Early Bird Gets the Worm – Garfield

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)with youngsters by Raymond Barlow

One of the birds that, I personally have seen, dig worms out the ground is the American Robin. When we lived in Indiana, there were many Robin available to watch. Down here in central Florida, we very seldom see any. Mostly in the winter, a few Robins migrate through here. They do not stay for the winter, but keep heading further down the state.

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) by S Slayton

Many other birds like worms also, including Bluebirds.

Yet, it seems that Garfield met a very interesting Bluebird that has a problem feeding her little ones:

” A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.”  Proverbs 17:22

Have a Merry Hearted Day!!

Wordless Birds

A Promise For Us – Isaiah’s Eagle

Great Blue Heron; Walton County, Georgia birding photogaphy blog by williamwisephoto.com

Last week, William Wise posted his great photo and post, Almighty Is His Name. And all week, I desired to post the scripture verses in Isaiah 40, that we read the next day. Somehow lately, time seems to get away from me. Not going birding, or having but few birds visiting the back yard, . . . . . .

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) Resting ©Flickr Andy Morffew

“Have you not known? Have you not heard?”

Bald Eagle Lowry Park Zoo 12-31-15 by Lee

The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.

Eye Surgery on an Eagle ©phillipdthomas

He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) chicks ©USFWS

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall,”

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by Ray

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) by Ray

But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31 NKJV)

McGuffey’s 6th Grade Reader – God Is Everywhere

Rainbow Across Yellowstone Lake ©David Grimes

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1 KJV)

XXXVII. GOD IS EVERYWHERE. (161)

   Oh! show me where is He,
The high and holy One,
To whom thou bend’st the knee,
And prayest, “Thy will be done!”
I hear thy song of praise,
And lo! no form is near:
Thine eyes I see thee raise,
But where doth God appear?
Oh! teach me who is God, and where his glories shine,
That I may kneel and pray, and call thy Father mine.

   “Gaze on that arch above:
The glittering vault admire.
Who taught those orbs to move?
Who lit their ceaseless fire?
Who guides the moon to run
In silence through the skies?
Who bids that dawning sun
In strength and beauty rise?
There view immensity! behold! my God is there:
The sun, the moon, the stars, his majesty declare.

   “See where the mountains rise:
Where thundering torrents foam;
Where, veiled in towering skies,
The eagle makes his home:
Where savage nature dwells,
My God is present, too:
Through all her wildest dells
His footsteps I pursue:
He reared those giant cliffs, supplies that dashing stream,
Provides the daily food which stills the wild bird’s scream.

   “Look on that world of waves,
Where finny nations glide;
Within whose deep, dark caves
The ocean monsters hide:
His power is sovereign there,
To raise, to quell the storm;
The depths his bounty share,
Where sport the scaly swarm:
Tempests and calms obey the same almighty voice,
Which rules the earth and skies, and bids far worlds rejoice.”
—Joseph Hutton.

The Wise Owl

England’s Oldest National Park Visited by Bearded Vulture

Bearded Vulture Visits England’s Oldest National Park

The only other British sighting of a Bearded Vulture occurred back in 2016 in Monmouthshire.2

This bird of prey has a commanding presence—it’s huge and hairy-looking! The bearded vulture is large: 3-4 feet long with a wingspan of 7-9 feet. It can weigh 10-17 pounds, with females being slightly larger than males. Unlike other vultures, the bearded vulture is not “bald-headed.” In fact, bristles under its chin look like a raggedly “beard,” hence the bird’s name.3

Birdwatchers have flocked to the moors to see the bearded vulture, which has only been seen once before in the UK, the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said. But the trust’s Tim Birch said it “couldn’t have come to a worse spot in terms of bird of prey persecution”. … Mr Birch said as it was coming up to grouse shooting season, there were fears the rare raptor could be intentionally poisoned or shot. … However Richard Bailey, gamekeeper and co-ordinator of the Peak District Moorland Group, said “suggestions that this vulture is at risk from attack by gamekeepers” were wrong.1

Admittedly, the bearded vulture has a rough, if not thuggish, reputation. In Germany it is called lammergeier, meaning “lamb-hawk,” due to its habit of preying on lambs—not a positive reputation in agricultural communities. Also called “ossifrage” (meaning bone-breaker), about 80% of the bearded vulture’s diet is animal bone marrow, mostly from mammal bones, but also from bird bones.3,4

[Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s] Birch said the bearded vulture fed mainly on bones from carcasses, very rarely on live prey, and could swallow bones whole, which were dissolved in its stomach.1

Although scavenging can provide needed food, especially during the breeding season, these vultures often attack live prey, such as hares, rock hyraxes, marmots, and even monitor lizards. More so than predatory hawks or eagles, bearded vultures often attack larger mammals, such as sheep or goats, which are dropped from heights onto rocky surfaces to break their bones. Bearded vultures also grab turtles and drop them from heights to crack open their shells.3,5

Meanwhile, to say this mountain-dwelling bird is rare—only the second time ever observed in Great Britain—is an understatement.

