Monday, February 17, 2014
Consider the Birds...and Count 'Em!
Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26
This -20 degree Celsius morning I opened the door to our home and heard birds. First of all a blue jay, followed by a cardinal, then a supporting chorus of others including the hardy chickadees. Chickadees are tiny miracles of nature, able to survive the coldest temperatures and whose brains grow during the harsher months to help cope with the demanding work of staying fed. I am certain my brain shrinks during the colder, darker days of winter.
I may make a report today of the feathered friends who have appeared at our feeders over the weekend. This is the GBBC weekend, don't you know? http://gbbc.birdcount.org/ We are all invited to submit our backyard sightings, and we are fortunate to have eight or so species who comes to our feeders through the winter. The count is an attempt to identify species in a time of troubling declines of virtually all the species which were once common. The loss of habitat, north and south, the expansion of human populations, and the use of chemicals in agriculture and on lawns all contribute to the decline.
I am reading a book at the moment (by fits and starts) called Consider the Birds by Debbie Blue. In these ten essays she ponders different birds of the bible and offers a theological reflection. I like what she has to say about watching birds:
"I'm convinced that there is something about the sort of consciousness necessary for birding that is very much like the practice of faith. It comes and it goes. It requires waiting. You must use both your body and mind. Attention is paramount."
Are you encouraged to get in touch with your inner "bird nerd" and do an inventory of your neighbourhood? Do any of you have feeders? Have you ever thought about the number of birds named in scripture?