Using English idioms naturally is a great way to sound like a native speaker. In this post, you will learn some common idioms with BIRD. Start using these idioms today in your own English conversations.
No old-fashioned or out-of-date idioms were included in this post. Keep reading for definitions, real example sentences, and more. Plus a free PDF download. Everything you need to know about English Bird Idioms in one place.
The word bird has more than one meaning. The most common, and the one we all know is
– a creature that is covered with feathers and has two wings and two legs. Most birds can fly.
- There’s a bird‘s nest in the big oak tree in my backyard.
In the past in England, BIRD was used as an offensive way of referring to a young woman
- I’m gonna go talk to that cute bird in the corner.
*I’m Canadian, we don’t use the word like that in Canada. I wonder if it is still common in other countries to use the word BIRD to mean women. If you know, please tell us in the comments.
A Bird In A Gilded Cage – someone who is trapped in a luxurious but confining or restrictive situation.
- Despite Bethany’s lavish lifestyle, the celebrity felt like a bird in a gilded cage, constantly being watched and hunted by the media.
A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush – it is better to keep something that you already have than to risk losing it by trying to get much more
- I know you want to invest in those stocks, but they seem risky. Remember, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
A Little Bird Told Me – used to say that somebody told you something but you do not want to say who it was
- A little bird told me that you got a promotion at work. Congratulations!
As Free As A Bird – complete freedom; you can do whatever you like
- After her retirement, my grandmother decided to travel the world on a year-long luxury cruise. She felt as free as a bird.
As The Crow Flies – the shortest distance between two points.
- Even though the two towns were only 10 miles apart as the crow flies, the winding roads and steep hills made the drive take almost an hour.
Bird-Brained – someone who is scatterbrained or forgetful is called Bird-Brained.
- I forgot my keys again. Sometimes I feel like I’m a bit bird-brained.
Bird’s Eye View – Can you guess what this idiom means? A bird’s eye is the eye of a bird.
View can mean – what you can see from a certain place
Birds can fly high in the sky, so we can imagine that a bird’s eye view must be a view of something from a high position looking down.
- I got a bird’s eye view of Toronto from the airplane. I was lucky to have a window seat.
This idiom comes from my blog post – 31 English Idioms with EYE (Free PDF – Real Examples)
Birds Of A Feather (Flock Together) – people who have similar interests, beliefs or personalities, tending to spend time with each other.
- In high school, all of the jocks hang out together while all the theater kids hung out together, proving that birds of a feather flock together.
Chicken Out – to become becomes fearful and back out of a situation.
- I was supposed to go bungee jumping today, but I chickened out at the last minute.
Crazy As A Loon – refers to someone who is eccentric or insane.
- Sarah’s uncle believes that aliens are controlling his mind, and he talks to them through his microwave, he’s as crazy as a loon.
*We can also call someone loony to mean eccentric or insane.
- Sarah’s uncle is loony.
The Canadian $1 coin has a picture of a loon on it. The nickname of this coin is a loonie.
A loon is a black and white bird that lives in lakes. They are common in Canada.
- “I need some change for the bus, can I borrow a looine?”
I took this photo of a loonie I brought back to Japan with me after visiting Canada last summer. This coin is from 1988 so the loon is not very easy to see. You can see a cleaner image of this coin at the Wiki link below.
Wiktionary Canadian Loonie
Dead as a Dodo – something that is extinct or no longer exists.
- In this digital age, traditional mail may soon be dead as a dodo.
Eagle Eye – to have very good vision or to pay close attention to something.
- The coach has an eagle eye and can spot potential in any player. He is also good at noticing your weak points and giving you helpful tips to improve.
Eat Like A Bird – to eat very little.
- On our first few dates, my girlfriend ate like a bird. She would only order a salad at a restaurant with no dessert.
For The Birds – not worthwhile or of little value.
- I never read that newspaper, their coverage of events is not balanced. It’s for the birds if you ask me.
Graceful As A Swan – Refers to someone who moves with elegance and poise.
- The way the princess walked in her long dress and high heels was so elegant, she was as graceful as a swan.
Kill Two Birds With One Stone – accomplishing two things at the same time.
