The Hidden Meanings of Seagull Symbolism Revealed

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seagull symbolism

Ever wondered why seagulls soar freely above the ocean’s expanse? Their symbolism goes beyond mere freedom. Seagulls, intriguingly, embody a blend of attributes – from hope to luck, protection to commitment.

In this article, we’ll delve into the rich tapestry of seagull symbolism, revealing insights that might just change how you view these birds. Stay with us, there’s more to these feathered creatures than meets the eye!

“Eagles are seagulls with a good hairdo.”

– Douglas Coupland

Key Takeaways

  • Seagulls symbolize protection, commitment, freedom, hope, and luck.
  • In dreams, seagulls represent swift changes and emotional separation.
  • Seagulls hold different symbolic meanings across various cultures.

What Do Seagulls Symbolize?

Seagulls soar in the infinite blue skies as they remind us of their existence’s powerful seagull spiritual meaning and symbolism. These intelligent birds have an affinity to coastlines, making it seem that they are unrestrained and unrestricted; they symbolize protection, commitment, freedom, and hope.


Bird watchers who flock near oceans, lakes, and rivers are familiar with the sight of these resourceful birds. Their taste for fish, squid and shellfish prompts them to build their nests on the softest spot on the sand, using grass, logs, and rocks to fortify and protect themselves.

A seagull’s ability to build nests reminds us of the need for self-preservation. Make time to protect your energy, mind, and emotions, and let go of anything infringing upon your safety. 

seagull on post


Seagulls are known to stay loyal to a single mate for life, which makes them an ideal symbol of bonds, warmth, and devotion. 

These creatures of excellence are a representation of true love, soulmates, and the power of opening up your heart to your loved ones. 


This bird of flight is often seen hovering together over the coastline, soaring through the Indio skies, and searching for their next meal.

The seagull spiritual meaning us of our own freedom and urge us to tap into our own “flight,” which can be represented by spending fun times with loved ones in a state of joy; or any activity that allows us to try to let go

seagull spiritual meaning

“When you are alone, bless the solitude; when you are with someone, bless the togetherness! Think of the seagull: It flies alone happily; it flies with another happily too! Solitude is a food; togetherness is a food; man needs both and he must be happy with both!”

– Mehmet Murat Ildan


A seagull sighting is an exhilarating experience. As they spread their wings, their white feathers resembled those of an angel. 

The seagull’s angelic presence is a sign of hope and a reminder to continue forward regardless of the challenges or setbacks you’ve experienced. 


The bird of luck (also check birds of bad luck) refers to seeing a seagull, which means you are about to receive favorable news. If you happen to see seagulls recently, it’s a great time to go after your desires!

seagull closeup

The seagull as a spirit animal

A spirit animal is a guide that helps teach you different life lessons, and a totem animal is animalistic energy assigned to a person. 

Spirit animal

Individuals with a seagull spirit animal often exhibit the following qualities:

  1. Intelligence: They are clever and resourceful, able to approach problems from unique angles.
  2. Adaptability: They thrive in various situations and environments, demonstrating flexibility and resilience.
  3. Freedom-loving: They value personal freedom and independence, often seeking new experiences.
  4. Perseverance: They are relentless in their pursuits, not easily deterred by challenges.
  5. Spiritual: They may have a deep connection with the spiritual realm, often exploring life’s deeper meanings.
seagul in fligth

Totem animal

Individuals with a seagull totem animal often exhibit the following qualities:

  1. Adaptability: They are highly adaptable, able to adjust to different situations and environments with ease.
  2. Natural Talent: They often possess unique skills or abilities that set them apart from others.
  3. Adventurous: They are not afraid to step outside their comfort zone and seek new experiences.
  4. Fearlessness: They are brave and often seek adrenaline-fueled experiences.
  5. Cultural Curiosity: They have a taste for learning about new cultures and broadening their horizons.
seagull screaming

The symbolic meaning of the seagull in different cultures

The seagull soars from one end of the earth to the other. This awesome bird has spread its wing’s over the skies of many areas and cultures all over the world.

Follow along to hear about the seagull symbolism in Celtic, Roman, Christian, and American cultures.

Celtic culture

An Irish tale based in ancient times follows a young boy who was without a family. He became jealous of a father and his daughters and called to the sea to steal the daughters from the land. 

Because of these difficult times, the dad became distraught, causing the boy to realize the harm that he had caused. He turned the girls into seagulls so they could live on both water and land. 

Irish folklore is also known for having a large variety of deities. There’s a god associated with the sea who’s said to be able to transform between the ocean and a seagull. 

The God, Aengus, was a God of love and seduction. Seagulls are often depicted as flying around his being continuous, symbolizing his connection and the everlasting love that he has to give.

“You do not ask a tame seagull why it needs to disappear from time to time toward the open sea. It goes, that’s all.”

– Bernard Moitessier

Roman culture

In recent years, seagulls have made their mark on the city of Rome. These coastal birds have become a nuisance, searching for food and disrupting the city.

Their population hadn’t always been as big as it is today, and the Romans were unsuccessful in finding a solution. Seagulls are protected under Italian Law, making it illegal for common people to exterminate the birds.

There are even reports of these birds attacking the Pope’s doves (however, the seagull is notoriously attacking humans as well). A specific crow is the only known threat to the Rome seagulls, but even so, their population is more abundant than ever.

romantic seagull

In Rome, the seagull spiritual meaning was a sign that someone or something would return to you. This belief likely stems from how gulls and other sea birds fly high up into the sky and then suddenly dive back down to catch their prey. 

