Newsletter Archive

January Is for the Birds

Welcome to 2020 with new adventures to enjoy and new memories to create.

National Bird Day will be celebrated on January 5th.  It has been observed for over a decade and was set up to coincide with the annual Christmas Bird Count.   The bird count is one of the longest running citizen science survey's in the world and helps to keep an eye on the health of the United States' birds.  It lasts for 3 weeks and focuses on native bird populations.  The purpose of this holiday is to bring attention to the plight of our feathered friends, particularly birds that are not native to the United States and are captive.  It can be acknowledged in any number of different ways.  Participants can bird watch alone or in a group and take part in one of the many conservation causes that exist for the preservation of birds.  In the U.S. schools, children are given the task of researching about birds or drawing a picture of birds for the classroom.

There are almost 10,000 different species of birds and almost 900 are on the verge of extinction.  Scientists believe the earliest know bird is the Archaeopteryx lithographica.  It was a transitional animal that spanned the gap between reptiles and birds, and had features of both.

The largest species of birds on the planet is the ostrich.  They are native to certain parts of Africa. These birds can reach a height of nine feet tall and weigh up to 350 pounds.  While they cannot fly, they can run up to 45 miles per hour and have a huge stride, covering from 9.8 to 16.4 feet!  Their eggs are the largest of all bird eggs, averaging 5.9" long, 5.1" wide and weighing in at 3.1 pounds.  They have a life span of 40 to 45 years in the wild and up to 62 years in captivity.

The smallest bird is the  Bee hummingbird and is endemic to Cuba.  They are the size of a large bee, hence their name. Females are larger than males and average 2.4 inches long(beak tip to tail feather end) and weigh 0.092 pounds or 1/15 of an ounce or less than a dime!  They are swift and strong fliers, flying straight up, down, backwards and upside down.  Their tiny wings beat in a figure eight pattern up to 80 times a second.  During courtship display, the number of wing beats can increase to an incredible 200 times per second!  The female will lay 2 eggs the size of a pea.  Their life span averages 7 years in the wild and 10 years in captivity.

We have chosen to show you an unusual bird, the Great  Hornbill.  They average 37 to 51" in length, weighing 4.4 to 8.8 pounds, and have a wing span of 60".   Wing beats are heavy and the sound produced has been likened to the puffing of a steam locomotive starting up.  The most prominent feature is the bright yellow and black casque on top of it's massive bill.  The back of the casque is reddish in females, while the underside of the front and back of the casque is black in males.

This image was captured in the Kaziranga National Park in India.  The hornbill's home is a prison.  The female will hide in a hole in a tree to lay her clutch of one or two eggs.  It is sealed with a plaster  of mainly feces, leaving a narrow slit through which her mate feeds her.  She stays there for about 38 to 40 days during which she undergoes a complete molt. She then breaks out and helps the male with the feeding duties.

"Great Hornbill" is available in table top to wall size, triple matted and with or without a frame.  The matted versions are yours at a 10% discount and the framed matted versions in sizes 11x14 and larger can be yours at a 15% discount.

Visit our website, www.throughthelensoflee-margaret.com often for available sizes and prices.

Stop by and see us on Monday through Friday from 10a.m. to 12noon and 1:30p.m. to 5p.m.

The gallery is open for Saturday appointments. 

Call us at 904-387-8710 to schedule your special visit.  Come see us and order now.

Birds are the eyes of Heaven   —  Suzy Kassem