Superstitions exist in every culture, and although we may never know their exact origin as many were unknown even in antiquity, we are all familiar with, if not subject to, at least one or two them ourselves. Superstitions cross all social, economic and time barriers, and while many attribute their ceaseless propagation to the innate psychological fears stemming from the human psyche, others view them quite differently. For many, superstitions are derived from the supernatural, and as such, they are endowed with predictive powers. Whether or not the power of superstition comes from a supernatural source or the power of one’s own mind, no can really know for sure. The one thing both of these theories do have in common however is their connection of superstition with power.
Birds have a long and close knit history with superstition. Perhaps this is because they come from the sky, a formerly, unreachable place for human beings. Birds have long been related to the supernatural as they spend their lives between the earth and the heavens. Below are some superstitions that relate to birds in general. Note they are divided into a few different categories, as the color, geography and behaviors of birds all seem to play a part the evolution of superstitions.
Please note that while the focus in this site is primarily on cardinals, this page is about bird superstitions in general. Also, as superstitions are not a part of the Cardinal Experience, we offer this page solely for your information and/or entertainment.
Color - Just as the crimson color of a cardinal dictates many symbolic attributes, so color plays a large part in the superstitions connected with other birds. Below are the some additional birds of color and superstition.
Black Birds – Black birds are associated with death and misfortune. If a black bird flies into the open window of your home death or misfortune is nearby. Also, if black birds are flying around without settling down you are in the presence of disincarnate souls. On a more positive side, if two male black birds are seen sitting together this is a very good omen. Should a black bird nest anywhere in your house then you can look forward to a year of good fortune.
White Birds – When white birds are witnessed, especially doves it is an omen that your prayers will be answered. It may also mean that a healing will soon take place.
Blue Birds – If you see a blue bird, especially early in the morning, you will have a very happy day. If you hear a blue bird chirping, you will receive good news. If a blue bird nests outside your door, it is good luck. If the blue birds don't return to build another nest outside your door the following year it is bad luck.
Yellow Birds – If a yellow bird is seen flying it signifies that you will gain your freedom. If they are caged it means you may lose it.
Red Birds – When you see a red bird in winter, you will prosper in spring. When you hear a Cardinal sing, your sadness will soon be lifted. When a red bird shows up, help is on the way.
Behaviors – From a tradition that originated in ancient Rome, you should to pay close attention to which direction the birds above are flying. The following interpretations are applied: north, bad luck, south, good harvest, west, good luck, east, love.
When setting out on a trip and flying birds are spotted the direction of flight reveals the following: if they are flying to the right the trip will go well, to left the traveler would do well to stay home, especially if there are a large number of them as the number of birds equals the amount of luck.
Geography - Superstitions also appear to vary with geography. The following are a few bird superstitions from countries around the world.
More bird superstitions and old wive's tales: