Vol 2 #2 – Gambel’s Partridge

Gambel's Quail (Callipepla gambelii)

Gambel’s Partridge by Birds Illustrated by Color Photography

From col. F. M. Woodruff.

GAMBEL’S PARTRIDGE.

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AMBEL’S PARTRIDGE, of which comparatively little is known, is a characteristic game bird of Arizona and New Mexico, of rare beauty, and with habits similar to others of the species of which there are about two hundred. Mr. W. E. D. Scott found the species distributed throughout the entire Catalina region in Arizona below an altitude of 5,000 feet. The bird is also known as the Arizona Quail.

The nest is made in a depression in the ground sometimes without any lining. From eight to sixteen eggs are laid. They are most beautifully marked on a creamy-white ground with scattered spots and blotches of old gold, and sometimes light drab and chestnut red. In some specimens the gold coloring is so pronounced that it strongly suggests to the imagination that this quail feeds upon the grains of the precious metal which characterizes its home, and that the pigment is imparted to the eggs.

After the nesting season these birds commonly gather in “coveys” or bevies, usually composed of the members of but one family. As a rule they are terrestrial, but may take to trees when flushed. They are game birds par excellence, and, says Chapman, trusting to the concealment afforded by their dull colors, attempt to avoid detection by hiding rather than by flying. The flight is rapid and accompanied by a startling whirr, caused by the quick strokes of their small, concave, stiff-feathered wings. They roost on the ground, tail to tail, with heads pointing outward; “a bunch of closely huddled forms—a living bomb whose explosion is scarcely less startling than that of dynamite manufacture.”

The Partridge is on all hands admitted to be wholly harmless, and at times beneficial to the agriculturist. It is an undoubted fact that it thrives with the highest system of cultivation, and the lands that are the most carefully tilled, and bear the greatest quantity of grain and green crops, generally produce the greatest number of Partridges.

Summary:

GAMBEL’S PARTRIDGE.Callipepla gambeli.

Range—Northwestern Mexico, Arizona, New Mexico, southern Utah, and western Utah and western Texas.

Nest—Placed on the ground, sometimes without any lining.

Eggs—From eight to sixteen.


Gambel's Quail (Callipepla gambelii) by S Slayton

Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii) by S Slayton

Lee’s Addition:

Partridges are mentioned in two verses, thus making it a Bible Bird. Of course, the Gambel’s is not mentioned, only his family. They belong to the Galliformes order and are now called the Gambel’s Quail. They are in the Odontophoridae – New World Quail Family along with 33 other species (3.1 IOC).

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

Like the partridge that gathers a brood that she did not hatch, so is he who gets riches but not by justice; in the midst of his days they will leave him, and at his end he will be a fool. (Jeremiah 17:11 ESV)

Since they are now known as Quails, that species also appears in Scripture four times. Exodus 16:13, Numbers 11:31-32, and Psalms 105:40 all mention quail as a provision for His people. We were privileged to see the Gambel’s Quail in California in 1999. They are so neat walking around with that top knot bobbing along.

In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. (Exodus 16:13 ESV)

Then a wind from the LORD sprang up, and it brought quail from the sea and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, around the camp, and about two cubits above the ground. And the people rose all that day and all night and all the next day, and gathered the quail. Those who gathered least gathered ten homers. And they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. (Numbers 11:31-32 ESV)

They asked, and he brought quail, and gave them bread from heaven in abundance. (Psalms 105:40 ESV)

Gambel's Quail (Callipepla gambelii) ©WikiC

Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii) ©WikiC

“The Gambel’s Quail, Callipepla gambelii, is a small ground-dwelling bird in the New World quail family. It inhabits the desert regions of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Texas, and Sonora; also New Mexico-border Chihuahua and the Colorado River region of Baja California. The Gambel’s quail is named in honor of William Gambel, a 19th century naturalist and explorer of the Southwestern United States.” (Wikipedia)

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Yellow Warbler

The Previous Article – To A Water-Fowl

Gospel Message

Links:

Odontophoridae – New World Quail Family

GALLIFORMES – Fowl, Quail, Guans, Currasows, Megapodes Order

Gambel’s Quail – Wikipedia

Gambel’s Quail – All About Birds

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Vol 2 #2 – To A Water-Fowl

Black Swan and Wood Duck female - Lake Morton 6-28-12 by Lee

Black Swan and Wood Duck female

TO A WATER-FOWL

Whither, ’midst falling dew
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
Far through their rosy depths dost thou pursue
Thy solitary way?

Vainly the fowler’s eye
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
Thy figure floats along.

Seek’st thou the plashy brink
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
Or where the rocky billows rise and sink
On the chafed ocean side.

