Birds Vol 1 #4 – Amateur Photography

Flash Light Picture made with “Dexter” Camera

Flash Light Picture made with “Dexter” Camera

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. April, 1897 No. 4

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Amateur Photography.

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MATEUR PHOTOGRAPHY is the most delightful pastime one can indulge in. Aside from the pleasure and amusement derived, it cultivates the artistic taste, the love of nature, is a source of instruction, and may be made to serve many useful purposes. The “Dexter” is small, neat and compact. Makes pictures 312×312inches square and will produce portraits, landscapes, groups, interiors or flashlights equally as well as many higher priced cameras. Will carry three double plate holders with a capacity of six dry plates. Each camera is covered with black morocco grain leather, also provided with a brilliant finder for snap shot work. Has a Bausch & Lomb single acromatic lens of wonderful depth and definition and a compound time and instantaneous shutter which is a marvel of ingenuity. A separate button is provided for time and instantaneous work so that a twist of a button or pulling of a lever is not necessary as in most cameras. A tripod socket is also provided so that it can be used for hand or tripod work as desired. All complicated adjustments have been dispensed with so that the instrument can be manipulated with ease by the youngest amateur. Full and explicit instructions are sent with each camera. Send 5c stamps for sample picture and descriptive circulars.

Dexter Camera

Dexter Camera, 1897


Lee’s Addition:

Look how far we have come since 1897! What a difference between the Dexter and our Digital Cameras of today. I have added some links that give some of this history.

Dexter Camera – Historic Camera – History Librarium

Ted’s Photographics about old cameras

Could we not get the same reaction as the verse below if we look at a photo of ourselves and then put it away?

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. (James 1:22-24 KJV)

 

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 April 1897 No 4 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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 – Nesting Time

Previous Article – The Arizona Green Jay

Wordless Birds

Links:

Dexter Camera – Historic Camera – History Librarium

Ted’s Photographics about old cameras

 

Ad for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography

Ad for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography

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Birds Vol 1 #4 – The Arizona Green Jay

Arizona Jay -Chicago Colortype Co - For Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897 (Green Jay)

Arizona Jay -Chicago Colortype Co – For Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897 (Green Jay)

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. April, 1897 No. 4

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THE ARIZONA GREEN JAY.

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HE geographical range of the Arizona Jay is in southern New Mexico and Arizona and south into Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico. It is a common resident throughout the oak belt which generally fringes the foothills of the mountains and ranges well up among the pines. In suitable localities it is very abundant. It is rarely seen at any distance out of the arid plains; but after the breeding season is over, small flocks are sometimes met with among the shrubbery of the few water courses, several miles away from their regular habitat. They are seen in the early Spring, evidently on a raid for eggs and the young of smaller birds. On such occasions they are very silent, and their presence is only betrayed by the scoldings they receive from other birds. On their own heath they are as noisy as any of our Jays, and apparently far more sociable, a number of pairs frequently nesting close to each other in a small oak grove. They move about in small family parties of from half a dozen to twenty or thirty, being rarely seen alone. They are restless, constantly on the move, prying into this or that, spending a good portion of their time on the ground, now hopping on a low limb, and the next minute down again, twitching their tails almost constantly. Their call notes are harsh and far reaching, and are somewhat similar to those of the California Jay.

The voices of animals have a family character not easily mistaken, and this similarity is especially observable in birds. As Agassiz says, “Compare all the sweet warbles of the songster family—the nightingales, the thrushes, the mocking birds, the robins; they differ in the greater or lesser perfection of their note, but the same kind of voice runs through the whole group. Does not every member of the Crow family caw, whether it be a Jackdaw, the Jay, or the Magpie, the Rook in some green rookery of the Old World, or the Crow of our woods, with its long melancholy caw that seems to make the silence and solitude deeper?”

The habits of the Arizona Jay are similar to those of its brethren. Its food consists of grasshoppers, insects, animal matter, wild fruits, seeds, and especially acorns. It flies by partly closing its wings, darting suddenly down, then up again, and repeating these movements for some time. It mates about the end of February. The nest, composed of dry rootlets laid very closely in rings, is usually found in an oak sapling about ten feet from the ground. The inside diameter is five inches, and depth one and three-fourths inches. It is like a deep saucer.

The Arizona Jay is considered a foothill bird, not going far into the pines and not appearing on the plains. But one brood appears to be raised in a season, and nesting lasts about sixteen days. The eggs vary from four to seven, and differ from all the known eggs of this family found within the United States, being unspotted. They are glaucous green in color, and the majority are much more glossy than Jays’ eggs generally are. In one hundred and thirty-six specimens examined, all were perfectly immaculate.

Green Jay (Cyanocorax luxuosus) by Daves BirdingPix

Green Jay (Cyanocorax luxuosus) by Daves BirdingPix


Lee’s Addition:

The articles calls this bird the Arizona Jay. There is no bird by that name and the copiers of these articles added the Green. According to the “Color Photograph” this is a Green Jay (Cyanocorax luxuosus) which belongs to the Crows, Jays – Corvidae family. Not sure if this is the bird intended, because Wikipedia and others do not show the Green Jay in Arizona these days.

Assuming that it is the Green Jay, we were able to see them “down in the valley” of Texas. We saw them at the Santa Ana NWR and around the valley.

Green Jay at Santa Ana NWR

Green Jay at Santa Ana NWR

Its area stretches from southern Texas south into Mexico and Central America, with a break before the species reappears in a broad sweep across the highlands (primarily the Andes) of South America in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. It has been suggested that the North American taxa should be considered separate species, Cyanocorax luxuosus. If following this taxonomy, the northern species retains the common name Green Jay, while the South American population, which retains the scientific name C. yncas, is renamed the Inca Jay. Northern Greens are smaller than there southern family and some of the color varies between the two groups.

“Green Jays feed on a wide range of insects and other invertebrates and various cereal grains. They take ebony (Ebenopsis spp.) seeds where these occur, and also any oak species’ acorns, which they will cache. Meat and human scraps add to the diet when opportunity arises. Green Jays have been observed using sticks as tools to extract insects from tree bark. Their basic diet consists of arthropods, vertebrates, seeds, and fruit.

Green Jays usually build a nest in a tree or in a thorny bush or thicket, and the female lays three to five eggs. Only the female incubates, but both parents take care of the young. In Colombia, the Green Jay is recorded as retaining offspring for several years, and those young help the parents raise more chicks.

As with most of the typical jays, this species has a very extensive voice repertoire. The bird’s most common call makes a rassh-rassh-rassh sound, but many other unusual notes also occur. One of the most distinctive calls sounds like an alarm bell.” (Wikipedia)

The Lord has created another beautiful bird for us to enjoy and learn about.

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Proverbs 9:9-10 ESV)

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 April 1897 No 4 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – Amateur Photography

Previous Article – The Marsh Wren

ABC’s of the Gospel

Links:

Green Jay – Wikipedia

Crows, Jays – Corvidae Family

Green Jays – IBC

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Birds Vol 1 #4 – The Marsh Wren

Long-billed Marsh Wren by Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Long-billed Marsh Wren by Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. April, 1897 No. 4

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THE MARSH WREN.

With tail up, and head up,
The Wren begins to sing;
He fills the air with melody,
And makes the alders ring;
We listen to his cadences,
We watch his frisky motions,
We think—his mate attending him—
He’s got some nesting notions.—C. C. M.

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HESE Wrens inhabit marshy and weedy bottom lands along river courses, and have all the brisk manners and habits of the family. This species, however, has a peculiar habit of building several nests every season, and it is suggested that these are built to procure protection for the female, in order that when search is made for the nest where she is sitting, the male may lure the hunter to an empty nest.

