Bluebirds are highly distinctive birds largely due to their striking color, and they are usually welcome visitors too thanks to their pretty appearance and cheerful song.
If you have seen a bluebird and are wondering what it meant or are keen to learn more about what these birds represent to different peoples around the world, here we give you all the answers you need as we discuss bluebird symbolism and what it means if you see one.
Table of Contents
- What are bluebirds?
- Bluebird characteristics and associations
- Bluebird symbolism in various cultures
- Bluebird spiritual symbolism
- What does it mean if you see a bluebird?
- A welcome visitor and usually a positive sign
What are bluebirds?
Before we start thinking about the meaning and symbolism, we need to take a moment to clarify what we’re talking about. What are bluebirds?
Bluebirds are a group of birds in the thrush family belonging to the genus Sialia. This genus includes three species, the mountain bluebird, the western bluebird and the eastern bluebird, which are native to various parts of North and Central America.
This means that bluebirds are not found in other parts of the world like Europe, Asia or Africa.
However, in those parts of the world as well as throughout the Americas, other blue birds – meaning birds that are blue – can be seen.
In this post, we will mostly be talking about the three species of bluebirds found in North America and their symbolism. However, we will also discuss the symbolism of species of blue birds in other parts of the world since it is often quite similar.
Bluebird characteristics and associations
When we think about bluebirds, the outstanding feature is their striking color. Blue is the color of the sky and of the sea, and this color makes us think of things like hope, love, beauty and spirituality – so these are all things we associate with bluebirds.
Bluebirds are also songbirds, and wherever they are found, people enjoy hearing them sing. It is a sound that brings joy and happiness, so this is a feeling many people associate with these birds.
They are also busy little birds, flitting around taking care of whatever needs to be done, and for this reason, bluebirds are associated with a positive attitude and outlook on life, making do with what you have and enjoying it instead of always wanting more.
Bluebird symbolism in various cultures
Since the three species of true bluebirds are mostly found in North America, it’s unsurprising that they feature most prominently in the cultures and traditions of many of the Native American tribes.
However, blue birds also appear in myths and legends from other parts of the world, so let’s look at their symbolism according to various cultures now.
Although the beliefs of different Native American tribes are varied and diverse, bluebirds are generally seen as positive creatures wherever they appear, often due to their bright and joyful color as well as for their pleasant song.
To the Navajo and the Iroquois tribes, bluebirds represented good fortune, fertility and prosperity.
To the Iroquois tribes especially, the bluebird was a sign of the arrival of the spring since the bluebird’s song was thought to chase away Sawiskera, the spirit of winter. When the bluebird sang, Sawiskera lost his power, allowing the war weather of spring to return.
According to a Cochiti legend, the sun’s firstborn was named Bluebird, and bluebirds were associated with the rising sun since they woke people in the morning with their song.
The bluebird was also important to the Pima and represented growth and tradition. The Pima also have a story that tells of an ugly bluebird who was ashamed of his appearance and wanted to become more attractive.
- The ugly bird and the lake
In the Pima story, the bird thought he was so ugly and was ready to do anything to change the way he looked.
One day, he came to hear of a magical lake that had the power to make people and animals who drank the water beautiful – but there was also a rumor that the water was poisonous, so nobody dared to try.
However, the bird was so determined to become attractive that he flew headfirst into the waters of the lake. The spirit of the lake was so impressed by the bird’s bravery that it instantly made the bird beautiful.
In another version of the story, the bird’s appearance wasn’t changed, but the lake spirit taught him to accept the way he looked and have confidence in himself rather than worry about becoming more beautiful.
This version matches the idea that bluebirds represent being satisfied with what we have rather than always seeking more.
- Nanabozho and the rainbow
Bluebirds also appear in an Ojibwa myth that tells how rainbows came into being.
According to this story, a spirit named Nanabozho was painting the world, which, until that time, only had shades of gray. As he was painting the flowers and trees near a waterfall, two bluebirds were flying around and playing together.
As they flew around Nanabozho, his paints got onto their feathers, and then when they flew into the waterfall, the air was filled with a kaleidoscope of colors.
Then, when the sun shone on the waterfall, Nanabozho saw how beautiful it looked, and, delighted with the result, he decided to leave it that way. This is why we now see rainbows when the sun shines through the mist of a waterfall.
Blue birds in other cultures
Although there are no bluebirds in Europe or Russia, blue birds do appear in folk tales from the region.
According to Russian tradition, blue birds are seen as a symbol of hope.
In another story, from the Lorraine region of eastern France, two children were sent out into the forest to look for the Blue Bird of Happiness.
