Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Jewel # 172 (April 23, 2014)

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“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts,
in that day when I make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

The Lovely Finches

“He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. . . .
By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation,
which sing among the branches.”
(Psalm 104:10,12)  

Finches live in all parts of the world except Australia.  Both Canada and the United States have great numbers of these small birds, with about one of every seven birds being a member of the finch family.

The finch most often seen in North America, the American goldfinch, is often called a wild canary.  This is because of its pretty yellow colouring that is so similar to the caged canaries people have as pets, and their chirping and songs sound just like the pet canaries too.  Actually, only the male is lemon yellow with a jet black cap, black wings and tail.  The female has a greenish-yellow body with black wings edged in white.  Both male and female are delightful little birds.

There are many other varieties of finches, since they are the largest family of birds.  One is the blue finch.  The male is bright blue with red and pink on its wings, while the female is plain brown on top and tan underneath.  The cactus finch, which makes its home in the Galapagos Islands, has the remarkable ability to move large stones to get at seeds and insects under them.  In Asia and Europe, birdwatchers love the little snow finches.  These are found mainly in the mountains.  They have pretty, light-blue heads, white throats and underparts, with brown and white wings.

Most finches have beautiful songs, especially when nesting.  They are primarily seedeaters and eat great quantities of weed seeds, with thistle seed being a favourite.  The Creator has given each variety sharp, pointed, cone-shaped bills, strong enough to crush seeds.  These birds, like chickens, have no teeth but swallow food whole.  Their gizzards, which contain grit, grind the food for digestion.  Crops in their throats store the undigested food for later use.

Females build cup-shaped nests so tightly woven that, if the parents don’t cover the nest during a rainstorm and rainwater gets in, the little chicks can sometimes drown.  The male’s responsibility is to keep his mate well fed while she is incubating the three to six eggs.

These birds are another example of the way the Creator has designed each creature for its way of life.  We may be sure, as our opening verse indicates, He not only delights in providing food and water for finches, but their lovely songs are pleasant to His ear as well.

Another Bible verse says, “All Thy works shall praise Thee, O Lord; and Thy saints shall bless Thee.  They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, and talk of thy power” (Psalm 145:10,11).  Does He hear your voice praising Him?

Love you all,
Grandpa    

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