That Strange Bird, the Hornbill: Part 2

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 6
The hornbill's head with its big bill and helmet (which we talked about last week) looks far too heavy to be held upright. But actually, it is quite light since the bill and helmet have very lightweight bones. The bill is covered with a thin sheath, and the inside is filled with air cells.
In addition to its unusual head structures, the hornbill also has a strange way of building its nest. The female finds a hollow tree trunk with a hole in it. She stuffs the hole with sticks and other objects, filling it up until its depth is just right. Then she makes a nest, lining it with feathers which she plucks from herself. She and her mate plaster mud around the hole until it is just large enough for her to climb through. After she climbs inside they continue plastering the hole until only a slit remains which is large enough for her bill to get through.
Remaining in her "house," the female lays several eggs and incubates them. Her mate faithfully brings food to her, placing it into her bill which she sticks out through the slit. When the chicks hatch the mother stays with them for several weeks (the father feeding them all) until the nest is too crowded. Meanwhile, new feathers have grown back on the mother. She and her mate peck at the hardened mud plaster until the hole is large enough for her to climb out. However, the chicks are not yet ready to come out, so the hole is closed up again for a few more weeks, leaving a slit for the parents to feed them. The young birds eventually break out and fly away.
The building of the nest reminds us of the words of Jesus when He was here on earth. "The birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head" (Matt. 8:2020And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (Matthew 8:20)). How good of the Lord of all creation to provide homes for the birds and other creatures while He Himself did not have a place to lay His head!
Have you ever thanked Him for all the good things you enjoy? Have you accepted that most wonderful of all gifts, His beloved Son as your Savior? It was the Lord Jesus Christ "who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world" (Gal. 1:44Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: (Galatians 1:4)). If you have not done this, won't you accept Him as your own Savior now?