Alpha to Omega on Birds From Windowalert

Birds play diverse roles in folklore, religion, and popular culture and have been domesticated by humans both as pets and for practical purposes. History tells us how birds had been used in ancient days to convey important messages. Pigeons were known to carry information written on paper tied to their legs. The significance of birds has also been portrayed through symbolic art and design. The peacock with its striking looks was the inspiration behind the famous Peacock Throne of the Mughal emperors. Attractive birds such as doves, mynahs, lovebirds, and macaw have been kept as pets by humans all over the world. Bird lovers also plant bird feeders in their gardens to attract various species of birds.


If you are a bird lover and on the hunt for books that can tell you all about birds, the WindowAlert collection of .bird books should be the right choice for you. Budding ornithologists can enjoy the sight of their favorite birds lingering in their backyard with useful tips from the Bird-by-Bird Gardening book. What could be better than bird photography books by National Geographic to help you capture lovely pictures of birds that catch your attention? Backyard Bird-Feeder’s Bible, a colorful guide to intermediate bird watchers, and the World Atlas of Birds, make fantastic gifts for bird lovers. Go for the WindowAlert books and audio collection on birds to learn all that you have ever wanted to.

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WindowAlert is a decal that may be applied to home and office windows. The decal contains a component which brilliantly reflects ultraviolet sunlight. This ultraviolet light is invisible to humans, but glows like a stoplight for birds.WindowAlert

Attracting Wild Birds With a Bird Garden

You can use bird feeders and bird baths to attract wild birds to your garden but if you also plant a bird garden you can increase the attractiveness of your garden enormously.

Trees, shrubs and flowers can provide shelter from predators and the winter cold and provide natural food for the birds for the whole year. Providing a safe environment with a natural source of food will make your wild bird visitors feel safe and they will visit often. Your garden may already provide some natural food but small changes can easily increase the availability of the food and make your garden even more attractive.

Plan your Bird Garden

Find out which birds are common in your area and base your plan around them. You can find out from the local library or bird society or by watching birds that are attracted to bird feeders in your area. Include native plants in your plan as they are most likely to thrive and will provide suitable natural food for the birds.

Make your basic plan and include trees, power lines, buildings, paths, shrubs etc and ensure you plan sunny as well as shady areas. Fond out of there are any native plants that can be left to grow in your new garden. Have the soil tested before you start to find out the type of soil you have and any deficiencies that may be present. You can then add nutrients or minerals to restore the soil quality first and also ensure you buy plants suitable for the type of soil.

You will need a source of fresh, running water in your bird garden. This could be a pond with a fountain, a bird bath with a dripper or a spray in the trees. Plan to place a bird bath away from any bird feeders as birds need quiet for bathing away from the noise of birds feeding. A good place is away from any hiding places for cats or other predators under overhanging branches to allow the birds to escape into the branches if a predator approaches.

Plant Your Bird Garden

You should plant shrubs, trees and flowers that provide seeds, nuts, berries or nectar the whole year round in your bird garden. Trees need to have enough branches to support nests but not be so thick they prevent the birds from freely moving through them. Sketch in the plants on your plan and ensure you have some sunny areas and some shady areas. Take into consideration the size the shrubs and trees will eventually grow to and decide how many you can fit into the area.

When you begin to plant your garden involve the whole family. They will enjoy the fun! It’s a good idea to take plenty of photographs to document your progress. Taking pictures of the same spot throughout the seasons can give a lovely record of all you have achieved.

Maintaining Your Garden

You will need to plan on time to maintain your garden. Keep the area round your new plants moist and use a mulch to help retain the moisture and discourage weeds. This will also help to maintain the garden without the use of harsh insecticides or herbicides which should be avoided. Many are poisonous to the birds and they will also cut down on the number of insects that are a major part of the food source of many birds.

Place bird feeders around your garden, hanging from trees or posts and place a bird bath away from the feeders but visible from your window so you can enjoy your bird visitors while they bathe.

It may be many months before you see the results of your hard work but once your garden is thriving you will be rewarded by the many wild birds visiting your bird garden.

For more information on attracting birds to your garden and some good deals on garden bird baths check out Garden Bird Baths or Heated Bird Baths

Controlling Pest Birds In The Food Processing Industry

 

Pest birds can be a serious health and safety issue if they are not controlled.  In food processing plants they can cause extensive damage, health issues and safety problems to workers.  Pest birds such as pigeons, starlings and sparrows are very common in and around commercial facilities.  These facilities often provide perfect roosting places, shelter for nesting and a wonderful food source.  Pest bird feces is acidic and can be quite corrosive to building material and machinery, it can also carry any of 60 known transmittable diseases.  Contamination of bird feces, feathers and debris is a big problem in the food processing industry.  Health officials can close plants for days to weeks when contamination is found. 

Once it is determined that there is an issue with pest birds, plant managers must survey the area to see what the pest birds are doing.  In order to implement an effective pest bird control program you must know if the birds are roosting, nesting and if they  have a good source of food, water and shelter.  Once you know what the birds are doing and where they are; an effective bird control system can be installed. 

Control Methods:

Roofs, ledges, parapet walls:

A physical bird deterrent such as bird spikes or shock systems best deters pest birds roosting on flat surfaces such as ledges and parapet walls.  Bird Spikes are economical and easy to install.  They make it impossible for the birds to land so they move on to the next favorable roosting area.  Bird Shock Systems are a low profile product that gives a slight “jolt” to the pest birds changing their habits quickly…moving them on to a more comfortable area.

Loading docks & overhangs:

When pest birds are found under loading docks or overhangs, bird netting is the best way to exclude them.  Bird Netting hung under the dock superstructure will keep pest birds from landing and roosting on I-beams and building nests under eaves.

