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Birds

This a big entry and is in three parts, the general first part. The second Bird Situations – and the third Different Birds.

The life cycle of a bird has so many similarities with important human stages of growth we frequently use birds to represent parts of our own deeply felt experience.

In general the bird in your dream can depict imagination, intuition, the mind, freedom from restraints, thoughts or hidden wishes or hopes, or your longings to move beyond limitations or boundaries, or even love or a lover. Because the word is sometimes used to indicate a woman, it can have that meaning – i.e. a ‘bird’.

The meaning depends on the context in which the bird appears in the dream. So in some dreams, especially if the bird is flying high, or you identify and become the bird, it can show an expanded awareness or a greater insight into your life and the meaning of your life. This type of dream usually appears as a large bird that can fly high. This is because wider – or spiritual – awareness is like a higher, overall view of things.

Meeting this enlarged awareness may be painful or frightening as we approach it. The enlargement of what you experience is a form of growth and brings new possibilities, all of which can strip away old ways of life and relationship. This expansion of our viewpoint, the uplift of our emotions or mind, can be a link between the world we experience with our physical senses, and the deep world of our often unconscious passions, intuitions and insights.

But in some dreams birds are messengers – For instance a swallow is a symbol of spring, a rooster can be symbolic of a new day (or a new beginning), doves can be symbolic of love, a relationship or peace, and so forth. Both crows and vultures are symbolic of a “death” or the ending of something.

Bird Situations

A huge bird: The power of the collective mind or unconscious. It may uplift or be felt as threatening; something that can protect or be felt as a threat. If felt as a threat remember that dreams are like computer game, nothing can actually harm you, see Dream as Computer Game.

Bird attacking: Fear of ideas, ideals or opinions; verbal or mental (suggestions or suggestive behaviour) attack by others; fear of going beyond ones narrow boundaries. Be daring and face the restrain that holds you back.

Bird descending: A wider view or experience becoming known to you, or becoming available. In practical terms this may be experienced as inspiration or new insights regarding work or creativity, or a bursting of ones previous views or concepts into a wider insight.

Bird in house: Hope that something interesting or new will enter ones life; a wish for new love; a new idea; an intuition or precognition; a new person or event entering your life; or something trapped in you that seeks freedom.

Black or carrion birds: Because such birds often feed on dead animals, they have the association with death or news of death. This may not be connected with someone dying, but perhaps that some project, love or aspect of yourself is being left to die; feelings or fears about death. Or it could be about something you are unaware of but is on the edge of consciousness.

Bluebird: Especially represents the personality or flight of the soul after death. But it can also show the flight of awareness into new or wider experience. The colour gives it a link with the heavens and it is therefore a symbol of your own ability to reach a wider awareness – the spiritual. See Definition of Spirit.

Useful Questions and Hints:

What way am I relating to the bluebird?

Do I feel anything on seeing the bird?

Have I been meditating or doing something uplifting recently?

Try Being the Person or Thing and Talking As

Dead bird: Threat to ideals or hopes of freedom; feeling life is only material; ones spirit feeling defeated or crushed. Also a loss of sense of beauty or meaning in life; an ideal or hope has died; a flight of imagination or creativity has fallen.

Feather: See: feathers.

Fighting birds: Family disputes; arguments about viewpoints.

Flock of birds: Sometimes shows you feeling a deeply intuitive sense of connection with thousands of others, all being moved by life itself flowing through you. Describing his recovery from feelings of being ill at ease within herself, Gloria writes:

As this occurred I had a wonderful sense of being a lovely bird that has been in some way ill all its life. This meant it never flew when the flock took flight. Instead, to deal with its own difficulty it felt feelings of not wanting to fly like the others, of not wanting to be like them and do the meaningless things they do. But with the healing came the realisation I could fly, and I took wing and joined the flock. Now I am a creature of spirit, which I have always been, and I asked the Light to help me learn the ways of ‘flying’ in the spirit.

It can also point to how you add your influence to others socially.

Flying: Rising above something; an escape from a feeling of being trapped, or some fear; independence; freedom; self expression; ones love or thoughts winging its way to someone. The sexual act – possibly because during sex we may feel released and uplifted.

Hatching from the egg: Our birth and infancy; rebirth. Something new and uplifting coming into your life, or coming to life in you.

In cage: Feelings of being restricted or trapped; holding back love or inspiration; safety in restriction. If there are positive feelings around the caged bird, it might suggest the need to withhold love or freedom, but it could suggest feeling trapped in a relationship, especially if there are two birds in the cage.

Leaving nest: Gaining independence; meeting change or leaving a dependent relationship.

