Birds, Illustrated by Color Photography Vol 1, # 1, Jan. 1987 Reactivated 

So far as I know, the following articles are active and the links should be working. When this series was first introduced back in 2011, they were a delight to work on. As these have been brought back over here to the Birds of the Bible for Kids blog, again, I have enjoyed re-reading many of them. Many like me, may have forgotten what was in them. Some of you have never read these. There are many more that will be released as soon as I [try to] get the links correct. This is part of re-opening the Kids Blog.

Enjoy reading about some great birds from our Creator.

Lee’s Addition:

Above is the Cover Photo and Preface to a monthly magazine written about Birds. The different birds are illustrated with a lovely Colorful Illustration and then details about the individual bird. Some of the birds have poems and stories also included. The Birds, Illustrated by Color Photography was begun in January of 1897 and went until at least February 1898. Why produce these pages? For one, they are very interesting and as birdwatchers, reading about the various birds that were so beautifully created, is enjoyable. The writers back in 1897 and 1898 spent many hours preparing this magazine, so why not re-visit their work. Just because time moves on does not mean everything from the past should be forgotten.

Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. (Proverbs 22:28 KJV)

Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished? (Job 30:2 KJV)

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. (Psalms 143:5 KJV)

These will be produced with updates to today and current photos also. Some of the names have been changed since then and that will be shown. Also, current links to more information will be provided, like our Birds of the Bible and Birds of the World, plus others. Some editing will happen, as I have already found one incident to remove because it was offensive to a people group. This book was digitized by the great people at the Project Gutenberg and this is in the Public Domain, including the Illustrations.

Most articles have two parts. The first is geared to the reading level for children and the other part for more mature readers. I trust you enjoy reading and learning about the birds.

Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) - Drawing

Volume 1, Number 1, January 1987 (Articles now active here.)

The Nonpareil – Painted Bunting
The Resplendent Trogon
The Mandarin Duck
The Golden Pheasant
The Australian Grass Parrakeet
The Cock-Of-The-Rock
The Red Bird Of Paradise
The Yellow Throated Toucan
The Red-Rumped Tanager
The Golden Oriole

Birds Vol 1 #1 – The Golden Oriole (or Hooded Oriole)

Golden Oriole

Golden Oriole

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. January, 1897 No. 1

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THE GOLDEN ORIOLE

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E find the Golden Oriole in America only. According to Mr. Nuttall, it is migratory, appearing in considerable numbers in West Florida about the middle of March. It is a good songster, and in a state of captivity imitates various tunes.

This beautiful bird feeds on fruits and insects, and its nest is constructed of blades of grass, wool, hair, fine strings, and various vegetable fibers, which are so curiously interwoven as to confine and sustain each other. The nest is usually suspended from a forked and slender branch, in shape like a deep basin and generally lined with fine feathers.

“On arriving at their breeding locality they appear full of life and activity, darting incessantly through the lofty branches of the tallest trees, appearing and vanishing restlessly, flashing at intervals into sight from amidst the tender waving foliage, and seem like living gems intended to decorate the verdant garments of the fresh clad forest.”

It is said these birds are so attached to their young that the female has been taken and conveyed on her eggs, upon which with resolute and fatal instinct she remained faithfully sitting until she expired.

An Indiana gentleman relates the following story:

“When I was a boy living in the hilly country of Southern Indiana, I remember very vividly the nesting of a pair of fine Orioles. There stood in the barn yard a large and tall sugar tree with limbs within six or eight feet of the ground.

“At about thirty feet above the ground I discovered evidences of an Oriole’s nest. A few days later I noticed they had done considerably more work, and that they were using horse hair, wool and fine strings. This second visit seemed to create consternation in the minds of the birds, who made a great deal of noise, apparently trying to frighten me away. I went to the barn and got a bunch of horse hair and some wool, and hung it on limbs near the nest. Then climbing up higher, I concealed myself where I could watch the work. In less than five minutes they were using the materials and chatted with evident pleasure over the abundant supply at hand.

“They appeared to have some knowledge of spinning, as they would take a horse hair and seemingly wrap it with wool before placing it in position on the nest.

“I visited these birds almost daily, and shortly after the nest was completed I noticed five little speckled eggs in it. The female was so attached to the nest that I often rubbed her on the back and even lifted her to look at the eggs.”


Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) by Daves BirdingPix

Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) by Daves BirdingPix


Lee’s Addition:

According to the article, the bird came here to Florida. Checking Thayer’s Birding Software and limiting it to Florida and Orioles, I think it must have been the Spot-breasted or the Hooded (but they don’t come to Florida, so it must be the Spot-breasted) Oriole as we call it today. The only “Golden Oriole” is the “Golden Oriole or European (or EurasianGolden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus) is the only member of the oriole family of passerine birds breeding in northern hemisphere temperate regions. It is a summer migrant in Europe and western Asia and spends the winter season in the tropics.” “The African Golden Oriole (Oriolus auratus) is a member of the oriole family of passerine birds which is a resident breeder in Africa south of the Sahara and the “Indian Golden Oriole (Oriolus kundoo)” of India. All three of those birds leave Florida and Indiana out of the picture.

The Orioles are actually found in two different families; the Icteridae – Oropendolas, Orioles, & Blackbirds Family (New World) and the Oriolidae – Figbirds, Orioles Family (Old World).

Spot-breasted Oriole (Icterus pectoralis) by Kent Nickell

Spot-breasted Oriole (Icterus pectoralis) by Kent Nickell

New World orioles, comprising the genus Icterus, are a group of birds in the blackbird family. They are not related to Old World orioles which are in the family Oriolidae, but are strikingly similar in size, diet, behaviour and in their strongly contrasting plumage, and are a good example the Lord’s Creative Hand. Because of similarities and being from the same kind, the two took the same vernacular name.

The males are typically black and yellow or orange, with white markings; the plumage of females and immature birds is duller. These birds go through one moult in a year. They are generally slender with long tails and a pointed bill. They mainly eat insects, often also nectar and fruit. The nest is a woven, elongated pouch. Several species are easy to attract to birdtables by the provision of cut oranges and grape jelly. Species nesting in areas with cold winters (including most of the United States) are strongly migratory, while subtropical and tropical species are more sedentary.

The name “oriole” was first recorded (in the Latin form oriolus) by Albertus Magnus in about 1250, and was stated by him to be onomatopoeic, from the song of the European Golden Oriole.

The genus name Icterus as used by classical authors, referred to a bird with yellow or green plumage. In modern times this has been identified as the golden oriole. Brisson re-applied the name to the New World birds because of their similarity in appearance.

Spot-breasted Oriole (Icterus pectoralis) by Lee -Tamarac from photo

Spot-breasted Oriole (Icterus pectoralis) by Lee -in Tamarac, FL from photo in 1990’s

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

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited – Introduction

The above article is the tenth 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 – Vol 1 #2 February 1897

Previous Article – The Red-Rumped Tanager

ABC’s of the Gospel

Links:

New World Oriole – Wikipedia

Spot-breasted Oriole – Wikipedia

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Birds Vol 1 #1 – The Red-Rumped Tanager (Scarlet-Rumped or ?)

Red-Rumped Tanager

Red-Rumped Tanager

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. January, 1897 No. 1

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THE RED-RUMPED TANAGER.

I have just been singing my morning song, and I wish you could have heard it. I think you would have liked it.

I always sing very early in the morning. I sing because I am happy, and the people like to hear me.

My home is near a small stream, where there are low woods and underbrush along its banks.

There is an old dead tree there, and just before the sun is up I fly to this tree.

I sit on one of the branches and sing for about half an hour. Then I fly away to get my breakfast.

I am very fond of fruit. Bananas grow where I live, and I like them best of all.

I eat insects, and sometimes I fly to the rice fields and swing on the stalks and eat rice.

The people say I do much harm to the rice, but I do not see why it is wrong for me to eat it, for I think there is enough for all.

I must go now and get my breakfast. If you ever come to see me I will sing to you.

I will show you my wife, too. She looks just like me. Be sure to get up very early. If you do not, you will be too late for my song.


