Let me begin by saying this: Starlings are my least favourite bird in the entire bird kingdom. They have very large families, and it seems like every starling on the Niagara Peninsula congregates on my deck celebrating their ongoing family reunions. They don't even say "thank you" for the catered feast provided for them.

At the beginning of spring, my daughter set out my bird feeders, filling them with the good things birds like. She hung the finch feeder beside the rest, and she even put out suet for the woodpeckers. And they all came -- The pretty yellow goldfinches, the house finches and the purple finches, along with a few chickadees, doves, nuthatches and downy woodpeckers. One day I was treated to three rose-breasted grosbeaks. That was a really special sighting because rose-breasted grosbeaks do not seem to live in my area, but rather only pass through on their way to somewhere else. I thank my Heavenly Father for the privilege of seeing these lovely birds.

So I was enjoying my window on the world, watching the birds as they devoured the feast put out for them...

And then, then the starlings moved in...

Starlings are like pigs. Not only do they eat everything in sight, but even worse, they scare the little birds away. No longer can I enjoy the variety of feathered friends that were coming to my feeders, for now I have starlings, starlings and more starlings. Recently they even began to bring their babies. The young are so big that the only way I can tell the mamas from the babies is that the babies sit around with their mouths open waiting for a morsel from mama...

As I said before, starlings are my least favourite bird; nonetheless, I have learned to admire certain things about them. First of all, they are beautiful to look at, with their shiny black feathers mixed with flecks of white. They are also very chatty in bird language; they love family and love being with family; and they are completely devoted to their young. All admirable traits!

That got me to thinking. God has a window on the world and He has provided many things for all of His children to enjoy. Then we humans come along and chase away the smaller and weaker ones and gobble up everything for ourselves...Wait. Are we any different from the starlings?

Yes, I would prefer to have the smaller prettier birds come to my feeder, but even the starlings are God's creatures, and they are as precious in His sight as any other bird. He says so in His word: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care." (Matt. 10:29 NIV). True, He doesn't mention starlings but he made all the birds and He takes care of all...

And then He goes on to say that we are of more value than many sparrows: "So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Matt. 10:31 NIV); "Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Luke 12:7 NIV)

Yes, now I can truly admire even the starlings...

Wynona Gordon