Spiritual and Symbolic Birds for the Month of May

Spiritual and Symbolic Birds for the Month of May

Last Updated on May 16, 2024 by Avia

Where I live, the month of May can be a tempestuous, unpredictable mistress.  Turbulent rainstorms, blustery winds, and even a rando snowfall or frost might come my way. Although this is such a transitional month, I always marvel at all the bodacious birds, fearlessly braving the variable elements.  They’re such delicate little creatures, and it’s astonishing to see how they grind in and bear the winds and other weather woes Mother Nature tosses at them. Maybe that’s the overarching theme of spiritual and symbolic birds for the month of May – resilience!  At any rate, I’m so enchanted by these creatures, I couldn’t help but share some birds associated with the month of May that really seize me by my snarglies (and I hope they do for you, too!).

Ducks

Birds Associated With the Month of May - Ducks

We get mergansers, wood ducks, and I’ve even spotted a few buffleheads.  I love watching them glide across the pond.  What’s funny is, while they seem so chilled out above water, those webbed feet are working to beat the band under water!  I think that’s my first insight for you while talking about symbolic birds for the month of May.  

Ducks might seem to have this cool, calm demeanor on the surface, but in reality, they’re working their buns off to get where they need to go.  I like that for humans.  Work hard, but don’t let it show.  Get the job done, but never let ‘em see you sweat.  It’s a message of poise, composure, and staying even-keeled in the midst of frenzied work and potential chaos.

Said another way, these classy water fouls represent adaptability and emotional depth, as they effortlessly navigate both land and water with ease. Their quacking calls echo through wetlands, symbolizing communication and social connections within their flock.

David J. Crotty Photography on Etsy

In many cultures (especially Chinese), ducks are seen as symbols of prosperity and good fortune. Watching them swim peacefully can bring a sense of tranquility and harmony to those willing to see their symbolic portents. Whether flying in formation or waddling on land, ducks exude a sense of unity and teamwork.

Geese

Symbolic Birds of May Geese

As I write this, I’ve got two mating pairs poking around the ponds, and at last glance, one pair produced a half dozen goslings!  Rock on!  What I love about geese is they couldn’t give a shit about what anyone or anything thinks about them, and they’re fearless in the face of threat.  My dogs have been known to ambush them, and I’ve seen the geese puff up and charge back – geese never retreat!  Great goose lessons for us humans…stand your ground, don’t back down!

Interesting tidbit about geese – they’re hugely supportive and protective of their kind.  They form a mighty force, and they fight to a bitter end to keep their clan safe.  That’s a good lesson about the importance of support from loved ones during this time of year. They also teach us that we can achieve more when we work together towards a common goal, just like how geese take turns leading in flight to conserve energy.

Bluebirds

Spiritual Birds for the Month of May - Bluebirds

Bounding, beautiful symbols of happiness, bluebirds are the poster-birds for joy and good luck. Their shiny, sapphire-blue feathers bring a sense of calm and serenity to those who catch a glimpse of them fluttering by. In many cultures, bluebirds are harbingers from the spirit world or serve as messengers of hope. Bluebirds are also associated with love and fidelity, making them a popular motif in art, literature, and folklore.

In Native American traditions, bluebirds are considered sacred animals that embody healing energy and renewal. They prompt us to stay strong and loyal to ourselves and our beliefs while we valiantly face transitions in our lives. As symbolic birds for the month of May, bluebirds speak to us about joy, hope, promise, and being grateful for the good stuff in our lives.

Swallows

Symbolic Birds for the Month of May - Swallow

There’s a lot of fluctuation in my neck of the woods – wildlife is always waxing and waning. Some years, we have a largesse of some birds, and other years, not-so-much.  So, imagine my elation at spying not one, not two, but four different types of swallows around the ponds this month! Yup. We got purple martins (a type of swallow), barn swallows, northern rough-winged swallows, and tree swallows.  All of them are glorious and amazing aerial acrobats, darting and diving through the sky with effortless grace. Their sleek bodies and distinctive forked tails make them a symbol of freedom and agility.

Swallows have long been associated with good fortune and success in various cultures around the world. In many traditions, seeing a swallow is believed to be a good omen, foretelling loads of happiness coming into your life. Their swift movements remind us to stay agile and adaptable in our own journeys.

Swallows are also linked to springtime and renewal, as they often return from their winter migrations during this season (recall the song, When the Swans Come Back to Capistrano, first sung by the Ink Spots – I think later by Pat Boone). Their presence signals the arrival of warmer weather and new beginnings. Swallows also set a precedent in terms of returning home. These observations could be why they were a popular tattoo for sailors and pirates – because swallows are symbolic of “happy returns.” 

Herons

Birds Associated With the Month of May - Heron

When thinking of symbolic and spiritual birds for the month of May, herons gracefully come to mind. At least, they do for me.  This will be the second year our ponds have hosted the elusive green heron, which is smaller than their common counterpart.  These elegant creatures symbolize patience, wisdom, and grace in various cultures worldwide. With their long legs and necks, herons move through life with a sense of purpose and determination.

In Native American traditions, herons are seen as symbols of confidence and patience. Their ability to stand still for extended periods before striking reflects the importance of patience in achieving goals. Herons also represent adaptability as they can thrive in diverse environments from wetlands to urban settings.

Hummingbirds

Symbolic Birds of May - Hummingbird

Are you sick of me yammering on about the feathered friends in my area?  Tough titty said the kitty, because guess what – I’ve got loads of hummybirds (that’s what we call ‘em).  Not surprisingly, these tiny birds symbolize love and positivity in various cultures around the world. Their ability to hover in mid-air reminds us to savor the present moment and find beauty in simplicity.

