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 – Peacocks Page Updated

Indian Peafowl (Pavocristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Peafowl (Pavocristatus) by Nikhil Devasar

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

Peacocks belong to the  Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies Family.

Click to See the updated page with a Slideshow and the article

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Vol 2, #6 – The Ring-necked Pheasant

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

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

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

THE RING-NECKED PHEASANT.

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

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

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

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

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

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Summary:

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

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

Nest—On the ground under bushes.

Eggs—Vary, from thirteen to twenty.


Pheasant (Phasianus colchius) by Robert Scanlon

Pheasant (Phasianus colchius) by Robert Scanlon

Lee’s Addition:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Female

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Female

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

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

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

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

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Egg

Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) ©WikiC Egg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

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

Next Article – More Bird Miscellany

The Previous Article – The Bronzed Grackle

ABC’s of the Gospel

Links:

Ring-necked Pheasant – All About Birds

Common Pheasant – Wikipedia

Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies. Family

Bible Birds – Partridge

Birds of the Bible – Partridge

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Vol 2, #6 – The Black Grouse

Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) for Birds Illustrated

Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) for Birds Illustrated

From col. C. E. Petford. Copyrighted by
Nature Study Pub. Co., 1897, Chicago.

THE BLACK GROUSE.

Alone on English moors I’ve seen the Black Cock stray,
Sounding his earnest love-note on the air.
—Anon.

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ELL known as the Black Cock is supposed to be, we fancy few of our readers have ever seen a specimen. It is a native of the more southern countries of Europe, and still survives in many portions of the British Islands, especially those localities where the pine woods and heaths afford it shelter, and it is not driven away by the presence of human habitation.

The male bird is known to resort at the beginning of the nesting season to some open spot, where he utters his love calls, and displays his new dress to the greatest advantage, for the purpose of attracting as many females as may be willing to consort with him. His note when thus engaged is loud and resonant, and can be heard at a considerable distance. This crowing sound is accompanied by a harsh, grating, stridulous kind of cry which has been compared to the noise produced by whetting a scythe. The Black Cock does not pair, but leaves his numerous mates to the duties of maternity and follows his own desires while they prepare their nests, lay their eggs, hatch them, and bring up the young. The mother bird, however, is a fond, watchful parent, and when she has been alarmed by man or a prowling beast, has been known to remove her eggs to some other locality, where she thinks they will not be discovered.

The nest is carelessly made of grasses and stout herbage, on the ground, under the shelter of grass and bushes. There are from six to ten eggs of yellowish gray, with spots of light brown. The young are fed first upon insects, and afterwards on berries, grain, and the buds and shoots of trees.

The Black Grouse is a wild and wary creature. The old male which has survived a season or two is particularly shy and crafty, distrusting both man and dog, and running away as soon as he is made aware of approaching danger.

In the autumn the young males separate themselves from the other sex and form a number of little bachelor establishments of their own, living together in harmony until the next nesting season, when they all begin to fall in love; “the apple of discord is thrown among them by the charms of the hitherto repudiated sex, and their rivalries lead them into determined and continual battles, which do not cease until the end of the season restores them to peace and sobriety.”

The coloring of the female is quite different from that of the male Grouse. Her general color is brown, with a tinge of orange, barred with black and speckled with the same hue, the spots and bars being larger on the breast, back, and wings, and the feathers on the breast more or less edged with white. The total length of the adult male is about twenty-two inches, and that of the female from seventeen to eighteen inches. She also weighs nearly one-third less than her mate, and is popularly termed the Heath Hen.

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Summary:

BLACK GROUSE.Tetrao tetrix. Other name: “Black Cock.” (or Lyrurus tetrix)

Range—Southern Europe and the British Islands.

Nest—Carelessly made, of grasses and stout herbage, on the ground.

Eggs—Six to ten, of yellowish gray, with spots of light brown.


 Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) Cock ©WikiC

Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) Cock ©WikiC

Lee’s Addition:

Like the partridge that gathers a brood which she did not hatch and sits on eggs which she has not laid, so is he who gets riches by unjust means and not by right. He will leave them, or they will leave him, in the midst of his days, and at his end he will be a fool. (Jeremiah 17:11 AMP)

The Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix or Lyrurus tetrix) is a member of the Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies Family. There are twelve Grouse in the family of Turkeys, Partridges, Ptarmigans, Snowcocks, Francolins, Quail, Tragopans, Pheasants and even Peafowl in that family along with a few others. A total of 182 species are found in the Phasianidae Family.

