Hummingbird symbolism and meanings include joy, healing, good luck, messages from angels, and other special qualities. While they are tiny beings, hummingbirds pack a lot of powerful, positive energy. It’s no wonder they are loved by people all over the world.
In this post, we’ll explore all facets of hummingbird meaning and symbolism, including hummingbird spiritual meaning, mythology, and folklore and the hummingbird spirit animal.
Table of Contents
- What does a hummingbird symbolize?
- What does it mean when you see a hummingbird?
- Hummingbird Mythology and Folklore
- Hummingbirds in Native American Culture
- Maya Hummingbird Meaning
- Aztec Hummingbird Mythology
- Taino Nation
- 3 Hummingbird Spiritual Meanings
- Hummingbird Spirit Animal
- Hummingbird Power Animal
- Hummingbird Totem Animal
- Hummingbird Dream Meaning
- Hummingbird Tattoo Meaning
- How You Can Help Hummingbirds
What does a hummingbird symbolize?
Here are some high-level meanings associated with hummingbirds. We’ll go into more detail on these and what they could mean for your life throughout this post:
- Good Luck
What does it mean when you see a hummingbird?
If a hummingbird buzzes around you or flutters at a flower nearby, view it as a positive omen. As mentioned above, hummingbirds are seen as positive symbols and even messengers for angels in many cultures. Here are some qualities that hummingbirds represent and what they might mean in your life:
Hummingbird Symbolism: Vibrancy and Variety
Although they are small, hummingbirds are very noticeable because they come in an array of bright, jewel-like colors. Adding to their beauty, they are most-often seen around colorful flowers, from which they get their nectar. In turn, the hummingbird extends the life force of these flowers by helping them to pollinate. Because of their bright colors and the way they speed from flower to flower, hummingbirds are symbols of vibrancy and variety. They remind us to cherish the beauty and biodiversity in nature.
So, one of the messages of the hummingbird spirit animal is to honor and welcome diversity into your life. After all, too much routine has the potential to drag anyone down, to the extent we might go into autopilot and stop evolving. The hummingbird is not the type to ever fall into a rut!
After all, if the hummingbird didn’t visit multiple blossoms, it would limit their ability to pollinate more flowers, thus hindering growth. So, the hummingbird is a lovely reminder to get “unstuck” if you’re in a situation where you feel you’re not growing or you don’t have the answers you seek. The hummingbird says, “Do something different. Variety is the spice of life!”
Hummingbird Meaning: Flirtatiousness
The hummingbird is also a symbol of flirtatiousness. These tiny birds fly quickly from blossom to blossom, enjoying the nectar of a variety of flowers. In fact, unlike ravens, eagles, and most other bird species, hummingbirds don’t mate for life.
Seeing a hummingbird doesn’t mean you should go out and have an affair or avoid a commitment! Rather, the hummingbird spirit animal may be telling you to lighten up and have a little more fun. Instead of viewing your relationship as “serious,” why not view it as flirtatious and fun?
If you’re single and looking for a new romantic relationship, seeing a hummingbird can be a sign to not get into a serious relationship right now. Instead, focus on meeting new people and widening your social circle.
Scientists have studied the aerodynamics of the hummingbird for decades. Like dragonflies and owls, the hummingbird possesses special flying skills. Even in extremely windy conditions, they can stabilize themselves in midair while feeding. Essentially, they are able to adjust in challenging circumstances to achieve their goals.
Seeing a hummingbird can be a reminder that life is not about waiting for the perfect conditions. Instead of focusing on resisting challenges, consider how you can handle them with grace and agility. By doing so, you increase the odds that you will achieve your goals. The hummingbird spirit animal also says, “If there is an opportunity in front of you, don’t wait. Be agile and seize the present moment.”
Speed, Energy, and Effectiveness
Some species of hummingbirds have hearts that beat over 1,200 times per minute. And they inhale and exhale as much as 250 breaths per minute!1 Needless to say, this is a very speedy little bird.
In addition to being fast, the hummingbird is an important part of the ecosystem in which they live. In addition, as a pollinator, the hummingbird serves a vital role alongside the bee and the butterfly, as all are foundational for supporting life on Earth.