There is a Power whose care
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast—
The desert and illimitable air—
Lone wandering, but not lost.

All day thy wings have fanned,
At that far height, the cold thin atmosphere,
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land
Though the dark night is near.

And soon that toil shall end;
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and nest,
And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend,
Soon o’er thy sheltered nest.

Thou’rt gone, the abyss of heaven
Hath swallowed up thy form; yet on my heart
Deeply has sunk the lesson thou hast given,
And shall not soon depart.

He who from zone to zone,
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must tread alone,
Will lead my steps aright.

William Cullen Bryant.


Cape Barren Goose (Cereopsis novaehollandiae) by Ian

Cape Barren Goose (Cereopsis novaehollandiae) by Ian

Lee’s Addition:

Storks know when to fly south. So do doves, swifts and thrushes. But my people do not know what I require them to do. (Jeremiah 8:7 NIrV)

“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)

Wikipedia say this of Waterfowl They “are certain wildfowl of the order Anseriformes, especially members of the family Anatidae, which includes ducks, geese, and swans.
They are strong swimmers with medium to large bodies. They have historically been an important food source, and continue to be hunted as game, or raised as poultry for meat and eggs. The domestic duck is sometimes kept as a pet.

Some definitions of the term ‘waterfowl’ include the saltwater shorebirds or waders, gulls, pelicans, and herons, as well as seabirds such as the albatross, but ‘fowl’ especially refers to birds used by humans for game.

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – Gambel’s Partridge

The Previous Article – The Turkey Vulture

Gospel Presentation

Links:

Anseriformes Order

Anatidae Family

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Vol 2 #2 – The Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture Tree at Saddle Creek by Lee

Turkey Vulture Tree at Saddle Creek by Lee

THE TURKEY VULTURE.

This bird is found mostly in the southern states. Here he is known by the more common name of Turkey Buzzard.

He looks like a noble bird but he isn’t. While he is well fitted for flying, and might, if he tried, catch his prey, he prefers to eat dead animals.

The people down south never think of burying a dead horse or cow. They just drag it out away from their homes and leave it to the Vultures who are sure to dispose of it.

It is very seldom that they attack a live animal.

They will even visit the streets of the cities in search of dead animals for food, and do not show much fear of man. Oftentimes they are found among the chickens and ducks in the barn-yard, but have never been known to kill any.

One gentleman who has studied the habits of the Vulture says that it has been known to suck the eggs of Herons. This is not common, though. As I said they prefer dead animals for their food and even eat their own dead.

The Vulture is very graceful while on the wing. He sails along and you can hardly see his wings move as he circles about looking for food on the ground below.

Many people think the Vulture looks much like our tame turkey.

If you know of a turkey near by, just compare this picture with it and you won’t think so.

See how chalk-white his bill is. No feathers on his head, but a bright red skin.

What do you think of the young chick? It doesn’t seem as though he could ever be the large, heavy bird his parent seems to be.

Now turn back to the first page of July “Birds” and see how he differs from the Eagle.

THE TURKEY VULTURE

THE TURKEY VULTURE

From col. F. M. Woodruff.


THE TURKEY VULTURE.

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URKEY BUZZARD is the familiar name applied to this bird, on account of his remarkable resemblance to our common Turkey. This is the only respect however, in which they are alike. It inhabits the United States and British Provinces from the Atlantic to the Pacific, south through Central and most of South America. Every farmer knows it to be an industrious scavenger, devouring at all times the putrid or decomposing flesh of carcasses. They are found in flocks, not only flying and feeding in company, but resorting to the same spot to roost; nesting also in communities; depositing their eggs on the ground, on rocks, or in hollow logs and stumps, usually in thick woods or in a sycamore grove, in the bend or fork of a stream. The nest is frequently built in a tree, or in the cavity of a sycamore stump, though a favorite place for depositing the eggs is a little depression under a small bush or overhanging rock on a steep hillside.

Renowned naturalists have long argued that the Vulture does not have an extraordinary power of smell, but, according to Mr. Davie, an excellent authority, it has been proven by the most satisfactory experiments that the Turkey Buzzard does possess a keen sense of smell by which it can distinguish the odor of flesh at a great distance.

The flight of the Turkey Vulture is truly beautiful, and no landscape with its patches of green woods and grassy fields, is perfect without its dignified figure high in the air, moving round in circles, steady, graceful and easy, and apparently without effort. “It sails,” says Dr. Brewer, “with a steady, even motion, with wings just above the horizontal position, with their tips slightly raised, rises from the ground with a single bound, gives a few flaps of the wings, and then proceeds with its peculiar soaring flight, rising very high in the air.”

