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Tag: Lee Dusing

Sunday Inspiration – Birds and Music

wood-duck-by-dan-at-lake-hollingsworth
Wood Duck by Dan Dusing (taken at Lake Hollingsworth, Lakeland, FL)

Today I would like to feature the work of one of our church members.  Lee Dusing is a bird-watcher extraordinaire.  She and her husband Dan enjoy traveling around the state (and even the country) and photographing the birds that come across their path.  Several years ago (possibly 2008) I casually mentioned to Lee that she should start blogging about her birdwatching adventures.  Fast forward to today – she has had well over 1 million visitors to her site – www.leesbird.com.

One recent feature of her site is what she calls “Sunday Inspiration.”  She describes Sunday Inspiration as

“an attempt at showing God’s Creative Hand with a slideshow of different Families of Birds or a theme, such as Stone Birds. Also, music from sources that have provided permission.”

Simply put – it is Birds and Music.  She puts them together for the purpose of providing some Inspiration for the rest of us.  Much of the music she uses comes from our church.

One of my favorites is a recent post she did titled “Thirst.”

Take a minute today to visit her blog.   www.leesbird.com

 

Start Birding Today: Enjoy The Lord’s Paintbrush – Zoos

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) by Dan at Zoo Miami
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) by Dan at Zoo Miami

I trust you are enjoying our “Start Birding Today!” series. We have been trying to motivate you to go out and observe the many birds around you. This is the second article about “Enjoying The Lord’s Paintbrush” Click for first one. Seeing as our subtitle is “Birdwatching from a Christian Perspective,” I want to do a few articles that you won’t see in most birding books. We believe that the world and all that its critters were created by the Lord and not evolved.

For thus says the Lord–Who created the heavens, God Himself, Who formed the earth and made it, Who established it and did not create it to be a worthless waste; He formed it to be inhabited–I am the Lord, and there is no one else. (Isaiah 45:18 AMP) O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions— (Psalms 104:24 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)

King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) by Lee at Brevard Zoo
King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) by Lee at Brevard Zoo 

While creating the birds, the Lord has used a fantastic array of colors and designs. I can imagine Him using a fine brush when some of my favorite birds here in America were being dressed for “His pleasure.” Zoos are a fantastic place to see birds that you would have to travel to other countries to see. It is more economical to travel to a Zoo nearby.

The birds at zoos are well cared for and many are being bred to preserve their species. Some birds are so endangered by loss of habitat and other causes, that the only birds left are the ones in the zoos or preserves. We are fortunate to have some very super zoos right here within a day’s drive and our country has many others that are first class also. The birds seen here in this article are some of the fantastically painted birds created by the Lord that Dan and I have seen in Zoos.

Look at the Mandarin Duck at the top. He is related to the Wood Duck up there last week. Another beautiful bird that likes to hide and make it difficult to get a good photo of him. The male is the colorful one and the female is a plain brownish to protect her while on the nest. She is in the background and you can see her painted eyelines.

 Now if you have an ugly vulture and want to pretty it up, look at this design on the head of a King Vulture. 

King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) by Lee at Brevard Zoo
King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) by Lee at Brevard Zoo 

Here are a few more beauties by their Creator: How about these feathers on the Scarlet Macaw? 

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) Feathers - Brevard Zoo
Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) Feathers – Brevard Zoo
Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) by Lee Brevard Zoo
Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) by Lee Brevard Zoo

Or the gorgeous Blue-and-yellow Macaw?

Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna) at Brevard Zoo
Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna) at Brevard Zoo

My favorite “painted” bird at the Brevard Zoo was this one:

Wrinkled Hornbill (Aceros corrugatus) Brevard Zoo by Lee
Wrinkled Hornbill (Aceros corrugatus) Brevard Zoo by Lee 

Wow!!!

 Down in Miami at the Wings of Asia aviary at Zoo Miami we were able to see these beautiful birds:

Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo (Cacomantis castaneiventris) Wings of Asia
Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo (Cacomantis castaneiventris) Wings of Asia 

Or this cool bird which I call “Joe Cool.” Looks like the Lord painted sunglasses on it.

