The Mighty Hummingbird

It's a wonder that I ever get anything done. Two sides of my office are windows and I can see the side yard and the back yard, therefore I have witnessed some most amazing sites.

Yesterday I was watching the dive bomber hummingbird. Last year I took an old broom handle and drilled a hole in it then inserted a screw hook to hang a hummingbird feeder from it after I pounded it into the ground. It worked well as a winter bird feeder, too. I had lamented that we didn't have many hummingbirds at the beginning of the year even though I put out the feeders early just so the scouts could find it and bring the others. Hummingbirds, don't have scouts and they are very territorial about their food sources as it turns out.

Monsieur Hummingbird sits perched on top of the broom handle and holds a constant vigil against any encroaching hummingbird. As soon as one swings by, off he goes chasing the offender past the crepe myrtles into the oak trees. He is ready for any sneak attack, full frontal attack or the favored distract and sip ploy. He doesn't drink as often as I would suppose, after expending so much energy to protect his food. He preens his beak along the wooden side of the handle, and fluffs his feathers yet still he isn't any bigger than a tablespoonful. During Katrina he pointed his thin, little beak into the 60 mph winds and clung on to the top of that broom handle like he was superglued on. I have no idea how such a little thing could have such strength of might or will or both.

The first spectacular site I witnessed was right after my office was finished. We closed in the "hot tub" patio minus the hot tub and put in some storage cabinets and my office stuff with some shelves that my Dad had in his airport office. It was a crisp, crystal clear October day and I was looking out the windows, quite pleased at how much I could see when I looked toward Lake St. Joe and winding down from the heights was this swirling column of pelicans. I had heard that it was such a beautiful site to see the pelicans come in but I had no idea just how spectacular it is.

This pic I found on the net does not do it justice. You can barely see the swirl. About a hundred feet in the air, they start to spiral down one after the other. Fly in at a diagonal to precisely the same point as the bird before and then spiral down until the whole flock is on the water. It is like a lighthouse beacon only pelicans with their brilliant white feathers reflecting the sun. This went on for a full ten minutes. These are not small birds. Their wing span was easily 5 feet or more.

The difference in the birds is more than just the huge difference in size. The pelican flies in flocks as they swoop across the water, their wings fluttering the water's surface and their feet splashing brakes. They nest in flocks; the trees bend under their weight.

Can you just imagine how tired these birds are as they are flying in, hungry, wing sore and yet they swirl in a column for several minutes as a beacon so their brethren and sisterns and childurns can find the home rest below. How different from the hummingbird who chases off all comers with a vengence of a sore-tailed cat. I'm thinking I'd much rather be like the pelicans as they fly together, fish together and find rest together. I want to be a beacon to show others where the home rest is. It's not glamorous, but the sight from the outside is sheer beauty. Isn't that what Jesus told us? Our love for one another is His best witness to the world.
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