In spiritual teachings, hummingbirds are seen as messengers of hope and healing. Their delicate appearance belies their strength and resilience, serving as a reminder that even the smallest beings can make a significant impact. Observing these refined birds can inspire us to cultivate patience and adaptability in our own lives.

Finches

Spiritual Birds of May - Finch

With their vibrant plumage and cheerful songs, finches are symbolic of appreciation, simplicity, and happiness. These small birds are known for their agility in flight and playful nature as they flit and flutter around in eager search of seeds and insects.

In many cultures, finches represent freedom and creativity. Their colorful feathers inspire artists and poets alike to capture the beauty of nature in their work. Watching a flock of finches darting through the sky can lift your spirits (they certainly do mine!) and remind you to embrace the simple pleasures in life. Whether it’s the bright red plumage of a male house finch or the striking yellow hues of a goldfinch, these birds bring a sense of brightness wherever they go.

Orioles

Birds of May - Oriole

Eye-popping tangerine orange against velvety black plumage – orioles are hard to miss, and they’re a striking sight in the month of May. These graceful birds symbolize prosperity, wealth, and opportunity. Known for their beautiful songs that fill the air with melodious tunes, orioles bring a sense of harmony to nature, sure – but they also remind us to use our best voice, words, and tone when communicating with others.

In many cultures, orioles are seen as messengers of good news and new beginnings. Their presence is often considered a sign of upcoming financial gain and growth. Watching these elegant birds flit among the trees can be incredibly uplifting. In Native American traditions, orioles are associated with creativity, and in some tribes, they serve as guides in our dreams.

Grackles

Meaning of Birds in the Month of May - Grackle

Okay, I’m going to get emails on this one – but even though grackles have a bad rap (for good reason in some instances), they’re still symbolic birds for the month of May. Symbolically, grackles are often seen as mysterious and enigmatic birds, and it’s no wonder, what with their iridescent feathers shimmering in the sunlight and those piercing, glowy yellow eyes! Shivers! Their loud calls echo through the trees, adding a sense of drama to any natural setting. These sleek creatures are known for their intelligence and adaptability, thriving in various environments.

Some may see grackles as symbols of transformation and change due to their ability to navigate different habitats effortlessly. In many cultures, they are believed to bring messages from the spirit world or serve as omens of upcoming events.

Despite being sometimes overlooked or misunderstood (or even vilified), grackles play an essential role in ecosystems by controlling insect populations and spreading seeds. They remind us of the interconnectedness of all living beings on this planet.

Sparrows

Birds of May - Sparrow

While they may be small, they’re packed with meaning.  Sparrows are considered icons of good stuff like simplicity, modesty, and demureness.  These are the unsung heroes in the bird realm, they do a ton of heavy lifting, they’re incredibly resourceful, and they go about all their busy bustling without making a fuss.  I think that’s a great lesson for us humans.  How so?  Well, nobody likes a show off, and the sparrow is a great reminder that we can work hard, be awesome, but we don’t have to flaunt.

Sparrows are also known for their strong family bonds and cooperative nature within flocks. They teach us the value of working together harmoniously towards common goals. Observing these sociable creatures can inspire us to nurture our relationships and embrace unity.

Robins

Birds Associated with the Month of May - Robin

You know what they say – when you see red, red, robins bob, bob bobbin – it’s a sign of spring. As May is a springy month, and spring is symbolic of renewal and new beginnings – robins are too.  With their rich red breast, they bring a pop of color to the spring landscape. These birds are known for their cheerful song that fills the air with music. They remind us to embrace change and adaptability in our lives.

As territorial creatures, robins fiercely defend their nesting areas, teaching us about protection and nurturing our own sacred spaces. Their dedication to their young ones reminds us of the importance of family bonds and caring for those we love.

Are These All the Symbolic Birds for the Month of May?

Oh my heavens, no way!  There are oodles & kaboodles of birds that make their debut this month.  These are just the ones that I’ve had the privilege of observing this month, and I wanted to share their deeper meanings with you.

Ways to Honor and Celebrate Birds Associated With the Month of May

Now that you’re (hopefully) all jazzed up about the birds of May, what’s next?  Get connected! Here are a few ideas to help you expand upon these prominent birds this month:

Be a Good Host:  Create bird-friendly spaces in your own backyard by providing feeders, birdbaths, and nesting boxes. As you do (or if you do), think about ways to help and protect the birds in your area.

Take a Nature Walk:  Grab your binoculars and/or camera, take a walk and go bird watching. You never know what you’ll find, but you’re bound to be delighted.

Bring the Birds Indoors: Not literally. I’m talking about incorporating bird motifs into your décor or artwork as a way to pay homage to their significance.  

Be Mindful: Take moments throughout the month to reflect on the symbolism of each bird you encounter. Whether it’s the grace of a heron or the resilience of a sparrow, there is wisdom to be gained from these creatures. Consider journaling about your experiences or meditating on what lessons they may have for you.

Give Back: Think about giving to a bird conservation organization.  This is a great way to show your appreciation for birds, and also a way to acknowledge all the gifts birds give us.

The Last Word About The Birds of May

I hope these insights into the spiritual and symbolic birds for the month of May inspire you to set your sights on the sky and observe your own special feathered friends in your neck of the woods this month.  As always, thanks for reading, and happy bird-watching!

Mighty brightly,

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Media Credit: My partner, Dave Crotty, took the hero image at the top of this post of the male tree swallow.

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