“Birds, Birds! ye are beautiful things,
With your earth-treading feet and your cloud-cleaving wings.
Where shall man wander, and where shall he dwell—
Beautiful birds—that ye come not as well?
Ye have nests on the mountain, all rugged and stark,
Ye have nests in the forest, all tangled and dark;
Ye build and ye brood ‘neath the cottagers’ eaves,
And ye sleep on the sod, ’mid the bonnie green leaves;
Ye hide in the heather, ye lurk in the brake,
Ye dine in the sweet flags that shadow the lake;
Ye skim where the stream parts the orchard decked land,
Ye dance where the foam sweeps the desolate strand.”


Silver-beaked Tanager Through wire cage at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee

Silver-beaked Tanager Through wire cage at Lowry Park Zoo by Lee


THE RED-RUMPED TANAGER.

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N American family, the Tanagers are mostly birds of very brilliant plumage. There are 300 species, a few being tropical birds. They are found in British and French Guiana, living in the latter country in open spots of dwellings and feeding on bananas and other fruits. They are also said to do much harm in the rice fields.

In “The Auk,” of July, 1893, Mr. George K. Cherrie, of the Field Museum, says of the Red-Rumped Tanager:

“During my stay at Boruca and Palmar, (the last of February) the breeding season was at its height, and I observed many of the Costa Rica Red-Rumps nesting. In almost every instance where possible I collected both parents of the nests, and in the majority of cases found the males wearing the same dress as the females. In a few instances the male was in mottled plumage, evidently just assuming the adult phase, and in a lesser number of examples the male was in fully adult plumage—velvety black and crimson red. From the above it is clear that the males begin to breed before they attain fully adult plumage, and that they retain the dress of the female until, at least, the beginning of the second year.

“While on this trip I had many proofs that, in spite of its rich plumage, and being a bird of the tropics, it is well worthy to hold a place of honor among the song birds. And if the bird chooses an early hour and a secluded spot for expressing its happiness, the melody is none the less delightful. At the little village of Buenos Aires, on the Rio Grande of Terraba, I heard the song more frequently than at any other point. Close by the ranch house at which we were staying, there is a small stream bordered by low woods and underbrush, that formed a favorite resort for the birds. Just below the ranch is a convenient spot where we took our morning bath. I was always there just as the day was breaking. On the opposite bank was a small open space in the brush occupied by the limbs of a dead tree. On one of these branches, and always the same one, was the spot chosen by a Red-rump to pour forth his morning song. Some mornings I found him busy with his music when I arrived, and again he would be a few minutes behind me. Sometimes he would come from one direction, sometimes from another, but he always alighted at the same spot and then lost no time in commencing his song. While singing, the body was swayed to and fro, much after the manner of a canary while singing. The song would last for perhaps half an hour, and then away the singer would go. I have not enough musical ability to describe the song, but will say that often I remained standing quietly for a long time, only that I might listen to the music.”


Lee’s Addition:

The Red-Rumped Tanager has of course been renamed and renamed again. Tracking this bird was not too difficult because of its “red-rump.” It appears the bird became known as the Scarlet-rumped Tanager and now recently has been split into two species. According to Wikipedia – “The Cherrie’s TanagerRamphocelus costaricensis, is a medium-sized passerine bird. This tanager is a resident breeder in the Pacific lowlands of Costa Rica and western Panama. This bird was formerly known as the Scarlet-rumped Tanager, but was split as a separate species from the Caribbean form, which was itself renamed as Passerini’s Tanager,Ramphocelus passerinii. While most authorities have accepted this split, there are notable exceptions (e.g. the Howard and Moore checklist).

So now you see why I have so much “fun” every three months updating my Birds of the World pages when the IOC (International Ornithologists’ Union) updates their Birds of the World List. That is the standard used for this site.

Take you choice. Is it the Passerini’s Tanager (Ramphocelus passerinii)?

Passerini's Tanager (Ramphocelus passerinii) Male ©BirdPhotos.com

Passerini’s Tanager (Ramphocelus passerinii) Male ©BirdPhotos.com

Passerini’s Tanager (Ramphocelus passerinii) Xeno-canto org

Or is it the Cherrie’s Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis)?

Cherrie's Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis) WikiC

Cherrie’s Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis) WikiC

Cherrie’s Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis) xeno-canto.org

Or is it the Flame-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus flammigerus)?

Flame-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus flammigerus) ©WikiC

Flame-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus flammigerus) ©WikiC

Flame-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus flammigerus) by xeno-canto.org

Which ever one you choose, they are all in the same Genus called Ramphocelus. They are silver-beaked tanagers and are found in Central and South America. They all like fruit and insects and are closely related.

