Tag Archives: Birds

Early morning haiku

 

Writer's Block

I’ve been getting up ridiculously early to get to work lately. Here are some of the words which have spilled out of my addled brain in those dark hours.

Black dawn silhouettes

The hoot of a waiting train

Square of lilac sky

.

Glimpsed from a rocking train

Balloons hang improbably

Fire shines within

.

Indigo morning

Cold light pools at the station

Runner shuffles past

.

Hard white stars greet me

the air cools my sandalled feet

Hurrying to work

.

Musselshell sky

Fleeting shadow puppets

Birds in bare branches

View original post

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry - Poems, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

April 2020

The 50 year old poet

Flowers are still growing,

birds are still singing

but a darkness has come

which will mean the end for some.

In just a short while

the world has lost its smile,

people forced into isolation

with the hope it may save their nation.

Politicians try to offer hope

to those finding it hard to cope,

mankind can be changed for good,

but only if the reality is understood.

yellow daffodil flower in tilt shift lens photography Photo by David Cole on Pexels.com

View original post

Leave a comment

Filed under Being and Feeling, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Nature, Poetry - Poems, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, World affairs

metaphors of birds

House of Heart

Communing with birds

I open my empty palms

expecting metaphors to light

like fireflies on my life line.

From the back of my eyes

I can see the river Delta,

sweet green tarpaulin stretched

across the hemisphere and those

deep murky waters that reflect

a silver sky.

Fleeting memories disperse like clouds.

Just before sleep I sink deep

into illusory havens,

escape the boredom of life.

metaphorbirds

Metaphor and Allegory by Ju-Yu Chen

View original post

Leave a comment

Filed under Nature, Poetry - Poems, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

Window

We not only have the windows from our living quarters which may become dirty. Also our window on the world may become unclear because of the dust around us.

We should make sure that our window at the world is cleansed and that we can see further than the length of our nose.

Let us all dare to open a clean window to get some fresh air and to hear the birds singing their song, calling for attention and recognizance.

*

To remember

  • what is outside the window? = what is there in outside world?
  • window screen filters any noise of the living from inside out + outside in=> hear nothing => unanswered screams
  • sky = magnificent

Chai & Biscuits

I always wonder, what is outside the window? 
I can’t hear anything because the window screen filters any noise of the living from inside out and outside in. The unanswered screams, now I know them. 
In the distance I can see the clouds being populated and polluted with the smoke which gradually evaporates and fuses with the clear blue sky. 
The sky is a magnificent thing to watch. However long you gaze, all you get is the square piece to look out for. And again, I wonder – what is there in the outside world? 
Confined to this square box type room, I train my eyes through the window. The smoke keeps broadening like the spider’s web, invisible to the eyes of the prey. 
Before you reconcile, you will be taken to that chamber which performs the magic and converts you into the smoke, the one that is engulfed by…

View original post 33 more words

1 Comment

Filed under Ecological affairs, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Kindness to Animals

Becoming is Superior to Being

Control Road to Crystal SpringHouse Finch On Old Rusty Wheel — Image by kenne

Kindness to Animals

Little children, never give
Pain to things that feel and live:
Let the gentle robin come
For the crumbs you save at home,—
As his meat you throw along
He’ll repay you with a song;
Never hurt the timid hare
Peeping from her green grass lair,
Let her come and sport and play
On the lawn at close of day;
The little lark goes soaring high.
To the bright windows of the sky,
Singing as if ’twere always spring,
And fluttering on an untired wing,—
Oh! let him sing his happy song,
Nor do these gentle creatures wrong.

— Anonymous

View original post

Leave a comment

Filed under Ecological affairs, Nature, Poetry - Poems, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

Intelligent design Not chance > Flight of birds – Feathers

Wing feathers and bones

Wing feathers and bones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

-Feathers: As well as the general streamlining and aerodynamic qualities of birds and aerofoil wing design, the feathers of birds are all important for effi­ciency in flight and accuracy of navigational movement through the air. Every movement of a feather when a bird is in flight is designed to extract energy from the air and utilise it effectively for control of the aerial medium through which it passes, as well as providing insulation, acting as fans, and contributing to the aerodynamic streamlining of the wonderful creature.