Birdwatcher Indy Kiemel Greene, 15, who photographed the bearded vulture on Sunday, shared the trust’s fears for its safety. He said: “Unfortunately this bird is at great risk because the location that it’s at in the Derbyshire Peaks is well-known for raptor persecution….”1

Its preferred habitat is a high-altitude mix of rocky crags, cliffs, canyons, and montane gorges. So what is it now doing in England’s Peak District anyway?

[Tim Birch] said it was thought the raptor had come from the French or Swiss Alps, where the endangered species is being reintroduced. About 500 birdwatchers have come to catch a glimpse of the bird from all over the UK, as well as France, Spain and the Netherlands. … It is thought the bird could stay in the area for a couple of weeks if it has found food before eventually returning to the Alps.1

For birdwatchers (and videographers) who can visit the Peak District National Park, this could be the opportunity of a lifetime. But if you visit the park with a pet poodle, keep your pet leashed and very close to you. No need to take a chance.

References
1. Burman, H. Fears for Bearded Vulture Spotted in the Peak DistrictBBC News. Posted on bbc.com July 14, 2020, accessed July 16, 2020.
2. Staff writer. Bearded Vulture Spotted Near Severn BridgeBBC News. Posted on bbc.com May 17, 2016, accessed July 16, 2020.
3. Jonsson, L. 1993. Birds of Europe, with North Africa and the Middle East. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (transl. by David Christie), page 124. See also Clark, W. S. 1999. A Field Guide to the Raptors of Europe, the Middle east, and North Africa. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Pres, pages 56-60 & 302-303, plus Plate 12.
4. Obviously, bearded vultures are not the only predators adept at cracking and crushing bones of their prey—lions have earned a similar reputation (Daniel 6:24).
5. Other large-winged birds of prey are noted for dropping their victims in order to prepare them for ingestion. For example, near Jerusalem, eagles soar while scouting for mammals or reptiles; these same eagles are known to snatch tortoises, and to “kill [them] by dropping and smashing [the tortoises] on rocks from high in the air” (Quoting Noel and Helen Snyder. 1991. Birds of Prey. Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press, 164).

*Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.

JAMES J. S. JOHNSON, J.D., TH.D. *  |

[Re-posted from ICR article at https://www.icr.org/article/bearded-vulture-visit-england-oldest-national-park ]

Reposted here with Dr. Jim’s permission and at his request. (Lee)

See Also:

James J. S. Johnson’s other articles here

Birds of the Bible – Name Study ~ Ossifrage

Birds of the Bible – Gathering of Vultures or Eagles

Fourth of July Flag Birds

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) - ©WikiC

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) – ©WikiC

Red symbolizes hardiness and valor

White Dove ©©

White Dove ©©

White symbolizes purity and innocence

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) ©©Bing

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) ©©Bing

Blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice

The stripes represent the original 13 Colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well; red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.

“The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; From His dwelling place He looks out On all the inhabitants of the earth, He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works.”
(Psalms 33:11-15 NASB)

Gaze Stabilization – Bobble-Body

A friend placed this video on my Facebook. Another friend commented that instead of a bobble-head, it seems to have a bobble-body. That appears to be a very appropriate name for this Kingfisher’s actions.

Kingfisher, which aired on the BBC’s Winterwatch

Audubon’s comments had this remark about this birds video:

“Here’s an experiment: While reading this sentence, shake your head back and forth, and then nod up and down. Notice how the words on your screen remain in focus? Congratulations, you just experienced “gaze stabilization.

It’s this natural ability that allows us to maintain a clear line of vision even when our bodies are in motion.”

Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus) ©WikiC

“Gaze stabilization found in nature has inspired modern technologies, such as those used to stabilize images in cameras and drones. “Any cameras that films movies have image stabilization,” Dickman says.” Read this whole artcle at For Birds, a Steady Head Is the Key to Incredible Focus

Gazing, or keeping our eyes focused on things, is mention frequently in Scripture.

