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On the ancient path: Hummingbirds are back!

By Beverly Brisendine

beverly.brisendine@gmail.com

To what distant place our hummingbirds go each winter we do not always know but I can tell you I know about the time they will be back. Each spring I mark my calendar when I see my first hummingbird come to my kitchen window looking for my feeder. This year was Thursday, March 24. Fortunately I had hung my feeder up the day before but I have found with or without a feeder they can remember up to 300 exact locations where they have fed. Hummingbirds are very smart! Their brain is the largest for their body size than any other bird. 

They are only 4 inches in length and weigh less than a dime. It is the fastest of any bird flying up to 49 mph. With wings flapping up to 90 times per second they can fly upside down, backwards and can hover indefinitely. Their lifespan is from 3-8 years. There are 300 different species, all beautiful in their own way and seen as far south as Chile. Their tongue is like an elastic micro-pump working like a straw inside their long beaks to soak up the nectar from the flowers or our feeders. They consume twice their body weight each day, feeding every 10 minutes. Hummingbirds have no sense of smell and their feet are only good for perching and not walking. Some can be very territorial and aggressive at times, not wanting others to feed alongside of them.

The female has the sole responsibility of building a nest and raising the babies. The nest is about the size of a golf ball and she will lay 1-3 eggs in it, each the size of a jelly bean. They are born blind and bald and in only three weeks they are ready to fly. The mother is fervent and untiring in her care for her babies and will go through this whole process two more times in one year, completely alone! It seems the mother hummingbird is more dedicated to the care of her babies than some humans.

When I stand at my kitchen window, I am just amazed as I watch these delicate little creatures, for to watch a hummingbird is to watch a miracle in flight. The Creator is truly revealed in His creation is He not? God made a perfect jewel in the hummingbird and He did it for our pleasure. Think of that!

But more importantly we must think on this: We were made for His pleasure. Revelation 4:11 says, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power for Thou has created all things and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” That includes us! May we bring Him great delight as He watches over us. 

The precious hummingbird must remind us there is a master designer who can intricately weave all things together in our lives making something absolutely beautiful for His purposes.

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