Had any bird-related dreams recently?

How come I was dreaming about a bird I’ve never seen?

Zuzanna Żak
3 min readOct 11, 2022


Last night, I had a dream about a peculiar bird. I usually remember my dreams quite well, and this time it was also the case.

I was standing somewhere in a garden, located next to the forest that was quite similar to the one located near my childhood home — although the garden doesn’t blend into the tree line as it was in that dream.

Red-headed Woodpecker from Birds of America (1827) by John James Audubon
Red-headed Woodpecker from Birds of America (1827) by John James Audubon

On one of the pine trees in the first metres of the forest, I saw a woodpecker on the tree trunk. The bird wasn’t doing the headbanging the woodpeckers are famous for, but it seemed to be observing me as well and barely moving.

I had more than enough time to see that it wasn’t the woodpecker that I can see in my area, but its head was fully red. There are multiple different woodpeckers in Poland and Europe in general, but none of them has more red than just a stroke of colour on the top and the back of their head.

It was clearly a red-headed woodpecker, a bird that I have never seen in real life.

Why that bird?

The only time I saw a red-headed woodpecker when I wasn’t dreaming was on a photo included in Amethyst Qu’s article on World Migratory Bird Day. I assume that I saw it also in some nature books, but it’s impossible for me to pinpoint where and when.

I’m certain that I haven’t seen a red-headed woodpecker in real life — I would have remembered travelling half of the world across the ocean.

Red-headed woodpecker symbolism

I did a quick search out of curiosity on what’s the cultural meaning of the red-headed guy.

I found quite a lot of materials on woodpeckers, and also some red-headed woodpecker specific materials.

Here’s a summary of what Google search has told me about woodpecker dreams:



Zuzanna Żak

Field recordist, bird song participant, early morning enjoyer. Use my 🦆 recordings:https://www.pond5.com/artist/ZuzannaZak

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