Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Jewel # 215 (May 17, 2015)


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

Red-Tailed Hawks

To my dear grandchildren,

“Does the hawk fly by Thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?” 
(Job 39:26)

There are many species of hawks, most of them quite pretty in a variety of colours.  An outstanding one is called the red-tailed hawk because its tail is made up of beautiful red feathers, each with a black base and a pure white tip.  The rest of its body is pretty too, either tannish-brown, bluish-gray or soft white.  It is the most common hawk in North America, found in areas from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.  It is also found in Central Alaska and in Central America as well.  

Because this hawk is found in so many places, it has been given a variety of names, including red tailed hawk, chicken hawk (unjustly), squealing hawk, buzzard hawk and white-breasted hawk, but the official name is red-tailed.  It measures about two feet long from its bill to the tip of its tail.  When full grown and with wings outstretched, it measures about four feet across.  The female red-tailed hawks are bigger than males.

A red-tailed usually nests in open areas near trees where mice, rats, squirrels and moles abound.  It will perch perfectly still on a tree limb or fence post until one of these rodents is spotted.  Then swiftly and silently it swoops down and captures it, killing it instantly.  Its food also includes fish, rabbits, snakes, frogs, lizards and insects.

Besides hunting in wooded areas, these hawks often soar at great heights, making wide circles in the sky.  Suddenly a pair of sharp eyes spots a prey far below.  Then it dives silently at great speed and catches the prey in its sharp, curved talons.  This hawk usually travels at about 40 mph, but when diving after prey, its speed may increase to 120 mph or more.

Pairs of these birds stay together for life.  They often use the same nest year after year in the fork of a treetop.  Two or three eggs are usually laid during March or April, and both parents share in incubating them for about a month.  The young hawks learn to fly in a surprisingly short time and soon leave to be on their own.

An answer to the question asked in the opening Bible verse is given in Psalm 104:27: “These all wait upon Thee [the creator]; that Thou mayest give them their meat in due season.” 

When we think of all the birds and other creatures dependent on God, their Creator, for their needs, we are also reminded of His wonderful care over us.  The Lord Jesus tells us, “The very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value that many sparrows” (Matthew 10:30-31).     

Do you know the Creator as  your Saviour?  Can you say, “I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Thy wonders of old.  I will meditate also of all Thy work, and talk of Thy doings” (Psalm 77:11-12).?

Love you all

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