April 26, 2006

He Loves Me Too

The Colusa National Wildlife Refuge in Sacramento Valley is a little oasis which serves as a haven for the thousands of migratory waterfowls that flock in from Alaska and the Canadian arctic every winter. Spring had sprung and most of the migratory birds had returned to their northern breeding grounds.

Upon entering the wildlife refuge, beautiful Ring-necked Pheasants with their mates in the sagebrush nearby greeted us. American Coots shared their fresh water pond with White Pelicans, Cinnamon Teals and Mallards. Dark Glossy Ibises with long curved-down beaks, Sandpipers, and the black and white American Avocets with curved-up beaks dug into the shallow marsh for delectable tidbits . We saw Red-tailed Hawks, Red-winged Blackbirds, Sparrows, Marsh Wrens, Black-Crowned Night Herons, Swallows building mud nests under the bridge , a Northern Mockingbird, Turkey Vultures, Great Egrets and Blue Herons. A black River Otter crossed the path from one creek to the other. Large Black-tailed Jackrabbits chased through the grassland and cute little Desert Cottontail rabbits nibbled fresh greens. A brown furry Muskrat swam across the stream.

It had been a pleasant and peaceful day and now it was time to leave. Our car moved slowly along the dirt road. We did not want to frighten any of God's creatures. Would He have more delightful surprises in store for us? Suddenly we heard a loud commotion! Two very agitated Killdeers were fluttering and screeching wildly. Each feigning broken wings and heart-breaking cries, they hoped we would take pity and follow them as they dragged and limped in obvious agony.

While Jim patiently obliged them to lure him away, he paused long enough for me to sneak quietly out of the car. I ran back about 20 feet beyond the area where we had first heard the commotion and crept forward little by little on my hands and knees as I scouted the road. Nothing on the ground looked particularly unusual. But Mother and Dad Killdeer seemed to be mortally wounded and cried incessantly. Why? I wanted to find out. After a few minutes of careful search, I spotted 2 little speckled eggs camouflaged among the rocks and pebbles by the side of the road.

I motioned for Jim to join me. When I looked back down again, my eyes began to blur. The eggs had vanished! For a moment I thought I had been fooled. Was it just a figment of my imagination? Examining the ground closely once more, the eggs materialized.

As I think back of the Killdeers and their precious little nest of mottled eggs, I am reminded of how God cares for them and how much more He loves and cares for each one of us.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31 NIV

"God sees the little sparrow fall
It meets His tender view
If God so loves the little bird
I know He loves me too."
-- Straub

Poor mama Killdeer's wings are badly hurt. Who will give her TLC?

Click on the gravel for a closer look at her precious little spotted eggs.