(From Wikipedia with editing) – The Black Grouse or Blackgame (Tetrao tetrix) is a large game bird in the grouse family. It is a sedentary species, breeding across northern Eurasia in moorland and bog areas near to woodland, mostly boreal. The Black Grouse is closely related to the Caucasian Grouse.

The female is greyish-brown and has a cackling call. She takes all responsibility for nesting and caring for the chicks, as is typical with gamebirds.

Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) Egg ©WikiC

Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) Egg ©WikiC

The Black Grouse is one of the many species first described in the 10th edition of Systema Naturae in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus, and still bears its original binomial name. Both Tetrao and tetrix come from Ancient Greek words referring to some form of game bird.

The male and female are sometimes referred to by their folk names, Blackcock and Greyhen respectively. These names first occur in the literature with John Ray in 1674. Heathcock and Heathhen are also common names.

Black Grouse is a large bird with males being around 21 in (53 cm) long and weighing 2.2–3.2 lb (1,000–1,450 grams) and females approximately 16 in (40 cm) and weighing 1.7–2.4 lb (750–1,110 grams). The cock is very distinctive, with black plumage, apart from red wattles and a white wingbar, and a lyre-shaped tail, which appears forked in flight. His song is loud, bubbling and somewhat dove-like.

Black Grouse can be found across Europe (Swiss-Italian-French Alps specially) from Great Britain (but not Ireland) through Scandinavia and Estonia into Russia. In Eastern Europe they can be found in Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Romania and Ukraine. There is a population in the Alps, and isolated remnants in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. It formerly occurred in Denmark, but the Danish Ornithological Society (DOF) has considered it extinct since 2001.

Black grouse have a very distinctive and well-recorded courtship ritual or game. At dawn in the spring, the males strut around in a traditional area and display whilst making a highly distinctive mating call. This process is called a lek – the grouse are said to be lekking. In western Europe these gatherings seldom involve more than 40 birds; in Russia 150 is not uncommon and 200 have been recorded.

The tails of black-cocks have, since late Victorian times, been popular adornments for hats worn with Highland Dress. Most commonly associated with Glengarry and Balmoral or Tam O’Shanter caps, they still continue to be worn by pipers of civilian and military pipe bands. Since 1904, all ranks of the Royal Scots and King’s Own Scottish Borderers have worn them in their full-dress headgear and that tradition is carried on in the dress glengarries of the current Scottish-super regiment, The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

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

Next Article – The American Flamingo

The Previous Article – The Green-winged Teal

Gospel Message

Links:

Black Grouse – xeno-canto.org

Black Grouse – Wikipedia

Black Grouse – ARKive

Black Grouse – IBC

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Vol. 2, No. 5 – The Wild Turkey

THE WILD TURKEY

The Wild Turkey
From Col. Fred. Kaempfer.
Copyrighted by Nature Study Pub. Co., 1897, Chicago.

THE WILD TURKEY.

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T has been observed that when the Turkey makes its appearance on table all conversation should for the moment be suspended. That it is eaten in silence on some occasions may be inferred from the following anecdote: A certain judge of Avignon, famous for his love of the glorious bird, which the American people have wisely selected for the celebration of Thanksgiving Day, said to a friend: “We have just been dining on a superb Turkey. It was excellent. Stuffed with truffles to the very throat—tender, delicate, filled with perfume! We left nothing but the bones!” “How many were there of you?” asked his friend. “Two,” replied the judge, “the Turkey—and myself!” The reason, no doubt, why this brilliant bird, which so much resembles the domestic Turkey, is now almost extinct. It was formerly a resident of New England, and is still found to some extent as far north-west as the Missouri River and south-west as Texas. In Ohio it was formerly an abundant resident. Dr. Kirtland (1850) mentions the time when Wild Turkeys were more common than tame ones are now.

The nests of this bird are very difficult to discover, as they are made on the ground, midst tall, thick weeds or tangled briars. The female will not leave the nest until almost trodden upon. It is stated that when the eggs are once touched, she will abandon her nest.

The Turkey became known to Europeans almost immediately upon the discovery of America by the Spaniards in 1518, and it is probable that it is distinctively an American bird. In its wild state, its plumage, as in the case of the Honduras Turkey, grows more lustrous and magnificent as the family extends southward.