For their weight feathers are stronger than any man made substitute. A bird individually has literally thousands of feathers of different types, generally fluffy underneath (for warmth) and more sail-like above. For example a hen may have more than 8,300, a swan over 25,000 feathers! Eider ducks produce thousands of feathers, which are so soft and fluffy that they are used for eider downs and stuffing pillars.

The construction of feathers is a marvel of design. A single wing feather of a pigeon has more than a million individual parts, which testifies to its phenomenal micro engineering design. There is a central rachis or hollow, foam filled, spine or quill, from which arise barbs and from these barbules which zip together with minute hooks (hamuli). These feathers are kept in perfect order by the bird constantly preening its feathers. The feathers respond to air pressure and change shape constantly in relation to the changing pressure and air flow.

Flight feathers at the wing tip are flexible and mobile like a propellor and respond to flight patterns in movements, speed, landing and braking speed, gliding (called slotting). Other feathers function like like ailerons and flaps in an aircraft.

How could all this marvellous engineering design happen by chance? This is the absurd fantasy of so-called scientists who professing themselves wise are fools (pslm.I4.l, Rom. 1. 19,20).

At the base of each feather are nerve sensors, enabling the bird to exercise perfect control of every feather ,through the operation of up to 12,000 tiny muscles. The birds semicircular canals in its inner ear record the bird’s flight position and detect any change in conditions; this is communicated to the birds brain or cerebellum, very highly developed with an extraordinary number of sensory fibres (neurones), receiving a multitude of messages from transmissions of muscle tensions, and instantaneously reverse transmit, giving the bird split second co-ordination.

Four modes of flight are recognised power flying, gliding, soaring, and specialised flight. An Albatross, which has a 12 ft wing span, can glide round the Southern Ocean for literally thousands of miles above the surface of the sea without once flapping its wings. This is phenomenal. A guillemot dives into the ocean to catch a fish, travelling at 60 miles per hour when it enters the water! A Manx Shearwater traverses thousands of miles of (Atlantic) ocean extracting energy from the waves, which it skims! Hawks and eagles use thermal up-currents to soar in great circles, ascending and ascending into the heavens.

Blue jay flight

Blue jay flight (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Solomon noted the marvellous flight of the eagle “The way of an eagle in the air, it is too wonderful for me.” (Pv, 30.19). David notes the extraordinary power of a dove’s flight “Oh that I had wings like a dove.” (Pslm. 55.6). The owl has perfectly silent, noiseless flight (stealth technology), as a result of an extraordinary array of soft downy flight feathers. Water fowl like ducks, oil their feathers making them waterproof, another miracle of design. For a feather to function, all its parts must be integrated together as a design to work.

It is impossible for a supposed long series of chance mutations over millions of years since it is an irreducible mechanism. Requiring, as in any complex advanced engineering project precision planning. A feather is a system of advanced biotechnology, a miracle.

By brother Richard Lister –
from The Apocalyptic Messenger, May 2003

+++

Leave a comment

Filed under Nature

Shy Beauties~

DSC02516
Hooded Oriole.
DSC03031
Acorn Woodpecker.
DSC02644
Most brightly plumed birds at The Holler.
DSC02610
They stand out.
DSC04162
And seem shy.
DSC03032
As if they sense,
DSC04186
they are almost too pretty.
DSC02577
Won’t let me get near.
DSC04061

Fly off with such fear.
DSC04182
Their beauty it seems is a burden.
DSC02608
Cheers to you from the Holler’s Shy Beauties~

View original post

2 Comments

Filed under Nature, Pictures of the World, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

Spring Migration is on at The Holler~

DSC02534 (1)
Look who showed up, the Hooded Orioles!
DSC02154
It is cause for celebration when these raucous, rackety, bickering-beauties show up each spring to spend the summer.
DSC02509
I so look forward to another season of their antics. They make scrub jays seem shy, quiet and retiring by comparison!
DSC02181
The Black Headed Grosbeaks arrived with the Orioles.
DSC02186
They are much shyer birds but hopefully they will assert themselves a bit more with the orioles this season.
DSC02221
These birds have such powerful beaks they can crack sunflower seeds in one chomp!
DSC02329 (2)
They seem to be arriving in greater numbers which is encouraging.
DSC02686
The Bullocks Orioles are new arrivals at The Holler this year. They are less assertive than their hooded cousins and can be identified by the black stripe across their eyes.
DSC02228
The California Thrashers live at The Holler year round, and stay mostly on the ground where they run around in such a…

