Monday, March 21, 2016

Jewel # 243 (March 20, 2016)

“And they shall be mine, saith the Lordof hosts, in that day when I make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren

An Unusual Nest Builder

"Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head.”
(Luke 9:58)

An unusual bird found in Africa and in Europe is the Cape Penduline tit.  It is about the size of a sparrow, but with a much longer tail.  It is not a colourful bird, but it has a few scarlet and yellow feathers by which it can be identified.

These little acrobats hang upside down on swinging leaves and swaying branches when looking for insects, seeds and berries.  They travel in groups of 10 to 20, constantly calling back and forth with low, pretty whistles.

An outstanding feature of this bird is its elongated nest, a bag-like, waterproof nest suspended from a branch.  The male usually starts to build the nest, weaving hoops of grass and fibres to form its basic shape.  Soon his mate joins him, and sometimes others come to help.  After the framework is completed, the bottom, walls and top are finished.  Finally, soft, fluffy materials and feathers are woven in for a soft, comfortable lining.

The entrance to this nest is most interesting.  Two-thirds of the way up the side, a large opening is made on one side.  It looks like an entrance, but it actually leads into an empty chamber, walled off all by itself.  However, it serves a purpose.

When the parent bird returns with food, it flies directly into this empty chamber, settles to the bottom, then cautiously looks out to make sure no enemy is around.  Satisfied that it is safe, it reaches up with its beak, tugs gently on a concealed section, and another opening appears into which it enters.  This is the true entrance that leads down to where the baby birds are housed.  The trap door closes by itself after the parent bird enters.  A clever use of spider webs and silk from caterpillar nests makes a flexible hinge on this trap door, keeping it shut when not in use.  When leaving the nest, the bird goes through the same routine, hopping into the big opening before flying off.

When the baby birds grown up, they will also make identical nests and without having any lessons.  How have they learned this?  You may already know the answer — the Lord God provided these abilities and instincts when He created them.  And these are passed on from one generation to another.  No lessons are necessary!

Hebrews 4:13 tells us that God watches over them at all times: “Neither is there any creature that is not visible in His sight.”  And since you are one of His special creatures, He is watching you and knows everything you do and think.  How good to make the prayer of David your prayer also:

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in 
Thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer.” 
(Psalm 19:14).  

Love you all,
Grandpa

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