Discover the Meaning and Symbolism of Seeing a Dead Bird

Written by Sammi Caramela
Updated: September 14, 2023
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Seeing a dead bird might be alarming (and upsetting), but there are various meanings and interpretations. Despite what you might assume, dead birds don’t necessarily mean you’re going to receive bad news or loss in your life. In fact, there are many positive representations of this sign. Here are different meanings and symbols of seeing a dead bird.

Seeing a dead bird does not necessarily mean a negative thing like physical death.

What Does a Dead Bird Symbolize?

A dead bird does not always signify physical death; rather, it can mean the ending of a chapter and the beginning of a new one.

Dead birds symbolize both positive and negative changes, but they’re closely related. For example, the deceased creature typically represents grief, discontentment, and sadness. Perhaps you’re going through a breakup, recently lost a loved one, or even failed at a passion project. The pain and suffering accompanying these life events can be overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost.

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On the flip side, seeing a dead bird can also mean new beginnings, the end of suffering, rebirth, and transformation. Often without the death (of a person, pet, relationship, situation, or even a career path), we can’t experience renewal or a fresh start. We must first let go of the past to embrace a new future. That doesn’t mean repressing our emotions or forgetting those we lost; rather, it means accepting that life can be painful, but it can also be beautiful. Appreciate what and who you have when you have it, and be present with your current blessings.

The Symbolism of a Dead Bird in Different Cultures and Religions

A dead specimen of Passer domesticus, or house sparrow. It is one of the usual birds in rural and urban environments, but its population is in decline, and its existence is threatened. Aragon, Spain.

Dead birds signify many different things, both positive and negative.


Different cultures and religions have different interpretations of seeing a dead bird. Here are a few of the most popular interpretations.

Native Americans

The Native American culture values and cherishes birds, and they have both a positive and negative view of dead birds. Some Native Americans interpret dead birds as bad omens that signify the death of a loved one. However, this culture also believes they represent upcoming changes, transformation, rebirth, and renewal.

Without the end of something, you usually can’t begin anew. Sometimes, we need to let go of the past in order to move forward. Native Americans believe that — despite the period of grief you might endure — you will experience the chance to start again and transform into who you are truly meant to be.

Ancient Greece

Birds were important creatures that symbolized many different meanings in ancient cultures. In ancient Greece, dead birds represented a fresh start. Because Greeks believed in reincarnation, they believed that in order for one life to begin, another had to end. They interpreted dead birds as signs of literal new life — meaning pregnancy and birth. While a dead bird might seem like a bad omen, many ancient Greeks actually viewed it as a positive sign and good luck.  

However, others say that seeing dead birds in ancient Greece also meant war was coming. Today that might translate to interpersonal chaos or conflict. 

Chinese Cultures

Chinese cultures associate dead birds with signs and messages from ancestors. Typically, when seeing a dead bird, they believe their deceased loved ones are sending warning signs of the upcoming physical death of a loved one. Another interpretation is that the dead bird actually represents those who have already passed and simply want to pay a visit and express their support/presence.

On the contrary, some also believe this is a sign of good fortune and monetary blessings coming their way. Regardless of the interpretation, death often means the end of pain and suffering, whether physically, emotionally, or even financially. 


In Islam, birds typically represent the human soul. If a bird is dead, however, this can translate to the deterioration of the human soul, signifying emotional suffering, grief, or even death. As a result, Islams often view dead birds as a bad omen or danger ahead. This revelation asks you to practice caution in your waking day to ensure you’re protecting yourself and your loved ones from any misfortunes or unsafe situations. 

Sometimes, however, when seeing a dead bird, Islams interpret it as a sign of new beginnings, hope, or renewal. As previously mentioned, death and rebirth often go hand in hand.


Christians view dead birds particularly negatively. When they stumble upon the scene, they interpret it as a bad omen or a warning sign from God. To them, a dead bird represents unfortunate events, traveling down the wrong path, danger, or even death. Upon seeing a dead bird, Christians are encouraged to pay close attention to current or upcoming events, so they are making the best — and most morally-sound — decisions. 

Additionally, a dead bird might signify punishment for sins. For example, if a Christian is going against God and indulging in their desires, this might be a sign for them to reconnect with their faith and values.

The Meaning of Seeing a Dead Bird

If you’ve seen a dead bird, don’t panic — there are many different interpretations depending on your current situation or what resonates with you. Here are some common meanings to consider.

