In discussing birds, this article notes the prevalence of monogamy and cases of pairing for life, the religious symbolism of birds, and the human impacts on birds, that go against the proper stewardship reflected in the third blessing of the Bible.
- Monogamy is prevalent among birds, and some birds pair for life. Animals exhibit all kinds of breeding patterns. Birds are one of the most remarkable, in that 91% of bird species practice monogamy during the breeding seasons. And there are numerous examples of birds pairing for life, such as the albatross, bald eagle, Canadian goose, and species of macaws, owls, and crows. In this age, when people are referencing other sexual activity in nature (homosexuality, polygyny, polyandry) as "evidence" that humans are not naturally monogamous or should pair for life, it is good to have other examples that appeal to the higher aspirations of people and the teachings of religion. Unfortunately as far as inspirations, monogamy among birds does not necessarily translate to fidelity among the pairs, but nonetheless provides enough of an example to counter the view that monogamy and pairing for life are unnatural. As noted in the article:
- "Monogamy does not necessarily translate to fidelity among the pairs, as examples to the contrary are known. It is certainly problematic to compare mating habits of species in creation with human habits, given that people are endowed with a spiritual as well as physical nature. (See human and human body.) Nevertheless, the dominance of monogamy in birds, and the extensive phenomena of pairing for life as a universal standard within certain bird species, provides a counterbalance to the current social Darwinistic views of some that monogamy, pairing for life, and fidelity in humans is an unnatural state. (See reproduction for an elaboration of this perspective.)"
- Birds are prominent as religious symbols. At least 40 bird species are mentioned in the bible. Several examples are presented. Furthermore, the dove is a symbol of not only peace, but the Holy Spirit in the Christian faith.
- Humans have a role to be good stewards of creation. Many species of birds have become extinct through over-hunting, such as the Passenger Pigeon, and many others have become endangered or extinct through habitat destruction, deforestation and intensive agriculture. The poignant example of the passenger pigeon is noted in this article, whereby this species, which once numbered in the billions, became extinct because of overhunting. This provides a serious reminder of people as stewards of creation, according to the third blessing.