Crimson-collared Tanager (Ramphocelus sanguinolentus )
Masked Crimson Tanager (Ramphocelus nigrogularis )
Crimson-backed Tanager (Ramphocelus dimidiatus )
Huallaga Tanager (Ramphocelus melanogaster )
Silver-beaked Tanager (Ramphocelus carbo )
Brazilian Tanager (Ramphocelus bresilia )
Passerini’s Tanager (Ramphocelus passerinii )
Cherrie’s Tanager (Ramphocelus costaricensis )
Flame-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus flammigerus )
Lemon-rumped Tanager (Ramphocelus icteronotus )

And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! (Matthew 27:28-29 KJV)

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

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited – Introduction

The above article is the eighth 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 Golden Oriole

Previous Article – The Yellow Throated Toucan

ABC’s of the Gospel

Links:

Birds of the World

Tanagers and Allies – Thraupidae Family

Ramphocelus – Wikipedia

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Birds Vol 1 #1 – The Yellow Throated or (Black-mandibled) Toucan

Black-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus) for the Birds Illustrated article

Yellow Throated Toucan for the Birds Illustrated article

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. January, 1897 No. 1

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THE YELLOW THROATED TOUCAN

(Ramphastos ambiguus) or Black-mandibled) Toucan

.

I am a Toucan and I live in a very warm country.

See my handsome black coat and my yellow vest.

My toes are like a parrot’s, two in front and two behind.

They help me to hold to the limbs.

Look at my large beak. It looks heavy but it is not, as it is filled with air cells. These make it very light. Do you like my blue eyes?

My nest is very hard to find. If I tell you where it is, you will not take the eggs, will you? It is in a hollow limb of a very high tree.

I am very fond of fruit, and for this reason the people on the plantations do not like me very well.

I can fly very fast, but I cannot get along so well on the ground. I keep my feet far apart and hop.

I like to sit in the top of the tallest trees. Then I am not afraid. Nothing can reach me there but a rifle ball.

I do not like the owl, he is so ugly. When we find an owl we get in a circle around him and snap our great beaks, and jerk our tails up and down and scream. He is very much afraid of us.

The people where I live like our yellow breasts. They wear them on their heads, and also put them on the ends of their bows.

We sometimes sit together in a tree and snap our beaks and shout. This is why we have been called “Preacher Birds.”

We can scream so loud that we may be heard a mile away. Our song is “Tucano! Tucano!”

I think it is a pretty song, but the people do not like it very much.

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii) by Ian

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii) by Ian


THE YELLOW THROATED TOUCAN.

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HE Toucans are a numerous race of South American birds, at once recognizable by the prodigious size of their beaks and by the richness of their plumage. “These birds are very common,” says Prince Von Wied, “in all parts of the extensive forests of the Brazils and are killed for the table in large numbers during the cool seasons. Their eggs are deposited in the hollow limbs and holes of the colossal trees, so common in the tropical forests, but their nests are very difficult to find. The egg is said to be white. They are very fond of fruit, oranges, guavas and plantains, and when these fruits are ripe make sad havoc among the neighboring plantations. In return for these depredations the planter eats their flesh, which is very delicate.”

The flight of these birds is easy and graceful, sweeping with facility over the loftiest trees of their native forests, their strangely developed bills being no encumbrance to them, replete as they are with a tissue of air-filled cells rendering them very light and even buoyant.

On the ground they get along with a rather awkward hopping movement, their legs being kept widely apart. In ascending a tree they do not climb but mount from one branch to another with a series of jumps, ascending to the tops of the very loftiest trees, safe from every missile except a rifle ball. They have a habit of sitting on the branches in flocks, lifting their bills, clattering them together, and shouting hoarsely all the while, from which custom the natives call them Preacher-birds. Sometimes the whole party, including the sentinel, set up a simultaneous yell so deafeningly loud that it can be heard a mile. They are very loquacious birds and are often discovered through their perpetual chattering. Their cry resembles the word “Tucano,” which has given origin to the peculiar name.