Its song is not unlike that of the House Wren, though less agreeable. It is a summer resident, arriving in May and departing in September. Its nest, which is found along borders of rivers, is made of sedge and grasses suspended near tall reeds. It has been found hanging over a small stream, suspended from the drooping bough of an alder tree, swayed to and fro by every breath of air. A careful observer states that a Wren will forsake her nest when building it, sooner than any other bird known to him. Disturb her repeatedly when building and she leaves it apparently without cause; insert your fingers in her tenement and she will leave it forever. But when the eggs are laid, the Wren will seldom abandon her treasure, and when her tender brood are depending on her for food, she will never forsake them, even though the young be handled, or the female bird be caught on the nest while feeding them. The food of the Wren is insects, their larvae and eggs, and fruit in season.

This Wren has justly been called a perennial songster. “In Spring the love-song of the Wren sounds through the forest glades and hedges, as the buds are expanding into foliage and his mate is seeking a site for a cave-like home. And what a series of jerks it is composed of, and how abruptly he finishes his song, as if suddenly alarmed; but this is his peculiar habit and common to him alone. In summer we hear his song morning, noon, and night, go forth for very joyfulness, as he wanders hither and thither in his leafy bower.” It is only in the moulting season that he does not sing.

A lady who used to attract a great number of birds to her garden with crumbs, seeds, and other dainties, said that when the weather became cold the Wrens used to gather upon a large branch of a tree, about four inches beneath another branch. They assembled there in the evening and packed themselves very comfortably for the night, three or four deep, apparently for the sake of warmth, the topmost Wren always having his back pressed against the outer branch as if to keep all steady. Pitying their forlorn condition, she provided a bedroom for them—a square box lined with flannel, and with a very small round hole for a door. This was fastened to the branch, and the birds promptly took possession of it, their numbers increasing nightly, until at least forty Wrens crowded into the box which did not seem to afford room for half the number. When thus assembled they became so drowsy as to permit themselves to be gently handled.

Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) by Ray

Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) by Ray


THE MARSH WRENS.

A happier pair of birds than these little Wrens it would be hard to find.

They have just come up from taking their morning bath and are going to sing a while before going to work on their nests.

You see I say nests. That is a strange thing about the Wrens, they build several nests. I wonder if you can tell why they do this. If you can’t, ask your teacher about it.

It is a little too early in the season or I would have one of the nests in the picture for you to look at.

I will try to describe it to you, so that you will know it when you see it. These little Wrens make their nests of coarse grasses, reed stalks, and such things, lined with fine grasses. It is round like a ball, or nearly so, and has the opening in the side. They fasten them to the reeds and bushes.

If you wish to get acquainted with these birds, you must visit the tall grasses and cat-tails along rivers and creeks and in marshes.

You won’t have to let them know that you are coming; they will see you long before you see them, and from their little nests they will begin to scold you, for fear that you mean to do them harm.

When they see that you mean them no harm, they will begin to entertain you with their songs. Oh, how they do sing! It just seems as though they would burst with song.

You can see how happy the one is in the picture. The other little fellow will soon take his turn. See how straight he holds his tail up. Find out all you can about these Wrens. You notice they have long bills. We call them Long-billed Marsh Wrens. There are several other kinds. You surely must have seen their cousins, the House Wrens. I will show you their pictures some day.

Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) by Ian

Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) by Ian


Lee’s Addition:

This Wren, the Marsh Wren, belongs to the Troglodytidae – Wrens Family. There are actually three families that Wrens show up in: the Troglodytidae – Wrens; New Zealand Wrens – Acanthisittidae; Australasian Wrens – Maluridae (Fairywrens, Emu-Wrens, Grasswren). There are other birds with Wren in the names like; Wrenthrush, Wren-babblers, Wren-Spinetail, Wren-Warblers. “There are approximately 80 species of true wrens in approximately 20 genera.” There is a slight difference in the Eastern and western populations of the Marsh Wren. Their songs are the biggest difference. The eastern wrens are more musical than the western ones.

The Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) is a small North American songbird of the wren family. It is sometimes called Long-billed Marsh Wren to distinguish it from the Sedge Wren, also known as Short-billed Marsh Wren.

Adults have brown upperparts with a light brown belly and flanks and a white throat and breast. The back is black with white stripes. They have a dark cap with a white line over the eyes and a short thin bill.

The male’s song is a loud gurgle used to declare ownership of territory; western males have a more varied repertoire.

Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. (Psalms 104:12 ESV)

Their breeding habitat is marshes with tall vegetation such as cattails across North America. In the western United States, some birds are permanent residents. Other birds migrate to marshes and salt marshes in the southern United States and Mexico. These birds forage actively in vegetation, sometimes flying up to catch insects in flight. They mainly eat insects, also spiders and snails.

The nest is an oval lump attached to marsh vegetation, entered from the side. The clutch is normally 4–6 eggs, though the number can range from 3–10. The male builds many unused nests in his territory; he may puncture the eggs of other birds nesting nearby.

Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) by Daves BirdingPix

Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris) by Daves BirdingPix

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 April 1897 No 4 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Arizona Green Jay

Previous Article – The Bohemian Wax-Wing

Wordless Birds

Links:

Marsh Wrens – All About Birds

Marsh Wren – Birdweb

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Ad for Birds Illustrated, 1897

Ad for Birds Illustrated, 1897

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Birds Vol 1 #4 – The Bohemian Wax-Wing

Bohemian Waxwing by Bird Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Bohemian Waxwing by Bird Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. April, 1897 No. 4

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THE BOHEMIAN WAX-WING.

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HE Bohemian Wax-wing is interesting for its gipsy-like wanderings, one winter visiting one country, next season another, often in enormous flocks, and usually with intervals of many years, so that in former times their appearance was regarded as sure forebodings of war and pestilence, their arrival being dreaded as much as that of a comet. Another interesting feature of its history is the fact that for a long time this familiar bird eluded the search of the zoologist. Its breeding habits, and even the place where it breeds, were unknown thirty years ago, until finally discovered by Mr. Wolley in Lapland, after a diligent search during four summers. It is also called the European or Common Silk-tail, and is an inhabitant both of northern Europe and of North America, though in America the Cedar Bird is more often met with. In the northern portions of Europe, birch and pine forests constitute its favorite retreats, and these it seldom quits, except when driven by unusual severity of weather, or by heavy falls of snow, to seek refuge in more southern provinces. It is said that even in Russia, Poland, and southern Scandinavia it is constantly to be seen throughout the entire winter; that indeed, so rarely does it wander to more southern latitudes, that in Germany it is popularly supposed to make its appearance once in seven years. On the occasion of these rare migrations, the Silk-tails keep together in large flocks, and remain in any place that affords them suitable food until the supply is exhausted.

These birds are heavy and indolent, exerting themselves rarely except to satisfy hunger. They live in perfect harmony, and during their migrations indicate no fear of man, seeking their food in the streets of the villages and towns. They frequently settle in the trees, remaining almost motionless for hours together. Their flight is light and graceful, but on the ground they move with difficulty. Their call note is a hissing, twittering sound. In summer, insects are their chief food, while in winter they live principally on berries. The Wax-wing will devour in the course of twenty-four hours an amount of food equal to the weight of its own body. In Lapland is the favorite nesting ground of the Bohemian Wax-wing. The nests are deeply hidden among the boughs of pine trees, at no great height from the ground; their walls are formed of dry twigs and scraps from the surrounding branches, and the cavities are wide, deep, and lined with blades of grass and feathers. There are five eggs, laid about the middle of June; the shell is bluish or purplish white, sprinkled with brown, black, or violet spots and streaks, some of which take the form of a wreath at the broad end. The exquisite daintiness and softness of the Wax-wing’s coat can be compared only to floss silk.

Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) © by Paul Higgins

Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) © by Paul Higgins


Lee’s Addition:

Its leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it. (Daniel 4:12 ESV)

Bohemian Waxwings are in the Waxwings – Bombycillidae family. There are only three members; the Bohemian, Japanese and the Cedar Waxwings.

Wikipedia says, The Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) is a member of the waxwing family of passerines. A sleek bird, 18–21 cm long with a pointed crest, it travels in large, nomadic groups with a strong, direct flight. It breeds in coniferous forests throughout the most northern parts of Europe, Asia and western North America. As the Cedar Waxwing inhabits only North America and the Japanese Waxwing only Asia, the Bohemian Waxwing is the only member of this family whose range circumnavigates all the continents just below the sub-Arctic latitudes.

Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) ©WikiC

Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) ©WikiC

Are larger, fatter and greyer than the Cedar Waxwing and has bright yellow, black or rusty orange color on its tail feather tips and a yellow, white, red or black stripe along the wing feathers. Under tail coverts are a deep rust color. Both beak and feet are dark and the brown eyes are set in a narrow black mask underlined with white. The call is a pleasant ringing sound, similar to that of the Cedar Waxwing but lower-pitched.

The preferred nest location is usually high in a pine tree but feeding opportunities determine the location chosen. Each bird or pair may have more than one nest in the same general area. The nests have an outer diameter of 15 cm to 18 cm and are lined with fine grass, moss, and down. On average, 4 to 6 eggs are laid, the egg shells having a pale bluish color with a heavy sprinkling of blackish spots and some dark, irregular lines. Incubation is around 14 days and the young leave the nest about 13 to 15 days after hatching.

Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) ©WikiC - distinctive wing spots

Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) ©WikiC – distinctive wing spots

Like other waxwings, its diet consists primarily of berries supplemented by insects, especially during the breeding season. Its English name refers to the bright red bead-like tips of the secondary feathers on its wings, which look like drops of sealing wax, while ‘Bohemian’ refers to the Romani (gypsies), with a comparison to this bird’s wandering, or to its (presumed) origin from Bohemia (at the time, a relatively unknown “distant, eastern” place to most English speakers).

The generic name Bombycilla, from Latin Bombyx (silk / silk moth) + Scientific Latin cilla (tail), is a direct translation of the Swedish name ‘Sidensvans’, silk-tail, and refers to the silky-soft plumage of the bird; the species name garrulus means ‘talkative’ and refers to a resemblance to the European Jay, Glandularius garrulus.

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 April 1897 No 4 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Marsh Wren

Previous Article – The Piedbill Grebe

ABC’s of the Gospel

Links:

Ad for Bird Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Ad for Bird Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

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Birds Vol 1 #4 – The Piedbill Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe from Col F. M. Woodruff.for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography

Pied-billed Grebe from Col F. M. Woodruff.for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. April, 1897 No. 4

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THE PIEDBILL GREBE.

Boys and Girls:

This is the first time I’ve been on land for several weeks. I am sure you can’t think of any other kind of bird who can say that.

Sometimes I don’t go on land for months, but stay in the water all of the time—eat and sleep there, floating around.

My little chick wanted me to go on land so we could have our pictures taken.

If he were not sitting so close to me you could see better what paddles I have for feet.

I build my nest of weeds, grass, sticks, and anything I can find floating around. I most always fasten it to some reeds or tall grass that grow up out of the water.

In this I lay the eggs and just as soon as the chicks come out of the shell they can swim. Of course they can’t swim as well as I and they soon get tired. Do you know how I rest them?

Well, it’s very funny, but I just help them up on my back and there they rest while I swim around and get them food. When they get rested they slide off into the water.

Are you wondering if I can fly? Well, I can fly a little but not very well. I can get along very fast swimming, and as I do not go on land often, why should I care to fly.

Should any one try to harm me I can dive, and swim under water out of reach.

Well, chick, let us go back to our home in the water.

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) nest ©USFWS

Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps) nest ©USFWS


THE PIEDBILL GREBE.

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EMBERS of the family of Grebes are to be found in the temperate zones of both hemispheres, beyond which they do not extend very far either to the north or south. They are usually found on ponds or large sheets of stagnant water, sometimes on deep, slow-moving streams; but always where sedges and rushes are abundant. Probably there are no birds better entitled to the name of water fowl than the Grebes—at least, observers state that they know of no others that do not on some occasions appear on dry land. It is only under the most urgent circumstances, as, for instance, when wounded, that they approach the shore, and even then they keep so close to the brink that on the slightest alarm they can at once plunge into the water. Whatever they do must be done in the water; they cannot even rise upon the wing without a preliminary rush over the surface of the lake. From dry land they cannot begin their flight. Their whole life is spent in swimming and diving. They even repose floating upon the water, and when thus asleep float as buoyantly as if they were made of cork, the legs raised to the edges of the wings, and the head comfortably buried among the feathers between the back and shoulder. Should a storm arise, they at once turn to face the blast, and are usually able, with their paddle-like feet, to maintain themselves in the same place. They dive with great facility, and make their way more swiftly when under water than when swimming at the top. When flying the long neck is stretched out straight forwards and the feet backwards. In the absence of any tail, they steer their course by means of their feet. When alarmed they instantly dive.

Their food consists of small fishes, insects, frogs, and tadpoles. Grebes are peculiar in their manner of breeding. They live in pairs, and are very affectionate, keeping in each other’s company during their migrations, and always returning together to the same pond. The nest is a floating one, a mass of wet weeds, in which the eggs are not only kept damp, but in the water. The weeds used in building the nests are procured by diving, and put together so as to resemble a floating heap of rubbish, and fastened to some old upright reeds. The eggs are from three to six, at first greenish white in color, but soon become dirty, and are then of a yellowish red or olive-brown tint, sometimes marbled.

The male and female both sit upon the nest, and the young are hatched in three weeks. From the first moment they are able to swim, and in a few days to dive. Having once quitted the nest they seldom return to it, a comfortable resting and sleeping place being afforded them on the backs of their parents. “It is a treat to watch the little family as now one, now another of the young brood, tired with the exertion of swimming or of struggling against the rippling water, mount as to a resting place on their mother’s back; to see how gently, when they have recovered their strength, she returns them to the water; to hear the anxious, plaintive notes of the little warblers when they have ventured too far from the nest; to see their food laid before them by the old birds; or to witness the tenderness with which they are taught to dive.”

Pied-Billed Grebe at Lake Hollingsworth, Lakeland, FL by Dan

Pied-Billed Grebe at Lake Hollingsworth, Lakeland Young by Dan


Lee’s Addition:

So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:21 NKJV)

Here is another of the Lord’s neat little birds that He has created and designed to live most of the time in water. I always enjoy watching the Grebes. They dive down and then pop up who-knows-where. They stay down awhile and travel underwater, as the article mentioned. Pied-billed Grebes are here in this area, central Flordia, year round.

