The Amazing Woodpecker
by Anjum Makki
If we take a tour in the wonderland of animals and birds, we often come across different species, each created unique in a special sort of way. If we use the word created or made, then we have to also acknowledge the role of a Creator, who created them all. In order to do that it is important that we study His creation in minute detail to marvel at the wisdom behind creating each of his creation perfect to the last minute detail.
One such creation among the birds is the woodpecker. The woodpecker is unlike any other bird. We can often come across these birds in parks and forests. It is easy to distinguish the woodpecker from the other birds, for it uses its beak to drill away at the wood in the trees, banging at the rate of hundred times a minute. To drill holes into the hard wood of the tree, the woodpecker has been gifted with a strong beak. Between its beak and the skull, we find a resilient, unique shock absorbing tissue that is not found in any other birds.
Apart from its beak, there are other parts of its body are especially fitted in such a way so as to assist the woodpecker in its job of drilling into wood. Its legs are short and attached to them are powerful claws, which help it to hold on tightly to the vertical tree trunks. They are made different from the spindly legs of other birds.
If we consider its tongue, we find on close examination, that it is barbed. It is four times longer than the beak and it wraps around the back of the birds skull in a very purposeful design. The woodpecker uses its snake like tongue to penetrate deep inside the bark of the tree in search of food and small insects. Some woodpeckers produce a sticky substance, which coats its tongue and is used for baiting ants.
Besides his powerful beak and its special tongue the woodpecker has a keen sense of smell. It has highly sensitive ears with which it can detect insects crawling under the bark of a tree that he is climbing. The woodpecker is an expert tree climber and it has also built into it specially constructed tail feathers that are stiff enough to brace it securely whenever it climbs the tall trees in a forest looking for food.
After considering all the features of it body with care, we realize that these feathered "machines" are not engineered by mere coincidence or a rare chance.
It becomes quite apparent even to the casual birdwatcher that the woodpecker is one of the marvels of Almighty's Creations along with all His other creations.
"Blessed be He in Whose Hands is the Dominion; and He over all things hath Power-- He Who created Death and LIfe, that He may try which of you is best in deed; and He is the Exalted In Might, Oft-Forgiving-- He Who created the seven heavens one above another: no want of proportion wilt thou see in the Creation of (Allah) Most Gracious. So turn thy vision again: Seest thou any flaw?" (Qur'an 67:1-4)
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