The Spiritual Meanings of Birds

God might be sending messages to you through birds

The angel of the birds by Franz Dvorak, 1910.
God may send messages through birds as angels, spirit guides, or totems. Public Domain

Birds have inspired humans throughout history with their ability to rise above the Earth. Birds soaring through the air stir our souls, motivating us to rise above earthly concerns and learn about the spiritual realm. Birds and angels share a bond, because both symbolize the beauty of spiritual growth. Additionally, angels often appear with wings.

People sometimes see birds appear before them to deliver spiritual messages. They may encounter angels in the form of birds, see images of a beloved bird that as died and believe it is acting as a spirit guide, or glimpse bird images, or animal tokens, symbolizing something God wants to communicate. Or they may receive extraordinary inspiration from God simply through ordinary interactions with birds.

If you're open to receiving spiritual meaning through birds, here's how God may use them to send you messages:

Angels as Birds

Angels are associated with birds more than any other animal because angels that appear to humans in heavenly glory sometimes feature wings. Wings symbolize God's care for people and the freedom and empowerment people gain from spiritual growth. Angels sometimes appear in the physical form of earthly birds, if that can help them convey messages from God to people.

In "A Small Book of Angels," author Eugene Stiles writes:

"As with angels, some birds are symbols of uplift and peace (the dove, the eagle) while others function much as the Angel of Death (vulture, raven). ... Surely it is no coincidence that in fulfilling many of the tasks once given to simple birds, angels were perceived to be winged: there seems to be a compulsion to link angels with wings, which, by their very nature, have to do with flight, with freedom and aspiration."

Birds and angels exist in spiritual harmony, writes author Claire Nahmad in "Angel Messages: The Oracle of the Birds." Birds may deliver angelic meaning through the songs they sing, she writes:

"The magical Milky Way, eternally associated with winged angels and home-going souls, is called in Finland ‘the Birds’ Way.’ It is the mysterious stairway to spiritual worlds, trodden by shamans and mystics but available to all, if we are taught how to listen to birdsong and recognize the angelic messages that birds deliver to us."

Your guardian angel can help you seek spiritual guidance through a bird whose appearance seems like an omen to you, Nahmad suggests: "Ask your guardian angel to link your soul with the soul of the bird, and then ask for the help that the augury specifies and that you would like to receive."

Departed Birds as Spirit Guides

You might see in a dream or vision an image of a bird with which you've shared a bond but has since flown out of your life. God could be delivering a message to you through the bird as a spirit guide.

Arin Murphy-Hiscock writes in "Birds: A Spiritual Field Guide" that relationships with birds can be rewarding in connecting you to the natural world and helping you gain insights into your soul.

People who were close to you before they died may send you comforting messages through bird spirit guides, writes Andrea Wansbury in "Birds: Divine Messengers" "People in spirit use many means to let us know they are fine, and sending the message via the bird kingdom is just one way."

Birds as Symbolic Animal Totems

Another way that God may deliver spiritual meaning through birds is by showing you a symbolic image of a bird, either a physical bird or the spiritual image of one called a totem. Murphy-Hiscock notes that birds people have been drawn to repeatedly or that constantly appear in their lives may be personal totems, and her book explores their symbolism.

Birds symbolize key aspects of spirituality, writes Lesley Morrison in "The Healing Wisdom of Birds: An Everyday Guide to Their Spiritual Songs & Symbolism." They symbolize freedom, expansiveness, and keen vision.

Specific kinds of birds also convey different symbolic meanings. Wansbury writes that doves symbolize peace, eagles symbolize power, and swans symbolize transformation.

Birds as Spiritual Inspiration

God may send you spiritual messages through your daily interaction with birds. Wansbury writes:

"These messages are words of wisdom and advice, and they can help us to identify talents we are not using, or the negative beliefs and thought patterns that are holding us back. Once these messages are understood and applied to our lives, they can be a valuable source of direction as we progress on our spiritual journeys."