Different cultures have a variety of metaphors for birds. Doves, for instance, are a symbol of peace, love, luck, prosperity, fidelity, and new beginnings, thus being the bird of choice to be released during weddings. In this article let’s fly through the clouds and try as much as we can to understand the different bird symbolism.
If by some remote possibility you have not seen a bird yet, I tell you, no matter how introvert you want yourself to be, you really should try to get out more. As corny as it may sound, there is nothing like the sound of birds singing early in the morning.
Birds are animals hardwired for flight. Though some of them, like penguins, have lost the capability to fly, several kinds are able to run, jump, swim, and dive. Every inch of a bird’s physical make-up is fashioned to induce lift; hence airplane wings are designed after bird wings. Known to be the closest relative of the dinosaurs that lived in the Jurassic period around 160 million years ago, the largest of these winged creatures is the ostrich, which can grow to a towering nine feet; while the smallest is the long bee hummingbird which is cute at only two inches.
Birds have a one-of-a-kind digestive system that allows them to eat even during flight, and being true to the fact that they rule the skies, they lay eggs and leave them in nests so they can get rid of excess baggage as they fly.
What Do Birds Symbolize?
Birds have been around humans since, like, forever. Remember the bird that brought the branch to Noah’s Ark? Birds were depicted on cave walls and were valuable symbols for ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Rome, and Greece.
Numerous bird types were used to represent critical historical events in these cultures. Countless theories are connected to a variety of bird species as well.
Birds reflect a strong symbolism. They encourage us to aim high and realize our goals despite the challenges we might face as we chase those dreams.
They can also be a motivation to deepen one’s spirituality even more. Akin to the Hindu belief of dogs as messengers from the underworld, birds are recognized as ambassadors from the spiritual world. They embody peace, conversion, freedom, and strength. Angels, when they appear to be making a connection with us, are usually in the form of birds. And in rare encounters with angels, people would describe them as sporting birds’ wings.
Whenever a deceased loved one wants to send us a message, they do it not through Twitter, but in the form of birds popping up in our lives or at times, even just representations of birds we keep seeing. Their sudden presence in our lives depicts inspiration to act towards something that we really love.
All we need is to open our eyes and our hearts for us to receive these messages that they are trying to send us. Tidings of support from our guardian angels are sent in a form of a bird appearing in our lives, often in unusual circumstances that bring such powerful messages.
Birds help us get in contact with our spirituality and develop it further.
It’s no laughing matter that though some birds may represent good omens, some, unfortunately, do not. It is important to know what kind of bird it is that you saw before you lose your head from worrying for you to interpret their sightings accurately.
List of birds and what they symbolize
Owls live within the darkness, which includes magic, mystery, and ancient knowledge. Owl Spirit teaches you how to harness the strength needed to open your eyes and look into the shadows. Delve deeply in Owl symbolism and meaning to find out how this animal spirit guide can illuminate, assist, and educate you. The mythology relates owl to this wisdom and femininity.
The blue jay represents strength, communication, clarity or the need to stand up for yourself. It is also is a bird symbol of intelligence and curiosity. It means that blue jay people are very intelligent and determined. This bird may also symbolize protection and fearlessness. If blue jay appears in your life, you will feel safe and protected.
The condor stands for endurance, life, death, as well as visions. The condor’s prowess in flight and observation, along with the courage it exudes due to its innate strengths, turn it into the perfect symbol for freedom. It is the freedom of knowing that despite the harshness of life around you, you have what it takes to break free and do what you think is best.
The eagle is one of the most ancient symbols of humanity. The eagle is symbols healing, enlightenment, freedom, and man’s connection with God. When this graceful hunter comes into your life, it’s time to look inward with a careful eye. Allow your heart to guide you, and opportunities you never dreamed were possible will present themselves when you least expect it.
The falcon is a manifestation of power, agility, and gracefulness. The falcon symbolism, after all, speaks about victory, success, and rising above challenging situations; and it is similar to the worm animal spirit. At its core, the falcon meaning signifies wisdom, vision, and protection. Throughout history, culture and myth, Falcons symbolize superiority, spirit, light, freedom and aspiration.
The hawk is a symbol of power, strength, spirituality, and broad perspectives. The ability to use intuition and higher vision in order to complete tasks or make important decisions. The creature represents perspective, patience, and insight.
