Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Snake skins as nest filler?

A few weeks ago as I cleaned out my blue bird house,
I was shocked to find a snake skin intertwined in an old nest.
Last year I had hoped for a blue bird to build its nest in my box,
but had never noticed any nesting going on.

Bluebirds had come and looked at it,
but I didn't think it had met with their qualifications.
If they raised babies there, I hadn't seen them!
So as I removed the old nest,
I wondered what bird had resided there last year.
What bird would use snake skins as their nesting material?!!!

So, yesterday I was surprised to see a pair of birds checking out the box.
It was the Nuthatches!

I wondered if they had been the tenants from last year.
Were they the ones who had used the snake skins in building their nest?
If so, is this a usual practice?
Was it good nesting material,
or did it keep other predators away?

The female went in and out of the box multiple times,
while the male scurried around the outside
appearing to check the surroundings.

When the female stayed inside the box for a prolonged period of time.
the impatient male poked his head in to check on her.

"Whatcha doing in there, honey?"
he seemed to be saying.
"Do you think this is the right place to build a nest?"

I'm not sure what her answer was,
but she looked pretty satisfied.
It remains to be seen if that's where they choose to raise their babies!

Because I am no expert,
seeing God's hand in nature reminds me of this verse from Luke 10:21,
, "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way."

...And this verse from Psalm 84:3:
"Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O LORD of Heaven's Armies, my King and my God! "

To see the Name for God painted on Rocks for this week, click   HERE!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Snow Storm

The snow geese actually had some snow this week!
(Our southern neighbors had much more snow
than we did this past winter.)

The lone swan didn't seem at all phased by the snowfall.
(This is the survivor of the mate who flew
 into an electric transformer on a light pole about a year ago!
That little misfortune not only cost him his life -
it also left us without electricity for about 5 hours!)

As my husband and I were taking our little drive,
we almost missed the peacocks, ...

...because we were looking for birds on the ground,
like these mourning doves, ...

...and were not looking high up in the trees!
The peacocks seemed to be trying to get as far from
he snow covered ground as possible.

This kingfisher - I think that's what it is - flew away
before I could get a good shot of him in the sitting position.

A neighbor's cactus poking up through the snow also caught my attention.

But our little dog, Jack, seemed untouched by the snow,
and snoozed in his favorite look-out on the back of the couch.

Job 37:6 says,
"He (God) directs the snow to fall on the earth and tells the rain to pour down."
and Psalm 147:16 says,
"He (God) spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes."

But I am most thankful that not only does God make the snow,
He also makes me white as the snow!
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow."
Isaiah 1:18

Click HERE to see my Name of God for this week,
or check out Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesdays for a link to countless bird posts!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

More on the Eagles!

My granddaughter and I had another interesting visit
to the eagle's nest today.

When we arrived there was a flurry of activity going on in the nest.

It was hard to tell if what we saw were babies,
or the mother's feathers moving with the stiff breeze that was blowing.

When I got out of my car to get a little closer look at the action,
I witnessed the eagle in the nest point its beak toward the sky and cry out.
She cried out several times.
I wondered if she was upset at my presence,
until I saw movement in the sky above me.

At first I thought the mate was pursuing a buzzard.
But on closer inspection it was evident that
one eagle was chasing another eagle away from the vicinity of the nest!

It was quite exciting to watch!

When he had driven the other eagle away, ...

the bird on the nest began to settle back down in her nest.

So, although I really don't know how big the eaglets are, was still an interesting day!

Thinking of how the eagle on the nest cried out for help,
and how quickly her mate came to her aid,
reminds me of the Psalmist David,
 how he cried out to God for help,
and how quickly God came to his aid.

"In my distress I called to the LORD;
 I cried to my God for help.
 From his temple He heard my voice; 
my cry came before Him, into His ears.
The earth trembled and quaked, 
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
 they trembled because He was angry. 
Smoke rose from His nostrils; 
consuming fire came from His mouth,
 burning coals blazed out of it. 
He parted the heavens and came down; 
dark clouds were under His feet.
He mounted the cherubim and flew;
 He soared on the wings of the wind. 
He made darkness His covering,
 His canopy around him — the dark rain clouds of the sky. 
Out of the brightness of His presence clouds advanced,
 with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
The LORD thundered from heaven; 
the voice of the Most High resounded.
He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, 
with great bolts of lightning He routed them.
The valleys of the sea were exposed 
and the foundations of the earth laid bare at Your rebuke, 
LORD,  at the blast of breath from Your nostrils. 
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; 
He drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me..."

