From Hummingbird to Eagle

“What does the study of birds do for the imagination, that high power possessed by humans alone,
that lifts them upward step by step into new realms of discovery and joy?
If the thought of a tiny hummingbird, a mere atom in the universe,
migrating from New England to Central America will not stimulate a child’s imagination,
then all the tales of fairies and giants and beautiful princesses …
will not cause his sluggish fancy to roam.”

– Birds Every Child Should Know, 1907



“A home is just not a home until a bird feeder is hung,” I said, one recent morning as I whipped up some eggs into a frothy billowing state, ready for the first breakfast round in our family. “Girls, we must get our hummingbird feeder unpacked and hang it up.”


The eggs were poured in the waiting, hot frying pan as the older children set the breakfast table. The little ones, tired from a beautiful day outdoors in the country air, were still sound asleep, worlds away, tucked in their little beds. The breakfast eggs cooked, the coffee was prepared and the breakfast dishes laid out … but as soon as I placed the dish of scrambled eggs onto old wooden kitchen table, I excused myself and headed outdoors.

One thing was on my mind – to find our hummingbird feeder and fill it.

In Ontario, we enjoyed the daily shows of our hummingbirds, who religiously dipped and dived into our flower beds, drinking back the sweet nectar of the honeysuckle vine, the daylilies and the bee balm. As a mother, with a move across four provinces, I was sensitive to making sure our new home felt like our old home in the ways that bring back lovely memories. A hummingbird feeder, and watching the tiniest of birds in amazement, was one part of my children’s childhood I did not want to interrupt.

Soon, with earnest effort, the hummingbird feeder was located in our big old, messy barn (still to be organized) and brought into the kitchen, washed and refilled with sugary nectar for our miniature feathered friends.

It was not long until we had our lovely little visitors … and what a delight! We have two large kitchen windows, just praticaly perfect for bird watching – one window at the children’s height and one window at the adult’s height. Every morning, I am truly blessed with a little showcase of our hummingbirds’ fancy flying skills …


“Lift me up, lift me up!” I heard one morning as I was joyfully watching my tiny feathered friends out the kitchen window. Scraping a kitchen chair across the floor, three year old Loyal squirmed up onto the chair and leaned on the counter. “Oh, I see him, I see him!”

“What child does not know the hummingbird, the jewelled midget that flashes through the garden,
poses before a flower as if suspended in the air by magic,
thrusts a needle-like bill into one cup of nectar after another, then whirs off out of sight in a trice?
Don’t you think it is worth while to plant his favorites in your garden if only for the joy of seeing him about?”
-Birds Ever Child Should Know



“Loyal, we must go get a honeysuckle vine and plant it,” I said, lifting him off the stool and leading him to the back door. “You know that’s the hummingbird’s favourite flower! Let’s go plant in right by the porch…  we want to see LOTS of hummingbirds!”

A few hour later, with the red nectar-vine planted quite close to our back porch, the children and I sat back in awe as we watched multiple shimmering hummingbirds, shining in the warm sunshine, zoom about from feeder to flower. I’m so thankful we have planted so many flowers since we have moved to this new home. It would not be summer without the visits of our bird friends, bees, and butterflies. Training my children to watch nature slowly and without rush, to view the hummingbird as a splendid creation of God, to see beauty in all forms of nature … that is a goal of mine …

A few weeks prior, while on a morning walk down our road, I spotted a glorious bald eagle, his broad wings majestically spread, his white head shining in the morning sun … we loved watching the eagles at our former home .. and now, my Heavenly Father has seen fit to allow us the blessing of watching even more eagles in our blue, blue skies overhead. While some may just say that it is natural to see bald eagles along the shores of an ocean, I feel it is a gift from my Heavenly Father. From hummingbirds to eagles, I feel His presence and am so humbled to receive such beautiful gifts. We could walk right by a hummingbird and not see the little flying creature as a gift from Heaven … a tiny reason to stop us and sit and watch the delicate beauty in nature … to turn your eyes to skies and see two bald eagles flying overhead, wondering where their nest is and considering their strength and majesty is to say “Thank you” to God. Thank you for the littlelst of birds to the might eagle – God is wonderfully good.

What God-sent gifts — perhaps unoticed by the rest of the world –  have come your way recently?



