Saturday, January 30, 2016

Jewel # 238 (January 27, 2016)


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

To my dear grandchildren,

The Lovely Avocet

“Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, 
and every fowl of the air.”
(Genesis 2:19)

There are four species of the pretty bird called the avocet, and all are quite similar except for colouring.  One of these is the American avocet.  It migrates north in spring to the Arctic and returns south to Canada and the United States in fall.  This long-legged, web-footed, 18 inch resident of marshes and ponds is called a “wader,” because much of its time is spent wading as it hunts for food.

Beautiful colour combinations mark the American species.  They are black and white above with white below.  Smooth feathers of its neck, head and breast are set off with a small, white circle around each dark eye.  It has a larger circle at the base of its long, up-curved, slender, black bill.  Below the breast the body is pure white, partly covered with black wings.  Long, slender, strong legs and extra large, partially webbed feet complete the picture.  In flight, it trails its legs behind like a rudder.

When choosing a mate, the male, while wading in water, entertains a female sitting on the ground.  She may encourage him with motions of her head and wings.  He struts gracefully through shallow water, stopping now and then to bow to her.  The he spreads his wings wide and shows her how gracefully he can dance.  If she responds to all this, they soon begin to build a crude nest on the ground.

The female lays three or four spotted eggs which will hatch in three or four weeks.  The male incubates them for a week or more and then turns the rest of the job over to the female.  If an enemy threatens her, he is close by and immediately comes to her assistance.

The baby chicks can run around soon after hatching.  If the parents warn them to be still, they freeze immediately and stay that way, even permitting a person to pick them up.

The Creator has provided these birds with long, flat, up-curved bills to enable them to find food from the marshy areas.  They use their bills to scrap along the bottom for shellfish and worms.  They also swing their open bills back and forth just above the surface of the water to catch hovering insects.

The opening verse tells of the Creator’s bringing all birds and beasts into the world, and we know He took great pleasure in all He created.  More importantly, we are also told of His special love for each one of us.  He wants each of us to accept the Lord Jesus as Saviour—the One who died on the cross, providing the only way to heaven.

If you have not yet come to Him, why not come right now?  “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).  

I love you all

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