The Gardener Bowerbird
“And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”
Bowerbirds are found only in New Guinea and Australia. There are many types of bowerbirds, each with unique habits. However, bowerbirds are best known for their love of bright colors and the great care they use in decorating their constructions. All this activity is carried out to attract a mate. Scientists say that the brighter a bowerbird’s feathers, the less elaborate its constructions.
The gardener bowerbird wears some of the brightest feathers among the bowerbirds. This spectacular bird, about the size of a blue jay, was last seen in 1895. Then to his amazement, an ornithologist surveying the modern bowerbird population saw one the first day he started looking. As it turns out, everyone else had been looking in the wrong place for this mysterious bird.
The gardener bowerbird has a yellow front and brilliant orange crest that goes over the top of its head, all the way to its nostrils. It builds a fairly simple bower that resembles a four-foot tall maypole surrounded by a three-foot diameter mossy area. This area has neatly arranged piles of bright-colored fruit around it. To attract a mate, the male makes different sounds, some of which resemble a frog’s croaking. He then holds brightly colored fruit in front of his chest to further impress the female.
The standards of beauty so universal among God’s creatures testify that all of the creation is His handiwork.
Dear Lord, I thank You that even though groaning under the burden of human sin, the creation still shows so much startling beauty. I ask that my life would always be illuminated with the perfect beauty of the forgiveness of sins through Your death. Amen.
C. Simon. “Legendary Bowerbird Thrives in New Guinea.” Science News, Vol.120, p. 326.