Have you seen a Black Bird?
This is what it Really Means!

For centuries, people have looked to the skies and heaven for signs and spiritual messages, and since birds fly, people have started perceiving birds as messengers that have been sent to give them guidance in life. So what do black birds symbolize? Keep reading ahead to find out!

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David A. Swanson

November 04, 2021

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In many cultures across the globe, birds hold a certain significance for the spiritual symbolism attached with them. They are known to represent divine intervention, luck, harmony, renewal, and hope. When a certain bird appears to people, they get inspired to do better in life or acquire the courage to remain resilient through tough situations.

However, not all birds symbolize the same thing. Specific birds, due to their behavior or appearance, may symbolize vastly different things. For instance, birds with black plumage are often not greeted with a warm welcome. They’re believed to bring bad news or bad luck. Many people tend to overlook all the positive symbolism behind black-colored birds.

The color black in the bird kingdom is seen as a telling sign. It represents pure potential, transformation, mystery, and magic. Black-colored birds demand our commitment to learning their wisdom and thus, many people view these birds as hard to handle. In their essence, black birds symbolize the light and dark sides of the universe. 

In alchemy, the concept of light and dark is a fundamental concept. It represents transition and transformation. Thus, for a person to truly realize their potential, they must be in touch with their light and dark energy. Which is exactly something the black-colored birds symbolize. 

Our friends with black feathers claw open the veil of secrets. When we seek their help in devotion and mediation, they can help us fly behind the veil to discover uncommon wisdom. 


For centuries, birds have held a great symbolic significance. Therefore, if a bird appears to you, consider the following to help you read the signs:

  1. What sound does the bird make? Listen to the bird’s song and notice if it sounds happy, scared, sad, haunting, or mournful. Consider the emotion that is evoked by that sound.

  2. What type of bird is it? Different birds can symbolize different things. Keep an eye out for whether it is a songbird, predatory bird, or a scavenger that has appeared in your life. 

  3. What color plumage does the bird have? In mythology, colors have their own symbolism. Thus, when a certain colored bird appears to you, consult the significance of its color. 

  4. What is the bird doing? The behavior of the bird can determine the message behind its appearance. Pay attention to whether the bird is flying, watching, strutting, sleeping, or hunting.

  5. How many birds there are? The number of birds that appear to you can hold a lot of importance. Notice if it is a flock of birds, a family, or an individual bird. 



There are two kinds of birds signs: impetrative (asked for or requested) and oblative (unasked for; coming out of the blue). So ask yourself whether a bird is bringing you an unasked message from the universe? Or is it answering a question you asked? 


The proximity of birds, metaphorically and mythologically, being closer to the higher realms has earned them the title messengers of the divine entities. 

In mythology and spirituality, black birds represent an archetype of living beings that come from higher and possibly hidden, realms. Therefore, they have often been considered the signs of divine intervention. 

Dark-colored birds or more specifically black colored birds are symbolic of the following:

  1. Magic

  2. Mystery

  3. The Unknown

  4. Pure Potential

  5. The Link between Dark and Light

  6. Uncommon Perception

Thus, when a black-colored bird appears to you, consider it as a sign of unveiling of your inner depths. You must utilize this sign to self-reflect and better understand your surroundings so that you could lead a fulfilling life. 

In other cases, black birds such as crows and ravens are most often associated with death. They are thought to bring messages from the loved ones that have passed away. In Norse mythology, the god Odin had two ravens fly all over the world for him and then return to him to tell him of everything that’s happening around the world. 


Undoubtedly, black birds inspire us to a great degree. Let’s see what they symbolize in various cultures.


In Native American cultures, black-colored birds, particularly the blackbird, serve as a sort of judge. For instance, if a blackbird is seen feeding on corn, that is a symbol that the tribe has done something bad. Therefore, they would perform a ritual that would honor the corn to appease the blackbird. They also believed that black birds are the guide to the spiritual realms and serve as our companions in times of hardships. 


In Celtic Cultures, birds with black plumage such as the crow, raven, or the blackbird, serve as the guide to the higher plane of existence. They appear to us in the moment of need and give the message of divine entities to put us on the right path. Thus, if you see a black bird looming around you, take a note of what it’s trying to tell you.


In ancient Egypt, black-colored birds are considered to be sacred. This is because they’re symbolic of rebirth, reincarnation, and renewal. Since blackbirds in Egypt return every year after dying each winter, this was seen as an analogy for human life cycles. 