It’s Time to Close a Chapter

Perhaps you’ve been nearing the end of a relationship, a job, or even a living situation. You might be in denial, clinging tightly to what was once familiar and fulfilling. However, sometimes, we need to close a chapter in order to start on a fresh page — to move forward toward a brighter future.

If you see a dead bird and feel as though you’re at a crossroads in your life, take it as a sign that it’s time to release the past and consider a new direction. End the unhealthy relationship, quit the toxic job, search for an apartment in a new city — in whatever decision you make, consider how you can forge new beginnings.

Beware of Current or Future Events

Bird sparrow killed by car on road. Dead bird lies on the asphalt. Wounded sparrow on the pavement. Animal protection and respect for nature.

Seeing a dead bird can be a distressing and emotional experience.


As mentioned above, dead birds can be bad omens in some situations. When you come across a dead bird, stop and reflect on how you’re feeling in your body. Did you get an eerie sensation, chills down your arms, or a pit in your stomach? What is your intuition telling you?

A dead bird might be telling you to be cautious, whether in the current moment or in your future endeavors. During this time, don’t make any sudden decisions or trust anyone blindly. Instead, approach everything and everyone with healthy skepticism, analyze the risks associated with each choice you’re considering, and be extra careful and aware of your surroundings. 

Be Open to Change

Change can be scary, but it can also be exciting and positive. Transformation doesn’t always mean you have to make some grand decision or forge an ending when you aren’t ready. Rather, it might simply mean you’re ready for new blessings to enter your life. If you see a dead bird and are undergoing a period of transition, trust this is a good sign that you’re getting closer to what’s meant for you. However, you must be open and receptive to this change in order to reap its benefits. Be careful not to be too resistant to the good that is coming your way. In other words, don’t hold yourself back out of fear.

Realign with Yourself

Throughout life, everyone loses contact with themselves at some point. Maybe you’re going through the motions of each day with no passion, or perhaps you’re making decisions that don’t reflect who you are or what you want out of life. If you stumble across a dead bird during a period of discontent or disconnection from yourself, take it as a sign that you need to reevaluate your current situation.

When you fall out of alignment with yourself or your values, seeing a dead bird might remind you to get back on track and in touch with yourself. Ground yourself in your faith — whatever that might look like to you — and focus on your values, goals, and passions.

Open Up to the Spiritual Realm

Whether you believe in God, the universe, Buddha, or no higher power at all, opening up to the spiritual realm can be a healing experience. Even if you think there’s nothing up there but stars, you can still consider the possibility of loved ones trying to reach you through signs or messages — like the dead bird.

If you notice a dead bird in your waking day — or even in your dreams — try to get in touch with your most spiritual side by slowing down and opening your mind. You have the power to assign meaning to anything, so ask yourself what you think this symbolizes for you. Meditate, pray, or reflect on your current journey, and be open to any insights or downloads you might get.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

To many, a dead bird is a sign that a specific location is dangerous. For example, if you’re on a walk and stumble across a dead bird on the side of the road, many believe it is a sign you should turn around and head home. Perhaps there’s a threat looming in that particular location, and the bird is an omen warning you against traveling any further.

If this happens to you, you don’t have to panic and run (unless you feel compelled to!) Rather, simply pay close attention to your surroundings and practice awareness and caution. 

Your Heart Will Heal

Seeing a dead bird might feel like salt in the wound if you recently endured a breakup, ended a friendship, or lost someone in a tragic accident. However, it represents the end of your suffering and the reassurance that you will get through it. In other words, take it as a sign your heart will heal — and soon. While this sign often symbolizes grief, if you notice it during an emotionally painful time in your life, you can interpret it as a supportive message from above that you’re about to experience renewal and a fresh start. Sometimes, deep transformation follows intense loss. 

Have Faith

While it might seem like the opposite of a good omen (and many of the above meanings indicate negative connotations), seeing a dead bird might encourage you to have more faith. In fact, it often means you should surrender your fear and pain during hard times. 

If you feel hopeless, you’re not alone. The dead bird shows that even when we think we’ve lost it all, we can always start again. It’s never too late for a fresh beginning.

Remember: it’s up to you how you interpret different signs and symbols in your life. If none of the above meanings make sense to you or your situation, that’s okay — trust your gut and only take what resonates.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Andrew Balcombe/

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About the Author

Sammi is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering cats, nature, symbolism, and spirituality. Sammi is a published author and has been writing professionally for six+ years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Writing Arts and double minors in Journalism and Psychology. A proud New Jersey resident, Sammi loves reading, traveling, and doing yoga with her little black cat, Poe.

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