The heron is a symbol of attaining wisdom, balance, patience, authority, and assertiveness. In many cultures, it is considered wrong to shoot a heron, which brings you bad luck. Many people believe that dreaming about herons brings back their lost possession. The heron is among the animals that tell us to stop, look, and listen before taking action.
The vulture is one of the most powerful and intriguing birds in the world. It’s also among the most misunderstood! However, if you see vultures, run! Not only are they carnivores, but they also mean that your character will be tested in the not-so-distant future. It also indicates a period of bad luck and misfortune. On the other hand it comes into your life to give you inspiration. There are many opportunities around.
The raven signifies magic, the dark side of your personality, and transformation. The raven symbolism may be there to help you on your journey, provide insight, knowledge, and guidance. There is also an element of reflection with raven meaning. Consequently, this bird is reminding you that the people around you are reflecting at you the things you most have to learn about yourself.
The swan symbolizes beauty, love, grace, healing, and angels. The swan’s symbolism is very powerful. It does not only show us beauty, it reminds us where beauty really comes from. As per the swan, beauty is not a matter of science or logic. Instead, it is a matter of intuition and awareness.
The Swan is commonly perceived to be a symbol of solitude. Many cultures believe that they are the bird of life since they combine the elements of air and water. In Chinese mythology, the swan is a symbol of yang and is revered as a solar bird.
Christians believe the swan to be a symbol of grace and purity, thus symbolizing the Virgin Mary. Ancient Romans consider them as a symbol of a happy death, while Celtics regard their songs as magical.
The peacock illustrates grace, compassion, awakening, and nobility. The peacock spirit animal is the epitome of beauty. This graceful power animal offers lessons about self-love, honor, integrity and the importance of facing life’s challenges as well as the unknown with courage and confidence. When the peacock struts gracefully into your life you may be entering a time of rebirth.
A peacock is a male peafowl and is thought to be a symbol of the sun. It is perceived that its round tail symbolizes heaven and the markings that seem like eyes on the tail are the stars. In Buddhism, the ‘eyes’ on the peacock’s tail is a sign of watchfulness.
Peacocks are often related to the symbol of vanity as they like to show off their vibrantly colored tails to impress their females and us humans too.
The magpie is a symbol of intelligence, friendship, and loyalty. The magpie’s speech is symbolic of communication and creative expression. When we hear the magpie speak it is a message to us that we might need to listen to what is being spoken to us – listen with more attention.
The flamingo personifies romance, generosity, and emotional healing. Before they are symbols of balance, the flamingo is a also a symbol of community. It symbolizes the importance of expressing emotions freely. Flamingos also symbolize balance, being open towards others and having an open heart.
The parrot exemplifies… wait for it, communication and talkativeness. You also need to pay attention to the signs and omens around you. Everything is possible right now. Therefore, it’s the perfect time to go after the dreams you once thought were out of reach.
The dove epitomizes peace, maternity, love, and purity. Dove symbolism can also be heralding an end of a problematic cycle in your life, thereby announcing a time of new worlds opening up to you. In other words, there are possibilities of a new romance, new friendships, and new beginnings on the horizon for you.
The bluebird embodies happiness and modesty. It is also said that the bluebird is one of the many forms that angels and other spirit guides may take when they descend to the earth. They are always good omens.
The goose symbolizes travel, loyalty, sociability, and fresh starts. But also Goose Spirit often symbolizes the warrior spirit, protection, and bravery. Goose symbolism also prompts you to look deeply into your heart to ascertain that the choice is yours.
Storks have been connected with life. Who hasn’t heard the old adage about the stork delivering babies to doorsteps of excited new parents? They are considered lucky in most cultures. Cranes, a bird sometimes mistaken for a stork, are also associated with long life in Asia. Legend has it that if you fold 1000 paper cranes your wish would come true. Today, origami cranes are given as a sign of hope for those who seek healing.
Swallows are among the most common species of birds seen worldwide. The Swallow symbolism stands for are easy-going, lovable, and cheerful animals. Having such traits, it also means that if a person has a swallow as its spirit animal, he or she is likely to be happy, peaceful, cheerful, and easy-going as well. People who are likened to a swallow are sociable. The like to spend time with their friends and family.
Sometimes birds even symbolise telephones!
Birds are generally known to symbolize freedom because they can walk on the earth and swim in the sea like us humans, but they also have the ability to fly into the sky. A lot of cultures believe that they symbolize eternal life and some would say that they serve as the connection between heaven and earth.
There is no exact definition for any symbol; different cultures have a varied understanding of all symbols and birds are no exception to this. Some believe that certain symbols indicate a new life or at times death.