Inside processing plant:

Once birds are inside the plant it can be very difficult to get them to leave, especially if there is a food source available to them.  There is a new product available that will keep pest birds out of processing areas; Bird Mist Units.  These units release a fine mist into the air to deter pest birds from large open spaces. The unit distributes methyl anthranilate, a grape extract proven to be effective in repelling pest birds. As the birds fly through the mist, the extract irritates their trigeminal nerve and mucous membranes through entry in the eyes, nose or mouth. Birds do not like the sensation caused by the extract and will take flight from the area being treated. Methyl anthranilate is a grape extract that naturally occurs in concord grapes, and is used for flavoring grape soda and candies. It is a food grade material, and recognized by the FDA as a safe substance. The extract has been widely used by pest control companies for safely and humanely deterring pest birds and geese for decades.

 

It is important to implement a pest bird control system as soon as birds are noticed hanging around food processing plants.  This will protect the plants from damage, contamination and help to improve third-party audit scores.  For more information on pest bird control systems contact Bird-B-Gone, Inc. at 1-800-392-6915 or online at www.birdbgone.com.  Bird-B-Gone has a national network of Authorized Installers that can help to control all of your pest bird problems.

Bird-B-Gone, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of affordable and effective bird control products.Bird-B-Gone

Controlling Pest Birds With Bird Spikes

 

Controlling Pest Birds with Bird Spikes

By: Fran Prisco

The name bird spikes conjures up notions of barbarians with studded weapons used against defenseless little birds, but that is just not true.  Bird control spikes, also known as needle spikes or anti-roosting spikes are devices consisting of long, needle-like spikes used to control pest birds.  The needles or spikes are usually all plastic or a plastic base with stainless steel spikes.  They are harmless to pest birds, the spikes are not sharp, but create an unsuitable landing area for the birds so they move on to a more hospitable site.  Bird spikes are designed to keep pest pigeons and larger birds off of building ledges, signs, parapet walls and other flat surfaces that pest birds like to roost and nest on.

Every year millions of dollars are spent cleaning up after and repairing the damage caused by pest birds such as pigeons, sea gulls, crows and other urban birds. Not only are these problems unsightly; pest birds and their feces can spread 60 plus transmittable diseases. Safety, sanitation and health hazards caused by bird droppings can pose serious liability risks, and left untreated, can lead to accidents and lawsuits. Bird feces, bird nests and debris can also create a bad public image with tenants and patrons. Individuals, companies and government agencies are tired of cleaning up bird feces or repairing the damage that is caused by pest birds and their droppings. Instead they have decided to invest in a Bird Control Solution, which is often as simple as installing bird spikes.

Bird spikes are made in one-foot or two-foot lengths, with different widths.  The widths of the spikes are usually 3”, 5” and 8”.  The width of the bird spike used is determined by the area to be covered.  It is best if the entire surface area that birds are landing on is covered with bird spikes.  Installation of bird spikes is often as easy as applying adhesive or screwing them down.  Once installed bird spikes are virtually invisible, not taking away from architectural detail.  If you look hard around any major city in the country, you will find bird spikes on building ledges, signs, light posts and other areas. 

Bird spikes have been labeled as the “most effective type of bird deterrent”.  They are also one of the most economical pest bird deterrents; requiring little to no maintenance once installed.  Bird spikes made of rigid plastic and high-grade stainless steel can last over 10-years installed on a building and retain their effectiveness.  Most are manufactured with U.V. protectors in the plastic so that sun and weather have little effect on the material.  When purchasing bird spikes, be sure that they are constructed of rigid U.V. protected plastic like those available at <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview(‘/outgoing/article_exit_link’);” href=”http://birdbgone.com” target=”_new”>Bird-B-Gone, Inc.</a>

Decorative Bird Feeders: Sanctuary for Birds, Good Sights for Spectators

More and more people are starting to get into feeding wild birds in their yards and gardens. That is because wild birds, even how wild they may tend to be, will always return to that especially allotted spot where they can find great seeds to eat.

Bright and lively groups of birds, flying around the bird feeder is also a great, amusing and relaxing sight to see. That can be one of the logical reasons why there is a rising number of people who are getting more and more interested at investing in decorative bird feeders.

In the past, people from several countries have become fond of attending to homing pigeons. Now, it is not only pigeons that are catching the attention of people who invest in bird feeders. Other wild birds can also be served by wild bird feeders.

Decorative

Because people would not get anything from their investment in feeders aside from the pretty sight of birds coming home and feeding the communal food served to them, bird feeder makers have started making the structures as beautiful as possible to further spice up the sight.

Nowadays, you could see feeders that are decoratively designed so that the structures alone are already a pretty good sight to look at. Them having birds would extremely be a pleasure for observers.

There are a number of specialty shops and bird feeder manufacturers which currently distribute decorative wild bird feeders. You would surely be amazed at how these feeders look like. They are in the form of real home structures, and the designs are truly profound and extravagant.

There are special decorative bird feeders that actually costs a lot more expensive than the average home for people. Also take note that several decorative bird feeders are actually designed by good architects and are built from the finest and most flexible raw materials.

Fun collection

Decorative bird feeders can also be fun to collect. Such collections would surely be fun, because they are not just aesthetic, these objects are also extremely useful, especially to birds.

People are greatly admiring the beauty of decorative feeders, which become host to a number of colorful and different breeds and seizes of different types of birds.

Each season, there may be different types of birds that may swoon in and troupe around the special bird structures. It is such sights that make collecting feeders very much fun.

