Bird life

I seem to have a growing fascination with birds. Over the last few years I have found myself to be focussing on them more and more while we are out and about – not enough to invest in binoculars and join a bird watching group, but enough to be content to watch and listen to them when and where I can.

In Australia we are blessed by the variety and beauty of our native bird life and in the area I now live there are a multitude of different types of birds who are a part of our neighbourhood. We are fortunate to live in an area in the hills that has many trees and you can hear the birds calling to each other almost at all times of the day and night. While this was also the case when we lived in Mildura (country Victoria) I am now in suburban Adelaide and find this unexpected.

As dawn breaks and you can hear the magpie chortles and the kookaburra chuckles and I smile as I scan the trees to try to catch a glimpse of these well hidden choristers. In the first few weeks of us living here we had left the side door open for a time and discovered this black and white visitor checking out where we had placed our material goods!

I wanted to entice some of this wildlife into our own yard (not our kitchen) and as I was considering ways I could do this I came across this beautiful bird feeder.

It is made in Ghana, Africa using reclaimed metal from all manner of discarded objects – street signs, fences, old cars for example. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to purchase it to begin my strategy.

So before long it was installed in our yard and I dutifully purchased some wild bird seed to offer potential diners, filled the feeder and sat back to wait for the birds to come. Nothing. Not one came. This was very disheartening.

My next step was to take some seed and sprinkle it on the ground around where the feeder is. Still nothing. I even purchased a small pot to become a water bath/feeder and placed that nearby. And I continued to sit and watch and hope.

A number of days later my husband called me to look outside, and sure enough there was a bird in my feeder. There was also one on the fence waiting their turn to dine as well. I am now at the end of my 2nd box of seed as the supply disappears by the end of each day. I don’t always see the birds that feast but the ones I do are varied so I know it’s not just one bird who will soon be too big to take flight!

This activity has brought me real joy and I wonder why. Could it be an effort to feel connected to the natural countryside we have left behind? Is it about bringing God’s creation to within arm’s reach? Could it be about a reward for patience and persistence? Could it be a combination of all 3?

One of the favourite often-quoted verses from the bible makes reference of a bird. Isaiah chapter 40 and verses 30-31 says, “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

As I continue to watch these creatures in my environment, especially as they take flight, I will choose to remember this reference to being able to soar above the turmoil of life. This will be an encouragement especially in those times of weariness as I hope in God. Next time you see a bird in flight perhaps you can too.

Be blessed.

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