Migrating Marvels

by Isaiah Schlabach | Sep 1, 2022 | 0 comments

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Photo © Dreamstime.com.

I shivered as the damp wind whistled through my shirt, and I stared unbelievingly through my binoculars at the bird resting on the branch in front of me. It can’t be, I thought, but it was. A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher! A rare bird for west central Ohio, this flycatcher was right in our front yard.

“Here,” Dad whispered. “You can have a look at it through the spotting scope.”

I stared in awe at the beautiful bird and marveled at God’s handiwork. He surely did His best on the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, I thought as I stepped back to let someone else take a turn. Suddenly the flycatcher lifted its wings, flew a little ways down the road, and landed in a clump of pine trees.

Soon a whole group of bikers armed with binoculars and bird books was following the rare bird. As I searched the pine trees for any sign of the scissor-tailed bird, I saw something else flitting about like Grandma on apple butter day.
I grabbed my bird book and searched the pages for any signs of the mystery bird. Pine Warbler? Nashville Warbler? Orange-crowned Warbler? Yes, I was looking at a male Orange-crowned Warbler. I stared in delight at the warbler, which was still oblivious to its watchers.

I glanced at my watch; it was nearly suppertime. Perhaps I would have time to go back to the woods tomorrow.
The next day I strode toward the trees. As I entered the woodland, I slowed my pace and quietly walked down the path. Suddenly above me sounded a high-pitched warble. I looked up. To my amazement, above me on a branch sat a Bay-breasted Warbler. It hopped about unperturbed. Finally it flew to a lofty branch and trilled its song.

Suddenly a small orb of dusky gold dropped from the sky and lighted on a branch in front of me. “A Yellow Warbler!” I exclaimed as I watched it hop nimbly from branch to branch. As I walked on, a few Yellow-rumped Warblers hopped along in front of me. High in the tree, a Blackburnian Warbler sang its flutelike song.

As I walked toward home, I marveled at the thousands of miles these birds flew to their nesting sites and back again every year. Truly God guides them all those miles.

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