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Tag: Formed By Him

Birds in Chile and Peru

Blackburnian Warbler (Dendroica fusca) by J Fenton
Blackburnian Warbler (Dendroica fusca) by J Fenton

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

Pastor Pete and Jim Philips have gone on a two week trip to assist and train preachers down there. So, here is a survey of some of the birds in those countries that they might encounter. Just the trip on the Amazon should give them some interesting views of our feathered friends. Let’s see what we can discover:

Great Potoo (Nyctibius grandis) by Ian's Birdway
Great Potoo (Nyctibius grandis) by Ian’s Birdway

Since there are so many to consider, see the numbers below, I have picked out some of the most interesting (at least to me) that you might enjoy seeing God’s Designing Hand at work. To start off, there is the Potoo – Nyctibiidae Family, which is related to nightjars and frogmouths (Whip-poor-will or Chuck-will’s-widow). They are nocturnal and hunt insects, but lack the bristles around the mouth. What is so neat about these is how they appear in the daytime. They sit on branches and look like the bark or a stump. Peru has the Great, Long-tailed, Common, Andean, White-winged and Rufous Potoo. See an article about them and their Family page.

Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) by Ian
Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) by Ian

Another interesting set of birds they could encounter would be ones from the Sulidae Family which Peru has; the Blue-footed, Peruvian, Masked, Nazca, Red-footed and Brown Booby. Chile has those minus the Red-footed Booby. The family also include the Cape Gannet found in Peru. We did an article about the Blue-footed Booby.

Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) by Dan
Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias) by Dan at LP Zoo

Pastor Pete and Jim may also get a chance to spot the beautiful Sunbittern while in Peru. See Birds of the Bible – Sunbittern. They could also see the “The Stinker” or Hoatzin and the Oilbird also in Peru.

Rufous Motmot (Baryphthengus martii) ©WikiC
Rufous Motmot (Baryphthengus martii) ©WikiC

Of the 14 Motmots in the Momotidae Family, 5 of them can be found in Peru, but none in Chile. The Whooping, Amazonian, Andean, Rufous and the Broad-billed Motmots live in Peru.

Screaming Piha (Lipaugus vociferans) ©AGrosset
Screaming Piha (Lipaugus vociferans) ©AGrosset

Screaming Phia – Sound from xeno-canto.org

The Cotingas – Cotingidae Family has 30 species in Peru and 1 in Chile. Some articles about them are:
The Pompadour Cotinga – Concealed incubators…
Andean Cock-of-the-rock – The Changer… Both by a j mithra

The Cotingas in Peru are the Red-crested, Chestnut-crested, White-cheeked, Bay-vented, Black-necked Red, Plum-throated, Purple-breasted, Spangled, Black-faced, Purple-throated, Pompadour. Chile only has the Rufous-tailed Plantcutter and Peru has the Peruvian Plantcutter. Peru also has 8 Fruiteaters, 2 Fruitcrows, 4 Pihas and the Andean Cock-of-the-rock.

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) Reinier Munguia
Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) Reinier Munguia

The another large family is the Psittacidae Family which has the Parrots, Macaws, Parakeets, Parrotlets and the Amazons. There are 53 species in Peru and 5 in Chile.

Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera)©WikiC
Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera)©WikiC

Do your remember the article about the Sword-billed Hummingbird? Just maybe, they will get a chance to see one of them.

The last is the Trochillidae Family which has the Hummingbirds, Sicklebills, Hermits, Lancebills, Sabrewings, Jacobin, Violetears, Mangos, Topaz, Coquettes, Thorntails, Sapphires, Woodnymphs, Goldenthroat, Emerald, Plumeleteer, Piedtails, Brilliants, Coronet, Sunbeams, Velvetbreast, Inca, Starfrontlets, Sapphirewing, Sunangel, Pufflegs, Whitetip, Racket-tail, Comets, Mountaineer, Metaltail, Thornbills, Avocetbill, Fairy, Spatuletail, Sheartail and Woodstar. All of these are in the Hummingbird family. There are 123 species in Peru and 9 in Chile.

These two countries abound in the Creative Hand of the Lord, especially when the birds of the air are considered.