Making nest: Home building; parental urges; partnership if with another bird.

Nest: Home; family environment; security; even the womb.

The baby bird: Our own childhood, as in the following example. The old lady in the second example is once more reference to the mother, who the bird is first connected with before moving on to the difficulty of independence.

Freud said the bird represents the male phallus, and flying means the sexual act. Many languages use the word ‘bird’ to mean woman. In Italy it alludes to penis. The bird is also used to denote a sense of death and survival.

The example shows Pauline using the bird to depict her own urge to be independent of her mother’s influence, opinions, likes, dislikes and decisions. Later in the dream her mother hands Pauline the ribbon to hold, suggesting an offer of independence.

Example: ‘I was standing outside the house of my teens, with my mother. She had a very young bird on a long ribbon and the bird was flying very high in the sky. As soon as she lets go the ribbon, a huge black bird attacks the ribboned one.’ Pauline.

The ribbons are a reference to Pauline’s own girlhood. When she lets go of her girlhood, moving toward independent womanhood, she feels threatened by her internal feelings of guilt – i.e. a child feels guilty if it acts differently to what its mother wants. This is the black bird. To become independent we have to find a way of doing what we wish despite this internalised mother. (Internalised means all the standards, self controls she learned from her life with her mother, she now carries within her as her own urges even if absent from her mother.)

Example: ‘An old lady made room for me to sit at the end of one of the three seats of a bus. As we drove away a very large chicken size baby bird flew in. It had short stubby wings and yellow down, but flew expertly. I believe it first landed on the lady and chirped squeakily. But in it’s squeaks it actually spoke, saying it had lost it’s mother. It sounded as if it were crying.’ Andrew.

This dream is clearly about Andrew becoming aware that at some time he felt abandoned by his mother, and this part of him needs helping to grow into greater independence.

Different Birds

blackbird or black bird Unconscious urges. At times we may relate to enormous waves of feeling in an anxious way, and this relationship of anxiety may be represented by a black bird. The bird may be shown attacking something or oneself because that is how we relate to the emotions or energies – i.e. we feel attacked by them. The black bird can also link with feelings about death, the negative aspect of mother, or something unconscious that we are becoming aware of.

chicken If being eaten suggests nourishment. Otherwise a female, or the female in a male; being ‘chicken’ or scared.

Example: A large cockerel was amongst them and to my amused pleasure began immediately to chase the hens. They all ran madly away. My father was there now and said the chickens wouldn’t lay with that chicken chasing them. I said it wasn’t a chicken that a cockerel, and they would soon calm down. My mother now came. I said the chickens would stop running eventually because the cockerel was bigger than they. She said, no, it wasn’t the size, but the manner and attitude of his approach. She meant it caused an instinctive responses them.

When I explored the dream I realised that of course. I am a cockerel that is inwardly a chicken. I am chicken because I won’t see my own homosexuality. I am chicken because I have made myself a passive female. My mother says it is not the size, its the – inner – attitude. Of course, my inner attitude, as a chicken, is changing. I have been the size of a cockerel, but with the soul of a chicken – female.

The cock: a male or the male sexual characteristics; confidence.

The hen: Mother; motherhood; being immersed in motherhood concerns and perhaps not having a life beyond that.

Chicks: This is a reference either to your own babyhood and feelings or events associated with it, or to external baby or babies. This may at times point to vulnerable people or assets.

Idioms: chicken feed; chicken hearted; she’s no chicken; cock of the walk; don’t count your chicks/chickens before they are hatched..

crow rook raven Being carrion birds, and so often seen near corpses, they are linked with death or feelings about death; bad news; fear; unconscious feelings. Some people see them as associated with death, mostly because that is how they are used in films. But crows are a group bird and are supportive of their fellows.

It can at times depict the negative aspect of father. The dark intelligence in underhanded people or animals; forces in life that seem to have intelligent direction yet are not outwardly visible.

cormorant Intellectual ideas that have the power to dig deep and bring up unconscious wisdom. Because the cormorant is used to dive and catch fish, it might suggest you are practising some form of introspection or self examination.

crane Inner feelings about wholeness; good luck. The ability to deal harmoniously with the libido or energy within.

cuckoo Wanting to, or feeling your partner is, having sex outside your relationship; pregnant with child from another man than ones partner.

dove Peace; lacking aggressiveness; awareness of one’s potential; religious experience; relatedness. See: religion and dreams.

duck Because a duck can fly and also dive under water it can represent both your ability to raise your awareness, to expand your mind and horizons, and also to look into what is hidden under the surface of life. And its ability to float and swim on the surface of water shows it can survive in the conscious mind.

