The World's Best Flying Machine

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
"Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap... yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" Matt. 6:2626Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (Matthew 6:26)
The Creator made birds to excel as flying machines. Like an airplane they have wings, propellers, steering apparatus and provisions for takeoff and landing. All of these functions are performed better by a bird than by any airplane.
In another article we noted the intricate design of their light feathers. The bone structure also shows the wisdom of the Creator. Everything about the strong, flexible skeleton is designed to avoid excess weight. A bird’s reinforced tubular bones are hollow, yet strong. They contain a spongy network that fills with air as the bird breathes.
In fact, the whole breathing system of a bird is an important part of its being able to stay in the air. The lungs are a series of spaces around breathing tubes. These are connected to additional air sacs among the muscles and flesh. By pushing all exhausted air out of its lungs, a bird is able to draw back in an unusual amount of oxygen for its bloodstream. The circulation of air inside the bird has a cooling effect too. How wisely the Lord provided for these lively, feathery creatures!
Most of the bird's flying power comes from the muscles of its breast. These muscles are connected to an unusually large breastbone. The breastbone is located in the underpart of its body so the bird will not be top-heavy. The neck, the most flexible part of its body, also helps balance it in flight. It has fourteen vertebrae—twice the number that a giraffe has!
Almost all birds are excellent fliers, but many heavy ones have difficulty getting airborne. Some, like swans, need a runway. While running down their runway, they beat their wings furiously to lift in the air. They all take off into the wind, just as airplanes do. Occasionally after landing on small lakes or ponds, water birds have to wait for a good breeze in order to leave.
Others seem to be aware of the difficulty of taking off from level ground and land on high spots. From there they can benefit by the pull of gravity to later get themselves well launched. But whatever the situation with any particular bird, God has provided it with the means and skills to take care of itself in ways that amaze us.