What does it mean when a hummingbird gets close to you?

Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures that capture people’s imaginations. Their ability to hover mid-air with precision and speed, their tiny size, and their beautiful iridescent colors make them a joy to watch. So when a hummingbird comes unusually close to a person, it often makes them wonder – is there a special meaning or symbolism to this encounter?

Quick answers:

– Hummingbirds coming very close or hovering near you can symbolize joy, playfulness, lightheartedness, and sweetness.

– It may be a sign to embrace your childlike wonder, be more joyful, or add sweetness to your life.

– Hummingbirds are associated with appreciation for beauty, concentration, agility, innocence, and overcoming challenging situations.

– In some Native American traditions, hummingbirds appearing nearby indicates a visitor will be arriving soon.

– Christians sometimes see hummingbirds as symbolic of the Holy Spirit because of their swift flight and the way they spread joy.

What does it typically mean when a hummingbird approaches you?

Most commonly, having a hummingbird come very close to you or hover nearby represents joy, playfulness, wonder, innocence, and an appreciation for the beauty of life. Here are some of the meanings associated with hummingbirds flying near you:

  • Joy and Playfulness – Hummingbirds seem to take so much joy in flitting around flowers and feeding on nectar. Their playful, spirited manner reminds us to find pleasure in the simple things in life, embrace our childlike wonder, and not take ourselves too seriously.
  • Sweetness and Beauty – With their beautiful, iridescent colors and delicate nature, hummingbirds symbolize the sweetness and loveliness of life. Their presence is a reminder to appreciate beauty and add more sweetness to your days.
  • Agility and Perseverance – Despite their tiny size, hummingbirds are remarkably agile with the ability to fly forwards, backwards, upside down, and hover in midair. Their perseverance in facing the challenges of their migrations and daily quest for food reminds us to staydetermined in meeting our own challenges.
  • Innocence and Purity – In some cultures, the hummingbird represents purity, likely because of their delicate nature, diminutive size, or association with joy and lightheartedness. They remind us of childlike innocence.

So in most cases, a hummingbird hovering nearby seems to be a sign to embrace playfulness, appreciate beauty and life’s simple pleasures, cultivate joy in your heart, or reconnect with your childlike wonder and lightheartedness. They invite us to view life through a lens of optimism and sweetness.

What does it mean in different spiritual traditions when a hummingbird comes near you?

In addition to the common symbolism, some spiritual traditions and cultures have their own specific interpretations for what it means when a hummingbird interacts with you in a meaningful way or repeatedly crosses your path. Here are some examples:

Native American Culture

In some Native American traditions, hummingbirds have been seen as messengers. Spotting a hummingbird nearby or having one hover close to you may indicate that a message is coming your way soon from the spiritual realm. They are thought to appear to provide guidance when you have a question or are seeking greater knowledge on your life path.

Some Native tribes also believe that a hummingbird flying near you or even landing on you signifies that a visitor will soon be arriving – either physically to your home or symbolically into your life in a meaningful way. They are harbingers of new relationships and connections.


In Christianity, some people associate hummingbirds with joy and the Holy Spirit. This is because they seem to spread joy wherever they go, and their agile flight brings to mind the descent of the Holy Spirit, who empowers people spiritually. Spotting a hummingbird nearby may be a sign that the spirit of joy and spiritual empowerment is with you.

Celtic Symbolism

In Celtic spirituality, the hummingbird is associated with range of themes including playfulness, childlike joy, wonder, lightness of being, sweetness, perception beyond the physical senses, experiencing the magic in everyday moments, and sharing your gifts with the world. Having a hummingbird sighting can remind you to embrace these things.

Is it rare for a hummingbird to approach people?

It’s not unheard of for hummingbirds to approach people, but it’s relatively uncommon. Here are some insights on how often hummingbirds get close to humans versus keeping their distance:

  • They are typically quite shy and skittish around humans. Unless there’s something attracting them like feeders, flowers, food sources, or their curiosity gets the better of them, they usually maintain a safe distance.
  • It’s more common for hummingbirds to allow humans to get close to them when visiting a feeder the person set up or planted flowers that provide nectar. They start to associate human presence with food.
  • Occasionally an intrepid hummingbird’s curiosity will override its shyness and it may approach someone to explore. This happens most frequently with people who tend to sit quietly in nature for lengthy periods.
  • There are some rare instances of tame, hand-raised hummingbirds who were orphaned or injured at a young age becoming comfortable perching on or hovering near their human caretakers.
  • A few times a year, viral videos surface of hummingbirds fearlessly landing on park goers, approaching someone holding food, or inspecting an interesting object near people. But these incidents are the exception.

