Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jewel # 58 (April 27, 2010)

To my dear grandchildren

The Busy Hummingbird

It is thrilling to watch this pretty little bird darting about the garden.  It dips its long beak into a flower, then flies backward a short distance before zooming off in another direction.  The hummingbird weighs less than an ounce and sometimes beats its wings two hundred times per second!

Have you ever seen a hummingbird's nest?  The male brings load after load of light material to his mate, and they work together to build the nest and tightly fasten it to the branch.  Then the male flies off to collect silk threads from several spider webs.  He brings these to the nest by flying backward so he will not get tangled in them.  He covers the outside of the nest with these threads to add strength.  When the nest is finished he covers it with moss to camouflage it from enemies.

Hummingbirds are great travelers.  North America is only their summer home.  They migrate in the fall, with the males leaving first and the females and young leaving later.  They fly to Central America, some going by way of Florida and Cuba.  Others take a shortcut across the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of 500-600 miles over water with no rest stops.

We are told these birds eat nothing while migrating these great distances, which is sometimes as much as two thousand miles.  This is remarkable, for when nesting and raising their young, they must eat the equivalent of their own weight in nectar and insects every day to survive.  The secret of flying such great distances without food is the fact that they store up fat by eating extra food in advance of their flight.

In spite of much study, no answer has been found to explain why they leave when they do or how they know to return at the exact time their favorite flowers  will be blooming.  But we do know that their Creator has given them the ability to make their journeys at just the right time, and He directs them over the many miles they must travel. 

The Bible does not mention the hummingbird by name, but it does tell us, "The sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young" (Psalm 84:3).  The One who enables the sparrows and swallows to nest and raise their young is the same One who also provides for all the needs of the lovely hummingbirds.

He assures us, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:  I will guide thee with Mine eye" (Psalm 32:8).  Are you listening to His instruction?  Are you willing to let Him guide you in the path of life?  Our Lord Jesus Christ always proves to be a loving Saviour to all who put their trust in Him.

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