Saturday, May 5, 2012

"Every Little Swallow, Every Chickadee, Every Little Bird in the Tall Oak Tree . . ."

Psalm 55:6
I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest."

At Sunday morning rehearsal before the contemporary service, our bass player, Rob, shows us his newest app on his phone.

"Look what I got for only 99 cents!"  He says, beaming.

We are not surprised to see it is an Audubon Guide to Birds.  Rob is an avid bird watcher and has loved this hobby since he was a young boy.

While my husband, Danny, and I have a bird feeder in our yard and love to watch our feathered friends, we are far from experts.  We rely on Rob whenever we have questions about a species, a particular bird song, or mating/nesting routines.

I ask him, "Why are the birds tearing through the bird seed these days?  It seems like I'm refilling the feeder every time I turn around."

"That's because it's nesting time," says Rob.  "Lots of activity and lots of eating."

"So," Danny chimes in, "I take it it's too early to plug up the two holes on the side and back of our house where I see birds flying in and out?"

"Absolutely!  That's what happens when you have a cedar-sided home in the middle of the woods and maintain a bird feeder.  Comes with the territory."

Rob is surely right about that!

For two years running, we host a family of nuthatches under our bedroom window.  Danny plugs up the hole the following autumn.  It remains secure.

But, the birds are clever.  And, very resourceful.

Early in the spring, two sets of nuthatches manage to locate soft spots in the wood of our home.  We hear the furious tap-tap-tapping.  Persistent.  And, loud for such a small bird.

I suppose they think they've found Motel 6 and we've left the light on for them!

And, though it will be a nuisance for Danny to have to seal up two more holes, we enjoy watching these comical, chattering nuthatches swoop in and out.  Tending to their young.

Who will grow up all too soon.

And, fly far, far away.  To establish their own territories.

To rest in a new home.
~
Are you a bird watcher?  If so, do you have a favorite bird?

Will you pray with me?
We give thanks today, Father, for the wonder and variety of birds You have created.   What a joy it is to be greeted by their beautiful songs each morning.  To see them feeding.  To watch them in flight.  May they ever remind us of the miracle that is Your creation.  Amen.


Readings
Psalms 55 or 138, 139:1-17 (18-23)
Exodus 40:18-38
1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
Matthew 5:38-48

 

24 comments:

  1. Martha I'm so glad you and Danny have allowed the birds to return and undoubtedly they're grateful as well. I enjoy watching birds and have bird feeders hanging on the pine trees for them...Seems the robin and cardinal numbers are strong this year as more than usual have been seen. They're so beautiful to look at!! Downtown baby wrens steal my heart and I usually give them the fearless creatures scraps of bagels and muffins. Mockingbirds are very territorial and swoop down to protect their space so I'm no t a fan of them. Well I'm off to feed the wrens...Have a nice day!!

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  2. Thanks for stopping by, David!
    Glad to know you are a big bird fan, too. We have also been seeing quite a few cardinals and robins; not sure why. But, since we live in the woods, don't see any mockingbirds. :)
    Blessings to you!

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  3. Oh Martha, watching birds is one of my favorite things. In Florida there are so many different species. I have learned a lot from the bird world.
    My favorite is the cardinal because it was my mother's favorite. I love the female with her bright orange lips. I also love the eagles and hawks, although the other birds fear them.
    I can hear the birds now, singing outside my window. The doves are hoot hooing and the mockingbirds are stirring up a morning conversation.
    Thank you for making me stop and think of the birds. Another of God's creation that amazes me.
    Love!

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping in today, Leah!
      I'm glad that you, too, share a love for birds. They are fascinating, aren't they?
      While we don't have eagles :(, we are graced by a pair of red-shouldered hawks who live in our forest. Saw one of them just the other day fly over with a mouse in its talons. Talk about your National Geographic moment!
      Blessings to you!

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  4. No, not really. I am a fan of hummingbirds and here in Japan I've seen some very pretty birds, especially little ones in the winter, not sure what they are though.

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping by today, RoseAnn!
      I love hummingbirds, too, but we rarely see them here as we have woods and not enough colorful flowers to attract them.
      Let me know if you find out the name of that little Japanese bird - maybe, you could get a photo. :)
      Blessings to you!

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  5. Now that my daughter is interested in photography, we seem to be observing a lot of birds and their activities...learning their names and their calls....

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Janaki!
      Oh, I think that's great that your daughter has taken up photography and you are both following birds. They can be difficult to photograph as they move so quickly, but they are always well worth the attempt!
      Blessings to you!

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  6. I LOVE bird-watching, and now my children do too. I've seen a pileated woodpecker twice, when we lived more ruraly, and just yesterday I saw rufous-sided towhees (who make a lot of noise in the leaves on the ground), blue-jays, cardinals, tufted tit-mice, and the goldfinches are starting to come again! Also a red-breasted woodpecker family is living in our back yard (close to our suet feeders), and chickadees in one of our birdhouses. Never too many birds!! Thanks for you lovely post, Martha!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jimi Ann!
      Wow! You certainly DO have a diverse bevy of birds in your yard. :) We are blessed to have a pair of pileateds living in our woods. My husband has tried to photograph them and has succeeded in getting one really great shot. They hardly ever sit still!
      Glad you enjoyed today's post!
      Blessings to you!