The earliest known bird was the Archaeopteryx, meaning old or first bird. It lived approximately 147 million years ago and served as the transition between the period of feathered dinosaurs and the birds as we know them today.
Birds have deep symbolic significance and are said to be able to communicate with gods. Since they can ascend high enough to reach the heavens, they are revered as the Tree of Life which is often characterized with a serpent at their feet.
The symbol of the blackbird stands for the temptation of the flesh to Christians, while in Islam it is believed that the souls of infidels or nonbelievers have a connection with birds of prey whereas the faithful enter the tree of life. The Lord Buddha is represented as a bird in Buddhism while the Hindus consider the mythical bird they call Garuda as the bird of life, the sun, and the sky.
The Crow is generally thought to be a symbol of bad luck and ill-fortune, while the Native Americans believe that the crow’s black feather is an indication of death to the enemy. They are defined as black birds having a unique and rough call and they are linked to a group of birds known as ‘passerines’ or perching birds.
Native Americans believe that crows represent spiritual law and its black feathers are a symbol of death or bad omen to their enemies. Although the Greek God Apollo held them as sacred, other cultures, particularly the Aborigines, believed that this bird is nothing but bad news even if followers of Japanese Shintoism personify them as God’s messengers.
Doves are often recognized as a symbol of peace. For Christians, they are the symbol of the Holy Spirit and represent the soul. Doves are also a symbol of love and fidelity, thus the release of a pair during weddings. Doves reflect innocence, gentleness, and affection, while in art as well as in the Bible, they are the manifestations of the Holy Ghost.
Red doves, though extremely rare, stand for Christ’s redemption of mankind through His blood, while a speckled Dove signifies the diversity of the prophets. They can also be depicted as the act of martyrdom in Christianity, while in Greek mythology it symbolizes Athena, the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law, and justice.
A medieval book called a Bestiary had metaphorical definitions of real and fabled animals including the blackbird. This book called the Aberdeen Bestiary, which was written in the 12th Century, states that the Blackbird typifies those who are tempted by carnal pleasures, while a blackbird adorned with white feathers are a symbol of purity.
In early Christian books, they were revered as a representation of the evil, thus the Devil appeared to St. Benedict in the form of a Blackbird.
People who are on a spiritual path might see in the Blackbird a significant meaning. Blackbirds remind us that we should trust that each day and choice is fruitful and provides us with a lot of insight for the mysteries surrounding our existence along with the paths that we choose in life.
Bald Eagle Symbol
The Bald Eagle is generally thought to be a symbol of strength, courage, leadership, and prestige. Known to many as the “King of Birds,” they are believed to be the symbol of the sun and were perceived to have the ability to carry messages between the gods and mankind by the Native Americans.
Traditional Native American headdresses contain eagle feathers, which is a symbol used to epitomize the Thunder God and is also a symbol of success in hunting and triumph in war. Eagles mate for life, thus making them a symbol of loyalty.
The Hummingbird is broadly assumed to be a symbol of joy and happiness due to its appearance. Native Americans consider them as a symbol of beauty and harmony. The Mayan god Quetzalcoatl adorned herself with the feathers of a hummingbird as they were believed to bear magical powers.
The Phoenix is a legendary Arabian bird that is said to repeatedly burn itself to death and rise from the ashes as a new phoenix, symbolizing life, death, and re-birth. Tradition says that only one phoenix can live at a time so it renews itself every 500 years.
Legend tells that the phoenix will never die because it was the only animal that did not eat of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. In ancient Egypt, the phoenix was a symbol of the sunrise and sunset. It is also known as a symbol of royalty, making it a favorite of kings to decorate their robes, armor, and shields.
The phoenix is believed to symbolize the death and resurrection of Christ which is celebrated each year at Easter.
The Crane is considered to be a symbol of maternal love and happiness. Several cultures consider the crane to be a symbol of physical connection and they believe cranes to be messengers of the gods. The Greeks and Romans regarded the crane as a symbol of spring and light and the bird was considered sacred by Apollo.
Some parts of Africa see the crane as a symbol of wisdom, whereas the Japanese consider cranes as carriers of luck, longevity, and fidelity. Native American men perform the crane dance dressed in feathers from this bird in the hope of impressing a potential wife.
