For the Birds

. . . exploring the wonders of God's creation

Have you ever heard the expression that something is “for the birds”?

Roseate Spoonbill

Black Mandibled Toucan

That idiom refers to something as being “worthless, trivial, or meaningless.” I must confess that my hobby is literally “for the birds.” However, in this context, my “for the birds” hobby provides an extra level of meaning and value in my life. I took an interest in birds at an early age while trout fishing with my father. Not having the patience to wait for the fish to bite, I took off in pursuit of the nearby birds and have been “hooked” ever since.

Bird watching requires careful observation and listening skills with an attention to detail. It helps me to appreciate the gifts of sight and hearing that are so easy to take for granted. As I age, it also reminds me that these senses are not quite as keen as they were in my youth.

Bird watching adds meaning and value to my life by reminding me of the awesome power and glory of our Creator God. It makes it easy to see the order He placed in his universe. My hobby is one that can be practiced almost anywhere, and I have enjoyed all over the world in my travels.

I have stood in a quiet marsh before dawn and experienced the bird chorus rising with the morning sun to a new day. I am reminded of the dawning of the fifth day of creation. I have stood in a dark Costa Rican cloud forest in the dead of night marveling at the vastness of the Milky Way galaxy. What a powerful reminder of God’s promise to Abraham that his descendants would be like the stars in the heavens. Witnessing the annual spectacle of migration calls to mind God’s love and care for all His creation. Not even a sparrow falls to earth without God knowing.

Long-Billed Hermit

Rufous Motmot


My wife Cathy and I both treasure the Christ-centered education we received in all our classes at FVL. I am ever thankful for the common background, love, and faith that we share, and for all the blessings that God has brought to our marriage. She is my valued companion . . . and my trusty assistant as we annually assist the U.S. Geological Survey in their annual surveys for bird breeding.

I encourage all of you to take the time to observe and appreciate the beauty and intricacy of God’s creation. For me, it is “for the birds.” . . . And if birds aren’t for you, consider the countless other wonders that witness to the Lord’s almighty power.

—Darwin Tiede Class of 1967

Dar and Cathy (Neujahr) Tiede are graduates of the FVL class of 1967. They reside in Appleton and are members of Eternal Love Lutheran Church.

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