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What Does The Hummingbird Teach Us ??????

23 Jun

Ruby-throated

Ruby-throated hummingbird

hummingbird1

Humming bird and butterfly in my garden last summer feeding on Pentas

Have you ever considered the huge part that food plays in our lives today? I love to eat good food; and my wife is an excellent cook of the cuisines of several countries. I’m not just a steak and tater guy and I very much like the variety, but there is only so much that I can eat; when I am full I quit eating. I have wondered a few times if many live to eat, or eat to live. Everybody can answer this question individually about themselves. In one sense both answers are true. If we don’t eat we won’t live, and if we don’t live we won’t be able to eat. The question is why do we eat?

As I think about one of the differences between human beings and the rest of the creatures upon the earth it is this – human beings work. The animal creation keeps busy all the time. Birds and animals keep their days occupied with hunting, eating, drinking, bathing, and playing, but there is a major difference between their activities and human work. Human work is a meaningful activity with a purpose and goal in mind. Animals aren’t capable of having goals or purposes beyond their next meal or so. They never look  past what they are doing to question themselves why they are doing it. There is only one motivation to life – survival.

I don’t  know of any bird or animal that reminds me of their never-ending activity for survival more than the hummingbird. I want to tell you some facts about them. There are about 320 species of hummingbirds; all of them are found in The Americas and the Caribbean. There are no hummingbirds found in Europe, Africa, Asia, or Australia. The largest population is in the regions around the equator in the countries of Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, and Brazil where they live in diverse habitats such as deserts, jungles, and the high mountains of the Andes. Only 12 are native to North America, and of these only one is found east of the Mississippi River – the Ruby-throat. I am sitting in my study right now watching a hummingbird cautiously eating from one of our feeders.

Most hummingbirds are very colorful and have been described as a “glittering fragment of the rainbow”. Most may know of the flight of the hummingbird. They are so acrobatic that they can fly forward, backward, upwards, downwards, sideways, and even upside down. I have many times seen them remaining stationary appearing motionless. The wing beat averages  between 25-80 times per second. When mating it can reach 200 beats per second. Hummingbirds never hop or walk as do other birds. They move only by flying even as they feed, drink, or bathe. They truly are a piece of God’s great creativeness.

Hummingbirds have the highest output of energy per bird of all the living warm-blooded animals. To fuel all of this activity it consumes an enormous amount of food. I read this comparison by Crawford H. Greenwalt, an astute student of the humming bird. According to Greenwalt, a man weighing 170 lbs. that works as a manual laborer expends about 3,500 calories per day. If he worked as hard as a hummingbird this same man would have to consume 155,000 daily. A normal man eats about 2 lbs. of food per day; but if his energy output equaled that of the hummingbird he would have to eat 370 lbs. of potatoes a day. To me these are mind-boggling figures.

I can think of 2 things though that should differ between human beings and hummingbirds. First, we are not to be preoccupied with food. Jesus told us quite specifically not to be anxious about what we eat and drink saying this was the obsession of pagans (Matthew 6:31-32 ). We are also not to go to the other extreme and have a contempt for food and other material things and become ascetics; both are wrong. God richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment, but we are to partake of these things with thanksgiving and moderation ( I Tim. 4:3-5; 6:17 ).

The second difference between human beings and the hummingbirds is that eating for us is never and end in itself, but a means to a higher end. We look past the eating to life itself and all that it entails; to accomplish that which God has called us to do. We eat in order to refuel for a higher objective. I have observed in recent years the preoccupation with food, and the disdain for actual work. Meaningful work is a gift given us by God Himself. As He worked in creation we have been mandated by Him to care for it. We are to be about our Father’s business in the way He leads each of us.

God has placed man over His creation to subdue and manage it. We should be grateful to Him for giving us this privilege. May we be faithful in carrying it out.

 

Until tomorrow, Lord willing,

Levi

 

 
61 Comments

Posted by on June 23, 2014 in Birds, Christianity, Faith, Religion

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

61 responses to “What Does The Hummingbird Teach Us ??????

