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Honeycreeper Symbolism & Which means (+Totem, Spirit & Omens)


    There are two units of birds which fall below the “Honeycreeper” title. The “true” Honeycreepers are a gaggle of small, brightly coloured songbirds that are intently associated to Tanagers and are discovered all through the tropical areas of the Americas, from Mexico all the way down to South America. The second group is the Hawaiian Honeycreepers. This numerous and engaging group of songbirds is filled with distinctive variations. Hawaiian Honeycreepers are endemic to Hawaii and their remoted island habitat has led them to evolve some very attention-grabbing methods for rainforest survival.

    Honeycreepers of each teams are usually specialised for feeding on nectar. Like Hummingbirds, Honeycreepers typically sport lengthy decurved payments, excellent for piercing the bases of flowers or dipping into flowers to retrieve the nectar which they eat. Hawaiian Honeycreepers, nevertheless, have a extra broad vary of specializations. Some, just like the putting purple ‘Apapane use their payments for sipping nectar. Others, just like the oddly parrot-like Kiwikiu, additionally fittingly generally known as the “Maui Parrot-bill,” use their payments for foraging for bugs. Many Hawaiian Honeycreepers are extra Nuthatch-like of their habits than they’re Hummingbird-like. (1)(2)

    Honeycreepers of each teams are beautiful, vibrant songbirds which symbolize the richness of the tropics and the unimaginable density of lovely wildlife which dwells within the rainforests of the Americas. On this article, we’ll take a look at among the cultural associations linked with Honeycreepers in addition to the traits and classes that these birds can share with us. Should you’ve been questioning concerning the which means of the Honeycreeper then surprise no extra! Learn on to be taught all about this brightly-colored jewel of the tropics!

    True Honeycreeper
    Picture by Birger Strahl on Unsplash

    Honeycreeper Symbolism and Which means

    Hawaiian Honeycreepers have the doubtful distinction of representing the plight of critically endangered birds in Hawaii and all through the world. At one time, Hawaiian Honeycreepers had been a various group with greater than fifty particular person species. Right now, solely seventeen of those species are recognized to persist. A number of of these remaining are critically endangered with numbers as little as to fall within the double digits. This speedy decline has been comparatively current and has been largely because of the introduction of non-native threats akin to ailments and predators. Habitat loss has additionally been a serious stressor. (3)

    There are fewer than 2,000 ‘Ākohekohe, or “Crested Honeycreepers,” remaining. Like lots of Hawaii’s Honeycreepers. ‘Akohekohe is below menace from each non-native predators, like cats, and from mosquitos. In Hawaii, non-native mosquitos have wrought devastation upon native birds due to the avian malaria and avian pox that they typically carry. Within the case of Kiwikiu, the Maui Parrot-bill, this problem has diminished numbers to as few as 200 people. Due to this, Honeycreepers might symbolize the precarious place that endangered birds discover themselves in. Additionally they symbolize the significance of conservation and the need of preserving and sustaining the remaining wild rainforest habitats inside Hawaii. (4)(5)

    Honeycreepers might also symbolize evolution, specialization, expertise, or adaptability. As mentioned above, Honeycreepers have distinctive and weird payments which are sometimes designed to reap the benefits of nectar-rich flowers. Some Hawaiian Honeycreepers are distinctive in that they’ve specialised in different areas and have developed totally different invoice shapes to replicate their specializations. In a method, Hawaiian Honeycreepers resemble Darwin’s well-known finches which allowed the pioneer of the idea of evolution to watch the totally different ways in which birds evolve to higher fill their ecological niches. (6)

    ‘I’iwi. Picture supplied by Flickr consumer Bettina Arrigoni

    The ‘I’iwi is certainly one of a number of Honeycreepers who interact in an attention-grabbing habits generally known as “altitudinal migration.” Altitudinal migrants migrate over quick distances to differing elevations. ‘I’iwi does this to observe the flowers as they bloom at totally different elevations all year long. For that reason, Honeycreepers could also be linked with journey or nomads, with flowers and gardening, and with alternative. (7)

    Many Native Hawaiians join Honeycreepers with Hawaii itself. Many see the Honeycreeper as symbolic of the religious connection between the Hawaiian individuals and the luxurious panorama of the Hawaiian islands.