The hummingbird power animal is a reminder that although you may feel small or insignificant at times – one person can have a big impact. Whatever your dreams are, even if they seem small by other people’s standards, the hummingbird tells you to get going. Use your positive energy to achieve your aims. When you are committed to a dream, providence moves quickly to make it happen.
A Few Words on Rest…
As quick and busy as they are, the hummingbird also has to rest. In fact, when food isn’t available, a hummingbird can slow their metabolisms and enter a hibernating, deep-sleep state, which is called torpor.
You may be a high-energy person who thrives on going, going, going. The hummingbird reminds you to give yourself some down time. Rest and relaxation are essential for being healthy – mentally, emotionally, and physically. Remember to take the time to recharge so you can be primed to accomplish your dreams.
Health, Healing, and Vitality
The hummingbird has co-evolved with flowers. In a sublime, harmonious partnership, the hummingbird gets nectar from the flower. Then, in return, the hummingbird pollinates more flowers, which extends their life force. This is why the hummingbird is a symbol of health, healing, and vitality.
As a symbol for healing, the hummingbird can be a sign to think about what you are seeking for stimulation and nourishment. This could relate not just to food but also substances, material things, or relationships. In other words, where are you looking for energy? Is it a truly symbiotic, balanced, and mutually healthy relationship? If not, be like a hummingbird and quickly move on.
Balance, harmony, and reciprocity do exist. You just have to be willing to leave the situations that are unhealthy to find the ones that will nourish you.
Joy, Sweetness, and Good Luck
A beloved bird to many, the hummingbird is also a symbol of good luck. These nectar-drinking beauties are reminders to live la dolce vita – the sweet life. Life can be hard on the Earthly plane. Yet the hummingbird, with their vibrant, humming presence, reminds us to focus on the joys in life. When we live in a joyful state, we put out a vibration for positive things and good luck to come to us.
The hummingbird spirit animal reminds you that good luck happens when you are receptive and open to the wonders in life. A hummingbird message, or affirmation, is, “I make good luck happen.”
Angels, Spirits, and Messages
Like the butterfly, the hummingbird is also seen as a messenger from angels, or spirit guides.
Hummingbirds are here in their Earthly manifestations for three-to-five years. So, if you have an opportunity to meet a hummingbird in their lifetime, say a prayer of thanks, and think of those you love who have transitioned to the spirit world.
Divine energy can manifest through all living things. Yet, just like people, some animals are more receptive to this angelic energy flowing through them. The hummingbird is one of these creatures. Like a butterfly, a dragonfly, or a cardinal, the hummingbird is a sign that your angels are present.
Hummingbird Mythology and Folklore
Tens of millions of years ago, hummingbirds lived in the geographical region that is now Europe.2 However, in more recent history, they are native only to the Americas – with a range from southern Alaska all the way to Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. Hummingbirds can also be found in the Caribbean Islands.
Because of this range, cultures in the Americas and tropics are rich with hummingbird legends and folklore. The following are some of those stories.
Hummingbirds in Native American Culture
Native Americans revere nature and animals. Thus, their cultures have many vivid stories about the power of animal spirits and the profound role they play in human life. Every Native American tribe has a unique set of customs and beliefs. However, one thing that many have in common is that the hummingbird is a helpful spirit guide and messenger. In addition, the hummingbird is a healer and source of good luck.3
Hopi and Zuni Hummingbird Legend
There is a story told in the Hopi and Zuni tradition of a famine that plagued the land. Because food and water were scarce, a mother and father were forced to leave their young son and daughter behind as they went searching for supplies to sustain their family.
To pass the time while waiting, the boy carved a hummingbird out of a piece of wood. When his sister threw the toy into the air, the small bird came to life and played with the children.
However, seeing that the children were hungry, the hummingbird began to worry about them. So, she went searching and returned everyday with an ear of corn to sustain them.
Realizing they would need more to eat, the hummingbird flew to the center of the Earth to beg the God of Fertility to replenish the land. Impressed by the beautiful and sincere little bird, the God of Fertility delivered rain, which fed the soil and helped the crops to grow again.4
Apache Hummingbird Symbolism
In Apache folklore, there is a story of a young warrior named Wind Dancer who is deaf. Despite his deafness, Wind Dancer creates beautiful, wordless songs. Indeed, the sound is so exquisite that the songs bring fair weather and healing to the land.
