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Sep
22
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Romans 1:20
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Chickadee-Dee-Dee Danger

Matthew 8:20
"And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."

Millions of North Americans are familiar with the call of the Black-Capped chickadee: "Chicka-dee". However, most bird-watchers know that the little chickadee communicates danger with its  "chickadee-dee-dee" call. Bird-watchers also know that chickens use different warnings for dangers from the air or from the ground.

ChickadeeScientists decided to see if chickadees used specialized calls for different dangers. In their first experiments they used a stuffed hawk to see what the chickadees in an outdoor aviary would do. However, they were only fooled once, and after that researchers had to use live hawks. After studying over 5,000 responses, a pattern emerged. Small, agile raptors like hawks are more dangerous to chickadees than, say, a large, horned owl, which the chickadees can easily evade. When confronted by a smaller raptor, the birds' "chicka" call added up to four "dee"s in rapid succession, instead of two more leisurely "dee"s. Even more "dee"s might be added if the chickadees evaluated the danger as greater. Most frightening to the little birds was a pygmy owl that rated 23 "dee"s.

God cares for all His creatures and, knowing that predation would enter the creation with man's sin, provided them with ways to warn each other. He also gave man His Word to warn us how to avoid sin and how to escape from it through Jesus Christ, should we become entrapped.

Prayer: 
I thank You, Lord, for Your protection from all the dangers we face, especially the danger of our sin. Amen.
Notes: 
Science News, 6/25/05, pp. 403-404, S. Milius, "Dee for Danger." See also: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/black-capped_chickadee/sounds