Ask the Birds

Elvira Tovstiga

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“Ask…the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee” Job 12:7.

The year 2018 has been named the Year of the Bird. Shall we take a little time to consider these fascinating crea­tures with their amazing mental, physical, and in­stinctive abilities? Was it mere chance and nothing more than an evolution­ary process that imparted to our feathered friends their marvelous de­sign, function, and mental faculty, or is there, after all, emphatic evidence of a divine Cre­ator and Teacher? Read the astounding facts, and then tell me who taught the birds!

Magpies look into a mirror and recog­nize themselves. Cockatoos open locks. Su­perb lyrebirds copy sounds of camera clicks and car alarms. Parrots talk back in English by learning the sounds of words. A starling pet of Mozart sang some of the music he composed. Wood thrushes sing two different notes at the same time. Pigeons differentiate alphabetical letters. Nutcrackers remember the thousands of hiding places in which they stored their harvest of pine seeds. Crows make tools, give gifts in return for food, recall faces from years back–warning other crows of people who vexed them–and en­joy fun, as did one crow by sledding down a snow-topped roof using a plastic lid as a sled. To repeat the merriment, the happy sledder picked up the lid with his beak and flew back up to sled down again!

Who taught the birds how to navigate those incredibly long migratory flights? Who gave them the intelligence to take as their compass the sun, the stars, and the mag­netic fields? Who directed them to fly in a V-formation as some do, helping each bird to receive an upward lift from the bird ahead, thereby increasing the flock’s flying range by 71%? Who taught the cerulean warbler to return from a far away country (Peru per­haps) to New Jersey, to the exact tree it had nested in the year before? How does the bar-tailed godwit endure the 7,264 mile trip from Alaska to New Zealand, nine days non-stop?

How does the European swift manage to fly to Africa and back, not once touching down for the space of almost one year, eat­ing, sleeping, and molting in the air? And the tiny ruby-throated hummingbird, how does he brave crossing the Gulf of Mexi­co, stopping not once on his way to Cen­tral and South America? Who empowers the Arctic tern, as he covers the immense distance from the Arctic to the Antarctic, a route of approximately 11,000 miles?

What shall we say of the variety of flight patterns? With a wingspan up to twelve feet, the giant albatross glides along for hours, wings seldom flapping, whereas the wings of a hummingbird vibrate about fifty times per second! Soaring higher and higher in spirals, the eagle suddenly dives down, then begins another wonder­ful climb. The peregrine falcon dives at a speed of 220 miles per hour or more, mak­ing it the fastest animal in the world!

Moreover, how is it that birds can fly at high altitudes within depleted oxy­gen levels, not los­ing consciousness as other animals would? I say, only a fool would dare to declare that the bird’s amazing respiratory system developed simply by chance!

Are we not yet overcome by the in­controvertible proof of an exceedingly wise Creator? What if I told you about the sensitive hearing of an owl? It has been told that by sound alone, an owl in flight can find a little mouse concealed by the blackness of night. And what if I told you about the remarkable vision of a hawk, capable of detecting a rabbit more than a mile away. We humans think we can distin­guish colors, but most birds can see color in a far greater measure. Some humming­birds, in fact, can actually see within the ultraviolet range things we humans cannot see.

From where comes the instinctive ability to build nests: the hanging nest of the oriole, the floating nest of the grebe, the mud nest of the swallow, the sewn nest of the tailorbird which punctures holes in leaves and uses threads of plant fibre to do the stitching? Who designed the various egg shapes, some oval, some point­ed? Did Mr. “Blind Chance” have an inkling that the pointed egg laid on bare coastal rock would roll in a spiral rather than roll off an edge? How does the emperor penguin, ex­istent in a temperature of minus 77 degrees Fahrenheit, keep its egg at 93 degrees Fahrenheit for eight to nine weeks?

What more shall we say? Need we go on to describe the variety and purpose in the design of the bills, the feathers, and the songs? O foolish, unbelieving man, since your boggled mind questions the existence of a mindful Creator and Designer, “ask the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee.” Ah yes, they shall respond with the most convincing and con­victing chirps: “How can you say there is no God when all around creation calls”! Just ask the birds, and they shall demonstrate by their superior mentality, their outstand­ing memory, their amazing instincts, their astonishing flight patterns, and their migratory feats, that there is a sovereign Creator whose hand prints are felt and seen everywhere! How blessed, free, and happy are these winged creatures living to the glory of their Creator who watches over them, who forgets not one of them, neither allows one to fall onto the ground without His knowledge! How blessed, free, and happy would man be, if he, too, would live to the glory of his Creator who offered Himself with unfathomable love for his eternal salvation–man, the “mas­terpiece” of God’s creation, “fear­fully and wonderfully made” and so much more highly valued than the birds!

Information used in this article has been taken from the following sources:

National Geographic: January 2018, Vol. 233, No. 1 National Geographic: February 2018, Vol. 233, No. 2.

Biology: God’s Living Creation/Keith Graham, Greg Parker. A Beka Book Sci­ence Series.

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