I love this picture of God!
Have you ever pictured Him like this?
Have you thought of Him swooping down out of heaven,
sort of like the eagle coming to defend its mate?
What a powerful God...
a God who loves us and wants to come to our rescue!

To see my Name for God post this week, click HERE!
And thanks to Pamela for letting me share on her "Sheltering Tree"
where she hosts a blog hop!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Baby Eagles in Nest?

My friend T.J. and I went back to the eagle's nest yesterday.

After last week's big mistake, this time I had a card in my camera!
We witnessed one of the mates coming back to the nest.
It appeared to be breaking up food for the young eaglets
that we assumed must have hatched out by this time.
(We'd been watching the nest for about three weeks.)

The other mate seemed to stay till the feeding process was complete.
It stretched its wings a few times before taking off.

I wondered if that was the last we would see,
but it didn't fly far.

It landed nearby, and appeared to be preening its feathers.

When I moved to get a less obstructed look,
I felt like it gave ME a LOOK!
"What are you doing?" it seemed to say.

It looked more settled when I stopped advancing towards him.

After a glance back at the nest towards its mate,
(and presumed eaglets) safely snuggled down, ...

He flexed his muscles a few times,
spreading his wings, ...

And flew off -
presumably to hunt for more food for the babies.
(To see shots of what baby eagles look like, click here.)

Harry Johnson has a beautiful You-Tube video of a pair of eagles
teaching their eaglets to fly.
Click HERE to watch it.

I hope that I can be as fortunate as Harry Johnson, 
and catch a few pictures of the eaglets as they begin to come out of their nests.

I think God must love eagles, too,
because He makes reference to them quite often.
 He speaks to Israel saying,  
"I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself."
"Look! He advances like the clouds,
 His chariots come like a whirlwind, 
His horses are swifter than eagles."

But my favorite verses about eagles
are ones I quoted earlier in my first post on the eagles.
(To see this post, click on the highlighted letters above.)

Thank you to Stewart of Wild Bird Wednesday
 and NC Sue for Wordless Wednesday
for letting me link with them!
Click on their names to see more great posts
or click on Rock4Today to see my Name of God for this week!

Monday, March 11, 2013

A visit to my friend's bird feeder!

On hearing that I'd been trying to get a good picture 
of the pileated woodpecker,
one of my friends invited me to come watch her 
bird feeders with her.
These special woodpeckers usually visit her suet feeders daily,
but of course,
wouldn't you know they would hide out when company came!

She did have a lot of other visitors, though,
so I'll post a few pictures of them.

This ladder-backed woodpecker came frequently.

The Hairy Woodpecker and the Downy Woodpecker
are hard for me to tell apart.
I think this is a female Downy...

...with this being it's male counterpart.
I know the Downy is smaller than the Hairy...
Which do you think this is?

I loved the choices of bird residences that my friends had available.
The cowboy boot really caught my attention!

The bluebirds were ignoring the exotic boot choices,
and were going for their favorite standby.

Many thanks to Carolyn and Dick for sharing birding time with me!
Your prayers would be appreciated for Dick,
who was admitted to the hospital this past weekend.
The Bible says in James 5:16,
"The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power
 and produces wonderful results."
Get well soon, Dick!

Thanks to Stewart for letting me link with Wild Bird Wednesday!
Click HERE to see my unusual Name for God on Rocks this week!
Thanks for your visit!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pygmy Owl?

This post is compliments of my daughter Crystal.
This little guy was sitting outside her bedroom window,
and eyeing her bird feeder.

She said it nearly freaked her out when he turned around
and looked her right in the eye!
He didn't even flinch as she took his picture!
When I asked her his size,
she said he was about the size of a softball!

In Leviticus 11:17, part of the Jewish "Pentateuch",
a "little owl" is mentioned.
This is where God was giving Moses food regulations
 for the Israelites of what NOT to eat.
Not that I would want to eat an owl,
but I can't help but wonder if this is a descendant of that "little owl"!
(Click HERE to see images of pygmy owls.)

Thank you, Crystal, for allowing me to share your photo and info!

And thanks for your visit.
I'm glad you dropped by!
For my most recent Name of God on Rocks post, click HERE!