Freud thought that the bird represented the phallus and that flying represented the sexual act. Although in many countries the word ‘bird’ means a girl or woman, in Italy it means the male organ. In ancient myths, birds denote freedom, spiritual knowledge or wisdom gained from experience, but many dream analysts believe dream birds represent your imagination and the aspect of your mind that can travel far and wide, even if this is only in dreams.
When a pet bird appears in your dream, there are plenty of ways to interpret its visit. If the bird is chirping or flying, then it may symbolize feelings of happiness, love, joy or harmony. Sometimes it means that a weight will soon be lifted off your shoulders or that you will experience spiritual freedom in the near future. On the other hand, if the bird is starving, injured or dying, this may symbolize feelings of restriction and loneliness in waking life. If, in your dream, the pet bird is caged or you are trying to put the bird in the cage, this represents feelings of being restricted in some way, being trapped in a relationship or holding back love or affection; if there are good feelings about the caged bird, this may suggest a need to withhold or withdraw love or freedom. If you set a bird free or a bird escapes in your dreams, this indicates feelings of spiritual, emotional or physical freedom.
Pay attention to the species of pet bird in your dream too, as this may hold a clue to the interpretation. For example, cockatiels, lovebirds, Senegals, red bellies, African grays and pionus parrots generally have a reputation for being quiet birds and their appearance in dreams may suggest a period or introspection and reflection. Cockatoos, on the other hand, have one of the worst reputations for screaming, largely because they require quite a bit of attention and amusement or they clamor for it loudly. Is there an aspect of your personality that is screaming out for more attention? Parrots are born copycats, so is your dreaming mind urging you to be more original or to follow someone else’s example? In dreams, such birds suggest that you are repeating without judgment what others have told you. Are you accepting or copying someone or something in your life without a proper process of evaluation? Alternatively, dream parrots may also symbolize verbosity or the need to express yourself in some way. Parakeets or budgies can represent a lack of analytical thought or spiritual thinking, whilst finches are a sign of emotional maturity or the need for it. Dreaming of canaries suggests singing and may therefore refer to a joyful emotion. On the other hand, it may reflect your anxieties about being the focus of gossip. To dream of doves reflects a peaceful nature or condition. The dove is not a pet that often features in dreams, in fact it rarely appears in the dreaming panorama at all, being quite different from pets like cats, dogs and horses that rouse strong emotions. Therefore, if a dove does appear in your dreams, your dreaming mind has conjured up a rare symbol to send you a rare message. In mythology, the dove is the bird with the sweet song that accompanies Venus; it is the symbol of a sweet creature, of a delicate strength. In dreams, pet doves that stay with you not because they have to but because they want to are symbols of a sentiment of deep tenderness, of the sharing of a magic moment that involves the lovers, their soul and their bodies. The dove holds in itself the sweetness of love and the elevation of the spirit, the above and the below, earth and sky. Similar in some ways to the dove is the lovebird; this bird is a symbol of companionship or an appreciation of other people in your life.
Bear in mind too that pet birds are messy creatures; the amount of cleaning they require is the biggest complaint heard from bird owners who are having second thoughts about their pets. If you are cleaning up the cage of a pet bird in your dream, this may suggest that you have perhaps taken on more responsibility than you can manage in the care of someone else or in some aspect of your life.