The Vulture pictured in the accompanying plate was obtained between the Brazos river and Matagorda bay. With it was found the Black Vulture, both nesting upon the ground. As the nearest trees were thirty or forty miles distant these Vultures were always found in this situation. The birds selected an open spot beneath a heavy growth of bushes, placing the eggs upon the bare ground. The old bird when approached would not attempt to leave the nest, and in the case of the young bird in the plate, the female to protect it from harm, promptly disgorged the putrid contents of her stomach, which was so offensive that the intruder had to close his nostrils with one hand while he reached for the young bird with the other.

The Turkey Vulture is a very silent bird, only uttering a hiss of defiance or warning to its neighbors when feeding, or a low gutteral croak of alarm when flying low overhead.

The services of the Vultures as scavengers in removing offal render them valuable, and almost a necessity in southern cities. If an animal is killed and left exposed to view, the bird is sure to find out the spot in a very short time, and to make its appearance as if called by some magic spell from the empty air.

“Never stoops the soaring Vulture
On his quarry in the desert,
On the sick or wounded bison,
But another Vulture, watching,
From his high aerial lookout,
Sees the downward plunge and follows;
And a third pursues the second,
Coming from the invisible ether,
First a speck, and then a Vulture,
Till the air is dark with pinions.”

Summary:

TURKEY VULTURE.Catharista Atrata.

Range—Temperate America, from New Jersey southward to Patagonia.

Nest—In hollow stump or log, or on ground beneath bushes or palmettos.

Eggs—One to three; dull white, spotted and blotched with chocolate marking.


Turkey Vulture flying by - LPP

Turkey Vulture flying by – LPP

Lee’s Addition:

There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen: (Job 28:7 KJV)

We see Turkey and Black Vulture quite frequently here. I only disagree with one part of the article. “The Vulture is very graceful while on the wing. He sails along and you can hardly see his wings move as he circles about looking for food on the ground below.”

The way I distinguish the Turkey and Black Vultures apart is that the Black (BV) is steady on the wing, but the Turkey TV) is wobbly on the wing. They have a rocking motion, even when it is not windy. Another way to tell the two apart is the V of the Turkey and the flatter wings of the Black, who also has white on the tips of their wings.

They belong to the Cathartidae – New World Vultures Family. There are 7 Vultures and 2 Condors in that family.

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – To A Water-Fowl

The Previous Article – The Evening Grosbeak

Sharing The Gospel

Links:

Birds of the Bible – Vulture

Birds of the Bible – Gathering of Vultures or Eagles

Birds of the Bible – Griffon Vulture

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Vulture

Birds of the Bible – Vulture Eyesight

When I Consider! – Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture – Wikipedia

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Vol 2 #2 – The Evening Grosbeak

The Evening Grosbeak  by Birds Illustrated by Bird Photography, 1897

The Evening Grosbeak by Birds Illustrated by Bird Photography, 1897

THE EVENING GROSBEAK.

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ANDSOMER birds there may be, but in the opinion of many this visitant to various portions of western North America is in shape, color, and markings one of the most exquisite of the feather-wearers. It has for its habitation the region extending from the plains to the Pacific ocean and from Mexico into British America. Toward the North it ranges further to the east; so that, while it appears to be not uncommon about Lake Superior, it has been reported as occuring in Ohio, New York, and Canada. In Illinois it was observed at Freeport during the winter of 1870 and 1871, and at Waukegan during January, 1873. It is a common resident of the forests of the State of Washington, and also of Oregon. In the latter region Dr. Merrill observed the birds carrying building material to a huge fir tree, but was unable to locate the nest, and the tree was practically inaccessable. Mr. Walter E. Bryant was the first to record an authentic nest and eggs of the Evening Grosbeak. In a paper read before the California Academy of Sciences he describes a nest of this species containing four eggs, found in Yolo county, California. The nest was built in a small live oak, at a height of ten feet, and was composed of small twigs supporting a thin layer of fibrous bark and a lining of horse hair. The eggs are of a clear greenish-ground color, blotched with pale brown. According to Mr. Davie, one of the leading authorities on North American birds, little if any more information has been obtained regarding the nests and eggs of the Evening Grosbeak.

As to its habits, Mr. O. P. Day says, that about the year 1872, while hunting during fine autumn weather in the woods about Eureka, Illinois, he fell in with a number of these Grosbeaks. They were feeding in the tree tops on the seeds of the sugar maple, just then ripening, and were excessively fat. They were very unsuspicious, and for a long time suffered him to observe them. They also ate the buds of the cottonwood tree in company with the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak.

