Unusual Incubator Birds

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Among the many strange birds in Australia are those called incubator or thermometer birds.
Incubator birds do not hatch their eggs by sitting on them, as most birds do. They depend upon a very different method of incubation, from which they get their name. Several pairs of males and females working together make a mound of dirt mixed with leaves, moist vegetation and anything that is nearby.
These birds have very strong legs and feet. Walking with their backs to the spot where the mound is being made, the birds move around it in widening circles, using their strong legs to kick everything they find into a central pile. As the pile gets bigger, their circles become wider and wider until they've made a hill as high as fifteen feet and perhaps thirty feet wide. Just think how hard they have to kick to get dirt, leaves and everything else up on top of that pile!
Next, each pair picks a suitable spot in the mound and makes a tunnel into it, scooping out a crude nest where the eggs are laid. Then the pair walks away and forgets about the eggs. How are the eggs ever going to hatch inside that big pile? As the leaves and other vegetation rot, they give off heat, and helped by the warmth of the sun, the eggs soon hatch. Then the baby birds come out of the tunnels into daylight to begin life on their own.
How do these birds know to work together with other pairs to make such huge nests? What makes the newly hatched chicks leave the tunnels? And how can they take care of themselves or learn from experience? We can easily see that it pleased the Creator to make a great deal of variety in His creation. Not all birds, animals, fish or other creatures follow the same manner of life. These birds are an example of this, displaying one of His delights in the days of creation. Even now He keeps them in the same pattern of life as when He first placed them on the earth. "Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did He in heaven [the atmosphere], and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places" (Psa. 135:66Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. (Psalm 135:6)).
If the Lord cares for these unusual birds, how much more does He care for mankind into whom He "breathed... the breath of life" (Gen. 2:77And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)). He has said, "My delights were with the sons of men. Now therefore hearken unto Me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep My ways. For whoso [finds] Me [finds] life" (Prov. 8:35,31-3235For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord. (Proverbs 8:35)
31Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men. 32Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. (Proverbs 8:31‑32)
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We hope everyone reading this will find Him and learn of His wonderful love. "I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me" (Prov. 8:1717I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. (Proverbs 8:17)).