Migrating birds

The most usual beneficiaries of the decorative bird feeders are the migratory birds who flock out of their area origins during winter. Not only would you be providing food to such migratory organisms. You would also be providing them with temporary shelter or resting place where they can recharge after flying thousands of miles.

Spectators also gaze up and enjoy the event. That way, you would not only help the birds, but also those people, who, even for a few minutes, are relieved of the burdens of their personal problems by being entertained by the breath-taking scenery.

Decorative feeders add to the attraction of the bird feeding sight. Find one and see for yourself how your day would be made even brighter by the simple joy and admiration you may derive from simply looking at a bird feeder.

Asian influence

In the market, it is estimated that most bird feeder buyers prefer Asian-inspired feeders. It is because Asian houses are basically beautiful and more functional.

Asian influence is also evident in the popular feeders nowadays. The materials of such mini-structures are now usually made up of bamboo, wood, porcelain and other Asian materials.

Decorative wild bird feeders, the Asian style, actually look like miniatures of the cozy and homy houses at the Chinese, Indian, Korean, Filipino and Indonesian civilization.

Decorative European and American feeders designs are also starting to shoot up, but they still have a long way to go before matching the strong demand for Asian bird feeders.

Seasons

Wild birds are particularly very busy during summer and spring, when they take time to build their own comfortable nests elsewhere. So during these periods, do not expect to your feeders to host soirees to these birds.

In other season, when they experience difficulty searching for food or staying at their nests in the wilderness, these wild birds would find sanctuary in your bird feeders.

But during summer and spring, other birds may drop by, especially the migratory birds from offshore, which could make up to added or better sight attraction.

Decorative bird feeders are really the in-thing when it comes to devising temporary shelters and feeding stations to birds. Get one now and enjoy the sights. It would certainly be worth it.

Lee Dobbins writes for http://birdfeeders.topicgiant.com where you can learn more about feeding your backyard birds as well as different types of decorative bird feeders.

Related Blogs

The Miracle of Talking Birds

Each and every species on Earth has been created with miraculous characteristics and wondrous skills. Even in one single living species, we can find abundant proof of God’s magnificent creation. According to one verse of the Qur’an:

There is no creature crawling on the Earth or flying creature, flying on its wings, who are not communities just like yourselves—We have not omitted anything from the Book—then they will be gathered to their Lord. (Qur’an, 6:38)

This verse draws our attention to birds which, of all living creatures, are worthy of special consideration and observation. There are approximately ten thousand different species of birds, many of which have miraculous characteristics. Wherever we live, we may encounter many of these creatures and can admire the different aspects of each variety. They exhibit countless examples of the evidence of creation, through their aesthetic appearance, their perfect flying mechanisms, their expertise in migration, their nest-making skills and their self-sacrificing behavior.

Meanwhile, other species of birds are created with a special aptitude for forming social groups. Many varieties live together as a community, warn one another of danger, work collectively to find food and shelter, and make various sacrifices to help each other out in any number of ways. (For detailed information, see Harun Yahya, Devotion Among Animals: Revealing the Work of God). As God pointed out in the Qur’an, these creatures are capable of establishing their own form of communication and performing in cooperative ways the duties inspired in them by God.

Some birds distinguish themselves by their superior intelligence and special talents. These particular species are defined as birds that can imitate sounds, include the parrots, songbirds, and hummingbirds. Many of us have heard about, seen on television or even personally witnessed these birds’ ability to talk. However, we may not have considered what a great miracle it is that these creatures can mimic in this way, or to the perfection of the way in which God has created them.

These creatures’ being hatched with their ability to talk or imitate sounds is one of the miracles of creation and, at the same time invalidates the claims of evolutionary theory.

The Special Design which Enables Birds to Produce Sound

Talking, or even imitating sound, is not just a simple matter of opening and closing the mouth, as some people believe. A complex system is required for this action to take place, and all parts of this system must be synchronized in perfect working order. Birds with a talent for sound mimicry enjoy all of these requirements and demonstrate their ability in extraordinary ways.

Some of these species have a talent rarely found in any other creature except man. The best example of this are parrots, which can imitate, in addition to human speech, a wide range of sounds that even humans can’t duplicate convincingly—for example, as the creaking of a door, the cap being removed from a bottle, a ringing telephone, or a tune being whistled. This talent to imitate, observable in parrots and some other bird species, is not an ability that can be acquired by coincidence. For any living creature to imitate a sound it has heard, it needs to have complex physiological structures already in place. Particularly in the case of birds that can closely imitate the human voice in terms of tone, stress and expression, these structures must be very sophisticated.

For a bird to reproduce a word or a melody it has heard, it needs to have an appropriate physical structure. Its sense of hearing must be functioning perfectly, and it must be able to memorize the information received by the senses and the ability to conceptualize meaning in its own terms.

People are astonished the first time they hear a parrot say “Hello!” when the phone rings, ask “Who is it?” when the doorbell rings, or greet someone familiar by name. But even though it’s an astonishing achievement for a bird to say even one word, many don’t really give it due consideration. Over time, they may even come to see it as normal and commonplace.

Not only does the bird see and recognize the person approaching; what’s more, the bird knows how to react to a person it knows. It remembers—and reproduces—words it associates with that person. This is evident proof that the bird has an accurate memory. If we consider that some species of birds seem to understand questions they are asked and give a seemingly logical answer, the issue becomes even more complex. One important example of this is a trained grey parrot by the name of Alex. When he’s presented with a red (rose) piece of paper and asked “What color?” he answers “rose.”1

A bird possessing such talents is a great wonder of creation, for birds and other animals do not have free will and reason, and do not share the human characteristics of thought, the ability to make conscious decisions and the determination to carry them out. The ability to talk and imitate sounds is taught by God to certain species of birds. These creatures do not talk because of their own rational thought, will or consciousness, but through God’s inspiration. In a verse of the Qur’an, God conveys that He is supreme over all living creatures: “… There is no creature He does not hold by the forelock…” (Qur’an, 11:56) All the wondrous characteristics of birds that can imitate sounds are just part of the evidence God shows to man so we may witness the magnificence of His creation.