View original post 60 more words

1 Comment

Filed under Nature, Pictures of the World, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

Warm-blooded, feathered vertebrates

BIRDS

Birds are warm-blooded, feathered vertebrates and are oviparous, that is, egg laying. There are some 300 references to birds in the Bible, with about 30 different varieties being specifically named. Reference is made to their flight, often in escaping their enemies (Ps 11:1; Pr 26:2; 27:8; Isa 31:5; Ho 9:11); their roosting in trees (Ps 104:12; Mt 13:32); their nesting (Ps 84:3; Eze 31:6); their uses, particularly young pigeons and turtledoves, in sacrifice (Le 1:14; 14:4-7, 49-53) and as food (Ne 5:18), including their eggs (Isa 10:14; Lu 11:11, 12); and God’s provision and care for them.

Manyas

Manyas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

26 Observe intently the birds of heaven;+ they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they are?   (Matthew 6:26)

29 Two sparrows sell for a coin of small value,* do they not? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.+ (Matthew 10:29; compare De 22:6, 7).

Birds were among the earliest living souls on earth, coming into existence on the fifth creative “day” along with the marine creatures.

20 Then God said: “Let the waters swarm with living creatures,* and let flying creatures fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”*+21 And God created the great sea creatures* and all living creatures* that move and swarm in the waters according to their kinds and every winged flying creature according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 With that God blessed them, saying: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the waters of the sea,+ and let the flying creatures become many in the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. (Genesis 1:20-23)

Of the general terms used in the Bible that apply to birds, the most frequent Hebrew word is ʽohph, basically meaning “flying creature” (Ge 1:20), which may include not only birds but also winged insects. (Compare Le 11:13, 21-23.) The Hebrew tsip·pohr′ also occurs in a large number of texts and is a generic term applying to birds in general. (Ge 7:14) A third Hebrew term, ʽa′yit, is applied solely to the birds of prey.

Bird - Seagull enjoying the sunset

Bird – Seagull enjoying the sunset (Photo credit: blmiers2)

The following terms are found in the Greek Scriptures: or′ne·on, meaning simply “bird” (Re 18:2); pe·tei·non′ and pte·nos′, both literally meaning “flier.” (Ro 1:23; 1Co 15:39; compare Int.) At Acts 17:18 Athenian philosophers referred to the apostle Paul as a “chatterer.” The Greek word here (sper·mo·lo′gos) was applied to a bird that picks up seeds, while figuratively it was used of a person who picks up scraps by begging or stealing, or, as in the case cited, one who repeats scraps of knowledge, an idle babbler.

A thoughtful study of birds gives convincing proof of the Biblical teaching that they are of divine creation. While birds and reptiles are both oviparous, reptiles are cold-blooded, often sluggish, whereas birds are warm-blooded and among the most active of all earth’s creatures; they also have an unusually rapid heartbeat. The evolutionary view that reptilian scales and front limbs eventually developed into feathered wings is both fanciful and baseless. The fossils of birds called by scientists Archaeopteryx (or, ancient wing) and Archaeornis (or, ancient bird), though showing teeth and a long vertebrated tail, also show that they were completely feathered, had feet equipped for perching, and had fully developed wings. No intermediate specimens, exhibiting scales developing into feathers or front legs into wings, exist to give any semblance of support to the evolution theory. As expressed by the apostle Paul, birds are of a distinct “flesh” from others of earth’s creatures.

Bird - Duck - Mallard

Bird – Duck – Mallard (Photo credit: blmiers2)

39 Not all flesh is the same flesh, but there is one of mankind, there is another flesh of cattle, another flesh of birds, and another of fish.  (1Corinthians 15:39).

