All of us are blessed with this one life to explore our calling, see the world, find love, and be successful. But just because we have only one life doesn’t necessarily mean we get only one chance at all these. The beauty of life lies in the fact that we’re never sure how much time we have here. So, until death takes us, we can start every single day afresh.
But when we find ourselves surrounded by struggles and challenges, it’s easy to forget that we control the narrative and can begin again. It is in times like these that we seek the inspiration of new beginnings from the external world: the world of symbolism.
If you’re a birder, finding inspiration in the avian kingdom means more to you. Because we share your love of birds, we understand this need and are here to talk about 5 birds that symbolize new beginnings. Let’s get started!
Storks are a group of long-legged wading birds that have the strongest association with the symbol of new beginnings in the avian kingdom. Before we get to discussing how, let’s ask you this: What’s the most important kind of new beginning in the world? The literal new beginning of life: a birth.
Since fertility gives way to birth and storks are closely associated with it, they’re also symbolic of new beginnings. Now, we’ll delve deeper into the symbolism of these waders.
Because storks have lived on Earth for roughly 40-50 million years, they’ve appeared in many ancient cultures. Let’s begin with Christianity, wherein several folklores talk about storks delivering babies. In fact, there are paintings that depict these birds delivering baby Jesus to Mother Mary. For these reasons, the Christians saw storks as a symbol of new hope and life.
Moving on, in Egyptian mythology, Goddess Isis, the deity of fertility and motherhood, was portrayed with a stork by her side. As their companions, these birds were associated with the same symbols.
Lastly, several Native American tribes see storks as a powerful totem and consider them to be symbolic of fertility and new beginnings. All these cultural representations make a compelling case for storks symbolizing the same.
Doves and pigeons were domesticated by humans roughly 10,000 years ago and played a key role in long-distance communication before modern technology came along. Because of their long history of association with humans, these gentle birds find mention in various legends, folklores, and myths around the world.
Some major symbols that are attached to these birds include love, peace, hope, and harmony. But how do these birds symbolize new beginnings? Let’s find out!
How many of you are aware of the story of Noah’s ark? From the ark settled on the top of the mountain, when Noah sent forth a dove to find out if the water had ebbed and the land was dry again, the dove brought back a freshly plucked olive branch in its bill. The branch was a sign that land had indeed become inhabitable again.
And what did that mean for Noah and for the entire humanity? A new beginning, an opportunity to re-establish their community and start living an abundant life again.
Since then, these gentle birds have been the representatives of new beginnings in the world. This is also why a couple of doves, locking their bills, is seen so commonly in wedding invitations. It is believed that the presence of these birds will bless the new life the newlyweds are going to embrace together.
Swallows are tiny passerine birds that are well-known for their highly aerial lifestyle. Because these birds spend the majority of their lives in the air, feeding aerially as well, their short, weak legs have evolved to accommodate only perching, not walking.
The primarily aerial lifestyle of swallows has associated them with the symbol of wanderlust. But how are they associated with new beginnings? The answer to that lies in Chinese culture.
In China, the swallows are guests of the spring. Because these birds are one of the first migratory birds to enter the country in the spring months, their arrival is often seen as an indication that spring is here.
And since spring is the month of new beginnings for all the flora, these birds symbolize the same. The Chinese have attached a superstition to the nest of these birds, too. They believe that if these birds build a nest on your property, it is symbolic of good news coming your way soon. On the other hand, if you destroy their nests, it is bound to bring you ill luck and misery.
The cardinals are members of the finch family that are well-recognized for two reasons: their bright red plumage and their melodious songs. And while only the males of their family possess the former, the latter is a skill both sexes have mastered. This is quite rare since, among most songbirds, only the males are known to sing.
And while the cheerful songs of cardinals can be heard all year long, do you know when their peak singing season is? Between spring and early summers, a time when the cold, white blankets of snow melt away under the gentle sun, and fresh leaves and flowers bloom on the trees.
Just like spring itself is symbolic of renewal and new beginnings, so are the cardinals and their songs. In fact, many experts have also stated how hearing the cardinals sing in your dream signifies that you’ll soon start a new chapter of your life.
Furthermore, the plumage of the male cardinals also reaches its peak brilliance during spring (as it marks the onset of their breeding season). And because red is the color of love and passion, the new beginnings these birds represent are bound to have positive connotations.
Because the bluebirds are found only in the Americas, their cultural significance outside this range is scarce. Due to the bright color of their wings, these birds are seen as symbols of peace, innocence, and purity.
The association of these joyful birds with new beginnings finds its roots in their depiction in the Native American culture. The Iroquois and Navajo tribes of Native America used to see the bluebirds only in the spring season, which is why they associated them with renewal, new beginnings, and good fortune.
Wrapping it up
With this, we’ve come to the end of our article. Before we part ways, let’s give you a quick summary of everything new that we’ve learned today.
In the article, we’ve looked at five different birds and discussed how they symbolize new beginnings. If you’ve been paying attention so far, you’ll notice how these symbolisms are attached to birds not because of their physical traits but because of how we, as people, see them.
What other avian symbolisms are you looking forward to exploring? Tell us via email, and we’ll be happy to do the research and curate articles on them!