Two Little Hummers

Glenna Walker

Murchison, United States

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Best photo I got today – a female and a male both at the same feeder – woohoo!!!!! I stood in one spot for well over an hour with ants stinging me, bees buzzing past my head (what pain and suffering we photographers will put up with to get a good shot). There were three today, a male ruby throated, first time I have seen one of those at my feeder. There was also another male and female, both were Black-chinned hummingbirds (they are pictured). All three were so busy arguing back and forth through the trees, making little squeaking sounds, they only came to the feeder this one time, got a few shots, but this was the best. Apparently, the two males were fighting over the female. Only got one shot of the male (ruby throated) flying through the trees, it did not come out well. I had to duck once, thought they were going to run into me again, LOL!!

This is a story I found out of Creation Illustrated, the leading Bible-based nature journal. It’s quite long, but really touching and such a sweet story. No authors name was given:

I Held a Hummingbird in My Hand

I did! I held a hummingbird in my hand, and the tiny creature was alive!

Sadly, though, it was dying; its heartbeat was very slow. I knew, even as I held it in my hand, that the end of its life was very near. It had become trapped in our garage the night before. I had tried to gently nudge it out of the ceiling area with a broom, but it would continually fly up above the garage doors, which I left open overnight in hopes that disoriented bird would find its way to freedom.

It did not escape. It flew into a partially filled storage box, and its wings were heavily covered with cobwebs. Rather than going to church that day, I carried the tiny creature to the back patio where we had a hummingbird feeder. As I held the fragile bird in my hands, I sat down on a bench under the feeder and looked at that grand little bird and thought about how Jesus would carry out His Father’s will and heal people on the Sabbath rather than just spend time in the temple.

Then I recalled that my grandparents had warned so long ago, “Never try to hold a hummingbird in your hand,” they teased. “It is likely to bore a hole right through your hand in order to get away to freedom and the flowers.” I was young enough to believe every word they told me. Now I am a 60-year-old man, and I caressed him ever so gently even though my past experiences, training, and character certainly would not suggest gentleness.

I hold a long list of “ex’s.” I am an ex-street fighter (done for side bets); an ex-football player (defense, of course, all the way to semipro), an ex-enlisted U.S. Marine (sergeant, Korean War), an ex-U.S. Marine Corps officer (captain, Viet Nam War), an ex-coach, an ex-high school teacher of problem students, an ex-street cop, and an ex-teacher of jail inmates (G.E.D. program and disciplinary board member). Currently, I am a deputy constable.

And, there I sat with that little bird that did not bother a soul on this earth and never would.

“Listen, hummingbird,” I said out loud. “Your chances of coming out of this alive or even in operating shape are about as slim as mine were when fighting in two wars. But, you can’t just curl up and die. You’ve got to hang in there. I think I’ve got a way to get your motor running. I think I’ve got a real jump start for you.”

Yes, I was actually talking to that beautiful little bird as I cleaned the cobwebs off his wings and body.

“I’ll tell you what I’m going to do,” I tried to explain as if he could understand. “I’m going to hold you up to that hummingbird feeder and guide your beak into one of the feeding holes. You have to try to make a comeback. You ought to feel right at home taking the liquid hummingbird food since you’ve been mooching off me for the past six months. But, you’ve got to show you want to live, little bird. You’ve got to get some of this stuff into your body. It’s about your only chance, my little friend.”

I held him to the feeder and tilted my hand so his tiny beak fit into one of the openings. No luck. No reaction. His heartbeat was even slower.

“Listen, you have to try. Just get some of that energy into yourself and you might be able to pull if off. You’ve got to try,” I urged him in desperation. I held him up to the feeder and aimed his tiny beak into the opening again. He took a little of the liquid, spewed it on the feeder, and then went limp again.

“You want me to pray for you or something you little quitter?” I asked. “I will, but you have to help out. You’ve got to try. No try, no chance.”

“Our Lord, I am asking You to save this gentle little creature of Yours,” I prayed. “I’m trying to get him jump-started with this liquid nectar stuff, and I want him to make it because he does no harm to anyone on this earth. He even eats mosquitoes. His main job is to go around getting nectar, but in the process You designed him to help pollinate some of Your most beautiful creations-flowers. I would so greatly appreciate it if You would give him some more time on earth. My granddaughters are coming to visit next week, and I would like for them to see this little bird slurping up the liquid food from the feeder. Please help him. Help him like You have helped me all my life. Like when I was in the wars, on the fields, doing the patrols. Please help him, I pray. Amen.”

I knew from Scripture that not one sparrow falls to the ground without God’s notice and tender care (see Matthew 10:29). Somehow I knew He cared and would hear my prayer. This was a big step for me to show compassion and faith according to Christ’s example. Then I tried to force-feed him one more time. This time-the third time-he drank, and he drank each time thereafter when I put him to the feeder.

“You had better get well, little bird,” I coaxed. “These lousy mosquitoes are eating me up out here. You are getting behind on your job. Instead of just goofing off, you better get serious and start flying!”

Then, as if he heard every word, that little hummer tried to fly-just like a tiny helicopter. He whirred straight up into the air about 25 inches and crash-landed on top of my head (and that’s not all he did on my head). So, we started all over again until his nectar-tank was refilled.

Then, without a nod, a blink of a tiny eye, or a fare-thee-well, that tiny little bird shot out of my hand like a round out of a .50 caliber machine gun. He zipped right up into a big tree and sat there until I got smart enough to go inside the house and watch him from the kitchen window. He quickly zoomed down from the limb and topped off his energy tanks at the feeder. Then he flew away. I felt so grateful to have been used by God to save a life; it helped me experience the depth of His love, compassion, and ability to answer prayers.

Five days later my granddaughters arrived on schedule. We all kept a look out, and soon the little bird and his mate showed up for some free hummingbird food. My granddaughters saw them flutter and dart around, and at ages four and six, everything still has a little magic-especially when watching tiny hummingbirds eat.

“O.K., Hillary and Hayley, listen up,” I barked. “Don’t ever mess with a hummingbird. Don’t ever try to hold one in your hand. It just may bore a hole right through your hand to get away to freedom and the flowers.”

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