“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord
of hosts, in that day when I
make up MY JEWELS.”
To my dear grandchildren
Birds of Paradise
Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field,
and every fowl of the air.”
There are more that 40 species of birds of paradise. Each is so outstandingly beautiful that when the explorer Magellan first took some back to Spain, the people said they were so dazzling that these birds could only have come from paradise. And so that’s how they got their name.
It takes the male five or six years to get his mature plumage, but once he has it, the use of his feathers in courting a female companion is very important to him. The female does not have the beautiful colours. This is a wise provision of the Creator, because in her dull colours she is not easily spotted by enemies that would like to catch her or her eggs.
Birds of paradise live from sea level up to 6000 feet above sea level in New Guinea, Australia and a few South Sea islands. The males have the most brilliant and extraordinary plumage of any bird in the world. Usually these birds nest in trees, often near the very top, and generally lay one to three spotted, white eggs. When these hatch out, they become the full responsibility of the female, as by then the male bird has flown away to find another companion. Only on rare occasions does a male help a little in feeding the young ones. This behaviour may seem disappointing to many of us since we appreciate it when both parents share responsibilities and are loyal to each other.
The diet of these birds includes fruit, berries, seeds, insects, frogs and reptiles. These birds have stout bodies and are heavy-billed, and without the long plumes and “wires,” they vary from the size of a robin to that of a crow.
Noted for their loud, clear calls that can be heard for quite a distance, as well as their beautiful colouring, the different species have been given a wide variety of plumage. Some have a pair of wire-like tendrils anchored to their backs and extending out in unusual ways two or three feet past their tails. Also, beneath the wings of some are long, delicate plumes in contrasting colours or sometimes in pure white. These can be raised and spread out like a cape over their bodies.
All plainly show the pleasure of the Lord God in creating so many beautiful varieties of these birds, as well as uncountable others that have obeyed His command and multiplied throughout the entire earth. There are many of these birds that have never been seen by man, but the eye of their Creator is always on them.
Love you all