When settling itself to sleep, the Toucan packs itself up in a very systematic manner, supporting its huge beak by resting it on its back, and tucking it completely among the feathers, while it doubles its tail across its back just as if it moved on hinges. So completely is the large bill hidden among the feathers, that hardly a trace of it is visible in spite of its great size and bright color, so that the bird when sleeping looks like a great ball of loose feathers.

Sir R. Owen concludes that the large beak is of service in masticating food compensating for the absence of any grinding structures in the intestinal tract.

Says a naturalist: “We turned into a gloomy forest and for some time saw nothing but a huge brown moth, which looked almost like a bat on the wing. Suddenly we heard high upon the trees a short shrieking sort of noise ending in a hiss, and our guide became excited and said, “Toucan!” The birds were very wary and made off. They are much in quest and often shot at. At last we caught sight of a pair, but they were at the top of such a high tree that they were out of range. Presently, when I had about lost hope, I heard loud calls, and three birds came and settled in a low bush in the middle of the path.”

(Edited)

Gracie the retired Chestnut-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii)

Gracie the retired Chestnut-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii)


Lee’s Addition:

Today the Yellow Throated Toucan is also referred to as the Black-mandibled Toucan, at least by the IOC list of World Birds and the Internet Bird Collection. Actually, there are several Toucans that have a yellow throat and hope this is the one referred to in the 1897 article. The way they keep changing the names and splitting the species, the Chestnut-mandibled is also in that species.

What a fantastic bird and such an amazing creation from the Lord. Such a beautiful beak and yet so light.

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (John 1:3 NKJV)

All of these Toucans have Yellow Throats:
Chestnut-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii) Lee petting at National Aviary
Rainbow-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) IBC
Choco Toucan (Ramphastos brevis) IBC
Channel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos vitellinus) IBC
Black-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus) IBC

Toucans are members of the family Ramphastidae of near passerine birds from the Neotropics. The Ramphastidae family is most closely related to the American barbets. They are brightly marked and have large, often colorful bills. The family includes five genera and about forty different species. The name of this bird group is derived from the Tupi word tukana, via Portuguese.

Toucans range in size from the Lettered Aracari (Pteroglossus inscriptus), at 130 g (4.6 oz) and 29 cm (11.5 inches), to the Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco), at 680 g (1.5 lb) and 63 cm (29 inches). Their bodies are short (of comparable size to a crow’s) and compact. The tail is rounded and varies in length, from half the length to the whole length of the body. The neck is short and thick. The wings are small, as they are forest-dwelling birds who only need to travel short distances, and are often of about the same span as the bill-tip-to-tail-tip measurements of the bird.

The colourful and large bill, which in some large species measures more than half the length of the body, is the hallmark of toucans. Despite its size, the toucan is very light, being composed of bone struts filled with spongy tissue of keratin between them. The bill has forward-facing serrations resembling teeth, which historically led naturalists to believe that toucans captured fish and were primarily carnivorous; today it is known that they eat mostly fruit. Researchers have discovered that the large bill of the toucan is a highly efficient thermoregulation system, though its size may still be advantageous in other ways. It does aid in their feeding behavior (as they sit in one spot and reach for all fruit in range, thereby reducing energy expenditure), and it has also been theorized that the bill may intimidate smaller birds, so that the toucan may plunder nests undisturbed. Also, the beak allows the bird to reach deep into tree-holes to access food unavailable to other birds, and also to ransack suspended nests built by smaller birds. However, as there is no sexual dimorphism in coloration it is unlikely to be a sexual signal.
A toucan’s tongue is long (up to 14–15 cm, or 6 inches), narrow, grey, and singularly frayed on each side, adding to its sensitivity as an organ of taste.

A structural complex probably unique to toucans involves the modification of several tail vertebrae. The rear three vertebrae are fused and attached to the spine by a ball and socket joint. Because of this, toucans may snap their tail forwards until it touches the head. This is the posture in which they sleep, often appearing simply as a ball of feathers, with the tip of the tail sticking out over the head.