Idioms can also suggest other meanings such as sitting duck, like a duck takes to water, dead duck and lame duck.

eagle buzzard hawk Sometimes the hunting, providing parent; dominance; a male figure; an uplifting power of feelings or ideas; a protective influence; a threatening influence. Often the ability to develop an integrated vision or perception out of a wide range of experience. This is because the height of the bird and its steady gaze give it unusual perception and wide awareness.

Idioms: Watch like a hawk; eagle eyed.

feather or feathers See: feather.

goose/geese Freedom; your soul; wanderlust; foolishness or group conformity. In some cases you might use the goose as a symbol for life long relationship.

hawk Often a messenger or a far seeing creature. Because it flies high it had an overview of what it surveys. It can therefore signify the spirit or the flight of the soul.

heron A heron is a very still bird and often stands for ages looking into the water. So in your dream it may signify patience and the ability to look deeply into you. As such it may show you things about yourself that are very important.

It catches fish, meaning it brings up things that are usually hidden and are for your personal growth and nourishment. To explore its deeper meaning see Techniques for Exploring your Dreams

owl Because the owl sees in the dark it represents our intuitive sense that ‘sees’ what is happening in the subtle areas of our feeling and experience. This sense ‘feeds’ by watching or acting as an integrating function with the many dark or hidden aspects of our experience and behaviour. Because this part of our mental process is aware of the hidden activities in the depths of our body and mind, it can initiate our conscious self into the mysteries of life and death. If one can imagine having a council of all living things, we would all have in common the drive to reproduce, and there would be huge links of understanding regarding care and rearing of young and perhaps of love for mate. The unconscious seems to have a sense of this synthesis of all life, and the owl, representing it, speaks with this sort of collective wisdom; a wise advisor.

Because the owl as a dream symbol is an actual doorway to the usually hidden side of life, we may sometimes feel fear or danger in regard to it. In some mythologies the owl was connected with death, and might act as a messenger regarding the death of a family member. For instance in Jewish tradition it is unlucky to dream of an owl, but okay to dream of any other bird.

Example: ‘I was standing with my wife at the end of the garden of the house I lived in as a child. We were looking over the fence to the rising meadow beyond. She said, ‘Look at that bird in the tree there.’ On our right, in a small ash tree, an enormous owl perched. It was at least four feet high, the biggest bird I have ever seen. I recognised it in the dream as a greater hooded owl, which was not native to our country. I was so excited I ran into the house to telephone someone – zoo, police, newspapers? – to tell them about the bird. I cannot remember contacting anyone, but felt the bird was there in some way to meet me. Also it was hungry and looking at next door’s bantams. So I wondered what I could give it to eat.’ David P.

This shows the positive side of David’s relationship with his wife. The garden represents the behaviour boundaries which arose from his childhood. But he is growing – the garden – and looking beyond them through his marriage. The amazing bird is the deep feelings he touches because he has a mate like any other natural creature. Out of his mating he becomes aware of drives to build a home – nest – and give himself to his mate. These are natural and are a part of his unconscious or spiritual nature. The bird is a hooded owl which can see in the dark – the unconscious – meaning David is realising things he had never ‘seen’ before. The bird is masked, because David through loving is learning to put his ego aside, which is a necessity for touching the wider dimension of life or the unconscious. The hunger of the bird shows an intimate detail of what David has learned from his wife. She had been working as a waitress and bringing home pieces of chicken for him, saved from her own meal. The spiritual side of David wants to develop this quality of self-giving, which his wife’s love had helped him see.

See aura; spiritual life in dreams. Idioms: Wise old owl; wisdom of the owl; night owl; owlish – looking wise or solemn.

parrot Repeating without judgement what others have said; accepting or copying something without evaluating it. Ability to speak.

peacock Pride; self display; vanity; the desire to be more attractive; sometimes the same as phoenix.

In some cultures the peacock represent the soul or psyche – ones sense of self with all ones individual memories and characteristics. Because the peacock could shed all its beautiful feathers and then grow them again, early Christians saw it as a symbol of resurrection and immortality.

As the peacock is a male bird displaying for the sake of a mate, it can also obviously represent male sexuality in its proud, ostentatious or displaying mode.

Example: There were trees and a grassy patch of ground. A dog was having puppies. But a great flock of small black birds emerged running and skimming over the grass. I heard myself remark, “They are smaller than the others and there are more of them.” Then, from among the trees emerged a large peacock, tail half raised. The dream left me feeling that from small things could emerge something large and beautiful. Mrs E. E.

penguin The penguin hardly ever appears in dreams, or in fact in literature generally, so I have not been able to gather from people’s dreams how they use this symbol. From common associations however, it is likely to represent foolishness; a difficult life situation; coldness in relationships. Because of recent studies of the penguin and the major National Geographic film, the penguin might now depict lasting love and wonderful care and survival skills.

