This will be my last post for 2018, and with it comes a sincere blessing to all my blog followers for a joyful, enjoyable and thankful Christmas experience. This is a special post unlike any others, for here I share my own personal experience of how one Christmas day became so important to the rest of my life. I have featured both the Rufous and Golden Whistlers in this post as examples of joy and thanksgiving since these two birds can be heard singing their hearts out non stop at this time of year bringing our bush alive with their joyful song. The Golden Whistler is featured in my book for this reason. Last weekend while in Wagga Wagga I took a short trip out to The Rock Nature Reserve, which Sue Taylor raved about in her book 100 Best Birdwatching Sites in Australia, but which we find disappointing each visit. My main goal here was to catch a glimpse of the Red-capped Robin, which I long to see, but alas as a storm moved in the only bird I heard was several persistent Rufous Whistler. The drought has caused many birds to desert this area for want of food and water.
But for their different colored chests (which give them their name) they look and sound similar. They are heard most only in the Spring and Summer while they chase mates and nest. Endemic to Australia, the Golden species is found mainly along the humid east coast of Australia, SW WA and Lord Howe Island. The Rufous is found all over Australia mainland and is more often seen in the dryer open woodland west of the ranges. Recent scientific research has discovered that many song birds sing so joyfully and with full on vigor for the pure delight of doing so, because it has an endorphin release in the brain that gives them a feel good feeling. Rejoicing and being thankful has a very positive and life giving effect in humans as in birds. This Christmas is a time for us all to take heed of these little songsters, and realize the health and social benefits of having a joyful spirit. It actually builds up our immune system and helps keep us healthy.
Listen to the several different calls of the Rufous Whistler…
In this video clip you will see (slightly out of focus) one of the amazing abilities of the Rufous Whistler with this repetitive call. All bird sing their most and best as sun rises and sun sets. Birders know this as the Morning and Evening Chorus. If you want to see and hear a bird joyfully communicating with its mates and thankfully enjoying its breakfast after a long sleep, morning is best. Then just as sun starts to set again they excitedly call and have their last feed for the day before finding their roost, usually moving to the top of the highest trees as the suns light diminishes.
As I explained in a previous blog post at the commencement of our Spring, the sound of the Golden Whistler is one such call that tells me here in Sydney’s Royal National Park that Spring has arrived and the Whistler is seeking a mate and/or nesting his mate. Note that I have only shown photos of the males, as they are main whistlers, they do communicate with each other as they foragein a similar way to the Whipbird.
Listen to the song of the Golden Whistler, it also varies at intervals…
Again they call with such enthusiasm…
My last meditation for the year is in the form of my own personal testimony to how one Christmas at the age of 16 my life took a new journey. If you take the time to read it, it may encourage you to discover the joy I did and like the Whistlers…
“Shout out praises to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with joy!
Enter his presence with joyful singing!
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us and we belong to him;” – Psalm 100: 1-5 (NET)
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7 (NET)
This is the true joy of having the indwelling Holy Spirit of Jesus who keeps us joyful in his peace and love even through the difficult times of life. Jesus is the reason for the season, so why not look him up if you have not done so already. Check out my Birder Sanctuary page for more spiritual encouragement and direction. As I shared in my AboutUs page, my wife and I are not religious we are grace and faith people who have come to believe in Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life.
You can still purchase my book as a great Christmas gift for a grandchild or child on my BirdBook page.
NOTE: All photos, videos and music used on this website are photographed, composed, performed by the site owner and remains his copyrighted property, unless otherwise stated. The use of any material that is not original material of the site owner is duly acknowledged as such. © W. A. Hewson 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018