Bird Symbols: What Are The Spiritual Meanings Of Birds?

So, you want to learn more about bird symbols, huh?

Maybe you’re wondering what is the spiritual meaning of birds?

Or what bird is a symbol of hope?

Well, now you can learn all of this plus much more below in our guide…


Why Bird Symbols Are Important

Throughout history, birds have been used as symbols representing human life, the connection between heaven and earth, as well as good and bad omens.

People often believe that seeing a certain bird either in real life or in their dreams is a message from above.

Birds have also been used by artists and writers to convey different messages in their works. The bible also uses bird symbolism to represent different meanings through its parables. 

In general, all birds symbolize freedom because they have the ability and the freedom to roam the earth and fly in the skies.

When birds are seen in dreams they are good omens – life, rebirth, intelligence, peace, hope, love, and so much more. 


19 Powerful Bird Symbols Explained

1. Eagles

Eagles represent many symbols, most recognizably are freedom and independence.

There are over eight countries that use one or more eagles on their national flag, including the United States, Mexico, and Egypt.

Naturally, eagles are good omens and are seen as a symbol of power and victory. 

American Indians consider eagles to be sacred, this includes their feathers, so they treat eagles with the utmost respect.

Other meanings for eagles include: courage, strength, truth, honesty, wisdom, and prosperity. 


2. Phoenix

The phoenix, a mythical bird from ancient Greece and ancient Egypt, is a bird that represents renewed life.

In stories about the phoenix, the bird is known to have a long life and a connection with the sun. When the phoenix dies by fire it is said to rise from its ashes after 500 years. 

In dreams, the phoenix can represent overcoming adversity through aggression. This bird is not only a good omen, but it means a fresh start, transformation, an undefeatable spirit, and immortality.

It is widely recognized across many cultures and numerous mythologies. 


3. Raven

Ravens scavenge for their food, often from rotting, dead meat. They are also all black.

Some people believe this means that the raven has a negative connotation; however, not all people agree with this assessment because it is seen as a messenger when talking in dreams. 

When viewed as a bad omen the raven represents sickness and death. When viewed as a good omen the raven represents communication, guidance and wisdom. 

Ancient Romans and Greeks believed that the raven meant wisdom and light. They often associated the raven with Athena, Apollo, and the sun – despite the dark feathers.

Chinese and Japanese cultures also associated the raven with the sun, but they believed the raven to be a messenger. 

Intelligence, intuitiveness, and intelligence were all attributes given to the raven in Norse mythology. Many African cultures believe the raven to be a guide or a giver of guidance. 


4. Owls

Owls are nocturnal animals by nature which means their senses are heightened in the dark and at nighttime.

The owl’s abilities to see, fly, and hunt effectively in the dark often connotes magical powers and mystery. 

Colleges and schools use the owl as a symbol of knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom.

These symbols may sound positive and good; however, in many cultures, the owl is a bad omen that brings destruction and death. 


5. Cuckoos

Have you ever heard the sound that a cuckoo bird makes? What about the sound of a cuckoo clock?

This infamous sound is said to convey the message that you should stop and pay attention to what is happening around you.

What is being said, or not said? It can even serve as a warning that something bad may happen, but give you the opportunity to change your future through your actions. 

The direction of the cuckoo bird’s sound makes a difference whether it is a good or bad omen. If the sound is heard from the right good fortune may be on the horizon; whereas if the sound is heard from the left there is impending doom. 


6. Cranes

Cranes are usually a symbol of healing and rebirth. When someone sees a crane or dreams about a crane good fortune is projected and they are associated with good omens.

In Asian cultures, cranes have long been used as a symbol of hope, health, happiness, and good fortune.

The Japanese believe that if you fold 1,000 paper origami cranes, then your wish will come true.

The wishes made are typically for some type of healing or health. 


7. Doves

Doves are believed to be gentle, peaceful, and loving creatures. They are often depicted carrying olive branches, a symbol for peacemaking.

Doves are a good omen, meaning representing deep personal peace or the clearing of one’s troubled mind. They are found across many cultures and religions, most of which carry the same meaning.  


8. Storks

Storks are birds with longer than average lifespans. They symbolize a long life, a mother’s love, and good luck. When seen, it is a good omen. 

Storks are often viewed as the deliverers of babies, thus representing a mother’s love; however, it symbolizes different things to different people.

For example, when fishermen see a stork they believe they will be blessed with a prosperous catch. This is because the stork catches their food by diving underwater to catch their fish. 


9. Magpie

Unlike other birds, the Magpie has largely varying symbols and meaning. It can also represent good and bad omens.

In some cultures, like the Chinese, these birds are associated with fortune and happiness – including marital happiness.

It is often seen as a good omen that represents love. 

Native Americans and Romans believe the Magpie to be a symbol of reasoning powers, changing perception, and intellect.

It can be seen as a bad omen representing deception. 


10. Bluebird

The beautiful bluebird has many positive symbols. It is often associated with joy, hope, awakening, and future happiness. 

When bluebirds are seen they are good omens that mean happiness is forthcoming.