The song of the Grosbeak is singularly like that of the Robin, and to one not thoroughly familiar with the notes of the latter a difference would not at first be detected. There is a very decided difference, however, and by repeatedly listening to both species in full voice it will be discovered more and more clearly. The sweet and gentle strains of music harmonize delightfully, and the concert they make is well worth the careful attention of the discriminating student. The value of such study will be admitted by all who know how little is known of the songsters. A gentleman recently said to us that one day in November the greater part of the football field at the south end of Lincoln Park was covered with Snow Birds. There were also on the field more than one hundred grammar and high school boys waiting the arrival of the football team. There was only one person present who paid any attention to the birds which were picking up the food, twittering, hopping, and flying about, and occasionally indulging in fights, and all utterly oblivious of the fact that there were scores of shouting school boys around and about them. The gentleman called the attention of one after another of ten of the high school boys to the snow birds and asked what they were. They one and all declared they were English Sparrows, and seemed astounded that any one could be so ignorant as not to know what an English Sparrow was. So much for the city-bred boy’s observation of birds.


Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) male by Raymond Barlow

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) male by Raymond Barlow

THE EVENING GROSBEAK.

In the far Northwest we find this beautiful bird the year around. During the winter he often comes farther south in company with his cousin, the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak.

What a beautiful sight it must be to see a flock of these birds—Evening Grosbeaks and Rose-Breasted in their pretty plumage.

Grosbeaks belong to a family called Finches. The Sparrows, Buntings, and Crossbills belong to the same family. It is the largest family among birds.

You will notice that they all have stout bills. Their food is mostly grains and their bills are well formed to crush the seeds.

Look at your back numbers of “Birds” and notice the pictures of the other Finches I have named. Don’t you think Dame Nature is very generous with her colors sometimes?

Only a few days ago while strolling through the woods with my field glass, I saw a pretty sight. On one tree I saw a Redheaded Woodpecker, a Flicker, an Indigo Bunting, and a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. I thought then, if we could only have the Evening Grosbeak our group of colors would be complete.

Have you ever wondered at some birds being so prettily dressed while others have such dull colors?

Some people say that the birds who do not sing must have bright feathers to make them attractive. We cannot believe this. Some of our bright colored birds are sweet singers, and surely many of our dull colored birds cannot sing very well.

Next month you will see the pictures of several home birds. See if dull colors have anything to do with sweet song.


Lee’s Addition:

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) female by Raymond Barlow

Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) female by Raymond Barlow

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas; the one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with might; who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples, so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy. (Psalms 65:5-8 ESV)

What a beautiful bird the Lord created in the Evening Grosbeak. The Grosbeaks are in the Cardinalidae – Grosbeaks, Saltators & Allies Family. There are 17 Grosbeaks in the family and are found in 9 genera. The Evening Grosbeak is in the

The Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus) is a large finch. In the past, it was treated in a genus of its own as Hesperiphona vespertina, but is now usually placed in the same genus as the Hawfinch of Eurasia.

The breeding habitat is coniferous and mixed forest across Canada and the western mountainous areas of the United States and Mexico. It is an extremely rare vagrant to the British Isles, with just two records so far. The nest is built on a horizontal branch or in a fork of a tree.

The migration of this bird is variable; in some winters, it may wander as far south as the southern U.S.

The Evening Grosbeak is similar in appearance to the Eurasian Hawfinch, both being bulky, heavily built finches with large bills and short tails. The Evening Grosbeak ranges in length from 6.3 to 8.7 in (16 to 22 cm) in length and spans 12 to 14 in (30 to 36 cm) across the wings. In a large sampling of grosbeaks in Pennsylvania during winter, males weighed from 1.37 to 3.04 oz (38.7 to 86.1 g), with an average of 2.1 oz (60 g), while females weighed from 1.52 to 2.59 oz (43.2 to 73.5 g), with an average of 2.07 oz (58.7 g). The adult has a short black tail, black wings and a large pale bill. The adult male has a bright yellow forehead and body; its head is brown and there is a large white patch in the wing. The adult female is mainly olive-brown, greyer on the underparts and with white patches in the wings.

These birds forage in trees and bushes, sometimes on the ground. They mainly eat seeds, berries and insects. Outside of the nesting season they often feed in flocks. Sometimes, they will swallow fine gravel.

The range of this bird has expanded far to the east in historical times, possibly due to plantings of Manitoba maples and other maples and shrubs around farms and the availability of bird feeders in winter.

