The Spiritual Symbolism of the Hummingbird

Find out what this tiny bird can teach you about life.

(Ondrej Prosicky / Shutterstock)

It is said that each animal carries its own unique spiritual imprint. Many who have witnessed the colorful hues of the tiny hummingbird as it flits among nectar infused flowers feel as if they have viewed something magical. According to ancient traditions, these miniature birds are thought to be signs of good luck and symbols of healing and joy. 

Native to the Americas
According to Miller’s Guild hummingbirds are found on the North and South American continents mostly in tropical areas. There are many species of this tiny bird, weighing around half an ounce. One of the aspects that makes the hummingbird so unique is that it is capable of hovering among flowers as it extracts their nectar.  

"There are over 300 different species of hummingbird in our world, and each carries its own special 'medicine' or teaching. So, too—each color, shape, habitat, and other characteristics of hummingbirds may offer a more specific and unique message," author of the book Animal Teachings, Dawn Baumann Brunkes told mindbodygreen

Small but powerful
Hummingbirds are among the smallest birds in the world but according to World Birds they beat their wings at incredible speeds of 80 times a second, making a distinct buzzing sound. They are also the only birds who have the ability to fly backwards. This makes the hummingbird a symbol of tenacity and inspiration. 

mindbodygreen reports that hummingbirds do not mate for life, but have many different partners, which makes people think of them as flirtatious. In addition, they have a very short life span which makes them an embodiment of living in the moment.

“They were once honored in both myth and history as courageous and lively warriors," Baumann Brunke told mindbodygreen, adding that despite their size, hummingbirds are a force to be reckoned with. They use their beaks and fast wings to fight off larger birds who attack them. 

Seeing a Hummingbird in nature
Encountering a hummingbird in nature is thought to be an auspicious sign of good fortune. "Watch them, observe closely, if not in the wild, then on nature shows or video clips. What is your feeling? Is there a certain time or place when you see the hummingbirds? By being a detective you can look for patterns and themes and thus begin to discover the deeper meaning of what [the] hummingbird is attempting to share," Baumann Brunke suggests.

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