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Mystery Solved: What Does It Mean When A Bird Visits You?

How to make your garden safe for birds

When a bird visits you, consider yourself very lucky! It’s a very rare occurrence that could mean more than you think. The thing is, birds don’t normally visit people.

If you are being visited by a cardinal, sparrow, or other bird, pay close attention. That bird just might be a messenger from the spiritual realm, a sign that a passed on loved one is reminding you that they are still around. At least, that’s what many cultures have believed throughout history.

But what does it really mean when a bird visits you? What sort of symbolism is related to this rare and fateful occurrence? See this article to find out!


Meaning & Symbolism

In many cultures, birds have positive meanings and symbolize ideas related to hope, good fortune, and love. Given a bird’s ability to fly and wander much further than people can walk, it’s no surprise they have often been associated with freedom. Their envious capability of flight also reminds us of independence and having free will.

Birds have also been associated with good luck because they are linked to a change in the seasons and signs for planting crops.

Cardinal peeking at something

The loyalty and devotion some birds show to their mates has also inspired many cultures to view them as signs of enduring love. However, one of the most frequent associations many cultures have made with birds is that of spirituality.

Read more: Symbolism of birds (different species)

To people from other older times, this was a no-brainer. After all, birds are beautiful and can fly, they can ascend high in the sky and reach impossible places. How could they not be associated with heavenly realms?


What does it mean when you see a bird?

Seeing a bird can mean all sorts of things. If you are specifically watching birds, it might just mean that you found a beautiful Eastern Bluebird. It could mean that you got lucky and identified an impressive Northern Goshawk!

However, for folks not focusing on birds, seeing one by chance can take on other meanings. Many cultures believe that seeing a bird is both a sign of good luck and to keep following your chosen path. Along the same lines, birds remind us to stay true to our ideals, have faith, and keep moving forward.

Related: What does seeing a red bird mean?

In general, birds are viewed as signs of spiritual guidance, including visits from passed loved ones many cultures. If you suddenly see a bird and it captures your attention, admire it but use that moment to reflect on your beliefs and have faith to meet your goals.


Spiritual Meaning

Throughout history, visits from birds have been seen as spiritual occurrences. In ancient Scandinavia, Common Ravens were believed to messengers of the deity Odin. When people heard the croaking calls of ravens and saw them soar high overhead, many surely believed that Odin was receiving messages.


Birds can be good omens and bad omens. For example, ravens are seen as bad omens, but they mostly symbolize wisdom and intelligence.

Mayans viewed the incredible Resplendent Quetzal as a messenger for one of their deities. When they saw one, they may have believed they were close to the spiritual realm. In modern times, birds continue to play spiritual roles for many people, especially when they are personally visited by a bird.

For example, if a Northern Cardinal comes close and watches you, many believe this could be a message from a deceased loved one. The visit reminds you that even though that special person has passed on, they are still present and loving you.

Read more: How did birds get their names?

Visits from many other birds are also viewed as signs of deceased loved ones visiting. At more than one funeral for a much-loved birder, odd birds have shown up and sang!

When sparrows and hummingbirds visit, they are signs of prosperity and good fortune. They can be spiritual reminders to have faith that you are being spiritually taken care of and signs of good things to come.



Birds are excellent symbols of guidance. Geese migrating overhead, flocks of cranes flying into a wetland, or streams of Red-breasted Mergansers flying over the waves remind us of the importance of being guided to our destinations.

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Birds offer us guidance everywhere we go, and what better sign than an owl watching over you?

Warblers, vireos, and other small birds migrate thousands of miles, their only guidance being an instinctive ability to fly to and from distant regions, year after year! We can take inspiration from these birds and follow our own instincts as well as view visits from birds as spiritual guidance.

Pay close attention to a visiting bird, it might be reminding us to stick to our beliefs and do the right thing for ourselves and others.



A visit from a bird can also be a sign of spiritual support. A loved one, angel, or spiritual guide could be reminding you to have faith and stay the course. They are telling you that although you might not see them, they are present, supporting you, and encouraging you to have faith in your dreams.

House Wren

Birds support us with their presence and beautiful songs.

However, following your dreams might not mean continuing to live in the same area or have the same job. It often means changes. Receiving a visit from a bird could be a reminder to have faith to adapt and not be afraid to begin a new chapter in your life.


Good Or Bad News

Birds are usually symbols of good news. However, in every culture, some birds are seen as harbingers of bad news.

Some of the many examples of “good luck” birds include cranes in China and Japan, hummingbirds in North and South America, sparrows, and even gulls. Visits from all of these birds are associated with prosperity, fortune, good luck, and happiness.

Unwelcome “bad omen” situations are where crows or blackbirds crash into a window or lie dead at the front door. In some places, sadly, owls are also sadly considered to be a bad omen, especially if it sounds like the owl says your name!



Do birds bring messages?

Some people believe that birds do bring messages. In such cases, they are usually viewed as reminders to have faith in your dreams.

Do birds warn you?

Yes, some people believe that birds warn you. A visit from a bird could be a sign to be extra careful in all aspects of life.

Are birds messengers from heaven?

Yes, many people believe birds are messengers from heaven. A close and significant visit from a cardinal or other beautiful bird is often viewed as a visit from a deceased loved one.

Can birds sense your energy?

Yes, some people believe birds can sense your energy. Birds have excellent hearing and vision, and can perceive wavelengths of light and magnetism that we can’t see.

Can birds sense your feelings?

No, birds probably can’t sense your feelings. However, since birds can perceive more things than we do, perhaps, in some way, they can.

About the Author

Patrick O'Donnell

Patrick O'Donnell has been focused on all things avian since the age of 7. Since then, he has helped with ornithological field work in the USA and Peru, and has guided many birding tours, especially in Costa Rica. He develops birding apps for BirdingFieldGuides and loves to write about birds, especially in his adopted country of Costa Rica.

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