“Calls from a large flock visiting a feeder” – from xeno-canto

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Turkey Vulture

The Previous Article – Wilson’s Phalarope

Sharing The Gospel

Links:

Cardinalidae – Grosbeaks, Saltators & Allies Family

Evening Grosbeak – Wikipedia

Evening Grosbeak – All About Birds

Evening Grosbeak Sounds – xeno-canto

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Vol 2 #2 – The Yellow Legs

Lesser Yellow Legs for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography - From col. F. M. Woodruff.

Lesser Yellow Legs for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – From col. F. M. Woodruff.

THE YELLOW LEGS.

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ELLOW LEGS, or Lesser Tell tale sometimes called Yellow-leg Snipe, and Little Cucu, inhabits the whole of North America, nesting in the cold temperate and subarctic districts of the northern continent, migrating south in winter to Argentine and Chili. It is much rarer in the western than eastern province of North America, and is only accidental in Europe. It is one of the wading birds, its food consisting of larvae of insects, small shell fish and the like.

The nest of the Lesser Yellow Shanks, which it is sometimes called, is a mere depression in the ground, without any lining. Sometimes, however, it is placed at the foot of a bush, with a scanty lining of withered leaves. Four eggs of light drab, buffy or cream color, sometimes of light brown, are laid, and the breast of the female is found to be bare of feathers when engaged in rearing the young. The Lesser Yellow legs breeds in central Ohio and Illinois, where it is a regular summer resident, arriving about the middle of April, the larger portion of flocks passing north early in May and returning about the first of September to remain until the last of October.

A nest of this species of Snipe was found situated in a slight depression at the base of a small hillock near the border of a prairie slough near Evanston, Illinois, and was made of grass stems and blades. The color of the eggs in this instance was a deep grayish white, three of which were marked with spots of dark brown, and the fourth egg with spots and well defined blotches of a considerably lighter shade of the same.


Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) by Robert Scanlon

Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) by Robert Scanlon

Lee’s Addition:

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 Yellowlegs belong to the Scolopacidae – Sandpipers, Snipes Family. There are 96 species in the family. The Tringa genus that they are placed in also has Redshanks, Greenshanks, Sandpipers, Tattlers, and the Willet.

The Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) is a medium-sized shorebird similar in appearance to the larger Greater Yellowlegs. It is not closely related to this bird, however, but instead to the much larger and quite dissimilar Willet: merely the fine, clear and dense pattern of the neck shown in breeding plumage indicates these species’ actual relationships.

Their breeding habitat is clearings near ponds in the boreal forest region from Alaska to Quebec. They nest on the ground, usually in open dry locations.

They migrate to the Gulf coast of the United States and south to South America.

This species is a regular vagrant to western Europe, and the odd bird has wintered in Great Britain.

These birds forage in shallow water, sometimes using their bill to stir up the water. They mainly eat insects, small fish and crustaceans.

The call of this bird is softer than that of the Greater Yellowlegs.

Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) chicks ©WikiC

Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) chicks ©WikiC

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Skylark

The Previous Article – The Red Breasted Merganser

Wordless Birds

Links:

Scolopacidae – Sandpipers, Snipes Family

Lesser Yellowlegs – All About Birds

Greater Yellowlegs – All About Birds

Lesser Yellowlegs – Wikipedia

Greater Yellowlegs – Wikipedia

Tringa – Wikipedia

Birds Vol 2 #2 – The Red Breasted Merganser

Red-breasted Merganser from Birds Illustrated by Color Photography

Red-breasted Merganser from Birds Illustrated by Color Photography

THE RED BREASTED MERGANSER.

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HY this duck should be called red-breasted is not at first apparent, as at a distance the color can not be distinguished, but seen near, the reason is plain. It is a common bird in the United States in winter, where it is found in suitable localities in the months of May and June. It is also a resident of the far north, breeding abundantly in Newfoundland, Labrador, Greenland, and Iceland. It is liberally supplied with names, as Red-Breasted Goosander or Sheldrake, Garbill, Sea Robin, etc.

There is a difference in opinion as to the nesting habits of the Red-Breast, some authorities claiming that, like the Wood Duck, the nest is placed in the cavity of a tree, others that it is usually found on the ground among brushwood, surrounded with tall grasses and at a short distance from water. Davie says that most generally it is concealed by a projecting rock or other object, the nest being made of leaves and mosses, lined with feathers and down, which are plucked from the breast of the bird. The observers are all probably correct, the bird adapting itself to the situation.

Fish is the chief diet of the Merganser, for which reason its flesh is rank and unpalatable. The Bird’s appetite is insatiable, devouring its food in such quantities that it has frequently to disgorge several times before it is able to rise from the water. This Duck can swallow fishes six or seven inches in length, and will attempt to swallow those of a larger size, choking in the effort.