The Chinese people painted pictures of birds with black plumage, or particularly blackbirds, on their house fronts during the New Year celebrations. They believed that paying honor to these words would ensure an abundance of good luck in their lives. 

Similarly, in Japanese folklore and tradition, blackbirds are symbolic of the god Izanagi. This is because these birds are seen as the forces that guide souls from earth to heaven. In other instances, they also represent reincarnation and renewal. Thus, they’re also believed to be symbolic of happy marriages. However, if a blackbird appears at your front door, the Japanese consider this to be bad luck. 


Spirit animals are spiritual guides that provide protection and guidance to people. When black birds reveal themselves as spirit animals, they speak volumes about the power of speaking up and being true to themselves.

Their song isn’t just a song but a way to create a territory for themselves. These unbridled melodies are a testament to speaking our own truths and turning each stepping stone to achieve our destiny. They teach us to remain resilient and be agents of change in our lives.

If you want to learn more about spirit animals and guides, check out the following book:


The color black is often associated with negative energy. Thus, black creatures such as black sheep, black cats, and black birds are disliked. 

Although many people assume that black is bad or dangerous, there is no proof behind this. It is just a result of a phenomenon that most people do not consider things with depth or understanding. Thus, coming across a black bird does not mean that you are bound to hear bad news. 

Moreover, seeing a bird does not ensure you will get a clear answer to all of your problems. It is never really that easy. A bird’s appearance, behavior, and the symbolism behind it can only inspire us to make real changes in our lives to make it better. 

With that in mind, remember that a bird’s color can only be meaningful and symbolic if you believe that it is. It will not bring luck, good or bad, into your life. It will only evoke emotion in you that will help you take charge of your life. 


If black-colored birds have been appearing in your dreams, they can represent a lot of things.

For instance, if a blackbird has appeared to you in the dream, it can mean that you are lacking energy and motivation to finish your projects on time and thus, this bird has come to you to guide you. 

While you may not find the right answer to your problem, the bird’s appearance can at least motivate you and push you to try your best. 

On the other hand, these birds may also represent temptation or lust in your dreams. Thus, it is advised to be extra careful about your thoughts and actions or you might end up facing more troubles. 

Additionally, a black bird’s appearance in your dream can also mean that you are about to receive great knowledge and wisdom that has been missing from your life. Perhaps you have been looking for ways to solve all your problems and now you have finally gotten the solution to do so!


In New England, they once thought black-colored birds to be useless and mischievous. They made efforts to eradicate them. The consequence of this was that a kind worm, that black birds ate, increased in numbers. This worm devoured their grass and then the people realized how important these birds really were!

1. What does it mean if a black-colored bird lands on your shoulder?

A black-colored bird landing on your shoulder unafraid could mean that the bird knows you. It could also mean that it has brought a message from a loved one with it. Thus, it has come to you for communication. Notice the kind of bird that has landed on your shoulder, seek out its symbolic meaning, draw any associations you may have with this bird. Often, the state you’re in, physical or mental, can also relate to the message you’re receiving. Therefore, try to connect with your surroundings to understand this appearance in a much better manner. 

2.  What does it mean if a crow follows you?

If a crow follows you, worry not! It is not there to bring you bad luck. It’s likely that the crow recognizes you for some friendly reason. For instance, it could feel a connection to you or it may be curious in regards to you. Another reason for this could be that maybe the crow wants you to feed it. 

3. What does it mean if a raven appears in my life multiple times?

If a wild animal appears into your life and seems unafraid of you, it is definitely something you should pay closer attention to. Most of the time when a bird appears multiple times, it is trying to tell you something. Although there is a possibility that these birds were just curious about you or were hoping for food, it may also represent that a deceased loved one or even just the universe is trying to connect with you and send you a message. 


Across the globe, the symbolism of black birds is deep and meaningful. In this article, we have given you a brief overview of the many different ways that these birds are symbolic. Additionally, we have tried to clarify the myths behind their presence. 

For instance, black birds represent the dark and light of the universe. Just as light has meaning, so does dark. Thus, these birds represent the hidden messages of the universe. It is advised to not be afraid of dark things as these birds can be messengers from spiritual realms appearing to you with important messages. 

Thus, next time you see a black bird, take a moment to reflect on what it might mean for your life and how this bird’s presence may be the guiding light for you in whatever challenges you may face. 

If you’re interested in learning more about bird symbolism, read our post on crows and whether the bring good or bad luck!

David A. Swanson Picture

By David A. Swanson

Bird Watching USA

My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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David A. Swanson Picture

David A. Swanson

Bird Watching USA

My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!



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