Owls are fast becoming common pets in Japan. Many neighborhoods have owl cafes, where one can enjoy the company of owls over a beverage or snack.
Farmers in Japan’s apple-producing region are encouraging the wild owls they once turned away to return to their orchards as a solution to their battle against tree-killing rodents.
In the past, hollows of large apple trees used to provide ideal nesting spaces to lay eggs and rear owlets. However, the tall trees with hollows were replaced by smaller species to optimize production during the 1970s. This caused owls to disappear from orchards, leaving humans to fight the rodents alone.
Now, these pest-killing birds are making a comeback as farmers install dozens of nesting boxes, which stand a head taller than the apple trees. Mice are an essential part of their diet while nurturing their young.
An apple sapling requires about seven years to become profitable. In winter, mice feed on apple wood when there is nothing else to eat. In some cases, the damage goes unnoticed until spring, as snow accumulates in the area, and young trees sometimes die as a result.
Agricultural control laws restrict the number of times rat poison may be used, so apple farmers are resorting to spending large amounts of time and money on mice control measures, including setting traps and placing mice guards around trees. As a first step, they investigated the prey items fed to owlets by monitoring owl nests in apple tree hollows found in orchards during between 2003 and2007. Then as a second step, they installed 60 nest boxes in orchards to attract owls during breeding seasons from 2015 to 2017 and measured the vole population changes around owl nests with live-trappings and compared to the basic vole population dynamics in control area.
The significance of the owls’ role in controlling mice was not recognized until recently, when a team from Hirosaki University, led by Mr. Ishioka, conducted research. The results were astounding. It was found that the number of mice an owl caught in one day was almost equal to what a mouse trap usually snared in a week. “I never imagined they were doing such an amazing job,” said Ishioka.
“Having owls in apple orchards can reduce costs and labor, and that is a great help for farmers who are facing a fast-aging workforce,” said Ishioka.
Source: The Internet
It is wonderful that apple farmers are resorting to birds as a natural means to rid their fields of mice. The problem started when farmers inadvertently removed the nesting places of owls in the 1970s, when they strayed from their original plan to use taller trees. The Creator God knew that owls were an integral part of His plan for reproduction.
The Bible says that we have strayed from God’s original plan for our lives.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; (Is. 53:6a).
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Rom. 3:23).
Just as the farmers experienced the negative consequences of their actions, so we also bore the consequences of our sin.
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (Is. 59:2).
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom. 6:23).
Praise be to God for sending His Son to save us from our sin!
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever should believeth in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).
First of all you need to accept His plan of salvation. Repent of making your own choices and believe that Jesus is the answer to your need of salvation. Then let us live each day with gratitude for His perfect and precious sacrifice. And remember we need to follow His Word and His desires, not make up our own as we go along.