Top 13 Hummingbird Symbolism, Myths & Legends

The hummingbird symbolizes different concepts which are generally linked to the acquired meanings throughout history. Owing to its speed, various cultures have recognised her as a small time messenger. To add more to its calm and pleasing nature, it radiates as a symbol of love, joy and beauty. Its ability to fly backwards has been used to symbolize that we humans must sometimes look back on our past to be able to continue forward in life. People also tell that when the hummingbird hovers over the flowers while drinking the nectar, it is a sign that tells us to savor every moment of life and appreciate the big and small, as well as the things we love.

The hummingbird is a package of inspiration to teach how to lead life, and comes with a gamut of myths, tales, beliefs and historical as well as cultural and spiritual impacts. This post will take your brain out to all that you somehow left unread in this race of life, and I believe, this jovial creature will end up giving you a long list of to-do modifications in life.

Enjoy reading! – Hummingbird Symbolism in different myths, legends and facts.

1 Hummingbird symbolism in Bible

Hummingbird symbolism

Hummingbird explains perfectly the evidence of God as the Creator. All the features that the hummingbird possesses are there for her to work perfectly from the beginning to the end. There is no doubt regarding the hand of God, the Creator, in the design of this remarkable creature. The hummingbird is thus symbolized as ‘God’s tiny miracle.’

2 Symbolism of Hummingbird visit in daily life

Commonly, the hummingbird embodies joy, playfulness, and adaptability. The additional meanings that it contains with itself are-

(1) Lightness of being, enjoyment of life

(2) Being more present

(3) Independence

(4) Lifting up negativity

(5) Swiftness, ability to respond quickly

(6) Resiliency, as the bird is able to travel large distances without being tired.

3 Significance and meaning of Hummingbird tattoos

Hummingbird symbolism

Image Credit: Tattoo Journal

Hummingbird tattoos depict love, a vibrant life, and the ability to overcome difficulties. Additional links are to joy, hope, life, and charm. In times of sorrow, the hummingbird reminds of living life to the fullest.

The hummingbird tattoo can also be used to symbolize freedom. This is because they are a very independent creature and are rarely seen with others.

Hummingbird symbolism

For those who like cheerful and colorful tattoos, the hummingbird figure is an excellent choice; it is one of the most popular birds in the world of tattoos along with the birds of paradise, the peacock and the pigeons. A tattoo of this beautiful bird conveys meanings like clarity (know exactly what they want – sweet nectar), ability to work (and know exactly how to get your precious nectar), celebration, hope, luck and joy.

4 Guarani belief about Hummingbird

Guaraní are a group of culturally related indigenous peoples of South America. Their legends tell that death is not the end of life; when a man dies, he leaves the body on Earth but the soul continues its existence. Legend is that the soul is detached and flies to hide in a flower waiting for a magical being.

It is then when the “mainimbú” appears (Guaraní name of the Hummingbird) and it collects the souls from the flowers. The soul is then guided to the Paradise. This is why it flies from flower to flower.

5 Native American legends of Humming bird & Cherokees, Hopi and Zuni Nations

Hummingbird symbolism is absent from the traditional fairy tales, legends, and myths of European and African Americans. But there is a rich supply of stories about these tiny birds in Native American mythology.

In a Cherokee story, a medicine man turned himself into a hummingbird to retrieve lost tobacco plants.  In another Cherokee story, a woman was courted by both a hummingbird and a crane.  She first chose the hummingbird for his good looks, but the crane convinced her that there should be a race around the world with the winner having her hand in marriage. She agreed, thinking the hummingbird is bound to win because he flies so fast.  What she failed to take into account was that the Crane could fly all night long, while Hummingbird only during the day.

Hopi and Zuni legends are about the intervention of hummingbirds on behalf of humans, convincing the gods to bring rain. Because of this, people from these tribes often paint hummingbirds on water jars.  The Hopi kachina for Hummingbird depicts him with green moccasins and a green mask.  He has an aqua body, and he is yellow on top of the head.  He is crowned with a ruff made of Douglas fir.

One of the Hopi stories is about a time of famine when a young boy and girl were left alone while their parents were searching for food. After the boy made a toy hummingbird, his sister threw it into the air.  It came to life and began to provide for them by bringing an ear of corn every day. Eventually, the hummingbird flew to the center of the earth where it pleaded with the god of fertility to restore the land.  Rain and green vegetation came, and then the children’s parents returned.