These nocturnal birds are thought to be symbols of wisdom and knowledge, thus the coining of the term “Wise Old Owl.” Its cry is said to signal forthcoming death or misfortune. The Celts nicknamed them as the “Night Hag” and were linked to dead bodies. The Jews are represented by owls since they proved that they prefer dwelling in the dark when they rejected Jesus. Owls were associated with black magic in Africa, as their heads were used in concocting spells.
Ducks are generally thought to be a symbol of resourcefulness. Like a triathlon athlete, they possess the ability to walk, swim, fly, and ‘duck’ under the water to feed or hide from predators. In both the Chinese and Japanese cultures, they represent happiness and fidelity and when hanging out with a drake, it is a sign of happiness and beauty. The duck is a symbol that combines the sea and the sky as agreed in Native American mythology.
In most European countries, ravens are known to be a symbol of sadness, loss, and death. Greeks though look at them as the messenger bird of the god Apollo, while the Inuits even have a creator god called the Raven Father and they believe that killing one of these birds will bring catastrophic weather. They are considered as guides in Africa and are believed to be able to detect the smell of death even before it occurs.
Birds’ Symbolic Meanings as Spirit, Totem and Power Animals
Birds as spirits are the perfect image for freedom and having a positive mindset. Because of their ability to fly high into the sky, they are often revered to as a connection between the ordinary and the divine.
It may be because of this belief that our ancestors developed Ornithomancy, which is a little bit like fortune-telling by observing a bird’s color, species, and movement. An example is when birds move from right to left it is believed to bring success in a personal or professional goal.
A bird presenting itself to you as a spouse denotes that you should prepare for a time of transition. It makes a whole lot of sense though since taking a spouse would mean that you have to sacrifice some of the things that you used to do when you were still single. Like maybe instead of staying out all night with the boys, you just grab one drink, head home, and have dinner with your wife. Or instead of purchasing that extremely expensive gadget, you keep the money in the bank, ready for a rainy day.
What does a Cardinal Bird symbolize
Cardinals are usually found in North and South America. Bright red cardinals can be easily recognized and are often seen hopping around backyards and bird feeders. Their diet consists of insects, seeds, grain, fruit, and sap. They rarely migrate and they are more comfortable foraging in places where the climate is warm.
Male cardinals sport the bright red feathers for which their species is popular, while the females don a gorgeous tan or gray tuft. The crimson color of the boys spells the difference to their mating success. The brighter it is, the better chances for the male to land a mate.
Cardinals can be identified as karaoke kings since they sing a variety of different melodies. They are somewhat social, joining flocks that include birds of other species, and during the mating season, they feed their females as they incubate their eggs. Males are known to be aggressive when it comes to territory, and at times, they attack other males who trespass. This impulse leads cardinals to fly into glass windows, when they attack an invading bird, just to find out that it was just their own reflection.
Moving on, most people interpret a cardinal’s presence as a departed loved one visiting you. They show up in times that we need them or miss them the most. They appear in times when there is a celebration, as well as times of deep sorrow to remind us that they will always be with us.
The cardinal is related to the phoenix, which in itself has a long list of myths and tales. The Egyptian version has this bright red bird living in the deserts of Arabia that can change to numerous forms. For the Greeks, they believed that when a phoenix, otherwise known as a cardinal, sings, the sun itself would stop just to listen. It can be interpreted as a way of asking us to stop and listen to the melody and how it affects us; that we should allow it to inspire and reinvigorate us, so that we may find the strength to push forward even in the darkest moments of our lives.
Cardinals remind us to be clear with your intentions when dealing with the people in your life. They tell us that setting a clear and intelligent goal will make their realization effortless.
It may also be asking you to be cautious of your thoughts, to be certain that you are aware of the consequences of your actions, and to correct them when you’ve done wrong.
Cardinals can also be telling you to start putting yourself first ahead of others. That sometimes it is also important to take care of yourself to make it much easier for you to lend a hand to others.
It might also mean that the timing is now perfect to start an endeavor that you have been considering. Like starting a family, putting up your own business or trying out that new diet fad. Once you see a Cardinal, then you have the blessing to just go for it.
Christianity wise, the cardinal is symbolic of the living blood of Christ. Both cardinals and blood have long been symbols of endurance and spirit, and with Christianity in the foreground, that kind of endurance is everlasting. Customarily, the cardinal is a symbol of life, hope, and renewal. These symbols associates the cardinal to faith, and they come to remind us that though things might not be going the way we hope them to be, there is always hope.