The “Gobblers,” as the males are called, associate in parties of ten to one hundred, seeking their food apart from the females, which wander singly with their young or in troops with other hens and their families, sometimes to the number of seventy or eighty. They travel on foot, unless disturbed by the hunter or a river compels them to take wing. It is said that when about to cross a river, they select a high eminence from which to start, that their flight may be more sure, and in such a position they sometimes remain for a day or more, as if in consultation. On such occasions the males gobble vociferously, strutting about pompously as if to animate their companions. At the signal note of their leader, they wing their way to the opposite shore.

The Wild Turkey feeds on many kinds of berries, fruits, and grasses. Beetles, tadpoles, young frogs, and lizards are sometimes found in its crop. When the Turkeys reach their destination, they disperse in flocks, devouring the mast as they proceed.

Pairing time begins in March. The sexes roost apart, but at no great distance, so that when the female utters a call, every male within hearing responds, rolling note after note in rapid succession, in a voice resembling that of the tame Turkey when he hears any unusual noise. Where the Turkeys are numerous, the woods from one end to the other, sometimes for many miles, resound with these voices of wooing.

The specimen of the Wild Turkey presented in this number of Birds is of extraordinary size and beauty, and has been much admired. The day is not far distant when a living specimen of this noble bird will be sought for in vain in the United States.


WILD TURKEYMeleagris gallopava.

Range—Eastern United States from Pennsylvania southward to Florida, west to Wisconsin, the Indian Territory and Texas.

Nest—On the ground, at the base of a bush or tree.

Eggs—Ten to fourteen, pale cream buff, finely and evenly speckled with grayish brown.


Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Lee at LPZoo

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) by Lee at LPZoo

Lee’s Addition:

Of all clean birds you may eat. (Deuteronomy 14:11 AMP)

The Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is native to North America and is the heaviest member of the diverse Galliformes and are in the Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies Family. It is the same species as the domestic turkey, which was originally derived from a southern Mexican subspecies of Wild Turkey (not the related Ocellated Turkey). Although native to North America, the Wild Turkey got its name due to the trade routes in place. During the 16th Century, the major trade route from the Americas and Asia required the goods to go to Constantinople in Turkey before being sent to Britain. The British at the time therefore, associated the Wild Turkey with the country Turkey and the name stuck.

Adult wild turkeys have long reddish-yellow to grayish-green legs. The body feathers are generally blackish and dark brown overall with a coppery sheen that becomes more complex in adult males. Adult males, called toms or gobblers, have a large, featherless, reddish head, red throat, and red wattles on the throat and neck. The head has fleshy growths called caruncles. Juvenile males are called jakes, the difference between an adult male and a juvenile is that the jake has a very short beard and his tail fan has longer feathers in the middle. The adult male’s tail fan will be all the same length. When males are excited, a fleshy flap on the bill expands, and this, the wattles and the bare skin of the head and neck all become engorged with blood, almost concealing the eyes and bill. The long fleshy object over a male’s beak is called a snood. When a male turkey is excited, its head turns blue; when ready to fight, it turns red. Each foot has three toes in front, with a shorter, rear-facing toe in back; males have a spur behind each of their lower legs.

Male turkeys have a long, dark, fan-shaped tail and glossy bronze wings. The male is substantially larger than the female, and his feathers have areas of red, purple, green, copper, bronze, and gold iridescence. Females, called hens, have feathers that are duller overall, in shades of brown and gray. The primary wing feathers have white bars. Turkeys have 5000 to 6000 feathers. Tail feathers are of the same length in adults, different lengths in juveniles.

Males typically have a “beard”, a tuft of coarse hair (modified feathers) growing from the center of the breast. Beards average 230 mm (9.1 in) in length. In some populations, females have a beard, usually shorter and thinner than that of the male. The adult male (or “tom”) normally weighs from 5 to 11 kg (11 to 24 lb) and measures 100–125 cm (39–49 in) in length. The adult female (or “hen”) is typically much smaller at 2.5–5.4 kg (5.5–12 lb) and is 76 to 95 cm (30 to 37 in) long. The wings are relatively small, as is typical of the galliform order, and the wingspan ranges from 1.25 to 1.44 m (4 ft 1 in to 4 ft 9 in). The bill is also relatively small. The tarsus of the Wild Turkey is quite long and sturdy. The tail is also relatively long The record-sized adult male Wild Turkey, … weighed 16.85 kg (37.1 lb). While it is usually rather lighter than the waterfowl, after the Trumpeter Swan, the turkey has the second heaviest maximum weight of any North American bird. Going on average mass, several other birds on the continent, including the American White Pelican and the very rare California Condor and Whooping Crane surpass the mean weight of turkeys.