So while most hummingbirds avoid close interaction with humans, their curiosity or food associations can sometimes lead them to come unusually near. This is why people often see spiritual symbolism in a hummingbird flying right up to them or hovering beside them – because it’s out of the ordinary behavior.

Why do hummingbirds come close to people at times?

When a hummingbird does overcome its natural shyness and approaches a person, there are a few common reasons driving this behavior:

  • Curiosity – Hummingbirds are naturally very curious. If they see something intriguing, unusual, or brightly colored near a person, their inquisitiveness may temporarily override their fear. This could explain their interest in clothing, jewelry, cameras, or food around a person.
  • Food associations – Local hummingbirds may start to associate human presence with availability of food. If feeders are regularly maintained or flowers planted in a yard, the hummingbirds learn to see people as food sources and may come closer seeking nectar.
  • Territorial behavior – During mating season, male hummingbirds can become aggressive in defending their territory and may approach humans who get too close to their preferred feeding areas.
  • Taming – If a hummingbird is taken in by a human and hand-fed from a very young age, it can lose its natural fear and become comfortable near people.
  • Nesting – In some cases, a female hummingbird may build her nest unusually close to a well-trafficked area. She may then become accustomed to human presence if people walk by her nest regularly.

By understanding what motivates hummingbirds to come near people at times, we can appreciate those rare occasions when one graces us with its close presence even more.

Are hummingbirds comfortable perching on or touching people?

While hummingbirds do occasionally come near people, landing on or touching someone is extremely rare because of their fearsomeness. Here’s more about their comfort level with contact:

  • In most cases, hummingbirds may fly close to investigate something but won’t actually touch down and land on a person even if they seem intrigued. They prefer to keep a safety buffer.
  • Females may occasionally land on a finger if someone is actively hand-feeding them nectar but they remain poised to take off instantly.
  • Rescued babies who were hand-raised can become tame enough to perch on their caretakers for short periods. But this is highly unusual behavior they would not normally develop in the wild.
  • There are a few extremely rare documented cases of hummingbirds landing on someone’s head or finger in the wild, seemingly out of curiosity. But this represents exceptionally bold behavior.
  • In general, even if attracted nearby for feeding, territoriality, or curiosity, hummingbirds remain too fearful and cautious to actually make physical contact without an unusual level of habituation to humans.

So while television commercials may show hummingbirds landing on people and staying happily perched, this is unrealistic fantasy rather than typical behavior. Contact is highly abnormal and minimal even when they do overcome their skittishness nearby.

Do hummingbirds have any other spiritual or symbolic meanings?

In addition to the symbolism related to hummingbirds flying near you, these remarkable creatures have accrued a variety of other spiritual and metaphorical meanings across cultures, including:

  • Resurrection and eternal life – In some Andean cultures, deceased hummingbirds were seen as being reborn and living forever in flower heaven. They symbolize immortality.
  • Lightness of being – Many traditions associate hummingbirds with levity, enjoyment, and lightheartedness due to their energetic, cheerful nature.
  • Appreciation for joy – Hummingbirds teach us to derive joy from life’s simple pleasures and find magic in everyday moments rather than seeking happiness only in rare peak experiences.
  • Overcoming challenges – Despite their small stature, hummingbirds migrate farther than any other bird relative to their size. They remind us we have the inner strength to overcome difficulties.
  • Sharing your gifts – Hummingbirds sip nectar and then continue tirelessly on their way. The Celts saw them as reminders to take only what you need and then share your own gifts and talents with others.

These powerful symbolic meanings come from the hummingbird’s impressive abilities, their role in different ecosystems, and their captivating behavior that has enthralled people for centuries.


A hummingbird flying near you or hovering right beside you can certainly be a magical experience. While not a common occurrence due to their natural wariness, occasionally one of these special creatures will take a special interest and draw near to investigate or say hello. When this happens, it is often seen as a sign of joy, lightheartedness, playfulness, beauty, wonder, and sweetness entering your life. Appreciate the moment with this delicate bird and let it remind you to embrace your own capacity for childlike joy.

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