The psalmist called upon the “winged birds” to praise Jehovah (Ps 148:1, 10), and birds do this by their very structure and their complex design. A single bird may have from 1,000 to over 20,000 feathers. Yet each feather is composed of a shaft from which branch out hundreds of barbs forming an inner web, each barb containing several hundred smaller barbules and each barbule having hundreds of barbicels and hooklets. A single six-inch wing feather of a pigeon is thus estimated to contain some hundreds of thousands of barbules and literally millions of barbicels. The aerodynamic principles built into birds’ wings and body design surpass in complexity and efficiency that of modern-day aircraft. A bird’s hollow bones contribute to its lightness, and thus the skeleton of a frigate bird with a 2-m (7 ft) wingspan may weigh only about 110 g (4 oz). Certain wing bones of large soaring birds even have trusslike supports, like the struts inside airplane wings, within the hollow portions.

At the time of the Flood, Noah introduced into the ark for preservation pairs of birds “according to their kinds.”

So Jehovah said: “I am going to wipe men whom I have created off the surface of the ground, man together with domestic animals, creeping animals, and flying creatures of the heavens, for I regret that I have made them.” … 19 And bring into the ark two of every sort of living creature+ in order to preserve them alive with you, a male and a female;+ 20 of the flying creatures according to their kinds, the domestic animals according to their kinds, and all creeping animals of the ground  (Genesis 6:7, 19-20)

also of the flying creatures of the sky by sevens,* male and female, to preserve their offspring alive over all the earth.+

23 So He wiped every living thing from the surface of the earth, including man, animals, creeping animals, and the flying creatures of the sky. They were all wiped off the earth;+ only Noah and those with him in the ark survived.+ (Genesis 7:3, 23)

Manyas

Manyas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is no certain way of knowing how many different “kinds” of birds then existed, some types of birds having become extinct even in recent times. However, it is of interest to note that the listing of birds according to present-day scientific classification presented in The New Encyclopædia Britannica (1985, Vol. 15, pp. 14-106) gives a total of only 221 bird “families,” including some that are now extinct or known only in fossil form. There are, of course, thousands of varieties included within these “families.” {Note}

Following the global Flood, Noah offered up “clean flying creatures” along with animals as a sacrifice. (Ge 8:18-20) Birds were thereafter made allowable by God for inclusion in man’s diet, as long as the blood was not eaten. (Ge 9:1-4; compare Le 7:26; 17:13.) The ‘cleanness’ of certain birds at that time therefore evidently relates to some divine indication of acceptableness for sacrifice; the Biblical record shows that, as regards their being used as food, none of the birds were designated as “unclean” until the introduction of the Mosaic Law. (Le 11:13-19, 46, 47; 20:25; De 14:11-20) The factors determining which birds were designated ceremonially “unclean” are not expressly stated in the Bible. Thus, while most of those so designated were birds of prey or scavengers, not all of them were.  This prohibition was lifted following the establishment of the new covenant, as God made evident to Peter by a vision.

The next day as they were continuing on their journey and were approaching the city, Peter went up to the housetop about the sixth hour* to pray. 10 But he became very hungry and wanted to eat. While they were preparing the meal, he fell into a trance+11 and saw heaven opened and something* descending like a great linen sheet being let down by its four corners on the earth; 12 and in it were all sorts of four-footed animals and reptiles* of the earth and birds of heaven. 13 Then a voice said to him: “Get up, Peter, slaughter and eat!” 14 But Peter said: “Not at all, Lord, because I have never eaten anything defiled and unclean.”+15 And the voice spoke again to him, the second time: “Stop calling defiled the things God has cleansed.” (Acts of the apostles 10:9-15).

Birds

Birds (Photo credit: Emyan)

The identification of the birds specifically named in the Bible presents a difficult problem in some cases. Lexicographers generally are guided by the root meaning of the name, since this is usually descriptive, by indications in the context as to the bird’s habits and habitat, and by observation of the birds known to be found in the Bible lands. In many cases the names are believed to be onomatopoeic, that is, imitating the sound produced by the bird.

The diverse topography of Palestine, ranging from cool mountain peaks to deep sweltering valleys and from arid deserts to maritime plains, all together near the SE corner of the Mediterranean Sea, makes it a focal point for a great variety of bird types. Mount Hermon, in the N, is snowcapped for much of the year, while the region about 200 km (125 mi) to the S along the lower Jordan Valley and near the Dead Sea is hot and tropical. Each of these zones contains birds peculiar to its own environment, either alpine or tropical, as do also the temperate zones and the desert regions. (Ps 102:6; 104:16, 17) Additionally, Palestine is on one of the major migrational routes followed annually by birds (storks, turtledoves, quail, swifts, swallows, bulbuls, cuckoos, and others) traveling N from Africa in the spring or S from Europe and Asia in the fall. (Ca 2:11, 12; Jer 8:7) Thus it is estimated that about 470 varieties of birds may be found in Palestine at some time during the course of a year. In view of the deterioration of Palestinian forests and vegetation over the centuries, it is likely that in Biblical times the bird population was even greater.