Sometimes bluebirds represent innocence, modesty, and hard work. They often serve as a reminder to view and enjoy the nature around you. 


11. Blackbird

Blackbirds represent beauty, intelligence, and wisdom.

Even though they are dark in color, they are believed to be a good omen, representing protection and safe passage. 

Some people associate blackbirds with humor and wit because the birds are so intelligent that they can be viewed as tricky.

Rarely with people associate blackbirds with death. 


12. Bluejay

Blue jays are known to be aggressive birds when they are protecting a nest full of babies.

They will divebomb anyone or anything that gets too close, no matter how large.

For this reason, blue jays are a symbol of both fearlessness and protection.

These birds are good omens that represent safety. If you see a blue jay in your dreams or white out walking around you may also be reminded to be independent and determined.  


13. Condor

The condor, king of all birds, is symbolic of leadership, wisdom, justice, and goodness. These birds are depicted in art and widely respected in many South American countries as well as Native American tribes. 

Condors are good omens when seen in real life that represent clear thinking and vision; however, when condors are seen in dreams they are bad omens that represents lying. 


14. Cardinal

Cardinals, beautiful red birds, are symbols of faithfulness and loyalty.

They are considered to be good omens representing good fortune.

Many Christian faiths associate the red feathers of the cardinal with the blood of Jesus Christ.

This, in turn, gives the message of God’s everlasting love.  


15. Crow

Crows, like blackbirds, are intelligent birds that are often considered to be pranksters.

Unlike ravens though, crows are often a symbol for death and are a bad omen representing bad luck.

Unlike the majority of believers who think that the crow represents darkness and death, in Greek mythology the crow represents the strength of the spirit and can represent ancestors, thus it is a good omen. 


16. Falcon

Falcons are strong hunters that symbolize vision, protection, and wisdom.

They represent succeeding by adapting while going through difficult times or situations.

Additionally, they are said to rise above difficult times and are representations of good omens. 

In wartime, falcons are symbols of victory and strength.

When seen in dreams they can carry messages, so if you see one you should take some time to be introspective and reflect on yourself.  


17. Flamingo

Flamingos are beautiful birds with bright colored feathers. They are a symbol of balance, grace, and beauty. They may also be a symbol of relaxation and guidance. 

If a flamingo appears in your dream they are though to be telling you to let go of emotions that you have been holding onto.

When seen in real life they not only mean to release those emotions, but also mean to have fun, relax, and enjoy life.

They are seen as good omens across cultures. 


18. Goose

Like blue jays, geese can be very aggressive birds, even towards humans.

On the positive side, they are a symbol of fearlessness and bravery, though they do have a negative connotation, too. 

Geese are often believed to be omens of laziness; however, they are seldom thought to bring this bad omen to people.

Geese are loyal to each other, so when you see a goose you should think not of laziness, but of a sense of purpose and devotion. 


19. Hummingbird

Hummingbirds are extraordinary birds.

These tiny creatures are known for their ability to move incredibly fast.

They are a symbol of love, joy, and good luck. 

Native Americans believe that these birds are healers and deliverers of love.

In Central America, people who see a hummingbird are said to be blessed with love and the love of another.

They are a good omen that represents love. 


FAQs:

What is the spiritual meaning of birds?

Generally speaking, the spiritual meaning of birds is most commonly associated with freedom.

Unlike humans, birds have the ability to fly freely.

They can be found throughout history in ancient mythology, in religious works such as the bible, works of art such as paintings, and used to convey meaning or symbols in writings across cultures. 


What bird is a symbol of hope?

Even though a dove is most commonly known for being a symbol of peace, it is also a symbol of hope. Sparrows are also birds that are a symbol of hope. 


What is the bird that represents death?

There are many birds that can represent death; however, these same birds can also mean rebirth, renewal, or the afterlife. 

The birds that are most commonly associated with death include: the phoenix, crows, owls, ravens, and blackbirds. Just because these birds are associated with death as a symbol, the do not necessarily convey a bad omen.

While some of the birds do convey a bad omen, other convey both good and bad, or just good. 

As previously mentioned, the phoenix has a good omen representing renewal.

Ravens and blackbirds are sometimes believed to represent death; however, they each have good omens, too. Owls and crows are typically bad omens associated with death 


What do three birds symbolize?

A Rooster (left), Parrots (middle), and Pigeons (right)

Three additional birds and their symbols include:

  1. Rooster – this bird has two opposite symbols. The first is rising with the sun and awakening, both literal and spiritually.

    In Celtic and Norse cultures the rooster is a symbol of the underworld and afterlife; whereas in Asian cultures they are sacred symbols of luck.
  2. Parrots – these birds represent beauty, expression, and happiness. They are often used as a good omen for celebration.

    The next time you see a parrot, be reminded about your inner beauty, the beauty of things around you, as well as your future happiness.
  3. Pigeon – like the hummingbird, pigeons represent love and like the dove, pigeons represent peace.

    They are believed to be understanding and kind. Pigeons, especially white ones have been used across cultures in various ceremonies for ages.