Enjoying the hummingbirds and orioles


Orioles are only one of God’s amazing creatures we’re enjoying this spring. “Not one of them [sparrows or orioles] falls to the ground without your Father’s consent” (Matt. 10:29, HCSB). (See a video of one of our hummingbird visitors here.)

Spring has finally arrived in northwest Iowa. I know because the hummingbirds and orioles are here. (The temperature hasn’t made up its mind, however.)

We have more birds this year than we have since we moved here, probably because our trees and bushes are getting big enough to provide safety for them. As usual, the robins have made their nest on our front porch, and barn swallows returned to their preferred location over the kitchen window. The new birdhouse we installed next to the deck has become home to a family of tree swallows.

But we especially enjoy watching the hummingbirds and orioles. We’ve never been able to attract the orioles before, but this year we’ve seen four or five at a time. Since they were coming around, we invested in a feeder that sticks to the picture window and holds both grape jelly and an orange. They seem to like both.

A hummingbird feeder is mounted on the patio door, so we get close-up views of them as well. We are constantly amazed by the miraculous flight of the hummingbirds, who can flutter their wings 50 times per second (or more, depending on the species). Watching them hover and even fly backward is a real treat.

The variety of colors and behavior, the interactions and territorial disputes of the different birds create wonderful distractions for us–sometimes keeping us from “chores,” but giving great joy.

Sadly, we did find feathers from one bird of an unknown species that had met an untimely death.

But even that reminded me of Jesus’ comments about sparrows in the Sermon on the Mount. “Not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent” (Matthew 10:29, HCSB). He went on to say, “Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So don’t be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:30-31, HCSB).

Even if the weather doesn’t feel like spring, the birds know–because of their Creator–that the season is changing. And they remind us that our Creator cares for each one of us more than we can ever imagine.