8 Spiritual Meanings Of Dead Birds

The sight of a dead bird will often make your stomach sink, whether that’s in waking life or a dream.

We tend to associate birds with simple joy, stubbornness, bravery, and freedom. So the death of a bird can be linked to the opposite or the loss of these attributes.

A dead bird can also be a signal of disappointment, bad luck, a breakdown in an important relationship, or losing hope or faith.

But is a dead bird always a bad sign? Let’s take a closer look.

What Is The Spiritual Meaning Of Seeing A Dead Bird?


It’s worth starting with the most obvious meaning, and that is death. A dead bird reminds us that we won’t live forever, though we often don’t like to think about it.

No matter what we do in the meantime, death is the one certainty we have in life.

While this thought can be pretty arresting, a dead bird does not appear to frighten you out of your senses.

This reminder doesn’t come as a grim warning, but it is a reminder to inspire you to go after what you want now, and live every day to the fullest you can.

Using this approach throughout life will mean that you’ll have few regrets, as often the biggest regret is what if. Then, when it is your time to go, you will only feel peace.

Rebirth And Renewal

On a much more positive note, seeing a dead bird either in waking life or a dream points to change, renewal, and rebirth.

Some things can only come after something has ‘died’, whether that’s a relationship, a goal which is no longer feasible, a certain chapter in your life, or something else entirely. 

It can also come as a signal that you need to let go of habits you’ve outgrown, or ways of thinking that don’t reflect your current lifestyle or situation.

If you’re stuck in a rut, then seeing a dead bird may help you get back on track. It could even point towards a new direction for your life altogether.

Patterns of behavior or old ways of approaching life may no longer be feasible if you see a dead bird.

It can suggest that you need to make way for new ones, and adapt to your current circumstances instead of doing the same thing you’ve always done. Don’t fight change, but adapt to it.

Once you’ve put these old habits to rest, new and better ones will form, allowing you to face the present, and the future, with a little more hope and faith. 

A dead bird can also indicate that you’re focusing on all the wrong things. Maybe you’re preoccupied with something superficial, something that you will look back on in ten, twenty years with regret at all the wasted time. 

Or maybe you’re ignoring the bigger picture, and missing opportunities because you’re too busy worrying about smaller details, or jumping from one project to another.

Either way, the best advice is to stop looking backwards, and start looking forwards. If you focus on what’s right now, and what lies ahead, you’ll find yourself in a much happier place. 

You may find yourself calmer and ready for anything, once you’ve cast off the things that no longer serve you.

This allows you a greater perspective, allowing you to see what’s important to you and aspects of the present without bias coloring your vision.

Some believe that the death of a bird symbolizes a soul which has reached a salvation of some form, too. Where bad habits, and ways of thinking that don’t serve  you finally fall away.

It Comes As A Warning

No matter where you saw the dead bird, whether it was in a dream or in your waking hours, a dead bird can come as a warning.

It indicates that something difficult is waiting for you in the future. This may be prevented by taking a good look at your habits, perspective, or recent decisions.

Maybe some of your choices lately are pointing you toward a path that’s not right for you, or they’ll cause a fallout that will bring a lot of hurt to you or your loved ones.

Perhaps a plan you’ve made for your future is flawed, and the dead bird is a sign to change things now, while you can, so that you may move forward.

It may also draw your attention to your spiritual journey, where something has knocked you from the path you should be on.

Maybe a terrible situation has left you feeling as though you don’t have the inner power you thought.

By seeing the dead bird, and rectifying what you can, you may be able to swerve the bad entirely.

Sometimes this warning is completely inevitable, however. You may change what you can – if there is anything to change at all – and realize that misfortune finds you no matter what.

It always feels personal when bad luck comes knocking at your door, but a warning is always a good thing.

It means that you are more prepared to deal with what comes, and this will help you move on quicker than what you might have imagined at the beginning.

The End Of A Dream Or Long-held Goal

A dead bird looks very fragile and forlorn, and so it can represent a long-held goal or dream that’s fizzled out, or just faded with time.

The dead bird symbolizes the end of a dream before it can be fulfilled.

This is not as bad as it sounds at first.

Not all dreams or goals can be realized, even if those are the ones that defined your life at some point. Instead, they make way for the ones that can.

Seeing a dead bird may indicate that you’re ready to give up on something that doesn’t seem worth pursuing any longer, or something you have no time for anymore.

This means you may need to take another look at what you hold dear to you, and decide if there’s something more fitting that you can dedicate your time and effort to.

You may find yourself wondering why you were ever interested in this particular dream in the first place.

