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The Symbolism of Birds

Rachel Clare
By Rachel Clare
May 30, 2022
The Symbolism of Birds
The Symbolism of Birds

TL;DRThe spiritual meaning of birds grasps the imagination of many, and the various cultural beliefs across the world reflects this. So, what does it mean when you see a bald eagle? What does it mean when you see a cardinal? What does seeing a hummingbird symbolize? And much more.

Birds are intelligent, agile and beautiful creatures. They hold a special place in the heart of many and can often symbolize the spirit of a passed-on loved one. Each bird has its own traditional symbolism, providing comfort, hope and optimism for the people lucky enough to see them. What is the symbolic meaning of birds and what does it mean when you see them after a death? What have ancient cultures believed about birds and what messages do they provide for us?

Why are Birds Spiritually Significant?

The Symbolism of Birds

Why are birds so symbolic? Throughout various different religions, cultures and societies, birds have been revered as incredibly spiritual creatures. Their ability to roam the earth, swim the seas and soar through the sky carries a significance that almost all civilizations hold to high esteem. Since before written history, birds have been viewed as omens or signs of future events and therefore naturally have a deep impact on various communities. For example, many ancient societies believe birds represent the human soul with their ability of flight to be symbolic of a soul’s journey in search of higher knowledge. Not only this, but a bird's varied flight patterns makes them powerful metaphors for the fluctuation of human emotions and experiences.

Birds are also generally believed to represent a link between the heavens and the earth, making them symbolic of eternity, ascendency and connection. Their proximity to heaven has also earned them the symbol of spiritual messenger, fostering dialogue between the physical realm and higher planes of existence. These winged creatures are also symbolic of freedom, with their ability to fly unimaginable heights and distances. However, as birds are so symbolically tied to the afterworld, seeing different types of birds in different contexts can be regarded as either good or bad omens, almost like a message or warning from the Gods.

What it Means to See a Hawk

The Symbolism of Birds

A hawk can often be found perched high up, watching what is happening for miles around it. They seem at ease in their surroundings, giving the impression that everything is under control. Among all the birds in the kingdom, they have the best visual abilities and are expert hunters. 

In a spiritual sense, hawks represent the ability to use a combination of intuitive wisdom and rapid decision making to control your own reality. Through their resilience, focus, determination, and confidence, they embody the essence of creation. Hawks are intelligent and renowned for their divine vision. They see opportunities and possibilities that others don't. 

If you're learning the skill of manifestation and connecting to the universe, hawks may show up in your life. They teach us to take decisive action when the time is right and to have patience during emotional highs and lows in order to prevent poor decisions. Their strength lies in leading with the energy of their heart and making sure the heart is in sync with all other energy points in the body. 

Hawk Symbolism Summarized

  • Power 

  • Wisdom

  • Determination

  • Confidence

What Does it Mean to See a Robin?

The Symbolism of Birds

The humble robin has so much to teach us about life. They are sacred birds that offer us comfort and spiritual enlightenment. It has long been associated with significant life-changing experiences to see our little red-breasted friend in the spring. By symbolizing the robin with patience and wisdom, we learn that even after the harshest winter, warmer weather will arrive. This is why seeing a robin is regarded as a symbol of beginnings and renewal.

In the same light, robins appear at times of spiritual significance, reminding us to let our happiness shine. As noted above, these brightly colored birds are associated with embarking on a new phase or chapter in life. As a result, seeing robins represents letting go of the negative factors affecting our lives and starting anew with a happy outlook. With this in mind. seeing a robin after someone has died can indicate their presence is nearby. This is for the same symbolic reason - robins are a sign to embrace our happiness and move on from troubles in the past. A passed-on loved one will therefore channel this message through a beautiful little robin. Ultimately, therefore, a robin is a sign from Heaven that encourages us to stay positive, take action with grace and remain determined.

Robin Symbolism Summarized

  • Humility

  • Positivity

  • Happiness

  • Grace

What Does Seeing an Eagle Mean?

The Symbolism of Birds

Eagles represent power and resilience as they are the most magnificent winged creatures on earth. As this bird reaches higher than any other, it carries the spirit's message and connects us with divinity. Those who have undergone difficulty in life will appreciate the eagle's symbolism of new beginnings, resilience, strength and stamina. The majesty of the eagle reminds us to appreciate the important principles of truth and honesty. You will benefit greatly if you call upon the Eagle first if you are about to embark on a massive endeavor in life.

What Does the Eagle Represent in Native American Culture?

For Native Americans, the golden eagle and the bald eagle represent sacredness. Since eagles are the highest flying bird, Native Americans believe that they are the creatures closest to the Creator. In their ancient folklore, they believe that seeing an eagle is closely tied to visions and premonitions while also a method of delivering their prayers to the spirit world.

Eagle Symbolism Summarized

  • Resilience

  • Action

  • Honesty

  • Strength

What Does Seeing a Hummingbird Mean?

The Symbolism of Birds

What does the hummingbird represent? As hummingbirds are a wonderful yet rare sight, they remind us to stay present in the moment and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Not only this, but as hummingbirds seem to appear as if from nowhere, they are also seen as a symbol that joy is unpredictable, often waiting just around the corner. Seeing a hummingbird is also seen as a symbol of good luck, determination and hard work as the creatures are known to migrate thousands of miles in search of warmer temperatures every year.

