Monday, July 18, 2016

Jewel # 254 (July 16, 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,

Birds of Paradise
(Part 2)

"I will praise Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will
show forth all Thy marvellous works.”
(Psalm 9:1)

In a previous article we commented on the beautifully coloured feathers, plumes and unusual features of the various species of birds of paradise.  The most outstanding feature that most have are two slender wires crossing each other as they extend beyond their tails.  Sometimes these curl to form a pair of circles or other shapes. On some birds there are 6 of these wires and on others 12.  These larger numbers of wires usually form small coils, resting snugly against the tails and not extending beyond.  Let’s look at a few of them.

One called Count Raggi’s has 12 wires.  He is bright yellow all over except for red feet and a bright green balloon-like head.  He is unusually active in winning a mate.  First he dances about on a tree limb to attract a female’s attention, then spreads his wings upward, and finally turns nearly upside down to make his feathers flash more brilliantly than ever.  If the female doesn’t respond, he repeats the performance for another one when he has the opportunity.

The king is also outstanding.  He is a brilliant red over his head and throat with a green band over his chest, dividing the red from a white underbody.  From his short, purple tail, two long wires extend with small balls of purple feathers on their ends.        

Another has the name King of Saxony and looks almost like a robin—with dark top feathers and an orange breast.  His distinctive feature is a pair of long, glossy plumes—one blue ad the other brown—extending from the back of his head beyond his tail by a distance of more than twice the length of his body.  The Creator has given him these pretty features rather than the wires most others display.

The Superb has a different arrangement.  An olive-green body and wide spreading tail contrast with his bright blue chest and short wings of the same colour.  He has no wires extending behind him.

The white-plumbed lacks the brilliant colours of the others but has a prominent display of long, fluffy, white plumes extending from his back.  He can raise these over his body to look like a most beautiful cape.

The beautiful feathers of these birds, as well as a wide variety of other birds, are possibly one of the greatest displays of God’s visible handiwork.  However, He has other beautiful designs in fish and and animal groupings.  In contrast, it is often the ordinary-coloured creatures that have the greatest skills and the most amazing ways of life.  They are all part of God’s creation, and we should think of Him and His wisdom when we have occasion to observe any of them.

Love you all

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