I was showing a photo of a hummingbird to a friend, when she said that she had learned an interesting bird fact the other day. Pacific Northwest Native People often refer to Swainson’s thrush as the Salmonberry bird because they appear around the time that salmonberries start to form. I agreed that it was interesting and started wondering about what names and/or symbolism hummingbirds have in different native cultures. My good friend Google informed me that some PNW Coastal People believe that hummingbirds bring good luck. Other Native People believe that hummingbirds signify peace, love and happiness. Often hummingbirds are depicted in pairs symbolizing loyalty and steadfastness. You can learn more about this at http://www.native-languages.org/legends-hummingbird.htm.
For me, the greatest hummingbird experience is when I find one at rest, as I did earlier this week at Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. I was trying to locate a singing Swainson’s thrush when I noticed a female Rufous hummingbird sunning herself on a red alderberry branch. There is something about this bird sitting so still instead of its usual darting around that causes me to feel especially peaceful and appreciative of the world around me.