Are not two little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave (consent) and notice. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31 AMP)
IN THE HOLLOW OF HIS HAND.
(From an Ornithologist’s Year Book.)
So tiny that a child’s small palm can cover its whole body, inaudible at a few paces’ distance, invisible till it rises at your very feet, such is our yellow-winged sparrow. Yet he is a marvel; his plumage shows an exquisite mimicry of the earth tints, “the upper parts mixed black, rufous-brown, ashy and cream-buff,” with a touch of “yellowish olive-green” for the herbage, and here and there an orange or yellow shade, and a dusky whiteness beneath, to give the effect of light. What could be more perfect? No wonder the wee householders, with a nest of fine-woven grasses, low upon the ground, sits unseen on her “clutch” of wee speckled eggs within reach of your fingers. She knows this well, and will not rise until you are almost upon her retreat. Nor will she fly far. A fence post, a low shrub will serve as her watchtower until danger is over.
Our yellow-tinted sparrow has another name, the “Grasshopper Sparrow,” from its insect-like tremolo and chirp. Its song is a chord or two and a long trill on the insect letter, z. It is sung, to the eye, with a hearty abandon of joy, the head thrown back and mouth open, in a fine pose of ecstasy; yet, unless all around is still, and you listen with attention, not a sound will you hear, so small and fine are the vibrating tones. It is said, in a story of the Highlands, that on certain nights, if a man will but lay a couchant ear close to the breast of the earth, he may hear the fine, fine piping of the fairy tunes played in the underworld. Our bird’s song is one of these faint, sweet voices of the earth, like the music that breathes from every clod or leaf when the old world lies dreaming and dozing in a bit of holiday after work is done on a warm, sunny afternoon in autumn, a musical, tremulous, sweet piping everywhere.
Yet not one of these small creatures is forgotten before its Father. When the frost is in the air, and winter is near, the Divine impulse stirs in its breast, and its little wings will bear it far, far away in the long, mysterious journey over sea to the warm islands of the Atlantic. There it will sing for joy with its fellows in the sun, but when April returns, look well. Is there not a stir in the short grass? And listen. The faint, dream-like thrill throbs again in the throat of the sparrow, and our ground-dweller has returned. It is a parable of God’s care for His little ones.
Ella F. Mosby.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7 NKJV)
BIRDS AND NATURE. Vol. X NOVEMBER, 1901. No. 4
I just found another wealth of great birds tales and information to write about. These are all in the Public Domain.