John T. Willis

Thursday, September 03, 2009


God blesses Evelyn and me with hummingbirds from March to October every year. We keep three hummingbird feeders. There are at least two pairs of hummingbirds at our home. It is wonderful to watch these birds behave.

Our hummingbirds often come very close to us and hover in the air as if to invite conversation. They are not afraid at all. Often, they perch on our feeders just to rest and drink the nectar. Other times, they drink nectar as they hover in the air.

Hummingbirds flap their wings from 12 to 90 times per second, depending on the species. Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards as well as forwards. Their English name deries from the characteristic hum made by their rapid wing beats. Hummingbirds are able to fly at speeds of 34 miles and hour. These marvelous birds also feed on nectar of flowers and other plants. When we were in Vitoria, Brazil to speak several times for a national missionary conference, we thoroughly enjoyed watching hummingbirds there. In Vitoria, the hummingbirds were larger than in our area, and had different colors. They were all beautiful.

Most hummingbirds have long straight bills, but some are curved. This enables different species to get nectar from different types of flowers and plants. The two halves of a hummingbird's bill have a pronounced overlap, witht he lower half (mandible) fitting tightly inside the upper half (maxilla). When feeding on nectar, the bill usually opens only slightly, allowing the tongue to dart out and intot he interior of flowers.

Experts have discovered that in flight, a hummingbird produces 75% of its weight support during the downstroke and 25% during the upstroke. God has designed the hummingbird to fly as it does in unusual ways.

The hummingbird is one other tiny "window" into God's intelligence and love. What a blessing it is to view hummingbirds. I hope you see and enjoy hummingbirds. They will change your attitude, your outlook, your life.

Tell me your stories about hummingbirds. Spend time in the out of doors. Watch for God's creation. It is all around. Praise God for hummingbirds.

John Willis


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