The Pied-billed Grebe is small, stocky, and short-necked. It is 31–38 centimeters (12–15 in) in length, it has a wingspan of 45–62 cm (18–24 in) and weighs 253–568 grams (8.9–20.0 oz). It is usually brown or gray in color. It has a short, blunt chicken-like bill, which in summer is encircled by a broad black band (hence the name). It is the only grebe that does not show a white wing patch in flight. The sexes are monomorphic (meaning no sexual dimorphism). (Wikipedia)

They belong to the Grebes – Podicipedidae Family. It has 22 members. The ones in North America are:

Clark’s Grebe
Eared Grebe (Black-Necked) by Dave’s Birding Pix
Horned Grebe
Least Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Western Grebe

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 April 1897 No 4 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Bohemian Wax-Wing

Previous Article – The California Woodpecker

Wordless Birds

Links:

Pied-billed Grebe – What Bird

Pied-billed Grebe – All About Birds

Pied-billed Grebe – Wikipedia

Ad for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Ad for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

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Birds Vol 1 #4 – Bird Day In The Schools

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. April, 1897 No. 4

American Robin by Dan

American Robin by Dan

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV)

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BIRD DAY IN THE SCHOOLS.

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IRD DAY! Have you heard of it? Whether you have or not, we wish to assure you that it is worthy the thoughtful consideration of all teachers, and of all others interested in protecting and preserving our sweet birds.

Bird day has already proved a great success in two cities of the United States, both in the enthusiasm shown by the children in their friendly study of birds and in the result of such study.

In 1894, Oil City, Pa., observed the day, and in 1896 it was celebrated in the schools of Fort Madison, Iowa.

Of the results in his schools, Supt. Babcock, of Oil City, says, “There has been a complete change in the relations existing between the small boy and the birds.”

Although we in Fort Madison have been engaged in bird study less than a year, and have observed but one BIRD DAY, results similar to those secured by Supt. Babcock are becoming manifest. Only a few days ago a boy said to his teacher, “I used to take pleasure in killing all kinds of birds. Now I don’t wish to harm even an English Sparrow.”

The object of BIRD DAY and the study that leads to it, is to diffuse a true knowledge of the aesthetic and practical value of birds and to arouse an interest in bird protection.

And it is high time that something be done. From all over the country come reports of a decrease in native birds. In many places some of our sweetest songsters and most useful insect destroyers have become very scarce or have disappeared entirely. The causes are many, but the greatest is an inexcusable thoughtlessness on the part of young and old of both sexes. Johnny teases for a gun. His fond parents get it for him. Result—Johnny shows his marksmanship by shooting several birds in his vicinity. Or, perhaps, the ladies need new hats. Nothing except birds for trimming will do, though ten thousand sweet songs be hushed forever.

The study of bird life is one of especial interest to children and if properly pursued will develop in them sympathetic characters that should make them kinder towards their playmates now and towards their fellow-men in the coming years.

Impress upon a child that

“He liveth best who loveth best
All things, both great and small,”

and you have built into his life something that shall shine forth in good deeds through countless ages.

And how go about this work? The limit of space allotted this article forbids a full answer. Briefly,—study the birds themselves. Get a boy aroused to a friendly, protective interest in one bird and you have probably made that boy a friend of all birds. If you are a teacher, take your little flock out early some bright, Spring morning and let them listen to the singing of their feathered brothers of the air. Call attention to their beauty and grace of form, plumage and movement. Watch them care for their little ones. Notice their nests—their happy little homes—those “halfway houses on the road to heaven,” and as you and your flock wander, watch and listen and call to mind that,

“’Tis always morning somewhere, and above
The awakening continents, from shore to shore,
Somewhere the birds are singing evermore.”

Let us, fellow teachers and fellow citizens of America, take up this work of bird study and bird protection. Let the schools teach it, the press print it, and the pulpit preach it, till from thousands of happy throats shall be proclaimed the glad tidings of good will of man towards the birds.

C. H. Morrill,
Supt. of Schools.
Fort Madison, Iowa.

Homeschoolers at South Lake Howard Field Trip by Lee

Homeschoolers at South Lake Howard Field Trip by Lee

We are in receipt almost daily of letter inquiries for good literature on birds, and suitable exercises for Bird Day Programs.

It will be our purpose from time to time to suggest good works by the best authors.

We give below a list of publications that are especially fine, and shall be pleased to supply them at the list price, as indicated, or as premiums for subscribers to “BIRDS.”

“Birds Through an Opera Glass,” 75 cents, or two subscriptions.
“Bird Ways,” 60 cents, or two subscriptions.
“In Nesting Time,” $1.25, or three subscriptions.
“A Bird Lover of the West,” $1.25, or three subscriptions.
“Upon the Tree Tops,” $1.25, or three subscriptions.
“Wake Robin,” $1.00, or three subscriptions.
“Birds in the Bush,” $1.25, or three subscriptions.
“A-Birding on a Bronco,” $1.25, or three subscriptions.
“Land Birds and Game Birds of New England,” $3.50, or eight subscriptions.
“Birds and Poets,” $1.25, or three subscriptions.
“Bird Craft.”
“The Story of Birds,” 75 cents, or two subscriptions.
“Hand Book of Birds of Eastern North America,” $3.00, or seven subscriptions.

In numbers 70, 63, 4, 28 and 54 of the Riverside Series, published by Houghton, Mifflin & Co, may be found selections appropriate for Bird Day Programs, and in the “Intelligence,” of April 1, published by E. O. Vaile, Oak Park, Illinois, may be found some interesting exercises for Bird Day Programs. Copies of the paper may be obtained at eight cents.

Homeschoolers at South Lake Howard Field Trip by Lee 2009

Homeschoolers at South Lake Howard Field Trip by Lee 2009


Lee’s Addition:

Try getting subscriptions, magazines or books for those prices today. We all need to learn more about the birds and helping young children and youth to appreciate and care for the birds is very beneficial. As we know, we can learn from the birds, care about them and help preserve them. The photos of the kids were taken on a birdwatching trip in conjunction with a Bird Unit they were studying. I have a trip to the Zoo and 2 classroom lessons coming up in May and June about birds with young people. Don’t be afraid to share your hobby with our next generations.

“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)

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, And makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?’ (Job 35:11 NKJV)

According to Wikipedia, “Bird Day is the name of several holidays celebrating birds. The first such holiday was established by Charles Babcock, the Oil City superintendent of schools, in 1894.” From Holiday Insights, “Bird Day is the oldest of the days set aside to recognize birds. According to the U.S. Library of Congress, Bird Day was first observed  on May 4, 1894. It was started by Charles Almanzo Babcock, superintendent of schools in Oil City, Pennsylvania. By 1910, Bird Day was widely celebrated, often in conjunction with Arbor Day. Bird Day and Arbor Day events are focused upon conservation training and awareness.”

National Bird Day is an annual holiday with half a million adherents who celebrate through birdwatching, studying birds, bird drinking games including ‘bird date’ and other bird-related activities. Bird adoption is a particularly important National Bird Day activity.[5] According to the newspaper Atlanta Journal Constitution, many bird enthusiasts celebrate by adopting birds and by educating future bird owners about the special issues involved with taking care of birds, including their “screaming, biting, constant cleanups, the need for daily interaction and a varied diet”. National Bird Day takes place every year on the fifth day of the first month. (January 5th)

International Migratory Bird Day is a holiday dedicated to the celebration of migratory birds, and to conservation awareness. Originated by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, it is celebrated annually on the second Saturday of May in the United States and Canada. In most Latin American countries it is celebrated on the second Saturday in October; in Colombia it is celebrated in October, and Costa Rica celebrates in April.

There is also a proud tradition of Bird Day in the United Kingdom. For example, Scots celebrate their version of National Bird Day on January 22.

