Well, here we go again updating the Birds of the World pages. I knew when I finally got version 3.2 finished that they would be releasing the newest updates. So, while I have been sticking close to home for several weeks while fighting a virus, the updates have been worked on. Most were routine, but 3 families; Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks and Eagles, Caprimulgidae – Nightjars and the Fringillidae – Finches have undergone major Taxonomic Updates. The first two families are finished, but I still have the Finches to do.
There are now 10,476 extant species and 149 extinct species of birds of the world (Version 3.3), not counting supspecies. There are 40 Orders, 231 Families (plus 6 Incertae sedis), 2268 Genera, for a total of 237 Family pages to update. The first 101 pages are done, and the last 100 are finished, minus the Finches. (Don’t ask why I worked that way because I have no answer.) I have about 40 left to do.
While I have been working on them more photos, drawings and video links have been added. I have really been putting a push on to try to get 100% of each family completed. Because it takes time and effort, I made some Awards for the effort. If 100% of the species have a photo or a video then this Award is posted:
If 100% completed with almost all photos, but some Drawings because Photos can’t be found, at least by me, then this is the Award:
Then if everything is complete except nothing for an Extinct bird can be found, then this is the Award:
It may seem silly, but it helps to feel like something is being accomplished.
While I have been going through the families some really neat birds have been spotted and want to share some of them with you. The Narrow-billed Tody (Todus angustirostris) up at the top comes from the Todidae – Todies Family (100 %). Wikipedia says,”The todies are a family, Todidae, of Caribbean birds in the order Coraciiformes, which also includes the kingfishers, bee-eaters and rollers. The family has one genus, Todus. These are small, near passerine species of forests of the Greater Antilles: Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Cuba, with adjacent islands, have one species each, and Hispaniola has two, the Broad-billed Tody in the lowlands (including Gonâve Island) and the Narrow-billed Tody in the highlands.” I think considering his small size, he looks like he has an “attitude.”
Here is another of the Lord’s creations that just blew me away when I saw it. This Fischer’s Turaco (Tauraco fischeri) is just fantastic. The whole Musophagidae – Turacos Family (100 %) is really colorful. Again, from Wikipedia, “The turacos make up the bird family Musophagidae (literally “banana-eaters”), which includes plantain-eaters and go-away-birds. In southern Africa both turacos and go-away-birds are commonly known as louries. They are semi-zygodactylous – the fourth (outer) toe can be switched back and forth. The second and third toes, which always point forward, are conjoined in some species. Musophagids often have prominent crests and long tails; the turacos are noted for peculiar and unique pigments giving them their bright green and red feathers.”
One sad note, we did ride over to Tampa this week to renew our annual pass to Lowry Park Zoo and found out that the beautiful Crested Couas had died. The man we were talking to didn’t go into detail, but said something tragic happened to both. That has always been one of my favorites in their aviary. Couas are members of the Cuculidae – Cuckoos Family.
Many people make list of the birds they see and that is really neat and enjoyable. Many try to see how many they see each year, in each state, county or country, etc. Doing these pages are starting to become a list of all the birds that I have seen a photo, video, or drawing of. Not sure if it counts for anything, but it is enjoyable and amazing to see the variety and beauty of God’s Omnipotent and Omniscient Hand at work. Yes, I would like to see all 10,000 plus of the birds, but it is not my main ambition in life. The verses in Matthew 16:24-26 keep coming to mind as the work has progressed.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26 KJV)
Enjoy the birds, but let their beauty draw you to their Creator.