Is It Bad Luck To Have A Wild Bird In The House?

Growing up, whenever an open window let a bird in the house, my grandparents would rush around trying to let the bird out, because they were afraid of bad luck. So, according to them, a wild bird in the house definitely is bad luck—but, that’s not the end of the story, in this article we’re going to take a deeper look at the history of this superstition and have the final say! Is it bad luck when a wild bird flies inside your house?

Bird In The House Brings News

Good luck or bad luck, it’s always the question. But that isn’t the be all and end all of superstitions, no matter what my grandparents used to say about it. And a wild bird in your house is no different.

Superstitions are very regional, and even differ from one family to another in the same region. So, it’s no wonder that not everybody believes that a bird getting inside your house is bad luck. Some people believe that a bird arrives in your house to deliver a message. What that message is, though, will be difficult to decipher—one supposes the message is simply that something significant is about to happen.

White Bird In The House: Death!

Lucky for us, the most common bird to come into our house was always a starling. The reason that was fortunate is because starlings aren’t white birds, they’re dull with a sort of rainbow sheen to them when they catch the light.

white bird superstition death

The reason you don’t want a white bird flying into your house is because some people believe they are the ultimate bad luck omen. Some people believe that a white bird in the house is a portent of death! That is, somebody in the home when the bird enters will die soon.

Crikey! That’s no good, is it? Well, don’t panic—after all, it’s just a superstition.

Pet Birds Vs. Wild Bird

Birds in the house being bad luck sure is bad news for all the parakeet fanciers around the world, isn’t it? Well, maybe not. This is because a distinction is often made between a wild bird and a pet bird.


You might think, heck, that’s a bit cheesy to just dodge that bad luck isn’t it? Well, it’s probably a more traditional exemption from bad luck than you might realize. After all, we’ve been keeping birds in our homes for at least 4,000 years! Yep, that’s right—current thinking is we first domesticated the humble hen around the year 2,000 BC.

What About Bird Decorations?

There are some people who take this superstition so seriously, that they even shy away from bird decorations in the home. So that means no bird ornaments, no bird wallpaper, and no bird prints on any of the dishes! Imagine Christmas, no turtle doves on the Christmas Tree!

bird decorations

You might be thinking nobody could be taking this that seriously. Well, they sure do. There’s one famous example: Lucille Ball. According to legend, a wild bird became trapped in her house the day her father died. Since that experience, it was claimed that Lucille Ball wouldn’t stay at any hotel with any sort of bird decorations inside. However, take all this with a pinch of salt, because she was filmed several times acting with birds on her TV shows—hmm, maybe she was just a very professional person?

Can I Bring An Injured Bird In The House To Care For It?

Well, it really depends on what you believe. If you believe it is bad luck to bring that wild bird inside, then you might want to avoid doing that. It may be better to care for the injured animal in an outbuilding like a shed or a barn.

injured bird in the house bad luck

However, depending on where you live and the species of bird that you found, you might be legally required to contact the relevant government authorities to handle the bird. Some birds are endangered and their survival is of vital importance. Whereas, alternatively, some birds are invasive and, sadly, may need to be disposed of.

So, make sure you know your local laws regarding your interaction with wildlife!

Conslusion: Are Wild Birds in the House Bad Luck?

Well, the jury’s out on this one—a lot of people definitely believe wild birds getting into your house is a bad omen. Some people think white birds bring the ultimate bad luck: death.

However, not everybody believes this. Some people believe birds coming into the house is related to another superstition—that a bird is bringing some sort of important news.

Here’s the final answer:

Is a wild bird in the house bad luck? Maybe.

Further Reading