“And from Humming-Bird to Eagle,
the daily existence of every bird
is a remote and bewitching mystery.
~Thomas Wentworth Higginson,
“The Life of Birds,” Out-door Papers, 1868



Post Script:
For those who asked about the recipe for the syrup, here it is from a Hummingbird information website:


Hummingbird syrup recipe instructions:

The hummingbird syrup recipe calls for a 4 to 1 ratio of water to sugar. This ratio will produce a solution that is close to the actual nectar that hummingbirds get from plants.

The hummingbird syrup recipe calls for boiling the nectar to release any chlorine that might be in the water and to kill any mold spores or any other unwanted organisms that might be in the sugar. This will allow your nectar to keep as long as possible before going bad.

In a pan on your stove, add 4 parts water and stir in the 1 part sugar as you bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the sugar until it is completely dissolved. Boil for about 2 minutes. When the hummingbird syrup recipe is cool you can add it to your feeder. Any unused portion can be stored in your frig. for up to 2 weeks

If your syrup goes bad or moldy, as it will in the heat, boil your feeder clean and add new syrup.

August 2, 2021 - 2:36 pm

Gigi Lynnea, I would love to see a Golden Eagle! I don’t think I have ever seen one in real life. It must be wonderful!

August 2, 2021 - 1:54 pm

Lynnea Hello again, Gigi,
I hope you don’t mind my adding a couple more thoughts…
I love that a goal you have is to train your children to “watch nature slowly and without a rush”. Your own interest and excitement about nature seem to be wonderfully contagious to your children!
I also love that you captured that precious moment of excitement with your young son asking to see the hummingbirds from the window, and then proceeded to go outside with him to plant the honeysuckle vine nearby! Lovely! ~ Lynnea

August 1, 2021 - 7:59 pm

Lynnea Thank you for the lovely pictures and post! ❤️
Our little hummingbird feeders need filling daily as our wee friends have been very thirsty due to the hot, very dry and smokey air here this summer. I find it is a pleasure to keep them steadily supplied. Those flowers you’ve provided for them look like a delicious treat!
My husband refills the seed feeders almost daily for our other bird friends such as finches, black-headed grosbeaks, and eastern kingbirds. We also fill the birdbath at least twice a day and have been seeing bluebirds, robins, and finches bathing and splashing about in the water, which is so much fun to watch!
The eagles are so magnificent and it is a pleasure to see and hear them flying. There is also an eagle refuge nearby where two bald eagles and two golden eagles are living at this time.
God’s beautiful unique creations abound!❤️

August 1, 2021 - 5:13 pm

Gigi Laura, I was going to make mention of this bird, as well, but we always watched Blue Herons with delight at our old place – and now, we have SO MANY Blue Herons everywhere. It’s just lovely! Another gift from my Father! I was picking wildflowers across the road and heard a tremendous rush of wings and looked up to see this large, lovely Blue Heron make his ascent from the tree above me. It was beautiful. P.S. Your daughter might enjoy The Tale of Jeremy Vole, which begins with a message to the animals from a Blue Heron. That is what peaked our interest in watching this beautiful bird.

August 1, 2021 - 3:30 pm

Laura Jeanne Oh, my word! What astonishing photography Gillian! What a gift you have! I have not once yet in my entire life been able to capture a hummingbird on camera – the little darlings move so quickly!

I do have a hummingbird feeder that I bought at the dollar store earlier in the year – now you’ve inspired me to find it and put it up.

I love the idea of dying it red with raspberries, too – how clever. 🙂

I love to see eagles, as well. Lately, around our place, we have been blessed to see a great blue heron over and over again. He seems to like our neighbourhood, and one time Amy saw him perched right on top of our house!

August 1, 2021 - 2:36 pm

Joanne Gillian

The hummingbirds are delightful. I can just imagine how intriguing they are to watch.

July 30, 2021 - 5:54 pm

Gigi Also, I used raspberries to dye the syrup as the feeder is blue.

July 30, 2021 - 5:52 pm

Gigi Jen, I have had mine go bad, as well. I drain it and clean it and try it again. The heat affects the syrup, so you just watch it. Sometimes the syrup is gone so quickly from the hummingbirds that no extra work is necessary to prevent spoilage.
Enjoy those delightful little birds!

July 30, 2021 - 5:46 pm

Jen Heemskerk Amazing photos of such a fast bird!!! Can I ask how you make your hummingbird syrup? Recipe? I recently made one with just water and sugar and it went bad, so not sure what on earth I did wrong. Any tips would be helpful!