Bird Symbolism

Bird symbolism is a phenomenon that has been with man from time immemorial. There is a common belief that birds mean more than just birds. Some people believe that they convey spiritual meaning that is significant to their lives. Some people believe that certain birds have symbolic meanings and relationships with the sun, time, the soul, ability to do things, etc.

Table of Contents

In some cultures, seeing certain birds in your dreams can mean good fortune, bad omen, long life, or death. Bird symbolism different with locations. In some parts of the world, some a bird may have a good meaning while in some other places, it may be a symbol of a bad omen. But what do birds symbolize?

Giving their ability to fly and roam freely between the heaven and earth, birds are commonly associated with freedom, power, and peace. To some people birds are the connection between heaven and earth.

What do birds symbolize in ancient mythology?

In ancient mythology, birds represent different things and notions. Bird symbols can be positive or negative, even within a culture. Some bird mythology have it that birds like the cardinal are guides from ancestors from the beyond. If you see a cardinal in your dream, they believe that you are secured and keep safe by it.

Some bird symbols are negative. Some have magical and supernatural affiliation with them like the Phoenix and the sun. Sometimes, bird species have different meaning assigned to them. Some of these ancient symbols still retain their meaning today. Some traditions have these birds as spirit animal or totems.

What do birds symbolize in the Bible?

In the Bible, different birds are mentioned and they represent different meaning. For instance, there is the mention of the dove, eagle, heron, bat, ostrich, pelican, etc.

At different occasions, these birds represent different things. Some of these animals may have positive meanings and others not. For instance, the eagle is seen as unique and strong.

Birds and their symbolisms


The eagle has always been a symbol of good omen. Its symbolism is always positive. The eagle is commonly believed to symbolize independence, freedom, victory, and power. In some cultures, the eagle represents courage, wisdom, strength, and prosperity.

The eagle has known to symbolize purpose and opportunities. So, if someone has been denied a thing or has lost an opportune, seeing an eagle means there is still hope. It means that one has strong focus and a sense of purpose.

The eagle is always associated with good things. This is why some countries have it in their national flags; counties like Egypt, the United States, and Mexico. Nigeria has the eagle in its coat of arm. It represents strength.

Bird symbolism

American Indians consider the eagle a valuable animal and treats it with care, love, and respect. For some individuals, having the eagle as a totem implies having some qualities including freedom and the ability to be focused. In some traditions, they are known to be deep thinkers and willful.

If you see an eagle in your dream, it is believed to have different interpretations. Depending on the nature of the dream, it can mean that you are moving higher, above your situation. If the eagle soar higher above you in the dream, some traditions believe that it is a symbol of communication with higher powers.


Ravens are omnivorous and carnivorous. Given that they are scavengers and eat dead meat, some associate them with death, violence, and sickness. However, some people see Ravens as symbolic of wisdom, communication, light, intelligence, and guidance.

Ancient Greeks and Romans see the Raven as a symbol of light and wisdom. In Japanese and Chinese cultures, Ravens are associated with the sun and are regarded as messengers.

Bird symbolism

In Hindus, so much respect is accorded the Raven to the extent that it is seen as a symbol of the happiness of a departed soul. So, if someone dies, they will prepare his or her favorite food for Ravens and crows. If a raven eats it or touches it, it means the departed one is happy. It also means the departed one will test in peace.

In the native American culture, they hold the Raven in high esteem. They believe that it is symbol of a shapeshifter. They believe that it bears messengers from the beyond and where everything begins and ends.

They also believe that the Raven has the power to heal people even from distances. The native elders believe that raven have the power to encourage someone to go into deeper realms. They associate the Raven with magic and uses its magic powers as black magic.

In the Hebrides, there is the belief that if a child has his first drink from the skull of a raven, such child will have the the powers to prophesy and also become wise. In Celtic culture, raven symbolizes war. In Wales, raven is regarded as a symbol of prophesy and protection.

When one sees a raven in their dreams, there are different interpretations to it. These interpretations depend on the nature of the dream and how the person sees the animal. If someone dreams of hunting Ravens, some cultures believe that such a person is making profit through dubious means.

Some traditions believe that if a raven falls in a person, he will no more find thieves. Some cultures believe that an individual will get money from thieves if the individual dreams of eating Raven’s flesh.

There are really spiritual meaning attached to Ravens. If one dreams of Ravens close to their doors or windows, it is a symbol of death or getting involved in a serious crime. A darker meaning is one seeing raven perching in their heads or in someone’s head. Since raven usually are known to lurk near the dying, seeing lurking near someone like that means the person will die.