Particularly notable are the great numbers of birds of prey (Heb., ʽa′yit) found in Palestine, including eagles, hawks, falcons, kites, and vultures. Back in Abraham’s time, birds of prey tried to descend upon Abraham’s sacrifice of certain animals and birds, obliging him to drive them off until the sun began to set. (Ge 15:9-12; compare 2Sa 21:10.) In their search for food these birds rely on their powerful telescopic sight, rather than on their relatively weak sense of smell.

The well-known sight of a cluster of scavenger birds gathered around a carcass often served as the basis for an ominous warning to an enemy (1Sa 17:44, 46), and repeatedly formed part of divinely inspired prophetic warnings to the nation of Israel and its rulers (De 28:26; 1Ki 14:11; 21:24; Jer 7:33; 15:3) as well as to foreign nations. (Isa 18:1, 6; Eze 29:5; 32:4) Thus, the one used by Jehovah to execute judgement was figuratively represented by “a bird of prey.” (Isa 46:11) Desolation of a city or land was depicted by its becoming the habitat of certain birds of solitary nature (Isa 13:19-21; compare Re 18:2) or by the disappearance of all bird life. (Jer 4:25-27; 9:10; 12:4; Ho 4:3; Zep 1:3) The proclamation calling all the birds to gather to feast upon the dead bodies of Gog of Magog and his crowd (Eze 39:1-4, 17-21) is paralleled by that recorded in Revelation in which the bodies of national rulers and their armies become food for “all the birds that fly in midheaven” as a result of the executional work of Christ Jesus as King.

11 I saw heaven opened, and look! a white horse.+ And the one seated on it is called Faithful+ and True,+ and he judges and carries on war in righteousness.+12 His eyes are a fiery flame,+ and on his head are many diadems.* He has a name written that no one knows but he himself, 13 and he is clothed with an outer garment stained* with blood, and he is called by the name The Word+ of God. 14 Also, the armies in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. 15 And out of his mouth protrudes a sharp, long sword+ with which to strike the nations, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron.+ Moreover, he treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.+16 On his outer garment, yes, on his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.+

17 I saw also an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice and said to all the birds that fly in midheaven:* “Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God,+18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of military commanders and the flesh of strong men+ and the flesh of horses and of those seated on them,+ and the flesh of all, of freemen as well as of slaves and of small ones and great.”

19 And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army.+20 And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet+ that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast+ and those who worship its image.+ While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulfur.+21 But the rest were killed off with the long sword that proceeded out of the mouth of the one seated on the horse.+ And all the birds were filled with their flesh.+ (Revelation 19:11-21; contrast this with God’s comforting words to his people, at Ho 2:18-20).

18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the wild animals of the field,+ And with the birds of the heavens and the creeping things of the ground;+ I will rid the land of the bow and the sword and war,+ And I will make them lie down* in security.+19 I will engage myself to you forever; And I will engage myself to you in righteousness and in justice, In loyal love and in mercy.+ 20 I will engage myself to you in faithfulness, And you will certainly know Jehovah.’+ (Hosea 2:18-20)

Worship of birds as representing the true God was prohibited to the nation of Israel (De 4:15-17) but was prominent among the pagan nations, particularly in Egypt. (Ro 1:23) Hundreds of bird mummies have been found in Egyptian tombs, principally of birds such as the falcon, the vulture, and the ibis, all of which were sacred among the Egyptians. Egyptian hieroglyphics contain some 22 different bird signs.

Bird

Bird (Photo credit: DeusXFlorida (5,003,637 views) – thanks guys!)

