Bullfinches of Martin Top

A bullfinch I saw while cycling to chapel some weeks ago. A deeper pink breast than the chaffinch it has, and a darker head. It is not all that common a sight, even though it is found throughout the country. I always marvelled at its name, which I think it obtained for its dark head feathers, which give it the impression of having little neck. Bullfinches are quick to hide from people, perhaps because we traditionally hunted them, not for their meat, but to prevent their feeding on the buds of fruit trees, which they very much enjoy. It is as though their collective memory of man’s defence of his fruit trees makes contemporary bullfinches the more wary. In Genesis 9:2, God foretells the postdiluvian creatures' fear of humanity. Not only was he then more likely to hunt and eat them, but he was the source of all the physical world’s anguish and pain. Many creatures have been domesticated or have enjoyed a friendly coexistence with humans, such as robins, but many others, like the bullfinch, keep their distance. On the new earth, harmony between mankind and creation will be restored, much as harmony between believing humans and a gracious God is established in the gospel. For now, birds like the bullfinch flee at our approach; then, they shall descend and perch upon our fingers, knowing that all evil intention is removed from our souls. 

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
Their young ones shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,
And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea."

-Isaiah 11:1-9, NKJV

Image by ray jennings from Pixabay