They have lyre and harp, tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts, but they do not regard the deeds of the LORD, or see the work of his hands. (Isaiah 5:12 ESV)
that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. (Isaiah 41:20 ESV)

Peru has 1782 species, with 110 only found in that area, 89 species are globally threatened. Peru List of Birds
Chile has 485 species, with 14 only found in that area, 35 species are globally threatened. Chile List of Birds

Related Posts:

Formed By Him – Dodo Bird

Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) Extinct by Wikipedia
Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) Extinct by Wikipedia

Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number. (Job 9:10 KJV)

“When Portuguese and early Dutch colonists began to inhabit the small tropical island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, from the early 1500s onwards, they found the island to be the home of a very unusual bird. This bird was as large as a turkey, of ungainly build, with short curly tail feathers and tiny wings. It had a strong black beak with a horny hook at the end. It was so unafraid of man that the Portuguese named it doudo, meaning ‘simpleton’, because it was so trusting they were easily able to hit it on the head and kill it for food. Hence the English name dodo.

Drawings of a dodo from the Journal of VOC ship Gelderland 1601-1603
Drawings of a dodo from the Journal of VOC ship Gelderland 1601-1603

Dodos were slaughtered in large numbers by sailors and settlers, and pigs which were introduced to the island voraciously ate the dodo eggs. The last dodo was killed in 1681—less than 180 years after it was first described.” (Creation 14(1):21 Dec, 1991, by Robert Doolan)

The Dodo was considered stupid or dull-witted because it would let the sailors and travelers walk up to it and club it. The bird had had no natural enemies and so was not afraid. They lived and nested on the ground. When it became extinct, they said it was the way of evolution (survival of fittest), but it has later shown that it was by the direct intervention of man and his introduced dogs and pigs. The bird was not a “dodo” but was a Dodo, a very useful bird. (A play on words) The bird was in the pigeon family they decided and would have placed them in the Columbiformes Order and in the Columbidae Family.

Nicobar Pigeon at Lower Park Zoo by Dan
Nicobar Pigeon at Lowry Park Zoo by Dan

The Nicobar Pigeon is the only living member of the genus Caloenas. Based on cladistic analysis of mtDNA cytochrome b and 12S rRNA sequences, the Nicobar Pigeon is sometimes called the closest living relative of the extinct didines (Raphinae), which include the famous Dodo (Raphus cucullatus). Other pigeons in the Caloenas that were also hunted to extinction include the Kanaka Pigeon and the Liverpool Pigeon.

“Also on Mauritius at the time was a tree known as Calvaria major (Today know as the Tambalacoque (Sideroxylon grandiflorum) or Dodo Tree). At that time it was quite common on the island, but by the 1970s only 13 of these Calvaria trees were left. All 13 were more than 300 years old, and though they produced healthy looking seeds each year, none ever managed to germinate. The trees had puzzled botanists for centuries, for their numbers had strangely begun to decline and no new trees were taking root. Calvaria major seemed destined to go the way of the dodo, but the tree was dying out for no perceptible reason.

Tambalacoque or Calvaria Major Tree
Tambalacoque or Calvaria major Tree©

While studying the ecology of Mauritius in the mid-1970s, American ecologist Stanley Temple came up with an ingenious connection between the decline of the Calvaria major trees and the disappearance of the dodo. After considering many factors, Temple concluded that the tree’s large fruit had in times past been eaten by the dodo. The tree’s seeds are encased in a thick-walled protective coat, but the dodo’s stone-filled gizzard was able to exert a powerful crushing pressure on them. The bird’s gizzard (a second stomach for grinding food) would pound away at the seed’s coat, weakening it and cracking it a little, but not enough to damage the seed inside. When eventually deposited by the dodo, the seed was able to germinate.
Without the grinding of the dodo’s gizzard to weaken the thick protective wall, the seed was trapped inside its hard case. When the dodo became extinct just over 300 years ago, Calvaria major’s seeds had no way of germinating. So no new trees grew.

