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Birds: One of an occasional series on the richness and diversity of Creation
If possible, get a recording of bird song.
You might involve children in the preparation of the main part of the worship. They could either
- do some of the research themselves and then present sections
- collect illustrative examples.
Having a range of examples to display will make a greater impact when you - or the children - have finished listing some of the key facts about birds and they can then look at the illustrations whilst listening to the bird song.
You could do a bird survey and find out the types of bird seen in the school grounds - or around the home area - over a period of time.
You might ask children to share which is their favourite bird - and why, and illustrate the answers.
Use the recording of bird song as an introduction: READER: 'So God created ... every winged
bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, 'Be
fruitful and ... let the birds increase on the earth.'
(Genesis 1:21-22, NIV)
Using your own or the children's examples (see 'Preparation'), share a sense of wonder that these birds are part of God's creation; they may differ in size, colour, song and habitat but they are a wonderful example of the variety and richness of creation. All birds have feathers and wings; most can fly - but a few can't. And they are very ancient: one of the first birds - archaeopteryx - lived some 150 million years ago!
- It's reckoned there are more than 9000 species of bird;
- One of the smallest is the hummingbird. These can weigh as little as 1.6g with an egg the size of a pea and their nest as small as half a walnut shell.
- The largest is the ostrich, weighing up to 156kg. An ostrich egg can weigh as much as 1.65kg. It is the heaviest flightless bird.
- The heaviest bird to fly is the kori bustard which can weigh as much as 18kg. Bald eagles build massive nests: the largest found weighed almost 3 tons - about the same as three cars.
- Each year the Arctic tern flies from the Arctic area - the northernmost part of the planet - to the Antarctic - the southernmost part. Then it flies back again.
- Peregrine falcons dive at speeds of up to 110mph when hunting prey; swifts can fly at over 100mph; gentoo penguins manage 17mph in the water!.
(Key facts here were taken from: Record Breakers, published by Dorling Kindersley, ISBN 0-751-35661-1)
If you have managed to find a recording of bird song it would be good to pause here and play the recording while the children think about what they've heard.
Dear and loving God -
Thank you for the beautiful birds which add colour and song to our life.
Help us to see your hand in their creation.
Teach us, please, to make the words we say as pleasant as the bird song.
Help us to be colourful and happy in our living so that our friends and family are pleased to have us around.