“I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.”
There are 13 species of a brightly plumed little songbird known as the fairy wren. The birds are found in Australia and New Guinea. So colorful are their feathers that the various species go by names like “superb,” “splendid” and “lovely.” However, even more noteworthy is the birds’ unusual behavior.
A male courting a female will bring her a flower petal. The petal usually matches his color or is a deeply contrasting color. Normally a perky little bird with an upright tail, when courting he lowers his tail and creeps around close to the ground. As he twists his body back and forth, he puffs out his cheek feathers. If the female accepts his courting, she builds their nest alone, lining it with bright parrot feathers. While they mate for life, they are not known for fidelity to their mates. When mature, females will go off on their own, but males may stay with their parents for a year or more. Their main duty is to guard the family nest. If danger approaches the nest, the guard will puff up his wings, lower his tail and scuttle through dry grass, pretending to be a mouse. The idea is to lure the predator away from the nest.
The beauty and unusual behavior of these little birds testifies to more than God’s creativity and love for beauty. They remind us of the beauty that was lost to God’s creation when it was tainted by man’s sin. Thankfully, some of that beauty that was lost can return to our lives through the forgiveness of sins that is found in Jesus Christ.
Dear Father, I thank You for the beauty of Your creation and for giving me the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ. Amen.
Natural History, 11/94, pp. 56 62, “Faithful Philanderers.” Photo: Superb blue fairy-wren. Courtesy of Benjamint444. (CC-BY-SA 3.0)