They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts,
in that day when I make
up MY JEWELS.”
To my dear grandchildren,
“He sendeth the springs into the valleys. . . . By them shall the fowls of the heaven
have their habitation, which sing among the branches.”
There are about 75 species of barbets. All of these birds have colourful and strong bills, which make them look like miniature toucans. In relation to their size these birds have large heads and short tails. The smallest variety is about 3 inches long, and the largest is close to 12 inches. They are tropical birds and do not migrate. They live in the forests of Africa, Central and South America and parts of the South Pacific.
All barbets are brightly coloured with some white and dark, and many bird watchers consider them the most beautiful of all birds. Each species bears a descriptive name, and we will look at two. One is called the crimson-fronted and lives in Asia. It is strictly a fruit eater and is especially frond of wild figs. It nests in a tree hole, laying 2-4 eggs.
Another is called the red and yellow, an African barbet. Males have red and yellow plumage with a black and white stripped tail. Females and young ones are less brightly coloured. These barbets nest and roost int tunnels. All other barbet are equally colourful and interesting.
The Creator has provided barbets with strong legs and feet having sharp claws, enabling them to climb and hold securely to the side of a tree, while feeding or digging a nest out of a decaying area of the trunk. Males and females work together, their large beaks pulling out the decayed wood. They make a nest with a small opening, but it is large enough inside for both them and their young, which usually number four. They are tidy housekeepers and promptly discard all unusable material from the nest.
The lives of most barbets are spent in the trees, and they seldom go to the ground. Resting after searching for insects, lizards, rodents and fruit, all of which they eat, they often sit on a branch for hours without moving. There they call back and forth to one another in sharp, ringing tones that have no real melody. It is amusing to hear their happy but discordant notes when a pair sits cozily side by side. Barbets are silent in winter.
These lovely birds remind us of the Lord’s pleasure in His creation. Psalm 111:4 says, “He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.” That gracious compassion is extended toward everything He has created, but it is especially extended to all the people of the earth. Jeremiah, one of the Bible prophets, wrote, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is His faithfulness. . . . Therefore will I hope in Him” (Lamentations 3:22-24).
Are you aware of the Lord’s loving compassion to you?
And have you received Him as your Saviour by faith?