Ravens have been associated with some omens, both good and bad. If a raven croaks, some cultures believe that it foretells death. Some believe that just seeing the Raven means death. Meanwhile, in some cultures, the Raven represents transformation. The meanings attached to Ravens differ from culture to culture. In Great Britain, it is a bad omen to find several Ravens around a church but it is a good sign when there is a dead raven on the road.


The Phoenix is considered to be a mythical bird from the times of ancient Greece and Egypt. This bird is associated with the sun and seen as a symbol of longevity and immortality. It is believed that if the Phoenix dies by fire, it can arise from its ashes after 500 years.

Some people believe that if you see the Phoenix in the dream or real life, it is a good omen. It is a believed to represent transformation and a new beginning. It is believed that Phoenix birds represent victory through aggression and an undefeatable spirit, just like the sun. It features across may cultures and mythologies.

In some cultures, there is the belief that if you see the Phoenix in your dreams, you will have the courage to rise rise up to situations and confront them boldly same way the sun rises after each night. Seeing the Phoenix in your dream means longevity, transformation, and immortality.

The spiritual meaning of the Phoenix is believed to be resurrection and death. Some people who have the Phoenix as their totem hold it in high esteem and admiration. They believe that it is sacred and relates them to the sun.


The owl is often seen as a mystical, mysterious, and magical animal. Naturally, owl are nocturnal birds and can perform in the dark uninhibited. People have seen these birds as having magical powers because they have the ability to fly hunt, and see clearly in the dark.

Some cultures have quite a negative take on owls. In these cultures, owls are seen as bad omen. If the owl visits an area, some people believe that it will leave in its trail death, destruction, harm, and sorrow. Seeing the black owl is considered a bad omen. It is symbolic of death, wailings, and pains in some traditions.

Conversely, some schools adopt the owl as its symbol of knowledge and wisdom. In some cultures, white symbolizes endurance and wisdom. It is believed to be symbolic of wisdom.

Bird symbolism

In native American mythology, the owl is believed to accompany the dead on their ways to the afterlife. This explains why the hooting of owls is a bad omen. It is associated with the call of death.

In some of these tribes, there is the belief that the owl is on an errand from their dead ancestors when they encounter them. The tribal belief is that their ancestors have sent these animals to warn them about those diverting from their tribal ways and breaking long-held beliefs and ways of life. In Celtic mythology, the owl is an animal with such qualities as honour, knowledge, truth and a warrior. They regard the owl as an efficient messenger and an animal which knows all the ways, even to the underworld.

If you see an owl in your dreams, there is the belief that the owl is warning you if an imminent betrayal or deception. Some believe that if you an owl appears in your dream, the meaning will be determined by the circumstances of the dream. This includes how the owl is and the breed of owl you that appears in your dream.

For instance, seeing a single owl in your dream is associated with a warning to be conscious of your environment and see things in a deeper level. If it is several owls at a time, it is associated with receiving several advise from others. The usual advise is to follow the advice.

Some cultures believe that seeing a black owl in your dream means spiritual awakening. Conversely, a flying owl symbolizes problems. A deadly owl in your dream means death. It means either the dreamer or his or her relative will die. If one sees a a barn owl, he or she is believed to have financial advancement in the nearest future. Someone who sees a true owl is believed to be struggling with insomnia.

Some cultures often associate individuals who have the owl as their totem with good qualities including intuition. They believe that if these people are devoted and persistent in their activities, they will achieve most and better deal with the people they meet.

Many women and men tattoo the owl in different parts of their bodies. This is because they believe in the symbols the owl represent. The owl is symbolic if knowledge and wisdom.

Blue Jay

The blue Jay is known to be aggressive animals when protecting their nests with their young ones. These birds are ready to attract any intruder irrespective of their statue or nature. This attribute if fearlessness and protection has been associated with the blue jay bird.

From a spiritual standpoint, people see the blue jay as symbolizing protection and safety. So, if they see a blue jay in the dream or real world, they associate it with safety.

Bird symbolism

The blue jay is a North American bird. It is popular in native American myths. In some tribes, there is the belief that the blue jay is related to the raven. They believe that the blue jay is not an animal to be trusted, even though it is beautiful.

In some of these tribes, the blue jay is associated with deceit and jealousy. They see them as arrogant and noisy. There is a common belief among the elders that there is a jealous person in the house if you encounter bllue Jays around the house. Dreaming of the blue has several meanings. Some cultures hold that of you see the blue jay in your dream, it is a symbol of communication. They believe that the dreamer needs to communicate more and express themselves.

It is believed that if one sees blue jay feathers in the dream, he has to be very mindful of the people he lets into his inner circle. He does not have to trust everyone. Some cultures believe in the blue jay and have it as their totem. They believe that the blue jay is representative of aggressive protection and power. They would often call on the blue jay for protection and guidance.


