Friday, March 2, 2018

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 66: Winter Support

Key Verse

“Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25 BSB


Where do all the birds go in the winter? It is well known that many birds fly south for the winter. But not all birds do so. Many remain in cold regions and endure the snow, ice, and frigid weather including Cardinals, certain wrens, some woodpeckers and others. It is incredible to think that some birds would choose to remain in cold climates when they can so easily fly south to warmer areas. Perhaps if they all went south there would not be enough food for all of them. So how do birds stay warm in the cold and where do they go if not south?

On most nights birds sleep in a nest or on a tree branch. During cold winter nights birds seek warm lodgings out of the wind. Such places include cavities in trees, tree stumps, vine tangles, upturned roots, old barn roofs, and bird houses to name a few. Birds have been known to stay just about anywhere they can find, including a mailbox. I’m sure that post man was quite surprised. Birds tend to only go out in the cold when the must for food. This is why they are seen less during the winter. They only travel as far as required to find insects or bird feeders to eat.

Birds have other ways of combating low temperatures besides going inside. They will often add insulation to their winter roost with bits of moss, twigs, leaves, and man-made material such as paper. They can also ruffle their feathers up to trap more heat around their little body. Of course, the best way birds use to stay warm is to huddle together with other birds. As many as 46 birds have been documented inside one nesting box!1

Birds know the value of relationships. Having others around to support you when things get hard can be a big help and even save your life. The early Christians realized the benefit of relationships and community also. That is why in Hebrews 10:25 Paul encouraged his fellow Christians to meet frequently so they could encourage one another. It is not safe to be a Christian all alone with out the support of fellow believers. Jesus also encouraged believers to get together when he said where two or three are gathered in my name I am there also (Matthew 18:20). We need each other, especially in hard times, for warmth and support.


What are some things you could do to help ensure birds make it through the cold winter?

Do we have to be part of a church to be Christian?

Can you come up with some other reasons why it is important to meet with fellow Christians?

What could you tell someone who says they don’t need other Christians?


1 Joe Smith. “How Do Birds Stay Warm on a Cold Winter’s Night?” (JANUARY 19, 2016). The Nature Conservancy. Accessed January 1, 2018 from

Written by David F. Garner

Photo Credit: christijamin via