20 Red Bird Meanings: What Do They Symbolize?

Summer Tanager
Summer Tanager sitting on a palm tree, Laguna de Lagarta Lodge, Costa Rica. Photo: Ondrej Prosicky.

What does it mean if a red bird makes their presence known to you by flying past you or landing on a tree branch nearby? In this post, we’ll explore red bird symbolism and meanings, from spiritual meanings to red bird folklore, to what they mean in love, manifestation, wellness, and more.

Three Scarlet Macaws
Scarlet macaws, Costa Rica. Photo: Mario Wong Pastor.

What does a red bird symbolize?

What does it mean if you see a red bird? Here’s a quick list of what they symbolize. We’ll go into more details on these below.

  • Angels    
  • Romantic love
  • Passion
  • Energy
  • Security
  • Protection
  • Willpower and determination
  • A warm and vibrant personality
  • Good Fortune

Types of Birds that Are Red

There are a wide variety of birds who are red or have predominantly red plumage. So, before we go into more details on red bird meanings, I thought you might be interested in learning the names of a few types of birds who are red:

  1. Scarlet macaw
  2. Northern cardinal
  3. Red-tailed hawk
  4. Summer tanager 
  5. Northern tanager
  6. Vermilion flycatcher
  7. House finch 
  8. Red-billed firefinch
  9. Red pheasant
  10. Scarlet ibis
  11. Crimson rosella
  12. Crimson sunbird
  13. Pine grosbeak
  14. Red-headed woodpecker

Red Bird Spiritual Meaning

Stawberry Finch

What is the spiritual meaning of a red bird? Some people believe that divine energy is channeled through living creatures, and this includes birds. (I happen to be one of those believers.)

While animals have free will, some are more receptive to spiritual energy manifesting through them, just as people are. The red bird is one of those creatures. 

Thus, around the world, red birds are associated with angels, including the spirits of loved ones who have passed. So, if a red bird makes themselves known to you, it is a little blessing from the divine.

Below are some additional meanings on what seeing a red bird can signify in your life on a spiritual level:

1. The angel of a loved one who has passed is present.

Red birds are viewed as messengers from angels because they are particularly attuned to spiritual energy flowing through them. Thus, encountering a red bird may be a sign that the angel of someone you love is nearby. Notably this person probably had a vivacious, passionate, or warm personality when they lived. This person may also have had a fondness for the color red.

The northern cardinal is a well-loved bird in the U.S. And there is a popular saying that underscores how many people feel about red birds, or cardinals in particular, on a spiritual level. It goes, “When cardinals appear, angels are near.

Testament to this saying, I shared a story in my post about cardinal meaning about two sisters who had a special visit from a red cardinal. I’ll share this video here too:

2. Your faith will deliver stores of energy and willpower.

Red is the color of passion, intensity, determination, and courage. So, if a little red bird appears in your life, they may be reminding you to tap into the power of your spiritual faith. 

Remember that you have access to divine energy where you can summon emotional, mental, and spiritual strength when you need it. 

Always keep in mind that the Universe is working in your favor and for your highest good.

If you find yourself in a difficult or draining situation and feel like you don’t have the strength or energy to carry on, try to remember the symbolism of the red bird. Take a few deep breaths and tap into your faith. Believe in yourself and the greater forces at work in the world. You may be surprised at the strength and resilience you are able to draw upon.

3. Raise your vibration.

Red is the color of blood, which is our life force energy. So, if a red bird makes themselves known to you, they may be reminding you to be conscious of where you are spending your spiritual energy. 

For example, try to avoid people who are undeservedly spiritually draining. This doesn’t mean people who need your love and care. It means those who are more the energy vampire types. It can also mean not wasting your precious energy on media that’s spiritually draining. 

Seeing a red bird can be like a little red stop light that says, “Stop! Are you having negative thoughts? Shift your energy and focus on the positive. Feed your spirit and raise your vibration!”

4. The Blood of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit

Christians associate red birds with the blood of Christ and Jesus’ sacrifice for humanity. In addition, they see a red bird as a symbol for the Holy Spirit, as the Spirit ignites people’s passion to change their lives and do good work in the world.

5. You are being spiritually protected.

In some cultures, red birds are seen as spiritual messengers. Sometimes they give warnings. Thus, they are viewed as spiritual protectors. 

So, if you see a red bird, whether in real life, art, the media, or elsewhere, it can be a sign that you are being watched over and that you are protected. 

Sometimes things happen in life that we don’t like but that are for our higher good. As I wrote about in my post on 1111 angel number meaning, the saying, “One door closes and another one opens,” is popular for a reason. So often in life, it’s true! There’s another, similar one that goes, “Rejection is God’s protection.” 

So, if a red bird appears to you at a difficult time, keep the faith! Overall, a red bird appearing in your life is a positive omen.

4. Seeing a Dead Red Bird Meaning

If you’ve ever come across a red bird who has died, you might be understandably upset. You might even wonder if it’s bad luck or some kind of negative sign. 

From an environmental perspective, if you find any dead wild animal, it can be important to try to determine the cause of death. For example, it could be due to pesticides or some other impact on the bird’s natural habitat. However, it’s also possible that the bird passed away from natural causes.