The term Merganser is derived from the plan of the bird’s bill, which is furnished with saw teeth fitting into each other.

The eggs of the Red-Breasted Merganser vary from six to twelve, are oval in shape, and are of a yellowish or reddish-drab, sometimes a dull buffy-green.

You may have seen pictures of this Duck, which frequently figures in dining rooms on the ornamental panels of stuffed game birds, but none which could cause you to remember its life-like appearance. You here see before you an actual Red-Breasted Merganser.

Birds Vol 2 #2 – The Red Breasted Merganser

From col. J. G. Parker, Jr.

Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) by Ray

Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) by Ray

Lee’s Addition:

Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)

Another of one of the Lord’s neat birds. Mergansers are found in the Anatidae – Ducks, Geese & Swans Family. There are six of them in two Genera. The Hooded Merganser in Lophodytes genus and the Auckland (extinct), Brazilian, Common, Red-breasted, and Scaly-sided in the Mergus genus.

The adult Red-breasted Merganser is 20–24 in (51–62 cm) long with a 28–34 in (70–86 cm) wingspan. It has a spiky crest and long thin red bill with serrated edges. The male has a dark head with a green sheen, a white neck with a rusty breast, a black back, and white underparts. Adult females have a rusty head and a greyish body. The juvenile is like the female, but lacks the white collar and has a smaller white wing patch.

The call of the female is a rasping prrak prrak, while the male gives a feeble hiccup-and-sneeze display call. (from xeno-canto)

Red-breasted Mergansers dive and swim underwater. They mainly eat small fish, but also aquatic insects, crustaceans, and frogs.

Its breeding habitat is freshwater lakes and rivers across northern North America, Greenland, Europe, and Asia. It nests in sheltered locations on the ground near water. It is migratory and many northern breeders winter in coastal waters further south.

It has been claimed to be the fastest bird in level flight, reaching speeds of 161 km/h (100 mph), but is disputed whether the White-throated Needletail is faster, reportedly flying at 170 km/h (105 mph).

Here is a video of a Common Merganser flipping his feet after diving for food that was given him at the Zoo Miami Wings of Asia Aviary – by me.

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Yellow Legs

The Previous Article – The Kentucky Warbler

Sharing The Gospel

Links:

Birds Vol 2 #2 – The Sora Rail

Sora - for the Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

Sora – for the Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

THE SORA RAIL.

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ARIOUS are the names required to distinguish the little slate-colored Carolina Rail from its brethren, Sora, Common Rail, and, on the Potomac river, Ortolan, being among them. He is found throughout temperate North America, in the weedy swamps of the Atlantic states in great abundance, in the Middle states, and in California. In Ohio he is a common summer resident, breeding in the extensive swamps and wet meadows. The nest is a rude affair made of grass and weeds, placed on the ground in a tussock of grass in a boggy tract of land, where there is a growth of briers, etc., where he may skulk and hide in the wet grass to elude observation. The nest may often be discovered at a distance by the appearance of the surrounding grass, the blades of which are in many cases interwoven over the nest, apparently to shield the bird from the fierce rays of the sun, which are felt with redoubled force on the marshes.

The Rails feed on both vegetable and animal food. During the months of September and October, the weeds and wild oats swarm with them. They feed on the nutritious seeds, small snail shells, worms and larvae of insects, which they extract from the mud. The habits of the Sora Rail, its thin, compressed body, its aversion to take wing, and the dexterity with which it runs or conceals itself among the grass and sedge, are exactly similar to those of the more celebrated Virginia Rail.

The Sora frequents those parts of marshes preferably where fresh water springs rise through the morass. Here it generally constructs its nest, “one of which,” says an observer, “we had the good fortune to discover. It was built in the bottom of a tuft of grass in the midst of an almost impenetrable quagmire, and was composed altogether of old wet grass and rushes. The eggs had been flooded out of the nest by the extraordinary rise of the tide in a violent northwest storm, and lay scattered about the drift weed. The usual number of eggs is from six to ten. They are of a dirty white or pale cream color, sprinkled with specks of reddish and pale purple, most numerous near the great end.”

When on the wing the Sora Rail flies in a straight line for a short distance with dangling legs, and suddenly drops into the water.

The Rails have many foes, and many nests are robbed of their eggs by weasels, snakes, Blackbirds, and Marsh Hawks, although the last cannot disturb them easily, as the Marsh Hawk searches for its food while flying and a majority of the Rails’ nests are covered over, making it hard to distinguish them when the Hawk is above.


Sora(Porzana carolina) 4 by Bob-Nan

Sora(Porzana carolina) 4 by Bob-Nan

THE SORA RAIL.

