The 4 Most Common Bird Mascots and What They Symbolize

School, businesses, non-profit organisations, and other entities have for decades utilised mascots to convey a message, build brand awareness, and generate team spirit. You only need to look at Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam, or Chester the Cheetah to see how impactful a brand mascot can be in terms of deepening the public connection to your product or service. Bird-themed mascots are a popular choice of brands world-wide for the many positive attributes possessed by these high-flying creatures.

Even in the professional sports world, birds are a common choice of mascot; from the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays (MLB) to the Anaheim Ducks (NHL) and the Seattle Seahawks (NFL), within every national league sport in North America, there are teams represented by a pair of wings!

So, what is so appealing about these feathered friends? I mean, what other creature can soar through the sky, float on water, and walk on land? Birds can do it all. This being said, each bird has a distinct set of attributes and symbolism behind their name.

Below, we take a look at some of the most common bird mascots, and share what they typically represent for the brands, teams, academic institutions or organisations who choose their stand behind them. Perhaps we will give you some inspiration for your own friendly-foul mascot design!

1. Owl | Wisdom and Insight

There’s no denying it; owls carry the wisdom of an old soul, someone who has seen the wonders of the world and experienced life like no other living creature. The owl represents intelligence and insight, and therefore is a popular choice of mascot for academic institutions, or businesses who pride themselves on offering their clients unparalleled expertise.

2. Swan | Light and Purity

The swan is one of the loveliest animals on this planet, emanating serene grace and purity. Its easy to see the inspiration behind Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Interestingly, swans are also one of few animals on Earth who mate for life, and thus are closely associated with loyalty and fidelity.


While Swans are generally chosen to represent brands or institutions that value beauty, artistry, or relationships, this isn’t always the case! Soccer (or rather football) fans may remember one of the greatest mascot fights in history, which took place during a 1998 FA Cup match between Cyril the Swan (Swansea City) and Zampa the Lion (Millwall). This well loved, but notoriously misbehaved Swan was known for his antics on and off the field, though one could argue that these misdemeanors were just fueled by a fierce loyalty to his team. Very swan-like indeed.

3. Falcons | Victory and Longevity

Falcons are majestic birds for the simple fact of how high they can fly (at heights of over 1km to be exact, reaching speeds of up to 320km/h as it swoops towards its prey). The falcon is a wildly popular mascot choice for sports teams because it symbolises victory and longevity, which are two characteristics that teams wish to embody. Of course, businesses want to accomplish the same thing, which explains why companies also frequently adopt the falcon as a mascot or brand ambassador.

4. Eagles | Courage and Power

Like the falcon, the eagle is another commonly used bird for mascots, brand ambassadors, or logos. And, like the falcon, the reason is justifiable. These brave and powerful birds of prey are what we would like to call a great universal mascot since its many attributes can be adopted by such a broad range of groups. Symbolizing courage, wisdom, and spirituality, eagles are an appropriate mascot choice for academic institutions and brands hoping to showcase their expertise. At the same time, these impressive birds are agile and strong, which is why there are a common sports mascot choice! 

The bald eagle has been the national bird of the United States since the late 1700s, so it also symbolizes patriotism for businesses, teams and organizations south of the border who choose it as their mascot.  

Overall, all classifications of birds share one universal meaning: enlightenment and freedom. Surely, we’ve all glanced skywards and wished that we too could spread our wings and leave our ever-mounting to-do list behind! While we’ve only named a few of the most common bird mascot choices, when it comes to selecting a feathered friend to represent your brand or organisation, the possibilities are truly endless. From the bluebird and hummingbird to the penguin or vulture, the symbolism behind each bird is diverse and incredibly awe inspiring.  

As part of the mascot selection and design process, invest the time into learning some of the unique traits and attributes behind some of your favourite birds to see which choices align with the values of your team, brand or institution. We guarantee that there’s a bird out there for everyone. For more top tips on designing a bid mascot costume that wows, reach out to your Toronto mascot exerts at Hogtown Mascots.