From the Magpie to the Hummingbird

Legend has it the Magpie is a bird that just loves shiny things.

It’s renowned to be a greedy beast, stashing the shiny trinkets in its nest.

We all have a bit of the Magpie in us. Sometimes they’re relatively docile; other times they’re just inquisitive, and ocassionally they’re ravenous.

Although the Magpie is one smart and streetwise bird that seemingly excels at grabbing up what’s shiny, it often struggles to see what’s valuable. All that glitters is not gold.

Our own Magpies can exploit opportunity, but can also lead us astray.

On the other hand, we have the Hummingbird.

The Hummingbird is less noticeable, often only being acknowledged by the gentle buzzing sound that comes from it rapidly beating wings. Unlike the magpie’s rapid swooping, it seems to magically float and hover between plants and flowers.

Yet Hummingbirds do not spend all day flying. The cost of energy for them is just too high. In fact, most of their time consists of simply sitting, perching, or digesting.

When they do feed, their long beaks mean they can be very accurate in extracting nectar from their chosen plants. This attribute also makes them excellent at cross-pollination, and they’re often a major source of pollination and growth for a wide variety of flowers, shrubs and trees.

Hummingbirds do need to eat quite a lot of small meals, and because of their high metabolism they have to recognize what’s valuable to focus their time and energies on. 

And compared with the Magpie, the Hummingbird has a little more elegance  – its colourful plumage and stylish diving abilities mean it can really stand out when it wants to.

It has its fair share of weaknesses of course – from a lack of robust defense skills to a worringly low survival rate in its early years.

While being a Hummingbird isn’t for everyone, when it comes to spending time with a select few rich sources of nectar and pollinating many more new opportunities for others, perhaps it’s one of the very best kinds of birds to be.

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