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May 21, 2012
Blue Birds Need a Helping Hand
By Rev. Tom Zehnder, Baileys Harbor, WI
We gathered at the Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin. There, I was the oldest one in the room, with the little kids and a smattering of accompanying parents. We were there to learn the art of constructing nesting boxes for the Eastern Blue Bird.
These fabled birds had been teetering toward extinction, for one of their most frequent nests – wooden fence poles (who knew?) – were rotting away.
Mr. Lukes to the rescue! A respected naturalist, Mr. Lukes (and surely others) came to the aid of homeless blue birds through widespread and successful encouragement for supplementing the birds’ natural nesting places with nesting boxes especially adapted to the needs of blue birds!
That’s why I was there with the kids. We listened to blue bird lectures and then proceeded to the workshop where we constructed our bird houses. Fortunately, they were pre-drilled and pretty easy to put together. I was a little annoyed when one little boy and two little girls finished before I did.
My wife, Jackie, and I placed the nest box in our yard according to instructions – and waited.
And then, about three or four weeks ago, there he was. An incredibly beautiful male blue bird perched on top of the box, occasionally looking in, flying off, and returning. Meanwhile, momma blue bird was inside caring for her fledglings.
Last week, the nest was empty. We assume that now there are more blue birds using the blue bird flying space in our north Wisconsin forests.
The Ridges instructor told us to clean out the nest when the fledglings were gone. So today – just today – I went out to do that. Opening the nest box, I began to remove the nest and walla! There was yet one more new, beautiful blue egg in the nest!
I don’t know if blue birds would have made a comeback if it were not for people like Mr. Lukes and me and my little friends. But the birds needed a hand. It worked. Their population is flourishing and growing again. We hope that there will be yet one more little blue guy or gal coming out of that nest soon!
I am a blue bird. I know that without the beautiful hand of God over me, I would have one day faced extinction. There would have been no place for me.
But there is One who made a nest for me and the likes of me. “My Father’s house has many rooms. If that were not true, would I have told you that I’m going to prepare a place for you? If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again. Then I will bring you into My presence so that you will be where I am.” (John 14: 2-3)
Jesus reminds us that God cares for the birds of the air and even watches over them. Then He comments “Aren’t you worth more than they?” (Matthew 5: 26)
Blue birds have much to be thankful for! Me too! You as well!