Red Bird Symbolism
Red birds come to represent your life’s dominant quality built-in in your soul. It personifies facets of wealth, energy, enthusiasm, leadership, vigor, and intelligence. Red is often perceived as a sign of good luck, thus the torrent of the red color during celebrations particularly in the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays. On the other hand, it may also imply lust, blood, risks, and warnings.
You should sense that red birds are your connection to the spirit realm and that they can be utilized to acquire some curated hints. It is a sign that you should be definite or open about your plans when you see a red bird. No hidden agendas.
It can also be an indication that your beliefs and desires will finally be taken seriously. They can be a sign of confidence and knowing yourself better, of listening to your own voice. They may embody grace, mercy, and loyalty.
Red birds personify gratitude and appreciating and trusting one another.
If a red bird visits you in your dream, it may signify that you should be proud of who you are as a person and to cut yourself off from things that hurt you and to just focus on coming out as a better version of yourself. It may mean that a person or a task is just around the corner waiting for you.
Red Birds and the Bible
Birds have always been the symbol of the Holy Spirit for a long time in Christianity. Red birds in the bible are perceived to be symbols of love, hope, and faith; essentially the most important teachings of Jesus. Red birds are sparks that enhance the true meaning of faith. They symbolize Christ’s living blood and the birth of the Messiah.
Dead Bird meaning
A long time ago, our ancestors, lacking Google, turned to nature to understand the events that were happening around them. They believed that natural cycles mirrored human life, thus careful observation of events and animal behavior was their only tool to find connections about our experiences.
These experiences have led some people to question whether or not there is a spiritual connection behind some events, let’s say finding a dead bird, especially when it happens often. Many would jump to the conclusion that it may be a bad omen. Instead of “jumping” to conclusions, read on and take a leap of faith that not all dead birds translate to bad luck.
Running into a dead animal, whatever animal it may be, is never a gracious experience. Even more, a dead bird since we consider them as messengers from God. It wasn’t long ago when death was seen as a form of transition, a process where we get rid of things that don’t spark joy anymore (thank you, Marie Kondo), to make room for new stuff. It is only recently that people perceive death with negativity. But from a spiritual point of view, it is actually considered a sign of transformation and eventually, rebirth.
According to these beliefs, the type of bird and where you find it give various clues as to what message it is you need to die from to make way for a new beginning. Here’s a list:
Dead White Bird
White birds are recognized around the world as a symbol of purity and peace. So a dead white bird might probably indicate conflict or chaos that is about to take place in your life. The veiled message really is to just stay true to your abilities and have the confidence that no matter what hits you, it will always turn out fine.
Dead Black Bird
Black is the color of the unconsciousness, of ignorance. Thus, a dead blackbird is an expression of some unresolved tension that needs to be resolved. It may be telling you to let go of something that’s been hindering growth and happiness.
Songbirds are a symbol of communication. That is why it is believed that seeing a dead songbird is an omen that is related to connecting with others. Maybe it’s telling you to keep in touch with someone, or maybe it is asking you to speak up about something that’s been bothering you. In some countries, they are even eating songbirds (I’ve tried them but its definitely not recommended)
Hummingbirds represent joy and freedom. Encountering them at such a stressful moment might only mean that you are ready for a serious commitment and that you should start appreciating more the simple pleasures in life.
Though seeing a dead bird often translates into a hidden message, the kind of information that we receive also depends on where we see that bird’s carcass. A dead bird in your doorstep or yard may indicate that change is hurtling towards you and that you should be ready to receive it.
A bird dropping dead after hitting your window spiritually symbolizes that you are facing a speed bump that must be removed and that the change you have been longing for will require sacrifice.
The meaning of a dead bird found inside your house is a sign that a reformation process should take place within you. Since our homes represent our inner realms, we are called to let go of what is no longer favourable for us to find inner peace.
Dead birds do not necessarily mean something bad is going to happen; it just means that a chapter in your life is about to end and instead of feeling bad and sulking, it will be more productive spiritually if we open our hearts and welcome a new beginning.
Dead birds falls out of the sky
This term is often quoted and is thought to be mentioned in the bible. However, its not true; two prophets, Hosea and Zephaniah, in the Old Testament speak of birds and fish being swept away or consumed. Ezekiel 14:12-21 says that when a nation gets to a certain level of sinfulness, God starts killing the animals (Jer 12:4). But that’s about it, still the idea has found its echo in modern culture – as seen in the video below.
