Sunday, December 12, 2010
Bird Devotional 90
Short-eared Owl, Asio flammeus
“At twilight you will eat meat.” Exodus 16:12
Owls are well known to most people, but generally only from books or movies. Even experienced birders will not see many species of owls unless they go out and actively search for them. Since owls are by nature nocturnal, going “owling” means either getting up early or staying up late. Only the extremely dedicated or the slightly deranged can regularly make such a commitment. Owls are wonderfully adapted for hunting at night when many other predators are asleep. They have exceptional eyesight that enables them to see in dim light, though not in total darkness. The facial disks present in all species of owls help to direct sound waves to their ears and increase their ability to hear the small animals they eat. These special features allow owls to fill a unique niche in the food chain, and they are able to hunt in the same territories that other birds use in the daytime.
The Short-eared Owl is a bird that can be seen hunting at dusk or dawn in marshes or other open areas throughout much of North America. They are most commonly seen in the United States during the winter. They prey primarily on small rodents such as mice or voles. The “ears” are actually tufts of feathers. These are not always visible in the field. Short-eared Owls are medium sized, mottled brown above and vertically streaked on the breast. The dark areas around their yellow eyes have sometimes been described as looking like sunglasses.
Today’s verse “At twilight you will eat meat,” is God’s promise that quails would come into the camp of the Israelites and provide meat for them every evening. God sent the quails in response to the people’s grumbling that they missed the kinds of foods they ate while in Egypt. God’s provision came in spite of the Israelites’ complaining and lack of faith. How can we doubt that He will provide for us if we put our faith and trust in Him and come before Him with thanksgiving in our hearts?
Father God, thank you for giving me my daily bread, and for usually adding a little meat along with it. Amen.