BEMA Birds by Emma Foster
Once there was a mockingbird named Carl who was a member of BEMA, the Bird Emergency Management Agency. Whenever a hurricane or other natural disaster was about to occur, Carl was in charge of helping other birds find a place to hide. Because he and several other birds that worked for BEMA lived in Florida, they were mainly in charge of helping other birds fly north.
One day Carl flew to a meeting that took place in a hollowed oak tree in the central area of Florida. Many of the birds that lived in Florida and were members of BEMA attended the meeting because of rumors that a hurricane was growing in the Atlantic Ocean. At the meeting, Carl received an alert that a hurricane was nearing Florida and it was going to cross the state.
Carl and many other birds who had come to the meeting were sent to different areas of Florida in order to hide birds from the weather and keep them safe. Most of them would fly north, and Carl and the other birds would help lead them to different places that BEMA thought safe.
Carl quickly flew down to the south of Florida after hearing that the hurricane was estimated to come in three days. He landed in the Florida Keys in an area where he had been assigned and where he knew there would be many birds ready to relocate for the storm. As Carl traveled down south, the winds began to pick up, making it more difficult for him to fly.
When Carl arrived at the Keys, a large group of birds had gathered near a hotel. Most of them were seagulls and ibises. Carl quickly explained that they were heading north and that they had to stay together while flying. He told the nervous birds that he would guide them back to where they lived once the hurricane had passed. Before they took off, Carl took a quick head count and counted fifteen birds in his group.
Carl immediately began flying north, the other birds flying behind him. He made sure they flew in a formation that made them fly with the wind to make it easier for the smaller birds. The winds were moving faster now, and the rain was making it hard for some of the birds to fly.
After a few hours, Carl flew lower toward an area with many bushes and trees. The group of birds landed underneath the bushes to keep safe and warm. Carl took another head count, but realized that there were only fourteen birds that were now hiding in the bushes. Just as Carl was about to turn back and look for the other seagull, the rain began coming down hard, so Carl was forced to take shelter with the other birds.
The rain lasted for a few days. Every now and then Carl would come out of the bushes to search for something to eat for him and the other birds, finding worms on the ground because of the rain. Eventually, the stormed passed over them, and even though it was still raining Carl was able to take the other birds back to the Keys.
When Carl and the other birds came back they found their nests and many other homes destroyed, but they knew they would be able to rebuild their nests with time. They mourned the loss of the one seagull that didn’t make it with them, holding a small funeral by where the bird’s nest used to be. Afterward, Carl said goodbye and flew back home. The next day BEMA held another meeting that laid out a plan to help the birds fix their homes and get rid of the debris that was now scattered everywhere.
Thanks, Emma. It is great to know that the birds have a BEMA organization to help them to recover after hurricanes. Emma, like the rest of us here in Central Florida, is aware of the help FEMA provides for humans. When Hurricane Irma came up through the state, from Key West up past us, many have had repairs to perform. Also, like the seagull that didn’t survive, there are many reports of birds and other critters that lost their lives in the hurricane.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.” (Matthew 10:29 NKJV)
I know the Lord, when He created birds, gave them the resilience to rebuild and continue to multiply.
Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:20-22 NKJV)