Birds That Symbolize Death
One of my favorite movies is the Brandon Lee film entitled The Crow. It tells the story of Eric, a musician that was brutally murdered along with his fiancé on the night before their wedding. On the anniversary of their death, Eric rises from the grave and adopts the gothic mantle of the Crow, believed to be a messenger between the world of the dead and the living.
Crows, ravens, black birds, owls, and phoenixes might all represent death, but they can also exemplify the spirit world, the afterlife, spirituality, or the death of a loved one.
Crows and Black Birds
Black birds often take the blame for negativity. Possibly for the sole reason that humans can’t see in the dark, they attribute all kinds of bad qualities to dark things. They are symbols of the unknown, the mystical, and the spirit realm. Black birds or also crows may be indications of death but they are also carriers of divine messages.
In myth and folklore, crows are often said to be able to cross between our world and the afterlife delivering messages. Several cultures believe that crows possess a special connection with spirits. Crows are extremely clever and resourceful and are even known to invent and use tools. In many stories and tales, crows often play the role of a naughty deceiver.
Phoenix Bird Symbolism
Arguably the most impressive and evocative of mythological birds, the phoenix has the ability to self-immolate and rise from its own ashes in a never-ending cycle of death and resurrection. They are a symbol of life, death, diligence, persistence, survival, evolution, rebirth, and hope. See more information about the Phoenix bird in the video below.
Though they are often associated with mystery and death, ravens also personify intelligence, knowledge, wisdom, and harmony with the spirit world. Sure, they prowl on the meat of other birds, sometimes birds that are even bigger than them; but they don’t always spew a dark image. They are frequently identified with the dead, seen as guides for errant spirits, and an over-seer of life and death.
Owls paint an image of wisdom, knowledge, and truth. Those big round yellow eyes make them look all-knowing and their extraordinary ability to see well in the dark is just fitting since they are considered as nocturnal creatures. In some cultures, they are revered as spirit guides and representatives to the spirit world.
What do Native American Birds symbolize
Aside from beating Kettle Korn to the pop, Native Americans have an extremely diverse view of birds. Native American bird symbols vary in meaning from one tribe to another and across the various cultural groups of North America.
They were devotedly spiritual people and they disclosed their history, thoughts, and ideas from one generation to the next through symbols and signs, often with the use of different animals. Native American symbols are graphic depictions of heavenly bodies, natural experiences, and animal patterns.
Native American bird and animal symbols and totems are perceived to embody the physical form of a spirit helper and guide. Bird symbols are revered by the Native Americans. Their ability to soar above the clouds, near the heavens and their perception of freedom inspired plenty. The tons of birds of North America are highlighted as bird symbols, most of them bearing different meanings to different tribes.
However, because of their ability to take flight, they are believed to be harbingers of messages and symbols of change. They are seen as a symbol of graceful freedom and their feathers, with a plethora of shades and colors, have numerous spiritual and ritual benefits.
The Navajo tribe, one of the largest of American Indians, tells the story of the time when a great flood came and all living creatures were trying to save themselves by climbing the stalk of a bamboo plant, while a wild turkey stayed on the lowest branch allowing his tail feathers to just dip in the water. The story concludes that this is the reason why turkey tails are colorless.
The symbolism of the Crow and the Eagle
The meaning of the crow symbol signifies wisdom and some tribes believe that crows have the ability to talk and is considered to be one of the wisest of birds. The Native Americans think of the bald and golden eagles to be sacred. For them, eagles epitomize courage, wisdom, and strength and are intended as God’s, thus making it the most revered amongst the bird symbols.
The Hawk, the Owl, and the Raven
The hawk is associated with occurrences such as rain, wind, thunder, and lightning and is sometimes referred to as a “thunderer.” They are believed to possess the capability to fly non-stop, watching over the people from the evil spirits of the air.
Owls are believed to be messengers that hail from the deepest and darkest realms and owl symbols convey warnings to people who have broken tribal taboos.
The raven signifies that danger has passed and that a period of abundance and security will follow. The hawk is believed to continuously fly and fight, protecting people from the evil spirits of the air.
Although the thunderbird is more part of myths and folklore, the Native American’s belief that spirits provide them with knowledge and protection didn’t stop them from worshipping this bird.
The thunderbird symbol is one of the most iconic Indian signs. Its name was derived from the belief that the flapping of its colossal wings causes thunder. They say that when it soars in the air, the wind gets stirred and the sound it churns is viewed by some tribes as an indication of war. The Native Americans also believed that this humongous bird could shoot lightning from its eyes.
