Calliope Hummingbirds Can Teach us to Trust



Calliope Hummingbirds are Migration Machines

The Calliope Hummingbirds drop by my feeders for brief visits during their very long migration.  The smallest breeding bird in North America, Calliopes weigh about the same as a dime and can reach 7-10 centimeters in length (that’s under four inches long!). During Spring and late Summer migration, they travel between western Canada and the northwestern parts of the United States to southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize.

Whenever one lands on my feeder, I pull out my camera and try to snap a few photos. This summer I had the privledge of photographing several spectacular males over the period of three days. Some people have wondered about the white background in my hummingbird photos.  The feeder hangs about 18 inches from our sliding glass door.  In the early mornings, I go outside and leave the sliding glass door and screen open.  That leaves the white curtain as the perfect backdrop.

Each time I see a Calliope, I marvel at the Creator who built in the genetic navigation system for this tiny bird to travel 5,600 miles each year. Along the way, they play an important part in pollinating flowers. Hummingbirds not only migrate without getting lost, they memorize where to find food sources.  They rely on sap from trees (they take advantage of sap wells created by sapsuckers),small insects, and pollen. As their natural sources deplete, we can help by keeping feeders out for them. During peak migration, my ‘pets’ (I have four species that come by) go through 1-2 gallons of sugar water a day!

Second-Guessing God

Any time I worry that God won’t know what to do to help me in my present need (yeah, I actually think that at times), I just have to remember that he has promised to guide me.  He will teach me all I need to know to negotiate each situation that comes my way.  If he has a plan for the tiniest of birds, he has a plan for me.

If God has a plan for the #calliopehummingbird, I know he has a plan for me! #caregiver Click To Tweet

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a ‘recovering cancer caregiver’ who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

Please note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • We get ruby throated hummingbirds at our feeders (and flowers!) here in Maine, and I am in awe of them. I was thinking about you today, Anita, because I’m reading a book that is excellent for caregivers: Dave Furman’s (husband of Gloria) Being There. As the recipient of care (because of his disability) he writes from a unique perspective, and the book is saturated with the gospel and with great quotes from wise writers from the past.
    I’ll be back later to see who else joins the party.

    • Thanks for the book tip, Michele! I’m always sad when migration ends in the fall.

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Lovely and faith-filled post, Anita…but, ugh, hummingbirds? The little blighters attack me. I’ve been stabbed in the neck three times by single-minded hummers.

    Weird, because all other animals – dogs and cats and feral rabbits and cows and horses and goats – they love me. Barb calls me the Everything Whisperer. But hummingbirds…I see them, I head in the other direction.

    • I feel sorry for you, Andrew! Do other birds treat you nicely?

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  • Thanks for reminding us of our dependence on God. I need to trust him for guidance not only for the big things but also for the little things. Those hummingbirds are amazing!

    • Aren’t they? I spend hours watching them and I never tire of it :). Now, if only I could be more mindful of God’s provision for me!

  • So beautiful Anita. I am currently struggling to believe God will take care of some big health issues. If He doesn’t want one of these birds to lose their way or fall to the ground, then He has me in His hand too. Praying God send the helpers that will be needed (my sugar water providers) for this season. Also that I have the courage to receive their help.

    • I’m praying for you as well, Tammy! Those sugar-water-providers are there, and may God grant you the courage to accept their help!

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