  1. InfiniteZip

    June 23, 2014 at 4:46 am

    I love my hummers, have two feeders to keep them all fed. Nice article;) inspired part of my piece this am;) thank you Levi 🙂

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 6:17 am

      Thank you Sparky! Lol. Hummers are fun to watch. Have a great day and keep writing!😀

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  2. lizziesomerset

    June 23, 2014 at 5:07 am

    I love your words ‘eating for us is never and end in itself, but a means to a higher end’ I get so het up with hospitality, having people over, I always worry about what I will cook or prepare them & will they like it. I really should be thinking about the end goal, to welcome friends & strangers into my home & make them feel warm & welcome. That’s what God wants & rejoices in. Thanks Levi, I’m a 37 year old SAHM from the UK! I love how you take our everyday & bring God’s good ness into every thing. Thanks Lizzie XO

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 6:15 am

      Thank you so much Lizzie and for letting me know a little more about you. God’s word is for everyday life to help guide us. Lord bless you today!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  3. Skye

    June 23, 2014 at 6:37 am

    Brilliantly stated, Dear Levi. Would you mind if I print this one out? I would love to tuck it in my Bible to read and share with a girlfriend that I am travelling with today. There is great wisdom here that I thank you for. Oh, Dear Friend…you have made my trip to the bird sanctuary this afternoon more exciting for me. I cannot wait to get there–It is a gorgeous day here, and I know I will ponder some of the wonderful things I have read in this post and your others as I caught up a bit with you this morning. You are a blessing!! Have a wonderful day. 🙂

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 6:40 am

      You can print out anything you would like any time Skye. Have the most wonderful day. I’m so glad the weather is great. Which part of NY are you in? Stay safe!!😀

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      • Skye

        June 23, 2014 at 8:26 am

        Long Island—on the North Shore. The bird sanctuary is in Sag Harbor….it is a lovely town further out east. Wish I could take you all with me….A WordPress field trip of sorts. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

         
        • Levi Thetford

          June 23, 2014 at 8:46 am

          Take good pics as I’m sure you will. I’ll be in NYC for 17 days in July. Have fun!!

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  4. Karen Pickering

    June 23, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Thank you for another great post. I enjoy your beautiful pictures as well. We saw a hummingbird the other day that was only about an inch big. At first I thought it was a big bee. I need to look up what kind it was.

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 8:50 am

      Thanks so much Karen. What state are you? Of the 12 in the US it seems the different ones are scattered. I haven’t seen any just an inch. Very neat. Have a great day!

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      • Karen Pickering

        June 23, 2014 at 10:01 am

        I live in Wisconsin. When I tried looking it up it seems it might not have been a hummingbird after all. I need to do more investigating. It acted just like a hummingbird, but it was so tiny.

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        • Levi Thetford

          June 23, 2014 at 10:08 am

          I think that it is bee. I have forgotten the name but I saw some in my garden last year and at first thought they were hummingbirds.

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  5. atimetoshare

    June 23, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Great post again. I always learn something new from you.

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 8:51 am

      Thank you very much! I’m thankful that it meant something to you. Have a wonderful day! 😀

      Like

       
  6. Heidi Viars

    June 23, 2014 at 7:39 am

    What a blessing to read your post. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

     
  7. sporterhall

    June 23, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Good morning! Wow! Excellent post Levi! I had forgotten about the remarkable capabilities of the hummingbird. Thanks for the refresher. This bird is truly amazing. I enjoyed all the facts you provided concerning this unique animal, many of which I was unaware. It’s so interesting that such a tiny bird consumes so much in the way of food. But then again, it has to, with all those beats per minute it can do in order to perform all those amazing aerial feats. I too love good food and I enjoy cooking also. I am continuously amazed at all the variety of ways that foods can be prepared and made to be aesthetically appealing to our pallets. Food definitely has taken on so many other meanings and is motivated so far beyond God’s original plan, which was and is to nourish our bodies sensibly and in moderation. The hummingbird instinctively knows that it must consume food in order for its survival – the sole reason for its consumption. I guess we could sometimes take a lesson from this unique bird that has shown us how to utilize food and remain focused on God’s original plan. I’d say the hummingbird has it down to an art! 🙂

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 9:20 am

      You said it all so beautifully that all I’m going to say is “Good Morning, Sylvia”. Lol. I hope you have a splendid day girl.