+

{Note}: The “kinds” of animals selected had reference to the clear-cut and unalterable boundaries or limits set by the Creator, within which boundaries creatures are capable of breeding “according to their kinds.” It has been estimated by some that the hundreds of thousands of species of animals today could be reduced to a comparatively few family “kinds”—the horse kind and the cow kind, to mention but two. The breeding boundaries according to “kind” established by Jehovah were not and could not be crossed. With this in mind some investigators have said that, had there been as few as 43 “kinds” of mammals, 74 “kinds” of birds, and 10 “kinds” of reptiles in the ark, they could have produced the variety of species known today. Others have been more liberal in estimating that 72 “kinds” of quadrupeds and less than 200 bird “kinds” were all that were required. That the great variety of animal life known today could have come from inbreeding within so few “kinds” following the Flood is proved by the endless variety of humankind—short, tall, fat, thin, with countless variations in the colour of hair, eyes, and skin—all of whom sprang from the one family of Noah.

Sleeping Caribbean Flamingo at the Metro Toron...

Sleeping Caribbean Flamingo at the Metro Toronto Zoo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

+

Additional reading:

  1. Praise be to God
  2. Praise the God with His Name
  3. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  4. Make a joyful noise unto Yahweh, rejoice, and sing praise unto Jehovah

+++

  • Pterosaurs cast a giant shadow over today’s biggest winged creatures (theguardian.com)

    Pterosaurs model shadow

    A man walks under the shadow of a model pterosaur. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty

    Look at the birds outside your window: little feathery things that beg for crumbs and make cute chirpy noises. What if they were nine metres across and could fold up their wings and walk on all fours? Not so cute. Long ago, just such hulking creatures ruled the skies.

    Pterosaurs were Earth’s first flying vertebrates. Although birds and bats have taken wing in the 66m years since their extinction, we don’t have any flying creatures that approach the size of the biggest pterosaurs. The largest known specimen, Quetzalcoatlus, had a 10-metre wingspan. An immense vertebra recently found in Romania suggests that pterosaurs may have grown even bigger than that. The largest flying animals today, such as the wandering albatross and the Andean condor, average a wingspan of around three metres.

  • Birds (milliesmindofmadness.wordpress.com)
    Birds are a symbol of freedom and liberty. Then why, I ask, did a bird poo on me yesterday when I was walking my dogs? Why? Could the bird not have the decency to poo somewhere else other than my face. I know that it was multi-tasking but that bird needs to think of others before it let’s loose it’s poo on me. Furthermore, where I was walking was a nice pleasant area so to quote my dad, I got pooed on by a posh bird.
  • Bird (kyle861.wordpress.com)
    Birds (class Aves or clade Avialae) are featheredwingedbipedalendothermic (warm-blooded), egg-layingvertebrate animals. With around 10,000 living species, they are the most specioseclass of tetrapod vertebrates.
  • Rise of Animals: David Attenborough explores evolution of vertebrates (thisismoney.co.uk)
    David Attenborough has visited new paleontological hotspots to fill in evolutionary gaps of how vertebrates came to rule the Earth and how their evolution defines our own human bodies.
    In a new two-part documentary, Rise of Animals: Triumph of the vertebrates, the naturalist explores the origins of the backbone by studying a tiny prehistoric animal and a living fossil living in the south of England.Sir David takes a 500-million-year evolutionary journey to study animals including a newly discovered ‘missing link’ from China, a shallow water predator that swam like a fish but took its first steps on land, giant ancient animals and the famous fossil of the feathered dinosaur.
  • Zoology: Using Animals to Enrich Your World (rebekahloper.wordpress.com)
    Animals serve many purposes. They are a vital part of the ecosystem, they offer companionship, and theycan be sources of food.And creating animals can honestly be one of the most fun parts of worldbuilding. But as always, there are things to consider!
  • A fallen feather (raoulpop.com)
    The birds we seldom notice, unless they muck up our freshly washed cars, are able to do something no human being has been able to do so far, without the aid of an engineered mechanism. They’re able to take flight, freely, and soar high above the ground, surveying all they can see, while humans are stuck on the ground.
  • Doahugou Biota: Study Describes 30 Species from Jurassic of China (sci-news.com)
    Over the last two decades, huge numbers of fossils have been collected from the western Liaoning Province and adjacent parts of northeastern China, including exceptionally preserved feathered dinosaurs, early birds, and mammals. Most of these specimens are from the Cretaceous Period, including the famous Jehol Biota.However, in recent years many fossils have emerged from sites that are 30 million years earlier, providing an exceptional window on life during the Jurassic period, about 160 million years ago.
  • Poachers dump bodies of nine eagles in ditch near Kamloops (calgaryherald.com)
    The remains of eight bald eagles and one golden eagle have been found in a ditch near Kamloops, B.C.Officials with the Conservation Officer Service say the carcasseswere discovered last month in the ditch beside a well-used public road.Heads, feet, tail feathers and wings of all nine birds had been removed.

