The Native American symbol of the hummingbird represents wonder and beauty. The hummingbird is also a healing symbol that helps people focus on the positive aspect of life. In dreams, the hummingbird represents progress or endurance.
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. When they are courting a potential mate, they flap them twice as many 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. The association of the hummingbird as a light, good-natured symbol is related to its affinity to eat sweet nectar. The symbolism of their beauty is represented in early Native American legend in which it is said that the guardian of the mountains and woods thought the hummingbird was so beautiful, that it was allowed to build a nest in her hair.