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      • sporterhall

        June 23, 2014 at 9:05 pm

        Since I am just now seeing this, I will bid you good evening Levi. My day went well, uneventful, but that’s often a good thing. I hope you had a wonderful day and an even better evening!

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        • Levi Thetford

          June 23, 2014 at 9:10 pm

          I’m on my way to bed as well. I’m tard. Lol. Sleep well!!!

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  8. mamasongs

    June 23, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Great post Levi. Im glad your wife is such a good cook. But you’re right we need to not let food be the focus of our lives. It all comes down to priorities again!! And of course following the will of God. 😄

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 9:08 am

      Thank you very much Katie. I agree, priorities should always be our main focus. Fellowship with God is imperative and being involved in peoples lives should be our main focus. Have a great day my Friend!!! 😀👴

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      • mamasongs

        June 23, 2014 at 9:25 am

        LOL!!! 🍀Have a good day!

        Like

         
  9. Sue C.

    June 23, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Good morning Levi: I have a hummingbird feeder and I have also learned something about them. I bought a new feeder, different from the one I had, filled it and waited. A little beauty came by and took a sip, then left. I’ve watched and it has become apparent my little friend doesn’t like that feeder. It would fly towards it, then put the skids on and turn away. As soon as I changed the feeder back to the old one, its pigging out. Picky little thing. I love watching them, especially when they dive bomb each other. They are soooo fast! Another interesting and fun post. Have a great day.

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 9:15 am

      Good morning Sue, it sounds like you have picky hummingbirds in your neck of the woods. Lol. They are so fun to watch. Hope all is well and that you have a great day. Be safe and Lord bless you!!!

      Like

       
  10. Sheila

    June 23, 2014 at 9:16 am

    I still miss the hummingbirds from Colorado–nothing quite like the valiant little bird, is there? And great analogies again, as usual!

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 9:17 am

      Thank you, Sheila. Where are you from in Colorado?

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      • Sheila

        June 23, 2014 at 9:21 am

        Well Levi, I’m actually from Michigan, the middle of the mitt around Grand Rapids. But Mario & I met and married in Colorado, living there many years. A part of me still thinks of it as home. We started out in Denver (both in the military), then ended up in Greeley. It seems sometimes that I can still feel that ‘big sky’!

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        • Levi Thetford

          June 23, 2014 at 9:24 am

          I’ve lived about a fourth of my life in Colorado. Arvada and Westminster. We lived for just a short while in Englewood. I used to go jackrabbit hunting on a friends ranch outside of Greeley often. It is good country but there are a lot of people in the area anymore.

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          • Sheila

            June 23, 2014 at 9:26 am

            Yes, it has gotten quite populated. We lived in various areas of the Denver metro area. Maybe it’s got a special place in my heart because our family life started there!

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            • Levi Thetford

              June 23, 2014 at 9:28 am

              Maybe so. It’s still a beautiful place to visit. We were there last year. Some of our kids just returned from a week at Estes Park.

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  11. msauthorette

    June 23, 2014 at 9:46 am

    What a neat perspective! I have to say, I agree with you. Hmmm, food for thought this morning. Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 9:49 am

      Good! I’m glad you’ve had to put on you’re thinking cap. Lol. Have a great day Kristina 😀

      Like

       
  12. Garden Walk Garden Talk

    June 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    That is a beautiful male, Levi. Wonderful capture. I agree, the hummer does have a difficult life always needing to find food. Busy little guys. It saddens me when I see them in the garden too late in fall.

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you. They are busy busy. I attract a lot of them in my butterfly garden later in mid summer. It’s fun!!

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  13. Elaine

    June 23, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Lovely post! Hoping when I move to my new apt I will see more birds because of where it is located, surrounded by trees, bushes, a nearby farm, etc. and a little less blacktop or concrete than where I currently am living,

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      Elaine, it sounds like your new place will be more tranquil. I’m sure you could attract birds if you wanted. Thank you !!!!

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      • Elaine

        June 23, 2014 at 6:26 pm

        I hope so! It does seem promising. The apt manager lives in the same building and she has been able to put out bird feeders and flowers (in pots) and said I can do the same as long as nobody complains. You’re welcome!