     

Enhanced by Zemanta

7 Comments

Filed under History, Nature, Religious affairs

A Bird’s-Eye View of Fishing

Problems to solve

Fishers — whether humans or birds — have three fundamental problems to solve:

(1) find fish, (2) approach them, and (3) capture them.

A typical method of early Egyptian fishermen was to use a harpoon to spear fish. These fishermen employed the same basic techniques that some birds of the heron family used long before human competitors appeared on the scene.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron (Photo credit: Vicki’s Nature)

The gray heron, a bird common in Egypt’s Nile delta, uses its sharp beak like a lance to spear fish. It can even spear two different fish at the same time, and it may eat over a pound (0.5 kg) of fish a day. The heron might be said to surpass human fishermen in guile.

Generally, herons specialize in stalking and striking their prey. A heron will wade slowly through shallow water or sometimes just stay totally still with its beak at the ready. When a fish comes within striking distance, the heron plunges its head into the water and captures the fish with its beak. Patience is usually the key to the bird’s success.

Fishing

Fishing With Bait

According to the book The Life of Birds, green-backed herons in Japan seem to imitate people who feed bread to fish found in ornamental lakes. Those ingenious birds use pieces of bread to lure fish to within easy reach.

Egrets in the Caribbean also use bread to lure fish. Egrets even catch fish without any bait at all, using their yellow feet. Standing in shallow water on one foot, they wag their other foot in the water to attract the attention of inquisitive fish.

Grab-and-Go Techniques

African fish eagle just caught a cat fish in L...

African fish eagle just caught a cat fish in Lake Baringo, Kenya (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Birds do their fishing in various ways. Fish eagles, often called osprey, could best be described as grab-and-go fishers. They fly above the water, keeping a lookout for any fish swimming near the surface. Once one is spotted, they fold their wings and dive steeply toward the water, realigning their swoop as necessary before snatching the fish with their talons. This technique requires perfect timing and excellent eyesight.

Sometimes the African fish eagle discovers that the fish it has captured with its talons is too heavy to lift. The fish may weigh up to six pounds (2.7 kg)! What does the eagle do then? Naturalists have observed some solving the problem by paddling to shore using their wings!

Diving for Dinner

Gannets and boobies also dive for fish, but they use a vertical dive. Small flocks fly together searching for shoals of fish that swim near the surface. The silvery bodies of these fish change the color of the sea from dark blue to pale green when viewed from above. This telltale patch of green sets gannets and boobies in motion.

After locating a shoal of fish, gannets plunge like arrows into the water at speeds of up to 60 miles (96.56 km) an hour. The birds create a spectacle one might compare to an Olympic diving competition. Other flocks soon notice the activity and quickly arrive at the spot to share in the feast.

An African Fish Eagle about to catch a fish in...

An African Fish Eagle about to catch a fish in Lake Naivasha, Great Rift Valley, Kenya. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Unlike herons, boobies and gannets do not spear the fish when their head enters the water. The force of their dive carries the birds to a depth of several feet. Then, as they swim to the surface, they catch the fish and swallow it whole.

Terns are also proficient divers, but they swoop and hover much closer to the water. The Handbook of the Birds of the World explains that rather than dive-bombing as boobies and gannets do, terns depend on “skill, grace and agility in flight.” They will scoop a fish from the surface. Only briefly, on occasion, do they pursue a fish under water.

Team-spirit

Fishing as a Team

Pelicans may look ungainly because of their huge beaks, but they are accomplished fliers and fishermen. Brown pelicans usually dive for their dinner, and they may also snatch fish from local fishermen as they haul in their nets. But pelicans really excel at collective fishing.