Tambalacoque (Calvaria Major) Seeds©©
Tambalacoque (Calvaria Major) Seeds©©

The dodo’s relationship with the Calvaria major is just one fascinating example of the wonderful balance between animals and plants in God’s creation.” (Creation 14(1):21 Dec, 1991, by Robert Doolan)

Today they have used Turkeys, which have a digestive system like the Dodo’s, to eat and help break up the the Calvaria major seeds which helps it to germinate. They have even used Gemstone Polishers to help break up the very hard shelled seeds. The result was quite convincing since many seeds germinated.

“If this theory of symbiosis between the tree and the dodo is nowadays contested, it is nevertheless widely discussed because it helps to understand how species are related, and the role played by humans in maintaining this balance.”

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)

Our Creator God has so many more of these displays of His Glory in the things that have been “Formed by Him.”

Other Posts in this Series:

See Also:   (Various sources from the internet)

Formed By Him – Sea Birds That Drink Seawater (by Lee Dusing)

Buller's Shearwater (Puffinus bulleri) by Ian
Buller’s Shearwater (Puffinus bulleri) by Ian

An interesting article by Donna L. O’Daniel provided the background for this blog. You can see her complete article at: Water, Water Everywhere . . . And Not A Drop To Drink. See the article for some of the more technical aspects of this.

Birds that are at sea for months and even years must have a way to quench their thirst. How can they do that? If we drink seawater, which is loaded with salt, we would be in deep trouble. Most regular birds would also suffer harm if they were to drink the salty water all the time. Birds like the Albatrosses, Petrels, Tubenoses and Shearwaters do, in fact, drink saltwater.

Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) by Daves BirdingPix

You would know that the Lord God, the Creator God, would have already prepared these birds for this situation. And so He did.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV)
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. (Isaiah 40:28 NKJV)

Northern Giant Petrel (Macronectes halli) by Dave's BirdingPix
Northern Giant Petrel (Macronectes halli) by Dave’s BirdingPix

“Sea birds like the albatross drink freely from sea water but never seem to suffer any ill effects. They manage this because their physiology has become adapted to the sea environment. They have special glands just behind their eyes that actively pump salt out of their blood and into narrow tubes that lead into the bird’s nostril. The excess salt drips harmlessly out of the body, restoring the blood salt level back to normal.” “Seabirds can drink seawater and have salt glands inside the head that eliminate excess salt out of the nostrils.” (Internet)

Wikipedia has this to say about the Albatrosses: “Albatrosses, along with all Procellariiformes have a need to lower their salt content due to their drinking of ocean water. All birds have an enlarged nasal gland at the base of the bill, above their eyes. This gland is inactive in species that don’t require it; however the Procellariiformes do require its use. Scientists are uncertain as to its exact processes, but do know in general terms that it removes salt that forms a 5% saline solution that drips out of their nose or is forcibly ejected in some birds.

Northern Giant Petrel head close-up by Daves BirdingPix
Northern Giant Petrel head close-up by Daves BirdingPix

About the Tubenoses and Shearwaters: “They also have a uniquely structured bill, with seven to nine distinct horny plates.. Finally, they have a salt gland that is located above their nasal passages and helps desalinate their body, as they drink seawater. They excrete the salty waste out their nose. As members of Procellariiformes, they share certain characteristics. First they have tubular nostrils called nariorns. This feature gives them their common name, Tubenoses. The opening to the nostril is located differently in some birds. These birds have the opening on top of the upper bill.”

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:20-21 NKJV)

Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) by Ian
Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) by Ian

“The creation model for the origin of avian salt glands states that an intelligent Creator created this class of vertebrates complete with all of the complex systems within their bodies to survive in and adapt to their given environments, including salt glands to rid their bodies of excess salt. Perhaps the strongest argument in favor of the creation model for the origin of avian salt glands, aside from the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record, is one consisting of purpose and interdependence of purposeful parts.

