Hummingbird Spy Planes

I thoroughly enjoy hummingbirds and dragonflies. They are certainly marvels of creation. However, there may come a time when people will start shooting them.

The Associated Press (2/28/2011) just had an article about new research with working models of tiny spy planes that mimic birds and insects. The hummingbird “drone” can fly forward and backwards, up and down, sideways, and rotate. However, unlike the real thing, it is loaded with video and audio equipment to record sights and sounds.

They can be very helpful for spying behind the enemy lines in battles. Of course, hummingbirds don’t live all over the world and would really stand out and be shot or captured, so other models are being researched as well including dragonflies and other insects.

One spy plane looks like a maple leaf seed (whirly-bird) and is quite small. Fully equipped, it weighs only 0.07 ounces! Some research is even exploring implanting the technology into live insects to be controlled by an external stimulus (It makes me think of the weird flying creatures mentioned in the book of Revelation in the Bible. Hmmm . . ., I might have to study that further.)

If this new technology ever hits the common market, the bird at your hummingbird feeder might become that “little birdie that told me so” that people refer to. Not to be paranoid, but I hate to think about having to wonder if the grasshopper on the window ledge or the fly on the wall is spying on me.

Looking at the hummingbird has always reminded me of the awesomeness of God’s creative ability. Now when I see one of those fantastic birds or insects, I guess I will also have to think about spy planes. Basically that is where we live — in God’s beautiful creation marred by the effects of sin resulting from the Fall. 

By the way, I really recommend Lanny’s great articles on the tremendous design of hummingbirds and dragonflies. See: Hummingibrds; and Dragonflies (and then click on July/August 2009).

Dave Nutting

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