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  • Writer's pictureHope Stuart

A Hum of HOPE

We are blessed to have a hummingbird friendly home. As soon as our Rose of Sharon trees bloom, I start peeking out the window overlooking those trees in HOPES of seeing our favorite hummers. And… those “hummers” have yet to disappoint. A recent, friendly encounter on our front porch spurred my interest in learning more about our busy friends. The more I learned, the more I know they are God’s creations, offering a hum of HOPE wherever they visit.

When God made these flying machines, over 350 species all located within North or South America… He packed a ton of HOPE into their design. They can fly thousands of miles each year, going further than any bird in proportion to their body length and can travel 500 miles in a single trek. While God designed them with the fewest number of feathers within the bird species, their meager 900 feathers enable them to fly faster than most of their bird relatives. I’m most impressed that they can move forward, backward, and even upside down, yes… I said upside down… while beating their wings a thousand times per minute.

While these tiny creatures weigh in at about a nickel, God gave them superpowers. Hummers have superhuman-like vision and can even see in ultraviolet light. They use their super vision as they visit 1,000 flowers a day, consuming five to eight doses of nectar an hour, totaling more than twice their body weight in daily glucose intake. Hummers also have a hunger for protein, snatching insects out of the air with their spring-loaded chopstick beaks. Sounds like they need all that glucose and protein to support their hearts that beat up to 1,260 times per minute to support their lungs, taking in 150 breaths per minute. They make me feel like an underachiever compared to what I accomplish in a minute!

If you aren’t impressed with these amazing, God-gifted peeps yet, hold onto your hats. Scientists have discerned that hummingbirds have amazing memories, being able to recall every flower and feeder they have visited in the past. With a three-to-five-year life span, they have amazing memories, explaining a lot about our return visitors each summer. While I have no idea how scientists were able to study hummers’ memories, our annual visitors are living proof!

If you wish to have your own hummer visits, consider planting different types of blooms that flower during the season they visit. While they love red, they will feed on other flower colors. Take it from me, they LOVE Rose of Sharon trees, along with geraniums, and bacopa plants in hanging baskets. Consider placing a feeder outside your kitchen window too. I have no doubt you will have memorable experiences that bring you closer to God with every hummer visit. Each time I get a glimpse of one, I feel a glimmer of HOPE and a wink from God, saying, “I did that… enjoy!”. And I say to God, “Thank you for not only creating these beauties, but for enabling me to huddle in HOPE while they hummer on.”

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