Mother Bird Symbolism
Most female birds are fairly maternal creatures and serve as a great vehicle for symbolizing the various attributes of motherhood. Although some of the interpretations are indeed a bit sappy, such as the association of a birds cooing with a mother singing a gentle lullaby, we cannot deny the calming and comforting nature of these thoughts. In general, mother birds are symbolic of the inherent love that a mother has for her child.
Additionally, they exemplify the safety, healing, provision, nourishment, support, security and compassion that come as a result of this relationship. From the moment of conception and for the rest of her life, a mother has an innate connection with her offspring and uses her maternal instincts to provide the child with what it needs (physically and mentally) to grow and flourish. This involves security and protection in the form of a safe and stable household in addition to building a temple of trust and care.
Mothers are the number one safeguard for a baby, and often demonstrate the length of this love with self-sacrifice. In fact, birds have symbolized maternity throughout history and various cultural lore. When examining bird symbolism, it is necessary to consider the specific type of bird you are dealing with, as each comes with its own idiosyncrasies.
Mother Bird Associated Traits
Nurturing, Motherhood, Caring, Love, Protective, Compassionate, Maternal
Symbolic Meaning Of Mother Bird
Motherhood is commonly attributed with the dove symbolism, which is also a sign of peace, love, and tranquility. All of these are decidedly maternal qualities in nature. The dove was thought to be a companion of the Roman goddess of love, Venus, and is frequently illustrated alongside her in artistic works. In Christianity, the dove is a typical image alongside the Virgin Mary and her baby, Jesus. This religion uses the dove often, but with Mary it is meant to signal selfless and unconditional love.
When considering the goose, it should not come as a surprise that motherhood would be a major spiritual symbol. In the wild, geese can notoriously be observed behaving viciously toward those she fears are a threat to her brood. They maintain strong familial bonds with not only their babies, but also their entire extended clan. This explains why we frequently see geese in large flocks.
They are highly social and protective beings with a group mentality. A member of the group is never left behind, even if only a single goose remains with the lagger. The entire community is invested in the upbringing of the youth, symbolizing the social responsibility that we can practice in our own lives.
The magpie is considered to have saved mankind in a traditional Aboriginal story in Australia. Legend states that the formation of the Earth was not without fault, and that the magpie animal totem took pity on humans who could not navigate through the darkness. The maternal magpie opened up the sky so that mankind could have light, and is thus considered the reason that humans have been able to continue our existence.
When it comes to self-sacrifice, a mother pelican takes the cake for ultimate symbolism. These female pelican regurgitate their food so that their babies can feast on it. In the process, blood from the semi-digested fish drips onto the chest of the mother, which incited the myth that she pierces her own chest in order to feed her young.
Although the vulture is most notably associated with death and decay, as that is what they feed on, their females are also noteworthy mothers. They put great efforts into caring for their young and preparing them for their lives ahead. In fact, the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph for the word “mother” was a depiction of a vulture, as they believed all of these birds to be females. Maybe this symbolized the nature of a mother, circling overhead her offspring in protective mode.
The sparrow is a maternal symbol of comfort, domesticity and simplicity. Sparrows are good homemakers who also take less harsh approaches to parenting. Like the dove, this bird is associated with Venus, the Roman goddess of love, as well.
A “mother hen” is also a brilliant example of motherhood in the wild, as we’ve all heard the expression and surely know where the term came from. These birds are highly diligent when tending to their newborn young and provide them with everything they need to survive. Once the mother hen feels that she has given her chicks all that they require to get by in life, she dissociates completely, leaving them to fend for themselves. Although this may seem to exemplify a “tough love” mentality, this act is crucial for the young chickens’ survival. They must learn to care for themselves, and this method has been proven to facilitate successful results.
Fertility and the renewal of life are the symbols of the swallow, which make it another obvious candidate for maternal value. Fertility is the first fundamental for natural motherhood, after all. Also associated with Venus, the Romans believed it to be very unlucky to harm a swallow. They also thought that the mother swallow held all of the maternal sorrow in the world, embodying all of the young and innocent babies who died during birth.