Saturday, March 11, 2017

Jewel # 277 (March 10, 2017)

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“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

Water-Loving Ibis

“God created . . . every winged fowl after His kind:
and God saw that it was good.”
(Genesis 1:21)

Ibis are among the world’s largest birds, some measuring  as much as four feet from the tip of their beaks to the end of their tail feathers.  All have long necks and legs with partly webbed feet.  They eat mostly fish, frogs and snails captured by probing in shallow, muddy water with their long beaks.  They also eat large insects, mice, moles and small snakes.  Farmers welcome them because of their huge appetites for these pests.

Some ibis species live by the thousands in colonies, grouping in trees or bushes, making large, bowl-shaped nests built of twigs and interwoven sticks with a thin, inner layer of grass.  Others prefer to nest in single families in marshes or open forest areas.  Many varieties of ibis are scattered from the southern United States through Mexico and South America, and also Africa and Australia.  With changes in seasons, some make flights of thousands of miles, while others remain in one place throughout the year.

Two varieties in North America prefer to make their homes in areas cleared of forest or in open, dry country.  The American white is a large, pretty bird, almost solid white with black wing tips, red face and legs, and a yellow beak.  The wood ibis is darker in colour.  Both kinds usually nest close to the Gulf of Mexico.  

The Australian white looks much like the American white.  It is noted for its practice of breaking a shellfish open by holding it firmly against a flat stone or hard surface with a foot and then using its tough beak as a hammer to break it open.

The bald ibis, found only in the mountains of Africa and the Middle East, has quite a colour contrast to the others.  It is mostly greenish black except for a dash of deep pink or brown where its wings are attached to its body.  The male has a deep red top to his head.  The head itself is pinkish, but the long down-curved beak, long legs and feet are light orange.

One that is worshipped by natives around the Indian Ocean from South Africa to Australia is the sacred ibis.  The worship habit probably came about centuries ago when natives first noticed that these birds got rid of troublesome pests.

It pleased the Lord God, the Creator of all things, to place these and thousands of other bird varieties throughout the world, both for their usefulness and also as objects of great interest.  Each has its particular place in the creaction in which He delighted.

For those who know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, there is a wonderful time coming in heaven when He will show us His wisdom and love in all He has done.

Will you be there to hear that wonderful account?      

Love you all - Grandpa        

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