Given the complexity of the functioning of avian salt glands, their existence by design can hardly be denied. The evidence for design that is obvious in the avian salt gland suggests a Designer who not only created the gland, but the entire animal, the earth, and the entire universe.” From Donna’s Article (see above)

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. (Revelation 21:6 NKJV)
And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:17 NKJV)

The Procellariiformes Order includes these Families:
Albatrosses – Diomedeidae – 21 species
Petrels, Shearwaters – Procellariidae – 86 species
Storm Petrels – Hydroatidae – 23 species
Diving Petrels – Pelecanoididae – 4 species

Other Posts in this Series:

Formed By Him – Oxpeckers

Red-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) on Giraffe©©
Red-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) on Giraffe©©

The oxpeckers are two species of bird which make up the family Buphagidae. Some ornithologists regard them as a subfamily Buphaginae within the starling family Sturnidae but they appear to be quite distinct. Oxpeckers are endemic to the savanna of Sub-Saharan Africa. Both the English and scientific names arise from their habit of perching on large mammals (both wild and domesticated) such as cattle or rhinoceroses, and eating ticks, botfly larvae, lice and other parasites.

Red-billed Oxpecker by Africaddict checking an impala ear
Red-billed Oxpecker by Africaddict checking an impala ear

The Egyptians had their run-in with lice when the LORD told Moses to – “Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt. And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 8:16-17 KJV)

Yellow-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus africanus) ©©
Yellow-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus africanus) ©©

Many large animals today have lice, ticks, and such and the Lord has provided them a bird that gets its meals from the things crawling around on animals backs, legs, necks, ears, and even their nostrils. Most of the animals do not mind the help they receive from these oxpeckers. The elephants aren’t always happy, but the oxpeckers find plenty of other animals. Also known as tickbirds, oxpeckers have very short legs and sharp claws, which aid them in perching on the backs of large mammals, both wild and domesticated. Oxpeckers were designed with broad, thick, laterally flattened beaks to pick at and feed on skin parasites such as ticks and embedded larvae. They also pick at scabs, often opening and enlarging wounds, and probably obtain their main nourishment from the blood from these wounds rather than from the ticks. Although these birds are valuable from the standpoint of ridding domesticated animals of parasites, they also feed on tick-free game and become debilitating parasites themselves.

Researchers are not sure why they pick the scabs, but they do know that the birds aid the host animals by providing alarm sounds when danger is lurking.

Job was asked by the LORD,

“Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south? Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high? (Job 39:26-27 ESV)

We don’t always understand why the birds and critters do what they do, but they have a Creator who does. The Lord encourages us to study and learn, but we do not always find the exact answer.

Red-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) by Africaddict
Red-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) by Africaddict

The Oxpeckers are about 9 inches long with a brownish color on the upper parts, with a lighter underside. The two Oxpeckers are the Red-billed and the Yellow-billed. The Red-billed has a red bill and yellow eyes where as the Yellow-billed has a yellow bill with a red tip and it has red eyes. The bird spends most of its time on the animals and even court and mate while riding on their back.

Some Breeding Facts from Biodiversity Explorer:
* Monogamous, cooperative breeder, as the breeding pair are usually assisted by up to 7 helpers who are usually unmated adults and juveniles from the previous breeding season.
* It usually nests in a natural tree cavity or a hole in rock or a stone wall, lining the interior with hair from its mammal hosts, dung, grass and rootlets.
* Egg-laying season is from October-March.
* It lays 2-5 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for about for about 12-13 days.
* The chicks are fed by all members of the group, leaving the nest after about 30 days and becoming fully independent roughly two months later.

Yellow-billed Oxpecker with Water Buffalo ©©
Yellow-billed Oxpecker with Water Buffalo ©©

This behavior between the animals and the Oxpeckers is another example of cooperation (symbiosis) between species.

From Psalms we know that all creation is His,

For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. (Psalms 50:10-11 ESV)

Red-billed Oxpecker by Joseph del Hoyo
Yellow-billed Oxpecker by Joseph del Hoyo

Other Posts in this Series:

Formed By Him – Copper Birds

Copper-rumped Hummingbird (Amazilia tobaci) by Ian
Copper-rumped Hummingbird (Amazilia tobaci) by Ian

While working on my photos again, came across several pictures of these Copper-rumped Hummingbirds. What a fantastic color they show. These copper colored birds are not the only ones with that hue. Searching through the Birds of the World, I found that there are Copper Pheasants and Sunbirds. Then there is a Coppersmith Barbet, Copper-tailed Starling and a Copper-throated Sunbird. Not to be left out, there are the Coppery birds. Coppery Emerald, Coppery Metaltail, Coppery-bellied Puffleg, Coppery-chested Jacamar, Coppery-headed Emerald and a Coppery-tailed Coucal.
Many birding and ornithology groups work hard to name birds so that those of us who birdwatch can try to put a name on the bird. Since all of these have a common color, “Copper”, it makes it easier to try to figure out what we are seeing. Of course, Adam was the first to start naming the newly created birds, but it still continues today.

