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Birds Helping People: Service and Miracles

Miraculous Ways Birds Help With Therapy Healing, Search and Rescue, and More

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Jackie Beattie, 83, holds a dove in 2009 at the Hospice of Saint John in Lakewood, Colorado, USA. The dove is part of a therapy program designed to increase happiness, decrease loneliness and calm terminally ill patients during the last stage of life.

John Moore / Getty Images

Birds -- animals that often symbolize the inspiration that comes from rising above earthly challenges to explore the spiritual realm -- help people in a variety of ways that some consider to be miraculous. Here are some of the ways that believers say God is at work performing miracles through birds:

Service Birds

Ill or injured people sometimes have specially trained birds help them perform daily tasks they can't do on their own. These service birds can miraculously improve the quality of life for the people they serve.

Service birds may retrieve items, turn lights on and off, or push buttons on appliances for disabled people. Since birds can sense when people’s blood sugar is low, some service birds live with diabetics and alert them to take their medications when necessary. If people can't see or hear well, service birds can call their attention to dangers to help them prevent accidents.

Therapy Birds

Therapy birds bring comfort and healing to people who are suffering physically or emotionally.

Physically, birds can help people with speech impediments relax more when they're practicing their speaking skills. Birds who can be trained to talk (such as parrots, cockatiels, parakeets, and budgies) can carry on meaningful conversations with humans, and often, people with speech impediments don't feel self-conscious when talking with birds, since birds don't judge or criticize them (as people may) and provide unconditional love.

Emotionally, the companionship of birds can provide miraculous encouragement to lonely people. Birds are usually quite social and entertaining, with their frequent singing and playful, funny antics. Depressed people often report feeling better after interacting with birds. Birds help people such as abused children and soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder overcome anxiety and start to trust others again. Therapy birds also help comfort people who are facing difficult situations that they can't change, such as those who are terminally ill.

Search and Rescue Birds

Birds, whose extraordinary eyesight allows them to see better from the air than humans can, have sometimes participated in search and rescue missions that have miraculously helped those in danger. Pigeons work for military organizations to locate people and items that are difficult for people to spot on the ground or in water. Owls, falcons, and ravens fitted with GPS tracking devices attached to their feet sometimes help human rescuers discover missing hikers lost in the wilderness, so the hikers can then be rescued.

Reading Buddy Birds

Some birds work as reading buddies (through library or school programs) for children who are learning to read and adults who want to improve their literacy skills. The birds sit still and listen attentively while people read to them. This builds confidence in the readers, who can often relax more when reading to birds than they can when reading to people. Unlike people, birds don't criticize readers or laugh at their mistakes.

Reading buddy birds who can talk can do more than provide quiet encouragement, like other reading buddy animals (such as dogs) do. Talking birds can respond to the material that people are reading out loud by mimicking the sounds they hear. This can help reinforce the correct pronunciation of words and also interject humor into the situation, which can help readers relax even more.

After building their confidence through reading to birds, readers then can move on to reading well to other people.

Birds Helping the Environment

Birds also provide many ecological benefits to nature on Earth that can bless people in miraculous ways.

As pollinators, birds help disperse pollen to plants throughout the environment in ways that are crucial for the human food supply. Birds deliver pollen from plant to plant as they travel, which helps make it possible for fruit and vegetables to grow.

As predators, birds help people by eating insects that would otherwise destroy human crops, and also by eating the seeds of weeds that would otherwise interfere with people's crops.

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