By GEORGE ROBERTSON, M.D.
As I was watching the Hummingbird on our back porch feeder I saw something that seemed strange. The Hummers would feed in the shelter of the eve of the house and then return to a hard downpour in the trees a few feet away. It would have been easier to just remain in the shelter of the house out of the rain perched on the feeder with nutrition readily at hand than to go back into the wet elements and have to return to the feeder a few minutes later. I asked myself wouldn’t a little bird not want to avoid the rain drops and his wet perch in the tree?
Another paradox seemed to be that when the feeder had been empty for most of the morning, it would suddenly have two birds fighting over it. Why didn’t one bird come at a time so as to have full access to the nectar rather than at a time it had to defend the food source from the others?
The only answer I could come up with was that nature seems to like hardships. The perch under the eve of the house was unnatural for the bird and it just simply had to move. The food source for the Hummer had to be defended so it would have been unnatural to arrive at the feeder all by yourself.
To prove that humans have escaped from the natural influences of competition and hardship, a simple test might be in order. Prepare comfortable surroundings with food and a television and see how long it takes you to get one up to mow the yard.
Editor’s Note: Robertson is a physician with Family Medical Associates, PC, in Lebanon.