Turkeys have many vocalizations: “gobbles,” “clucks,” “putts,” “purrs,” “yelps,” “cutts,” “whines,” “cackles,” and “kee-kees.” In early spring, male turkeys, also called gobblers or toms, gobble to announce their presence to females and competing males. The gobble can carry for up to a mile. Males also emit a low-pitched “drumming” sound; produced by the movement of air in the air sack in the chest, similar to the booming of a prairie chicken. In addition they produce a sound known as the “spit” which is a sharp expulsion of air from this air sack. Hens “yelp” to let gobblers know their location. Gobblers often yelp in the manner of females, and hens can gobble, though they rarely do so. Immature males, called jakes, often yelp.

(Audio from xeno.canto.org)

Males Displaying:

Female Calling:

Alarm Call by several birds.

Wild turkeys prefer hardwood and mixed conifer-hardwood forests with scattered openings such as pastures, fields, orchards and seasonal marshes. Open, mature forest with a variety of interspersion of tree species appear to be preferred. In the Northeast of North America, turkeys are most profuse in hardwood timber of oak-hickory and forests of red oak, beech, cherry and white ash. Best ranges for turkeys in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont sections have an interspersion of clearings, farms, and plantations with preferred habitat along principal rivers and in cypress and tupelo swamps. Appalachian and Cumberland plateaus, birds occupy mixed forest of oaks and pines on southern and western slopes, also hickory with diverse understories. Bald cypress and sweet gum swamps of s. Florida; also hardwood of Cliftonia in north-central Florida. Lykes Fisheating Creek area of s. Florida has hardwood hammocks, glades of short grasses with isolated live oak; nesting in neighboring prairies. Original habitat here was mainly longleaf pine with turkey oak and slash pine “flatwoods,” now mainly replaced by slash pine plantations.

Wild turkeys are omnivorous, foraging on the ground or climbing shrubs and small trees to feed. They prefer eating hard mast such as acorns, nuts, and various trees, including hazel, chestnut, hickory, and pinyon pine as well as various seeds, berries such as juniper and bearberry, roots and insects. Turkeys also occasionally consume amphibians and small reptiles such as lizards and snakes. Poults have been observed eating insects, berries, and seeds. Wild turkeys often feed in cow pastures, sometimes visit back yard bird feeders, and favor croplands after harvest to scavenge seed on the ground. Turkeys are also known to eat a wide variety of grasses.

Males are polygamous, mating with as many hens as they can. Male wild turkeys display for females by puffing out their feathers, spreading out their tails and dragging their wings. This behavior is most commonly referred to as strutting. Their heads and necks are colored brilliantly with red, blue and white. The color can change with the turkey’s mood, with a solid white head and neck being the most excited. They use gobbling, drumming/booming and spitting as signs of social dominance, and to attract females. Courtship begins during the months of March and April, which is when turkeys are still flocked together in winter areas. (Wikipedia with editing)

This was taken on the Roaring Fork Drive in Gatlinburg, TN last October.

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Cerulean Warbler

The Previous Article – The Piping Belted Plover

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Sharing The Gospel

Links:

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Birds Vol 1 #6 – The Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grous for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

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

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. June, 1897 No. 6

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THE RUFFED GROUSE.

imgt

HE Ruffed Grouse, which is called Partridge in New England and Pheasant in the Middle and Southern States, is the true Grouse, while Bob White is the real Partridge. It is unfortunate that they continue to be confounded. The fine picture of his grouseship, however, which we here present should go far to make clear the difference between them.

The range of the Ruffed Grouse is eastern United States, south to North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Arkansas. They hatch in April, the young immediately leaving the nest with the mother. When they hear the mother’s warning note the little ones dive under leaves and bushes, while she leads the pursuer off in an opposite direction. Building the nest and sitting upon the eggs constitute the duties of the female, the males during this interesting season keeping separate, not rejoining their mates until the young are hatched, when they begin to roam as a family.