It can also represent something the rare and unusual.

phoenix The ability to find a new impulse, new strength, new growth even in death; the power in oneself to transform the dying, depressed, dark and desperate into new endeavour and growth.

sparrow The ordinary but living parts of you that are special.

stork The soul; symbol of birth or babyhood, and perhaps parenthood; the beauty of the wider awareness of the unconscious.

swan Grace; beauty; dignity. In mythology often represents the psyche or soul and its connection with a spiritual world; the side of human nature usually hidden because unconscious, often referred to as the spiritual – meaning the consciousness of connection with all life.

The swan in your dream may be linked with an ending of something due to the association with ‘the swan song’ – a final act. It can also suggest amorousness, or the ideal of love in sexuality, and as such may represent virginity or a blend of male and female.

vulture A relative waiting for you to die – or vice versa; people around you trying to live on you – or vice versa; difficult feelings about dependants; an environment of ill will or hopelessness.

white bird Anything white usually depicts thoughts and feeling that are inspirational or uplifting. They are often shown as similar to the white Pegasus, the lower sexual energies lifted into a power of wider awareness.

Idioms: Charm the birds from the trees; a bird told me; the bird has flown; bird in the hand; bird of ill omen; free as a bird; odd bird.

Useful Questions and Hints:

Is the bird in my dream expressing any of the important stages of growth such as babyhood, leaving the nest, or making a nest?

What quality or attitude is the bird expressing and how does that relate to me?

What is the rest of the dream indicating about the bird?

Definitely try using Talking As and Processing Dreams.

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Comments

-salar 2014-04-07 8:19:14

Hey, um this is going to be a little long and weird
I dreamt of a beach infront of it was the sea. Behind it a forest. At the beach there were people some i knew others i didn’t. From within the sand appears a hole. And the sand falls in it. Then from the hole rises a crocodile. It jumps on the beach and turns into one of my best friends. He stands looking at the stunned people looking back at him andsmiles saying that we are not done yet
Someone screams that there is fire in the sea,some how i know im the fire, the sun was setting and asit gets closer to the sea the fire rises. When the sun sets thefire disappears and i come out of it.i walk on the water as if on a pavement and reach the shore and stand beside my best friend telling the people that the show is not over yet. This is when the sea rises becauae of a great wind. People look up as a huge bird comes flying and lands before us. It turns into my other best friend. We tell him thar he was late. He smiles and says that he did that on purpose. We turn a round and walk towards the forest. An old man stands in our way he asks us if we found our answers. We say we dont have to amymore and continue towards the forest.
so sorry its too long

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    -salar 2014-04-07 8:32:19

    Um in the dream i was in a green dress and my two friends one weaeing a black blouse and the other a blue one. the crocodile who was zack was really big and yellow almost and the huge bird who was Omar was black. Huge and with red eyes. I really hope you can help me and thanks a lot in advance

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-Alysha 2014-05-05 15:49:46

I had a dream… I was in an open feild area, all of a sudden there were thousands… and I mean thousands of birds flying above me. They were so beautiful. Then they all started falling from the sky, falling onto the grass… they were all dying of broken necks… all of them were falling from the sky, covering the green grass… thousands of them.
I couldn’t stop crying and I couldn’t understand why these beautiful birds were falling from the sky… they belong to the sky, the sky belongs to them… why the broken neck? Why all of them? Not a single bird survived…

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-Sam Shaw 2014-06-09 16:41:25

Had a dream of an orca in a lake. It’s belly was exposed and it was being attacked and eaten by a flock of crows. It could not escape as the lake was not deep enough but had to lie there enduring attack. I was filled with a deep horror and disgust which I felt in my chest and throat. Be very grateful for your view on this!

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-Taylor 2014-06-10 15:00:31

I just woke up from a dream I can’t seem to piece together. I’m at my old school on the very last day, in a classroom of only me and other girls, including the teachers; the males have been sitting at another part of the school (I am bisexual but didn’t come out until after I graduated. Don’t know if that has anything to do with it.) We get dismissed and walk out through the old entrance that we need used as students after building renovations and I get into a truck with a friend I haven’t seem since elementary school and she drops me off at my house. I suppose she was taking care of my cat, even though we were at school together, because he’s in the truck also and as we walk to the door to my house a small bird, looking very fictional and cartoon like, lands on each of us–one on her shoulder and one atop my head. She gets her bird away fairly quick, but I stand outside for around 10-15 minutes trying to get it off my head, and right before he does fly off, he first hisses at my cat and at me through a reflection in the window. It freaks me out but I go inside, running my fingers through my hair and finding a feather right before I wake up.