When we encounter any dead animal, including a red bird, it’s important to honor their life and spirit. Many psychics and mediums believe that when people or animals pass, their spirits have an interest in what happens to their physical bodies.

This is why so many cultures around the world have spiritual traditions surrounding the respectful treatment of the bodies of the deceased, whether through burial, cremation, or other rituals.

Finding a dead red bird should not be viewed as a negative omen. Instead, you can view it as if you have been chosen to pay tribute to their life and spirit through prayer, meditation, or other means.

Red Bird Meaning in Love and Relationships

Pair of Scarlet Macaws
Pair of scarlet macaws, Costa Rica. Photo: Ondrej Prosicky.

Here are some examples of what a red bird appearing in your life might mean as it relates to love and relationships:

5. Lucky in Love

In many cultures, red is considered a lucky color. Thus, red birds are symbols of good fortune.

This type of good luck can also apply to matters of the heart. Of course, red is also the color of romantic love.

So, if a red bird appears in your life, it can be a positive sign for the start of a new romance or the deepening of an existing one.

6. Long-term Romantic Relationships

Red is also associated with the eternal fire. So, when it comes to your love life, seeing a red bird is a positive omen for a romantic relationship withstanding the test of time.

While red animals and insects, such as red dragonflies, or red flowers are positive symbols for romantic love, birds are extra-special. This is because the vast majority of birds mate for life. So, seeing a red bird or a flock of red birds indicates a soulmate-level connection.

7. Share your feelings.

Many birds love to sing. And red is the color courage. So, when it comes to romance, a red bird showing up in your life may be a sign that it’s time to share your feelings with a love interest. Or at least, summon the courage to ask them out!

8. Create secure relationships.

Red is often associated with the root chakra, which relates to primal energy, passion, and a sense of security and stability. 

So, if you see a red bird, it can be a sign to create a safe space in your relationships. This means trust, privacy, validation, and respect.

Ideally, you already have that. In such a case, the red bird may be saying, “Great job!” But if not, the red bird can be a sign to work on that. It goes without saying that a healthy relationship is one that makes you feel happy and secure. 

9. Romance never gets old.

As red is the color of passion, seeing a red bird or flock of red birds can be a reminder that romance is something that will never go out of style.

So, if you’ve been wondering if you should do something romantic, whether you’re single or in a relationship, the little red bird says, “Yes!”

Red Bird Meaning in Manifestation and Creating Abundance

Scarlet Ibis
Scarlet Ibis, Caroni Swamp, Trinidad and Tobago. Photo: Ondrej Prosicky.

When it comes to the Law of Attraction, manifestation, and creating more abundance in your life, the red bird is a positive sign because they are symbols of good fortune. Here are some additional red bird meanings:

10. Protect your downside.

As mentioned earlier, red is the color of the root chakra, which relates to your sense of security and stability. So, seeing a red bird can be a sign to protect your base.

While it’s healthy to dream and aspire to greater abundance, it’s also key to protect those things in your life that create present and future security. 

11. Put passion into your work.

Red bird symbolism also includes passion and fervor. So, seeing a red bird can be a sign to put passion into your work!

If you don’t feel passionate about what you’re doing, the red bird may be a sign to make a change.

While we can’t expect to be exhilarated constantly at work, the red bird says that if you are passionate about what you’re doing, the intellectual interest will carry you through the hard times.

12. Envision good fortune.

In Asia as well as in the practice of feng shui, the color red is associated with wealth, good luck, and good fortune. Thus, a red bird is a good luck symbol for your power to create more abundance in your life. 

Even if you feel challenged, a good practice is to think positive thoughts, repeat affirmations, and envision what you want to create – especially before you fall asleep at night. Doing so will put your subconscious mind to work, so you will wake up with new ideas and solutions for achieving your dreams.

Red Bird Meaning in Wellness

When it comes to wellness and feeling good, here are some ideas for what seeing a red bird can mean in your life:

13. Believe in your life force energy.

There’s a saying that underscores the mind-body connection: “What the mind conceives, the body believes.”

As red is the color of blood, a red bird also symbolizes life force energy. Red birds are noticeable. So, they remind you to be mindful of your own thoughts and how they impact your physical well-being.

14. Liven things up.

As mentioned earlier, red is the color of blood and primal energy. Primal energy fuels the systems in your body and it’s connected to divine energy. 

So, if a red bird visits you, they may be saying to liven things up. Do things that are fun, like dancing or riding a bike, and get your blood flowing. The red bird is telling you that it’s time to fly!

Native American Red Bird Meanings

Red Cardinal in a Tree

While every Native American tribe has their own set of customs and beliefs, one thing they all have in common is a deep reverence for nature and animals. In particular they seem to love red birds as so many of us do. So, here are a couple of Indian legends about red birds: 

15. Cherokee Red Bird Legend

How the Red Bird Got His Color

Raccoon had a great deal of fun teasing Wolf. One day when Wolf’s back was turned, Raccoon snuck up behind him and yelled insulting words about his backside, then pulled Wolf’s tail and ran away.