This is one of our fresh-water marsh birds. I show you his picture taken where he spends most of his time.

If it were not for the note calls, these tall reeds and grasses would keep from us the secret of the Rail’s home.

Like most birds, though, they must be heard, and so late in the afternoon you may hear their clear note, ker-wee.

From all parts of the marsh you will hear their calls which they keep up long after darkness has set in.

This Rail was just about to step out from the grasses to feed when the artist took his picture. See him—head up, and tail up. He steps along carefully. He feels that it is risky to leave his shelter and is ready at the first sign of danger, to dart back under cover.

There are very few fresh-water marshes where the Rail is not found.

When a boy, I loved to hear their note calls and would spend hours on the edge of a marsh near my home.

It seemed to me there was no life among the reeds and cat-tails of the marsh, but when I threw a stone among them, the Rails would always answer with their peeps or keeks.

And so I used to go down to the marsh with my pockets filled with stones. Not that I desired or even expected to injure one of these birds. Far from it. It pleased me to hear their calls from the reeds and grass that seemed deserted.

Those of you who live near wild-rice or wild-oat marshes have a good chance to become acquainted with this Rail.

In the south these Rails are found keeping company with the Bobolinks or Reed-birds as they are called down there.


Sora(Porzana carolina)

Sora (Porzana carolina) by Lee at Circle B

Lee’s Addition:

Can the papyrus grow up without a marsh? Can the reeds flourish without water? (Job 8:11 NKJV)

Under the lotus plants he lies, in the shelter of the reeds and in the marsh. (Job 40:21 ESV)

Soras are in the Rallidae – Rails, Crakes & Coots Family. At present there are 151 species in the family. Sometimes the Sora has Rail or Crake attached to Sora. They spend most of their time in marshes.

Adult Soras are 7.5–12 in (19–30 cm) long, with dark-marked brown upperparts, a blue-grey face and underparts, and black and white barring on the flanks. They have a short thick yellow bill, with black markings on the face at the base of the bill and on the throat. Sexes are similar, but young Soras lack the black facial markings and have a whitish face and buff breast. They weigh about 1.7–4.0 oz (49–112 g).

The Sora’s breeding habitat is marshes throughout much of North America. They nest in a well-concealed location in dense vegetation. The female usually lays 10 to 12 eggs, sometimes as many as 18, in a cup built from marsh vegetation. The eggs do not all hatch together. Both parents incubate and feed the young, who leave the nest soon after they hatch and are able to fly within a month.

They migrate to the southern United States and northern South America. Sora is a very rare vagrant to western Europe, where it can be confused with Spotted Crake. However, the latter species always has spotting on the breast. a streaked crown stripe, and a different wing pattern.

Soras forage while walking or swimming. They are omnivores, eating seeds, insects and snails. Although Soras are more often heard than seen, they are sometimes seen walking near open water. They are fairly common, despite a decrease in suitable habitat in recent times. The call is a slow whistled ker-whee, or a descending whinny. The use of call broadcasts greatly increases the chances of hearing a Sora. Call broadcasts can also increase the chances of seeing a Sora, as they will often investigate the source of the call.

Interesting photo of a Sora defending it’s nest from a snake. (by nsxbirder)

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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

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(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Kentucky Warbler

The Previous Article – The American Osprey

The Gospel Message

Links:

Sora (bird) – Wikipedia

Sora – All About Birds

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Birds Vol 2 #2 – The American Osprey

The American Osprey for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897 From col. F. M. Woodruff

The American Osprey for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography, 1897

THE AMERICAN OSPREY.

Here is the picture of a remarkable bird. We know him better by the name Fish Hawk. He looks much like the Eagle in July “Birds.” The Osprey has no use for Mr. Eagle though.

You know the Bald Eagle or Sea Eagle is very fond of fish. Well, he is not a very good fisherman and from his lofty perch he watches for the Fish Hawk or Osprey. Do you ask why? Well, when he sees a Fish Hawk with his prey, he is sure to chase him and take it from him. It is for this reason that Ospreys dislike the Bald Eagle.

Their food is fish, which as a rule they catch alive.

It must be interesting to watch the Osprey at his fishing. He wings his way slowly over the water, keeping a watch for fish as they appear near the surface.

When he sees one that suits him, he hovers a moment, and then, closing his wings, falls upon the fish.

Sometimes he strikes it with such force that he disappears in the water for a moment. Soon we see him rise from the water with the prey in his claws.

He then flies to some tall tree and if he has not been discovered by his enemy, the Eagle, can have a good meal for his hard work.

Look at his claws; then think of them striking a fish as they must when he plunges from on high.

