Removing the Bird Feeder

This Spring is the first time I have fed birds from a feeder having always fed them through winter by throwing seed on the ground.  I never thought that so many varieties would come to the feeder and it was getting to be too much, as though I was the only one feeding the birds.  The female House Finch in the photo above is one of many visitors.

I began to think it wasn’t such a good idea when by chance I saw a female sparrow carrying a moth to her nest.  That was when it dawned on me that perhaps seed was too easy and that they should be looking for their natural food.  Then a couple of days later I saw that a Starling had appeared  and if there was one species I did not want on a bird feeder it is Starlings for they take over very quickly.  A day or so after that my husband saw a squirrel in the tray below the feeder and the heavy glass roof above the feeder was knocked at an angle.  This meant that some brave squirrel had jumped from quite a distance to reach the food.  And that was the end for me so I took the feeder down and carried the pole holding it away.

But I felt very guilty..would my little friends starve after I took their food supply away?  such foolishness on my part.  Yes, they did hang around looking forlorn for a few days and I continued to feel guilty.  I decided to put some seed out on the ground in different places and it wasn’t long before a few of the birds came back.  This morning I was lying on a swing in our back yard and a Chestnut-backed Chickadee flew in and landed on my knee.  It looked at me as if to say, “that’s OK, don’t feel so bad.”  This little Chickadee who formerly would swoop down, grab a black oil sunflower seed and fly into the tree was now going down to the ground.  And I also noticed that there is a new flock of Sparrow fledglings coming to the seed on the ground as well.  For previous fledglings it was difficult for the mother to entice them to the feeder so ground-feeding is better for them.

What does the bible say about feeding the birds?

Matthew 6:26 “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them……”

I do still provide them clean water in a bird bath every day, and I still have my hummingbird feeder up because we had such a cold and wet Spring but I think that in July when everything starts to bloom I will remove that as well.



Lessons From a Baby Bird, a Beetle, and a Pair of Sheep

This post was written last year but its’ lessons have stayed with me.  Yesterday I saw something which was quite sad but combined with two things that I saw on our bike ride today on the Cowichan Valley Trail, there is a definite lesson for me.  I  was sitting on a chair in our back yard and I noticed that a paper wasp had landed on something small and pink.  The wasp stayed on the object for quite a time as though it was gathering food.  After it flew away I went over to see what the pink thing was, and was sad to discover that it was a tiny baby bird.  No feathers, surely newly hatched.  We have had quite a lot of wind lately, so I must surmise that the baby was blown out of the nest.  There was not a mark on its little body so I don’t think that it was tossed out by the mother or other siblings.   I wondered at the brevity of this little life, and it made me think of the verse from the book of Ecclesiastes concerning the fact that there is a season and a time to everything.  It was not meant for this little bird to grow, and live a normal life.   Then today husband and I went for a bike ride on the Cowichan Valley Trail.  It has been a week since we have been there and more lessons were to be learned.

I was a little shaky on the way up the trail.  At one point I saw two bike riders coming towards me from a distance so I stopped and got off my bike.  It was then that I noticed a big black beetle making its way across the trail to the other side.  I wondered whether or not it was going to survive two bikes going by.  As I watched, the first bike passed missing the beetle by not more than an inch.  The beetle turned 90 degrees to the left and the second bike passed him by at a greater distance.  I remembered how the baby bird died very shortly after hatching, and marveled at how this beetle had lived in the face of danger.
Husband and I travelled further up the trail and then turned around and headed back.  And about half-way back  I noticed that husband had stopped and then I saw that there were two sheep at the side of the trail, grazing.  I took several photographs of them and then remembered John chapter 10, and the teaching about the Lord Jesus being the Good Shepherd who cares for his sheep.There was a lesson in all these things.  That being, all things are in God’s hands, he gives life, and he takes it away,  the baby bird died, I know not why, but the beetle lived.  Sometimes we don’t understand why things happen, but God knows and we just have to trust in him and in his sovereign will for all creation.

My husband always says that I go too slow on my bike, but which is better? to go fast and miss all the things the Lord has to show me? or to go slow and see them all.  I will continue to ride slowly and marvel at what the Lord has for me.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…”

John 10:  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.”


Roots and Wings

Today I have been dwelling upon the subject of roots and wings..  I used to have a refrigerator magnet that said “there are two gifts we should give our children, one is roots and the other is wings.”   Raise your children the best you can and then let them go, but letting go is so very hard.  Why is that?  In Genesis 24, the servant of Abraham was sent to find a wife for Isaac, who was the son of Abraham.  The servant journeyed to the city of Nahor where he found Rebekah.  When told the reason for the servant’s visit, Rebekah had no hesitation in leaving her home and her family to follow the servant.  Gen 24:58 “And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.”  And Rebekah journeyed to Isaac and became his wife and probably never saw her family again.  In the same way, Elisha left his father and mother to follow Elijah.  We don’t hear that he saw his parents again. 1 Kings 19:20 “…Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee….

I have been watching the birds in our yard lately, it being the season of breeding, birth and fledging.  In the past few days the little fledglings have been making their appearance in our yard where seed and water await them.  Their parents who have tended them in their babyhood now show them where food and water are found.  If the babies flutter their wings the parents feed them but only for a little while.  Then the babies are on their own, survival of the strongest begins.

Things are so different now.. but sometimes I wonder if it would be better if it was like in the days of Abraham and Elisha.  When our children reach the age of maturity, let them leave to find their husband or their wife and live their own lives.

These days, when we see our adult children struggling, there is the temptation to help but is this the wisest thing to do?  Lord give us wisdom.

My brother’s daughter chose to leave her home and her father in Canada and live in Mexico.  It was a shock to him when she left and he doesn’t see her now unless he travels to Mexico for a holiday, but I spoke to him yesterday and he said that she loves it there and “if she is happy, then I am happy.”  My brother has it right, I think.