Dreams about birds can have a whole range of different meanings. It all depends on the type of bird, what the bird was doing, how many of them there were and so on.
Generally speaking, dreams about flying birds represent freedom or a longing to be free. Then, there’s the sound of birdsong, which is associated with peace, calm, and tranquillity. And a soaring bird that dips and dives in the sky symbolises ambition and goals.
Of course, to dream of a specific bird also has great significance. So you can see, there are many ways to interpret dreams about birds. Before I talk about the symbolism of individual bird species, let’s first examine the context of dreams about birds.
General Interpretations of Dreams about Birds
Birds flying overhead – If you were looking at birds flying overhead, this could indicate a desire to escape your current situation.
A flock of birds – Watching a flock of birds indicates a feeling of being overwhelmed and anxious. You don’t know where to turn.
Flying with birds – You have recently left a stifling situation and despite initial worries are now gaining your independence and confidence.
Birds in the house – You feel trapped and restricted. Deep down, you worry that your opinions are not being taken seriously.
Bird in a cage – This is not a dream about feeling trapped or restricted, instead, it indicates a feeling of contentment at home after some period of unrest.
Finding a bird’s nest – If the nest was empty, this is indicative of your feelings towards a family member leaving. If there were eggs in the nest, you are concerned about your financial future.
Birds hatching from eggs – This could indicate a worry you have of extra mouths to feed. Have you lost your job recently and don’t know how you are going to cope financially?
Killing birds – Killing birds in a dream, whether by hunting or by accident represents a falling out with a close friend that you now regret.
Eating birds – This bird dream depends on the type of bird eaten. To dream of eating a bird that humans do not usually consume indicates a secret desire you are afraid to admit to.
Catching birds – You now have a worrisome situation under control through hard work and mental effort. It’s time to relax now.
Baby birds – Young birds of any type are usually an indication of new beginnings and a fresh start.
Injured birds – This is an indication of setbacks, especially if the bird was trying to get up and fly or the wings of the bird were badly injured.
Large birds – Dreams about birds that are large i.e. ostriches or emus symbolise your responsibilities and how they feel like a burden to you at this time.
Being attacked by birds – Everything is getting on top of you and you are losing control over the situation. This is another bird dream that indicates a feeling of being overwhelmed.
Seeing a dead bird – Dead birds in dreams symbolise a painful ending of something that was important to you. However, now it is time to move forward.
Now let’s look at types of birds in dreams.
Types of Birds in a Dream
Blackbirds are common garden birds and as such represent the mundane and boring humdrum of everyday life. You could feel stuck in a rut.
Canaries are lively, active, and colourful birds. They indicate joy and fun with younger people or possibly a new romance.
If you dream about chickens, pay attention to what happens in the dream. We associate chickens with cowardice, so if you ‘let the chickens out’ in a dream, this could indicate that you are chickening out of a responsibility.
Time to tone down the macho attitude. Cockerels are a symbol of male pride and cocky arrogance.
In popular literature, crows represent death and foreboding. However, in dreams about birds, they symbolise your darkest wishes and desires. You’ll have to look at the context of the dream in order to understand it further.
Cuckoos are intruders that live a parasitic life. Is there someone in your life that has outstayed their welcome? You should face up to them. Cuckoos can also mean a crazy person. Are you worried about someone’s mental health?
We know that doves represent peace and love, but they also symbolise friendship, loyalty, and innocence. If your dream features the releasing of white doves, this is a message to forgive and let go of resentment.
Did you see a ‘sitting duck’ in your dream? Then you are worried about being seen as an easy target. Or perhaps you are ‘ducking’ a situation you want to avoid. Ducks tend to look calm on the surface of the water, but their legs are frantically paddling underneath. Have you take on too many responsibilities and feel you can’t cope or tell anyone?
The phrase ‘where eagles dare’ is synonymous with courage and bravery. Eagles are independent and noble. They are considered to be the king of all birds of prey. To dream about eagles is to recognise a worthy ambition or take on a big responsibility.
Flamingos flock together and live in large groups quite happily with no problems. This dream represents a period of feeling settled within your own community. On the other hand, these pink birds are also associated with frivolity, romance, and a superficial attitude to life. Is your dream suggesting that you should take things more seriously?
Geese are another bird species that like to group together. Dreaming of geese represents a longing to be part of the crowd or a desire to fit in.
We tend to see hens in real life picking at the ground searching for food. This is another one of those dreams about birds where you should ‘say what you see’ as it may be as obvious as feeling ‘hen-pecked’ in a certain situation.
The kingfisher is a magnificent bird and typically seen alone. To dream of one indicates a sense of authority or an elevation in your social or work status.
Larks are seen high up in the sky and as such are associated with lofty heights or high ambitions. Be careful to note whether or not they stay flying high in the sky. If they suddenly dip, this could mean that you are reaching for the impossible.
In the real world, magpies are symbolic of many different things. There’s the saying ‘one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy’. In bird dreams, magpies are associated with chattering and gossip. Are you the subject of a rumour or have you engaged in spreading them? The dream suggests you might be regretting your actions.
Ostriches are known for sticking their head in the sand to avoid problems. It is the same in the dream world. There is something important, either a situation or problem that you need to sort out.
Owls symbolise wisdom, awareness, and knowledge. They are also linked to magic and mystery. To dream of an owl is suggestive of a feeling of great responsibility. Only you have the wisdom to deal with the situation, but you are making the right choices.
Parrots in a dream indicate gossip-mongering or sharing of secrets in a malicious manner. Be careful who you decide to bring into your confidence.
We use words such as ‘peacocking’ to mean showing off in a vain manner. Therefore, peacocks are also associated with pride, vanity, and self-arrogance. Then again, peacocks have what are called ‘eyes’ on their feathers. You might feel as if you are being scrutinised unfairly. They are also linked to fertility and mating.
Stool pigeon is a word that represents a scapegoat or patsy. If you see one pigeon, this could be the interpretation. Then there are homing pigeons that always fly back to the roost. This suggests feeling homesick. However, to see many pigeons on the ground at once indicates harmful gossip.
Ravens have been used in literature to represent bad omens, a sense of foreboding, betrayal, and even death. In dreams about birds, they indicate that something is coming to an end.
You need a break from life but you have too much responsibility or simply don’t have to time. You could be in a situation that you want to get away from.
Swans are indicative of something that was once ugly (duckling) but is now beautiful. Your dream is asking you not to judge by looks alone.
Are you taking advantage of someone weaker than you? Or are you being taken advantage of? Vultures pick at the bones of carcasses so this dream could suggest that you are having to be careful with money.
Woodpeckers are synonymous with hard work and perseverance. This dream indicates a reward through your own endeavours but you have to keep at it.
Have you ever had a weird bird dream? Let me know in the comments section, I’d love to hear about it.
Copyright © 2012-2023 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.