The Physical Formation of Sound in Birds

You might assume that in order for a parrot to be able to imitate the human voice—to use a person’s same spoken words, stresses and pronunciation—they must possess a larynx whose structure is similar to a human’s. However, the structure of the human larynx bears no resemblance to these creatures’ physical structures. The larynx, vocal cords, tongue, lips, palate and teeth that humans use in speech are completely different in birds, and some do not exist at all. But even though all birds lack these structures, still these species can reproduce phrases spoken by humans—and in the same tones. If we consider that a person without a tongue is unable to speak or that we lose our voice if the vocal cords are damaged, it’s also worth considering that parrots, budgerigars, and mynahs, members of the crow family, have completely different physical characteristics which nevertheless enable them to talk in the same way as humans.

There are other differences between the systems that humans and birds use to produce vocal sounds. We produce most sounds by expelling air from the lungs through the larynx. Different sounds are created, according to the degree of vibration of the vocal cords. The position of the tongue and lips and the flow of air through the mouth or nasal cavity are only a few of the many other factors affecting sound production. The pharynx, found in humans, lets the tongue divide the vocal tract above the larynx into two cavities with their own distinct resonances. Where these resonances occur, the overtones of the frequencies (or number of vibrations) from the vocal cords are amplified. Formants (from the Latin formare: to shape, or form) are resonant frequencies of the vocal tract, the natural shapes that air assumes in the vocal passage. When you make a consonant, for example, this has an effect on the formants of the neighbouring vowels, raising or lowering formants as the vowel sound gets closer to the corsonant. Experiments have shown that two formants are sufficient in order to differentiate speech sounds from each other.2

Birds have no larynx similar to a human’s, but do have a special vocal organ, known as the syrinx, that enables them to produce sounds. In birds, air from the lungs passes through this organ. In a sense, the bird’s syrinx is the equivalent of our human larynx. One of the principal differences is that in humans, our vocal cords are positioned closer to the windpipe. So far, the fact that the bird’s syrinx is deep inside the body has prevented scientists from obtaining a complete answer as to how birds produce sound. Scientists have filmed birds using infra-red and x-ray cameras, and have made close studies of their song and speech by means of fiber-optic microscopes inserted in their throats. Yet we still cannot explain the physical process by which birds produce song and imitate sounds.

Within the bird’s breast, its vocal organ is like a branched instrument, located at where its voice box meets the two bronchial tubes. As shown on in the picture, one branch of the syrinx opens into one bronchus and the second branch into the other; and either one of these two bronchi can produce sound. Some birds can use either both sides of their voice organ simultaneously, or one of the two independently and, by this means, can produce two separate tones of the same frequency, at the same time. They can sing a high note with one side, while producing a low note with the other. And since the bird’s vocal organ is situated at the juncture of the two bronchial tubes, it can produce sound from two different sources. This even allows the bird to produce two different notes simultaneously, and even to sing a duet with itself. To a great extent, sounds produced here are subsequently combined, giving birds the potential of creating rich melodies. While humans use only about 2% of the air they inhale to produce sound, birds have the ability to use it all. 3

The syrinx is located in a pouch within the clavicle below the bird’s throat. The membrane covering this pouch is sensitive to the air coming from the lungs, and its elasticity and complexity of the membrane are factors that determine the quality of sounds. The sound quality is also affected by the length of the windpipe, the constriction of the voice box, the neck muscles, structure of the beak, and their respective movements. In short, the complexity of the birds’ syrinx determines the complexity of the sounds they produce. Its muscles affect the air flow and consequently, the quality of the sound. In parrots, budgerigars, and some songbirds, the syrinx has a greater number of muscles, and its structure is more complex.

Furthermore, the different techniques that parrots and budgerigars employ for imitating the human voice are most effective. Like humans, parrots have thick tongues that enable them to produce sounds resembling ours. Sound is produced by blowing air through two separate places in their syrinx, and at the same time producing the independent sounds required to produce consonants. The initial sound from the syrinx is shaped with the help of the throat, and then in the mouth with the tongue. In their research studies with grey parrots, Dianne Patterson and Irene Pepperberg reached important conclusions on vowel production: Due to the radically different anatomy of this parrot’s vocal organ, even though they lack teeth and lips, they can produce sounds that closely resemble sounds produced by humans.4 Indeed, parrots and budgerigars can quite clearly imitate sounds such as “m” and “b,” which we normally produce with the help of our lips.

Budgerigars, however, due to their small size, are not able to use the same technique as parrots. Using their syrinx to create frequencies from 2,000 to 3,000 Hz, they then add on a second vibration. This system is known as frequency modulation or FM, the principle behind the AM (amplitude modulation) radios to be found in practically every home. These days, many FM broadcasting stations add low transmitters to their signals which, in common with normal signals, are adjustable through a transmitter, but are of a very high frequency. While the frequency of normal signals varies from 20 to 20,000 Hz, the frequency of many low transmitters starts at 56,000 Hz. The main reason for using the FM system is to offset the major disadvantage of the AM system—namely, the interference of many natural or man-made radio sounds, called “parasites.” Because the weak signals of AM radio are quieter than the stronger ones, differences in signal level are formed, which are then perceived as noise. AM receivers have no facility for cutting out these parasitic sounds.

