Through the Looking Glass of Val Lee – Hummingbirds

Hummingbird, Rufous, (female) @ Val Lee


Male Rufous © Val J. Lee

Male Rufous © Val J. Lee


This is a female Rufous Hummingbird I shot in my backyard.  Look at those cute little feet!

These extremely petite, nectar-sipping New World birds, bring joy to my heart. I love these delicate appearing creatures that are noted for their flight agility—hovering, ascending, and descending. No survival of the largest and fittest is on their agenda. They will show you, God’s smallest bird can travel through the ages through its intelligence, endurance and stealth.

These helicopter-like creatures effortlessly move backwards, forwards or maintain a horizontal position. In flight, they own the highest metabolism of all fauna, which supports the rapidity of their beating wings. Their average wingbeat is 70 per second. Their heart rate can reach 1,260 beats per minute. They are amazingly crafted by Jesus Christ!

Hummingbird, Rufous (female) @ Val Lee

At any given moment, they can be only hours away from starvation. Providentially, they are capable of slowing down their metabolism at night, or any other time, food is not readily available. They enter the hibernation zone, or the state known as “torpor.” It might be compared to a relaxed, lethargy body condition. They exert no energy that would rob them of life. God has provided them the wisdom within to deal with every situation that may bring harm.

Hummingbird (Rufous) @ Val Lee

Hummingbirds own a unique flying hum that you can hear. I don’t know exactly how to describe it in total accuracy. It sounds abnormally rapid and precise. I know when a Hummingbird is flying near, being I have never heard anything soar so swiftly. At various times, when sitting in my backyard, these tiny ones will rhythmically zoom right up to my face, engaging in still flight, and mute conversation. They look me over to decide if I am a friend or foe, engaging in a character, assessment conversation in their mind.  Once they determine I am simply a harmless human, they will rotate their torso and flitter to my trumpet vine for a nectar sip.

Hummingbird (Rufous) @ Val Lee

What visual discernment these tiny ones own—placed within by the LORD! Jesus Christ is completely amazing in all His works!

Here is a video I shot in my backyard of the Rufous:

Do you notice the pollen on the nose of my little friend in the first photo? Hummingbirds own long, slender bills which are combined with an extendible, bifurcated (two-forked) tongue; whereby, they feed upon nectar deep within blooms and pollinate. The lower bill flexes downward to create a wider bill opening, facilitating the consumption of flying insects in the mouth rather than at the tip of the beak. They typically consume more than their own weight in nectar each day by visiting hundreds of God’s vividly painted flowers.

Hummingbird, Rufous (female) @ Val Lee

Humming flyers are one of the world’s most uniquely, created creatures. They only measure from two to eight inches in length, and weigh in from two to six grams. Their wingspan is a slight three to four inches. They are unbelievably winsome.

There are approximately 330 species of Hummingbirds in the world and they are only located in the Western Hemisphere. The majority of species are located in the tropical forests of South and Central America. Seventeen species of Hummingbirds are bred in America—the greatest number being found along the American-Mexican border, from Arizona to Texas. All Hummingbirds winter in southern regions.

Rufous Display 

The widespread Rufous males display a brown back, iridescent ruby-red gorget (throat) that may appear black within some lighting reflections. It owns gray flanks and forked tail.  Males are smaller than females and display a great deal of brown on their bodies.

Females present an emerald-green back, with a white breast and throat. Their tail is rounded with white tips. Females are identified by their magnificent, green, back display.


Courtship of Hummers is similar to other birds, with a great aerial show! A courting male will dive toward the ground with his tail wings making a whistling sound for full effect. He will even engage in shuttle flights, wings held close to his body as he flies in swift motion like a rocket! The gal he is trying to impress, will observe and grade him on a nearby limb. If his show is a success, her heart will be won.

Hummingbird, Rufous, juvenile (male) @ Val Lee

Female Hummingbirds make a cup-shaped nest (about half a walnut-shell in size) on a tree branch or shrub. Almost impossible to spot.

She is the most gifted of artisans! She with extraordinary flair, creates a nest to blend in perfectly, with the rest of the tree so it appears to be one with the tree. She weaves it in absolute perfection! If she nests in a pine tree, her tiny cup looks just like a tiny pine knot on the tree. It could not be crafted better by any human.

She will lay two extremely tiny white eggs, with incubation lasting 12–19 days. Upon hatching, the born weigh approximately 0.62 grams—that is one-third the weight of a dime.

Mom, will defend the nest at all costs and will even fight off prey birds such as Hawks and Crows. Female hummers are quite military-minded, when it comes to defense. She is like David; and the Hawk, like Goliath. She can win with her tactful maneuvering! She is the small stone in the sling.

The itsy bitsy, wee ones fly from the nest at three weeks and never return. The mother, however, stays nearby to reveal all the best places to obtain insects and nectar. She then chases off her young to live on their own. She refuses to be one of those controlling mothers who tries to manipulate her adult children so they remain at home.

Hummers can survive in captivity for many years, as long as seventeen years. In the wild, they live an average of 3 to 5 years. In very rare cases, as long as 10 years.

Hummingbird, juvenile, female (Rufous) @ Val Lee

The Bible states God’s ways are past finding out. Job 5:9 states, God does

“great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number!”

The rest of chapter 5, explains how mighty God truly is.

You do not have to search far to know man can explain very little concerning our massive cosmos, let alone the smallest critter.

He miraculously formed you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139), and He died in your place that you might have eternal life.

Please click here to learn more about His personal and precious love for you: letter-to-bird-enthusiast

Extra video of Hummingbird in my backyard:

*Information gratefully gathered from various websites.