Laura Donnell ARNP

Integrative Mental Health Services

Symbolic Meaning of the Hummingbird

The Hummingbird is a symbol that has been used by the Northwest Coastal tribes to represent a healer and spirit guide for those in need. This bird was chosen to represent my practice and my services I am offering to you.


The appreciation of the hummingbird as a symbolic animal stems from its ability to hover in one place for long periods of time. Hummingbirds flap their wings about 100 times per second. Early native Americans observed that it must take a great deal of energy for the hummingbird to flap its wings so many times while remaining stationary. Hummingbirds can also fly sideways and backward. Because the hummingbird appears to have overcome flying challenges that other birds have not, they have come to symbolize a guide who helps people through challenges.


Feel free to investigate more about the Hummingbird at these websites:

• Hummingbird Spirit Animal

• Native American Symbol-Hummingbird

Here are a few other little known facts about this tiny bird:


• Hummingbirds are found only in the Western Hemisphere, from southeastern Alaska to southern Chile, although most live in the tropics.


• There are more than 300 species of hummingbirds, 12 of which summer in North America and winter in tropical areas.


• Seeing a hummingbird is a sign of good luck in many Native American tribes, especially Northwest Coast tribes.


• In ancient Mexico, hummingbirds were considered sacred and associated with royalty and warriors; the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli, patron god of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, had the hummingbird as his divine animal and was sometimes depicted in hummingbird form in traditional Aztec art.


• Hummingbirds are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. The Hummingbird is an important clan crest in some Northwest Coast tribes, and can be found carved on totem poles.

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Laura Donnell ARNP

Integrative Mental Health Services