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The Word on the Week

Look at the Birds

Look at the Birds               Word on the Week                       5th March 2022.

As I walked past the forest garden, there in the bright sunlight were two blackbirds engaged in marital combat.   The frost was still sparkling on the tufts of grass unappreciated by the combatants.   A third blackbird or should I say ‘brownbird’, the cause of the affray hopped around the fighters betraying her interest in the winner!

After all her future partner was there so the outcome was of generic importance.  The next generation of blackbirds hung on it!    No doubt the nesting site had been chosen and the first twigs laid in place.   Much work would go into it before the beautiful blue green eggs would nestle down in their bed of soft lichen, feathers and hair.

The location of the nest is usually in the blackthorn hedge where the vicious thorns repel the thieving magpie along with any other would-be predator.   Their song is intended to impress the wife but in their exuberance have no hesitation in joining with other early risers such as robin, siskin and blue tits.

These, along with various tits, finches and dunnock are regular customers for breakfast at the bird table and feeders that hang from it.    They are our constant companions occasionally producing ‘show-stoppers’ in the form of long tailed tits who have recently joined us at lunchtime.

Perhaps more spectacular is the buzzard who has established his territory in the area where the farm road meets the hill known as ‘Snailbox’.  He keeps a watchful eye on the local population warding off other predators such as the sparrow hawk.  His distinctive call, a penetrating pee-oo, causes small animals such as beetles to break cover revealing themselves as his next meal.

He has nested on the farm for some years and his presence is probably responsible for a small rookery to leave us for a patch of woodland a mile away.  

Perhaps one definition of an optimist would be someone who built an owl nesting box and fixed it to a large oak tree when evidence of owl activity is only one possible sighting some time ago!    Well, we are optimists and duly set up the nest box this week!    We should confess having another owl nest box in the barn for the last number of years without result!   We even have a swift’s box without ever seeing a swift so no one can say we are unprepared!

In Jesus’ famous “don’t worry” statement, after highlighting what all the glossy magazines major on today – what you eat or drink or wear – He enlists the birds as good examples of a stress free life.   The bird’s reliance is on their Heavenly Father who looks after them.    Our absence of trust tends to reduce our life span rather than extend it!

Jesus concludes by saying if we look after the things which he considers important then we can rely on Him to look after the things we consider to be important (St Matthew Chapter 6 verses 28 to 34).   “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Consider the birds – daily!