Birds


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Idioms.

birds

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.”

Birds

Birth (See CHILDBIRTH.)
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]
Gripp
talking raven, beloved pet of half-wit Barnaby Rudge. [Br. Lit.: Dickens Barnaby Rudge]
Halitherses
Ithacan seer; ornithologist. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 46]
phoenix
fabulous Arabian bird; sings a dirge, burns itself to ashes, and rises to a new life. [Gk. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 699]
Polynesia
wise old parrot who teaches Dr. Dolittle the languages of birds and animals. [Children’s Lit.: Hugh Lofting Dr. Dolittle]
raven
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 ?
You see, the birds were always begging him for bits of it to line their nests with, and, being very good-natured, he could not refuse, so by Solomon's advice he had hidden what was left of it.
Nevertheless the bird was determined to save him if she could, and by one last mighty effort she propelled the nest against the rock.
Of all the carrion-feeders it is generally the last which leaves the skeleton of a dead animal, and may often be seen within the ribs of a cow or horse, like a bird in a cage.
Long before they reached the gates the way was lined with people, and the air filled with shouts of welcome, with which were mingled the songs of the Talking Bird, sitting in its cage on the lap of the princess, and of the birds who followed it.
The youth could not but be tempted with the beautiful maiden's offer, but he remembered how the birds had called her the witch, and their warning always sounded in his ears.
The birds of paradise fled at our approach, and truly I despaired of getting near one when Conseil, who was walking in front, suddenly bent down, uttered a triumphal cry, and came back to me bringing a magnificent specimen.
The occasional habit of birds laying their eggs in other birds' nests, either of the same or of a distinct species, is not very uncommon with the Gallinaceae; and this perhaps explains the origin of a singular instinct in the allied group of ostriches.
Not only did the birds cease song or chirp, but the lowing of the cattle ceased in the fields and the varied sounds of life died away.
It was quite still now in the copse, and not a bird was stirring.
Wasn’t the woods made for the beasts and birds to harbor in?
I had Miss Sophia's bird in my hand, and thinking the poor creature languished for liberty, I own I could not forbear giving it what it desired; for I always thought there was something very cruel in confining anything.
Time passed on again, and the youngest son too wished to set out into the wide world to seek for the golden bird; but his father would not listen to it for a long while, for he was very fond of his son, and was afraid that some ill luck might happen to him also, and prevent his coming back.