Toucans are primarily frugivorous (fruit eating), but are opportunistically omnivorous and will take prey such as insects and small lizards. Captive toucans have been reported to actively hunt insects in their cages, and it is possible to keep toucans on an insect-only diet. They also plunder nests of smaller birds, taking eggs and nestlings. This probably provides a crucial addition of protein to their diet. However, in their range, toucans are the dominant frugivores, and as such play an extremely important ecological role as vectors for seed dispersal of fruiting trees. Often when eating small fruits, toucans will throw their heads back and allow the fruit to roll into their throats before swallowing.

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

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited – Introduction

The above article is the second 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 Red-Rumped Tanager

Previous Article – The Red Bird Of Paradise

Wordless Toucan

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Birds Vol 1 #1 – The Red Bird Of Paradise

Red Bird of Paradise

Red Bird of Paradise

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. January, 1897 No. 1

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THE RED BIRD OF PARADISE.

My home is on an island where it is very warm. I fly among the tall trees and eat fruit and insects.

See my beautiful feathers. The ladies like to wear them in their hats.

The feathers of my wife are brown, but she has no long tail feathers.

My wife thinks my plumes are very beautiful.

When we have a party, we go with our wives to a tall tree. We spread our beautiful plumes while our wives sit and watch us.

Sometimes a man finds our tree and builds a hut among the lower branches.

(edited-birds are not hunted for feathers as much today.)

They also thought we lived on the dews of heaven and the honey of flowers. This is why we are called the Birds of Paradise.


“Upon its waving feathers poised in air,
Feathers, or rather clouds of golden down,
With streamers thrown luxuriantly out
In all the wantonness of winged wealth.”


Red Bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea rubra) ©©PetePictures

Red Bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea rubra) ©©PetePictures

THE RED BIRD OF PARADISE.

imgb

IRDS of Paradise are found only in New Guinea and on the neighboring islands. The species presented here is found only on a few islands.

In former days very singular ideas prevailed concerning these birds and the most extravagant tales were told of the life they led in their native lands. The natives of New Guinea, in preparing their skins for exportation, had removed all traces of legs, so that it was popularly supposed they possessed none, and on account of their want of feet and their great beauty, were called the Birds of Paradise, retaining, it was thought, the forms they had borne in the Garden of Eden, living upon dew or ether, through which it was imagined they perpetually floated by the aid of their long cloud-like plumage.

Of one in confinement Dr. Bennett says: “I observed the bird, before eating a grasshopper, place the insect upon the perch, keep it firmly fixed by the claws, and, divesting it of the legs, wings, etc., devour it with the head always first. It rarely alights upon the ground, and so proud is the creature of its elegant dress that it never permits a soil to remain upon it, frequently spreading out its wings and feathers, regarding its splendid self in every direction.”

The sounds uttered by this bird are very peculiar, resembling somewhat the cawing of the Raven, but change gradually to a varied scale in musical gradations, like he, hi, ho, how! He frequently raises his voice, sending forth notes of such power as to be heard at a long distance. These notes are whackwhack, uttered in a barking tone, the last being a low note in conclusion.

While creeping amongst the branches in search of insects, he utters a soft clucking note. During the entire day he flies incessantly from one tree to another, perching but a few moments, and concealing himself among the foliage at the least suspicion of danger.

In Bennett’s “Wanderings” is an entertaining description of Mr. Beale’s bird at Maceo. “This elegant bird,” he says, “has a light, playful, and graceful manner, with an arch and impudent look, dances about when a visitor approaches the cage, and seems delighted at being made an object of admiration. It bathes twice daily, and after performing its ablutions throws its delicate feathers up nearly over its head, the quills of which have a peculiar structure, enabling the bird to effect this object. To watch this bird make its toilet is one of the most interesting sights of nature; the vanity which inspires its every movement, the rapturous delight with which it views its enchanting self, its arch look when demanding the spectator’s admiration, are all pardonable in a delicate creature so richly embellished, so neat and cleanly, so fastidious in its tastes, so scrupulously exact in its observances, and so winning in all its ways.”

Says a traveler in New Guinea: “As we were drawing near a small grove of teak-trees, our eyes were dazzled with a sight more beautiful than any I had yet beheld. It was that of a Bird of Paradise moving through the bright light of the morning sun. I now saw that the birds must be seen alive in their native forests, in order to fully comprehend the poetic beauty of the words Birds of Paradise. They seem the inhabitants of a fairer world than ours, things that have wandered in some way from their home, and found the earth to show us something of the beauty of worlds beyond.”