American culture

In 1846, in Salt Lake City, the people of Utah’s crops were threatened by an extreme infestation of crickets. Thousands of these insects ate away at their crops for two consecutive years. 

Spirit Animal Seagull

The Mormons were at a loss, not knowing how they could combat the bugs and save their crop. Luckily, a swam of seagulls flew into the city two years later and saved the day. 

The seagulls ate all of the crickets and saved the rest of the crops for the Mormon people. In modern times, this event is referred to as the ‘Miracle of the Gulls‘; the day seagulls saved the early Utah pioneers. 

interacting seagulls

“When it blows here, even the seagulls walk.”

– Nick Faldo

Christian culture

The seagull meaning in the Bible is one of abomination. In Deuteronomy 14:11-18, the Lord told Moses to educate the Israeli people on many rules.

One rule was that seagulls, along with a wide variety of other animals, should not be eaten. Seagulls were considered one of the dirtiest birds in nature and were not to be consumed under any circumstances. 

Because seagulls are able to soar through the heights of the sky, while swooping quickly down to the earth, Christian’s believed that they were sent to watch over and protect God’s people. 

seagulls at the beach

Native American culture

In certain Native American cultures, the seagull was a symbol of power and messengers of the spirit realm. Northwest Coast tribes believed that the seagulls held tremendous power.

These tribes considered the bird a conductor of storms, being able to create and control the weather at their will.

Many Native American tribes used the seagull symbolism as a symbol on their totem poles. This bird’s energy was likely very well respected and honored by these tribes.

Seagull Meaning: Cultural Overview

CultureSymbolic MeaningExplanation
CelticTransformation, LoveSeagulls in Celtic culture are associated with transformation and love, often linked to deities of the sea.
RomanReturnIn Rome, seagulls are seen as a sign of return, likely due to their behavior of flying high and then diving down to catch prey.
ChristianProtectionIn Christian culture, seagulls are seen as protectors, believed to watch over and safeguard God’s people.
AmericanMiraclesIn American culture, particularly in Utah, seagulls are associated with miracles, as they once saved crops from a cricket infestation.
Native AmericanPower, Spiritual MessengersIn Native American cultures, seagulls are seen as powerful beings and messengers of the spirit realm, often depicted on totem poles.
native american seagull

The meaning of dreaming of seagulls

The seagull spiritual meaning in dreams often represents swiftness, change, and separation. 

Fast changes

Seagulls can fly up to 30MPH. A seagull spirit animal may appear in your dream when you’re on the brink of life-changing very quickly. The spirit guide comes to help give you a head start. 

Separation and heartbreak

Seagulls are known to mate with only one partner in their lifetime. A dead gull may appear in your dream when you feel a sense of separation from someone or when you’re going through a heartbreak

Seagull spiritual meaning in literature

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a 1970 novel, narrates the extraordinary journey of an ordinary seagull. Jonathan, unlike his flock, aspires to master flight rather than merely scavenging.

His solitary practice sessions aim to transform him into a soaring marvel. This tale parallels Jesus Christ’s story, where an ordinary being uncovers extraordinary abilities, inspiring a following.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull 18th (eightteenth)...
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Jonathan’s journey culminates in him becoming a divine spirit, a testament to his relentless pursuit. The story, while open to interpretation, universally resonates with the theme of passion-driven perseverance.

It’s not just about self-sacrifice or selflessness; it’s about overcoming adversity, embracing individuality, and earning one’s wings through relentless effort. Jonathan Livingston Seagull’s story is a beacon of hope for those willing to push their boundaries.

richard bach seagull

At the end of the seagull’s journey, his wondrous deed provides him with incredible abilities that turn him into a divine spirit. Although there are many interpretations of this story, most people would agree that exploring our passions and goals drive us to strive harder and encourage us to achieve them.

dreaming of seagulls

A flock of seagulls symbolism

No doubt, seeing a flock of birds is always nice and quite a sight. Known to be socially adept, they are often seen hunting in unison, which represents a flock of seagulls’ ability to adapt to a range of situations.

Their capacity to fair well on both land and water enables these wondrous birds to enjoy the best of both worlds. A seagull’s courage and cunningness may act as a strong motivation for you to drift away from your comfort zone.

However, they also remind us that if you decide to leave the flock, you should do so in a controlled manner in order not to jeopardize the safety and productivity of the group.

Flock Of Seagulls Symbolism


Seagulls are special birds, often associated with the heavens, the divine, and embracing your personal freedom. Flying in many parts of the world, the seagull symbolism has been considered a powerful symbol throughout many different cultures and folklore throughout time.

The next time you see one of these ivory birds flying overhead, try to figure out why they’ve made an appearance in your life.

In case you’re interested, we also compared the Seagull vs. Albatross in a post.

What is seagull symbolism?

Seagull symbolism is the interpretation of the spiritual and symbolic meanings associated with seagulls. These birds symbolize protection, commitment, freedom, hope, and luck.

What does a seagull symbolize in dreams?

In dreams, seagulls often represent swift changes and separation. They may appear when life is about to change rapidly or during times of heartbreak and emotional separation.

What is the significance of a flock of seagulls?

A flock of seagulls symbolizes adaptability and social adeptness. They represent the ability to thrive in various situations and the balance between individual freedom and group safety.

What is the seagull spirit animal?

The seagull spirit animal is a guide that teaches lessons about intelligence, adaptability, and viewing challenges from different angles. It symbolizes the transition between life and death and encourages exploration of new experiences.


[Video] Meaning of the Bird – A Seagull Documentary

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Author: Cynthia Demers
Cynthia is dealing with animals' symbolism and all things spiritual for many years. She wants to help readers achieve balance in physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband.

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