To solve this problem, Edwin H. Armstrong invented a system for eliminating noise caused by the power of the waves. Instead of changing the transmission signal or the strength of the transmitter, he changed the frequency of sound waves per second. Thanks to this system, the amplitude of noise (strength of sound waves) could be reduced to a minimum. But scientists are still mystified how budgerigars manage to use this same system.

Of course, no little budgerigar can possibly work out for itself from the time it is hatched how to apply a series of principles discovered by man only after long trials. In the same way, no parrot can know that it must produce auxiliary sounds in order to make consonants distinct or to develop systems in its throat to enable it to do so. Also, it’s not possible for such a system to be the end product of a series of blind coincidences. All these complex systems are without doubt, the work of God, the Creator.

There is No Room for Coincidences in God’s Creation

Most humans, with their far superior intelligence, have difficulty in imitating other voices or speech while these little birds are able to imitate many sounds they have heard with perfection, showing how exceptionally skilled they are. Scientific research has concluded that this perfect mechanism in birds is a masterpiece of design. God’s supreme knowledge and art, as shown in the magnificence of His creation, is too evident to be obscured by deceitful theories. Swans, peacocks, brightly colored parrots, budgerigars and an infinite variety of living creatures invalidate any claims of coincidence and demonstrate the infinite power of the Lord, our Creator.

Darwinists insist on trying to attribute this perfect system to coincidences. According to their mentality, all the living creatures we see around us, all the skills they possess, and all their aesthetics and beauty are products of blind chance. The truth is, it’s not possible to explain away the consciousness and design seen in all living creatures, at all times, with coincidences. It is purely because of ideology that Darwinists cannot see this evident reality—or rather, they do see it but won’t accept it. These people cling to evolutionary theory out of their belief that it explains the mechanism of life. Accepting that it cannot forces them to accept the only possible and true alternative explanation, which is the truth of creation. This results in the complete collapse of Darwinism and any related materialist ideologies.

The thousands of examples that we see around us, but which the Darwinists pretend not to, are important pieces of evidence that destroy the distorted philosophies of those who deny the miracles of God’s creation. Every person with a conscience will see in the wonderful structures of living creatures, and in the exceptional balance of the universe, the power of our Supreme and Omnipresent Lord. Darwinism and, consequently, the materialist philosophy that has deceived the world for nearly two centuries, will collapse. People will perceive the existence of God and start to live according to the beautiful ethics bidden by our Lord. The invalid system of thought that forms the basis of Darwinism will be completely destroyed, as God makes known in a verse of the Qur’an:

Rather We hurl the truth against falsehood and it cuts right through it and it vanishes clean away! (Qur’an, 21:18)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, HARUN YAHYA

Born in Ankara in 1956, Adnan Oktar writes his books under the pen name of Harun Yahya. Ever since his university years, he has dedicated his life to telling of the existence and oneness of Almighty Allah, and to disseminating the moral values of the Qur’an. He has never wavered in the face of difficulties and despite oppression, still continues this intellectual struggle today exhibiting great patience and determination. For mor information pls visit: http://www.harunyahya.com/theauthor.php

A Miracle of the Living World: Communication and Signaling in the Language of Birds

Scientific research has revealed that throughout the living world, communication is just as important as it is to human beings. Countless living things lack the capacity for human speech, yet they employ entirely different methods in order to communicate with each other—and even with other species. Some of the most dramatic examples of this is displayed by birds. The astonishing behavior and ability to communicate that birds exhibit also totally invalidates the claims of the theory of evolution.

All forms of life on Earth have been created with miraculous properties and astonishing abilities. The examination of just one single species is enough to reveal hundreds of proofs of God’s magnificent creation.

In one verse of the Qur’an, Allah reveals that:

There is no creature crawling on the earth or flying creature, flying on its wings, who are not communities just like yourselves—We have not omitted anything from the Book—then they will be gathered to their Lord. (Qur’an, 6: 38)

The birds to which this verse draws our attention notice are one of the living communities that we need to examine and reflect upon.

There are roughly some 10,000 species of bird in the world, each of which possesses its own miraculous features. Wherever you may live, you can see a great number of these feathered creatures and can observe different and extraordinary properties in each and every one. With their attractive appearances, flawless flight mechanisms, expertise on the routes and timing of migrations, ability to build nests and altruistic behavior toward their young and to one another, birds possess countless proofs of the fact of creation. Their ability to communicate is another of these.

Birds’ Sense of Hearing

For birds to display their talents in communicating by sound, song—and in the case of some birds, words— they require excellent hearing. At critical times in their lives, their sense of hearing becomes particularly important. Experiments have shown that in order for birds to learn the distinctive song of their own species, they need an auditory feedback system. Thanks to this system, young birds learn to compare the sounds they produce themselves with the patterns of a song they have memorized. If they were deaf, it wouldn’t normally be possible for them to sing recognizable songs. (1)

Birds’ ears are well equipped for hearing, but they hear in a different way from us. For them to recognize a tune, they have to hear it in always the same octave (a series of seven notes), whereas we humans can recognize a tune even if we hear it in a different octave. Birds cannot, but can instead recognize timbre—a fundamental note combined with harmonies. The ability to recognize timbre and harmonic variations lets birds hear and reply to many diverse sounds, and sometimes even reproduce them.

Birds can also hear shorter notes than we can. Humans process sounds in bytes in about 1/20th of a second (2), whereas birds can distinguish these sounds in 1/200th of a second (3). This means that birds are superior at differentiating sounds that arrive in very rapid succession.(4) In other words, a bird’s capacity to perceive sound is approximately ten times greater than ours; and in every note heard by a human, it can hear ten.(5) Moreover, some birds are also able to hear lower-frequency sounds than we are. Their hearing sensitivity is so finely tuned that they can even tell the difference between pieces by such famous composers as Bach and Stravinsky.

