Let’s Bring Them Over!

by Kevin Shank | Feb 1, 2024 | 0 comments

It all seemed so noble, and Nicholas Pike decided to do it. Why not, when America was swarming with green canker worms, gregarious grubs, and multiple pests? In his mind’s eye, he saw the House Sparrows getting busy in this land of insect pests, maybe even eradicating them!

So, in the 1850s, he brought eight pairs of these social sparrows from Europe and turned them loose to begin their assignment. Other men followed suit, bringing in more sparrows. Why, it worked! Those sparrows got right to their job, gobbling canker worms that were destroying trees. They devoured huge numbers of maggots that would have turned into flies. They loved seeds, and gulped down ragweed, smartweed, dandelion, and purslane seeds. Cities became ripe spots for those lowly sparrows, where they picked up crumbs from the sidewalk. Oh, sometimes sparrows nipped vegetable sprouts and even berries, but surely they may enjoy dessert sometimes!

Nobody knew back then that the plan would become undesirable because of the sparrows’ sheer numbers. But, meanwhile, the House Sparrows adapted, making themselves right at home, and spread all over the United States and neighboring Mexico and Central America.

Other than that, why add that House Sparrows push out Purple Martin babies from their nests? Why bother saying how house gutters and spouting become clogged with their trashy nests? Don’t even mention that they bully bluebirds out of their houses and claim them.

We spent several weeks in the huge city of Tijuana, Mexico. Right outside our condo, we could look out over the Pacific Ocean. The continual waves coming in, meeting the receding water, caused magnificent waves to rise high, then fold over in a waterfall, creating white foam breakers continually crashing. Utterly fascinated, we watched day after day, looking for dolphins, and never tiring of that pulsing, “living” sea, with its never-ceasing unrest.

But directly in front on the sidewalks, lowly sparrows kept pecking out their sustenance in crumbs, just crumbs, left by people walking the streets, perhaps from leftovers purchased from vendors lining the street, or from an overturned garbage bag. Never mind the screeching sirens, blaring horns, and incessant “bum, bum” of nighttime drums and music. Which is the greater wonder, the ocean or that bird of low degree?

The Bible never specifically names cardinals, bluebirds, and Purple Martins as recipients of the Heavenly Father’s tender care. But…the sparrow is mentioned more than once. “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father….” Yet He cares for us even more. “Ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29, 31b)

There are many kinds of sparrows. Was the sparrow in Jesus’ lesson a little House Sparrow, eating the crumbs close to His feet? It really does not matter; it was a SPARROW, a bird of low degree, yet worthy of His care and mentioning by name!

Help Your Family Explore the Wonders of God's Creation

Full color magazine delivered to your door + digital access. Subscribe now for just $5 a month!

Buy Magazine: $5/month

Buy Magazine + Study Guide: $7.50/month

Buy Gift Subscription