[youtube-http://youtu.be/y6fsLW8JQtA]
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Lee’s Addition:

Red Bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea rubra, also Cendrawasih Merah), is a bird-of-paradise in the genus Paradisaea, family Paradisaeidae.

Large, up to 13 in (33 cm) long, brown and yellow with a dark brown iris, grey legs and yellow bill. The male has an emerald green face, a pair of elongated black corkscrew-shaped tail wires, dark green feather pompoms above each eye and a train of glossy crimson red plumes with whitish tips at either side of the breast. The male measures up to 28.3 in (72 cm) long, including the ornamental red plumes that require at least six years to fully attain. The female is similar but smaller in size, with a dark brown face and has no ornamental red plumes. The diet consists mainly of fruits, berries and arthropods.

An Indonesian endemic, the Red Bird-of-paradise is distributed to lowland rainforests of Waigeo and Batanta islands of Raja Ampat, West Papua. This species shares its home with another bird-of-paradise, the Wilson’s Bird-of-paradise. Hybridisation between these two species is not recorded but is expected because it is recorded for many other birds of paradise.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7 KJV)

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

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited – Introduction

The above article is the seventh 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 Yellow Throated Toucan

Previous Article – The Cock-Of-The-Rock

Wordless Birds

Links:

Red Bird-of-paradise Bank Note Photo – Java (Indonesia)

Red Bird-of-paradise – ARKive

Red Bird-of-paradise flying Photo

Red Bird-of-paradise – Wikipedia

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Birds Vol 1 #1 – The Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. January, 1897 No. 1

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THE MANDARIN DUCK.

A Letter from China.

Quack! Quack! I got in just in time.

I came as fast as I could, as I was afraid of being whipped. You see I live in a boat with a great many other ducks.

My master and his family live in the boat too. Isn’t that a funny place to live in?

We stay in all night. Waking up early in the morning, we cry Quack! Quack! until we wake the master.

He gets up and opens the gate for us and out we tumble into the water. We are in such a hurry that we fall over each other. We swim about awhile and then we go to shore for breakfast.

There are wet places near the shore where we find worms, grubs, and roots. When evening comes the master blows a whistle. Then we know it is time to come home.

We start as soon as we hear it, and hurry, because the last duck in gets a whipping. It does not hurt much but we do not like it, so we all try to get home first.

I have web feet, but I perch like other birds on the branches of the trees near the river.

My feathers are beautiful in the sunlight. My wife always sits near me. Her dress is not like mine. It is brown and grey.

From May to August I lose my bright feathers, then I put on a dress like my wife’s.

My master’s family are Chinese, and they are very queer. They would not sell me for anything, as they would not like to have me leave China.

Sometimes a pair of us are put in a gay cage and carried to a wedding. After the wedding we are given to the bride and groom.

I hear the master’s whistle again. He wants me to come in and go to bed. Quack! Quack! Good bye!

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) by S Slayton

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) by S Slayton

THE MANDARIN DUCK.

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MORE magnificently clothed bird,” says Wood, “than the male Chinese Mandarin Duck, can hardly be found, when in health and full nuptial plumage. They are natives of China and Japan, and are held in such high esteem by the Chinese that they can hardly be obtained at any price, the natives having a singular dislike to seeing the birds pass into the possession of Europeans.”

Though web-footed, the birds have the power of perching and it is a curious sight to watch them on the branches of trees overhanging the pond in which they live, the male and female being always close together, the one gorgeous in purple, green, white, and chestnut, and the other soberly appareled in brown and grey. This handsome plumage the male loses during four months of the year, from May to August, when he throws off his fine crest, his wing-fans, and all his brilliant colors, assuming the sober tinted dress of his mate. The Summer Duck of America bears a close resemblance to the Mandarin Duck, both in plumage and manners, and at certain times of the year is hardly to be distinguished from that bird.

The foreign duck has been successfully reared in Zoological Gardens, some being hatched under the parent bird and others under a domestic hen, the latter hatching the eggs three days in advance of the former.

“The Chinese,” says Dr. Bennett, “highly esteem the Mandarin Duck, which exhibits, as they think, a most striking example of conjugal attachment and fidelity. A pair of them are frequently placed in a gaily decorated cage and carried in their marriage processions, to be presented to the bride and groom as worthy objects of emulation.”

