Life Lessons from a Trapped Hummingbird


Life Lessons From a Trapped Hummingbird

The other day I walked into a garage and a tiny hummingbird was struggling to find its way out. The tiny fellow kept flying up into the ceiling for hours. I tried opening just the garage door and turning off all the lights, and yet it did not recognize the solution to its predicament. The problem for the sacred bird was that it did not stop to see how he could get out. In this case, to be free, he needed to fly down and out. But it kept fluttering against the ceiling. Eventually, I was able to catch the bird gently between two brooms with a light blanket draped between the bristles. I brought the bird down gently, walked out of the garage and let the tiny bird go. It fluttered quickly away.

In the same garage, a few days later another bird (or maybe the same one??) was trapped. This time, the bird was so exhausted that it was easily caught by hand. The bird was given some sugar-water and when strong enough, it opened its wings and flew gratefully away, leaving a feather that spoke of how delicate the petite bird was.

Hummingbird and Feather held by hand

I love finding correlations between life events {no matter how small or large} and applying them to life.

In these cases, I could see that the hummingbirds wanted to get out, they wanted freedom. They were doing what they thought was best, by continually going up. In life, we want to go up, make more money, increase our happiness, climb the social or corporate ladder, up, up up. Sometimes, however, we get too caught up with progression to actually progress.

I am not a counselor or a therapist, but these are questions I ask myself to find out where I am, where I want to go, and what is keeping me from getting there.

Here are questions to ask yourself about your life goals:

(if you want a printable version, scroll down and sign up for access to the printable library)

  • Do I know where I want to go?

If your answer is ‘no’, stop and ask yourself what it is you want in a week, a month, a year. It could be your lack of goals that is keeping you from moving forward.

Then ask yourself:

  • Where am I right now?
  • Where do I want to go?
  • What is stopping me from achieving what I want?

Are we like this hummingbird who so desperately wants to go up, but cannot see that the way out is not up? Sometimes if you just take a moment to adjust your view, you can fly higher than you ever thought possible.

Watercolor hummingbird with paint pallets

Sometimes you have to question your “whys” as well.

  • Why do I need this?
  • Would I be happier just to move on?

If you are happier just to move on then re-evaluate your goals. It’s my opinion that your goals should always bring some sort of happiness. I’m not saying that every step of the way will be peaches and pie (is that a real saying or did I just make it up?) but goals need to be something that brings your mind peace and your soul some sort of happiness or satisfaction.

The solution to your problem could be just a “paused moment” away. If we just take a moment and meditate on our problem we can see the solution clearly. Other times, there is no way for us to escape or move on without the help of someone else. Do not be ashamed to ask for help. In fact, it takes a great deal of bravery to ask for help.


How many times will a hummingbird flutter into utter exhaustion just because it won’t stop to really look at the situation? How many times will we walk away from our goals and our desires because we get frustrated with hitting a ‘ceiling’?

Before you become completely exhausted, stop, and look around.

Can you see another solution? If not, ask yourself:

  • Who can help me?
  • What resources do I need?
  • Is there another solution?
  • What can I change to keep moving?

Learn from the lesson of the trapped hummingbird to solve your problem and if you need, ask for help.


Did you see any other life lessons from my hummingbird/life correlation? What did you learn? What would you use from this experience?

It’s amazing how objects and situations can take on a deeper meaning if you apply them to your life and learn from them. I painted this hummingbird a couple months before this recent experience with the hummingbirds in the garage. I look at this painting with renewed eyes and a fresh new perspective. This correlation will perhaps change the way I see these creatures going forward and it will be an opportunity to remind myself to pause, and really assess where I am in achieving my goals.

I gathered other inspiration when painting this hummingbird. I love vibrant colors and how the colors shimmer, blend, and transition.

Hummingbird watercolor painting progression

One other hummingbird-to-life correlation is that the video (below) is close to hyper speed (okay, maybe not that fast, but it is sped up… a lot). Don’t compare yourself to other people just because they are moving faster than you. Be certain that you aren’t seeing all the details.

Just a thought to end on. I hope you enjoy.

For instance: This video is just under 2 minutes. But the painting took about an hour and a half to complete. I edited out all the times when I dipped my brush in the ink, I edited out the time that I stood up and stretched my legs. I edited out the long conversation with my husband and left the camera running (oops).

I looked at picture after picture before I even put pencil to paper to find inspiration for this lovely little fellow. My point is, it takes a while to do things, but you may be only seeing the final result.


I learned many things from the plight of the fragile little hummingbird. One thing I have to remind myself is that there are people around that love me and want to help me and I have to ask for help.

Hummingbird watercolor

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This post contains affiliate links. The cost is the same to you but, I will receive a small commission to help support my blogging and creativity habits. 🙂 All opinions expressed were solely mine and from my heart.

2 thoughts on “Life Lessons from a Trapped Hummingbird”

    1. Thank you for your insight! I have certainly found in my life that there are times for a complete re-evaluation of what I am seeking, but more commonly, I just need to revamp how I am doing it.

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