Monday, March 31, 2014

Jewel # 170 (March 31, 2014)


To my dear grandchildren,

The Philippine Eagle

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;  
they shall mount up with wings as eagles.”
(Isaiah 40:31)

The Philippine eagle’s name identifies it with its Pacific homeland.  It is among the rarest and most powerful birds in the world.  It is critically endangered because of loss of habitat due to massive  deforestation.  It is also called the monkey-eating eagle and is now protected from hunters.  For many years they were killed, because many natives thought they kidnapped babies.

Perhaps this undeserved reputation came about many years ago when one of these eagles was seen carrying a small monkey to its nest, and the natives mistakenly thought it was a human baby!  Filipinos eventually were convinced that this could not possibly happen.  They have learned that this eagle’s food supply is mainly small animals, such as squirrels, snakes, bats, birds, the occasional monkey and even domestic animals.  Philippine eagles have no natural predators.

The Philippine eagle is large and powerful with a crest of bristly brown and white feathers surrounding its rather fierce-looking head.  Beneath its piercing eyes is a strong, blue, hooked beak.  This hooked beak is part of the Creator’s design to enable it to capture necessary food and to mercifully kill it quickly.  Sharp claws on strong feet are also part of this provision.

Its nest is always placed high in the tall kapok trees of the rain forests.  Just one egg is laid each year.  The female seldom leaves the nest during a two-month incubating period.  The male brings food to her, and occasionally he will help in the incubation.  After the eaglet hatches, both parents share in feeding it even after it learns to fly.  An eaglet is dependent on its parents for a long time.

The feathers of mature eagles form a pretty design when wings are outstretched and tail feathers extended.  Behind the white throat and neck feathers and out to the midsection of the wings they are mottled light brown, edged and flecked with white.  The remaining half of the wings is dark brown, but each feather is tipped with ivory white.  Long tail feathers are dark except for white tips.

The Bible speaks of eagles in many places, often referring to their strength and to the great heights to which they fly.  They are indeed an impressive part of God’s creation.  That holy book tells us that “the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).  But it is interesting that a promise in writing was given to the young people of Isaiah’s day (which is still a promise today), in which the Bible uses eagles as an example of God’s blessings to those who put their trust in Him (see our opening verse).  Without that trust, problems of life can be very troublesome, but God graciously helps His own people to overcome them.  Have you put your trust in Him?

Love you all.

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