(Black and White) Sumatran Laughingthrush (Garrulax bicolor) by Lee
 (Black and White) Sumatran Laughingthrush (Garrulax bicolor) by Lee 

An Inca Tern seen at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA:

Inca Tern by Dan at National Aviary
 Inca Tern by Dan at National Aviary

This Victorian-crowned Pigeon is at most of the zoos we have visited. They look like lace was placed on its head.

Victoria Crowned Pigeon by Dan at National Aviary
Victoria Crowned Pigeon by Dan at National Aviary

Back here locally to the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, there are many birds to enjoy. We met a group of Homeschoolers over there on Friday and had the pleasure of introducing them to my avian friends there. They enjoyed all of them, but had the most fun feeding the beautiful Lorikeets.

Rainbow Lorikeets at Lowry Park Zoo
Rainbow Lorikeets at Lowry Park Zoo
Homeschoolers at Lowry Park Zoo
Homeschoolers at Lowry Park Zoo
Rainbow Lorikeet at Lowry Pk Zoo by Dan
Rainbow Lorikeet at Lowry Pk Zoo by Dan

Homeschoolers at Lowry Park Zoo
Homeschoolers at Lowry Park Zoo

There are many more that could be shown, but if you”Start Birdwatching Today” with a trip to a zoo or somewhere similiar, you might just be surprised by the beauty and magnificence of the birds. Then thank the Lord for His many blessings to us.

Oh, 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 NKJV)

Other Posts in our Start Birding today Series:

 

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Start Birding Today: Enjoy The Lord’s Paintbrush – U.S.

Wood Duck by Dan at Lake Hollingsworth
Wood Duck by Dan at Lake Hollingsworth

I trust you are enjoying our “Start Birding Today!” series. We have been trying to motivate you to go out and observe the many birds around you. Seeing as our subtitle is “Birdwatching from a Christian Perspective,” I want to do a few articles that you won’t see in most birding books. We believe that the world and all that its critters were created by the Lord and not evolved.

For thus says the Lord–Who created the heavens, God Himself, Who formed the earth and made it, Who established it and did not create it to be a worthless waste; He formed it to be inhabited–I am the Lord, and there is no one else. (Isaiah 45:18 AMP)

O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions— (Psalms 104:24 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)

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) by Daves BirdingPix
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) by Daves BirdingPix

While creating the birds, the Lord has used a fantastic array of colors and designs. I can imagine Him using a fine brush when some of my favorite birds here in America were being dressed for “His pleasure.” Look at this Blue Jay, seen in most parts of our country or his cousins out west. Can’t you just imagine a painter or artist putting the colors and marks on him?

His cousin the Green Jay from down in the valley of Texas. 

Green Jay (Cyanocorax luxuosus) by S Slayton
Green Jay (Cyanocorax luxuosus) by S Slayton

Or, how about a Painted Bunting that looks like He just took a little dab of this and a little dab of that? 

Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) ©©Flickr
Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) ©©Flickr

 The Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) Red-shafted ©WikiC
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) Red-shafted ©WikiC 

and its cousin the Acorn Woodpecker.

Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) (3) by Raymond Barlow
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) by Raymond Barlow 

Tiny birds that have iridescent colors like our Hummingbirds just glisten when the light shines on them the right way.

Our eastern Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird by Ray's Wildlife
Ruby-throated Hummingbird by Ray’s Wildlife

 and the western Magnificent Hummingbird.

Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens) by Judd Patterson
Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens) by Judd Patterson 

Do you see a designer and a painter at work? My favorite one of all is the Wood Duck at the top. Dan took that at Lake Morton in Lakeland. (It really is a live duck, not a painting.)  Those fine lines are just awesome to me. They actually have a cousin that hangs out more on the western side of America. It is the Harlequin Duck.

Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) ©WikiC
Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) ©WikiC

There are many more that could be shown, but if you”Start Birdwatching Today” they may just pass by for you to take a look. Then thank the Lord for His many blessings to us.

Oh, 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 NKJV)

Other Posts in our Start Birding today Series:


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Start Birding Today: What Is The Sound?

Birds are very vocal at times and they give us a great clue as to what bird it is. Eventually as you become better in your birdwatching adventures, it will help to learn some of their sounds and noises.