After searching for a long time, they were unable to find the bird they were looking for, but when they returned home, they found the bird in a cage in their home.
This represents how sometimes we don’t notice or value the important things in life, even when they are right in front of us.
This part teaches us that happiness is only amplified when shared with others rather than being kept to ourselves.
Blue birds also appear in the beliefs of China and Korea. According to Korean custom, blue birds were messengers from the gods.
In China, they were associated with Xi Wang Mu, the Mother Goddess of the West. She was believed to care for maidens, nuns and priestesses, and seeing a blue bird in a tree told you that her presence was near and that she was watching over you.
Bluebird spiritual symbolism
So we’ve seen what bluebirds – and blue birds more generally – have meant in the past, but what do they mean in the world of modern spirituality?
Be content with your lot in life
Many of the modern interpretations of bluebird symbolism match some of the older beliefs, and one example sees the bluebird as a symbol of contentment with what one has in life rather than always seeking more.
Some people are never satisfied with what they have and are always chasing more, whether that means more money, more power or anything else.
However, bluebirds can remind us that we should learn to value what we have rather than spending our whole lives chasing more – because sometimes, what we have in front of us is more precious than we realize.
Spread joy when you can
Bluebirds can also remind us to spread joy as much as we can, just as bluebirds do with their striking color and their pretty song. This also echoes the story from Lorraine when the children share the bird with the lonely local boy, making everyone happier.
Keep a positive attitude
Even when they find themselves in harsh environments with little to eat, bluebirds always seem to retain their cheery demeanor, singing and hopping around and making the most of what they have.
This reminds us never to lose heart or faith and to keep a positive attitude and outlook on life. This is important because the bad times never last forever, and as the old saying tells us, after the rain, the sun always follows.
What does it mean if you see a bluebird?
If you live in North America, bluebirds may sometimes appear to you during your daily life, but if you live elsewhere in the world, you may still sometimes see birds that are blue.
But even if you don’t see one in real life, they can still appear to you in your dreams, and the meanings are often similar, so what does it mean if you see one?
Here are some of the most common interpretations:
1. Angels are with you – open your heart
Many people believe bluebirds are messengers from angels, and one of the simplest interpretations is that an angel – or perhaps a departed loved one – is sending you a message that you are not alone.
If the message is from an angel, it could also be a way of telling you that you should open your heart and be ready to receive further messages, perhaps in the form of angel numbers or something similar, because there is something important that you need to know.
2. Your struggles will soon end
If you see a bluebird, either for real or in a dream, it may be telling you that your struggles will soon come to an end and that a problem will soon be resolved.
Is there a particular difficulty that you’re facing in your life at the moment? Are you beginning to lose heart?
Then seeing a bluebird could be a sign that you shouldn’t give up just yet because things are about to take a turn for the better.
3. Don’t give up your happiness in pursuit of your goals
Another important message that bluebirds can convey is that you shouldn’t sacrifice your happiness in the pursuit of your goals.
For example, if you are chasing a promotion at work but the endeavor is leaving you exhausted and negatively effecting your family life, seeing a bluebird could be an indication you are on the wrong track – because your family and your health are the things you should value most.
4. Be alert or aware
A bluebird may also tell you that you need to keep alert to changes that are happening because you need to notice what’s happening and react accordingly.
It could be that a big opportunity is about to present itself or that a disaster is on the way – and by being aware of what’s going on around you, you will be able to grasp the opportunity or avert the disaster by taking the appropriate action at the right time.
5. Seeing a bluebird’s feather – the solution is before your eyes
Seeing a bluebird feather but no bluebird may tell you that the solution you seek is right before your eyes. In this case, you should take a step back and think about what you are missing – because it could be that you are not seeing the wood for the trees.
6. A talking bluebird – loneliness
A bluebird talking to you in a dream may be an indication that you are lonely. Perhaps you feel sad or depressed, but you aren’t quite sure why. If a bluebird appears to when you feel this way, it could be telling you that you need to seek out new friends and companionship.
7. A bluebird eating a worm – success is coming
As they say, the early bird gets the worms, and if you see a bluebird eating a worm – either in a dream or for real – it could be a message that you are going to get the proverbial worm too since great success will be on its way to you soon.
A welcome visitor and usually a positive sign
So as we have seen, bluebirds – and blue birds – are generally viewed as positive signs or omens, and they have various meanings according to different Native American tribes as well as to peoples in other parts of the world.
If you see a bluebird, either in real life or in a dream, there can be several different interpretations. However, if you search within yourself – perhaps through meditation – and trust your intuition, the true meaning of what you have seen will be revealed to you.
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