Like the Turkey, the Ruffed Grouse has a habit of pluming and strutting, and also makes the drumming noise which has caused so much discussion. This noise “is a hollow vibrating sound, beginning softly and increasing as if a small rubber ball were dropped slowly and then rapidly bounced on a drum.” While drumming the bird contrives to make himself invisible, and if seen it is difficult to get the slightest clue to the manner in which the sound is produced. And observers say that it beats with its wings on a log, that it raises its wings and strikes their edges above its back, that it claps them against its sides like a crowing rooster, and that it beats the air. The writer has seen a grouse drum, appearing to strike its wings together over its back. But there is much difference of opinion on the subject, and young observers may settle the question for themselves. When preparing to drum he seems fidgety and nervous and his sides are inflated. Letting his wings droop, he flaps them so fast that they make one continuous humming sound. In this peculiar way he calls his mate, and while he is still drumming, the hen bird may appear, coming slyly from the leaves.

The nest is on the ground, made by the female of dry leaves and a few feathers plucked from her own breast. In this slight structure she lays ten or twelve cream-colored eggs, specked with brown.

The eyes of the Grouse are of great depth and softness, with deep expanding pupils and golden brown iris.

Coming suddenly upon a young brood squatted with their mother near a roadside in the woods, an observer first knew of their presence by the old bird flying directly in his face, and then tumbling about at his feet with frantic signs of distress and lameness. In the meantime the little ones scattered in every direction and were not to be found. As soon as the parent was satisfied of their safety, she flew a short distance and he soon heard her clucking call to them to come to her again. It was surprising how quickly they reached her side, seeming to pop up as from holes in the ground.

THE RUFFED GROUSE.

At first sight most of you will think this is a turkey. Well, it does look very much like one. He spreads his tail feathers, puffs himself up, and struts about like a turkey. You know by this time what his name is and I think you can easily see why he is called Ruffed.

This proud bird and his mate live with us during the whole year. They are found usually in grassy lands and in woods.

Here they build their rude nest of dried grass, weeds and the like. You will generally find it at the foot of a tree, or along side of an old stump in or near swampy lands.

The Ruffed Grouse has a queer way of calling his mate. He stands on a log or stump, puffed up like a turkey—just as you see him in the picture. Then he struts about for a time just as you have seen a turkey gobbler do. Soon he begins to work his wings—slowly at first, but faster and faster, until it sounds like the beating of a drum.

His mate usually answers his call by coming. They set up housekeeping and build their rude nest which holds from eight to fourteen eggs. As soon as the young are hatched they can run about and find their own food. So you see they are not much bother to their parents. When they are a week old they can fly. The young usually stay with their parents until next Spring. Then they start out and find mates for themselves.

I said at the first that the Ruffed Grouse stay with us all the year. In the winter, when it is very cold, they burrow into a snowdrift to pass the night. During the summer they always roost all night.


Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) by Kent Nickel

Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) by Kent Nickel

Lee’s Addition:

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)

Here is another one of God’s neat birds. The Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) is a medium-sized grouse occurring in forests from the Appalachian Mountains across Canada to Alaska. It is non-migratory. The Ruffed Grouse is frequently referred to as a “partridge”. This is technically wrong—partridges are unrelated phasianids, and in hunting may lead to confusion with the Grey Partridge, it is a bird of woodlands, not open areas. It is a very popular game bird.

The Ruffed Grouse is also the state bird of Pennsylvania.

Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) by Raymond Barlow

Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) by Raymond Barlow

Ruffed Grouse look like chickens in appearance. They are medium to large with a thick body with a small crest on their head. When they fly their wings are rounded. Their coloration works very well to blend them with their habitat. The Lord has provided that protection for them. “One of the interesting ruffed grouse facts is that during winter, these birds develop a web-like structure that joins their toes, so that they can walk easily on snow.” (Buzzle.com)

The Ruffed Grouse is one of 182 members of the Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowls and Allies Family. Other birds that are similar are found in the Galliformes Order.

Here is a video of a Ruffed Grouse drumming from YouTube from TheMusicofNature

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

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

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Black and White Creeping Warbler

Previous Article – The Scarlet Tanager

Wordless Birds

Links:

Ruffed Grouse – All About Birds

Ruffed Grouse Facts – Buzzle.com

Ruffed Grouse – Wikipedia

Grouse Facts

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Birds Vol 1 #3 – The Japan Pheasant

Japan Pheasant for Birds Illustrated

Japan Pheasant for Birds Illustrated

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. March, 1897 No. 3

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THE JAPAN PHEASANT.

imgo

RIGINALLY the Pheasant was an inhabitant of Asia Minor but has been by degrees introduced into many countries, where its beauty of form, plumage, and the delicacy of its flesh made it a welcome visitor. The Japan Pheasant is a very beautiful species, about which little is known in its wild state, but in captivity it is pugnacious. It requires much shelter and plenty of food, and the breed is to some degree artificially kept up by the hatching of eggs under domestic hens and feeding them in the coop like ordinary chickens, until they are old and strong enough to get their own living.

