bobolink or the Oriole, he would be a welcome, though a perpetual, guest, and we would not, perhaps, seek legislative action for his extermination. If he did not drive away Bluebirds, whose nesting-time and nesting-place are quite the same as his own, we might not discourage his nesting proclivity, although we cannot help recognizing his cheerful chirp with generous crumbs when the snow has covered all the earth and left him desolate. C. C. Marble.
Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis) on nest by Ian
I think I will just let the Scriptures tell about the nests.
If a bird’s nest happens to be before you along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, with the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young; you shall surely let the mother go, and take the young for yourself, that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days. (Deuteronomy 22:6-7 NKJV)
All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs; Under its branches all the beasts of the field brought forth their young; And in its shadow all great nations made their home. (Ezekiel 31:6 NKJV)
Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young— Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You. Selah (Psalms 84:3-4 NKJV)
As an eagle stirs up its nest, Hovers over its young, Spreading out its wings, taking them up, Carrying them on its wings, (Deuteronomy 32:11 NKJV)
You who dwell in Moab, Leave the cities and dwell in the rock, And be like the dove which makes her nest In the sides of the cave’s mouth. (Jeremiah 48:28 NKJV)
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32 NKJV)
Where the birds make their nests; The stork has her home in the fir trees. (Psalms 104:17 NKJV)
And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Luke 9:58 NKJV)
The above article is an article in the monthly serial for April 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.