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What can I learn from a tiny bird?
Lessons from the hummingbirds
Do you ever tire of watching humans? Some days, I find myself overloaded and overwhelmed by humankind’s frailties and inhumanity.
And I’m a very positive person.
Those are the moments I go outside, perch on a chair close enough, but not too close, and watch hummingbirds dart from flower to tree, to feeder, and off into the blue sky. I listen to their chatter as my imagination takes over in wonder.
What are you shouting at each other? Is that even shouting in hummingbird-speak?
Why do you keep chasing each other away? Or is this a dance you perform in mid-air?
Who are you, anyway?
In early August, several female Rufous Hummingbirds arrived, and immediately, I hung the feeders. According to All About Birds, they fly in at 2.8 to 3.5 inches and about 0.2 ounces with the “gift for fast” and “pinpoint maneuverability.”
I never paid much attention to the “gifts” of animals and insects, but Ed Yong researched their extraordinary sensory world and Umwelt in his recent book, An Immense World. I had never heard of an “Umwelt” or its significance in understanding the natural world.
“An Umwelt is specifically the part of those surroundings that an animal can sense and experience—its perceptual world.”
Yong takes the reader through the fascinating animal world we humans take for granted and rarely notice. In the introduction, he explains how we examine animal behavior through our human lens rather than exploring their world in its uniqueness and interrelationships.
We tend to rank animals with ourselves as superior and on down the line, rather than valuing each of us, human and non-human, for the special gifts we bring. As he notes, “This is not a book about superiority but diversity.”
As I watch three lively hummingbirds dart and dive, I remember the value of diversity throughout nature. The diversity of our species creates a never-ending tapestry of ideas, viewpoints, and possibilities for our world.
The question is, “Will we chase and dart away from one another or find the commonalities that bind us?”
I researched more info about these tiny dynamos and discovered Life Is Like a Daring Hummingbird.
Anusha Shankar shares her journey researching and studying hummingbirds and wonders if hummingbirds can teach us time.
"Like the hummingbird sipping nectar from every flower, I fly joyfully through my days, seeing beauty in everything."
“The daily hummingbird assaults existence with improbability.”
—Ursula K. Le Guin
Find a little wonder this week and find moments to marvel at the natural diversity all around you.
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