Today’s post is written by Deb del Villar. Deb has been doing the Great Backyard Bird Count with her grandkids for several years. The two pictures were taken by JC Gillette – one of her grandchildren who participates in the count with her.
Did you know there are at least 120 mentions of birds in Scripture? The very first mention is Genesis 1:20-23 where God states that He created them all and told them to increase until the skies were filled with them. If you are like me, I just love to see birds — the greater the variety the better. I like to identity them as well. A variety of bird feeders surround our home in hopes of attracting lots of different bird species.
Part of my morning routine is checking on the feeders to see if any food needs to be replenished. These days, I have helpers, also known as grandchildren. Over the last several years we have had a wonderful time taking part in the Great Backyard Bird Count! Haven’t heard of it? It is a wonderful opportunity to introduce children to birdwatching as well as citizen science. Every February, in partnership with Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count takes place. Go to birdcount.org for complete information. This year’s bird count, the 22ndannual GBBC, took place February 15-18th.
You can count birds anywhere you find birds. You decide not only the location but also the day and time. It can be for as little as 15 minutes or for as long as desire. You can be at any skill level too! The website has lots of resources to help you. We counted the birds in our own backyard as we have many who come to the feeders. This year we saw 23 different species and over 100 birds. The information provided helps give a long term record for scientists to see how bird populations may be changing over time.
A fun activity would be to see how many species the Bible talks about [Hint: I was surprised]. Also study what does the Bible teach about birds. There is a lot of information about birds in Scripture like they build nests, lay eggs, soar high, migrate, sing among the branches, flap their wings, open their beaks, chirp and crow. Like a good friend of mine has said for years, “The Bible is not a science book, but if it talks about scientific things, it will always be correct.”
God loves and cares about birds. He provides for them and knows every bird. While birds have tremendous value to God, we are of even more value to Him. Share some verses with your kids that talk about our value in comparison with birds. As you watch birds, remember God is watching over you!