Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Jewel # 242 (March 11, 2016)

“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 Pretty Plovers

“Out of the ground the Lord God formed . . .  every fowl of the air."
(Genesis 2:19)

There are many varieties of compact, ground birds know as plovers.  Many are shore birds, darting among the waves as they search for food churned up by the water.  They pick out pieces of oysters, clams and other bits of sea life. 

Plovers are found around the world.  Nine species spend all or part of the year in North America.  The most common is the killdeer, quickly identified by its loud, piercing “kill-dee, kill-dee” call as it flies.  It can be found in all of the states and in almost every province of Canada.

One feature of God’s remarkable care over plovers is the way He protects their eggs and young.  Their nests are scooped out of the sand or gravel and usually hold four eggs.  These eggs are spotted and so perfectly camouflaged that they are hard to distinguish from the pebbles around them.  

When the birds hatch, they are speckled with black and will “freeze” at the mother bird’s command, making them well hidden.  The parents are careful never to fly directly to or away from the nest.  Instead, they first walk away so anything watching cannot easily tell where the nest is.

Let’s take a closer look at the remarkable lesser golden plovers.  They nest in northern Canada and Alaska  from spring until fall.  In August or September, they fly in great numbers to Labrador.  From there they fly nonstop in V formation over 4000 miles to Brazil by way of Bermuda and the Caribbean Sea.  In March, they return across the Gulf of Mexico and up up the Mississippi Valley, back to their northern breeding grounds.

The Pacific golden plover is a foot-long bird with an even more amazing life.  Nesting in northern Alaska and Siberia, it flies to Hawaii in the fall, and then on to Malaysia, New Zealand and other Pacific islands.

The beginning of this journey to Hawaii requires a nonstop flight of over 2000 miles!  The adult birds take off first, leaving the young ones to follow later.  Doesn’t it seem impossible for these young birds to do this since they have never made the journey before, and Hawaii is just a pinpoint in the middle of the ocean?  

How do they low where to go and how to get there?  Once more, the answer is that God has given them instincts that never fail, generation after generation.  He tells them when to migrate and sends them safely to their destination.

These birds obey the will of the Lord, their Creator, and are an example of how we should also obey Him.  His Word, the Bible, has instructions for us at every age of our lives.  If we walk in His way, He will always bless us. 

I love you all,
Grandpa

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