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

Birdwatching At Home – Maybe II

Old Bench for Backyard Birdwatching

Old Bench for Backyard Birdwatching

Our gator adventure has been keeping me from using my bench, but we still have lots of birds to watch. Just from a safer distance. In Birdwatching At Home – Maybe I, I explained why I haven’t used my bench too much yet. The talk of the neighborhood, “our own gator,” brings visitors to the water. As I mentioned before, we don’t get to see it most of the time because of the embankment.

When he [or she] moves more to the middle of the water, then we get to see it. When we came home from church, Sunday (5-17), there he was. We both grabbed our cameras, which we now keep at the table by the door. Here is what I saw:

Dan taking a photo of the gator and me taking of photo of him.

Dan taking a photo of the gator and me taking of photo of him.

Then I zoomed in on what he was taking a photo of:

What Dan Was Photographying by Lee 5-17-20

What Dan Was Photographying by Lee 5-17-20

We still have that Variant House Finch stopping by. He feeds at the feeder up by the door. Much safer there. The sun was shining brightly, and it made him almost glow. Here a few I took a few days ago:

Variant House Finch 5-14-20

Variant House Finch 5-14-20

Variant House Finch 5-14-20

Variant House Finch 5-14-20

Also recently, the three species I mentioned in the first post, we spotted though the door on May 16th. Here are a few more closeups:

Great Blue Heron close up

Great Blue Heron close up

“And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.” (Leviticus 11:19 KJV) – Don’t Eat List

Great Blue Heron with neck bent in S

Great Blue Heron with neck bent in S – Sandhill Crane in foreground

Great Egret 5-16-20

Great Egret 5-16-20

I know these are not the greatest photos, but I sure do enjoy seeing so many interesting birds to watch, and even the alligator. Stay tuned for a video I shot this morning.

Birdwatching At Home – Maybe I

Bible Birds – Herons

Bible Birds – Cranes

Wordless Birds

 

 

Birdwatching At Home – Maybe I

Old Bench for Backyard Birdwatching

Old Bench for Backyard Birdwatching

Recently, we laid a few blocks down in the backyard so that I [we] could use our old bench. My goal was to be able to watch some of the numerous birds that stop or fly by. Needless to say, the bench needs a little TLC [tender love and care] This was taken May 14th.

I grabbed my camera and took a few photos, thinking I’d start a new series called: Backyard Birdwatching. Real original, right?

Great White Egret - First bird spotted from bench 05-14-20

Great White Egret – First bird spotted from bench 05-14-20

Had to wait for him to get in the clear.

Great White Egret finally in the clear 05-14-20

Great White Egret finally in the clear 05-14-20

I took a few photos and then the next day, decided that plan may be put on hold for awhile. Why? Hang on.

On the 16th, I was able to capture three different species through our door. We were having breakfast when they all appeared. A Great Blue Heron and Great Egret by the water’s edge and the two pesky Sandhill Cranes.

Three species from our door 05-16-20

Three species from our door 05-16-20

Why was I shooting through the door instead of from my bench? Well, this dude showed up the 15th.

Alligator Taken from my neighbor's yard. 05-16-20

Alligator Taken from my neighbor’s yard. 05-16-20

This Alligator is at the end of our yard. Because of the incline by the bank, we don’t get to see him often. So, I went to my neighbor’s yard and took this. She was with me, so if I had to waddle away fast, she could help me. Our neighbor, from across the water, told us that he comes and has layed on our bank at about 6 or 7 every morning for that last few days. Yikes!!

Needless to say, I have not been using my bench, yet!!

“Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.” (Genesis 6:20 NKJV)

We know that at least two of each kind of birds and creeping things were kept alive in the ark. I wonder if the alligators were on board, or swimming? Never thought about that before. Have you?

More later. We had a great view of this gator and the two Sandhill cranes today. Stay turned!

 

Clyde and Benny – Crow And A Robin

Clyde and Benny by Emma Foster

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) by Kent Nickell

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) by Kent Nickell

Clyde was an old crow who lived in a tall pine tree in the darkest part of the woods. Because preferred to spend time away from all the other birds and forest animals, he didn’t have any friends. Many of the other birds avoided him because they were afraid of him.

But one day Clyde returned with a large worm in his mouth to his nest to find something in his nest. That something was a little white egg. Clyde had no idea where the egg had come from or how it had gotten there, but he knew he did not want the egg in his nest. While he was thinking about what to do with it, the egg started shaking. A few moments later, a tiny robin chick popped out, peeping loudly.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) Hatching ©WikiC

Now Clyde really didn’t know what to do. He wanted to be left alone, but the tiny robin flopped out of the egg and stared at him, thinking that Clyde was his mother. Clyde thought for a long time, thinking that he should find another nest somewhere else, but the chick looked too helpless for him to leave. Instead, he reluctantly gave the chick the worm he found and went to look for its mother.

Clyde searched all through the forest, but he couldn’t find any other family of robins. Many of the birds were surprised at seeing Clyde, and most of them hid in the trees to keep away from him. Clyde returned to his nest, back to the chick, and he decided that he would have to keep him. Eventually Clyde decided to call him Benny.