Birds’ extremely sensitive hearing functions perfectly. Clearly, each of this sense’s components is created by special design, for if any one failed to work properly, the bird would not be able to hear any sounds at all. This point also disproves the theory that hearing evolved or emerged gradually, as a result of coincidental influences.

Communication and Signaling in Birds

Birds produce meaningful communications by their facial expressions, beak movements, feather ruffling, elongating their necks, crouching, bouncing, and flapping their wings. Although each species has its own body language, many different species interpret movements in the same way. For example, various species interpret an upward thrust of the beak as expressing the intention to fly, and the lowering of the breast as a warning of danger. Also, several species perceive raising the tail feathers as a threat, or displaying bright colors atop of the head as a declaration of the intent to attack. Via facial expression, birds can convey a variety of messages to those around them-negative feelings such as dislike and resentment, as well as positive ones like pleasure, enthusiasm and curiosity. (6)

Bird’s Facial Expressions

Birds produce different facial expressions by movements of the beak, or by positioning the feathers above the beak, on the chin, or atop the head. In some species, the feathers above the eye can also move independently. Moreover, many species make a display by opening their beaks. For example, the tawny frogmouth opens its beak to reveal its large, bright green oral cavity, emphasizing the size of its beak and making it appear more intimidating. Some other species open their beaks as a form of threatening behavior, usually silently, but sometimes enhance the performance with hissing or loud breathing. (7)

Besides communicating by means of body language, birds produce a great variety of sounds to communicate with other members of their flock, neighbors, or family members. These range from short, simple calls to songs that are surprisingly long and complex. Sometimes birds such as the green woodpecker use different instruments or, like the American woodpecker, use special feathers to produce sound.

Birds also communicate through scents, although since their sense of smell is poor, their communication is based mainly on sound and sight. At times of poor visibility, as at night or in dense foliage, sound is most advantageous, and is also the ideal method for long-distance communication. If conditions are right, birdsong can be heard for up to a few kilometers.

In addition to song, birds also have conceptualization and communication skills. In certain circumstances, they demonstrate talents equivalent to those of children of primary-school age, learning series of words and other means of human communication through social interaction. When alone, these parrots play vocalization games and when in the company of people, they join vocalizations together to produce new assemblages from existing sequences of speech. God, the Creator of everything on Earth and in the skies, equips them with the talents and characteristics that set them apart. Accordingly, our praises for the supreme beauty of our environment is praise that belongs to God.

The Language of Calls and Songs

To call to one another, birds produce sounds of extremely high frequency and strength. Only a few species such as pelicans, storks, and certain vultures are mute and have no call. The acoustic calls used by birds amongst themselves form a language of sorts. Their songs, which are longer and generally related to courtship, consist of a series of notes and usually contain melodies.

Birdsong is usually heard in spring, whereas the calls, much simpler than songs, are used by both sexes and heard throughout the year. Birdcalls allow swift communication via simple messages without a great expenditure of energy. (8) These calls’ main functions can be listed as follows:

- To establish a bird’s species

- To indicate its bird’s gender

- To reveal its location

- To demarcate and defend its territory

- To announce and advertise a source of food

- To let young birds recognize their own parents

- To keep the flock together when traveling

- To warn of the presence of an enemy

- To intimidate an enemy

- For courtship

To mark the changeover of responsibility for nesting duties such as incubating or feeding

To practice and perfect their songs

Bird Sounds Are Not Haphazard

Usually, birdsong is not composed of randomly produced sounds. Songs are exceptionally diverse melodies of specific meaning, sung for a purpose, and are much more complex than the calls used for signaling. They are generally used by males to advertise and defend a territory, or in courtship. It is also believed that songs serve a social function. When a pair is building their nest, they also establish communication by song. Experiments on caged birds have also demonstrated that birds find it easier to learn songs if another bird is present, but out of sight, in another cage. (9)

Male and female songbirds have different brain structures, particularly in the regions related to sound production. With many songbird species, the males can sing, but the females cannot. The males use “song” to call their mates or designate a tree, pole, or electrical cable as a place to perch. Each species sings a song with its own characteristics, but any given species’ songs display variations according to age, sex, particular time of year, and geographical location-appropriate for the environment in which they live. For example, birds that live in meadows use “songs of flight.” Similarly, ones that live in the dense foliage of rain forests or reed thickets have loud voices to compensate for reduced visibility.

God’s Miracle of Inspiration

As we have explained, birds employ the most suitable methods of communication for their habitats and objectives. There is no question of every bird being able to know which song it should sing under which circumstances, or to calculate on its own the meaning and purpose of the song it will sing. According to the Darwinist way of thinking, however, all the birds and other living creatures that we see around us, , all the abilities that they exhibit and all the beauty that they display, are the products of blind chance. Yet obviously, the consciousness and design that pervade life and living things at every moment cannot be explained in terms of a series of mere coincidences.

Living things devoid of reason and judgment can exhibit such behavior because such intelligence and consideration of the future are inspired in them by God. God creates every living thing with the characteristics it requires and inspires its appropriately intelligent behavior. All living things perform only those functions that God inspires in them, serving as a means whereby we are able to witness His might. In one verse of the Qur’an, God reveals:

Do you not see that everyone in the heavens and Earth glorifies God, as do the birds with their outspread wings? Each one knows its prayer and glorification. God knows what they do. (Qur’an, 24:41)

References:

1- http://instruct1.cit.cornell.edu/courses/bionb424/students/mdr17/neurophysiology.htm

2- http://www.earthlife.net/birds/hearing.html

3- http://www.earthlife.net/birds/hearing.html

4- Theodore Xenophon Barber, Ph. d., The Human Nature of Birds, USA, 1993, p. 36.