The cardinal is essential to native Americans. Giving its unique color, some people associate the cardinal bird to the blood of Jesus. Giving its red color a spiritual inclination, some people see them as symbols of loyalty in Christianity. The association of cardinal birds to Christianity may be linked to the bright red robes Catholic Cardinals wear. Cardinal birds are seen as a good omen and representing faithfulness, good fortune, love, courtship, and unity.

Giving the fierce protective amd romantic nature of the cardinal, it is associated with leadership and passionate romance. Native Native Americans have some mythology that associate the cardinal to their ancestors. Some of them even believe that the cardinal bird is a messenger from the spirits.

Bird symbolism

When people encounter Cardinals in their dreams, they see it as a good sign. Some see it as a sign of good omen or something good is about to happen to the person. Most people regard cardinal birds as a sign of compassion and passion. As such, if they see this bird in their dreams, to them it symbolizes love and peace. To some other people, it is a sign that they are about to enter into a new, passionate, and romantic relationship.

To some people, these birds are good omens if you see them in certain locations. For instance, seeing a cardinal bird around a water body means a call to pursue your dreams and take it more seriously. Seeing bird around a power house is a call to more activeness and taking more initiative

These birds are not always sign of good omen. There are situations where the cardinal bird will be seen from a negative standpoint. For instance, if a cardinal hits your window, it will be seen as a sign that you will lose a friend or loved ones. There are many cultures where the cardinal is considered to be a spiritual animal with be evoke ce towards those it appears to. There are beliefs that this red bird makes itself seen at the beginning of pregnancies to guide the parents and their child.

Many cultures see cardinals as a spiritual animal, and as such can be messengers from their ancestors. They are harbingers of glad tidings. Cardinals are also considered to be encouraging spiritual animals. They are seen as representatives and messengers of loved ones who are gone. They encourage the loved they left behind to be courageous and strong, achieve their goals and improve in themselves and their environments.

Many persons have this bird as their totems. In many cultures and traditions, people with the cardinal as their totem are considered brave and better able to scale through difficult situations. Individuals who have this bird as their totems bank on them to see them through tough times. They call upon them because these birds reminds if the brighter side if life.

Individuals with this bird as their totems are like the animal when it comes to protectiveness. This bird is fiercely territorial and are symbolic of protectiveness and security. So, individuals who have this animal as their totem are usually associated with such qualities as protectiveness, determination, innovation, and perseverance. These individuals are considered to be very territorial.


Bats have different meanings in different cultures. Bat symbolism may be negative or positive depending on who is talking about it. The Chinese, for example, hold bats in high esteem. They even eat it believing that it gives longevity.

The Chinese see bats as symbols of happiness. However, not everyone likes these animals. This is why D. H. Lawrence in this poem, “Bats”, describes the bird as ‘disgusting’ and of ‘disgusting old rags’. He concludes the poem by saying that “in China the bat is symbol for happiness, not for me”. In Japan, bat symbolism is positive be use they believe it brings happiness. However, it is also somewhat negative because they believe that its symbolism is of chaos.

Bird symbolism

Some native American tribes bat symbolism is of darkness and death. Some associate it with fertility, water, and so on. Some tribes see the bat as a carrier of rains. Some cultures have the belief that seeing a bat in your dream means letting something to die and giving room for rebirth. In some of the United States, it is a good sign to see bats flying around. However, if the bird touches or collides with your head, it means death.

Bird symbolism really differs. In India, there is the belief that it is a bad thing to mention the name of bat after nightfall. Other cultures may see it from different angles because bird symbolism differ by culture, tradition, and even tribe.

Bat town represents intuition, consciousness, depth, and even vision. Individuals having the bat as a spirit animal is considered to be intuitive and having an understanding of the dreams and death. Having bat as a totem represents being fearless. It is believed to represent revolution and growth.


Doves symbolize love. They are known to represent the ability to live and care.

The Phoenix is known to represents freedom and ability to rise like the sun.

Many tribes believe that the dove represents hope, and love. Some ancient cultures believe that it also symbolizes protection.

Sparrow bird is believed to represent creativity, hope, and joy, and good luck.

The swallow bird represents positive qualities like happiness, love, and luck.


Bird symbolism differs with cultures and beliefs. The spiritual meaning accrued to bird symbols can be positive like good fortune, good luck, and long life. It can also be associated with freedom, love, hope, or the sun.

Conversely, in some traditions, bird symbolism may be associated with negativity. Birds can symbolize a lot of things. Individuals have one or two meanings they derive from birds. With all rights reserved, you can choose what birds symbolize to you.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

Was This Post Helpful?

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content