Flight of the Hummingbird: A Parable for the Environment
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Flight of the Hummingbird: A Parable for the Environment

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The hummingbird parable, with origins in the Quechuan people of South America, has become a talisman for environmentalists and activists who are committed to making meaningful change in the world. In this inspiring story, the determined hummingbird does everything she can to put out a raging fire that threatens her forest home. The hummingbird—symbol of wisdom an...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published April 7th 2008 by Greystone Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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This book is so short, it qualifies almost more as a poem--and is equally beautiful.

Lushly illustrated, each of the 5 short chapters speaks eloquently to social and environmental responsibility. While this may sound dry or preachy, it is neither. The beauty of the book is matched by the precise writing involved in each of the 5 short chapters, the message therein.

The parable of the hummingbird, how such a small and seemingly insignificant creature, could take on a forest fire serves as a jumping...more
William Burruss
Feb 06, 2013 William Burruss rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Children, Friends
The smallest of the birds, the hummingbird, shows the rest of the jungle how to turn a tragic forest fire into an act of salvation. When a huge fire starts to devastate the animal’s habitat all but the hummingbird flee to a safer spot to watch their home be destroyed. With great speed and determination the hummingbird takes one drop of water after another to attempt to douse the flames. As the parable ends the Big Bear asks the hummingbird, “What are you doing?” Where the hummingbird responds, “...more
Tyler Jones
This is a fable that we all need to take to heart.

As the Dalai Lama writes in his contribution to this book: “In order to succeed in the protection and conservation of the natural environment, it is important to first of all bring about an internal balance within human beings themselves.” This is what the parable of the hummingbird serves to illustrate – the state of mind we must adopt if we are to prevent environmental disaster. While I am not entirely sure that “right thought” must come befor...more
simply lovely. beautiful art, thoughtful story, critical message. a very fast read for such an important theme.
It's a great little book with a big message just like the hummingbird in the story. Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas "the hummingbird's faith in the small...is illustrated by her heroic contribution-the act of simply doing what she can, alone."
This fable of the hummingbird helping in spite of overwhelming odds, inspires us to try to make a difference in the world even if it is a small difference. I love this quote: "Self-confidence and enthusiasm are the keys to a successful life and to success any activity one is engaged in. We must be determined and have an optimistic outlook." p. 48
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This parable about the value of making an effort, however small your contribution, was actually shorter than the introductory and afterword material. I enjoyed reading the essays be Wangari Maathai and the Dalai Lama, more than I enjoyed the parable, which seemed to end rather abruptly. The accompanying artwork was stylized from the Haida Indian culture, and I especially enjoyed how Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas drew the rabbit. This is a nifty little book about doing your part to take care of the...more
This is quite a small book so I read it really quickly in the bookstore. It has some good insights on grassroots type action to things, and the illustrations were very interesting. It serves as a good reminder of things we already know but constantly forget. A good one to have sitting around where other people might pick it up.
Love this. In my opinion it's a must read / own / re-read for everyone. It's message is for everyone. It's brevity makes it accessible just as it's suggestion that we can all commit to small acts that make a difference is accessible and for everyone.
Sharyn L.
A very quick read. A good nightstand book in the guest room. The main message of this book is every little action counts. One (paraphrased) line that stands out for me is that we don't need to change the environment; we need to change our actions.
Justin Van Kleeck
See my full review of this book on Sustainablog:

M Grant
A neat parable, beautifully illustrated and the contributors include the Dalai Lama lending some pretty deep thoughts to flesh out the book.
A simple book about everyone's ability to change the world for the better. Very nice.
A delightful afternoon inspiration.
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Yahgulanaas is a visual artist and creator of Haida manga from Delkatla in Masset on Haida Gwaii (British Columbia, Canada).
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