I know why hummingbirds are the smallest birds–weighing less than a nickel. A smaller species’ weight is under a penny. It appears they rarely eat! I know, I know–supposedly they eat more than their weight in nectar daily, but the ones at my feeders and flowers are fighting family more than they are feasting.
Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism rate of any animal other than insects, and therefore, these tiny flying miracles are continuously hours away from starving to death. They are able to store just enough energy to survive overnight.
So because they are always starving, this species of bird must protect its food sources; they are constantly on guard for an intruder as they try to get a quick gulp of sweet liquid. Fiercely territorial, competing for food, they have no desire to share with anyone.
This morning was a frightening day of bedlam at the feeder. Evidently, migration has begun when extra weight is required for the small birds. This is not the time to be nice. There was ample sweet nectar; plenty of places at the table–but no bird got near the feeder for hours. Six tiny birds went at one another like Kawasaki bomber pilots; they soared only to return in savage force to attack an approaching hungry hummer. I was in the cross fire trying to bring calmness–it didn’t work.
Two male Ruby throated hummingbirds collided head-on and landed at my feet. I couldn’t believe all the pandemonium over food–isn’t it much safer to share? I guess if you live in a perpetual state of starvation, you might fight over a morsel.
I wasn’t sure whether to smile at their antics or cry at their selfishness. All the fighting seemed entirely futile–there was enough sweet nectar for each one.
Now these beautiful, fun to watch guests in my garden are just made that way. It is their innate nature to be exclusive, miserly and self-centered; they can’t help what they do and how they act to protect their food source. . .
but can I? What about my disbelief and disobedient foolishness to protect me–to guard mine?
Does my heavenly Father laugh or cry?
Competition can keep me from enjoying sweet nectar. How much would I share if there were ‘just’ enough? I want to believe that this journey to now is not a journey for more. . .
“Better a dry crust with peace
than a house full of feasting with strife. ” Proverbs 17:1 (Message)
Dare I live contented . . .
(If you click on the picture to enlarge it you can see the “hum” of wings of both 🙂