Birds of the Bible

Not only are Birds of the Bible important to you and me, they have played an important roll throughout human history.

Indeed, dating back to the creation of earth.

For something fun and educational, I have put together some references on our avian friends from the Bible.

I hope you enjoy this.

Birds of the Bible mentioned in creation

Genesis 1:20-23 RSV

And God said,

"Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens."

So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind.

And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying,

"Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

The Flood:

(Birds were brought on the ark, not 2 of each kind, but 7 pair.)

and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth.

After the flood, for the first time, birds were given to man as food to eat from God. Genesis 7:3

Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. After the flood, birds and animals feared man for the first time. Genesis 9:3

The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Genesis 9:2


We are supposed to be good stewards of the earth and the inhabitants of the earth, including all animals including those that fly.

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Genesis 1:28

Treatment of nesting birds (stewardship):

It's In The BIBLE........

If you come across a bird’s nest beside the road, either in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young or the eggs, do not take the mother with the young. You may take the young, but be sure to let the mother go, so that it may go well with you and you may have a long life. Deuteronomy 22:6-7

Birds of the Bible.

Nearly 400 different species can be found in the region of Israel, of which about 25 are found only in Israel. Birds are mentioned widely throughout The Bible, with literal and metaphorical usage. Some of the most common -


Doves are harmless and peaceful which came to be used as a symbol of The Holy Spirit:

"And when Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on Him" (Matthew 3:16 RSV)

Ravens :

The raven was the first bird that Noah sent out from the ark:

"At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made, and sent forth a raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth." (Genesis 8:6-7 RSV)


A hen with her eggs was used as a metaphor for God's concern for His unrepentant people:

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!" (Matthew 23:37 RSV)

Roosters are known for their crowing, which was said to have been so punctual that the Roman troops used it to signal the change of the guard. Jesus Christ used the well-known sound of the cock crowing to predict that Peter would temporarily deny even knowing Him on The Fateful Night:

"Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny Me three times." (Mark 14:29-30 RSV)


The eagle was the largest in Israel, with a wingspan of up to 8 feet. God used an eagle metaphorically for His bringing the Israelites out of slavery in the Exodus:

"And Moses went up to God, and The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles wings and brought you to Myself." (Exodus 19:3-4 RSV)

This is one of my favorites.

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall ran, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31).


Hawks are very fast-flying hunters, with sharp claws and beaks.

"Is it by your wisdom that the hawk soars, and spreads his wings toward the south?" (Job 39:26 RSV)


Owls are swift and silent night-time hunters of rodents and small animals. The eerie sound of the owl's "hoot" was used as a metaphor for loneliness:

"I am like a vulture of the wilderness, like an owl of the waste places; I lie awake, I am like a lonely bird on the housetop." (Psalm 102:6-7 RSV)


Quail are ground-feeding and dwelling creatures that fly only when they necessary.

"And there went forth a wind from The Lord, and it brought quails from the sea, and let them fall beside the camp, about a day's journey on this side and a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and about two cubits above the face of the earth.

And the people rose all that day, and all night, and all the next day, and gathered the quails; he who gathered least gathered ten homers; and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp." (Numbers 11:31-32 RSV)

Peacocks :

Solomon is believed to have imported peacocks from India and Sri Lanka for his palace.


Sparrows are common Birds of the Bible,and found throughout the world, yet they are used as sacrifice and an important reference in the Bible.

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore; you are more valuable than many sparrows. (Mathew 10:29:31)

Clean vs. unclean:

Birds of the Bible are divided into clean and unclean

"These are the birds you are to detest and not eat because they are detestable; the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the red kite, any kind of black kite, and kind of raven, the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat." (Leviticus 11:13-19)

All other Birds of the Bible were deemed clean and safe to eat.

Did Peter's vision change all of that?

In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him "Rise. Peter; kill and eat. " But Peter said "No, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean." And the voice came to him a second time, "What God has cleansed, you must not call common." (Acts 10:12-15)

Types of birds in the Bible:

Dove – offered as sacrifice Genesis 15:9, Leviticus 5:7

Peace Genesis 8:8

Purity Psalm 68:13

Holy Spirit Genesis 1:2, Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22, John 1:32

Power of flight Psalm 55:6

Nesting habits Jeremiah 48:28

Metaphor for loved one Song 2:14

Innocence Matthew 10:16

Eagle – swiftness of flight Deuteronomy 28:49

Mounting high in the air Job 29:27

Strength Psalm 103:5

Nest in high places Jeremiah 49:16

Power of vision Job 39:27

Symbolizes nations God uses to do work of destruction Matthew 24:28

God’s care is like an eagle teaching its young to fly Exodus 19:4

Unclean Leviticus 11:13

Sometimes translated as vulture

Symbolic Ezekiel 1:10, 10:14, Daniel 7:4, Revelation 4:7, 8:13

Sparrow – used for offering Matthew 10:29

Psalm 84:3

Psalm 102:7

Matthew 10:29-31, Luke 12:6-7

Swallow – Psalm 84:3, Proverbs 26:2, Isaiah 38:14, Jeremiah 8:7

Cock – Matthew 26:34 and others but all regarding Peter’s denial (NT), Proverbs 30:31

Hen – Matthew 23:37

Crane – Isaiah 38:14, Jeremiah 8:7

Stork – Leviticus 11:19, Psalm 104:17, Jeremiah 8:7, Zechariah 5:9

Heron – Leviticus 11:19, Deuteronomy 14:18

Lapwing - Leviticus 11:19, Deuteronomy 14:18

Bat - Leviticus 11:19, Deuteronomy 14:18

Ravens – Genesis 8:6,7

Hawk – Job 39:26

Owl – Psalm 102:6-7

Quail – Numbers 11:31-32

Bittern – Isaiah 14:23, Isaiah 34:11, Zephaniah 2:14

Cormorant – Leviticus 11:17, Deuteronomy 14:17, Isaiah 34:11, Zephaniah 2:14

Kite – Leviticus 11:14, Deuteronomy 14:13

Ossifrage - Leviticus 11:14, Deuteronomy 14:12

Osprey - Leviticus 11:14, Deuteronomy 14:12

Peacocks – Job 39:13

Ostrich – Job 39:13

Partridge – 2 Samuel 26:20, Jeremiah 17:11

Pelican – Leviticus 11:18, Deuteronomy 14:17, Psalm 102:6

Pigeon – Genesis 15:9, Leviticus 12:6

Swan – Leviticus 11:18, Deuteronomy 14:16

Vulture - Leviticus 11:14, Deuteronomy 14:13, Job 28:7

Raven – Genesis 8:7, Leviticus 11:15, Deuteronomy 14:14, Job 38:41, Psalm 147:9, Proverbs 30:17, I Kings 17:3

Fowl – Matthew 6:25-26, Genesis 1:20

There are also many general passages about Birds in the Bible, winged creatures and some translations of the Bible use different species of birds, for example, a hawk may be referred to as a kite and so on.

Birds of the Bible and Common Birds Profile

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Choice of Bird Feeders

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