Bird Symbolism in Art
I remember my first drawings of birds would always look like a stretched version of the McDonald’s logo. For painters of the Gothic, Early and High Renaissance eras, birds were part of a bountiful visual symbolism. A preening peacock, a playful finch, a hovering dove, a scheming vulture, a clever crow, a robin, an osprey – all are charmingly decorative to the average viewer.
Birds of every variety are prominently featured in artworks throughout Western art history. Byzantine, Gothic, and Early Renaissance paintings are brimmed with reflective and Christian symbolism regarding birds.
The finch symbolizes a winged soul returning to heaven.
The peacock symbolizes Christ’s Resurrection, everlasting life, and honesty. It can also represent being watchful as Christians. A white peacock symbolizes marriage, narcissism, vanity, and pride.
The pelican artwork is a mark of Jesus Christ. It is also a symbol of charity.
The raven symbolizes death and illness.
The sparrow represents the soul of a recently deceased loved one. A sparrow trapped in a cage symbolizes impending death.
A goose exemplifies simplicity, home, and a selfless soul.
The crow is a symbol of adultery and wicked thoughts. It is also believed to be the devil’s advocate, and it’s supposed to be Judas Iscariot if it’s carrying a silver material.
The dove represents the Holy Spirit. It can also represent a mystical messenger, peace, and innocence. It also symbolizes the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity as well as.
Pigeons embody self-indulgence and slothful ways.
The owl is a symbol of wisdom and witchcraft.
A white duck suggests the purity of the soul. A brown duck peering at a human figure denotes that the person may be possessed by an evil spirit or at the very least, is just bad to the bone. A white duck having a pool party with swans or other water birds often stands for the spread of Christianity.
The eagle is a symbol of Christ and rebirth by baptism.
The phoenix is an illustration of The Resurrection and eternity.
The cock symbolizes vigilance.
The martlet can be a representation of sinners returning to the fold.
A flying osprey signifies that demons are nearby. An Osprey at rest symbolizes Satan as he hunts for easily tempted people.
The vulture epitomizes greed, corruption, and power tripping.
A liberated robin indicates man’s deliverance from evil, while a caged robin signifies dismissal from God’s holy grace.
Bird Symbolism in Movies
Symbolism can be found in many films, the most talked and written about in cinema has been the appearance of birds in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 psychological horror Psycho.
We see birds of prey as well as docile birds, which, as the video essay explains, reveal Norman’s inner psychology. For Hitchcock, birds aren’t arbitrary; they are reflections of characters and representations of ideas. There is a war being waged within Norman’s psyche between his two identities: Norman the innocent son and Norman as his homicidal mother.
Symbolism is a great way of adding depth to your visual storytelling and there are countless films that do it right. So, if you want to learn more about how it’s used in filmmaking, pay attention to objects, colours, etc. that show up at least three times throughout the film (the rule of 3s)—chances are if it’s on-screen that frequently, the filmmakers are trying to draw attention to it in order to tell you something.
Birds in Psycho function to both foreshadow events as well as illuminate the depths of its characters. Hitchcock masterful paints Norman as a man torn between two identities and Marion as an unwitting and ultimately doomed character through the film’s bird motif — an eloquent and ingenious motif that makes an exceptional film even better.
Bird Symbolism in Different Cultures
Throughout history, people have recorded their interest in birds symbolism.
In certain cultures, birds have a high symbolic and spiritual meaning. Feathered war headgears were most favored by the Native Americans. The King of Swaziland and traditional Masai men wear multi-colored feathers as a show of strength.
The costumes used during the Carnavale in Brazil and on the catwalks of Paris are often trimmed with feathers. Ancient civilizations viewed birds as sacred and spiritual. Because they travel across the sky to numerous distant places, they have always been regarded as messengers and predictors of future events.
Animals were used in Ancient Egyptian religious art to exemplify the characteristics of the gods. The Egyptian God Horus was depicted with the head of a falcon because he was believed to be endowed with the mythical strengths and qualities of such strong birds of prey. They also believed that the bird symbol depicts the power of the soul leaving a person’s body.
In Greek mythology, the almighty Zeus was the boss of a giant golden eagle named Aetos Dios. The Greeks even invented the practice of reading the signs of the times through birds’ behavior called Ornithomancy.
Images of birds found on the walls of caves where our early ancestors first dwelt were often accompanied by men and depicted spiritual awakening in Greece and ancient Egypt.
