Red is a striking color, and when we see a red bird, it never fails to grab our attention. For this reason, red birds carry strong symbolism, and for many people, they also have a deep spiritual meaning.
For anyone who wants to learn more, in this post, we discuss red bird symbolism and what it means if you see one – as well as talking about what it means if a red bird appears in your dream.
Table of Contents
- What do we think of when we see a red bird?
- What kinds of red birds are you likely to see and what do they represent?
- What do red birds symbolize?
- What does it mean if you see a red bird in a dream?
- Symbolic of many things
What do we think of when we see a red bird?
Before we talk about the symbolism of red birds, let’s think a bit about the images and emotions a red bird evokes when it appears.
Perhaps the first thing most people associate with the color red is love and passion. When Valentine’s Day arrives, we think about red hearts and red roses, and seeing a red bird may conjure up similar ideas. Red is an intense color, so we think of red birds as being intense too.
However, red is also the color of blood, so seeing a red bird may make us think of war, conflict and violence, with all the terrible negative connotations that go with these things – but also of courage, valor and camaraderie.
Red also resonates strongly in the Christian faith since it reminds us of the blood of Jesus – so for some, red birds may evoke feelings of religious devotion.
Another association with the color red is of health and well-being. Red birds are also vibrant and cheerful, and they can bring us joy, especially on a gloomy day.
Finally, red can also represent traditions and a connection to the past, reminding us of our ancestors and the people who came before us.
When we see a red bird, even though we may not be aware of it, the experience may evoke any of these feelings in our subconscious mind, leaving a strong yet elusive impression.
So now let’s look at the different species of red birds you are likely to see and the specific symbolism each type can have.
What kinds of red birds are you likely to see and what do they represent?
Here are some of the most common red birds you’re likely to come across and what each type can represent.
1. Cardinal spiritual meaning
If you live in North America, a red cardinal is probably the red bird you are most likely to see, and they carry deep spiritual symbolism.
Since they mate for life and don’t migrate but rather, live in the same place year-round, they are associated with domestic harmony and homemaking. They can serve as a reminder to stay faithful to one’s partner or that your relationship is strong.
Cardinals are considered to be close to the spirit world – and indeed, they are named after the cardinals of the Catholic church, giving them even deeper importance to Christians.
One curious fact about cardinals is that many people who see one after recently losing a loved one report a feeling of peace, calm and comfort. It is thought that cardinals carry messages from the other side telling you that your loved one is safe and that all is well.
Their bright red color also brings happiness to those who see them, especially in the dead of winter when their red color is especially vivid against the backdrop of snow, making them a most welcome visitor and a symbol of joy.
2. Summer tanager spiritual meaning
Closely related to cardinals, the summer tanager is another bird you may catch sight of in the southern part of the United States. They are a songbird, with their song resembling that of the American robin.
They symbolize patience, so seeing one may remind you that you shouldn’t be too hasty in life since, as the old adage tells us, “good things come to those who wait”.
3. Crimson sunbirds spiritual meaning
You are unlikely to ever see a crimson sunbird in the wild if you live in North America since they are native to parts of Asia such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Indonesia.
The male is bright red, while the female is a more modest yellow-brown, and they have slightly downcurved beaks that help them reach their favorite food deep inside flowers.
They symbolize speed and quick reactions, reminding you to move quickly to take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves.
They are magical birds that remind us not to forget the spiritual side of things, and like hummingbirds, they also remind us that life is short, so we should always make every moment count.
4. Scarlet ibis spiritual meaning
A resident of tropical South America and the Caribbean, with its brilliant red plumage, the scarlet ibis is one of the most striking birds you’ll ever see.
It is closely related to the American white ibis, but its distinctive coloration means it symbolizes individuality and being comfortable with standing out from the crowd. These birds are flamboyant and aren’t ashamed of their flashy looks.
Due to their ability to survive and thrive in challenging habitats, they also represent flexibility and adaptability, reminding us that we don’t need everything to be perfect to flourish.
5. Scarlet macaw spiritual meaning
The scarlet macaw is native to parts of Central and South America, so if you live in North America, you are most likely to come across one that is being kept as a pet or in a zoo.
Like scarlet ibises, they have a bold, bright plumage, symbolizing confidence and being comfortable in one’s skin. They remind us to be proud of ourselves and our abilities, so we shouldn’t let modesty stand in the way of pursuing our goals.
They are also highly intelligent birds, so they can symbolize using intelligence over emotion to solve problems.
