Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.
Hummingbirds are among the most exquisite jewels in God’s creation. Many of their activities and habits seem almost unreal.
I know of no one who has ever tired of watching a hummingbird hover or fly backward. Our sense of wonder is not decreased because we understand how the bird can do these tricks. Perhaps an even greater wonder is how these tiny, fragile creatures can make their way in a large and often hostile world.
Consider the broad-tailed hummingbird, for instance. This tiny hummingbird migrates 1,200 miles between Mexico and the Colorado Rockies each year. Its nesting site in the Rockies is filled with predators. In this setting, the mother searches for a protected branch where she will build her fragile nest. It’s best if there is another branch right above the nesting branch to provide shelter from the elements as well as visual cover from hawks and blue jays. She weaves her nest, about the size of half a golf ball, from spider webs and down from plants. It will take two and one-half weeks for her two pea-sized eggs to hatch. In the meantime, the tiny mother, who weighs less than one-eighth of an ounce, must keep herself and her eggs warm in temperatures that can drop below freezing.
God has equipped the delicate hummingbird with intelligence and excellent flying ability, so that even though it is tiny and weak, it can make its living. The continued existence of this fragile creature glorifies its Creator, not the principle of survival of the fittest!
I am filled with wonder, Father, at how You have designed and cared for the hummingbird. When I am tempted to act by my own strength instead of Yours, remind me of Your care for the fragile hummingbird. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Calder, William A. 1992. “Ten years on an aspen branch.” Natural History, July, p. 4. Photo: Broad-tailed hummingbird. Courtesy of Michelle Lynn Reynolds. (CC BY-SA 3.0)