Wolf turned angrily, but Raccoon had already scrambled up a tree by the river and crawled out on the longest branch. Wolf saw Raccoon’s reflection in the water and, thinking it was Racoon, he lunged into the water. However, the water was deep and the current strong. Wolf nearly drowned as he flailed in the water. When he finally made it to shore, he was so exhausted, he laid down on the river bank and fell asleep.

Once Wolf was asleep, Raccoon climbed down the tree and plastered Wolf’s eyes closed with dung. He then snuck away giggling.

When Wolf woke up, he could not open his eyes, so he began to howl and cry.

A little brown bird heard his cries and landed on his shoulder. “What’s wrong?” the brown bird asked. “I cannot open my eyes. I’ve gone blind,” Wolf cried. “Can you help me? I will reward you.”

So, the little brown bird began to peck and soon he got all of the plastered dung off of Wolf’s eyes.

Seeing the brown bird for the first time and grateful for his help, Wolf said, “Follow me.” He led the brown bird to a special red rock. “Get this rock wet and then paint yourself with the paint it makes,” said Wolf.

The brown bird did as he was told and he became a beautiful red bird. That is how the red bird got his color.12

16. Choctaw Red Bird Legend

For the Choctaw People, a red bird symbolizes love and matchmaking. One Choctaw story tells the tale of how this came to be:

Once upon a time, there was a lovely maiden who lived by herself in a lodge. She was careful to take good care of her lodge, but she was very lonely. One day, she sat outside her lodge crying. Hearing her cries, a bright red bird came and perched on a branch nearby.

The maiden said to the red bird, “Red Bird, is it strange for me to want to have someone to care for? If it’s not so strange, why have I not found him?”

The red bird felt compassion for the maiden, so he visited her often so she had someone to talk to. In between his visits, he flew around, visiting other villages. One day on his travels, the red bird saw a handsome brave sitting alone by the river. The red bird perched nearby and began to sing. Eventually, the brave forgot his troubles as the red bird’s beautiful singing charmed him.

The red bird sang his heart out but eventually he grew tired. He was also flying back and forth to visit the maiden. Eventually, it was too much for him, and the red bird became sick. Seeing how weak he was, the brave went to him. The red bird fell to the ground but began hopping. He knew had to return to the maiden. So, the brave followed him, thinking he could help him to this nest once they got there.

However, instead of a tree, the red bird led the brave to a lodge. Sitting outside the lodge, was the beautiful maiden. The brave suddenly understood why the red bird had been singing to him so forcefully.

The brave approached the maiden. At first he was shy. The maiden was so shy she could not speak. But after a while, they began to speak as if they were old friends. And the red bird understood that his work for the Great Spirit was done.11

Red Bird Dream Meaning

Red Cardinal in Snow

What does it mean if you dream of a red bird? A red bird dream can be a message or visit from a loved one who has passed on, letting you know they are present and that they are at peace.

When we are living in the physical world and learning on the earthly plane, it can be difficult when those we love pass on to the spiritual realm. Simple signs, such as a visit from a red bird or a butterfly, can bring comfort and remind us of the work we still have to do here on earth, even though our loved ones have moved on.

Dreams are personal to each individual and the meaning of a red bird dream can vary from person to person. Analyzing the emotions you felt in your dream and how you perceive red birds in your daily life can help you understand what your dream is trying to tell you. 

For example, here are some possible interpretations if you dream of a red bird or flock of red birds based on different feelings or emotional states:

17. Romantic Dream with a Red Bird 

Seeing a red bird in a romantic dream might symbolize that you have a crush or romantic feelings for someone but you’re not fully addressing these feelings in your conscious, wakeful state.

It can also mean that you are ready for a new or renewed romantic experience.

18. Anxious Red Bird Dream Meaning

If you feel anxious in your dream and see a red bird, it could be a sign that you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out about an issue in your wakeful, conscious state. 

A red bird can be a positive sign, however, as they can symbolize your inner fire and determination to succeed despite the challenges you face.

19. Fearful Dream

Seeing a red bird in a fearful dream can indicate that you feel threatened in some way. The red bird can be a sign to focus on creating more security for yourself, whether that’s emotional, spiritual, physical, or financial.

20. Fun Red Bird Dream Meaning

If you have a fun and enjoyable dream that has a red bird or flock of red birds in it, it can mean that you feel hopeful and optimistic about something in your life or the near future. The red bird may be saying, “Go for it!”

Of course, your own personal views about red birds figures prominently in what your dream is telling you. Additionally, learning about red bird symbolism and meanings in the collective consciousness can hopefully provide deeper insights.

Summary: A Vibrant Messenger Is on Your Side

Wherever you go in the world, you will find people who love red birds. No doubt it’s because of their captivating beauty. But also, red birds seem to have important things to teach us. So, when a red bird appears in your life, always pay attention and view it as a special occasion. The red bird is a positive sign for angelic messages, joy, and good fortune coming your way.

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Kristen M. Stanton

Hello. Thanks for visiting UniGuide. My name is Kristen and I started UniGuide as a tribute to nature, animals, and spiritual exploration. I hope you enjoy your experience here!