Nothing about the dream made sense to me and I really need some sort of help picking it apart.

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-Lolo 2014-06-13 14:36:03

I dreamt of many kind of birds. First of all I saw bird after bird flew into the room through the window. The room was a classroom where I stayed and I saw suddenly a little sweet bird inside the classroom flying around. So I catched that little bird and I held it betwwen my two hand palms. So that the bird could get out of the window back into the freedom. When I opend the big window it was snowy outside as well on the window. I let that bird fly out of the window but during that time there flew in some more birds in different sorts of them. I just was afraid that they may harm themselfes while flying around in the classroom so I was trying to catch them kindly and let them out. So I did and it was making me happy seeing them flying out of the window from my hands. What could it all mean?

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-Shaila 2014-07-02 21:06:32

I just had a dream of a tiny pet bird. Very sweet and I actually cuddles with and went to sleep when I woke up it was flying around the bedroom and I caught the bird but it didn’t want to be held and tired to bite me so I released the bird into the hallway of my home. Went about my business, after a while I looked around the home and I couldn’t find it. And I becomes worried for it because of how tiny the bird was so I searched and I search the house and finally found it locked in a birdcage I suddenly felt relived till I noticed how much bigger it was and it started making this loud squawking noise. I turn around and see the huge black and yellow butterfly. It was strong enough to pick up stuff around my house. I started to attack it until it died and throw it into the trash can. Then I woke up. What does any of this mean?

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-stacey 2014-10-09 17:57:14

I dreampt I was driving in a new car with my partner and he looked at me and daid ive stood on a bird it must have flown in the window I was driving and I looked down to see under his steel capped boots was a large black bird in mud dying and it looked right at me then I woke up.

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-alyssa 2014-10-15 23:19:46

Had dream of black crow but body of a fish. It was in my home I was looking at it and it turned towards me and attacked me. What does this mean? I’m very sensitive about my body/mind. I have open spirit with dreams…can you help with opinion/advise.

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-Martha Marina Martin 2014-11-05 14:42:55

I had a dream of a small bird flying and cuddle in my hand and at the same time there iss a young man sayig come let me show you my work the bird just kept cuddling

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-Karla 2014-11-05 19:25:45

I had a dream about watching a crow die. It was up on a tree and I saw it’s body stiffen up. I watched as It dropped to the ground.

Any idea or meaning ?
I’m really trying to seek a comment.

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-cora 2014-11-06 1:30:33

U didn’t mention flamingo, i had a dream of a giant dark bird that kinda looked like a cross between a crow & a peligan. don’t know what it was exactly but it swooped by with force in the air & caught a pink flamingo in its mouth or beek flew & away with the flamingo, not sure if it ate it or just carried it off? i just felt like i had 2take cover. then a duck crossed the street to walk over 2 me & started talking 2me, telling me I should date a homsless drunk guy that was passed out on the curb side. Thats weird!

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-Adah 2014-11-30 14:29:38

I just wanna find out if it means anything. I dreamt about a big white bird..size of a big owl flew onto my hands. I have a bird phobia in real life. I held the big bird for a while, it was quite heavy. I was feeling amazed and scared (the phobia) at the same time. I have a feeling that it means something but I just can’t figure out. I apperciate it if anyone could let me know what it means.

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-Felecia 2014-12-15 16:37:19

I had a big argument with my boyfriend of 5 years on and off..I was so upset went to sleep woke up got into the truck yesterday morning still mind bothered by the event I was driving along and ahead you can see on the wire of the street lights and bare trees had too be over 100 black birds….just still sitting as I come too pass them they sworm all at once over the truck ….the energy was soooo strong I felt it too the soul I’d guess it was deep…and when I past they went right back too there spots steal as a board….what does that mean I’m part native and I know it was a sign but what….

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-jomz 2014-12-22 3:17:40

Good day.. i dream about a crow inside of our home.. then i shoo him away until he got out of our door.. please tell me what is that mean? Im not comfortable with my dream.. coz im too far in my home now.

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    -Tony Crisp 2014-12-22 8:32:36

    Jomz – Birds and crows are often messengers in dreams. So driving the crow away you are avoiding receiving a message. Wouldn’t it be better to know what the message is rather than being surprised when it does come about?

    Tony

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