What does it mean if you see a hummingbird after someone has passed? Well, these unique birds have incredibile range, being able to fly in all directions, upside down and even backwards thanks to the incredible anatomy of their wings. As such, seeing a hummingbird is tied to the concept of eternity. They are also known to fly in a figure of eight pattern, otherwise recognized as the infinity symbol, further adding to their symbolism of all that is eternal.

Hummingbird Symbolism Summarized

  • Fortune

  • Eternity

  • Joy

  • Hard Work 

What Does it Mean to See a Cardinal?

The Symbolism of Birds

What does a Cardinal represent? Well, cardinals definitely stand out from the crowd. The first thing you will notice about them is their vivid red coloring and proud stature. This image gives an impression of importance, pride and strength. Cardinals are also powerful birds who will defend their territory to the death. Naturally, these characteristics can be seen in a negative light, being equated with aggression. However, these red birds instead symbolize self-love, protection and the setting of boundaries. They remind us to take ownership of areas in our lives that we may lose our grip on. As such, cardinals teach us to feel more secure, more comfortable in our skin and to have a greater sense of self. Seeing the bright red flash of a cardinal when we are going through times of self-doubt reminds us to snap out of these destructive mindsets. We cannot forget our strength!

Alongside this, it is believed that Cardinals appear as a sign of good fortune and abundance. The red color of the bird is linked with the root chakra, which represents energy and self-sufficiency; all qualities that we need in order to strive for success and reap the rewards. They are also the bird of manifestation, reminding us to visualize the things we want and deserve in our life.

Cardinal Symbolism Summarized

  • Protection

  • Self-love

  • Confidence

  • Manifestation

What Does it Mean to See a Dove?

The Symbolism of Birds

Doves are typically associated with religion as their pure white coloring has connotations of purity and peace. In fact, doves hold a place of significance in almost all major regions. They are also truly special birds that we rarely see day-to-day. For this reason they are commonly used as symbols of love at weddings, or else they are an emblem of pacifism in the context of war. As such, they are deeply spiritual symbols and provide people with an overwhelming feeling of connectivity to higher forces. 

Doves are also strongly associated with the spirit of deceased loved ones. Many different religions and cultures believe that viewing a dove while grieving is a sign that this person’s spirit is dropping by to provide comfort. 

Dove Symbolism Summarized

  • Peace

  • Love

  • Spirituality

  • Comfort

What Does it Mean When You See Crows?

The Symbolism of Birds

Although crows typically represent the process of death and dying, this also means that crows represent new opportunities and ways in which we can grow and evolve. In shamanism and many other cultures, the process of dying is revered as the most heightened spiritual stage a human being can access, as death represents the death of superficiality and the human ego. 

Due to this, crows represent the ending of on stage in life and the resulting beginning of the new. These new stages are often tied to higher spiritual experiences that we have to actively work towards, rather than simply fall into. As such, crows often appear during a difficult and challenging period of our lives, periods of grief, loss, and general upheaval. This is likely why crows usually have negative connotations or are considered ‘bad omens’. However, we can only grow when we go through challenges and we can only truly appreciate the good after experiencing the bad. 

Crows Symbolism Summarized

  • Death

  • Endings

  • Grief

  • Overcoming

What Does it Mean When You See a Blue Jay?

The Symbolism of Birds

Blue jays are chirpy, energetic little birds that remind us to stay tuned in to our feelings and intuition. They are symbols of personal power as they are ready to take flight at any moment, showing us that our life's path is to be carved out only by ourselves. So, what does it mean if you see a blue jay? The blue jay is playful yet resourceful, curious and yet cunning. They are intelligent birds above all else, being especially wise and perceptive. They are believed to represent the courage we all have within ourselves to overcome difficult obstacles, showing us that even when it's hard, we can achieve anything we want to.

One of the most distinguishable characteristics of the blue jay is their musical song; they are incredibly noisy birds, signaling the beginning of spring. As such, they are also symbolic of speaking our truth, never shying away from voicing our opinions and using our language to make meaningful change around us. These vivacious and enthusiastic creatures are so full of life.

Blue Jay Symbolism Summarized

  • Resourcefulness

  • Perceptiveness

  • Autonomy

  • Creating change

Bird Flying into House Meaning

The Symbolism of Birds

Birds flying to the house have many different connotations from culture to culture. Some cultures view the unexpected arrival as a negative sign, a warning of a disaster that is soon to occur. This is on account of the hectic and alarming nature of finding a bird zooming from room to room and the difficulty in coaxing the bird back outside. On the other hand, other cultures hold a more positive view of a bird flying into the home. They see the arrival of the bird as a beautiful rarity, symbolizing good luck or fortune soon to occur. In other instances, the bird may be viewed as the soul of a passed-on loved one stopping by the home to let their presence be felt. 

I think what is most important is to assess what you, yourself, personally believe a bird flying into your home to signify. Assess how you feel and how the bird is behaving on its arrival into the home. Do you feel startled or alarmed? Is the bird flying in a craze? Otherwise, is the bird calm and beautiful? Do you feel it has a spiritual significance?

Birds come in all different shapes and sizes, and along with their physical diversity comes a vast array of different spiritual connotations. Birds have been, and will continue to be, a significant symbol of hope, joy and strength throughout various cultures across the world. 

Do you still want to know more about the symbolism of birds? There are many resources at Mysticsense that can guide you with your learning and provide insight for any other questions you may have. Get started learning more about the symbolism of birds at Mysticsense today!


The Symbolism of BirdsAbout the Author: Rachel Clare is a Writer and Brand Ambassador at Mysticsense.com. She specializes in spiritual content, astrological guidance and providing advice for businesses across the globe.

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