Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Jewel # 214 (May 2, 2015)

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

To my dear grandchildren,

The Great Bustard

“God . . . made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is the Lord of heaven and earth . . . and gives to all life, and breath, and all things.”
(Acts 17:24-25)

The bustard is a large game bird found mostly in Europe and in warm parts of Asia.  Spain and Portugal have about 60% of the world’s bustard population.  Although there are about 22 species, the great bustard is best known.  The male weighs about 25 pounds, stand 3 to 4 feet high, and has a 5-foot 7 inch wingspan. Its small head has a razor-sharp beak, and it sometimes bites people causing severe pain.  Male bustards are the heaviest flying birds on earth.

Another  bustard, called the Kori, is interesting because it almost always has a beautiful bee-eater bird perched on its back.  From this viewpoint, the bee-eater bird can see bees and other insects which are disturbed by the kori’s feet as it walks through the tall grass. The bee-eater then quickly swoops down to catch its meal.

All bustards are shy, wary and difficult to approach.  They prefer living on open plains where their sharp eyes can quickly spot motion.  The great bustard, with its long legs and three-toed feet, is a fast runner.  Although it can fly, it prefers to run from danger or hide in tall grass.

These strange birds have no song.  Instead, they bark, grunt, hiss or make a whistling sound.  When searching for food, they may wander several miles in a day.  However, they have no trouble finding enough food as they eat plants, insects, lizards, frogs and small snakes.

When seeking a mate, the male stands atop a mound of dirt and makes a show of his feathers by turning up its tail and spreading his large wings over his back.  At the same time, he lays his head between his shoulders and puffs up a pouch on his neck so that only the top of his head shows.

This is a pretty display, and an impressed female soon joins him.  Together they make a one-foot hole in the ground for a nest.  The female lays two or three speckled greenish eggs, and in three weeks the chicks hatch.  The young birds often eat too much and look quite funny, wobbling around on legs that are not yet strong enough to carry the extra load.  

It is not known what special purpose this unusual bird serves, but it pleased the Lord God to create it, and so it fulfills a part in the balance of His entire creation.  In addition, we know He does not neglect it, for the Bible tells us, “In whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10).

This verse reminds us of God's goodness to each of us personally.  Our response to His goodness should be, “O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever” (Psalm 107:1).   

Love you all,
Grandpa  

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