Native American tribes are numerous throughout our lands. Animal symbolism may vary from tribe to tribe. This series of articles also includes the spirit powers of birds, insects, and reptiles. Following are some basic attributes of animals from goldfinch to grouse.
The American Goldfinch is also known as the Eastern Goldfinch or Wild Canary. It is a North American bird of the finch family. Its migration range extends from southern Canada to North Carolina during the breeding season. In winter months they range as far south as Mexico.
The Goldfinch is a very social bird. They gather in large flocks during feeding and migrating. They love the residential areas where gardens and birdfeeders are numerous. The Goldfinch prefers open meadow areas. It is a cheerful bird, very in tune and happy in Nature.
Symbolism: In tune with Nature spirits
The fossil record of the goose is very dense. Records show that many types of geese have been around since the Miocene era, 10 million years ago. They are very social and gather in large groups, called a gaggle. Geese are very demanding regarding their needs and are very alert when raising their young. They stay with one mate for life and are very productive. Geese are very ritual in their feeding habits, flight formation, and migratory journeys. They are constantly communicating with each other, even while flying.
Symbolism: Self-demanding, reliable, prudent, rigid, vigilance, parenthood, productive, vision quest, seek new adventures, communicative
Gorillas are very family oriented. They live in groups of up to thirty individuals. One dominant male is the leader and is very aware of all that goes on. He is very protective of his family. Gorillas are very intelligent and aware of the environment. They will not deplete one area of food sources, but move around to different locations. They are extremely powerful in strength. The male leader keeps peace within the group.
Symbolism: Family-oriented, intelligence, strength, environmental protector, peace keeper
The Grouse is built like a chicken, heavy and robust looking. They can weigh in at up to 14 pounds. They are heavily feathered, even their legs and down to the toes. Forest species will flock together in autumn and winter, but generally prefer solitude. The prairie species are more sociable, forming flocks of up to 100 in winter. They spend most of their time on the ground, but can take off quickly if danger approaches.
The males have very elaborate courtship displays of dancing. The female will lay one clutch of eggs, one each day for up to 12 days. If the eggs are lost, she replaces them. Both the male and female stay with the young to protect them till they can fly, which is at about two weeks old. Since they have large clutches of young, they are able to recover quickly during bad years of predators or weather conditions that reduce their population.
Symbolism: Personal power, enlightenment, sacred dancing & drumming, creation, energy, protective