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Do Birds Flying Into A Home Equate To Death?

By: Chris Welsh - Updated: 1 Jan 2018 | comments*Discuss
Do Birds Flying Into A Home Equate To Death?

Birds have long thought to be associated with otherworldly powers - not other planetary but other worldly, as in the spirit world. Their ability to fly far and high in ages gone by gave them a mystical quality that many looked to for signs and portents, and one of the most common 'bird omen wives tale' was that if a bird flew into your house through an opened door or window, death was not far behind.

The Bird Omen Wives Tale

In a home lies a sickly person, with family members standing vigil nearby. The health of the ill is in question and everyone is concerned that things could take a turn for the worse. A sudden rapping at the window of the sick room causes a start and those in the room turn to see a black crow sitting on the sill, tap, tap, tapping at the glass. Its insistence is unnerving - what does it want? Eventually the crow flies off, but not before leaving the concerned family members with a chilling superstition that their loved one is doomed to die.

The variations on this theme are many, but all fairly consistent; a bird tries or succeeds to get into a home, and this is considered a sign of imminent death. In some versions the bird strikes the window in flight (sometimes getting up and doing it again) or lands on the sill and strikes the window with its beak. Other versions have the bird enter the home through an open window or door. Should a bird get access to the interior of a home with no visible means of entry, the superstition is that it is equivocal to an intruder alarm tuned to sense death itself going off.

The Origin of the Bird Omen Wives Tale

There is no one source of the 'bird flying into house equals death' wives' tale, but it is a common enough superstition nonetheless. In days gone by people were prone to look for many superstitious or mystical answers to every day questions, and some questions that were not so run of the mill (such as “why must my loved one die?”). When something out of the ordinary happened people were quick to ascribe to it some mystical significance, whether or not there was a logical, natural explanation to it.

Any time a bird flies into a house it certainly is an unusual experience. Birds, being creatures of the outdoors and mainly shy of man to boot, do not typically try to get inside a dwelling. Some may get confused, thanks to an expertly cleaned glass window and give itself a braining on a house. Others may land on a handy window ledge and peck at its own reflection out of curiosity. As for a bird flying in through an open window, taking a break on a chair back, and then leaving, who knows? But it certainly is behaviour convenient to attach a sense of a message being delivered.

No Birds In My House!

The idea of birds being associated with death is very strong in some people, to the point that they won’t have decorations of birds in their home. One famous report has actress Lucile Ball tearing wallpaper out of a new home because she discovered little birds in the pattern that she didn’t notice before.

Carrying on with the bird theme why not take a look at our superstitious article about Saluting Magpies.