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 April 1897 No 4 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The California Woodpecker

Previous Article – The American Cross Bill and Legend

Wordless Birds

Links:

Bird Day – Wikipedia

National Bird Day – Born Free

Bird Day, National Bird Day and Migratory Bird Day – Holiday Insights

Bird Day Activities for Kids

An Ad for Birds Illustrated, 1897

An Ad for Birds Illustrated, 1897

Birds Vol 1 #4 – The American Cross Bill and Legend

American Red Crossbill for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

American Red Crossbill for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

From Col. F. M. Woodruff

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. April, 1897 No. 4

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THE AMERICAN CROSS BILL.

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MERICAN CROSSBILLS are notable for their small size, being considered and described as dwarfs of the family. Their food consists exclusively of pine, fir, and larch, which accounts for the fact that they are more numerous in Northern latitudes where these trees abound. When the cones are abundant they visit in great numbers many places where they have not been for years, appearing at irregular intervals, and not confining themselves to particular localities. They are very social even during the nesting season. Their nests are built among the branches of the fir trees, and there they disport themselves gaily, climbing nimbly, and assisting their movements, as parrots do, with their beaks. They will hang downward for minutes clinging to a twig or cone, seeming to enjoy this apparently uncomfortable position. They fly rapidly, but never to a great distance. “The pleasure they experience in the society of their mates is often displayed by fluttering over the tops of the trees as they sing, after which they hover for a time, and then sink slowly to their perch. In the day time they are generally in motion, with the exception of a short time at noon. During the spring, summer and autumn they pass their time in flying from one plantation to another.”

The Crossbill troubles itself but little about the other inhabitants of the woods, and is said to be almost fearless of man. Should the male lose his mate, he will remain sorrowfully perched upon the branch from which his little companion has fallen; again and again visit the spot in the hope of finding her; indeed it is only after repeated proofs that she will never return that he begins to show any symptoms of shyness. In feeding the Crossbill perches upon a cone with its head downwards, or lays the cone upon a branch and stands upon it, holding it fast with his sharp, strong pointed claws. Sometimes it will bite off a cone and carry it to a neighboring bough, or to another tree where it can be opened, for a suitable spot is not to be found on every branch. The nest is formed of pine twigs, lined with feathers, soft grass, and the needle-like leaves of the fir tree. Three or four eggs of a grayish or bluish white color, streaked with faint blood red, reddish brown, or bluish brown spots, are generally laid. The following poem is quite a favorite among bird lovers, and is one of those quaint legends that will never die.


THE LEGEND OF THE CROSSBILL.

(From the German of Julius Mosen, by Longfellow)

On the cross the dying Saviour
Heavenward lifts his eyelids calm,
Feels, but scarcely feels, a trembling
In his pierced and bleeding palm.

And by all the world forsaken,
Sees he how with zealous care
At the ruthless nail of iron
A little bird is striving there.
Stained with blood and never tiring,
With its beak it doth not cease,
From the cross it would free the Saviour,
Its Creator’s son release.

And the Saviour speaks in mildness:
“Blest be thou of all the good!
Bear, as token of this moment,
Marks of blood and holy rood!”

And that bird is called the Crossbill,
Covered all with blood so clear,
In the groves of pine it singeth,
Songs, like legends, strange to hear.

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:8-10 KJV)

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) ©WikiC

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) ©WikiC


Lee’s Addition:

Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. (Genesis 1:30 NKJV)

The Lord has created another neat bird and provided it with a unique way to feed. This bird belongs to the Finch – Fringillidae Family and are characterised by the mandibles crossing at their tips, which gives the group its English name. Adult males tend to be red or orange in colour, and females green or yellow, but there is much variation. They have a length of 5.5-7.9 in (14-20 cm) and a wingspan of 9.8-10.6 in (25-27 cm) and they weigh .8-1.6 oz (24-45 g).

These are specialist feeders on conifer cones, and the unusual bill shape is an adaptation to assist the extraction of the seeds from the cone. These birds are typically found in higher northern hemisphere latitudes, where their food sources grows. They will erupt out of the breeding range when the cone crop fails. Crossbills breed very early in the year, often in winter months, to take advantage of maximum cone supplies.

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) Female ©WikiC

Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) Female ©WikiC

Rather than a defect, as some claim, “the crossed bill is a wonderful adaption to the habits of these birds.  This design makes it possible for the seeds of fir cones from coniferous trees to be picked out with very little difficulty.  These seeds represent the Crossbill’s main food although apple pips are also a favoured treat.  These birds will also feed happily on insects and other fruit seeds in the winter, at which time they will travel in any direction on the compass to visit deciduous forests, gardens, flat plains and groves in search of food.” (Wonder of Birds)

“A crossbill’s odd bill shape helps it get into tightly closed cones. A bird’s biting muscles are stronger than the muscles used to open the bill, so the Red Crossbill places the tips of its slightly open bill under a cone scale and bites down. The crossed tips of the bill push the scale up, exposing the seed inside.” (All About Birds)

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 April 1897 No 4 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – Bird Day In The Schools

Previous Article – Smith’s Painted Longspur

Wordless Birds

Links:

Crossbill – The Bird and its Unusual Bill by Wonder of Birds

Legend of the Crossbills

Fringillidae – Finches

Red Crossbill – All About Birds

Crossbill ~ Common Crossbill ~ Two-barred Crossbill by Wikipedia

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Birds Vol 1 #4 – Smith’s Painted Longspur

Smith's Longspur

Smith’s Longspur for Birds Illustrated by Col F. M. Woodruff

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. April, 1897 No. 4

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SMITH’S PAINTED LONGSPUR.

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MITH’S Painted Longspur is usually considered a rare bird in the middle west, but a recent observer found it very common in the fields. He saw twenty-five on October 3rd of last year. They were associated with a large flock of Lapland Longspurs. On account of its general resemblance to the latter species it is often overlooked. It is found in the interior of North America from the Arctic coast to Illinois and Texas, breeding far north, where it has a thick, fur-lined, grass nest, set in moss on the ground. Like the Lapland Longspur, it is only a winter visitor. It is not so generally distributed as that species, the migrations being wholly confined to the open prairie districts. Painted Longspurs are generally found in large flocks, and when once on the ground begin to sport. They run very nimbly, and when they arise utter a sharp click, repeated several times in quick succession, and move with an easy undulating motion for a short distance, when they alight very suddenly, seeming to fall perpendicularly several feet to the ground. They prefer the roots where the grass is shortest. When in the air they fly in circles, to and fro, for a few minutes, and then alight, keeping up a constant chirping or call. They seem to prefer the wet portions of the prairie. In the breeding seasons the Longspur’s song has much of charm, and is uttered like the Skylark’s while soaring. The Longspur is a ground feeder, and the mark of his long hind claw, or spur, can often be seen in the new snow. In 1888 the writer saw a considerable flock of Painted Longspurs feeding along the Niagara river near Fort Erie, Canada.

The usual number of eggs found in a nest is four or five, and the nests, for the most part, are built of fine dry grasses, carefully arranged and lined with down, feathers, or finer materials similar to those of the outer portions. They are sometimes sunk in an excavation made by the birds, or in a tuft of grass, and in one instance, placed in the midst of a bed of Labrador tea. When the nest is approached, the female quietly slips off, while the male bird may be seen hopping or flying from tree to tree in the neighborhood of the nest and doing all he can to induce intruders to withdraw from the neighborhood. The eggs have a light clay-colored ground, marked with obscure blotches of lavender and darker lines, dots, and blotches of purplish brown. The Longspur is a strong flier, and seems to delight in breasting the strongest gales, when all the other birds appear to move with difficulty, and to keep themselves concealed among the grass. While the colors of adult males are very different in the Longspur family, the females have a decided resemblance. The markings of the male are faintly indicated, but the black and buff are wanting.


