Birdwatcher or Bird Collector?

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) at Bok Tower By Dan'sPix

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) at Bok Tower By Dan’sPix

I just finished reading an article in the August 2012 issue of “BirdWatching” Magazine by Maeve Kim. It is called “Born-Again Bird-Watcher.” The title caught my interest since I am a “Born-again Christian.” The article, of course, had nothing to do with religion but was about watching birds.

She, Maeve, had progressed from being a birdwatcher that just loved to watch birds and make notes in a field notebook.

“My old field notebooks are full of exclamation points and underlinings and capital letters. “GREEN HERON at beaver pond! Glowing chestnut throat and neck! Gorgeous!”
I described everything I saw about a bird’s physical appearance, behavior, and song. Often, my notebook entries ended with questions that I hoped might be answered if I watched more birds.”

Progression went from lots of information to just a “checklist” were just seeing the bird and checking it off became the main goal. This is called a “Bird Getter” and not a bird watcher. Long interesting story short, Maeve has now gone back to “watching” the birds even common ones. It is a very good article.

Wood Duck male – Lake Morton 6-28-12 by Lee

As I have “progressed” in my own birdwatching I also have learned about “journals,” “notebooks” and “lists.” I enjoy seeing my “Life List of Birds” grow, but I try not to just want to “check them off” so the list will grow. As a Christian believing that the Lord created the birds, I enjoy watching them, their behaviors, their sounds, how they fly and eat and writing about them. I am amazed at His design and paintbrush used. How each bird was given just the right beak, feet, song, flight pattern, etc. is awesome.

She said, “True Bird-Watchers enjoy every single minute that they’re out birding. They don’t come home feeling cheated because they didn’t get a rare Dovekie. Instead, they celebrate every time they see a Black Guillemot’s (her common) red feet flashing under cold water.”

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher at Circle B Reserve by Lee

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher at Circle B Reserve by Lee

Every time we go to our local parks, I still enjoy watching the antics of our local common birds. May we never tire or grow weary of “only ” seeing a bird that we have seen many times before.

But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. “Who among all these does not know That the hand of the LORD has done this, (Job 12:7,9 NASB)

How can we learn from the birds if we don’t watch them?



Birdwatching Tips


Comments – God’s Records

Tree rings from Wikipedia

Tree rings from Wikipedia

“If God can write with the finger of nature the record of the years in trees which He planted, if He can record in the trees the story of the years when there was a drought and make a record of the years when He sent rain on the just and the unjust, it seems reasonable to suppose that He can and will keep a record of the deeds of man whom He created in His own image. Trees may live for millenniums, but eventually they all die and decay. Man will live forever. He does not stay on this earth for long, but he lives somewhere forever and ever.

Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) Reinier Munguia

Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) Reinier Munguia

There is a God. He never forgets to keep His records. A bird does not die without His knowledge. ‘He marks the sparrow’s fall.’ The very hairs of our heads are numbered. He hears the cry of every baby. His ears catch the sigh that comes from every broken heart. His recording machine makes an eternal record of every thought. God sees. He knows. Woe be unto the sinner who falls into the hands of an angry God! It is wonderful to be saved. God, infinite as He is, cannot see our sins through the blood of His Son. He sees every Christian as if the Christian never sinned. He has taken us up in His Son. He sees us in Christ. We have all sinned, but if we are save He remembers our sins against us no more forever. As these line have been written there has been a whispered prayer in my heart for all who may read this article.. May you so trust Christ and so write your life record that you will be able to meet God unafraid. Remember, if you are a sinner, Christ bore your sin in His body on a tree. Trust Him. If you are a Christian, Christ is your advocate. He is the attorney who pleads your case. Thank God for such a wonderful lawyer!”

The above article is taken from Comments on Here and Hereafter (1942) by Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., p 34, 35

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31 KJV)

The Gospel Message