5- Ibid., p. 37.

6- Ibid., , p. 34.

7- Lesley J. Rogers & Gisela Kaplan, Songs, Roars and Rituals: Communication In Birds, Mammals and Other Animals, USA, 2000, pp. 78-79.

8- http://whalonlab.msu.edu/Student_ Webpages/Bird_song/page

9- http://whalonlab.msu.edu/Student_ Webpages/Bird_song/page

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, HARUN YAHYA

Born in Ankara in 1956, Adnan Oktar writes his books under the pen name of Harun Yahya. Ever since his university years, he has dedicated his life to telling of the existence and oneness of Almighty Allah, and to disseminating the moral values of the Qur’an. He has never wavered in the face of difficulties and despite oppression, still continues this intellectual struggle today exhibiting great patience and determination. For mor information pls visit: http://www.harunyahya.com/theauthor.php

Birds Sanctuary in Kerala

You can watch a wide variety of beautiful exotic birds at the bird’s sanctuaries of Kerala. Birds sanctuaries of Kerala have excellent moist deciduous teak forests and marshes dominated by bamboo and other grasses, most favourable environ for aerial population in India. These forests are also said to be amongst the most extensively forested belts in the Indian Peninsula housing some of the most desired homes of migratory birds in Kerala. On the travel vacations to Kerala the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, and Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary offers some of the excellent photography options.

Kerala Birds Sanctuaries

The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary (also commonly known as the Thattekad Sanctuary) is located in the Kothamangalam Taluk of Ernakulam district on the northern bank of the Periyar River. The sanctuary was notified in 1983 based on a recommendation made by Dr. Salim Ali many years previously. Ali described Thattekad in the 1930’s as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India, comparable only with the eastern Himalayas. The reserve boasts of a variety of migratory and resident bird species, including the rare Ceylon frogmouth and the rose-billed roller.

The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary lies 12km from Kottayam bordering the Vembanad Lake, and spread over 14 acres of land. This famous sanctuary is a haunt for migratory birds like darters, egrets, herons, teals, waterfowls, cuckoos and wild ducks amongst others. One can even get a glimpse of the Siberian storks that migrate to this place almost every year.

The Kumarakom bird sanctuary, an ornithologist’s paradise, is a favourite haunt of migratory birds like the siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. Other common varieties like the woodpecker, skylark, crane, water hen and parrots can also be spotted here. A cruise along the Vembabad Lake is the best way to experience the sanctuary. Pathiramanal, an enchanting island on the lake, can be accessed by boat from here.

People seeking the thrill of exploring the natural beauty and its habitants in India will get the enchanting pleasure and enthusiasm from the bird’s sanctuaries of Kerala.

While tour through the bird’s sanctuaries of Kerala you come across rare species of birds. Birds are everywhere-a paradise of birds. The bird’s are gifted by the mother nature with various colours the bird species are making the bird sanctuary a multi-hued heaven, beside, the shrill voices of the birds are adding more liveliness to the park’s atmosphere.

The acrobatic skills of birds, eye catching migratory birds and after all the euphony of birds every morning and evening in the green patch of Kerala is joyful.

The Birds of Kumarakom Sanctuary

The sanctuary is a home to most of the avian species. Some of these permanently live and dwell here while there are other species of birds that migrate here from far off continents. Migratory birds which visit the sanctuary every year are Siberian Cranes, Indian Peafowl, Egrets, Darters, Herons, Parrots, Larks, Flycatchers, Wood Beetles and Teals. Resident bird species include Waterfowls, Cuckoos, Owls, Egrets, Herons and the water duck.

The Birds of Thattekkad Sanctuary

Rare birds like the Crimson-Throated Barbet, Bee-eater, Sunbird, Shrike, Black winged Kite, Grey Heron and the Night Heron are also commonly sighted. Indian roller, cuckoo, common snipe, crow pheasant, jungle nightjar, kite, grey drongo, Malabar trogon, woodpecker, large pied wagtail, baya sparrow, grey jungle fowl, Indian hill myna, robin bird, jungle babbler and darter are some of the common birds found here. There are a few rare birds as well which include: sunbird, shrike, fairy blue-bird, grey-headed fishing eagle, blackwinged kite etc.

Dev Sri invites you to try adventure tours of Kerala. With Adventure Kerala, you will enjoy adventure sports like mountaineering, rapelling, rock climbing, river crossing, and a whole lot of adventure activities.

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Humming Birds – Raising Pets in Their Natural State

Pets are not always that are kept in a cage or locked in your place and adore it. They are some times left free or natural in state and still referred as pets, just like humming birds.

Humming birds come in all colors of the rainbow. A special feature of humming bird which attracted many people is that the color of the humming bird feathers change in sun light. Fortunately, people today have recognized that the feathers look great on the bird, rather than separating them from the bird.

In broad-spectrum, wild humming birds are not good pets, because these birds need a specialized diet and when not fed properly they get sick and die soon. A humming bird has very high metabolism rate.

They eat much food and need 3.14 to 7.6 calories per day. When compared with human’s metabolism, the bird’s metabolism rate is 77 times higher. A humming bird can digest a big fruit in just 10 minutes.

Humming birds prefer to live in large territories, which do not have any limits, where they can use their specialized flying techniques for finding food and mates for company. All these are impossible to provide in a small cage.

How to attract humming birds and maintain them as pets?

You do not need any big set up to attract humming birds; all you need is a garden full of flowers and a humming bird feeder (which attracts wild birds).

