... and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the
earth.”23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the
fifth day. Genesis 1:21-23 NIV
We will continue our exploration of God's amazing creations with birds. Why the Spoonbill? Well, it reminded me of a story I heard many years ago.
This story is about a man, we'll call him Steve, who died and found himself walking down a long white hallway. He wandered for a bit until he came to a room where a table laden with sumptuous foods stood in the center. People were seated in cushioned chairs all around the table, but they were pale and emaciated. Puzzled by this, Steve stepped into the room and discovered that each person had long spoons strapped to their arms. The spoon handle was too long to allow them to eat. Horrified at his discovery, he backed from the room and stumbled into the room across the hall.
It too had a food laden table in the center of the room surrounded by people with long spoons attached to their arms. But these people were satiated and happily chatting with one another. While Steve watched, a young man dipped his spoon into a dish filled with potato salad. He raised his spoon to the lips of the elderly woman across from him. After she had her mouthful of potato salad, she dipped her spoon into a bowl of tomato soup and offered it to him.
With great excitement Steve ran back to the other room and told the man closest to the door there was a solution to their problem. All he had to do was feed his neighbor and his neighbor would return the favor. The man said "I'd rather starve than feed that disgusting man across from me." Steve then understood God's wisdom in choosing who ended up in which room.
And perhaps this bird is a reminder to us of this story.
This Spoonbill is the Roseate Spoonbill. They live in the Caribbean, southern Florida, South and Central America, Louisiana and Texas. Like the helpful people from the story above, they are a gregarious bird who feed, breed and travel in flocks. Spoonbills are often seen with herons, ibis and other birds as they forage for food. They are found in both salt and freshwater.
They used their spoonbills to sweep through the water seeking insects, small amphibians, fish or crustaceans. If anything touches the inside of their bill, it snaps shut and they raise their long neck to swallow. (No, they don’t have to share with their neighbor!) They do spend many hours each day feeding in both early morning and evening.
Most spoonbills prefer to build their nests in reed-beds or trees. The males gather the nesting material while the female weaves the nest. She lays between 3-5 eggs that both parents care for. The chicks’ bills are short and straight, and only gain the spoonbill shape when they get older.
Can you think of any birds that remind you of a bible story or a story about living the Christian life?
Susan J Donetti
Lives in Northern California with her husband, two dogs, three cats and one horse.