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What Do Mockingbirds Symbolize? The Meaning Behind These Beautiful Creatures

Mockingbird symbolism and meaning

Mockingbirds capture our attention with an incredible voice and bold, eye-catching attitude. Seeing one is always special, but what does mockingbird symbolism stand for?

People have been captivated by mockingbirds for centuries. It’s no wonder these neat birds are associated with a lot of symbolism!

What does it mean when you see a mockingbird? See answers in this article!


Mockingbird Meaning & Symbolism

For the most part, mockingbirds are symbols of innocence, being protective of family and loved ones, individuality, and having the gift of imitation.

Northern Mockingbird

Such symbolism is associated with these gray and white birds on account of their behavior. Anyone who has watched a mockingbird can’t help but notice how bold these birds can be. Whether foraging on an open lawn or singing from a rooftop in the middle of the night, they do their own thing no matter what.

Keep watching them, and it won’t be long before the mockingbird shows its protective side by chasing another bird away.

Between bouts of foraging and chasing other birds, mockingbirds also demonstrate their amazing vocal abilities.

As they sing from a bush, utility pole, or roof, we can also hear them imitate the calls and songs of other birds. Mockingbirds are masters of imitation and yet they are still innocent birds just doing their own thing.


What does it mean when you see a mockingbird?

Seeing a mockingbird could simply mean that you have one or two living in the neighborhood. However, if you see a mockingbird in certain situations, it could mean something more.

For example, does a mockingbird pay attention to you? Do you notice the bird contemplating you or singing as it looks at you? Is there a mockingbird that follows you as you walk in the neighborhood?

Seeing a mockingbird can mean many things

Seeing a mockingbird can symbolize many things, including beauty and individuality.

If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, the universe just might be telling you something of serious importance. Mostly, since mockingbirds are strongly associated with self-expression, it could be a reminder to be yourself and not be afraid to show who you really are.

However, in being ourselves, mockingbirds are reminding us to do so in an innocent manner and to include family and friends.


Mockingbird Spiritual Meaning

In most parts of their range, seeing a mockingbird is a normal, everyday experience. After all, this bold species is one of the easiest birds to see. They like open areas, enjoy foraging on lawns, and garner attention with their cheery, impressive songs.

Mockingbirds often live right with people. However, that doesn’t mean they have lost their spiritual significance. These birds are very symbolic and can be powerful purveyors of spiritual messages.

If you never see mockingbirds but suddenly notice one watching you as it sings, the universe could be telling you to stay true to your artistic self. The bird is also saying it’s alright to take inspiration from others but with a subtle warning.

Take inspiration but never steal, get ideas from others but work to change them. Listen to what that mockingbird has to say but don’t harm others in the process. Stay true to innocence.

If the mockingbird follows you around and gives you a knowing look, the universe might be reminding you to stay loyal to family and loved ones. You are being reminded to keep them in mind, to be aware of when they need help, and to take the initiative to be there for the special people in your life.



Mockingbirds are powerful symbols of innocence. It’s no wonder the bird played such a prominent role in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”. These cheerful birds might sing from the top of a house but they don’t do it out of spite or to show off.

Northern Mockingbird

Whether perched on a home, mailbox, or tree in the front yard, male Northern Mockingbirds sing for much more innocent reasons. They are just trying to find a mate or are simply showing other birds where their territory is.

In doing so, they remind us to do what we love and practice the things are good at, but without the slightest hint of arrogance.



Mockingbirds might not be brightly colored birds but they can still be symbols of beauty. These smartly dressed birds remind us that beauty doesn’t have to be showy or splashed with bright colors.

Beauty can also be subtle, take a closer look and you might find beauty that brings you to tears, right in those little details. As has often been said, beauty was there the entire time, in front of us, we just had to open our eyes to it.

With its pale gray but smart-looking plumage, the Northern Mockingbird reminds us of this special aspect of beauty. It sings and shows us the unique talent and beauty that it holds inside.



Mockingbirds are one of the best avian symbols of individuality. If they had beliefs, these cheeky birds would never abandon them. If the bird feels like singing in the middle of the night, it’s going to do it. When a mockingbird wants to forage on the front lawn, right in front of us, that’s what the bird does.

Northern Mockingbird

It reminds us to always be ourselves, to not be afraid to express our true colors. Better to be honest and show who you are than pretend to be something else. Although mockingbirds mimic other birds, they still do it in their own, special way.


Mockingbird Tattoo Meaning

Mockingbirds make great tattoos. Their bold wing and tail patterns stand out and make a noticeable, bold statement. They can also have several meanings.

The mockingbird’s amazing vocal abilities make a tattoo of one a perfect choice for musicians and singers. With their amazing ability at avian languages, mockingbird tattoos also work well for translators and language teachers.

For such folks, although any type of mockingbird tattoo will work, it’ll take on more significance if the tattoo shows a singing mockingbird.

Read more: Bird Tattoo Meanings & Ideas

However, if you don’t speak multiple languages, or can’t even play a harmonica, no problem! These svelte birds also stand for freedom of expression, individualism, adaptability, and one who seeks balance.

A mockingbird with open, somewhat “ying-yang” wings and a spread tail is an excellent symbol for balance. The same or similar ink art is a great way to showcase the other attributes mentioned, especially tattoos of mockingbirds with beautiful Multiflora Rose.


Mockingbird Symbolism – Frequently Asked Questions

What does the mockingbird symbolize?

The mockingbird symbolizes freedom of expression, innocence, the ability to imitate, and individualism.

Why are mockingbirds so special?

Mockingbirds are so special because these bold birds are amazing mimics with a beuatiful song, and can live near people.

What does the mockingbird mean in mythology?

In mythology, the mockingbird means a bird that acts as a spiritual messenger or guardian.

What does a mockingbird mean in life?

In life, a mockingbird means a bird that loves to sing and live near people. A mockingbird can also be a reminder to adapt but stay true to our innocent selves.



In many places, mockingbirds might be common, everyday birds but they still hold special meaning. As they sing and nest in the backyard, mockingbirds act as innocent, priceless entertainment.

However, they also symbolize much more. In addition, if a mockingbird follows you or gets your attention in other ways, the universe might be telling you something.

These lovely birds remind us of the importance of expressing ourselves and having faith to show who we really are. They can also remind us to explore our more creative side and to take innocent inspiration from others.

Most of all, mockingbirds can remind us to pay attention to birds, no matter how often we see them!


Read next – Why is bird symbolism so close to our hearts?

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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