A Bird is Born

In 1955 I was a kindergartner at Hilltop Elementary in Chula Vista, California.  I don’t remember too many details about my first year in school, but there was one event that I’ve never forgotten: the day my teacher brought a large cage into the classroom. It contained a full-grown hen. Her name was “Mrs. Cluck”.

For three weeks, 25 kids diligently watched that mother hen sit on her nest.  We all tried to imagine what was going on inside the egg she nurtured so carefully.  Our teacher told us us that a baby chicken was growing. We took her at her word and 21 days after Mrs. Cluck arrived, a newborn chick cracked the eggshell and entered the world. We all cheered.

A few years back I had the chance to relive that seminal experience of my childhood. Working with Tim Standish of the Geoscience Research Institute, Jerry Harned and I filmed the part of the story I’d missed in 1955 as we documented what was going on inside the egg. It was amazing to see the embryo’s tiny beating heart pumping blood through an expansive network of vessels less than two days into the chick’s development.

Since Aristotle, scientists have studied chicken eggs to better understand the biological development of birds in general. The process is nearly identical for all of the world’s more than 10,000 avian species. It’s an incredible chain of events where individual cells organize themselves into a brain, heart, legs, lungs, wings and every other organ and system required for life. The entire progression shouts design, purpose, foresight and plan.  Mrs. Cluck, I’ve never appreciated you more!

I hope you enjoy A BIRD IS BORN. Please share it with your family and friends via social media. It’s one of 68 videos currently posted on The John 10:10 Project website.