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OK. It is winter and the house is buttoned up. I came downstairs to get a cup of tea and looked in the living room to find a small brown/grey bird in an arrangement of twigs. I decided to get my camera from upstairs and noticed a second in the dining room on the floor in the corner which flew towards the living room, though I did not see where he ended up as I was going for my camera. When I got back downstairs 30 seconds later there was no sign of any birds. On the floor in front of the little TV in the dining room were two dried roses which always sat on the TV...they are each from my respective parents funerals whom both died this year, in the house. Everything else was in place, even Christmas Cards delicately sitting on the same buffet the TV sits. How did they get in and where did they go? What does this mean? If anything.
Wayne - 1-Jan-18 @ 12:09 AM
After I pulled into my driveway, I opened my car door to get out. Suddenly a sparrow flew into the car near my feet, then into the back seat.It wanted to exit out the rear window.I rolled down the windows, hoping it would give up trying to get out the rear window.It took some time but eventually it flew out the open window.
Duby - 26-Dec-17 @ 10:13 PM
@Nanny - robins are beautiful birds. They couldn't possibly signify bad luck.
Rainbow - 22-Dec-17 @ 10:12 AM
The other day while it was quite nice weather for Dec I had my back door open suddenlyThis Robin flew in went up stairs to my bedroom then flew in to the bathroom I managed to open the bathroom window and let it out I knowblack birds and crows they say means illness or death but about a robin
Nanny - 21-Dec-17 @ 4:34 PM
Two weeks ago I had a bird in my house. Today a bird was sitting outside my kitchen window so I tapped on the window so it could fly away. How about when I walked into my kids room the bird was in there room. They window wasn’t open but I’m still trying to figure out how it got in??????
Keda - 11-Dec-17 @ 8:18 PM
Today past seven in the even a bird come inside my house and flys only in the kitchengoing around, what does that mean it's was a ordinary bird
Sandy - 6-Dec-17 @ 6:24 PM
A bird flew in my house at 6:30 thus morning but it came through a hole under my front door. What does that mean or is it a coincidence?
Lisa - 2-Dec-17 @ 1:23 PM
@Linda - you may just live in houses that have a lot of crows around. But it's certainly unusual.
GafB - 20-Nov-17 @ 3:51 PM
A couple of months ago I was in my living room when I heard a strange noise I opened my door to find a black crow trying to get out of my front door, I became startled and the bird just turned round and flew back out to my kitchen and out the back door this is the second time this has happened to me but in two different houses I have lived in.
Linda - 18-Nov-17 @ 6:14 PM
If a black bird with white belly long tail flew inside your house what do this mean.
Karen - 2-Nov-17 @ 6:59 PM
@Sal - I hope he wasn't looking after it for a friend LOL.
AmyG - 31-Oct-17 @ 2:58 PM
i go round and clean my son house once a week as he works away he had a yellow tit in his bedroom there's no way it could have got in I opened the window and it fly out after a while don't want to mention anything to him but what do you think it means and how did it get there
Sal - 27-Oct-17 @ 3:09 PM
@aggiemay - so sorry to hear this. Have birds ever flown into your house before? A magpie flew into my house, but nothing happened, thankfully.
USA - 17-Oct-17 @ 3:54 PM
2 birds flew into house 1 in kitchen 1 in lounge room about 4pm 28th July, husband died unexpectedly on 3rd August birds were not from the same species.I'm a believer now.
aggiemay - 17-Oct-17 @ 12:14 AM
I have just visited my cousin who's father was given a matter if weeks to live and he told me about something strange that happened Saturday just past 7/10/17. His dad is still mobile but fading,but when he called up to visit his dad, his dad was insisting there was a rat scratching in the wall , my cousin could also hear the noise. So to help put his dad at ease he moved furniture to get closer to the noise and broke a hole in the plaster board wall but could see nothing. He went to his dad's shed and got a jigsaw and made the opening much larger and what was at the bottom between the timber ! A bird. He then told me that his sister then said to him that this is a sign of death....he nor I have ever heard of this previous to this incident...freaky.
Donaldo - 11-Oct-17 @ 11:27 PM
@Andrea - Wow.... that's pretty amazing!
Shura - 9-Oct-17 @ 1:45 PM
A big brown bird flew inside my house with a nest in her hand yesterday and she turned around and flew outside again I felt blessed I was so impressed I need to know the meaning!ty
Andrea - 8-Oct-17 @ 7:37 PM
@Liesa Lake - I imagine it was pretty happy to be free. A bird flew into my house six months ago, a little sparrow. I let it out through the patio doors. Nothing has happened and no one has died.
Mandy66 - 3-Oct-17 @ 12:23 PM
September 29,2017 a bird flew in my front door after a few tries it went out the same door.Than on October 1,2017 a bird got trapped between my back screen door and main door.I don't know how it even got there.There is a small hole in my screen door.When I opened the door the bird flew into my kitchen.After several times it found its way out.Once it was outside the bird tweeted and tweeted.
Liesa Lake - 2-Oct-17 @ 6:25 PM
The day before yesterday a yellow and black bird flew in my house and was hanging Out on my Martha Washington plant, the next day my dog died.
GailNY - 24-Sep-17 @ 4:23 PM
So I come home today and open the doors and fall asleep .and I awake to wings flapping and a little brown bird is in my bed room
Stall - 10-Sep-17 @ 2:22 AM
I had a grey pigion fly into my house through an open door. What does this mean?
Dana - 30-Aug-17 @ 1:45 PM
A little bird flew across my daughter's kitchen when I walked in & no one was home
jp - 27-Aug-17 @ 3:02 AM
My daughters called me at work yesterday saying that a bird was in my bedroom.The only way it must've gotten in is from the fireplace.they opened the window and it eventually flew out.What does this mean?
Obie - 16-Aug-17 @ 1:31 PM
So I came home today to a black pigeon in my house what dose that mean?
Jodi - 15-Aug-17 @ 10:37 PM
@Suzy - perhaps it felt it was safe there. Or perhaps it wasn't quite well enough to fly off. I think it was more to do with practical reasons of the health of the bird than anything more sinister.
Jan - 3-Aug-17 @ 1:47 PM
Our maid brought in a black baby bird that had been sitting motionless for a long time near the threshold, thinking that she wasn't able to fly. But then we released the bird outside soon after that because we realized that nothing was wrong with her. Our door was left open. And instead of flying away, it flew into our house and sat near the window and flapped her little wings. And then we again released it outside and this time, it flew away. Why would it come back and sit near the window?
Suzy - 2-Aug-17 @ 3:53 PM
Hi. Had a thrush fly in through my front door, around the living room and back out an open window. I have ms, 13 yrs on doing well and my flat went on the market today. Just wondered....
Caz - 17-Jul-17 @ 10:13 PM
i have had a magpie enter my window and sit on my window sil and sings in the last two weektwo time this as happened early in the morningdoes this mean any thing
wilkin - 16-Jul-17 @ 2:06 PM
A magpie was found by sister in the kitchen. She wait for her daugther catch the magpie and take the magpie outside in the garden
Carmen - 11-Jul-17 @ 7:44 PM
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