Mother Bird That Saved Her Chicks by Covering Them With Her Body in the
Summary of eRumor: A
forest ranger in Yellowstone finds a bird carcass after a fire, knocks it over,
and out runs three baby chicks that were protected by the mother bird's
sacrifice of her own life. The bird is described as having known that
there would be toxic smoke higher in the trees, but took her chicks to the base
of a tree where she covered them with her wings and saved their lives.
A wonderful story, especially when tied to a wonderful Bible verse, but both The
National Geographic Society and officials at Yellowstone
Park say it never happened. TruthOrFiction.com has searched an index for
National Geographic, but did not find the story. Additionally, a
representative of the National
Geographic Society, L.T. Walker, says that while they get questions about the
mother bird tale, it has never appeared in the pages of National Geographic.
Both Phil Perkins, the Fire Management Officer at Yellowstone, and Terry
MacEneany, the park's bird expert, have been on staff for many years, including
during the well known 1988 fires. They have both confirmed that the mother
bird story is fiction. MacEneany says he wrote an article for National
Geographic about some osprey that were affected by the fires and he suspects
that's where the legend may have gotten started. Yellowstone rangers
discovered some fledgling ospreys that had fallen out of their nest when the
fire burned their tree. They fell into an area where the adult osprey
couldn't get to them to feed them so MacEneany supervised the construction of a
platform to elevate a new nest.
A real example of the story as it has been circulated:
An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating
picture of God's wings.
After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their
trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage. One ranger found a bird
literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of
a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a
stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their
dead mother's wings.
The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring
to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively
knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but
refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had
scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been
willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.
"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find
refuge." (Psalm 91:4)
Please pass this on to others you care about and don't drive faster than your
Guardian Angel can fly.