A gentleman tells of an Osprey that fastened his claws in a fish that was too large for him.

The fish drew him under and nothing more was seen of Mr. Osprey. The same gentleman tells of a fish weighing six pounds that fell from the claws of a Fish Hawk that became frightened by an Eagle.

The Osprey builds his nest much like the Bald Eagle. It is usually found in a tall tree and out of reach.

Like the Eagle, he uses the same nest each year, adding to it. Sometimes it measures five feet high and three feet across. One nest that was found, contained enough sticks, cornstalks, weeds, moss, and the like, to fill a cart, and made a load for a horse to draw. Like the Crows and Blackbirds they prefer to live together in numbers. Over three hundred nests have been found in the trees on a small island.

One thing I want you to remember about the Osprey. They usually remain mated for life.


Osprey Catching Fish - Viera Wetlands

Osprey Catching Fish – Viera Wetlands by Dan

THE AMERICAN OSPREY.

N interesting bird, “Winged Fisher,” as he has been happily called, is seen in places suited to his habits, throughout temperate North America, particularly about islands and along the seacoast. At Shelter Island, New York, they are exceedingly variable in the choice of a nesting place. On Gardiner’s Island they all build in trees at a distance varying from ten to seventy-five feet from the ground; on Plum Island, where large numbers of them nest, many place their nests on the ground, some being built up to a height of four or five feet while others are simply a few sticks arranged in a circle, and the eggs laid on the bare sand. On Shelter Island they build on the chimneys of houses, and a pair had a nest on the cross-bar of a telegraph pole. Another pair had a nest on a large rock. These were made of coarse sticks and sea weed, anything handy, such as bones, old shoes, straw, etc. A curious nest was found some years ago on the coast of New Jersey. It contained three eggs, and securely imbedded in the loose material of the Osprey’s nest was a nest of the Purple Grackle, containing five eggs, while at the bottom of the Hawk’s nest was a thick, rotten limb, in which was a Tree Swallow’s nest of seven eggs.

In the spring and early autumn this familiar eagle-like bird can be seen hovering over creek, river, and sound. It is recognized by its popular name of Fish-Hawk. Following a school of fish, it dashes from a considerable height to seize its prey with its stout claws. If the fish is small it is at once swallowed, if it is large, (and the Osprey will occasionally secure shad, blue fish, bass, etc., weighing five or six pounds,) the fish is carried to a convenient bluff or tree and torn to bits. The Bald Eagle often robs him of the fish by seizing it, or startling him so that he looses his hold.

The Osprey when fishing makes one of the most breezy, spirited pictures connected with the feeding habits of any of our birds, as often there is a splashing and a struggle under water when the fish grasped is too large or the great talons of the bird gets entangled. He is sometimes carried under and drowned, and large fish have been washed ashore with these birds fastened to them by the claws.

Mrs. Mabel Osgood Wright says: “I found an Osprey’s nest in a crooked oak on Wakeman’s Island in late April, 1893. As I could not get close to the nest (the island is between a network of small creeks, and the flood tides covered the marshes,) I at first thought it was a monstrous crow’s nest, but on returning the second week in May I saw a pair of Osprey coming and going to and fro from the nest. I hoped the birds might return another season, as the nest looked as if it might have been used for two or three years, and was as lop-sided as a poorly made haystack. The great August storm of the same year broke the tree, and the nest fell, making quite a heap upon the ground. Among the debris were sticks of various sizes, dried reeds, two bits of bamboo fishing rod, seaweeds, some old blue mosquito netting, and some rags of fish net, also about half a bushel of salt hay in various stages of decomposition, and malodorous dirt galore.”

It is well-known that Ospreys, if not disturbed, will continue indefinitely to heap rubbish upon their nests till their bulk is very great. Like the Owls they can reverse the rear toe.


Osprey with Fish by Jim Fenton

Osprey with Fish by Jim Fenton

Lee’s Addition:

And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, (Leviticus 11:13 KJV)

We have the privilege of seeing Ospreys all the time. On a daily basis we spot them on their platforms that have been put up for them in this area. If they don’t place them there, then you find their nest in trees with bare branches that they can anchor the nest and have a good place to watch for fish.

Ospreys are in the Pandionidae – Ospreys Family and they are one of the Birds of the Bible.
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Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited

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

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

*

(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Sora Rail

The Previous Article – Old Abe

The Gospel Presentation

Links:

Birds of the Bible – Osprey
Birds of the Bible – Osprey II
Birds of the Bible – Osprey III
Birds of the Bible – Ospreys in the Storm
Nave’s Topical Bible – Osprey

Osprey – WhatBird.com
Osprey – Wikipedia

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