"Look at the birds." - Jesus (Matthew 6:26)
On the fifth day of Creation Week, God once again turned His attention to His creative work on Earth.
"Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day." Genesis 1:20-23
Why did God make birds? I am sure you can think of many reasons why birds are an essential part of God's creation and probably somewhere near the top of the list is a rotisserie chicken, omelets, and Thanksgiving dinner. But birds have many other beneficial uses. According to the National Audubon Society, birds provide some vital services for humans and our planet that we often don't think about:
Bird droppings (guano) contributes a nutrient-rich fertilizer for plants. The nitrogen in guano allows for the healthy establishment of plants which is used for food for other animals and organisms.
Birds are spreaders of not just guano, but also seeds and fungus spores that they eat and pass along with the guano. Many species of plants rely on birds to propagate their seeds, but recently scientists have been discovering that birds also spread fungal spores which provide a crucial symbiotic support for tree roots. This little known function of birds helps to keep their habitat healthy.
Birds are voracious exterminators. Barn swallows can consume as many as 60 insects per hour. Barn owls are active exterminators of rodents. We have a couple of owls doing just that at our farm. Every morning I find several new owl pellets as evidence of their nightime exterminator work.
Birds are sanitation workers. Many species of birds are scavengers and will consume carrion. Rotting carcasses are sources of disease and pathogens for humans and other animals. The quicker the dead animal is consumed, the less risk it presents to the environment.
But, when we let them, birds can also perform a very important role – they can inspire us!
Bioinspiration (n): using phenomena in biology to stimulate research in non-biological science and technology.
Whether it is just sitting quiet and letting the song birds lift our spirits when we are feeling gloomy or studying their physiology and learning about aerodynamics and flight, birds can encourage and inspire us.
The Wright Brothers looked to birds and learned lessons on lift and maneuvering that were incorporated into their prototypes and, ultimately, enabled the first successful powered flight aircraft.
Today, modern scientists and aeronautical engineers are still looking to birds for inspiration.
Bioinspiration is not just for scientists. God placed birds ("bio" or "life") on this earth to inspire us and to lift us to new heights. Consider the following "bird" Bible passages ...
Feeling tired, down, or worn out?
"But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31
Worried about not enough resources?
"That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?" Matthew 6:25-27
Need a new song?
"The birds nest beside the streams
and sing among the branches of the trees."
Need some wisdom or inspiration?
"Just ask the animals, and they will teach you.
Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you. For they all know
... For the life of every living thing is in His hand,
and the breath of every human being ... true wisdom and power are found in God;
counsel and understanding are His. "
Want more inspiration? Take a walk outside and listen to the birds singing praise to their Maker!