- Bird

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

There are two units of birds which fall below the “Honeycreeper” identify. The “true” Honeycreepers are a bunch of small, brightly coloured songbirds that are carefully 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 various and engaging group of songbirds is stuffed with distinctive diversifications. Hawaiian Honeycreepers are endemic to Hawaii and their remoted island habitat has led them to evolve some very fascinating methods for rainforest survival.

Honeycreepers of each teams are typically specialised for feeding on nectar. Like Hummingbirds, Honeycreepers usually 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 hanging 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 characterize the richness of the tropics and the unbelievable density of gorgeous 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. In the event you’ve been questioning in regards to the that means of the Honeycreeper then surprise no extra! Learn on to study all about this brightly-colored jewel of the tropics!

True Honeycreeper
Picture by Birger Strahl on Unsplash

Honeycreeper Symbolism and That 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 have been a various group with greater than fifty particular person species. At present, solely seventeen of those species are identified 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 latest and has been largely because of the introduction of non-native threats corresponding to illnesses and predators. Habitat loss has additionally been a significant stressor. (3)

There are fewer than 2,000 ‘Ākohekohe, or “Crested Honeycreepers,” remaining. Like lots of Hawaii’s Honeycreepers. ‘Akohekohe is below risk 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 usually carry. Within the case of Kiwikiu, the Maui Parrot-bill, this concern has diminished numbers to as few as 200 people. Due to this, Honeycreepers could characterize the precarious place that endangered birds discover themselves in. Additionally they characterize the significance of conservation and the need of preserving and sustaining the remaining wild rainforest habitats inside Hawaii. (4)(5)

Honeycreepers may characterize evolution, specialization, expertise, or adaptability. As mentioned above, Honeycreepers have distinctive and weird payments which are sometimes designed to make the most of nectar-rich flowers. Some Hawaiian Honeycreepers are distinctive in that they’ve specialised in different areas and have developed completely different invoice shapes to replicate their specializations. In a approach, Hawaiian Honeycreepers resemble Darwin’s well-known finches which allowed the pioneer of the speculation of evolution to watch the completely 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 considered one of a number of Honeycreepers who interact in an fascinating habits generally known as “altitudinal migration.” Altitudinal migrants migrate over brief distances to differing elevations. ‘I’iwi does this to observe the flowers as they bloom at completely different elevations all year long. Because of this, 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 plush 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 mentioned to resemble a picket fence and are thought to offer the nest with an additional little bit of camouflage. That is particularly vital 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 significant funding of their future and require numerous devotion. So, the Honeycreeper could characterize parenthood, the house, security, safety, or endurance. (8)

Honeycreeper Hawaiian Symbolism

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

Honeycreeper in Desires

Dreaming of a Honeycreeper could refer to 1’s pure abilities or skills. A Honeycreeper dream is a good reminder to make the most of your abilities and discover distinctive methods to shine. As a substitute of making an attempt to suit right into a mould, discover methods to construct your life across the distinctive and particular traits that permit you to stand out amongst the gang.

Dreaming of a real Honeycreeper of the Tanager selection could check with misconceptions or wrongly held beliefs. Due to an previous fable, it has lengthy been believed that a few of these tropical birds lay black eggs. This has been discovered to be false, however the fable persists. Dreaming of a nest with black eggs could check 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 unbelievable endurance and no small measure of luck. A Honeycreeper encounter could, then, be a particular reminder to stay within the second and cherish the chance to take pleasure in considered one of nature’s rarest beauties. It could additionally act as a reminder that it’s the duty of mankind to guard these endangered birds in addition to endangered wildlife world wide.

Honeycreeper in Mythology & Folklore

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

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

“From the lofty summit of Hāna Mountain/ The excessive, darkish forest flank is seen/ Nonetheless, it’s obscured by the strata of clouds/ The higher windward flank of numerous birds is hidden/ The echo of many fowl 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 fowl and blessed with magnificence/ Oh Kiwikiu/ Oh Kiwikiu/ Your stout curved invoice is all the time snapping/ Method and occupy your perch/Here’s a thriving fowl/And should you thrive certainly”

-Sam Ohu Gon III (11)

Native Hawaiian Mythology:

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

In response to a well known Hawaiian love story, the Paliuli chiefess La‘ieikawai’ is claimed to stay in a home thatched with the colourful feathers of Honeycreepers. One Honeycreeper particularly, ‘Apapane, is claimed 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 fowl would sing, she could be on the point of meet him, when one other would sing, she would depart her house to seek for him. In response to legend, it was the track of ‘Apapane which informed the chief to go and discover her in order that they might be collectively finally. (13)

Phot supplied by Wikimedia Commons consumer MFBRP below Inventive 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. Folks 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 bettering itself in new and sudden methods. Folks with the Honeycreeper as their spirit animal are typically artistic thinkers. On a crew, they’re more likely to be those dreaming up massive concepts. This is without doubt one of the Honeycreeper spirit animal’s strengths, nevertheless, this may end up in a little bit of tunnel imaginative and prescient. The pinnacle-in-the-clouds Honeycreeper thrives when it finds associates and collaborators who stability 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. All the time 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. Folks with the Honeycreeper as their totem animal are optimistic, expressive, and infrequently clever 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 commonly linked to concepts like vitality, femininity, and sensuality. The Honeycreeper energy animal supplies therapeutic and protecting energies for relationships and households.

Honeycreeper Tattoo That means

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

ʻAkiapolaʻau. Picture supplied by Flickr consumer Bettina Arrigoni

A Honeycreeper tattoo may characterize adaptability, versatility, or vibrancy.


After studying a bit extra in regards to the distinctive, gorgeous, and engaging Honeycreepers, it feels much more heart-breaking to face the fact that many of those birds are dealing with the very actual chance 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 may be a disgrace. If we’re to protect Kiwikiu, ‘Apapane, ʻAkiapolaʻau, or any of the opposite threatened Honeycreepers, it’s critically essential that we stay conscious of their plight. Hopefully, this text has raised your curiosity in these distinctive birds.

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