By nature, pelicans are gregarious. A remarkable trait is their habit of coordinating fishing efforts. Typically, a flock of a dozen birds alight on the water and form a semicircle. Swimming slowly, they herd a shoal of fish into a convenient shallow area. As they do, they all open their wings and submerge their heads in unison, gulping fish into their beaks.

Of course, like any human fishers, birds often fail in their attempts. But their success rate is generally much higher than that of their human competitors.

鷺鷥 Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret (Photo credit: ArthurJo)

+++

  • Awakenings on the River (playamart.wordpress.com)
    The Daily Post tossed out a challenge with four options this week; I selected this one: “Take a draft post that you didn’t published because it didn’t turn out as you expected. Change the story, revise it, and publish.”
  • Master fisherman heron catches a fish using bread as bait (thisismoney.co.uk)
    As most avid fisherman will tell you, you’ve got to use the right bait to attract the big fish.While a seagull might happily feast on a proffered chunk of bread, a green heron knows exactly how to turn that bread into a fish supper.A fascinating video of the heron’s antics shows the bird dropping the bread in the water to lure a fish.
  • Constant cacophony: Herons return to Devil’s Lake (wiscnews.com)
    According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website, herons are about 4 feet tall, and theycan be identified by their distinctive coloration, which includes blue-grey feathers with a black stripe and plume above their eyes. Their long, yellow beak is perfect for spearing fish.“They’re migrating back now,” Johansen said of the birds, adding that the male herons return first.

    The females arrive soon after.

    “The males will come in, and they’re figuring out their territories, and then they will attract a female to come in and build a nest and start a family together,” Johansen said.

  • Loving Who You Are: The Story of the Heron and the Crow (mylovingartproject.com)
    The heron knew his time had come. Even the crows knew that the heron was the most patient of all the water birds. He did not mind standing in the water for long periods of time. Today, the heron was firmly planted and balanced on one leg. His piercing eyes were searching. He was ready to harpoon his long and agile beak into the water at the first sign of movement.At that very moment, the last crow circled above the heron and accidentally dropped what was in its beak. The crow’s prized catch fell straight down to the water from high above.  It was a thrown out piece of candy wrapped in a shiny red foil. The wrapper sparkled in the sunlight all the way down and hit the water with a small flicker.  This caused a faint glimmer of light and immediately caught the attention of the largest fish in the lake. In a flash, the fish swam quickly up to the surface and the heron, who was ready and waiting, made the final move. The heron was a skilled fisher and he did not need to chase the fish. His beak moved swiftly and decisively down into the water and the fish was his at last.
  • Colonial Waterbird Monitoring (gulfcoastbirdobservatory.wordpress.com)
    All these different species nesting in one place is gorgeous, but add to it that all of these birds were parading around in their fantastic breeding plumage and you have yourself a breathtaking view that you never want to leave. Breeding plumage is of course the plumage many birds acquire right before the breeding season to try to attract a mate. Birds dress up to impress each other too! This plumage may include bright colors or unusual feather shapes (such as plumes and streamers).
    +
    Words could never do these beauties justice. Whether breeding or not these birds are remarkable, but that extra boost of breeding plumage only adds to the wonder of these amazing creatures. It was an amazing experience and if you ever get the chance to see a heron rookery you should definitely go!
  • Herons and egrets in the UK – your Green shoots photographs (theguardian.com)
    Every year grey herons gather in large numbers to breed and raise young, building huge untidy nests out of large twigs, perilously perched high up in clumps of tall trees. London’s Battersea park has a heronry of 30 nests, but from Ulster to Northamptonshire and Devon to Cheshire, now is the best time to see these nests in the wild. Here is a list of best places to see heronries

    Little Egret~Egretta garzetta
    Little egret (Egretta garzetta) are, as their name suggests, much smaller than the great whites. They are about 60cm tall, with a wingspan of about 90cm. Photograph: Jump for joy2010/Green Shoots/Flickr
  • Wild Heron at the Oceanside Harbor (bilomathewsblog.wordpress.com)
    We like to walk to the beach harbor at Oceanside to watch the activities of people and the pelicans that hang around the fishing boats docked at the harbor. The pelicans will follow the fishing boats that return from the ocean into the harbor knowing that there is possibility of getting fish treats from the boat crew.
Enhanced by Zemanta

2 Comments

Filed under Nature