TL;DRWeighing about the amount a penny does, the tiny hummingbird has intrigued us for centuries. Mayans believed the gods created hummingbirds from parts left over from other birds and were so pleased with their creation, they celebrated when they completed it! Seeing a hummingbird might not remind you of creation, but the hummingbird symbolic meaning may be just as important to you. The significance of hummingbirds and the symbolism of hummingbirds ranges from being delighted by their beauty to believing that seeing a hummingbird means something very sacred.
What is a Hummingbird?
The simplest way to define hummingbirds is to say they are a tiny bird native to North and South America, and in regards to symbols of birds and their meanings, hummingbirds are counted in the lore of many people. While they are not an official bird of any American State, countless people put out sugar water feeders, to attract these tiny, colorful birds, and many say hummingbirds are their favorite birds.
There are over 325 species of hummingbirds, with the smallest hummingbird being the two-inch-long bee hummingbird, and the largest being giant hummingbird, which can grow up to nine inches long! Known for their consumption of flower nectar and sugar water, they also eat spiders and insects, making them omnivores. The average lifespan of a hummingbird is up to four years, which might not seem very long, but hummingbirds have extremely high metabolisms, so this is considered a long life for them. The meaning of the hummingbird is so much more than just hummingbird qualities like what their size is, what they eat, and how long they live, however.
The Meaning of Hummingbirds
Different people believe different things about hummingbird significance. Because they are native to the Americas, Native American hummingbird symbols and meanings range by tribe, and culture and you won’t find ancient hummingbirds’ symbolism elsewhere such as hummingbird meaning in Hindi. To some a blue hummingbird meaning is that you are overcoming deep fears, so keep up the good work! To some, two hummingbirds together symbolize devotion and unbreakable love bonds. Hummingbirds’ meanings can be learned from indigenous lore stories.
In the Nazca desert in Peru lies a UNESCO World Heritage site containing hundreds of designs carved into the dry land known as the Nazca Lines. The hummingbird is one of the creatures depicted, and the hummingbird “shamanic” meaning, to use a popular mainstream term to refer to this, is lost to us. However, some experts believe the drawings were created by the people there so gods in the sky could see them. Others believe the Nazca Lines represent constellations. It has been suggested they were aqueducts that held rainwater, and some believed the Nazca Lines served as paths worshippers walked in a sacred procession for ritual.
What was the hummingbird icon representing to the ancient people who made the Nazca Lines? We may never know. All we know is that a hummingbird was counted sacred enough to be worthy of being included in these enduring images.
The Aztec people’s god of War who had to be fed with human life every 52 years out of fear the sun would burn out if he didn’t was named Huitzilopochtli, or “Southern Hummingbird”, as he was adorned with hummingbird feathers. The father god of war, fire, and the sun as well as the son of the goddess Coatlicue, he was birthed during the time of his mother being under attack by hundreds of his brothers and sisters. He was born fully grown and armed, defended his mother, slaying the sister who waged the attack, and he chases his remaining siblings through the sky, with the hummingbird’s iconic speed to this day.
What we may think of today as a tiny, gentle creature, the speed and power the hummingbird has was the perfect embodiment of this very powerful god to the Aztecs. To them, the spiritual meaning of the hummingbird was very sacred. Huitzilopochtli kept the world alive, and they devoted a lot of time and energy into keeping him strong so life in the world they lived in could continue.
An old Cherokee story tells of a time when all animals spoke in the same language, and there was a great tobacco plant that everybody shared. One day, an evil goose stole the plant, hiding it away, so it could have all of it for itself. All the animals took turns trying to get the sacred tobacco plant back, but the goose killed everybody who tried. Finally, the tiny hummingbird talked them into letting it try, stating it could sneak in quickly and unnoticed and steal away with the tobacco. Sure enough, the hummingbird stole in undetected, bringing back with it a top part of the plant containing seeds, and returning tobacco to everybody.
The Cherokee story also said one elderly woman was dying without the tobacco, and the hummingbird returned in time to save her. What is the meaning of a hummingbird to the people who told this story? It is a testament of the hummingbird’s love of all creatures and understanding of how to maneuver a dangerous situation safely. A true hero!
A Hopi story tells of a time of disaster when famine due to drought and frost killing corn plants decimated the people of a place called Orayvi, to the extent everybody left, unfortunately abandoning a little boy and little girl. The children, left to fend for themselves, starved until the girl’s toy bird turned into a real hummingbird animal and flew away, bringing them back food every day. They asked the hummingbird to find their parents, and on its travels to do so, it found the father god, Mu’yingwa, and asked him to go to earth, and make things better. He did, and soon things were growing again. The people, including the children’s parents returned, and everybody thrived!
In this story, the hummingbird spiritual message is that of making do in the hardest of times, even with nearly nothing, until things turn around and improve. This Hopi hummingbird native American symbol is that of not giving up, and also that of miracles. The kindly hummingbird spirit appealed to the god who could fix all the problems, and all was well in the world again.
A special kind of hummingbird called the Doctor Bird lives only in Jamaica, and it is notable due to its long tail feathers, which resemble the long tailcoats of a good suit, thus it is called The Doctor Bird! It is also the national bird of Jamaica. The hummingbird signifies beauty, pride, magic in general, and to the indigenous Arawak Indians, the reincarnated souls of the ancestors. A folk belief there today is that killing one of these beautiful birds will bring bad luck. What does a hummingbird symbolize to the Jamaicans? It symbolizes magic, the ancestors, the beauty of nature, and is so scared it must never be killed.