Smith's Longspur (Calcarius pictus) ©USFWS

Smith’s Longspur (Calcarius pictus) ©USFWS

Lee’s Addition:

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (Matthew 6:26 KJV)

“If you come across a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young. (Deuteronomy 22:6 ESV)

The Smith’s Longspur, Calcarius pictus, is a small ground-feeding bird from the family Calcariidae, which also contains the longspurs.

These birds have short cone-shaped bills, streaked backs, and dark tails with white outer retrices. In breeding state plumage (mostly formed by worn basic plumage), the male has pumpkin orange throat, nape, and underparts contrasting with an intricate black-and-white face pattern. The white lesser coverts are quite pronounced on a male in spring and early summer. Females and immatures have lightly streaked buffy underparts, dark crowns, brown wings with less obvious white lesser coverts, and a light-colored face. The tail is identical at all ages.

This bird breeds in open grassy areas near the tree line in northern Canada and Alaska. The female lays 3 to 5 eggs in a grass cup nest on the ground. These birds nest in small colonies; males do not defend territory. Both males and females may have more than one mate. The parents, one female and possibly more than one male, feed the young birds.

In winter, they congregate in open fields, including airports, in the south-central United States.

Migration is elliptical, with northbound birds staging in Illinois in the spring and southbound birds flying over the Great Plains in the fall.

These birds forage on the ground, gathering in flocks outside of the nesting season. They mainly eat seeds, also eating insects in summer. Young birds are mainly fed insects.
The song is a sweet warble that’s inflected at the end, somewhat reminiscent of Chestnut-sided Warbler. The call is a dry rattle, like a shorterned version of the call of a female Brown-headed Cowbird. It is noticebaly drier than that of Lapland Longspur.

Audubon named this bird after his friend Gideon B. Smith.

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 April 1897 No 4 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The American Cross Bill and Legend

Previous Article – The Purple Gallinule

ABC’s of the Gospel

Links:

Smith’s Longspur – All About Birds

Smith’s Longspur– Wikipedia

Ad for Vol #4 - Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Ad for Vol #4 – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

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Birds Vol 1 #4 – The Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule for Birds Illustrated

Purple Gallinule for Birds Illustrated

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. April, 1897 No. 4

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THE PURPLE GALLINULE.

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URPLE Gallinules are found in the South Atlantic and Gulf States, and casually northward as far as Maine, New York, Wisconsin, and south throughout the West Indies, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America to Brazil. The bird pictured was caught in the streets of Galveston, Texas, and presented to Mr. F. M. Woodruff, of the Chicago Academy of Sciences. Gallinules live in marshy districts, and some of them might even be called water-fowls. They usually prefer sedgy lakes, large swampy morasses and brooks, or ponds and rivers well stocked with vegetation. They are not social in disposition, but show attachment to any locality of which they have taken possession, driving away other birds much larger and stronger than themselves.

They are tenderly attached to their little ones and show great affection for each other. The nest is always built among, or near the water plants of which they are fond. It is about eight inches thick and fifteen to eighteen inches in diameter, and is placed from a foot to two feet out of water among the heavy rushes. The Purple Gallinule is known to build as many as five or six sham nests, a trait which is not confined to the Wren family. From four to twelve smooth shelled and spotted eggs are laid, and the nestlings when first hatched are clad in dark colored down. On leaving the nest they, accompanied by their parents, seek a more favorable situation until after the moulting season. Half fluttering and half running, they are able to make their way over a floating surface of water-plants.

They also swim with facility, as they are aquatic, having swimming membranes on their feet, and while vegetable feeders to some extent, they dive for food. It is noted that some Gallinules, when young, crawl on bushes by wing claws. The voice somewhat resembles the cackling or clucking of a hen. It eats the tender shoots of young corn, grass, and various kinds of grain. When the breeding season approaches, the mated pairs generally resort to rice fields, concealing themselves among the reeds and rushes. Mr. Woodruff noted that when the railway trains pass through the over-flowed districts about Galveston, the birds fly up along the track in large multitudes.

The Purple Gallinules are stoutly built birds, with a high and strong bill, and their remarkably long toes, which enable them to walk readily over the water plants, are frequently employed to hold the food, very much in the manner of a parrot, while eating.

Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica) Juvenile Circle B by Lee

O, purple-breasted Gallinule
Why should thy beauty cause thee fear?
Why should the huntsman seek to fool
Thy innocence, and bring thee near
His deadly tool of fire and lead?
Thou holdest high thy stately head!
Would that the hunter might consent
To leave thee in thy sweet content.—C. C. M.

From col. F. M. Woodruff.

Framed Purple Gallinule by Dan

Framed Purple Gallinule by Dan

Lee’s Addition:

Purple Gallinules are one of the birds we see quite frequently here in central Florida. The article says that they “are not social in disposition,” but that is not after they have found those that feed them. We have only a few places were people feed the birds here; Lake Morton, Lake Hollingsworth, and Lake Morton that I have been to. At all three of those places we have seen Purple Gallinules and many times they come running when the birds are fed. Yes, most times they hide in the vegetation and are hard to spot.

They are actually a very pretty bird and they have such a nice purple sheen to them. I like their face with the blue plate and “candy corn” looking beak. Here is one I photographed at Lake Hollingsworth. You can see its big feet and how they like to walk along the vegetation. The Lord created them with feet like this so they can walk around on the vegetation and have their weight distributed better. That is a pretty typical behavior that we have observed.

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33 KJV)

Purple Gallinule by Lee at Lake Hollingsworth by Lee

Purple Gallinule by Lee at Lake Hollingsworth by Lee

About the closest I have found to this being a Bird of the Bible is in verse 18 of Leviticus 11, which has the list of clean and unclean birds. The “water-hen” is mentioned in several versions including the BBE, ERV, ISV, MSG, NRSV and the Bishops calls it the “red-bill.” The Common Moorhen is sometimes called the Water-hen and is in the same family as the Purple Gallinule.

the water hen, the desert owl, the carrion vulture, (Leviticus 11:18 NRSV)

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about them with some editing:

The American Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica) is a “swamp hen” in the Rallidae – Rails, Crakes & Coots Family.

This is a medium-sized rail, measuring 10–15 in (26–37 cm) in length, spanning 20–24 in (50–61 cm) across the wings and weighing 5.0–10.8 oz (141–305 g). Males are slightly larger than females. The adult Purple gallinule has big yellow feet, purple-blue plumage with a green back, and red and yellow bill. It has a pale blue forehead shield and white undertail. Darkness or low light can dim the bright purple-blue plumage of the adult to make them look dusky or brownish, although the forehead shield color differentiates them from similar species such as Common Moorhens.

Juveniles are brown overall with a brownish olive back. These gallinules will fly short distances with dangling legs.

Their breeding habitat is warm swamps and marshes in southeastern states of the United States and the tropical regions of Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America. This species is resident in southern Florida and the tropics, but most American birds are migratory, wintering south to Argentina. The nest is a floating structure in a marsh. Five to ten eggs are laid. Their coloration is buff with brown spots.

The diet of these rails is omnivorous, being known to include a wide variety of plant and animal matter, including seeds, leaves and fruits of both aquatic and terrestrial plants, as well as insects, frogs, snails, spiders, earthworms and fish. They have also been known to eat the eggs and young of other birds.

This species is a very rare vagrant to western Europe. There is a similar species in southern Europe, the Purple Swamphen, Porphyrio porphyrio, but that bird is much larger.