One day, Wind Dancer falls in love with a beautiful woman named Bright Rain. They met when Bright Rain was being attacked by a wolf and Wind Dancer stepped in to rescue her. However, early in their romance, Wind Dancer was killed tragically in battle. When he died, winter fell on the land.
Grieving, Bright Rain walked into an open field. And when she did, the spirit of Wind Dancer visited her in the form of a hummingbird. The tiny bird sang Wind Dancer’s sweet, wordless songs in Bright Rain’s ears and she was comforted in her grief. When Bright Rain finally felt a sense of peace, fair weather returned to the land.
Hummingbird Meaning in Navajo Culture
For the Navajo People, the hummingbird represents beauty and wisdom. As with other birds, the Navajo view hummingbirds as sacred beings who should not be harmed. In addition, they view the hummingbird as a sacred teacher. For the Navajo, the hummingbird taught them about life by showing them how to gather nectar and pollen and travel from flower to flower.
Most Native American tribes are based around a clan system, which is a community organization that is rooted in maternal family lines. Each clan is associated with a specific animal. For example, the Creek, Chippewa, Algonquian, Navajo, and Pueblo Nations all have bear clans. In addition, the Pueblo Nation has a hummingbird clan. Thus, these special birds have important meaning in Pueblo stories.
According to one Pueblo legend, caterpillars are the guardians of tobacco plants. But it’s the hummingbird who gathers smoke from the caterpillar and then brings it to the shamans, or medicine men, who use it to purify the Earth. In return, the hummingbird brings gifts from the shamans to the Great Mother who exists beneath the soil.
The Hummingbird and the Rainbow
In another Pueblo legend, there was a demon who made a bet with the Sun and lost. When he lost the bet, he went blind. Filled with anger at going blind, the demon spewed hot lava, which set the world on fire.
The hummingbird, who was a simple gray bird at the time, took it upon himself to fly around and gather rain clouds from all four directions and put out the fire. When his work was done, he flew away.
As he flew, there was a rainbow in the sky, which he flew through. The rainbow blessed the hummingbird by painting him with its bright colors.
To this day, members of the Pueblo Nation do a hummingbird dance to bring rain.
Maya Hummingbird Meaning
According to stories by the Maya People, when the Sun courts the Moon, he disguises himself as a beautiful hummingbird. In addition, the Mayas believed that the first wedding was that of two hummingbirds.
They Mayas also believed that the hummingbird was created by the Great Creator who made all birds. When he was done making all the birds, he had leftover pieces, so he made the first hummingbird. This bird was very small, so the Creator made sure he could fly fast.5
When the hummingbird flew above the Creator, his wings made a humming sound: “dzu-nu-ume, dzu-nu-ume.” So, the Mayas called him Dzunuume, or the Hummer.
The Creator loved the little hummingbird so much that he created a mate for him and a wedding was planned.
All of the animals of the forest came to the ceremony, which was the first wedding in history. However, the other birds didn’t think the hummingbirds had enough color, so they all gave some of their feathers to the pair as wedding gifts. And the Sun promised that the hummingbirds’ feathers would gleam with magic in the sunshine.
Aztec Hummingbird Mythology
For the ancient Aztecs, the God of Sun and War was called Hitzilopochti, which translates to Hummingbird Wizard. For the Aztecs, Hitzilopochti was a very important patron god. In fact, hummingbirds were so sacred in Aztec culture that only shamans and tribal leaders were allowed to wear hummingbird feathers. In addition, Aztec warriors believed that if they died in battle, they would be reincarnated as a hummingbird.
The Taino Nation, who are an Indigenous People from the Caribbean, revere the hummingbird as a symbol of fertility for all life. In fact, this symbolism is shared with cultures throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and beyond.
According to Taino legends, the hummingbird started out as a fly, but Father Sun, whom they call Agueybaba, transformed him into a tiny bird.
For the Taino, the hummingbird is a symbol of rebirth. They also believe that even though the hummingbird is small, they have the fierce heart of an eagle. In fact, the Taino People call their warriors the “Colibri” Warriors, which translates to Hummingbird Warriors.
In other Caribbean folklore, hummingbirds are believed to be spirit messengers, including departed loved ones.
