"Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south? Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she." Job 39:26-30
As part of the lesson for Job, on how things came into being, God chose to include this passage on the "eagle." This teaching includes a little about the nesting capability with which God designed this bird. When we look at the birds, we can witness many things that should lead to a renewed awe and reverence for God the Creator. Let's look at just a few examples of what God has designed for these creatures and learn to glorify God as our Creator as well.
The nest building ability of birds has marveled mankind for thousands of years. The methods, materials, and locations that they use to construct their nests are just about as varied as the birds themselves. The nest has one basic purpose, that of giving a place for the young to be raised. These structures can be huge and reused and rebuilt year after year - as in the case of the Eagles, Hawks, and most other raptors. Or, they can be small and inconspicuous and just barely able to hold a single egg - as in the case of the Lessor Tree Swift. The materials for the nests go from sticks, rocks, and mud - all the way to little other than the birds' own saliva and feathers. It may include plant materials, man-made objects, and even spider silk to help in the construction.
The Tailorbird, a type of warbler found in Southeast Asia, uses its skills as sewers to construct its nest. Using a single leaf or two adjoining leaves, it begins by using spider silk to wrap around the leaf to pull the sides together; then, it punches holes in the leaf margin using its beak. Then, finding plant stems, bark fibers, cottony seed fibers, or spider silk, it sews the "threads" through the holes and teases ends into a ball or crimps them so the two sides are "riveted" together rather than being "knotted" as some have reported. These nests are almost impossible to find as they hang in the trees looking just like other leaves. Amazing how these animals learned how to do that by "time and chance," isn't it?
The Rufous Ovenbird of South America constructs a strong complex two-chambered mud nest on tree stumps and other projections. These structures, about the size of a football, have a domed entrance which leads through a chamber around to the inner lined chamber. The Lesser Tree Swift nest is so small that the egg itself just barely fits inside. The mother and the baby, after hatching, must stand on the branch for support; and the baby does fine after just a few hours.
The nests of many of the Wren family of birds are dome-shaped and are insulated with as many as 2,000 feathers from the mother's body. They incorporate many very soft materials that allow the nest to expand as the brood inside the cavity grows. This flexibility of the nest lets some of the natives of the African country, where they live, to use them as purses. The Edible-nest Swiftlets build their nests with nothing other than their own saliva which hardens into a crusty, thin nest. These nests are collected and used for a traditional Chinese food "Bird's Nest soup."
Indeed, as the Psalmist has noted, "... the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may lay her young ...," Psalm 84:3. We should look to the birds and see the incredible intelligence God has shown as He created the things around us! -Rt 1 Box 116A, Belington, WV 26250.