6 Hummingbird in Mexican legends

 Two Birders and Binoculars

A legend from Mexico tells about a Taroscan Indian woman. She was taught weaving beautiful baskets by a grateful hummingbird. The woman had served the bird with sugar water during a drought. The baskets that were weaved found use in Day of the Dead Festivals.

7 Taino belief about hummingbird

The legend from Jatibonicu Taino Tribal Nation tells the story of a young man and woman from rival tribes falling in love. They enjoyed the harsh criticism of family and friends. Eventually the two escaped. One became a hummingbird and the other a red flower. The Taino Indians look at hummingbird as a sacred pollinator, with a mission to bring a new life in abundance.

8 Navajo beliefs about Hummingbird

In Navajo, a hummingbird was sent to check what is in the blue sky. To surprise, it was absolutely nothing.

9 Apache Nation

The Apache legend also tells of a Wind Dancer, a young warrior. This warrior was born deaf, but blessed with the ability to sing magical and wordless songs that brought healing and good weather. He married Bright Rain, a beautiful, young woman whom he rescued when she was being attacked by a wolf.

Wind Dancer was killed during another task of mercy. A bitter death ensued, but it suddenly and mysteriously ended after Bright Rain started taking lonely walks.

10 Pueblo Nation’s culture

The Pueblo Indians find the use of hummingbird dances and feathers in rituals to bring rain.  Pueblo shamans use hummingbirds as couriers to send gifts to the Great Mother who lives beneath the earth.

To many in Pueblo, the hummingbird is a tobacco bird. Myth is that the Hummingbird gets smoke from Caterpillar, the guardian of the tobacco plant and brings smoke to the shamans so they can purify the earth.

Some Pueblo Indians have a ritual for babies that are stillborn or die in the first few days of life.  Prayer sticks with hummingbird feathers are held before the sunrise on the winter solstice in a ceremony that hastens re-birth.

A Pueblo story tells of a demon man who is blinded after losing a bet with the sun.  In anger he spews out hot lava, resulting in the earth catching fire. The hummingbird then saves the beautiful land of people and animals by gathering rains from clouds from the four directions.  This legend says that the bright colors on a hummingbird’s throat came after he fled through the rainbow in search of rain clouds.

11 The Mayan legends of Hummingbird

The Maya, older and wiser, say that the gods created all things on Earth. They ordered work to each tree, each stone, and each animal. When they finished, they noticed no one as the in charge of carrying desires and thoughts from side to side.

Since they had no more mud or corn to make another animal, they took a jade stone and carved an arrow. It was a very small arrow. When it was ready, they blew on it and the arrow flew away. She was no longer an arrow, because she was alive. The gods had made a hummingbird.

The bird was so fragile and light that the hummingbird could approach the most delicate flowers without moving a single petal. Their feathers glittered and reflected in the sun like a rainbow.

Also the men tried to catch the precious bird to adorn themselves with their feathers. This angered the gods and they ordered: “If someone catches you, the hummingbird will die.” This can be cited as the reason why no one has ever seen a hummingbird in a cage or in the hand of a man.

If a hummingbird flies around your head, do not touch it. He will take your desire and bring it to others.

12 Inca Legends

 Two Birders and Binoculars

Going by the legend, Painemilla and Painefilu were two beautiful natives of a village neighboring the lake Paimún. A great Inca chief once visited the place. He fell in love with Painemilla, and soon after, he married her. Over the years, Painemilla became pregnant. Painefilu, however, was very envious to the limit of madness.

When Painemilla gave birth, Painefilu stole her children and threw them in a chest to the lake. When Painemilla woke up, Painefilu lied to her saying that his children were shaped like dogs, and gave her two cubs. The Inca, upon learning of this and believing witchcraft, blamed his wife and confined her in a cell.

When the Inca passed by the sad lake, he heard the laughter of some babies and noticed that they were his children. His twin children had been rescued by some Mapuches. One day, he quickly went to his wife and apologized. Upon finding Painefilu, he turned her with a magic stone into the Pinshá or Colibrí, that beautiful bird, but of bad omen.

13 The Hummingbird Legend Of Tarija

In the immense and magical Chaco forest, in distant times, lived in a village of Matatacos a beautiful and delicate little cuff named Tasiqua, unique daughter of the fearsome witch Tatnaj (Toad in mataco), who aspired to make of his descendant a powerful sorceress. Very little was taught to him about the ancestral secrets of witchcraft. He however, always resisted practicing it because he had his own belief about the destiny and life of the people, which in the end were governed by the design of Tumpa the god of the jungle.

