Anyone who is around hummingbirds for any length of time discovers that they would rather fight than eat. We have a hummingbird feeder on our balcony, not (I admit) because I think they need food–our neighborhood is filled with delicious flowers–but because these extraordinary little creatures are so much fun to watch.

I’ll see a hummer land on our feeder, take a sip of sugar water, then immediately put his head up and look around, searching for a rival. I used to think this had something to do with guarding the food source, but now I’ve realized it’s because hummingbirds really ENJOY a good fight.

Soon two (or three) hummers are buzzing around, darting at each other, feinting and threatening, sometimes even telling each other off with that little "cht, cht" sound they make.

I’ve written before about why we humans are designed to make love, not war (even though we seem to be starting a new battle, somewhere, almost every day). But SOME people are more like hummingbirds–they relish a good fight and actively look for one.

Our Congress seems to be that way: While we suffer in the economic doldrums, they seem more interested in attacking the legislators on the opposite side of the aisle than in cooperating and getting something DONE.

So-called "religious" people often act like hummingbirds as well. While modern Christians have embraced the "ecumenical" movement (some of them, anyway), Muslims seem to be constantly at each other’s throats. The Sunnis hate the Shia and vice-versa, while the rest of us look on, bewildered. It’s almost as if the Methodists and Baptists decided to kill each other off because one of them sprinkles and other insists on immersion.

Some Muslims almost seem to be SPOILING for a fight. Hummers are happy when there’s another bird nearby to attack, almost as if they need an "excuse" to do it. Recent reactions to anti-Muslim propaganda, such as that internet film that nobody has seen, ended up with Muslims not only killing Americans, but killing EACH OTHER in the huge brawls that ensued.

Several recent newspaper editorials have made the point that other religions don’t have this extremist reaction to being made fun of. The hit play "The Book of Mormon" hasn’t sent Mormons out on jihad. The most common first line to a joke is, "A priest, a preacher and a rabbi went into a bar," but none of them seem to ever have taken offense to this. Jews make jokes about THEMSELVES, so other people don’t have to do it.

If everyone in the Muslim world had simply ignored that film (as almost all Americans and Europeans did–in fact, none of us ever heard of it until the trouble started), the killing wouldn’t have started. But an Egyptian newscaster discovered it and played it on Egyptian TV, igniting the flame. What in the world was his motivation? Sounds hummer-ish to me.

While I love hummers, I have to say that we’re never going to have peace in this world until we find another bird to emulate. Maybe we should copy crows or blue jays–they make a lot of noise, but they don’t DO anything about it.

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  1. Anne, you are SO RIGHT about
    Anne, you are SO RIGHT about these belligerent, Feisty little clowns!
    Back in California (Simi Valley), we had hummers in our back yard – always! And I often witnessed them chasing others away from the feeder (MAN, can they fly fast!).
    They are quite brave for their size, and often hovered just out of arm’s reach, sizing me up while I was watering my citrus trees. If I moved slowly, they’d stick around.
    Once, while watering, I had the spray nozzle set to “MIST”. A hummer, noticing the fine spray, flew up and perched on the chain link fence, fluttering its little wings. To me, it seemed that it was asking for a shower. Rather than dousing it directly with the mist (in case I mis-read its body language), I played the water through the chain links very close to it. The hummer immediately flew over to the mist, and proceeded to take the most luxurious of bird baths, fluttering its wings, craning and moving its neck, and in general, enjoying immensly the fine droplets – even lapping up a bit with its long, thin tongue.
    And I think your analogy of hot-headed, aggressive religions is on the mark, too. Surely these people have seen the futility of such aggression – and yet they continue! And what kind of ‘religion’ not only Condones, but ENCOURAGES the taking of lives?? That’s almost unheard of – except…
    Anyway, thanks as always for the interesting and highly thought-provoking commentary!

  2. Religion and Governments are
    Religion and Governments are the same as both will only serve themselves.
    Having a relationship is entirely different, “Yeshua” means “Salvation” in hebrew, in Greek it becomes “Jesus” but has no meaning so Christ Yeshua is really
    Lord of Salvation which is what he came to offer us. No Fighting only the sweet smell of Peace!

    On a second note i wonder if you woul look at this email i posted on my website i sent you but never got a reply 🙁

  3. Ann – i’m sure I’d compare
    Ann – i’m sure I’d compare precious, little hummingbirds to extreme religious folks but I know what you mean about the hummers. Around here we have the ruby-throats and they delight in bugging each other at my feeders. It’s just so entertaining. I have even seen one fly up in a cardinal’s face. The Cardinal looks stunned as if to say, “hey tiny what’s your problem anyway”!!!! Very fun to watch.

  4. I had a friend who use to
    I had a friend who use to have them come up and land in her hand!
    She found out she had cancer of the brain, so was this Humming Bird trying to let her know she was fighting for her life and didn’t know it? She lost the battle 🙁

    The Hum – ming I hear is that of the mechanization for World War III.
    Generals on both sides looking at attack plans as they go Hummmm – ing with delight at the number of people they will sacrifice for a false god.
    Governments that what to control people in their nation, religions wanting to control the followers each protecting what they perceive as belonging to them and them only, each having the right to kill.
    We call out Nukes “Birds” and similar to a Humming bird with a hum of it’s rockets fight for what it thinks it owns or has ownership over.
    As is the Nature in all things so is the Nature of the Beast in us to Fight and “KILL” , only when we give up the Beast within us and accept the “Love” of God, “Yeshua” will we then be able to let the weapons in the hand fall.
    Did you follow the link? “SHUT UP” is what the Devil says to woman. “Eve” is not a woman.

  5. Great title to this entry.
    Great title to this entry.

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