As you are observing birds that are singing or calling, you can learn to associate that sound to that bird. That is the beginning and it is almost automatic. When you hear a bird, but do not see it, then you will either recall one you have seen and be able to ID it, or you can start studying the sounds so the next time you can know what the unseen bird is.

There are several methods that birders use. Audio CDs and computer programs have Bird sounds along with photos of the bird to assist your learning.

The Internet has places like the WhatBird, All About Birds, Birding by Ear Basics,

Here is an interesting video about blind people birding by ear. Very interesting.

Here are some of the birds you may already know. These are local birds here, but also seen around other parts of the country. Also a very nice verse to remember while “birding by sound.” I used this verse when taking my General Amateur License test that was all Morse Code. It helped calm my heart even though it refers to the Lord hearing us, but it helped me to hear those dots and dashes. (Only 8 of 115 of us passed the test that day.)

LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: (Psalms 10:17 KJV)

All of these sounds are coming from the Xeno-canto.org website.

Blue Jay in tree at Hampton Pines
Blue Jay in tree at Hampton Pines
Click for the sound of a Blue Jay
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) by Daves BirdingPix 
Click for the sound of a Northern Cardinal

Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major) at Lake Howard, Winter Haven, Florida By Dan’sPix 
Click for the sound of a Boat-tailed Grackle

Red-winged Blackbird at Bok Sanctuary
Red-winged Blackbird at Bok Sanctuary 
Click for the sound of a Red-winged Blackbird

Whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus) by BirdsInFocus
Whip-poor-will (Caprimulgus vociferus) by BirdsInFocus 
Click for the sound of a Eastern Whip-poor-will

Great Horned Owl – Lowry Pk Zoo by Lee
Click for the sound of a Great Horned Owl

How many did you all ready know?

Some like to put words to their sounds like these from Birding By Ear — Bird Song Identification

Listen here to a few bird songs and calls that have good mnemonic phrases:
Eastern Towhee — “Drink your tea-ea-ea”
Whip-poor-will — The name says it all.
Black-capped chickadee — Some music and talk first, then the “Chick-a-dee-dee-dee”
White throated sparrow — “Poor Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody”
Black-throated green warbler — “Zee zee zee zoo zee”
Barred Owl — “Who cooks for you, who cooks for you all”

Links:
Birding By Ear — Bird Song Identification
WhatBird
All About Birds
Birding by Ear Basics

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Start Birding Today: When Should I Go? (by Lee Dusing)

Wood Storks in Trees in Fog at Circle B
Wood Storks in Trees in Fog at Circle

Start Birding Today: When Should I Go?

You can go birdwatching anytime, but you may or may not find many birds. There are benefits of finding out when the birds you are looking for is out and about. In the beginning stages of birding, you just want to find birds, right?

The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land. (Song of Solomon 2:12 NKJV)

To start, most birds are active in the morning. Many around sunrise are getting up and are hungry from resting all night. Just like us, they need some “breakfast.” They start stretching, singing, searching for a meal. Give or take around 11:00 am they are resting or starting to settle down for most of the afternoon. Then around 3 or 4, depending on the time of the year, they start looking for a snack or meal before they again settle in for the night.

If you have feeders in your yard, the same is true. The morning and for a few hours before dark will be your most active times to see the birds.

Birds that roost together as a flock start heading to their night-time hangout. For instance, locally at Circle B Bar Reserve, the Herons, Egrets, Wood Storks, Ibises and White Pelicans (during winter) come back in to rest for the night. One of my neatest experiences was when the White Pelicans started arriving at Circle B around 4:45 pm for the night. (Ignore my crazy talk, I was just flabbergasted!)

If you like to see Owls, Nighthawks, Whip-poor-wills, and the other night birds, then, they are quiet in the daytime, but come out to “hoot” and “holler” right around dark and throughout the night. They start settling down around dawn.

Weather is a big factor also in when to go. Fog makes it hard. Windy days will cause the many birds to stay low. It is as if they are “grounded.” Rain of course makes it rough on you to go out and watch and they are seeking shelter which can make them harder to observe. They are out there and they still get hungry. Also, down here in the winter, we get lots of visiting birds and that is a good time of the year to watch our feathered friends.

