Creator of all things

On the 5th day of creation God created hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world and there are over 320 different species of them just in the western hemisphere. They differ in size from the bee hummingbird of Cuba that is just over 2 inches long and weighs less than one penny, to the giant hummingbird of the Andes Mountains that can be about 8 inches long. Another amazing hummer is the sword billed hummingbird that has a beak that measures 4 inches long, longer that its entire body!

The spanish used to call hummingbirds “joyas voladores,” meaning “flying jewels” because they have iridescent feathers that shimmer and shine. Their feathers can appear any color of the rainbow, depending on how the sun hits them. At night, however, the feathers are a dull black or brown.

Hummingbird are named after how their wings “hum” as they fly. Hummers have special shoulder joints that allow them to rotate their wings 180 degrees. When they fly, instead of flapping their wings like most birds, they rotate them in a figure 8 motion which allows them to hover or to fly in any direction, even backwards. Hummers have a rate of 80 wingbeats per second and their normal flight speed is about 30 mph but they can dive at speeds up to 60 mph.

Hummingbirds seem especially attracted to the color red and their are many theories as to why. Some say its because red flowers are easily seen in flight, especially against a background of green leaves, and others say it could be because red is at the high end of the color spectrum so it catches thier attention quickly. Or it could be that because insects cannot see red, the hummingbirds are not in direct competition for red flowers. God also created the hummingbird with the ability to see colors in the ultraviolet spectrum, which is invisible to humans. Hummingbirds, as well as bees, are attracted to flowers with ultraviolet patterns. Hummingbirds can eat up to 2 times their body weight in nectar daily, and because nectar is a solution of water and sugar, it has been figured that hummers normally eat at least half their weight in sugar daily! Aside from nectar, hummers do occasionally eat insects and spiders for necessary protein, but it has been estimated that they regularly feed from at least 1,000 flowers every day.

Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of any warmblooded animal so they must eat consistently. In fact, if a 160-pound human wanted to “eat like a bird”, namely, the hummingbird, he would have to consume 300 pounds of food per day, and at that point, his metabolic rate would be so high he would become incandescent and burn up! Hummers actually have such a high metabolism that if they did not go into a sort of hibernation, called torpor, overnight, they would starve to death. When in torpor, their heartbeat slows from about 1,000 beats per minute to only about 50 and their metabolism is slowed alarmingly to reduce the need for food.

These tiny and intricate birds are a tribute to God’s awesome creation, as evolution could never make something so tiny and yet so perfect. These birds were truly made by the Creator of all things, of whom all things are possible.