Computer Birds

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 7
"Lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of the birds is come, and the voice of the [turtledove] is heard in our land." Sol. 2:11-12
The ability of billions of birds to migrate to and from various parts of the world each spring and fall is truly amazing. If humans were to attempt these trips, we would need many kinds of instruments, charts and computers. But God has given these flying wonders the wisdom to stay on their courses perfectly.
Scientists are very interested in the abilities of these birds and would like to learn their secret. But man has not discovered the secret; it is the Creator's gift to the bird kingdom. Amazingly, some, like storks, hummingbirds, plovers and terns, fly accurately for thousands of miles over land and ocean.
Some scientists think that birds are guided by the sun, and they may be right. But the sun travels from east to west, and for the most part birds travel north and south. If guided by the sun, they would need some kind of sensor to tell them the location of the sun in the sky at any time of day. Others think the night fliers use the stars for direction. However, the stars’ positions change as the earth revolves. So if the stars guide them, the night fliers have certainly been given something better than man's global positioning systems to find their way. Still others think they follow landmarks, such as mountains, rivers and valleys. This might help those migrating over land; however, what about those flying over oceans?
None of these provide a real answer, since the migrators find their way just as well in total darkness, through foggy or cloudy skies, and often through bad storms. We must conclude that the Lord God who created and takes care of them is their source. He supplies this superb guidance and the amazing strength and endurance that takes them safely and accurately over these great distances.
It is wonderful to know the Lord as your Savior and learn that He will provide daily strength for you too. The Bible says, "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isa. 40:28-31).
(to be continued)
Computer Birds Part 2
"[Noah] sent forth a dove.... But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark." Gen. 8:8-9
Noah's dove had no difficulty finding her way back to the ark. This is a little example of the billions of birds that migrate over vast oceans and lands throughout the world each year. One, the blackpoll warbler, travels a 4000-mile journey between the forests of North America and Brazil. One part of this trip is an 86-hour, non-stop flight over water! The golden plover travels 15,000 miles or more each year, and the bobolink travels some 6000 miles between Canada and Argentina.
What makes them migrate? One reason is they need a place with long days and enough food to raise their young. Both of these are found in the North where trillions of insects hatch just as the birds arrive in spring. The Creator has arranged this, providing them with needed food and, at the same time, controlling the insects that otherwise would destroy the land. Then, aware that winter is coming, the migrators time their flights south to escape the cold of winter. Birds are the best forecasters on earth and can tell weather changes long before men can.
Young birds seldom fly with their parents. It is amazing how they can accurately fly to their destinations without help from their parents! Only God could give them this ability.
It is not only in the migration along their normal routes that their instincts are revealed. Experiments with birds removed from their normal surroundings and set free elsewhere have amazing results.
A number of shearwaters were taken in covered cages from the coast of Wales to both Italy and Switzerland. Although they are water birds and not used to flying over land, when released, these birds rose high in the air, crossed the Alps and flew straight back home. A cowbird from Illinois was taken to Colorado and released. A month later it was back home. This same bird was later taken to Quebec and promptly found its way back.
Eggs of many birds have been incubated hundreds of miles from their native lands. When the young birds are released at migrating times, they always fly to the home of their parents rather than with the birds with which they have been raised. There they join their true relatives in their migration route established for them by their Creator. These experiments confirm that birds have God-given abilities to find their way, even when taken to strange surroundings.
The love of God points a way for us too—the way to heaven. His Word, the Bible, says, "Broad is the way, that [leads] to destruction... [but] strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which [leads] unto life" (Matt. 7:13-14). The Lord Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). Have you put your trust in Him as your sure way to heaven?