Very little was taught to him about the ancestral secrets of witchcraft. He however, always resisted practicing it because he had his own belief about the destiny and life of the people, which in the end were governed by the design of Tumpa the god of the jungle.

The territory of Chaco contained an infinite number of tribes, many of which are now extinct by arms or disease, tribes that to a lesser or greater degree were constantly fighting with their neighbors, but the strongest nation was that of the Chiriguanos, numerous, scattered and fierce by tradition to subjugate other peoples.

Among the young people of this tribe was Chinno, Colibrí in Guarani, slender, arrogant and attractive, distinguished by his many exploits of courage and bravery in the struggle. But he had especially made fame as a conqueror of feminine hearts; He enamored them, excited them and left them thinking of a soon return.

I enjoyed every one of them; His fine and royal figure enchanted them; His dark and deep eyes, his jovial, spontaneous smile, took over the women, his thick, sensual lips seemed to have been fashioned to flatter the feminine qualities, to say the right and agreeable words to the young ladies’ ear of the ladies; There was no woman who had resisted her loving insinuations.

On the contrary, men with dissimulation avoided inviting them to their huts for fear of their daring of conqueror, thus protecting their sisters, wives and daughters. The admiration for him was general, as a man and as a warrior.

Once he met the beautiful Tasiqua, and from the first moment he was trapped by the charms of the girl, an attraction that was reciprocated with that look in love, impossible to describe. First she accompanied her on her walks, then visited her in her hut, but before Chinno asked for her hand, she received with untold grief the news that she was not well seen by the mother of her beloved, for, knowing Tatnaj of the halo Enveloped the hunter of hearts, banned that friendship in an untimely and rounded way.

Faced with this opposition and the refusal to be heard to justify his behavior in order to let him know that he really loved Tasiqua; The young men chose to hide behind the mother and the Matata people, who did not approve of this relationship because of the rivalry that always existed with the Chiriguanos; The enamored boy traveled great distances to meet the owner of his hours. It was a stealthy, uncontrolled, desperate love.

Thus between words and endless silences the hours and days passed together and the love of the young people grew more and more; Witness of that romance was the sun and the moon, the shadows of a leafy carob tree or the clearing of the forest. His footsteps had made secret paths in the thicket of the jungle; Every refuge was appropriate to shelter so much love, love that overflowed with tears of joy and sadness, tears that were fused in the crucible of a kiss.

One day, the witch, angered by her daughter’s disobedience and Chinno’s daring intransigence, took some magic powders she secretly kept and with great zeal prepared with them a strange brew. Cunningly he let the young warrior know that he would visit her in his hut, meanwhile sending Tasiqua on a commission to the nearest village.

Innocently Chinno accepted the invitation believing that with this approach opened the possibility of joining in marriage with his beloved; It was far from supposing that in the tea that he drank he also ingested the magic potion that would initially sleep him. Tasiqua on the way had found her grandfather and soon learned that he came to warn him of the danger that Chinno was running; Aware of the intentions of his mother, returned immediately, but it was late, the ritual was over, Tatnaj, the witch invoked this sentence: “You will be persecuted and exterminated …”

Upon entering the hut, Tasiqua saw in the interior a beautiful bird of bright feathers and of multiple colors, small, restless and vivacious; Fluttered for a moment, and flew off toward the edge of the forest. No explanation was needed, she cried sadly and sorrowfully, then plunged into a deep spiritual slumber. Despite the time, he did not recover, his mother never forgiven himself for that witchcraft, it was the last one he did in his life, because later he understood that love was true, so that at the time of his death, he begged his Daughter who would forgive her for the irreparable damage she had caused him, in turn, the beautiful girl grew old, but she had cultivated until the end of her days the most beautiful flowers that nature offered her, while Chinno sought among the flowers his beloved ,

Some Facts About Hummingbirds

Some researchers argue that by providing humidifiers for hummingbirds, we interfere with the natural pollinating process in which pollinators such as these birds are essential for the reproduction of some native plant species.

However, no scientific evidence stands by to prove this. On the contrary: the Journal of Ornithology published a study conducted in Brazil by an international team of scientists – including researchers such as Jeferson Bugoni and Marlies Sazima – and no Detrimental effect on plant reproduction.

Very few know, but hummingbirds are fed with small insects, larvae and even small spiders. They form an essential part of the diet of these birds. Insects offer fats, proteins and salts that hummingbirds are not able to acquire by feeding only on nectar or water and sugar solutions. In order to get the daily dose of protein ideal for a healthy diet, an adult hummingbird needs to eat dozens and dozens of insects a day.