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Do Birds Flying Into A Home Equate To Death?

By: Chris Welsh - Updated: 16 Aug 2017 | 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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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
@Rob - it looks as though they have found a way of getting in . Could there be a nest in your eaves?
Jax - 7-Jul-17 @ 2:19 PM
A small brown bird entered my mom's house as the door just got opened ...and managed to chase it out ... what does it mean????
Fran - 7-Jul-17 @ 3:35 AM
A bird flew into my Moms boyfriends place, it was walking on the couch, I don't know if it flew away but what does that mean? Is anything going to happen?
Raven - 6-Jul-17 @ 12:25 AM
A brown Bird was flying in my house last night but no Window was up... so what that mean......
Red - 5-Jul-17 @ 5:56 PM
For the past six months, Ive had 8 birds fly into the home. I end up chasing them from room to room to try to get them out. Only after an hour or so am I able to catch them or chase them out. I was wondering if there was any special meaning to this? As it keeps happening over and over again.
Rob - 30-Jun-17 @ 9:06 PM
@laur - was your window open? It's obviously found its way in without knowing.
Missy - 20-Jun-17 @ 11:01 AM
I got woken up to a bird behind my curtains that came from out side what does that mean ?
laur - 17-Jun-17 @ 6:26 AM
A pair of brown doves made their nest on an unused flowerpot in our balcony about 2 months ago and then they made an egg. We didn't disturb them at all, so they were flying in and out of balcony. Two chicks came out the eggs and now they are mature enough to fly. But lately two doves(not sure if they're the same pair) come inside my room every day whenever iforget to close the window. They fly away when i shoo them ofcourse but they keep coming. Why are they so determined? (Btw my middle name means dove- which was my late granny's name) thanx in advance
Mira - 8-Jun-17 @ 10:08 AM
My mom died on 15 May.The day before a blackbird crashed into the window right next to her favorite recliner.I cannot explain it other than it happened exactly that way.
Brad - 30-May-17 @ 11:59 PM
@Indra - let the bird make its nest and have its chicks. It has found a nice home and you should be pleased :)
Hattv - 26-May-17 @ 2:23 PM
My home entrance bird make nest. And I think its going to make egg. people saying birds coming good . what your comment this matter.
Indra - 26-May-17 @ 1:57 PM
I live in Atlanta ,Georgia and a baby brown thrasher flew in my window I want to no do anyone no what that mean thanks
shay - 16-May-17 @ 3:50 PM
My friend has just passed away there has been a lot of friction with herself family and myself, a bird has just flown in my house, why ?
Mart - 15-May-17 @ 5:38 PM
@Not superstitious - I don't believe it, a bird can't make a person die. I've had birds fly into my house and no one I know has died so how do you explain that?
JoJO - 15-May-17 @ 2:29 PM
I'm not one to be superstitious but for me this is not just an Old Wives tale to be easily dismissed. Because before my brother died a bird flew into the house and we had a hard time getting it out. When my mother died a bird kept flying into her bedroom window trying to get in. And when my husband died a bird set on the window ledge looking in.
Not superstitious - 15-May-17 @ 4:36 AM
A little house Wren is determined to build her nest on my shelf. I quite offend prop door open so my little dog can go in and out. I actually love hearing the bird come in and sing. But don't want her to lay eggs on my shelf, she would need access to her nest. Not sure if omen of death but not scared I am old anyway
Carolyn - 11-May-17 @ 4:47 PM
@kris - it might be that the sparrows just like you and where you live. The fact they are singing away is really nice - suck it up, it's a beautiful part of life. Aidy.
AAA - 11-May-17 @ 11:51 AM
About 2 mths ago I was walking my trails at my past down 5gens ky land. As I do almost daily. It's very peaceful. There are a lot of Indian artifacts that can be found here. FYI.Anyways I kept seeing from a distance something big and dark colored following me everywhere finally after 2 weeks I walked back to it closed my eyes and opened in fear even tho I felt it was no fear to me. I could have swore it was a buffalo I took several pics and you can clearly see what looked like a buffalo. Well about a mth ago it stopped then a sparrow flew into my utility room I raised the window it flew out. Then About 2 Weeks Ago I Had One Fly So Fast It Took Me By Suppise Right By My Head.I've noticed sparrows everywhere I go just singing away.Close to me almost like following me.I also noticed on my front porch they have nested right by my door. This morning I was doing laundry in my utility room and under it was a dead sparrow but it looked as if the head is missing.... what could all this mean plz. It's driving me nuts. Thx
kris - 10-May-17 @ 2:39 PM
It is not a myth a orange cardinal tapped on my daughters window for three days my son got killed a couple of days later.
Lee - 7-May-17 @ 7:49 AM
@Worried me - it doesn't mean anything - the bird just got lost or flew into the wrong place. It happens all the time and nothing happens as a result. It's a silly nonsence old wives tale. So, you have no need to worry at all.
Mira - 2-May-17 @ 10:13 AM
Tonight as I let my 2 little dogs outside in the backyard! A little bird fly in our house flying everywhere! It looked like a kinglet bird ! My grandma used to say if a red bird flyes in your home it means death !What does this ? My dad finally got the little bird out but I was wondering what it means? Would you please let me know if it means something! Thank you
Worried me - 1-May-17 @ 4:37 AM
@TK - That's got to be a nice omen. Robins are lucky.
Patsy - 27-Apr-17 @ 10:50 AM
I robin was sitting on window ledge this morning came through a very little opening of my window. Would not leave my room until I eventually opened my large window Was just sitting waiting for me what does this mean
TK - 26-Apr-17 @ 1:42 PM
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