6. Scarlet flycatcher spiritual meaning
Another resident of parts of South America, the scarlet flycatcher is a small bird with a bright red body and black wings.
They might be diminutive, but they keep themselves busy, and these industrious birds symbolize focusing on the small things in life that we can control rather than worrying about the big things that we can’t.
7. Pine grosbeak spiritual meaning
A bird that may be encountered in the western mountains of the US as well as in Canada and Alaska, the male pine grosbeak has a plumage of a rose-red head, back and rump and black feathers in the tail and wings.
They usually stay in their normal range year-round, although those living further north may migrate south during the colder months.
They sometimes also appear in Europe, which, although rare, has seen them come to symbolize long journeys, exploration and adventure.
8. Crimson finch spiritual meaning
The crimson finch is another bird you are unlikely to catch sight of in North America since it is native to parts of Australia and the southern portion of the island of New Guinea.
It is a tiny bird that weighs less than half an ounce, and it can be recognized by its distinctive crimson plumage and long tail.
Because of their bright color, they are often associated with joy and positive energy. However, they have a darker side, as their other common names suggest.
They are known as “blood finches” or “killer finches” due to their aggressive behavior towards other red birds, and for this reason, they can also symbolize setting boundaries and an unwillingness to tolerate those who don’t behave properly towards them.
What do red birds symbolize?
So we’ve looked at the symbolism of several species of red birds, but what do red birds symbolize more generally? Here are some of the most common meanings red birds can have.
1. Be true to yourself
Red birds have bright and conspicuous plumages and unapologetically draw attention to themselves. For this reason, they symbolize being true to yourself and not pretending to be someone you are not.
Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd and don’t lie to yourself or others about who you really are. Learn to be comfortable with who you are, be proud of that and never apologize for it.
2. Find your inner power
Red is a power color, and it’s also the color of the root chakra, which is associated with becoming the person you are meant to be.
To many people, this means red birds can represent inner power and leadership – they symbolize having the strength in your convictions to do what needs to be done, and if you have the confidence to do that, others will naturally follow you.
3. A message from the departed
Angels and spirits use red cardinals – and red birds in general – to convey messages to us from the other side.
This means that if you see a red bird, it could be a sign from an angel telling you that your loved one is thinking of you and watching over you even though they are no longer with you.
4. Domestic harmony
Red birds represent domestic harmony. Cardinals mate for life and stay in the same place year-round, so it is easy to understand why they have come to symbolize homemaking and a stable family.
Crimson finches may be aggressive, but they defend their territory and family fiercely. This aspect of their character – and the intensity and passion symbolized by the color red – means birds of this color represent devotion to one’s partner or family.
What does it mean if you see a red bird in a dream?
If a red bird appears in a dream, it’s likely to have a deeper meaning, so what message can your subconscious mind be trying to pass on to you?
A red bird flying
A red bird flying in a dream may foretell challenges on the horizon. However, if you stay true to yourself and believe in your inner strength, you will be able to overcome whatever life throws at you.
Remember, too, that overcoming challenges makes you stronger, and facing a challenge head-on will allow you to grow and develop.
A red bird flying towards you
If you see a red bird flying directly at you in a dream, the meaning may be quite different. In this case, the message could be that your life is about to take a turn for the better and that your situation is about to improve.
Two red birds together
Two red birds together symbolize love, so seeing them in a dream could tell you that something momentous is about to happen in your love life.
If you are single, perhaps you are about to meet someone special – or if you are already with somebody, perhaps a wedding is not far off.
A red bird on your hand
A red bird on your hand in a dream can be quite an ambiguous message, but often it tells you that something good is going to happen or that good luck is coming your way.
A red bird on the ground
A red bird on the ground tells you to stay grounded and to remember where you came from, however far you travel in life, either physically or metaphorically.
A red bird feeding
If you see a red bird feeding, it means you are about to buy something important. Have you been thinking about buying a new house or a new car? Are you hesitating? Then seeing a red bird may be telling you to go ahead and make the purchase because the time is right.
A new romantic beginning
Very often, if you see a red bird in a dream, it foretells a new romantic beginning in your life. Something exciting is about to happen, so open your heart and allow somebody in because it may change your life for the better.
Symbolic of many things
So as we have seen, red birds can symbolize a range of things, such as passion, devotion, individuality and even violence and war.
If you see a red bird in real life or in a dream, think about the specific circumstances of what you saw, how you felt and the challenges you are currently facing. Then, through deep thought and by trusting your intuition, the correct interpretation will be revealed.
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