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  14. "light and salt"

    June 23, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Solid, Godly teaching as always, Levi! You need to write a book containing these little stories!

    Enjoy your day, my friend!

    Steve

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Thank you Steve. Trying to get over my sickness. Have a great rest of your day!!!0

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      • "light and salt"

        June 24, 2014 at 11:34 am

        You are still “down” Levi? Have you seen a doctor? You need to get better, my friend!

        Steve

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        • Levi Thetford

          June 24, 2014 at 12:10 pm

          Was there yesterday. Lord willing I’ll be well after the first hard freeze. Thanks for your concern, Steve.

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          • "light and salt"

            June 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm

            Okay…just get and keep well!

            Steve

            Like

             
  15. David C. Hughes, Writer

    June 23, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Levi, this couldn’t have come at a better time. God is definitely in control of our timing, eh? This morning, while it was still pouring down rain, I had the opportunity to observe a hummingbird feed from the flowers growing out of our rock garden. I stood amazed as the tiny bird hovered between blooms, inserting its beak to sip nectar from the white and purple flowers blooming in the rain (I think the flowers we are growing are Mexican heather, but it’s been so long since we planted them that I’ve forgotten). I wondered how these tiny birds can survive, and Matthew 6 popped into my mind: God provides for everything. He’s a God of details. Whey, then, do we have a hard time trusting in His provision? If he keeps this one bird humming along, why not us? Oh, by the way, hummingbirds are probably focused on TWO things: survival, as you say. But also reproduction. After all, it’s still just a hair past spring!!

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    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      Lol, David this was timely for you. My bird series is all about Matthew 6. I have enjoyed writing them. No doubt, reproduction is involved but I think of it under survival. One thing we know for sure, they aren’t planning but trusting. Hope all is well with you and you lovely family. Lord bless you all!

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  16. David C. Hughes, Writer

    June 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Thanks, Levi! All is well–better than ever! Just sent The Epiphany of Joy to the publisher, due out 9/20 or sooner. You scored yourself a jacket blurb, my man!

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 7:09 pm

      So glad you it’s almost completed. That’s quite an accomplishment. Thanks for the jacket blurb. I finished one for another author a week ago, and I’ve been asked to do 3 more. See what you’ve started? Lol. I’m so happy for you.

      Like

       
      • David C. Hughes, Writer

        June 23, 2014 at 7:15 pm

        See, you deserve it. You embrace the Truth and it’s obvious!

        Like

         
        • Levi Thetford

          June 23, 2014 at 7:17 pm

          Thank you David. I sure hope so. Did you know that I haven’t been receiving your new post for who knows how long by email. I just signed up to receive them. Sorry I haven’t been on your blog for probably a long time.

          Like

           
  17. K. Q. Duane

    June 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    I came to the conclusion years ago that I eat to live. My husband, on the other hand, lives to eat. We balance each other out.

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  18. Linda Arthur Tejera

    June 23, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Great post and beautiful photos! 🙂

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      June 23, 2014 at 8:51 pm

      Thank you Linda. Yours was a great post and pics too. My wife, Linda too, love to do what you and your husband did. It’s good fun.

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  19. SLIMJIM

    June 24, 2014 at 3:21 am

    Such an amazing creature

    Like

     
  20. Cate Pane: The Clear Parent

    June 24, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    How much do I love this post? Let me count the ways…it would take all day! I LOVE hummingbirds and your photographs are awesome! I think the preoccupation with food may have to do with the lost satisfaction of enjoying the Lord’s bounty around the dinner table. A pastor at Church last Sunday remarked that he was taught to “never say a bad thing about anyone” at the dinner table. His family ate together each night and his parents created a “sacred space” where food and family were enjoyed. Thank you so much for your bird and Scripture comparisons! Cate

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      June 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      The pleasure is mine, Cate. I have enjoyed doing the bird posts for the past few weeks. I’m about out of ideas on them though. I’ll have probably 3 more I think. Do the drexting (my new word of the day)sometime. I know it’s dangerous but I must confess I’ve been guilty of doing it. I appreciate you!!!

      Like

       

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