- Biking to work kills two birds with one stone. It saves money on gas and parking and helps me stay fit.
Like A Duck To Water – Very naturally; without effort. Wiktionary
- My little brother loved skating before he could walk. He took to hockey like a duck to water. I’m sure he will go pro after college.
Like Water Off A Duck’s Back – that doesn’t affect someone at all, as they are able to let it roll off like water off a duck’s feathers.
- Wanda gets criticized all the time by her coworkers, but it’s like water off a duck’s back to her. She doesn’t let their negativity bother her.
Lovebirds – two people who are very affectionate with each other and clearly in love with each other.
- My sister and her husband are real lovebirds, they can’t stop holding and kissing each other. At first, it was cute, but I’m starting to get tired of it.
Night Owl – a person who is active or productive during the night.
- My neighbor is a night owl, I see his office light on all night long.
Proud As A Peacock – extremely proud of themselves or something they have achieved.
- After acing all of his exams, Winston was proud as a peacock. He was sure to get into his college of choice.
Swan Song – a final performance or act before retirement or ending something.
- Her upcoming concert will be her swan song. Rumor has It that she will retire from music after that.
Take Someone Under Your Wing – give someone under your guidance or protection and help them to learn or succeed.
- The senior manager liked the new recruit and decided to take him under his wing.
The Early Bird Catches The Worm – if you wake up early and start your day early you have an advantage in getting things done.
- My dad always told me that in order to succeed in life, I should wake up early and start my day with a purpose, because the early bird catches the worm.
This Bird Has Flown – a person has left a situation or place or a chance has passed by.
- A: I’d like to apply for the new Deputy manager position.
B: Unfortunately, we filled that position yesterday morning. I’m sorry, that bird has flown.
To Flip Someone The Bird – Refers to making an obscene gesture with the middle finger.
- The driver who cut me off in traffic got a little surprise when I flipped him the bird.
To Kill The Goose That Lays The Golden Egg – To ruin or stop something that was earning money for you.
- They fired Michael last week because the boss was angry. The problem is that Michael was the number one salesman in the company. The boss just killed the goose that lays the golden eggs. What a terrible mistake.
This idiom comes from my blog post – Idioms with EGG (14 Real Example Sentences + Video)
Ugly Duckling – someone who may be unattractive or awkward in their youth, but grows up to be beautiful or successful.
- When she was a child, she felt like an ugly duckling, but she grew up to be a beautiful and confident woman.
Wing It – improvising or making something up as you go along.
- I didn’t have time to prepare for the speech, so I had to wing it.
Wild Goose Chase – pursuing something that is unlikely or impossible to achieve. A waste of time.
- The boss sent us on a wild goose chase, asking us to find a document that didn’t exist.
Songs With Bird Idioms
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) is a song released in 1965 by the Beatles. The line at the end of the song this bird has flown is about the girl who has left. (The girl that the singer had been with.)
“Norwegian Wood” was a reference to the cheap pine wall paneling that was popular in London at the time.
The song is short so I have included the lyrics below the video.
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) SONG LYRICS
I once had a girl
Or should I say, she once had me?
She showed me her room
“Isn’t it good, Norwegian wood?”
She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere
So I looked around and I noticed there wasn’t a chair
I sat on the rug
Biding my time, drinking her wine
We talked until two
And then she said, “It’s time for bed”
She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh
I told her I didn’t and crawled off to sleep in the bath
And when I awoke
I was alone, this bird had flown
So I lit a fire
Isn’t it good, Norwegian wood?
Printable BIRD Idiom PDF
Download your printable BIRD Idiom 7-page PDF below. (It’s FREE!) PDFs contain the live links from the post.
If you can think of any bird idioms that I left out, please tell me in the comments!
Find more GREAT Idiom posts below!
- Listen Up! Understanding the Meaning of EAR IDIOMS
- Smell a Rat – English Idiom
- Mouse Potato – English Idiom
- The Rat Race – English Idiom
- Play cat and mouse with (someone) – English Idiom
- Like A Drowned Rat – English Idiom
- (As) Poor as a Church Mouse – English Idiom
Thanks to The Free Dictionary for Idiom inspiration. https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/bird