Thursday, April 18, 2013

...and a Time to Build

*Photo from Wikipedia

The first thing she does after that long flight across the Gulf of Mexico and many miles of land is eat all she can find.  Then, she finds her a fella, because she has her heart set on having some babies. During the time her eggs are growing inside her, she builds a house.

Hummingbird nests are extremely hard to spot, because the mother disguises them so well.  She has to find a forked branch that will support and shelter the nest and keep it away from snakes.  She builds her nest in a shaded spot away from the hot sun that could ruin her eggs.  The nest is small, about the size of half a walnut, and usually camouflaged so well that we could look directly at it and not recognize what it is.

I held a hummingbird in my hand once, and was shocked at how little they weigh.  A hummingbird expert told me that most weigh about the same as three pennies.  Their brain in roughly 4 percent of their body weight, and I'm having trouble imagining how small that is.  Yet, it is large enough for the hummingbird to find the same feeder she fed from last year, after traveling hundreds of miles away.  It is big enough to retain the knowledge of keeping her babies warm and safe from predators, and raising them to maturity.  That tiny, beautiful creature knows when it is time to build.

Compare the size of the hummingbird's brain to that of a human.  Does it make you wonder?