Mom and Baby at Lake Hollingsworth
Mom and Baby at Lake Hollingsworth

“Many birdwatchers occupy themselves with observing local species (birding in their “local patch”, but may also make specific trips to observe birds in other locales. The most active times of the year for birding in temperate zones are during the spring or fall migrations when the greatest variety of birds may be seen. On these occasions, large numbers of birds travel north or south to wintering or nesting locations. Early mornings are typically better as the birds are more active and vocal making them easier to spot.

Weather plays an important role in the occurrence of rare birds. In Britain, suitable wind conditions may lead to drift migration, and an influx of birds from the east. In North America, birds caught in the tail-end of a hurricane may be blown inland.” (Wikipedia) This is not an in-depth study, just some of my tips to get you started in your birdwatching adventure. Trust you are enjoying our series, Start Birding Today.

Links:

 
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Start Birding Today: What Kind of Bird is This? (by Lee Dusing)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) by Daves BirdingPix
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) by Daves BirdingPix 

What kind of birds is this? Are you kidding, Stephen, that is a wide open question? If you have been following this “Start Birding Today” series you know that Stephen, our Assistant to the Pastor, asked me to do some new articles about birding for our church blog, The Fountain. He came up with the titles and I am writing the articles. This one can go so many directions and involves more effort than our previous blogs, for me and the readers. Now we are getting into the “heart” of birding or birdwatching.

I have been encouraging you to become aware of the birds around you and to take notes about them. This is where all birders begin to learn about the birds. When you go out birdwatching it is nice to go with someone who has been birding for awhile. They can tell you the bird’s name and something about it. Even those of us who have been doing it awhile don’t know every bird. Being by yourself or just seeing one out your window brings you to this question, “What kind of bird is this? So, what do you do?

Sandhill Cranes – Adult and Juvenile in yard 8/27/10


Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day. (Genesis 1:20-23 NKJV)

This is where Bird Guides come in handy, but here in America there are over 900 species. Now begins the process of elimination. When the Lord created the birds, He did not put name tags on them, but in a way, He did. You will discover that each family of birds differs from other families, yet within families, there are different colors, markings, and subtle differences. If your bird is small and you have seen our local Sandhill Cranes, you can eliminate that whole Crane family. Most have seen a sparrow at one time. Was your bird about that size? Now you can eliminate almost the front half of your Guide. In other words, size is very important as a clue.

Blue Jay at Bok Tower by Dan's Pix
Blue Jay II at Bok Tower by Dan’s Pix

What color was it? Another clue. Most guides don’t list the birds by color, but there are some that do (The Easy Bird Guide), also on the Internet, there are places to find the bird by color. WhatBird is a great example of this. If you go to the Attributes Page you will see what are the main things to ask about the bird. Notice the list of birds above the buttons, it starts with all 924 birds. As you make selections, the number decreases and you eventually end up with just a few choices to make your selection from.

Location – Where did you see it? Florida, Georgia, etc.
Shape – Chicken like, Duck, Gull, Hawk, Hummingbird, etc.
Size – Very small, small, medium, large, very large
ColorPrimary and Secondary colors
Habitat – Was it at the coast, mountains, desert, lake, etc.
Bill Shape – All purpose, cone, curved, dagger, etc.
Bill Length – Same as head, longer or shorter than head
Wing Shape – Broad, long, pointed, rounded, tapered, very long
Backyard Feeder – Frequently or rare
Others – Order, Family, Song pattern or call.

I think for now, that is enough. We will need to cover more in another article. I have put several photos on the page which you probably already know. Try using the What Bird tools and see if you can get to the right bird. Start with the Northern Cardinal. Put in Florida for Location (924 to 362), Shape=Perching-like (362 to 165), Color Primary=Red  (165 to 8), Bill Shape=Cone (8 to 4). You now only have 4 choices to look at. Try it. As you click on the name you will see lots of information about that bird.

Links:
What Bird Tools
How to ID Birds – All About Birds
How to Identify Birds – Audubon
Bird Identification Tips – About.Com Birding/Wild Birds
How-to Videos:
How to Identify Birds
Topography (Parts of the Bird)

Other Posts in our Start Birding today Series:


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