What Does it Mean When a Hummingbird Comes Around?
What does it mean when a hummingbird visits you and why do hummingbirds hover in your face? Them hovering in your face almost never happens, and it means you should let it be on its way, but there are people who get a lot of visits from hummingbirds on a regular basis. That is usually because these people are good enough to put out hummingbird feeders. If you want to be one of these people, read on!
Buy a hummingbird feeder from a local shop and skip the fancy store bought hummingbird nectar! You can save money and have fun making your own. Simply mix one cup sugar with four cups water, being sure to just use white sugar. Boil the sugar and water for five minutes to ensure the sugar is all dissolved and made into a nice syrup. Cool the sugar water before filling a clean hummingbird feeder with it. If there is more left that does not fit into the feeder, it can be stored in the fridge for up to five days.
Hummingbirds can become deathly ill if their sugar water has become contaminated or is not cleaned or maintained well. Honey can give them a bacterial illness that prevents them from swallowing at all and they will die. No brown sugar, honey, molasses, or artificial sweeteners should ever be used, nor should red food dye. They will be gathering nectar from plants and eating spiders and insects, but love the extra help from well maintained feeders!
What Does a Hummingbird in My House Mean?
People in more than one culture believe if a hummingbird, or any bird, for that matter, flies inside your house, an important message from spirits or the divine is coming, so pay attention! Beyond this hummingbird spiritual meaning, however, remember this is a wild animal, and it needs to safely get back outside. While some would say it’s very bad luck if you kill a hummingbird, stressing one out is not much better. Close off all rooms the bird is not inside and open a window so it can get out. If the bird is unable to fly out safely on its own, a call to your local wildlife center will have a professional on their way to rescue the bird soon!
A hummingbird sitting still is considered an unusual sight and an easy chance to see a hummingbird up close. The truth is, while they are associated with always being on the go, hummingbirds rest, and have been observed doing so for hours at a time. Sometimes, it’s a mother bird with her nestlings, or one who has just lain eggs and needs a break. They don’t stay motionless for very long because they need to ingest food regularly, or their tiny systems would go into starvation mode. Hummingbirds have a way to counteract this, however, and allow their bodies to go into a state called torpor, which is like hibernation.
Hummingbirds are able to use this torpor to slow down their metabolisms to conserve resources. During times they are not in torpor, they will still take short breaks, resting on branches. The hummingbird meaning spiritually when you see this is that you too need to slow down, take a break, and conserve strength before moving forward in your work!
Hummingbirds Appear When Angels are Near
Hummingbird symbolism in the Bible is not specifically noted, as hummingbirds are not native to the lands of the Bible. However, to today’s Christians, the Biblical meaning of a hummingbird is that of courage, because what does a hummingbird do but defy the odds for such a tiny creature? To these believers, a hummingbird’s spiritual meaning is that of tenacity, determination, bravery, strength, faith, and hope. If even the tiny hummingbird can have so very much energy and strength, then surely, so can humanity!
However, to these believers, the hummingbird means so much more. It is evidence of angels! To some, a hummingbird is an angel’s helper and this hummingbird “angel” is delivering messages from angels to human beings. The hummingbird spiritual message here is to open yourself to communication from the angels, allowing their messages to be delivered to you from the hummingbirds.
The Hummingbird Power Animal
When it comes to animal totems, hummingbirds or hummingbird spirit animals, bring the gifts of being strong even if you are tiny and they instill courage. The hummingbird spirit animal message to those whose power animal it is happens to be all good things. Hummingbird totem animal strength is that of independence and freedom and the hummingbird spirit animal meaning is also that of joy. The hummingbird totem bestows their people with speed of thought and action. When it comes to spirit animals, hummingbirds flit into your life with their gifts, reminding you to be happy in your endeavors and really enjoy life.
The hummingbird totem meaning for you will help you to release fears, face challenges, and make the best out of all situations in life. For more about Spirit Animals:A Guide To Spirit Animals (mysticsense.com)
Dreams of Hummingbirds
What does seeing a hummingbird mean when it’s in a dream? When you dream about hummingbirds, some hummingbird “good luck” is being granted to you. Hummingbirds in dreams can symbolize the great potential in small things, so don’t downplay what seems tiny! Hummingbird symbolism in dreams can also be that of inspiration and new ideas you are encouraged to try, no matter how wild they may seem! The hummingbird dream meaning can also be that of freeing yourself from unnecessary worries, being as “free as a bird” and happily soaring through life.
What Does it Mean if You See a Hummingbird?
What does seeing a hummingbird symbolize when you see it? It can mean any of the above-mentioned things when you see hummingbirds, and only you can decide what their very special message for you is. The hummingbird definition is that of a beautiful creature who, while going about its business sometimes visits you with a special spiritual message. Those messages of luck, beauty, strength, angels’ messages, courage, preserving your strength when needed, magic, the ancestors, and help from the divine are lovingly delivered by the tiny, beautiful hummingbird when you see it.
So, fill the sugar feeder for the hummingbirds, and they will bless you with their presence. With them, they bring messages from the angels, good luck, and they bestow the gifts of speed of mind and action, courage, and they just might be an ancestor of yours paying a visit!