And God Created ...

The Bird In The Dark

David Everson

The Bible records the creation of birds in Genesis chapter 1, verses 20-22. When we observe the variety of birds that is in the world, we are amazed with the abilities that God has designed each of these birds with in order for them to exist. Let's look at one of these amazing birds, the Oilbird.

Living in caves - one of the most un-bird-like habitats on the earth - the amazing Oilbird has a variety of unique features that allow it to be able to spend much of its time in total darkness. One of the problems that must be overcome by any animal living in permanently dark conditions is how to navigate without light. The Oilbirds have extremely large light-sensitive eyes which allow them to find food at night as they hover in the air to feed on fruits, nuts, and berries from a variety of plants in the jungles of South America and Trinidad. In the absence of any light in a cave, even the very light sensitive eyes are useless. So, God has given these birds the same ability that bats have - echolocation.

The ability to use sounds bounced off of objects to "see" in the total darkness is a very special design feature for the Oilbird. Unlike the bat's supersonic cry, which humans cannot hear, the Oilbird's clicking sounds are audible to us. With a frequency of about 7,000 cycles per second, the clicking sounds are obvious to humans in the caves where the Oilbird roosts. This has caused the natives to call these birds "guacheros," which is Spanish for "One who cries."

In order for these birds to hear the clicks and use them to locate objects in the cave, God gave the Oilbird a bat-like sonar device or echo-locator. This is found in the ears and involves muscles and nervous tissues that allow the birds to ignore the first sound produced and focus on the bounced off sound waves coming back from obstructions in front of them. They can then fly, locate other birds, find their nest, and raise young without ever seeing the light.

The Oilbirds nest in large colonies in the caves - on high rocky ledges well within the cave. The female lays two to four eggs that hatch in about 33 days. The young are fed on rich, oily fruits and become grotesquely fat, growing to more than twice the normal adult weight. This "baby fat" is lost quickly as the babies begin to grow feathers. The name Oilbird comes from the high oil body fat content that these birds have. As natives captured these birds, they were able to boil them down to obtain this oil for various uses.

So, we can see in the Oilbird the power and might of God. Indeed, "the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" Romans 1:20. Rt 1 Box 116A, Belington, WV 26250.


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