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 April 1897 No 4 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – Smith’s Painted Longspur

Previous Article – The Canada Jay

Wordless Birds

Links:

Rallidae – Rails, Crakes & Coots Family

Purple Gallinule – All About Birds

American Purple Gallinule – Wikipedia

Videos and Photos of Purple Gallinule – IBC

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Birds Vol 1 #4 – The Canada Jay (Grey)

Canada Jay (Grey) for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Canada Jay (Grey) for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. April, 1897 No. 4

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THE CANADA JAY.

I don’t believe I shall let this bird talk to you, boys and girls, for I’m afraid he will not tell you what a funny fellow he is. Isn’t he a queer looking bird? See how ruffled up his feathers are. He looks as though he forgot to fix up, just as some little boys forget to comb their hair before going to school. Well, to tell the truth, he is a very careless bird and does very funny things sometimes. He can’t be trusted. Just listen to some of the names that people give him—“Meat Bird,” “Camp Robber.” I think you can guess why he is called those names. Hunters say that he is the boldest of birds, and I think they are right, for what bird would dare to go right into a tent and carry off things to eat. A hunter thought he would play a joke on one of these birds. He had a small paper sack of crackers in the bottom of his boat. The Jay flew down, helped himself to a cracker and flew away with it to his nest. While he was gone the hunter tied up the mouth of the bag. In a few moments the Jay was back for more. When he saw he could not get into the bag, he just picked it up and carried it off. The joke was on the hunter after all. Look at him. Doesn’t he look bold enough to do such a trick? Look back at your February number of “Birds” and see if he is anything like the Blue Jay. He is not afraid of the snow and often times he and his mate have built their nest, and the eggs are laid while there is still snow on the ground. Do you know of any other birds who build their nests so early? There is one thing about this bird which we all admire—he is always busy, never idle; so we will forgive him for his funny tricks.

Grey Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) by Daves BirdingPix

Grey Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) by Daves BirdingPix


THE CANADA JAY.

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ANY will recognize the Canada Jay by his local names, of which he has a large assortment. He is called by the guides and lumbermen of the Adirondack wilderness, “Whisky Jack” or “Whisky John,” a corruption of the Indian name, “Wis-ka-tjon,” “Moose Bird,” “Camp Robber,” “Hudson Bay Bird,” “Caribou Bird,” “Meat Bird,” “Grease Bird,” and “Venison Heron.” To each of these names his characteristics have well entitled him. The Canada Jay is found only in the more northern parts of the United States, where it is a resident and breeds. In northern Maine and northern Minnesota it is most common; and it ranges northward through the Dominion of Canada to the western shores of Hudson Bay, and to the limit of timber within the Arctic Circle east of the Rocky Mountains. Mr. Manly Hardy, in a special bulletin of the Smithsonian Institution, says, “They are the boldest of our birds, except the Chickadee, and in cool impudence far surpass all others. They will enter the tents, and often alight on the bow of a canoe, where the paddle at every stroke comes within eighteen inches of them. I know nothing which can be eaten that they will not take, and I had one steal all my candles, pulling them out endwise, one by one, from a piece of birch bark in which they were rolled, and another pecked a large hole in a keg of castile soap. A duck which I had picked and laid down for a few minutes had the entire breast eaten out by one or more of these birds. I have seen one alight in the middle of my canoe and peck away at the carcass of a beaver I had skinned. They often spoil deer saddles by pecking into them near the kidneys. They do great damage to the trappers by stealing the bait from traps set for martens and minks, and by eating trapped game. They will sit quietly and see you build a log trap and bait it, and then, almost before your back is turned, you hear their hateful “Ca-ca-ca,” as they glide down and peer into it. They will work steadily, carrying off meat and hiding it. I have thrown out pieces, and watched one to see how much he would carry off. He flew across a wide stream and in a short time looked as bloody as a butcher from carrying large pieces; but his patience held out longer than mine. I think one would work as long as Mark Twain’s California Jay did trying to fill a miner’s cabin with acorns through a knot hole in the roof. They are fond of the berries of the mountain ash, and, in fact, few things come amiss; I believe they do not possess a single good quality except industry.” Its flight is slow and laborious, while it moves on the ground and in trees with a quickness and freedom equal to that of our better known Bluejay. The nesting season begins early, before the snow has disappeared, and therefore comparatively little is known about its breeding habits. It is then silent and retiring and is seldom seen or heard. The nest is quite large, made of twigs, fibres, willow bark, and the down of the cottonwood tree, and lined with finer material. The eggs, so far as is known, number three or four. They are of a pale gray color, flecked and spotted over the surface with brown, slate gray, and lavender.

Grey Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) by Raymond Barlow

Grey Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) by Raymond Barlow


Lee’s Addition: What an industrious bird! From what was written above, it seems this jay knows no bounds to providing for its family and apparently its curiosity.

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. (Proverbs 13:11 ESV) When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. (Psalms 104:28 ESV)

The Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis), also Grey Jay, Canada Jay, or Whiskey Jack, is a member of the crow and jay family (Corvidae) found in the boreal forests across North America north to the tree-line and in subalpine forests of the Rocky Mountains south to New Mexico and Arizona. It is one of three members of the genus Perisoreus, the others being the Siberian Jay found from Norway to eastern Russia and the Sichuan Jay restricted to the mountains of eastern Tibet and northwestern Sichuan. All three species store food and live year-round on permanent territories in coniferous forests.

The vast majority of Gray Jays live where there is a strong presence of one or more of black spruce, white spruce, Englemann spruce, jack pine, or lodgepole pine. Gray Jays do not inhabit the snowy, coniferous, and therefore seemingly appropriate Sierra Nevada of California where no spruce and neither of the two named pines occur. Nor do Gray Jays live in lower elevations of coastal Alaska or British Columbia dominated by Sitka spruce. The key habitat requirements may be sufficiently cold temperatures to ensure successful storage of perishable food and tree bark with sufficiently pliable scales arranged in a shingle-like configuration that allows Gray Jays to wedge food items easily up into dry, concealed storage locations. Storage may also be assisted by the antibacterial properties of the bark and foliage of boreal tree species. An exception to this general picture may be the well-marked subspecies P. c. obscurus, once given separate specific status as the “Oregon Jay”. It lives right down to the coast from Washington to northern California in the absence of cold temperatures or the putatively necessary tree species.

Gray Jays typically breed at 2 years of age. Pairs are monogamous and remain together for their lifetime, but a male or female will find another mate following the disappearance or death of their partner. Nesting typically occurs in March and April. Male Gray Jays choose a nest site in a mature coniferous tree and take the lead in construction. Cup-shaped nests were constructed with brittle dead twigs pulled off of trees, as well as bark strips and lichens. Cocoons of the forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma dysstria) filled the interstitial spaces of the nest. Nests are usually built on the southwestern side of a tree for solar warming and are usually

Grey Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) Feeding at Nest ©WikiC

Grey Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) Feeding at Nest ©WikiC

Gray Jay young are altricial. Nestling growth is most rapid from the 4th through the 10th day following hatching. Young are fed food carried in the throats of both parents.

Gray Jays do not hammer food with their bill as do other jays, but wrench, twist, and tug food apart. Gray Jays commonly carry large food items to nearby trees to eat or process for storage, possibly as defense against large scavengers. They are “scatterhoarders”, caching food items among scattered sites for later consumption.

Any food intended for storage is manipulated in the mouth and formed into a bolus (rounded mass) that is coated with sticky saliva, adhering to anything it touches. The bolus is stored in bark crevices, under tufts of lichen, or among conifer needles.

Risk and energy expenditure are factors in food selection for Gray Jay, which selects food on the basis of profitability to maximize caloric intake. Increased handling, searching, or recognition times for a preferred food item lowers its profitability.

