"And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up MY JEWELS."
The Ways of Woodpeckers
Thou hast made . . . the earth, and all things that are
therein . . . and Thou preservest them all."
Woodpeckers are pretty birds with barred or spotted black and white or brown and black feathers. Males may have red or yellow markings on their heads. Some, like the pileated and ivory-billed varieties, have beautiful tufts of feathers forming crowns on their heads.
Most of their hole drilling is to reach beetles, grubs and other insects inside tree trunks. They have an amazing ability to hear these insects chewing the wood, and a hole is drilled at that spot. The bird's tongue darts in to spear the insect.
Their tongues are one of the features setting these birds apart from other birds. While most have tongues attached in their mouths, woodpeckers have tongues attached to thin, flexible bones passing over the skull and coiling up behind it. God made them this way because a woodpecker needs to reach far back in the hole to catch the insect. If its tongue were attached to its mouth, it would not be long enough, so one that stretches out far was provided by a wise Creator. The tongues of woodpeckers are also specially designed in other ways. The flicker has a long, sticky tongue. Any ant, beetle or grub touched by it cannot escape. Other varieties have barbs on the end to pierce the insect and pull it out. The sapsucker drills most of its holes in just the outer layers of live trees. These holes form little wells where sweet sap collects. The end of its tongue has a brush, helping it to lap up the syrup.
The acorn woodpecker drills holes in trees, fence posts or utility poles and then stuffs one acorn in each hole. Often hundreds and even thousands of these storage "cupboards" are made to assure it has plenty to eat in winter.
Woodpeckers are very beneficial to mankind, eating millions of harmful insects. Without their help, many trees would die from the attacks of insects. Thus they are another example of God's ways of keeping a necessary balance among all things in His creation.
Where do you think these remarkable birds learned how to capture insects hidden inside tree trunks? Where did they receive the specially designed features of their bodies? The Creator gave these abilities and features to them when He placed them on the earth. The Bible reminds us, "in whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind" (Job 12:10).
This also reminds us that we share in His blessings too. We are responsible not only to enjoy them, but also to acknowledge that He is "the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6). He invites us to believe on Him, the only Saviour of sinners, for everlasting life. "He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life life" (John 5:24).
Do you have everlasting life?