    One Honeycreeper, ʻAkiapolaʻau, is understood for a very distinctive nesting technique. ʻAkiapolaʻau builds fences round its nest utilizing strips of bark from the ‘Ohi’a tree. The protruding strips of bark are stated to resemble a picket fence and are thought to supply the nest with an additional little bit of camouflage. That is particularly obligatory as a result of ‘Akiapola’au solely lays a single egg every nesting season. These birds spend so long as 5 months elevating their younger. Their nests are a serious funding of their future and require various devotion. So, the Honeycreeper might symbolize parenthood, the house, security, safety, or endurance. (8)

    Honeycreeper Hawaiian Symbolism

    Some Honeycreepers, like ‘I’iwi, are thought-about particularly culturally necessary to Native Hawaiian peoples due to their resplendent coloration. ‘I’iwi’s plumage was so treasured that it was typically utilized in ceremonial garb for religious functions, for displaying one’s standing, and even for warfare. Historically, the feathers of ‘I’iwi and different rainforest birds had been procured by “Kia Manu” or “hen catchers.” these bird-catchers would use sticky latex to seize birds and take away a couple of feathers earlier than rereleasing them. That is not practiced due to the protected standing of native Honeycreepers, however these ceremonially necessary feathers are mimicked utilizing the dyed feathers of frequent home birds in its place. (9)

    Honeycreeper in Desires

    Dreaming of a Honeycreeper might refer to 1’s pure skills or skills. A Honeycreeper dream is a good reminder to reap the benefits of your skills and discover distinctive methods to shine. As a substitute of making an attempt to suit right into a mildew, discover methods to construct your life across the distinctive and particular traits that will let you stand out amongst the gang.

    Dreaming of a real Honeycreeper of the Tanager selection might confer with misconceptions or wrongly held beliefs. Due to an outdated fantasy, it has lengthy been believed that a few of these tropical birds lay black eggs. This has been discovered to be false, however the fantasy persists. Dreaming of a nest with black eggs might confer with lies or deception. (10)

    Honeycreeper Encounters and Omens

    In Hawaii, many Honeycreeper species are so uncommon that encountering one is a matter of each unimaginable endurance and no small measure of luck. A Honeycreeper encounter might, then, be a particular reminder to stay within the second and cherish the chance to take pleasure in certainly one of nature’s rarest beauties. It could additionally act as a reminder that it’s the accountability of mankind to guard these endangered birds in addition to endangered wildlife around the globe.

    Honeycreeper in Mythology & Folklore

    Within the following part, we’ll take a look at a pair of Hawaiian myths which characteristic Honeycreepers. The ‘I’iwi and ‘Apapane are particularly highlighted in these two tales. I’ve additionally included a current chant which was written to have a good time the Hawaiian title of the Kiwikiu. The Kiwikiu’s Hawaiian title was chosen in 2010 as a result of its authentic Native Hawaiian title had been misplaced.

    Kiwikiu. Picture by Zach Pezzillo of the Maui Forest Hen Restoration Challenge and supplied below Artistic Commons 4.0 license.

    “From the lofty summit of Hāna Mountain/ The excessive, darkish forest flank is seen/ Nevertheless, it’s obscured by the strata of clouds/ The higher windward flank of numerous birds is hidden/ The echo of many hen voices, comes up from under/ And the Ko‘olau district is brimming with birds/ However harken now to this that strikes the ear/ The clear name is carried by the kiu mountain wind/ The decision of the understory shrubs it’s heard,/ By the birds of the moist forest so/ By the ‘I‘iwi that’s dampened by the rain/ By the ʻĀkohekohe grumbling within the forest/ By the yellow Nukupu’u with its curved invoice/ Oh Kiwikiu/ Oh Kiwikiu/ You’re such and excellent hen and blessed with magnificence/ Oh Kiwikiu/ Oh Kiwikiu/ Your stout curved invoice is at all times snapping/ Method and occupy your perch/Here’s a thriving hen/And should you thrive certainly”

    -Sam Ohu Gon III (11)

    Native Hawaiian Mythology:

    In response to one Hawaiian fantasy, the entire birds of Hawaii had been as soon as invisible, such that the individuals might hear their songs and see motion within the timber, however couldn’t understand the birds themselves. The one man who might see the birds was the god, Maui. In the future, Maui determined to color the birds in vivid colours for his personal enjoyment. To ‘I’iwi, Maui gave vivid purple feathers. Now, the opposite individuals nonetheless couldn’t see the birds, however Maui cherished to look at them fly. In the future, Maui was visiting with a god from one other island who was boasting about the fantastic thing about his residence. Aggravated by his boasting, Maui determined to carry the veil which prevented others from seeing his birds. , the islands got here alive with coloration and all who appeared upon “I’iwi and the others knew that Maui’s residence was essentially the most stunning of all. (12)

    In response to a well known Hawaiian love story, the Paliuli chiefess La‘ieikawai’ is alleged to stay in a home thatched with the colourful feathers of Honeycreepers. One Honeycreeper specifically, ‘Apapane, is alleged to be her particular servant. In response to legend, when a Kauai chief courted her, La’ieikawai’ instructed him on when he might meet her primarily based upon the sounds of the birds of the forest. When a sure hen would sing, she could be on the point of meet him, when one other would sing, she would depart her residence to seek for him. In response to legend, it was the music of ‘Apapane which instructed the chief to go and discover her in order that they may very well be collectively ultimately. (13)

    Phot supplied by Wikimedia Commons consumer MFBRP below Artistic Commons 4.0 license. ‘Apapane on pilo in Hosmer’s Grove, Haleakala Nationwide Park.

    Honeycreeper Spirit Animal

    In case your spirit animal is the Honeycreeper then you might be an innovator. Individuals with the Honeycreeper as their spirit animal don’t search for excuses or escapes, they search out options. The Honeycreeper spirit animal rises to the challenges of on a regular basis life by enhancing itself in new and sudden methods. Individuals with the Honeycreeper as their spirit animal are usually inventive thinkers. On a crew, they’re more likely to be those dreaming up huge concepts. This is likely one of the Honeycreeper spirit animal’s strengths, nevertheless, this may end up in a little bit of tunnel imaginative and prescient. The top-in-the-clouds Honeycreeper thrives when it finds buddies and collaborators who steadiness its power with down-to-earth pragmatism.

    Honeycreeper Totem Animal

    The Honeycreeper totem animal is linked with seasons and alter. Like many Honeycreepers which stay their lives as “altitudinal migrants,” the Honeycreeper totem animal strikes by way of the seasons of life with grace and ease. At all times chasing the flowers that bloom, the Honeycreeper totem is an skilled at embracing new chapters and discovering new alternatives to make recollections, obtain nice issues, and enhance itself. Individuals with the Honeycreeper as their totem animal are optimistic, expressive, and sometimes smart past their years.

    Honeycreeper Energy Animal

    The Honeycreeper energy animal is linked with romance and household. Just like the story of La‘ieikawai’ and ‘Apapane, the Honeycreeper is usually linked to concepts like vitality, femininity, and sensuality. The Honeycreeper energy animal gives therapeutic and protecting energies for relationships and households.

    Honeycreeper Tattoo Which means

    A Honeycreeper tattoo might symbolize conservation of a need to guard Hawaii’s threatened native wildlife. For an individual of Hawaiian descent, a Honeycreeper tattoo might bear particular cultural significance which could tie into explicit myths, like Maui and ‘I’iwi, or cultural practices. Such a tattoo might symbolize a religious reference to the Hawaiian islands and their rainforest habitats.

    ʻAkiapolaʻau. Picture supplied by Flickr consumer Bettina Arrigoni

    A Honeycreeper tattoo might also symbolize adaptability, versatility, or vibrancy.


    After studying a bit extra concerning the distinctive, gorgeous, and engaging Honeycreepers, it feels much more heart-breaking to face the fact that many of those birds are going through the very actual risk of extinction inside the close to future. Most of us who don’t stay in Hawaii have by no means heard of those birds and I feel that that could be a disgrace. If we’re to protect Kiwikiu, ‘Apapane, ʻAkiapolaʻau, or any of the opposite threatened Honeycreepers, it’s critically necessary that we stay conscious of their plight. Hopefully, this text has raised your curiosity in these distinctive birds.