The food of this bird is extremely varied. When young it is generally fed on ants’ eggs, maggots, grits, and similar food, but when it is full grown it is possessed of an accommodating appetite and will eat many kinds of seeds, roots, and leaves. It will also eat beans, peas, acorns, berries, and has even been known to eat the ivy leaf, as well as the berry.

This Pheasant loves the ground, runs with great speed, and always prefers to trust to its legs rather than to its wings. It is crafty, and when alarmed it slips quickly out of sight behind a bush or through a hedge, and then runs away with astonishing rapidity, always remaining under cover until it reaches some spot where it deems itself safe. The male is not domestic, passing an independent life during a part of the year and associating with others of its own sex during the rest of the season.

The nest is very rude, being merely a heap of leaves and grass on the ground, with a very slight depression. The eggs are numerous, about eleven or twelve, and olive brown in color. In total length, though they vary considerably, the full grown male is about three feet. The female is smaller in size than her mate, and her length a foot less.

The Japan Pheasant is not a particularly interesting bird aside from his beauty, which is indeed brilliant, there being few of the species more attractive.

Green Pheasant (Phasianus versicolor) ©WikiC

Green Pheasant (Phasianus versicolor) ©WikiC


Lee’s Addition:

The Green Pheasant, Phasianus versicolor, also known as Japanese Pheasant, is native to the Japanese Archipelago, to which it is endemic. The male (cock) is distinguished from that species by its dark green plumage on the breast and mantle. The male also has an iridescent violet neck, red bare facial skin and purplish green tail. The female is smaller than male and has a dull brown plumage with dark spots.

This species is common and widespread throughout its native range. It frequents farmlands and is often seen close to human settlements; it also has been introduced in Hawaii and (unsuccessfully) in North America as a gamebird.

Some authorities consider the Green Pheasant a subspecies of the Common Pheasant. The Pheasant is in the Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies Family or the Galliformes Order. There are 181 members in the family.

Green Pheasant (Phasianus versicolor) ©©dhruvara

Green Pheasant (Phasianus versicolor) ©©dhruvara

It is the national bird of Japan. “It originally was designated as such in 1947 at the 81st Meeting of the National Bird Society of Japan. The Japanese pheasant was most likely selected because this green pheasant in unique to Japan,and futhermore because it appears in Japanese folk tales and so has become an integral part of the Japanese cultural landscape.”

Fagiano Okayama football club, a club based in Okayama, Okayama Prefecture, has a mascot based on the Green Pheasant.

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 March 1897 No 3 - Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Flicker

Previous Article – The Brown Thrush

Sharing The Gospel

Links:

Green Pheasant – Wikipedia

Phasianidae – Wikipedia

Destinations, Green Pheasant

Video of Green Pheasant – from IBC

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Ad from Article in 1897

Ad from Birds Illustrated by Photography, 1897

Ad from Birds Illustrated by Photography, 1897

Birds Vol 1 #1 – The Golden Pheasant

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus)

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus)

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. January, 1897 No. 1

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THE GOLDEN PHEASANT

They call me the Golden Pheasant, because I have a golden crest. It is like a king’s crown. Don’t you think my dress is beautiful enough for a king?

See the large ruff around my neck. I can raise and lower it as I please.

I am a very large bird. I am fourteen inches tall and twenty-eight inches long. I can step right over your little robins and meadow larks and blue jays and not touch them.

Sometimes people get some of our eggs and put them under an old hen. By and by little pheasants hatch out, and the hen is very good to them. She watches over them and feeds them, but they do not wish to stay with her; they like their wild life. If they are not well fed they will fly away.

I have a wife. Her feathers are beginning to grow like mine. In a few years she will look as I do. We like to have our nests by a fallen tree.

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) WikiC

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) WikiC


imgt

HE well-known Chinese Pheasant, which we have named the Golden Pheasant, as well as its more sober-colored cousin, the Silver Pheasant, has its home in Eastern Asia.

