Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Picture of a Hornbill

Here's a picture I took of a red-billed hornbill which I think are one of the nicer birds in Southern Africa. We were out in the bush this week trying to find sites for new sand dams that we will be building this year. We had a bit of free time in the Hilux while driving in between communities so we got to discuss birds with our Mozambican coworkers. It's funny, I typically assign value to birds based on how beautiful they are, my Mozambican friends assign value based on their tastiness.

It's a rare privilege for me to be bird watching in places and environments that share much of the birds mentioned in the Old Testament. When Moses set about outlining the birds which Israelites were forbidden to eat, the last two he mentions are the Hoopoe and the bat. Given that the bat is not actually a bird, I think it is logical to believe that eating a Hoopoe is either the greatest or least violation of Hebrew bird dietary restrictions. I've been keeping an eye out for Hoopoes because my coworkers seem familiar with them and their calls. I am assuming that being good Christians they have never eaten one, although I never worked up the courage to ask.

Your brother,


  1. Ah, Stephen, you are addressing one of my deepest wonderings about your life--the birds and how humans interact with them.

  2. Dolores! I figured you would appreciate this one. I think the answer to that question is that if a bird can be eaten, it will be eaten. However, one of the few good side effects of the horrible war was that firearms are controlled heavily today. And so Mozambique is blessed with many birds.