Sparrow Symbolism: 13 Meanings & Representations


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Sparrows are delightful, common little songbirds widespread in the United States. They are found in urban to rural settings, living an active life of foraging and raising their young. 

There are over 35 species of sparrows in North America, with two of the most common types: the house sparrow and the tree sparrow.

The following interpretations, symbolism, beliefs, and meanings are some examples of what people believe sparrows represent to them. These are intended for your entertainment and speculation.

1. There’s Power In Numbers (Unity, Teamwork, & More)

Sparrows are social birds living in communal spaces in flocks. They keep watch for danger, decreasing foraging activities in noisy areas. 

Though small in size, they are great in number and therefore are not unimportant, powerless, or useless.

They have been found to solve problems in large groups faster than birds that operate alone.  

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This power in numbers for sparrows can represent the following:

  • Unity
  • Protection
  • Community
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-Solving
  • Cooperation
  • Friendship
  • Harmony
  • Vigilance
  • Productivity
  • Efficiency

Check out this video of sparrows in flocks, feeding chicks, sitting on a person’s hand, and more:


2. Sparrows Inspire Adaptability & Resiliency

Sparrows not only look out for each other, but they are tough and adaptable, surviving in urban environments where many other birds cannot. 

They can build nests in or on vines climbing buildings, structural holes, street lights, overhanging fixtures, roofs, and more.

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Sparrows learn by observing the environment and taking action. They learn how to sneak in past motion-activated doors, grab crumbs underneath picnic tables, and use discarded cigarette butts and other debris to build urban nests.

They can have a demanding, fastidious attitude, and may evict native birds from nest sites, including nest boxes.


3. They Represent Freedom

Sparrows are about 6 inches long weighing approximately 1 ounce. These small and light birds can easily fit into tight spots and soar without effort amongst trees and shrubs.

To some, this may represent freedom in general, or the freedom to have a choice.


4. Sparrows Mean You Are Loved By The Creator

In the Bible, sparrows are referred to as small creatures that may be overlooked, but not by God. They are common and were often used as offerings by the poor or sold as two for a penny.  

The biblical stance is that sparrows are valued and not beyond the reach of God’s love. And, therefore, the same is true for all people no matter how “small”.


5. You Are Facing Poverty If You See Sparrows

On the other hand, since sparrows were viewed as common and not worth much, sparrows were symbols of peasants, lower class, or poverty.

This was a common thought in the European middle ages.


6. It Is A Good Or Bad Omen If A Sparrow Flies Into A Home?

If a sparrow flies into a person’s home in Indonesia, it means the coming of rain, that someone will soon marry or give birth, or positive news. 

In China, a sparrow in the home indicates that good fortune is coming soon and is seen as a symbol of Spring.

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In other cultures, such as in European folklore, a sparrow in the home is a bad omen. It was thought of as a sign of death for the individual or the individual’s family members.


7. A Sparrow Running Into A Window Is A Bad Sign

 

If a sparrow hits a closed window and is injured or dies, it could foretell an ending.

Perhaps there is an upcoming ending to a relationship, a job, someone’s life, and so on.


8. A Dead Sparrow Means Loss Or New Beginnings

If a person comes across a dead sparrow, it could mean the loss of freedom, innocence, or something else personal in one’s life. 

However, this loss could indicate that a new beginning is coming for the person.


9. They Are Carriers Of The Soul

An ancient Egyptian view of the sparrow was that they carried the souls of the recently deceased. Therefore, it was bad luck to kill a sparrow. 

Sailors would get tattoos of sparrows in the hopes that the birds would catch their souls if they died at sea. 

Others see a sparrow tattoo as a way to honor a loved one.


10. Sparrows Are Reminders For Integrity & Self-Worth

The sight of a sparrow may be a reminder to stay on the right course. This serves as a way to stay mindful and to have moral integrity. 

Their bold, social, adaptable activities remind us to have self-worth and that we each bring something valuable to the world. Hard work and diligence create the foundation for success. 


11. Sparrows Represent True Love

In Greek mythology, the sparrow was a sacred bird to the goddess of love, Aphrodite.

It symbolized true, everlasting love.


12. They Denote Infidelity

Many species of sparrows are socially monogamous but participate in promiscuous behavior. 

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DNA analysis of sparrow eggs reveals that the offspring do not have strong genetic ties to both parents.

The sparrow has been used in Shakespeare’s and Chaucer’s writings as a lecherous (overly sexual) bird.


13. Dreaming Of A Sparrow Is Interpreted As A Burden, Joy, Or Pregnancy

Dreaming of a sparrow may mean that the person is carrying a heavy burden and needs to lighten the load or overcome burdens. It could also mean joy or happiness.

Sparrows yearly produce 2 to 3 broods with 3 to 3 eggs on average each time. If a sparrow is caught in a dream, it may mean that a pregnancy is forthcoming. 


Conclusion 

Sparrow symbolism is often viewed as a message to teach someone something. 

It can mean true love, new beginnings, or freedom. Sparrows can represent joy, the importance of hard work and self-worth, or unity.

Many birdwatchers love sparrows because of their social and widespread activity. They visit backyards and may even eat out of your hand.

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James Goodman

James is a native Texan with a love for birding and outdoor adventures. When he's not birdwatching, you can find him hiking, camping or playing the piano.

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