The Meaning of Mockingbird – Symbolism and References

mockingbird 3
The Mockingbird is found in Mayan and Native American culture and appears everywhere in popular literature, Mockingbird totems, and spiritual meanings. If a Mockingbird is your power animal (or spirit animal), it means that you are strong, but you don't take life too seriously.

Humans have looked to Mockingbirds as a source of inspiration and positive omens. They’re unique little birds that are quick learners and often seen as signs of the dead.

So, what is it about Mockingbirds that are so beloved, and what does it mean when a Mockingbird visits you?

Why Are Mockingbirds So Special?

Mockingbirds are noted for their mimic capabilities, learning over 200 songs in their lifetime. Even with their dull appearance, the mockingbirds characteristics of innocence, loyalty, protection, and musical ability are admired by most people.

At face value, Mockingbirds are unremarkable birds. They are medium build and don’t have the flashy feathers of other songbirds like the Blue Jay. They’re plain, vanilla, and few artists flock to paint this unassuming and dull bird.

However, it’s not what’s on the outside that counts, right? While their features are dull, their personalities are quite remarkable. Other birds have bright features and unique songs; the Mockingbird mimics the songs of other birds and environmental sounds to attract a mate.

Their songs are heard around the clock and sometimes even late at night when other birds have gone to bed. Their songs, intense family protection, and unique personalities make them one of the only birds to strike a personal chord in people.

northern mockingbird

What Does a Mockingbird Symbolize?

Mockingbird symbolism varies from each generation and spiritual beliefs. For some, it symbolizes a lack of authenticity.

Since the Mockingbird mimics other birds, a visit from a Mockingbird symbolizes that you must engage in more self-expression. Don’t be who you think people want you to be (just like the Mockingbird mimics a Cardinal to attract a mate), be yourself!

In other circles, the meaning of a Mockingbird is much more positive. Mockingbirds are notoriously territorial and will protect their nests with fierce resolve. Their protective nature landed them in the spot as the state bird of Texas, Florida, Tennessee, and Arkansas.

In the video below, we rounded up 10 of the most fascinating facts about mockingbirds!

References in Literature

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of the most noted pieces in American Literature. This book’s pervasive theme is preserving innocence in the face of evil.

Killing a Mockingbird is deemed an evil act since Mockingbirds do nothing but share their songs and protect their family. Killing a Mockingbird is a demonstration of the evil that lies within humans.

Mockingbirds in Native American Culture

Different Native American tribes hold the Mockingbird in various regards. In Cherokee culture, the Mockingbird is considered a clever bird, and the Cherokee often gave the heads of this songbird to children, believing it would make them clever.

Some Native American cultures include the Mockingbird in their mythologies. Pueblo and Hopi tribes, for instance, believe that it was the Mockingbird that gave humans the ability to communicate. Shasta tribes, located in Northern California, believe that the Mockingbird is the guardian of the dead and acts as a spirit guide.

mockingbird sitting on pole

What Does it Mean When You Have a Dream of a Mockingbird?

The meaning of a Mockingbird symbolizes a few things – both good and bad. If Mockingbird is singing to you, it may indicate that someone needs your help but is reluctant to ask. If a Mockingbird visits you in your sleep, it’s never a bad idea to check in on your family and loved ones to see if they need your help.

A singing Mockingbird in your dreams may signify that the bird is trying to tell you something. Often, singing birds indicate to you that you need to make a better effort to enhance your skills. If a Mockingbird visits you, heed its words and spend a few more hours honing your given skill sets.

Spiritual Meaning of Northern Mockingbird

Some believe that when a mockingbird visits you, it is a spiritual connection trying to tell you something. For some, spotting a Mockingbird is a symbol of protection; these birds are admirably known to provide fierce protection to their nests and territories.

If you see a mockingbird, it means that a loved one is looking out for you. Some believe they are the manifestation of your guardian angel to reassure you that you are safe and protected. Mockingbird totems also encourage you not to give in to evil inclinations.

They represent innocence, and spotting a mockingbird is another reminder to make good choices and not to give in to temptations. If you are veering off the path, spotting a Mockingbird is a reminder not to stray too far.

Comfort in Mockingbirds

If a Mockingbird visits you, it’s such a wonderful thing. These birds have a long history that dates back to Mayan culture through the present day. While they aren’t very remarkable on the outside, their personality is what makes them such a cultural touchstone.

Their innocence, love, protection of family, and unique mimicry make them beloved birds through the generations.

Whether they visit you in your yard or in your dreams, a visit from a Mockingbird should be a reminder that you are loved, protected, and have a guardian angel looking out for you!

Tara Summerville

Tara Summerville is a freelance writer that loves her backyard birdfeeders. She enjoys sitting on her deck with a cup of coffee, watching cardinals, blue jays, finches, and chickadees munch away at her backyard offerings. Her fascination with birds began as a child; spending afternoons at her grandma's house watching and identifying birds. She has since carried her love of songbirds into adulthood and ensures no bird in her yard goes hungry!

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