The Gray Jay takes advantage of man-made sources of food, hence the names “camp robber” and “whiskey Jack”. According to Maccarone and Montevecchi, human observers do not inhibit Gray Jay’s feeding behavior; however, Rutter claims that “once having identified man with food it does not forget”. He found that after a nesting female was accustomed to being fed by humans she could be enticed to leave the nest during incubation and brooding.

Gray Jays cache thousands of food items every day during the summer for use the following winter. Caching behavior allows for permanent residence in boreal and subalpine forests, ensures a food source in areas with high elevations and cyclic availability of food resources, and favors the retention of young and a kin-selected social organization. In southern portions of the Gray Jay’s range, food is not cached during summer because of the chance of spoilage and the reduced need for winter stores. Cached items can be anything from carrion to bread crumbs and are formed into a bolus before being cached. Cached food is sometimes used to feed nestlings and fledglings.

Caching is inhibited by the presence of Steller’s jays and Gray Jays from adjacent territories, which follow resident Gray Jays to steal cached food. Gray Jays carry large food items to distant cache sites for storage more often than small food items. To prevent theft, they also tend to carry valuable food items further from the source when caching in the company of 1 or more Gray Jays. Scatterhoarding discourages pilferage by competitors. Cache thievery increases with increased cache density.

When exploiting distant food sources found in clearings, Gray Jays temporarily concentrated their caches in an arboreal site along the edge of a black spruce forest in interior Alaska. This allowed a high rate of caching in the short term and reduced the jay’s risk of predation. A subsequent recaching stage occurred, and food items were transferred to widely scattered sites to reduce theft.

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 April 1897 No 4 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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 Purple Gallinule

Previous Article – The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

ABC’s of the Gospel

Links:

Corvidae – Crows, Jays Family

Grey Jays – Wikipedia

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Birds Vol 1 #4 – The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak for Birds Illustrated

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

Vol 1. April, 1897 No. 4

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THE ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK.

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HIS is an American bird, and has been described under various names by various authors. It is found in the lower parts of Pennsylvania, in the state of New York, and in New England, particularly in autumn, when the berries of the sour gum are ripe, on the kernels of which it eagerly feeds. As a singer it has few superiors. It frequently sings at night, and even all night, the notes being extremely clear and mellow. It does not acquire its full colors until at least the second spring or summer. It is found as far east as Nova Scotia, as far west as Nebraska, and winters in great numbers in Guatemala. This Grosbeak is common in southern Indiana, northern Illinois, and western Iowa. It is usually seen in open woods, on the borders of streams, but frequently sings in the deep recesses of forests. In Mr. Nuttall’s opinion this species has no superior in song, except the Mocking Bird.

The Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks arrive in May and nest early in June. They build in low trees on the edges of woods, frequently in small groves on the banks of streams. The nest is coarsely built of waste stubble, fragments of leaves, and stems of plants, intermingled with and strengthened by twigs and coarser stems. It is eight inches wide, and three and a half high, with a cavity three inches in diameter and one in depth, being quite shallow for so large a nest.

Dr. Hoy, of Racine, states that on the 15th of June, within six miles of that city, he found seven nests, all within a space of not over five acres, and he was assured that each year they resort to the same locality and nest in this social manner. Six of these nests were in thorn-trees, all were within six to ten feet of the ground, near the center of the top. Three of the four parent birds sitting on the nests were males. When a nest was disturbed, all the neighboring Grosbeaks gathered and appeared equally interested.

It is frequently observed early in the month of March, making its way eastward. At this period it passes at a considerable height in the air. On the banks of the Schuylkill, early in May, it has been seen feeding on the tender buds of trees. It eats various kinds of food, such as hemp-seed, insects, grasshoppers, and crickets with peculiar relish. It eats flies and wasps, and great numbers of these pests are destroyed by its strong bill. During bright moonshiny nights the Grosbeak sings sweetly, but not loudly. In the daytime, when singing, it has the habit of vibrating its wings, in the manner of the Mocking-bird.

The male takes turns with his mate in sitting on the eggs. He is so happy when on the nest that he sings loud and long. His music is sometimes the cause of great mourning in the lovely family because it tells the egg hunter where to find the precious nest.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Quy Tran

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Quy Tran


Lee’s Addition:

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV)

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Pheucticus ludovicianus, is a large seed-eating songbird in the cardinal family. It breeds in cool-temperate North America, migrating to tropical America in winter. They belong to the Cardinalidae – Grosbeaks, Saltators & Allies Family.

Adult birds are 7.1–7.5 in (18–19 cm)  long and weigh 1.6–1.7 oz (45–47 g) on average. At all ages and in both sexes, the beak is dusky horn-colored, and the feet and eyes are dark.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Raymond Barlow

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Raymond Barlow

The adult male in breeding plumage has a black head, wings, back and tail, and a bright rose-red patch on its breast; the wings have two white patches and rose-red linings. Its underside and rump are white. Males in nonbreeding plumage have largely white underparts, supercilium and cheeks. The upperside feathers have brown fringes, most wing feathers white ones, giving a scaly appearance. The bases of the primary remiges are also white. The adult female has dark grey-brown upperparts – darker on wings and tail –, a white supercilium, a buff stripe along the top of the head, and black-streaked white underparts, which except in the center of the belly have a buff tinge. The wing linings are yellowish, and on the upperwing there are two white patches like in the summer male. Immatures are similar, but with pink wing-linings and less prominent streaks and usually a pinkish-buff hue on the throat and breast. At one year of age—in their first breeding season—males are scaly above like fully adult males in winter plumage, and still retail the immature’s browner wings.

The song is a subdued mellow warbling, resembling a more refined version of the American Robin’s (Turdus migratorius). Males start singing early, occasionally even when still in winter quarters. The call is a sharp pink or pick.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak from xeno-canto by Chris Parrish

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak’s breeding habitat is open deciduous woods across most of Canada and the northeastern USA. In particular the northern birds migrate south through the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, to winter from central-southern Mexico through Central America and the Caribbean to Peru and Venezuela. The southern limit of its wintering range is not well known; it was for example only recorded in the Serranía de las Quinchas (Colombia) in the 1990s. In winter, they prefer more open woodland, or similar habitat with a loose growth of trees, such as forest edges, parks, gardens and plantations, ranging from sea level into the hills, e.g. up to 5,000 ft (1,500 m) ASL in Costa Rica.

The first birds leave the breeding grounds as early as August, while the last ones do not return until mid-late May. In general, however, they migrate south in late September or in October, and return in late April or early May. It appears as if they remain on their breeding grounds longer today than they did in the early 20th century, when migrants were more commonly seen in May and August than in April or September. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak occurs as a very rare vagrant in western Europe.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) at nest ©USFWS

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) at nest ©USFWS

It builds a twig nest in a tree or large shrub. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak forages in shrubs or trees for insects, seeds and berries, also catching insects in flight and occasionally eating nectar. It usually keeps to the treetops, and only rarely can be seen on the ground. During breeding it is fairly territorial; in winter, it roams the lands in groups of about a handful of birds, and sometimes in larger flocks of a dozen or more. In the winter quarters, they can be attracted into parks, gardens, and possibly even to bird feeders by fruit like Trophis racemosa. Other notable winter food includes Jacaranda seeds and the fruits of the introduced Busy Lizzy (Impatiens walleriana).

Birds Illustrated by Color Photograhy Vol 1 April 1897 No 4 – Cover

Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Canada Jay

Previous Article – The Long-eared Owl (Great Horned)

Wordless Birds

Links:

Rose-breasted Grosbeak – Wikipedia

Cardinals or Cardinalidae – Wikipedia

Grosbeak – Wikipedia

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