Even though Clyde gave Benny his name, he still did not want Benny around. Clyde begrudgingly found extra worms for Benny and himself. However, once Benny was old enough to fly out of the nest, Clyde showed him how to find the worms for himself so he wouldn’t bother him so much.

Crow Getting Worm ©PxHere

Crow Getting Worm ©PxHere

Unfortunately, teaching Benny how to fly took what felt like hours to Clyde. Benny was a very clumsy little robin. The first time, Benny fluttered out of the nest, dropped, and flopped onto the branch below them. Clyde had to set Benny on his back, take him back up to the nest, then start all over again. Finally, Benny was able to fly a few feet to the next branch, which was a great relief to Clyde.

Once Benny, learned how to fly, however, Benny would not leave Clyde alone. He followed Clyde wherever he went, even after Clyde showed Benny where to actually find food. Whenever Clyde passed other birds or animals, they wondered who the tiny robin was because they had no idea where he came from.

Clyde became so tired of Benny following him around that one day, he took Benny to an unfamiliar part of the forest. Now that he thought Benny could take care of himself, he figured he could lose Benny somewhere in the woods. When they reached a small river, Clyde waited for Benny to start searching for food like he had been told. Once Benny was distracted, Clyde flew off, not looking back until he was far away from the river.

Clyde returned to his nest, but he realized it felt empty and quiet. It was just like before Benny arrived, when all the other birds were afraid of him and he had no one to talk to. Clyde started to feel very lonely, and he realized he shouldn’t have left Benny all by himself. Clyde immediately wanted to fly back to the river.

As Clyde made his way back, he realized he had taken a wrong turn. All of the trees looked unfamiliar. Clyde sat down on a branch and thought for a long time on where to go. He worried abut Benny, since he was lost as well. He cawed for Benny for a long time, but he never received an answer. Finally, Clyde heard a rustling of branches a little way off.

Crow in Nest ©NeedPix

Clyde the Crow in Nest ©NeedPix

When Clyde rounded the corner he saw something flapping from branch to branch, shaking the leaves. Clyde realized that the bird was Benny, and that he couldn’t fly well because he had found the largest worm Clyde had ever seen.

American Robin on Nest ©Alarmy

Benny the American Robin inn Nest ©Alarmy

Clyde returned to Benny, who dropped the worm, surprised that Clyde was so frantic. Benny hadn’t even known that Clyde had gone, but Clyde still apologized. He helped Benny take the worm back to the nest. Every day after that, Clyde and Benny spent all their time together. Even after Benny grew up. Benny placed his nest directly in the tree beside Clyde’s.


“Here’s my concern: that you care for God’s flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously.” (1 Peter 5:2 MSG)

Lee’s Addition:

Emma sent this delightful story to me recently. I trust you will enjoy it as much as I have putting the photos in. She, like many students, college or younger, has been finishing her classes at home.

The verse above has to do with pastors, but the principles apply to this story. Not so sure Clyde was so willing at first, but he came around. Thanks again,Emma, for another tale for us.

See All Of Emma’s Stories Here

 

McGuffey’s Reader – First Grade Lessons LVI and LVII

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) singing ©nebirdsplus

Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) singing ©nebirdsplus

These lessons start off with words, then the story. You can practice writing with the Slate Work.

“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, …” (Song of Solomon 2:12a KJV)

LESSON LVI.

strong round dry bill worked

sends claws flit God spring

“How does the bird make the nest so strong, Willie?”

“The mother bird has her bill and her claws to work with, but she would not know how to make the nest if God did not teach her. Do you see what it is made of?”

“Yes, Willie, I see some horse-hairs and some dry grass. The old bird must have worked hard to find all the hairs, and make them into such a pretty, round nest.”

“Shall we take the nest, Rose?”

“Oh no, Willie! We must not take it; but we will come and look at it again, some time.”

Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps) Building Nest 1 ©Earle Robinson

SLATE WORK.

[Illustration: Script Exercise:]

God made the little birds to sing,
And flit from tree to tree;
‘Tis He who sends them in the spring
To sing for you and me.


LESSON LVII.

feathers a go’ fly worm crumb feed’ing

ug’ly off feed brown guess things

Grey Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) Feeding at Nest WikiC

Grey Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) Feeding at Nest WikiC

“Willie, when I was feeding the birds just now, a little brown bird flew away with a crumb in its bill.”

“Where did it go, Rose?”

“I don’t know; away off, somewhere.”

“I can guess where, Rose. Don’t you know the nest we saw some days ago?
What do you think is in it now?”

“O Willie, I know! Some little brown birds. Let us go and see them.”

“All right; but we must not go too near. There! I just saw the old bird fly out of the bush. Stand here, Rose. Can you see?”

“Why, Willie, what ugly little things! What big mouths they have, and no feathers!”

“Keep still, Rose. Here comes the old bird with a worm in her bill. How hard she must work to feed them all!”


McGuffey’s Reader First Grade Introduction

The Wordless Book