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)

Native Copper©WikiC
Native Copper©WikiC

Copper metal is known by most and so is it’s color. It is a valuable metal for many uses and has been used in coins for thousands of years. In Deuteronomy 8:9 they were told “out of whose hills you can dig copper.” Job 28:2 says, “copper is smelted from ore.” Christ told the disciples to, “Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts” and also reminded them that, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.”
Maybe the Lord wants us to see the copper color and remember that He not only made the copper, but if He cares about a little sparrow, then His concern is great toward us also.
Hope you enjoy seeing these great “Copper Birds”.

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7)

Other Posts in this Series:

Formed By Him: Sword-billed Hummingbird (by Lee Dusing)

Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) by Michael Woodruff
Sword-billed Hummingbird by Michael Woodruff

He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. (Psalms 33:5 NKJV)

The Lord has graciously outfitted a small, but unique hummingbird. The Sword-billed Hummingbird has an unusually long bill.

I came across this bird while checking out photographs of the newest photographer to give permission to use his fantastic photos. Michael Woodruff’s Photostream has some shots that have just taken my breath away. Thanks, Michael, for the permission to use the great images that you have captured through your lenses.

When I first saw the Sword-billed Hummingbird, my first thought was why did God make it like that. There has to be a reason for that beak being so long. After investigating some, here are a few facts about this bird:

What is so unique about the Sword-billed Hummer is that it is noted as the only species of bird to have a bill longer than the rest of its body. This beak is used to feed on flowers with long corollas such as Passiflora mixta. The tongue is therefore also unusually long. God had a long flower that needed pollination and so He created a long billed hummingbird to get in that long tube. The bird gets the nectar, carries away pollen and the bird and flower both have their needs provided.

Passiflora mixta galupa - Suncrest Nurseries
Passiflora mixta galupa – Suncrest Nurseries

(From Suncrest Nurserises) “Passiflora mixta – A cool growing species with long tubed flowers that face outward and upward at a 45 degree angle. The color is a vibrant pink with white highlights. It is a large and vigorous grower and puts on an amazing show. The variety ‘Galupa’ has flowers that face outward and downward at a 45 degree angle and are a bit larger in overall aspect. A very beautiful species”

Because it’s beak is so long, it has to groom itself with it’s feet. The Sword-billed Hummingbird was created by an Omniscient Creator that knew it needed the long bill for the flowers, but also had to have a way to keep well groomed.

Keith Blomerley, one of our videographers, captured a Sword-billed Hummingbird perched on a tree and looking around. Another bird flies by.

Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera) is a species of hummingbird from South America and the sole member of the genus Ensifera. It is found in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera)©WikiC
Sword-billed Hummingbird©WikiC

The total length can be 15 cm (6 in) and the bird can weigh 12 grams, making it one of the largest hummingbirds.

What an amazing hummingbird. The Hummingbirds are in the Apodiformes Order which includes not only the hummers (Trochilidae), but also Owlet-nightjars (Aegothelidae), Treeswifts (Hemiprocnidae) and Swifts (Apodidae).

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16 NKJV)

___Just received this note from Michael Woodruff about this article and attached it.

The Sword-billed Hummingbird is quite a bird. We saw two or three of them at the Yanacocha Reserve in the Andes of Ecuador. They were crazy to watch as they knew right where the end of their beak was, feeding out of the hummingbird feeders. It looked like quite a feat to balance that bill, but they were good at it!

Glad you’re enjoying the photos and it would be cool to hear which ones you end up using at some point. I think it’s great how you’re incorporating scripture verses on the pages. Awesome stuff.


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