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His Eye on the Sparrow: The Science behind Biblical Birds's video poster

Which bird did Noah first send out from the Ark after the flood? Wrong. The dove was his second try. First was a raven. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on February 24, 2013.

Which bird did Noah first send out from the Ark after the flood? Wrong. The dove was his second try. First was a raven.

About this project

"His Eye on the Sparrow: The Science Behind the Birds of the Bible" 

BOOK! 224 pages; 30 or more pen-and-ink illustrations

A fun read for any bird lover, by the author of 20-some popular books about birds & gardening.

This is a bird book. It can be used by Christians, sure, and I hope it will be, but it's for everybody, whether or not you ever read the Bible. Please see 'updates' for links to sample text.

I've always thought of the Bible as interesting and important, but I'd never thought of it as a nature book until I started researching this project.

Imagine my surprise to learn that the Bible is actually one of the oldest records of bird behavior! What may seem like a passing mention of a dove, a sparrow, a bittern, a cormorant, or other bird is actually firmly grounded in the real-life habits and behavior of those birds, then and now.

"His Eye on The Sparrow" examines descriptions of birds in this ancient text, and draws upon my own 50 years of field observations and scientific research to show that the original authors were in fact astute naturalists. 

But, ack, can't get a traditional publisher interested in this project! So far, the response has been "No, thanks. We don't do Christian books."

So now it's up to you guys!

The amount we're asking for will cover self-publishing, with pen-and-ink sketches of the birds done by me. If we go over our goal, we'll use the extra for maybe a nicer cover or better quality paper or some color in the illustrations, whatever we can do to make a better book.

I love a great story, and "His Eye on the Sparrow" is full of them. It connects the ancient wisdom of the Bible with the latest research and my own lifetime of observing and studying birds. 

Each of the 15 chapters—Dove, Sparrow, Raven, Eagle, Quail, Bittern, Owl, Pelican, Phalarope, Hawk (including Osprey), Cormorant, Heron, Swallow, Nighthawk, and Swan—will include scriptural references that illustrate the essential nature of that bird. 

Then, in a lively, informal, personal style, the book will examine the scientific truths behind the Scriptures, showing how the Bible integrates real bird behavior with inspiring verses that draw on human nature as well as natural history.

Take the famous dove of Noah’s Ark, for instance.

Noah sent the dove from the Ark, to see if any land had been spared. The dove returned with a bit of greenery in its beak, and Noah rejoiced.

But before Noah released that celebrated dove, he made a first attempt by sending out a raven. 

At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made, and sent forth a raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. Genesis 8:6-7

The raven never returned to the Ark. Why? Eating habits! Ravens eat just about anything, whether it’s plant, animal, or insect. Scavenging is their stock in trade. The raven was no doubt happily flexing its wings and enjoying a banquet as the waters receded.

As you get to know the birds through Scripture, through science, and through stories about them, you’ll feel a deeper connection—to the birds, and to the Bible... no matter what your religious beliefs.


If this book makes money, I would LOVE to give back every penny you wonderful people donate! You get to keep the rewards, of course, but you would also get your money back, so you can help sombody else out (no clue when; books can take a year or more to start bringing in money, and there's no way to tell now what this one may do). It just wouldn't feel right otherwise.


$25 donors will also get a copy of "His Eye on the Sparrow" once it's published, in addition to the other rewards that level specifies!

Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, And maketh us wiser than the birds of the heavens? —Job 35:11

Risks and challenges

This book is gonna happen! If we can't find a publisher willing to take it on, then we will publish this ourselves.

And market it ourselves. We're eccentric enough to get media attention, and experienced at public speaking, whether it's a church, a big book fair, or a national conference.

We believe in this book's unique approach to the subject—science and Scripture are *not* two separate entities: they dovetail perfectly in this book—and we are going to do this!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter



  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    3 backers

    Every penny helps! So, you $5 donors, THANKS A MILLION! And to show our gratitude, we'll send you a copy of our Apocalypse Guide, which we made for December 21, 2012. It has edible plants, medicinal plants, survival recipes (yeah, nothing you'd ever really eat unless the End Is Nigh), deadly poison plants, and other stuff in its 14 stapled-together pages. Plus a photoshopped pic of an ancient Mayan pottery dog howling at the moon on the cover. Oh boy, moon howlin'! Get em while they last, or before the printer ink runs out... we're low on yellow, I think. And THANK YOU!