“I could more easily,” wrote a friend of Dr. Bennett’s in China to whom he had expressed his desire for a pair of these birds, “send you two live Mandarins than a pair of Mandarin Ducks.”

Concerning their attachment and fidelity to one another, Dr. Bennett recites the following:

“Mr. Beale’s aviary at Maceo one day was broken open and the male bird stolen from the side of its mate. She refused to be comforted, and, retiring to the farthest part of the aviary, sat disconsolate, rarely partaking of food, and giving no attention to her soiled and rumpled plumage. In vain did another handsome drake endeavor to console her for her loss. After some time the stolen bird was found in the quarters of a miserable Chinaman, and at once restored to its mate. As soon as he recognized his abode he began to flap his wings and quack vehemently. She heard his voice and almost quacked to screaming with ecstasy, both expressing their joy by crossing necks and quacking in concert. The next morning he fell upon the unfortunate drake who had made consolatory advances to his mate, pecked out his eyes and so injured him that the poor fellow died in the course of a few days.”

According to Schrenck, this species appears in the countries watered by the Amoor about May, and departs again at the end of August; at this season it is always met with in small or large flocks, which are so extremely shy that they rarely come within gunshot. Whilst on the wing these parties crowd closely together in front, the birds in the rear occupying a comparatively free space.

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) LPZoo by Dan

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) LPZoo by Dan


Lee’s Addition:

The Mandarin Duck is in the Anatidae – Ducks, Geese & Swans Family of the Answeriformes Order.  Along with the Wood Duck, these ducks just amaze me in their creation. When the Lord created them, He must have had a very neat paint brush. They are so gorgeous! Every time I see them they almost bring tears to my eyes.

The Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata), or just Mandarin, is a medium-sized perching duck, closely related to the North American Wood Duck. It is 16-19 in (41–49 cm) long with a 25.5-29.5 in (65–75 cm) wingspan.

The adult male is a striking and unmistakable bird. It has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and “whiskers”. The breast is purple with two vertical white bars, and the flanks ruddy, with two orange “sails” at the back. The female is similar to female Wood Duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye, but is paler below, has a small white flank stripe, and a pale tip to its bill. The Mandarin ducklings are almost identical in look to Wood ducklings, and appear very similar to Mallard ducklings. The ducklings can be distinguished from Mallard ducklings because the eye-stripe of Mandarin ducklings (and Wood ducklings) stops at the eye, while in Mallard ducklings it reaches all the way to the bill.

Unlike other species of ducks, most Mandarin drakes reunite with the hens they mated with along with their offsprings after the eggs have hatched and even share scout duties in watching the ducklings closely. However, even with both parents securing the ducklings, most of them do not survive to adulthood.

Mandarins may form small flocks in winter.

Mandarin Ducks, which are referred to by the Chinese as Yuan-yang (simplified Chinese: 鸳鸯; traditional Chinese: 鴛鴦; pinyin: yuān yāng), where yuan() and yang() respectively stand for male and female Mandarin Ducks.

In traditional Chinese culture, Mandarin Ducks represent a life-time couple, unlike many other species of ducks. Hence they are frequently featured in Chinese art and are regarded as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity.

But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; (Job 12:7 NKJV)

A Chinese proverb for loving couples uses the Mandarin Duck as a metaphor: “Two mandarin ducks playing in water” (simplified Chinese: 鸳鸯戏水; traditional Chinese: 鴛鴦戲水; pinyin: yuān yāng xì shuǐ). The Mandarin Duck symbol is also used in Chinese weddings, because in traditional Chinese lore they symbolize wedded bliss and fidelity.

Because the male and female plumages of the Mandarin Duck are so unalike, yuan-yang is frequently used colloquially in Cantonese to mean an “odd couple” or “unlikely pair” – a mixture of two different types of same category. For example,yuanyang (drink) and yuan-yang fried rice.

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 Golden Pheasant

Previous Article – The Resplendent Trogon (Quetzal)

Links:

Photos of Mandarin Ducks

Mandarin Duck – Wikipedia

Birds of the World – Anatidae – Ducks, Geese & Swans

Wordless Birds

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