Oriole Symbolism: What These Beautiful Birds Represent Spiritually

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Oriole Symbolism

Do all birds of the same species sing the same? Not the oriole. Male oriole songs vary greatly from one another, making them a symbol of individuality.

These birds are small, bright, fruit-loving birds that hold great symbolism in their appearance, behavior, and cultural associations. Follow along for a dive into the Oriole’s more profound meaning. 

Key Points

  • Orioles are colorful birds found in many parts of the world. They are small in size but have a lot of interesting qualities that set them apart from other birds. 
  • These birds are recorded throughout history in Chinese culture, Native American folklore, and the Bible. While most of their symbolism is based on theory, they have definitely made an impact on humanity. 
  • Orioles have also been used as symbols for spirit animals and totems. Having these birds for your spirit animal helps guide you through expressing your inner truth. At the same time, having the oriole as your animal totem makes you a unique individual. 

Breakdown of orioles in the US

Oriole spiritual symbolism

Oriole birds enjoy the sweetness of life, have a unique voice, are very bright, and are very selective. 

Life’s Sweetness

Oriole birds primarily feast on delicious fruits such as oranges, mulberries, and blackberries. While they also eat small insects, they’re most commonly found scavenging fruit farms and drinking at nectar feeders. 

An oriole may appear to remind you to enjoy the sweetness of life or anything that brings you joy. If you’ve invested too much time in your career, or the basic commitments and obligations you have, make time to relax, eat delicious food, and spend time with friends. 

oriole on tree branch


Male oriole songs sound quite different from individual birds. These birds represent our voices’ importance and remind us that everyone’s voice matters. 

If you’ve struggled to find your voice recently, the oriole encourages you to start speaking your truth and living in your authenticity. 


The plumage of orioles comes in orange, yellow, black, and white. Seeing one dart through the sky looks like a ray of light overhead. 

Seeing these birds reminds you of your own brightness, the light that shines from within. You have a way of lighting up a room and helping others come out of their darkness. 

oriole feeding

Be selective

When it comes to food, Orioles are very selective and won’t even eat the birdseed you put out in the yard! They prefer nectar and sweet fruits left out for them as a treat. 

Be selective, just like the Oriole! You may see one of these beautiful birds if you haven’t set strong boundaries in some area of your life. Maybe you let people into your life that you shouldn’t, or you take on more work than you can comfortably do.

Oriole symbolism in different cultures

Orioles have been found in many parts of the world and are favored for their beautiful appearance. 

Native American culture

The Hopi tribe is known for associating the Oriole with guardianship. They believed that these birds were guardians of the north and associated with the air (sky). 

These birds likely have this association due to their migration patterns which are towards the northern regions. Other tribes also associated Orioles with humility and believed they were a reminder of modesty and acceptance. 


In the Native American story, Gift to the Hummingbird, an Oriole is depicted as a tailor and engineer who helps to create a wedding gown for the hummingbird’s big day. A group of animals gathers together to assist the hummingbird, depicting the Oriole bird as a kind and giving being. 

The Bible

While Orioles aren’t named specifically in the Bible, the book does reference songbirds, which Orioles fall under. Many followers of the Bible like to associate Orioles in texts where birds are referenced, like here; 

“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” Matthew 6:26

bible oriole meaning

In Christianity, these birds have also been a sign of hope and positive times on the horizon. Many believe that seeing one of these birds fly overhead was a message from God, that he is watching over them, guiding them towards better times. 

Chinese culture

During the Ming Dynasty, high-ranking officials often wore an image of the Oriole, especially the Black-napped Oriole. These birds were viewed as honorable, noble beings and greatly admired by Chinese people during this time. 

They also had many names for these birds, highlighting their beautiful bright feathers. The golden appearance of these birds made them an important symbol and was very respected. 

oriole chinese symbolism

While there are many species of these birds in China, each of them holds its own special traits that the people who live there cherish. 

Oriole spirit animal and totem symbolism

A spirit animal acts as a spiritual guide that helps you along your journey, and a totem is an animalistic energy assigned to you, your family, and an individual group. 

Oriole spirit Animal

If the Oriole is your spirit animal, it may appear in your life during times when you struggle with lower-level emotions or thoughts to help guide you towards the light again. A lesson you may face in your lifetime is learning to find sweetness when everyone seems to only be tainted. 

oriole spirit animal

The Oriole spirit animal will also come into your life to help you find a chance of perspective. These birds can help inspire you to tap into your creativity to help find new solutions to your challenges and obstacles. 

Oriole totem animal

If the Oriole is your totem animal, you are a unique individual, often feeling different than the people in your life. Your differences are what make you special, and people appreciate these interesting characteristics about you. 

oriole totem animal

Your unique energy positively affects others, and it’s part of how you manage to find success in your life. In times of trouble, the Oriole may appear to help you embrace what makes you different and use your differences as your strengths. 

For more information on the Oriole, check out this video!


More about the oriole

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Author: Richard Alois
Richard, a London-based spiritual explorer and daytime marketer, invites fellow seekers to join him on a journey of discovery through his website, richardalois.com. With engaging articles and thought-provoking discussions, Richard's inclusive approach transcends borders, uniting people in the quest for wisdom, inner peace, and self-understanding.

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