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    6 backers

    Seeds! Oh boy, seeds! We'll send you a generous packet of seeds for easy to grow flowers that will attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and songbirds. Best thing about these? All you do is clear a sunny space, scatter em around, water em now & then, and sit back. You'll get a colorful garden that keeps blooming til frost. And most of them seed themselves, so you'll have babies coming up next spring, and the next, and the next, to do it all over again. Most are annuals, with a few kinds of easy to grow/will probably bloom the the first year perennials thrown in. And yep, these are all from my personal collection. I love em, I grow em, and you can, too!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    25 backers

    A book! Oh boy, a book! One of Sally Roth's previous bird or gardening books (your choice if we still have copies, our choice if we're running low). Personally autographed, to whomever you want! May be new, may be pre-loved. Books include:
    --Natural Landscaping (winner of the Art of Communication award from the Garden Writers of America Association)
    --The Backyard Bird Feeder’s Bible
    --Attracting Backyard Birds
    --Attracting Hummingbirds and Butterflies to Your Backyard
    --The Backyard Bird Lover’s Field Guide
    --The Gardener’s Weather Bible
    --Taylor’s Guide to Ornamental Grasses
    --Ortho’s All About Container Gardening
    --Country Living’s Success with Herbs
    --Reader’s Digest Weeds: Friend or Foe?
    --Backyard Bird Secrets for Every Season
    --The Ultimate Backyard Bird Lover’s How-to Guide
    --Attracting Songbirds to Your Backyard. Just tell us which one you want, and if we have it, GREAT! If not, we'll pick something similar for you.

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    12 backers

    Oh boy, all sorts of stuff! Starting with a copy of His Eye on the Sparrow, once it's published, PLUS TWO, yes, two personally autographed Sally Roth books, inscribed just for you or whomever you want to give it to. May be new or pre-loved; see the $25 level for titles you can pick from (if we still have them; otherwise, we'll send something similar). But wait, there's more! We'll also throw in flower seeds. Oh boy, flowers! And whatever else we happen to scrounge up!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    12 backers

    First edition copy of Birds of the Bible, once it's published, personally autographed to you! Plus two other Sally Roth books, already existing (may be new or pre-loved; see the $25 level for titles), and personally autographed! Plus seeds! Oh boy, seeds! Plus... um, we'll think up something fun :) Antique nature book? Sketch by Sally? Notecards we make with our cool nature photos? Who knows, but it'll be cool. Or at least we'll think so ;)

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    0 backers

    Want a great garden? I'll personally design one just for you, to attract hummingbirds or butterflies or just delight your own eye, at whatever budget you have. Maximum size, 150 square feet, which'll be plenty to give you an easy to care of spot of beauty in your yard, or to add to your existing gardens. You send a pic of the spot, with dimensions & your USDA hardiness zone, tell me what colors you like best, and there you go-- your very own drop-dead-gorgeous Sally Roth garden. Oh boy! PLUS!!! All the other goodies above! Yes, that's right, you also get a first-edition copy of Birds of the Bible when it's published, PLUS two autographed other Sally books, PLUS cool flower seeds, PLUS some cool other thing we'll add. Yay, goodies!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer

    Well, we start with undying gratitude, of course :) Then we'll put your name with a thank you in the Acknowledgments section of the book, for all posterity to see your wonderful generosity! PLUS you get all the stuff described above for the $25, $50, $100, and $250 levels, except that you, yes, you, can have a garden design for double the size—300 sq ft! A border spilling with flowers? Two smaller beds? Something to brighten up that whole shady part of the yard beside the house? Whatever you like! PLUS you'll get a slice of beautiful real dinosaur bone from our private collection! And maybe we can even stop by for a cup of coffee or other beverage of your choice if we happen to be in your neighborhood (no promises on that one, but we do take a lot of road trips). Oh boy, we could watch your birds together! Stroll your yard together! Hang out & shoot the breeze together! Hey, got time for a game of Scrabble? Great!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers

    I'll dedicate the book to you! Yes, YOUR NAME on the dedication page! And give you undying gratitude, and all the other rewards above, and some cool thing that we have around the house— maybe an antique nature book, maybe a cool or funky piece of art, maybe something totally off the wall. So, if you're ticking it off, that's your name on the dedication page; a thank you in the acknowledgments section; a first edition copy of Birds of the Bible when it's published; two autographed other Sally Roth books; a bunch of fun flower seeds; a personal garden design for up to 300 square feet; a real live (okay, dead) dinosaur bone slice; a couple of miscellaneous whatever-we-finds; AND the threat of a visit in person if we get to your neck of the woods (no promises, but we do travel a lot :) ). Oh boy, it's like Christmas! Yay!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)