The Mystery of Hummingbirds


It has been seriously suggested that dinosaurs evolved into birds. It's hard to believe this when you look at a hummingbird feeding on the snapdragons in your garden. Did Brontosaurus rex shrink to become this glittering jewel that flies upside down and backwards while dipping his long beak and even longer tongue into the secret nectar of flowers? Is this the plodding dinosaur that walked on thick legs and shook the earth with every step?

Perhaps it makes more sense to say hummingbirds are fairies--or messengers of the gods.

On the Nazca plain in southern Peru, ancient artists carved out an image of a hummingbird so large that it can only be recognized at about 1,000 feet in the air. These people recognized the sacredness of nature. They understood the magnitude of these tiny gifts, which are unique to the New World.

This massive image can't be far from the place where, in primordial times, the first hummingbird opened its eyes to the pale light of dawn. In Peru and other South American countries, at or near the equator, there is an amazing variety of hummingbirds. Probably all of them have not been discovered yet. We know of over 300.

I think the origin place of hummingbirds is the heart of the western world. The archetypal hummingbird in Peru is a cornucopia from which glittering little birds with feathers like burnished metal have spewed out. The hummingbirds went to the rainforest and to the high peaks of the Andes. They went to Argentina and to Mexico--one species made it all the way to Alaska.

When we attend to the hummingbird, we honor the spirit of the land.


Hummingbird Legends

Home Page