“Look up at the heavens and see; gaze at the clouds so high above you.” (Job 35:5 NIV)

Stephen Gazed: “But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:55-56 NKJV)

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) by Ian

“He has regarded the prayer of the destitute And has not despised their prayer. This will be written for the generation to come, That a people yet to be created may praise the LORD. For He looked down from His holy height; From heaven the LORD gazed upon the earth, To hear the groaning of the prisoner, To set free those who were doomed to death,” (Psalms 102:17-20 NASB)

“At Lystra a man was sitting who had no strength in his feet, lame from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze on him and had seen that he had faith to be made well, said with a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he leaped up and began to walk.” (Acts 14:8-10 NASB)

Where are we gazing?

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NASB)

ABC’s of the Gospel

Many Mouths To Feed!

I have been a subscriber to Alois Absenger. He is a great photographer in Southeast Styria, I believe. I could not resist sharing his latest photo.

Which One Do I Feed First?

11 Mouths to feed ©Alois Absenger

11 Mouths to feed ©Alois Absenger

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26 NIV)

Check out his site at: https://aloisabsenger.wordpress.com/2020/06/19/11-hungrige-kohlmeisen/

ABC’s of the Gospel

Having A Parade – Family Circus

Family Circus - Ducks having a parade

Family Circus – Ducks having a parade

Mallard Duck army marching (I know it's not a King, but it's cute) ©WikiC

Mallard Duck army marching (I know it’s not a King, but it’s cute) ©WikiC

“There are three things which are stately in their march, Even four which are stately when they walk:” Can you find out what they are? See – (Proverbs 30:29-31 NASB)

Penguins line up for diving by Poplively

Group of birds flying in formation in front of sunset.

Group of birds flying in formation in front of sunset.

Sometimes they line up in the water:

Ducklings at Lake Morton 4-13-16 by Lee

Here is the previous verse: “There are three things which are stately in their march, Even four which are stately when they walk: The lion which is mighty among beasts And does not retreat before any, The strutting rooster, the male goat also, And a king when his army is with him.” (Proverbs 30:29-31 NASB)

Wordless Woodpecker

 

 

Hoatzin Bird from Answers in Genesis

Hoatzin ( Opisthocomus hoazin) by Ian

Hoatzin Bird: Evidence Against Evolutionary Ideas from Answers in Genesis, by Harry F. Sanders, III

Answers in Genesis has a very interesting article about the Hoatzin Bird on line [. See Hoatzin Bird: Evidence Against Evolutionary Ideas, by Harry F. Sanders, III.

I would like to share a few quotes from the article, trusting that you will follow the link to read the full article. The Hoatzin is one of those birds that the evolutionist can’t figure out what to do with. It is not a typical bird that can be neatly tucked into a family or an order. Evolutionist try so hard to convince us that dinosaurs evolved into birds, that they are really puzzled about this unique Avian Wonder from Our Creator.

“Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.” (Psalms 148:5 KJV)

“The hoatzin is a very unique bird, something of a conglomeration of traits typical of birds, reptiles, and even mammals. As a bird, it shares characteristics typical of birds such as being warm-blooded, having feathers, and so on. It is roughly the size of a turkey, with a colorful, crested head and long tail feathers. However, its most interesting and unique features are distinctly un-birdlike.”

The Hoatzin history is traced through Africa mainly, and then found in France, Brazil, and Columbia. Yet, all they find is a single bone or two in each place, and come up with their conclusions.

Hoatzin(Opisthocomushoazin) by Kent Nickel

Hoatzin(Opisthocomushoazin) by Kent Nickel

“The enigmatic Opisthocomus (hoatzin) still cannot be confidently placed, but some putative sister relationships can be rejected.”10 The hoatzins unique traits and obvious discontinuity from other birds have completely impeded any evolutionary attempt to classify it. Evolutionary scientists have no explanation for the origin of the hoatzin, despite numerous attempts to create a phylogenetic tree that will fit them.”

One of the paragraph headings tells the whole story, at least as I see it. “Designed to Do What It Does Do” It eats leaves only, has a claw on wing when born, has a unique stomach and digestive system,

“Even ignoring the devastating blow hoatzin deals to Archaeopteryx as a transitional form, it causes evolutionists other significant problems, as evidenced by the trouble it gives to their cladistic models. They simply cannot determine what its ancestor was. However, if they would pause long enough to consider Genesis 1, they might recognize that hoatzin likely is its own created kind and thus its ancestor was a hoatzin.29

[Above quotes from the article Hoatzin Bird: Evidence Against Evolutionary Ideas]

Interesting Facts:

  • Hoatzin can reach 25 inches in length and 1.78 pounds of weight.
  • Hoatzin has a long neck, small head with reddish-brown crest, and blue facial skin with red eyes. Its body is covered with dark and light brown feathers combined with white and yellow feathers.
  • Hoatzin has a long tail composed of ten, loosely attached feathers.
  • Hoatzin is a clumsy bird. It spends most of the time near the water and on the branches of the surrounding trees.