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  7. I love birds, all kind of birds. I feel them fragile but so beautiful and FREE

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Nikky!
      The variety and beauty and grace of birds never ceases to amaze me. And, yes, they are the epitome of freedom when they fly!
      Blessings to you!

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  8. When I was a girl, I loved to bird watch. I had binoculars and a bird book, and I would go to the park nearby and walk around for hours. How, I have some feeders outside the window where I am usually working on the computer. I don't know what birds are coming, but I like to watch them. And I have inside birds, too, a canary and four finches, that keep my house full of song all day.

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping in today, Galen!
      Oh, wow, you most certainly are a bird person!
      My mother used to watch birds and that's how I learned what I know about them. Our feeder, too, sits, not where I can see it from my computer, but I make a point of looking at it on my break time from writing.
      I'm sure your canary and finches keep everyone's spirits up with their lovely songs!
      Blessings to you!

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  9. I hope you won't judge me as superficial, but the truth is I've always admired a little 'bling' when it comes to fashion, and that pertains to birds, too! Therefore my favorites are cardinals, blue-jays, yellow finches, peacocks... ;-)

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    1. Oh, I love me some bling in birds, too! We are fortunate to have cardinals here, but no blue-jays who like more grassy areas. I still remember visiting a monastery (yes, really!) and the monks kept peacocks. What grand and glorious birds! Wonderful reminders of God's glory and grace in His creation.
      Blessings to you, Linda, and thanks for coming by today!

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  10. My dear Martha,
    Isn't it sad when people give credit to the creation before the Creator? Great post and yes, beautiful picture of the bird. Thank you for sharing this with us my friend.

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    1. Andy, you have struck the nail on the head here. We all need to realize that all we see and experience are gifts from our loving, constantly creating God. May we ever give thanks and praise!
      Blessings to you and thanks so much for dropping in today!

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  11. This was a wonderful post! I have come to appreciate the song of birds and watching them in flight or preening from a branch above. I love all birds but feel a certain awe at the sight of a hawk, or an owl when it's nearing dusk time and I'm out on the trail. Or there's the woodpecker, black with contrasting white and a radiant crimson adoring the top of his head. Birds are great!

    ~Blessings

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    1. Thanks, Jessica, for stopping by - so glad you enjoyed this post!
      Oh, I love the hawks that live in our woods and, when I happen to be up before the sun (usually in fall/winter) I relish the "hoot-hoot" of the owl celebrating her night of feasting. And, it sounds like the woodpecker you are describing is the Pileated? It looks like good ol' Woody Woodpecker.
      Yes, birds are the best and great reminders of the grand scheme of God's creation.
      Blessings to you!

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  12. We have pigeons on our terrace and though they dirty the place it is a pleasure to watch them every morning. But there are crows too who steal their young so often and there is nothing really we can do about it. I guess that is nature taking its natural course. It is so kind and wonderful of you all to give shelter to these birds in your home Martha. Sometimes I watch this pair of woodpeckers that come near our coconut trees ans peck away the whole day. They make perfect circles that will put an artist to shame. LOL! Lovely reading your posts,Martha

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    1. Thank you so much for dropping by today, Rimly!
      It sounds like quite the menagerie where you live! Like those crows who take the young, we have hawks - I saw one take down a mourning dove on Christmas morning. :( But, everything must eat to live; it's just the way this world is made.
      So glad you enjoyed the post!
      Blessings to you!

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  13. Oh I wish I have more time like I used to in order to watch birds. But my window's next to a tree so I could hear them chirping every morning :) and that makes me aware of their presence. These birds are called Maya. I birdwatch when Jim B posts images in his blog :)

    Oh I'm glad that you allowed these young birds to make a temporary home on your roof LOL. When I was in S. Africa, they made their nest at the washing machine's tube ~ water outlet, so we have to find them a new home otherwise they'll drown when the water comes out...

    I also remember when I was in the missionary house, we tried feeding the birds that came to our lawn and the superior said, "Let them find their own food... you'll make them dependent of you, if you begin feeding them..." Very wise :)

    I pray with you remembering Jesus when He said, 'Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?' (Mt.6,26)May our trust grow more each day because we are very precious in God's eyes.

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    1. Melissa, I so look forward to seeing your always lovely and thoughtful comments here. Please know how much I appreciate the time you take to converse with me!
      You must have some magnificent species of birds in the Philippines - so tropical and exotic! I hope your day will come when you can spend time truly watching them and not depending on Jim's gorgeous photography to see the birds.
      And, your superior was very wise, indeed. Once you start feeding wild birds, they, like people, become dependent upon it. I have to watch the feeder all the time. Today, when I went to fill it, I was "scolded" by some rather brash chickadees who were hungry! :)
      And, what a wonderful scripture you have closed with here - one of my favorite verses as it reminds me how much God cares for us and His creation.
      Blessings to you always, my friend!

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