China is pre-eminently the land of Pheasants; for, besides those just mentioned, several other species of the same family are found there. Japan comes next to China as a pheasant country and there are some in India.

In China the Golden Pheasant is a great favorite, not only for its splendid plumage and elegant form, but for the excellence of its flesh, which is said to surpass even that of the common pheasant. It has been introduced into Europe, but is fitted only for the aviary.

For purposes of the table it is not likely to come into general use, as there are great difficulties in the way of breeding it in sufficient numbers, and one feels a natural repugnance to the killing of so beautiful a bird for the sake of eating it. The magnificent colors belong only to the male, the female being reddish brown, spotted and marked with a darker hue. The tail of the female is short. The statement is made, however, that some hens kept for six years by Lady Essex gradually assumed an attire like that of the males.

Fly-fishers highly esteem the crest and feathers on the back of the neck of the male, as many of the artificial baits owe their chief beauty to the Golden Pheasant.

According to Latham, it is called by the Chinese Keuki, or Keukee, a word which means gold flower fowl.

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) Male ©© NotMicroButSoft

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) Male ©© NotMicroButSoft


“A merry welcome to thee, glittering bird!
Lover of summer flowers and sunny things!
A night hath passed since my young buds have heard
The music of thy rainbow-colored wings—
Wings that flash spangles out where’er they quiver,
Like sunlight rushing o’er a river.”


Lee’s Addition:

What a beautiful bird. I am glad in 2012 that birds are not used for their feathers as much as they were back in the 1800’s. I’ve noticed in the first articles how the birds mentioned are either caged, captive, eaten or their feathers used for hats and other uses. Man was given dominion over the animals and are allowed to eat them, but I still like to see them out and about freely flying.

For You meet him with the blessings of goodness; You set a crown of pure gold upon his head. (Psalms 21:3 NKJV)

Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (Revelation 5:8 NKJV)

The Golden Pheasant or “Chinese Pheasant”, (Chrysolophus pictus) is a gamebird of the order Galliformes (gallinaceous birds) and the family Phasianidae. It is native to forests in mountainous areas of western China but feral populations have been established in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

The adult male is 35.4-41.3 in (90–105 cm) in length, its tail accounting for two-thirds of the total length. It is unmistakable with its golden crest and rump and bright red body. The deep orange “cape” can be spread in display, appearing as an alternating black and orange fan that covers all of the face except its bright yellow eye, with a pinpoint black pupil.

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) ©WikiC

Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) ©WikiC

Males have a golden-yellow crest with a hint of red at the tip. The face, throat, chin, and the sides of neck are rusty tan. The wattles and orbital skin are both yellow in colour, and the ruff or cape is light orange. The upper back is green and the rest of the back and rump are golden-yellow in colour. The tertiaries are blue whereas the scapulars are dark red. Another characteristic of the male plumage is the central tail feathers which are black spotted with cinnamon as well as the tip of the tail being a cinnamon buff. The upper tail coverts are the same colour as the central tail feathers. Males also have a scarlet breast, and scarlet and light chestnut flanks and underparts. Lower legs and feet are a dull yellow.

The female (hen) is much less showy, with a duller mottled brown plumage similar to that of the female Common Pheasant. She is darker and more slender than the hen of that species, with a proportionately longer tail (half her 60–80 cm length). The female’s breast and sides are barred buff and blackish brown, and the abdomen is plain buff. She has a buff face and throat. Some abnormal females may later in their lifetime get some male plumage. Lower legs and feet are a dull yellow.

Both males and females have yellow legs and yellow bills.

Despite the male’s showy appearance, these hardy birds are very difficult to see in their natural habitat, which is dense, dark young conifer forests with sparse undergrowth. Consequently, little is known of their behaviour in the wild.

They feed on the ground on grain, leaves and invertebrates, but roost in trees at night. While they can fly, they prefer to run: but if startled they can suddenly burst upwards at great speed, with a distinctive wing sound.

The Golden Pheasant is commonly found in zoos and aviaries, but often as impure specimens that have the similar Lady Amherst’s Pheasant in their lineage. (Wikipedia)

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 January 1897 No 1 - Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited – Introduction

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

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

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Australian Grass Parrakeet

Previous Article – Mandarin Duck

Links:

Phasianidae – Pheasants, Fowl & Allies
Galliformes Order
Golden Pheasant – Wikipedia
Golden Pheasant – ARKive

Gospel Presentation

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