If you do decide to pursue an idea or goal which seems even more unlikely, it’s worth having a proper plan in place.

Knowing how you will get there is most of the battle, after all.

If you dream of a dead bird dropping from the sky, this is a message from your spirit guide, warning you that one of your plans will not turn out how you hoped. 

Sometimes you won’t be able to see the failure in a long-term goal until the moment in which it becomes unreachable.

The species of the bird can be significant, too. A dead woodpecker, for example, suggests a failure in your drive or motivation, which caused you to never reach a specific goal.

But seeing a dead bird means that you can now make way for the dreams that serve you, those which will allow you to make progress in life.


A dead bird can come as a warning of heartbreak. This may be in a relationship, whether that’s with your partner or someone else close to you.

Or, heartbreak is coming in another area of your life, such as an abrupt end to a career path or a dream you’ve had since childhood.

Dead birds appearing can suggest that there are troubling times ahead, which will be particularly painful as they will relate to an issue in your past.

It may come as a mirror to a challenging time in your life that you’d rather not remember at all. 

In particular, seeing a dead bird of prey such as an eagle refers to a loss of power, authority or control.

A coming problem will mean that you’ll have less control over your life, or a situation which is delicate and affects those you love. It has the potential to make you feel completely powerless, but only if you let it.

A dead pigeon points to a relationship that is about to shatter your heart into pieces, or you will do the same to someone else. Sometimes, these things cannot be helped.

Pigeons symbolize loyalty and trust, as they were entrusted with important messages in the past.

You will probably find that you will struggle to trust people for a while after this situation occurs, or you’ll tread more carefully than you have in the past.

A Reminder Of Who You’ve Lost

Sometimes, dead birds represent someone you have loved and lost.

In this case, dead birds serve as a testament to your loved one’s memory, rather than the act of them dying.

It’s a reminder that, while your loved one is gone, the important memories and the effect they had on you, lives on through you.

This dead bird also serves as some motivation, rather than something that should make you sad.

It reminds you to live your life as you want, rather than letting things that are out of your control get you down.

Find new ways to honor the person you’ve lost, and while you should keep their memory close, don’t let death get in the way of living.

Family Arguments Or Relationship Breakdowns

Birds are fiercely protective and nurturing towards their offspring, and depending on the species, their mates, too.

The death of a bird points to the loss of the stability that your loved ones give you. This may be in terms of a huge argument which will shake you to the core, one which will take a long time to repair.

Or, new family responsibilities mean a shift in your priorities, one which will take a lot of adjustment to begin with.

You may find that you will have no time for hobbies that you once enjoyed, at least, not for a while. This will be a source of stress, but you will find your way to a new equilibrium. 

Maybe circumstances will suggest that a relationship is no longer viable, or you’ve both outgrown each other. Holding onto a dying connection like this will not serve you.

In fact, it may distract you from other relationships or aspects of your life that need your attention.

A dead bird signifies great change, and the importance of not holding onto things that are long past. 

Misfortune, Or Unsafe Surroundings

A dead bird appearing before you, either in dreams or waking life, can signify bad luck and danger in your surroundings.

In the past, miners would keep canaries underground. As long as the birds sang, it was safe to keep working.

When the canaries died, it was a sign that the invisible killer, carbon monoxide, among other poisonous gasses, was present, and the workers needed to leave quickly.

In this case, a dead bird indicates something or someone in your environment is toxic, and will prove harmful to your physical or emotional wellbeing. 

This could be something as small and as vital as not taking steps to ensure your body does not become damaged when you’re working. If you do manual labor, perhaps you’re taking risks in areas you shouldn’t.

If you work a lot with computers, maybe your office is too dimly-lit, you’re not taking enough screen breaks, or the way you’re typing will cause you some sort of strain injury if you’re not careful.

Maybe a colleague is holding you back in some way. They might not be giving you vital information in order to help complete a project, for example.

Perhaps the company you work for is planning cutbacks or a reform of sorts, which will impact you greatly.

Or, someone in your personal life isn’t who they seem. Maybe their kind words don’t match their actions.

If someone you love starts to isolate you from your support network repeatedly, this is a person who does not have your best interests at heart.

Final Thoughts

Seeing a dead bird in waking life or in your dream can point to the death of something, but that isn’t the only interpretation.

More likely, it foretells change, and a potential shift in your priorities, maybe even a new lifestyle.

It’s also possible that seeing a dead bird only reveals a dead bird.

The meaning you place on its appearance, either in your waking hours or your dreams, is more important. It reveals your attitude towards the present, and how you view the future. 

This belief will guide your actions for a time, so make sure you choose the one that resonates with you the most.


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