The Symbolism of the Amazing Hummingbird

hummingbird and orange flower main

They’re incredibly tiny creatures. The first time I saw a hummingbird I was in awe of its size. How does it not blow away in a slight wind?! I mean, it weighs about 1/10 of an ounce; that’s half the weight of a quarter! 

They may be small but hummingbirds are hugely symbolic. They can be found in dream archetypes, ancient cultures, tattoos and spirit animals. These little creatures have an impact that belies their size.

The hummingbird symbolizes many of life’s joys. As a tiny creature that is fast, intelligent and unafraid to defend itself it represents what many humans wish to attain. Dreams of hummingbirds symbolize that great things are possible. Ancient cultures revered these birds as representative of healing, love and magic. It has different meanings to different people but universally stands for lightness and love.

General Symbolism of Hummingbirds

These colorful creatures symbolize a myriad of wonderful attributes:

– Speed and agility

– Beauty

– Love

– Joy of life

– Grace

– good luck

The meaning and representation of hummingbirds vary through time and place, so I’ll break it down below into various categories.

Hummingbird as a spirit animal

A spirit animal is like your guardian angel. Traditional cultures had different spirit animals depending on their clan. 

The hummingbird as a spirit animal symbolizes the lightness and joy of life. It reminds you to relish the simple pleasures of everyday life. This spirit animal will always see the glass as half full, not half empty.

This magical little bird spends its time flittering from flower to flower reveling in the nectar of life. Its lightness should bring lightness to your heart. Channel its intelligence as your own.

Hummingbird meaning in Mexico

For the Mayans, hummingbirds are magical creatures. Their unique way of flying, their ability to land on a flower petal without disturbing it made them fascinating. Mayans wanted to catch them and wear their feathers.

However, they were warned against such action. The hummingbird’s job in the animal kingdom was to carry dreams and hopes. The bird would send good wishes and thoughts between humans and even their ancestors. 

Native Americans and Hummingbirds

In Native American folklore hummingbirds are known as healers that help people in need. They are the clan animals for the Pueblo tribes in New Mexico.

There is a Cherokee legend that — spoiler alert — has the hummingbird saving mankind.

A long time ago, when all animals and humans spoke the same language they shared a single tobacco plant. Tobacco was considered medicinal and very important. One day a greedy geese stole the loan plant.

There was suffering everywhere. One old, very beloved woman was at death’s door. The only thing that could save her was tobacco. One at a time different animals tried to take back the plant from the goose. All met the same fate: death.

Finally, the hummingbird said, “Let me try to retrieve the tobacco plant.” 

“You’re so small; how can you possibly succeed?”

The fast, tiny creature was able to do what others could not. She swooped in unseen and grabbed a leaf and seed of the plant. And everyone lived happily ever after.

Hummingbird Tatoo Meaning

The hummingbird is a very popular choice of tattoo. It reflects grace and lightness. It is often seen as magical. The unique bird also represents indiviualility. 

A hummingbird tattoo has different meanings for various cultures. In the Caribbean is symbolizes the diversity of nature. For the Aztecs it represents their god, Huitzilophochtli. 

A pair of hummingbirds signifies a desire for love, loyalty and devotion.

Hummingbirds and Dreams

A hummingbird’s wings move at approximately 80 beats per second! They also have the largest brain-to-body ratio of any bird. They are intelligent little flutterers.

Dreaming about a hummingbird is a good sign. They are reminding you that your small ideas could be powerful. Your ideas could also be spiritual in nature and come to fruition more quickly than you may think. 

Hummingbird energy is combined with spirituality and is a potent combination. If you can bring your energy into alignment with your goals and aspirations anything is possible!

What if a hummingbird crosses your path?

These tiny birds are confident creatures. They are aggressive and not afraid to stand their ground and defend their territory. If you encounter a hummingbird it’s a good sign.

If you’ve been suffering from setbacks in an area of your life it can lead to self-doubt. Questioning your abilities and decision-making ability can lead to a downward spiral. These negative thoughts can be self-perpetuating. 

The sight of a hummingbird should remind you to renew your confidence. Is your self-talk negative rather than encouraging and loving? Listen to your inner thoughts and redirect them toward positivity.

If you have repeatedly seen hummingbirds lately it’s the universe telling you that anything is possible. But you need to take action in order to set your life on its rightful path. Be sure to spend time reflecting and make a plan of action. Remember that small steps get you to your destination; you don’t have to turn your world upside down overnight. If you get 1% better each day what happens after just 50 days? 100 days?


I have yet to research the symbolism of an animal that is so unanimously wonderful in all that it represents. It symbolizes everything beautiful physically and spiritually. If you’re buying a gift, decorating or considering a tattoo you can’t go wrong with the magical hummingbird.

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