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Any member of the class Aves, which includes warmblooded, feathered vertebrates with forelimbs modified to form wings.
See also: Ornament

What does it mean when you dream about birds?

Birds are complex symbols with many possible meanings. As creatures that fly aloft with no attachment to the ground, they can represent freedom, either physical or psychological. Because they navigate in an unseen—and thus seemingly spiritual—medium, birds can have a variety of different religious meanings, as messengers of the divine (e.g., the Holy Spirit), as symbols of the soul, as heralds of spiritual aspiration (the desire to “soar aloft”), and so on. Blackbirds were traditionally thought of as omens of death, although they can also represent the shadow side of the self. Various other meanings are associated with particular kinds of birds (e.g., vultures). Also, birds in dreams sometimes allude to such metaphors as “bird-brained.”


Birdman of Alcatraz
(Robert Stroud, 1890–1963) from jailbird to famous ornithologist. [Am. Hist.: Worth, 28]
Birds, The
Hitchcock film in which birds turn on the human race and terrorize a town. [Am. Cinema: Halliwell, 51]
Blue Bird of Happiness
symbolizes the goal of the two children in Maeterlinck play. [Belg. Lit.: The Blue Bird in Haydn & Fuller, 94]
Cloud-cuckoo-land (Nephelococcygia)
city in which all power is to be vested in the birds. [Gk. Drama: Aristophanes Birds]
cranes of Ibycus
called on by the dying poet to bear witness against his murderers, they lead to the murderers’ conviction. [Gk. Myth.: NCE, 1307]
talking raven, beloved pet of half-wit Barnaby Rudge. [Br. Lit.: Dickens Barnaby Rudge]
Ithacan seer; ornithologist. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 46]
fabulous Arabian bird; sings a dirge, burns itself to ashes, and rises to a new life. [Gk. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 699]
wise old parrot who teaches Dr. Dolittle the languages of birds and animals. [Children’s Lit.: Hugh Lofting Dr. Dolittle]
bird of ill omen visits the despairing poet. [Am. Lit.: Poe The Raven]
Seagull, Jonathan Livingston
ambitious seagull is determined to improve its flying techniques and achieve greater speeds. [Am. Lit.: Richard Bach Jonathan Livingston Seagull]
References in classic literature ?
So prodigious was the number of the birds that the scattering fire of the guns, with the hurling of missiles and the cries of the boys, had no other effect than to break off small flocks from the immense masses that continued to dart along the valley, as if the whole of the feathered tribe were pouring through that one pass.
Look at your night-gown, if you don't believe me," Solomon said, and with staring eyes Peter looked at his night-gown, and then at the sleeping birds.
I -- want -- you -- " the bird said, and repeated it all over.
These false eagles most rarely kill any living bird or animal; and their vulture-like, necrophagous habits are very evident to any one who has fallen asleep on the desolate plains of Patagonia, for when he wakes, he will see, on each surrounding hillock, one of these birds patiently watching him with an evil eye: it is a feature in the landscape of these countries, which will be recognised by every one who has wandered over them.
The bird stopped singing at once, and all the other birds stopped too.
The youth hesitated for a little, but presently he heard the birds saying from the top of the tree, 'Go where she calls you, but take care to give no blood, or you will sell your soul.
While these interesting birds were cooking, Ned prepared the fruit of the bread-tree.
It was at the time of the ripening rice, and the myriads of birds which came to feed on the coming crop was a serious menace, not only to the district, but to the country at large.
said Levin, pointing to Laska, who with one ear raised, wagging the end of her shaggy tail, came slowly back as though she would prolong the pleasure, and as it were smiling, brought the dead bird to her master.
Sophia, seeing her bird gone, screamed out so loud, that Tom Jones, who was at a little distance, immediately ran to her assistance.
In the morning came the fox again and met him as he was beginning his journey, and said, 'Go straight forward, till you come to a castle, before which lie a whole troop of soldiers fast asleep and snoring: take no notice of them, but go into the castle and pass on and on till you come to a room, where the golden bird sits in a wooden cage; close by it stands a beautiful golden cage; but do not try to take the bird out of the shabby cage and put it into the handsome one, otherwise you will repent it.
Bird ever to trouble her head with what was going on in the house of the state, very wisely considering that she had enough to do to mind her own.