3 Hummingbird Spiritual Meanings
In conjunction with what has been written above, there are some hummingbird spiritual meanings:
1. Angels and Spirit Guides – People around the world have viewed hummingbirds as messengers for angels, or loved ones who have passed. So, if you are lucky enough to have a hummingbird visit, you can view it as a sacred event.
2. Symbols of Rebirth – Because hummingbirds extend the life force of flowers, they are symbols of the eternal nature of the soul and the indomitable spirit.
3. The Healing Power of Divine Energy – Hummingbird spiritual meaning also includes miraculous healing and “mind-over-matter” faith. The hummingbird reminds us that divine energy can move through all living things, including the human body. Prayer, meditation, and faith play a vital role in healing.
Hummingbird Spirit Animal
“Like the hummingbird sipping nectar from every flower, I fly joyfully through my days, seeing beauty in everything.”
– Amethyst Wyldfyre
The hummingbird spirit animal is a beautiful guardian to have on your side. When the hummingbird is your spirit animal, you are the type of person who lights up a room and brings joy to others. You are also a natural healer and nurturer.
In fact, a hummingbird appearing in your life can be a sign to make sure you practice self-care because you bring so much joy to others and you are such a natural caregiver. Don’t forget about yourself!
The hummingbird is always a positive sign. So, if you receive a hummingbird visit, they may be reminding you to step outside of your thoughts and notice the wonders all around you. The hummingbird’s beautiful colors and vibrating wings should serve as a wake-up call to pursue your dreams. The hummingbird spirit animal also wants to remind you to enjoy life!
If you are curious about other animals who might be your spirit guides, visit my overview post about spirit animals and take the spirit animal test.
Hummingbird Power Animal
As the name implies, a power animal can inspire you with their most dynamic traits. So, if you want to transform an area of your life, meditate on the attributes that the power animal represents. For example, you can summon the hummingbird in situations when you:
- Hope to bring healing energy to yourself or someone you love.
- Want to get out of a rut, whether it’s creatively, a relationship, or some other aspect of your life.
- Would like to hone your intuition and clear the channels of communication with your spirit guides.
- Want to bring more joy into your life and those of others.
Hummingbird Totem Animal
In Native American cultures, animal totems hold the protective powers of the animal they represent. Thus, the hummingbird totem animal is a helpful symbol for manifesting more joy, variety, health, and good luck in your life.
In addition, the hummingbird totem is a helpful symbol when you are in prayer or meditation and want to connect with your loved ones who have passed or other spirit guides.
Hummingbird Dream Meaning
If you dream of a hummingbird, consider the emotions you felt in the dream. Those feelings can give you insight into what the hummingbird dream is telling you. For example, did you feel fear or happiness? Anxiety or wonder?
Dreams can reveal things that we’re not actively addressing in our conscious, awake state – but that we should address. One thing we all have in common is that our subconscious emotions don’t lie to us. Even anxious dreams can be gifts. They can prompt us to take the time to be objective observers of our own thoughts, so that we can improve areas of our life.
In addition, many psychics and mediums say that you should pay particular attention to your vivid dreams. If you dream of people you know or a pet (living or those who have passed) or a creature such as a hummingbird, it can mean you connected with other souls on the astral plane.
Hopefully learning more about hummingbird symbolism and mythology in this post can bring added insights to your dream.
Hummingbird Tattoo Meaning
A hummingbird tattoo demonstrates that you have joie de vivre – that you cherish the joy and variety in life. It can also show that you are in tune with and in communication with your spirit guides. It can also signify that you or someone you love has overcome a healthy challenge and that you live in the light of health and vitality.
Tattoos are obviously deeply personal to the person whose skin they adorn. But hopefully understanding more about the hummingbird meaning and symbolism can bring deeper meaning to your tattoo.
How You Can Help Hummingbirds
Are hummingbirds endangered? People who love hummingbirds often ask this question and, unfortunately, yes, hummingbirds are very much endangered. Over 10 percent of hummingbird species are at risk of extinction. If you care about hummingbirds, please do what you can to protect them. Here are some organizations that are working to protect these precious birds.
- The Hummingbird Society
- American Bird Conservancy
- Bird Life
- The Audubon Society
- Hummingbird Monitoring Network