From Wikipedia: “The hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin), also known as the reptile birdskunk birdstinkbird, or Canje pheasant, is a species of tropical bird found in swamps, riparian forests, and mangroves of the Amazon and the Orinoco basins in South America. It is notable for having chicks that have claws on two of their wing digits.

It is the only member of the genus Opisthocomus (Ancient Greek: “long hair behind”, referring to its large crest). This is the only extant genus in the family Opisthocomidae. The taxonomic position of this family has been greatly debated by specialists, and is still far from clear.”

Hoatzin

Interesting Birds – Hoatzin

Hoatzin – The Stinker

Opisthocomidae – Hoatzin

The Wise Owl

Heron Fishing With Bread and Patience

Black-Crowned Night Heron at S Lk Howard

Black-Crowned Night Heron at South Lake Howard by Lee

Thought you would enjoy another bird using bread to fish:

This one is having better fortune than Simon Peter and fellow fishermen. They fished all night with no catches.

“Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.” (John 21:3-5 KJV)

Birdwatching At Home – Green Heron

Wordless Birds

Birdwatching At Home – Green Heron

Watching birds from our backyard/backdoor is becoming quite interesting. Our latest visitor to the water’s edge is this Green Heron. He caught our attention this morning, again, while we were having breakfast. Of course, by the time I got my camera on, he flew off. The Joys and Disapointments of birdwatching. These photos are cropped so that you can see him better. These were taken a few days ago.

Green Heron 6-9-20 by Lee Cropped

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

What is so amazing about this sighting is how hard we have searched for them on birdwatching trips. Green Herons (Butorides virescens) are known to be secretive, and because of their colors, stay well hidden in the mangroves and other bushes along the water. When we spot “Greenies” on a trip, it is usally one of our highlights.

“Compared with most herons, Green Herons are short and stocky, with relatively short legs and thick necks that are often drawn up against their bodies. They have broad, rounded wings and a long, daggerlike bill. They sometimes raise their crown feathers into a short crest.” All About Birds – Size & Shape

Green Heron 6-9-20 by Lee Cropped

Interesting Fact from Wikipedia: “Green herons are one of the few species of bird known to use tools. In particular, they commonly use bread crusts, insects, or other items as bait. The bait is dropped onto the surface of a body of water in order to lure fish. When a fish takes the bait, the green heron will then grab and eat the fish. When green herons catch large frogs, they will drown them before swallowing them whole.

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26 NKJV)

I posted this video back in 2013, and thought you might enjoy it again.

“Color Pattern – From a distance Green Herons look all dark. In better light they are deep green on the back with a rich chestnut breast and neck. The wings are dark gray. Juveniles are browner, with pale streaking on the neck and spots on the wings.” All About Birds

Green Heron 6-9-20 by Lee Cropped

Here is a previous photo taken at Flamingo Gardens, Florida several years ago. That is the way you normally find them. Not out in the open like our current one.

Green Heron at Flamingo Gardens by Lee

 

Birdwatching At Home – Maybe III

Gator and Sandhill Cranes 05-20-20 by Lee

Gator and Sandhill Cranes 05-20-20 by Lee

“Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.” (Proverbs 4:26 NKJV)

In Birdwatching At Home – Maybe Part I and Part II, I referred to our gator that hangs out at the edge of our backyard. Here is the video I promised.

The two Sandhills had been on our back lanai and we had shooed them off. They went down to the water at the end of our yard and started teasing the gator. They jumped up a few times and just looked at him. Then they flew across to the other bank, and that is where I captured this on video.

[I thought I knew how to kill parts of the sound, but it killed it all. So I left the sound on. We were eating our breakfast when all of this was occurring. I was sitting in my chair filming this.]

From the following articles, it is obvious that Sandhill Cranes are quite common here in central Florida. They are fun to watch, except when the peck on the back sliding door.

Sandhill Cranes ousidet window Coventry by Lee

Sandhill Cranes ousidet window Coventry by Lee

“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)

“Sandhill Cranes mate for life, choosing their partners based on dancing displays. Displaying birds stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air.” [All About Birds – Sand Hill Cranes]

More about Cranes:

Bible Birds – Crane’s Introduction

Bible Birds – Cranes I

Sandhill Cranes and Rabbits

Bible Birds – Sandhill Cranes In The Yard

Thanksgiving – Sandhill Crane Colt

Emma’s Stories – Ted and Red

Eye of the Beholder – Ibises and Crane

Wordless Birds

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