There is nothing more relaxing than having a sight of humming birds flying in your garden. Rather than shrubs, plants that bear flowers attract hummingbirds, as they drink nectar from the flowers.

Azalea, Butterfly Bush, Cape Honeysuckle, Manzanita, Mimosa, Red Buckeye, Coral Honey Suckle, Cypress Vine, Morning Glory, Trumpet Creeper, Bee Balm, Cardinal Flower, Columbine, Coral Bells, Four O’ Clock, Hummingbird Mint, Penstemon, Yucca, Fuchsia, Jewelweed, Petunia and Shrimp Plant attract humming birds to your garden.

It is a myth that hummingbirds are only attracted to red colored flowers. Humming birds apart from red colored flowers attracts to other colored flowers and light colored flowers.

Do not spray pesticides to kill the insects on the flowers. These pesticides can also harm your humming birds because these birds also feed on insects. So, stop bothering about insects that will spoil your plants and flowers. Humming bird will help in removing all the insects from the plant.

Bird feeders:

Usually the hummingbirds are not fed in bird feeders; they can search their food which is sufficient for their appetite. But, in winter, there is lack of food as the flowers shed and bird feeders are necessary to help feeding the birds.

Selecting a proper bird feeder is important. Primary need of a bird feeder is that should be in red color. Providing red color bird feeder will initially attract the birds and once they are used to the bird feeder, the feeder can be in any color. Some times, they can also be hung or kept in between flowers to recognize food source.

The main source of food that is provided in the feeder is nectar and even seeds can also be provided some times. Never use honey or artificial sweeteners in the feeder.

Honey is different from nectar, nectar is pure form obtained from the flowers and honey is fermented form with added sweetness.

Tips for caring bird feeder:

• Feeder should be cleaned every time before it gets refilled.

• Nectar should be changed for every 3-4 days.

• Never use harsh cleaning agents to clean your humming bird feeder.

• Rinse with hot water every time you change the nectar.

• Do not fill nectar in the feeder to its neck, maintain some space. Half fill the feeder, as the birds will not drink all the nectar and satisfy their hunger. Keep in mind that humming birds love to search food.

• If ants find your bird feeder, steps should be taken to control them. Ant moat is a small plastic cup that keeps ants away from the bird feeder.

If the birds find your plants interesting or your bird feeder interesting, they will visit again and again. Maintain a clean and hygienic garden and bird feeder to attract humming bird. Visit Pets Central Blog

The Pets Central blog helps you learn everything you need to know about pets. Know more about various tips for raising pets like dogs, cats, birds, fish, and other pets like rabbit, monkey, etc. Visit http://www.thepetscentral.com

How to Attract More Birds to Your Backyard and Birdhouses

If you have already put up some birdhouses in your own backyard, you are probably wondering how you are going to attract and get more birds to come and visit your birdhouses. This article provides some ideas that you can easily implement to attract more birds to your backyard and your birdhouses.


First, as with humans, food is always a popular way to attract birds to your birdhouses and your backyard. You can provide different kinds of food to cater to different types of species of birds. Some of these food include nectars, small insects, fruits, nuts and seeds. In addition to these food sources, you should also always provide fresh water to the visiting birds. Bird baths and small ponds are some good ways to provide the visting birds with water.


The fastest way to a bird’s heart is through its stomach. By providing food and water to the birds, you are performing bird feeding. Bird feeding is also a great way to observe different species of birds and their respective unique characteristics. Bird feeding is particularly important to birds because it provides them with a source of food and water during periods when food and water are scarce such as winter time. However, bird feeding can be done all year round as it supplements the visiting birds with their food needs. As such, its a great way to attract more birds to your birdhouses and backyard.


So how can you use this knowledge to attract more birds to your birdhouses and backyard ? For one, you can choose a safer spot in your backyard and set up a simple feeding station. The spot you choose should preferably be away from predators. You can take some precautionary measures to make the chosen spot safer like installing a ultrasonic cat deterrant and making sure there are no food near the spot so as to avoid attracting hungry animals. You can encourage birds to visit your feeding station by placing bird food in different areas around the feeding station. You can then vary the distance and shorten it as time goes by.


As mentioned, you don’t have to build or buy an elaborated feeding station. The most important factor that your feeding station should have is the ease in which you can maintain it. It should be easy to refill, it should display the food prominently to birds, it should also hold a reasonable amount of food so you do not have to keep topping it up with food and finally it should be able to hold more then one bird at one time. Some of the simple feeding station you can consider buying would be the tube-feeder in which the seeds stay dry and its design prevents spillage of food or you can choose the hopper type of bird feeders which dispenses food automatically when they are needed.


As for water, it is essential if you want to attract more birds to your birdhouses. You should note that different species of birds have different requirements of how deep they like their water source to be. For example, some species of birds like small puddles while other birds like bird baths that are relatively deep. Providing various depths of water will attract different species of birds. However, do take note that your water depth should not be more then 2 inches deep as some birds may drown and do not choose a bird bath with an elaborated and striking pattern or design at the bottom of the bath as it may confuse the birds and discourage them from using the bird bath.


Besides all the points mentioned above, you should also keep in mind the number one factor that influences the attractiveness of your birdhouse to visiting birds. What’s the number one factor that people always don’t take note ? Its the safety of your birdhouses to the visiting birds. If you are attracting a certain kind of species of bird, customize the entrance opening hole of the birdhouse to suit just the species of bird you want to attract. Removable of birdhouse perches and the reduction of backyard predators also play a big part in making your birdhouse safer and more attractive to birds.

Alvin is a avid bird watcher and likes to build birdhouses and collect decorative birdhouses for himself and for gifts.

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