Friday, June 29, 2012

In awe of hummingbirds

I am currently in Telluride, Colorado for a science workshop, and a few days ago I saw a hummingbird down by the creek. Earlier on this trip, in Washington state I also saw one frequently at a bird feeder (just sugar water). We do not have them in Australia.

To me they are the most amazing creatures. I am in awe that such a small being can hover like a miniature helicopter and then speed off like a jet.

Reading the excellent Wikipedia page a little I learnt they are the only birds that can fly backwards! Although only 8-13cm long, they can fly at speeds in excess of 50 km per hour. Their flight mechanism is distinct, intermediate between that of other birds and insects. During courtship displays their wings can beat at rates up to 100 beats per second. While in flight, hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of all animals. Most migrate annually thousands of kilometers from North America to spend the winter in northern Mexico.

Wow! What an amazing world God has created for us to live in!
We should not lose sight of this as we struggle to understand the mechanisms whereby this came to be.
Psalm 104


  1. Ross - I saw one of these in my backyard in New Jersey. It was also the first time I saw one in its natural environment and, to me, just as awe inspiring.

  2. Hi Alex,
    I am sure as an aeronautical engineer you have an even greater appreciation of the wonder.