Egyptian Bird Symbols were many in number and meant different things. Some of these included the ibis, the vulture, the buzzard, the falcon, the owl, the guinea-fowl, the flamingo, the stork, the quail, the heron, and even the ostrich. The Egyptians believed that birds are asked by higher beings to fetch and guide the soul of a dying person to its new manifestation after it reincarnates.
In China, they put their faith in the belief that when a person dies, his soul will take the form of a bird to fly up to the heavens. The ancient Chinese philosophy Taoism believes that a three-legged red crow that lives in the sun stands for the Great Triad which is the three great powers of being: Man, Heaven, and Earth.
Native Americans assigned a variety of roles for birds in their mythology. One of these roles includes being messengers from the Creator, as well as being the bridge between man and the spirit guides.
The Abenaki deity named ‘Kisosen’ which translates to ‘Sun-Bringer’ was portrayed as an eagle and that it denotes daytime when it spreads its wings, and the night when it closes them. They also swear by the belief that the spirit eagle Wad-zoo-sen creates wind whenever it flaps its colossal wings.
The Romans believed that when birds fly from east to west they are most often preceded by success in both personal and professional life.
The Maoris of New Zealand perceived that the birdman, strewn around the island, is the all-seeing being with strength and bravery.
The Celtics of Scotland believed in the spiritual symbolism that birds are messengers of the gods and that ravens and wrens are blessed with magical powers.
In the Old Testament, it was a dove that Noah sent out to see if the waters had receded after the flood.
For centuries, birds have symbolized life, death, the future, the past, and countless other signs. Bird symbols are all around us. From automobile and sports team names, paintings and sculptures, birds have been well integrated into different cultures. Birds have played various roles in folklore, religion, and pop culture.
Birds are just an amazing, multi-faceted, and oftentimes mystical breed. No amount of belief in, marks and symbolism will ever be enough to represent these awesome, majestic creatures. All we can really do is to keep believing that we too can fly.
Dead Bird in a Dream
An omen, in most cases, foretell the future and signifies an advent of change. For instance, if you find a dead bird hit in the road, you may feel as if it is a bad sign. Running into a dead organism is not pleasing anyway. Along these lines, people get nervous whenever they encounter a dead bird dream and start looking for omens associated with the experience. The meaning they find and the dream interpretation they get often worries them more. However, just as some communities believe, the death of a bird symbolizes the end of something you no longer need and signifies the end of a specific thing and marks the beginning of another.
Bird Tattoo Meaning / Symbolism
Bird tattoos are popular due to their beauty and the particular stories behind each species but tucked under their colourful wings lie hidden meanings and special messages. What is the meaning behind different bird tattoos or what bird symbolism can you use to express your own personal identity (tattoos have always been used as a means of identification)? Did you know that goldfinches appear in dreams and that a raven is an ancient omen of death? Birds are used throughout history to convey emotions, foresee prophecies, and guide people to safety. They also come in a wide variety of shapes, colours, and designs. Let’s dive into what tale each of these birds has to share and what bird tattoo is just right for you! Learn more about bird tattoo meanings here.
Nazi Bird Symbol
The iconic Nazi bird symbol is one of the most well-known pieces of Third Reich iconography. Used throughout the Third Reich in both official documentation and civilian patriotic symbolism, it became one of Nazi Germany’s most recognizable visual motifs. Taking its origins in the historic German eagle, the Third Reich design grew in prominence alongside the party itself, eventually becoming part of the official national symbolism and being used on buildings and emblems across the territory ruled and administered by the Nazi Party. The Nazi bird symbol is rather different to what modern Germany stands for today but its similarities with the historic German eagle can, however, be a cause of confusion and as with most Nazi-era symbols and icons, it is extremely controversial to use in a non-academic environment today.
What does it mean when a bird poops on you?
One of the most annoying occurrences in our day to day life is encountering bird poop. It can be a real nuisance if you get bird poop on your head while you are on your way to the office or a party. You also would not like the sight of your car covered in bird poop. So, what does it mean when a bird poops on you?
According to Turkish culture, it is believed that bird poop is a sign of good luck. It is supposed to bring prosperity and riches. In fact, Russian culture also has a mention of this superstition and believes in the luck factor associated with bird poop. Now you might concur that this belief of bird poop bringing luck is a way of cheering yourself on a bad day. It is just a way of consoling yourself when you find your favourite dress tainted with bird poop. Well, to a large extent many people take this as a reason to feel good after a bird drops its blessings on them.