The Deep Spiritual Meaning Behind Duck Symbolism

duck symbolism
The duck is a symbol representing happiness, laughter, nurturing, and good luck in many cultures. It also means bonding, romantic love, travel, emotional balance, and spiritual uplifting. They are also symbols of kinship, purification, intuition, and transformation. Ducks are found widely over all continents and are associated with much folklore.

Duck Symbolism History and Meaning

When the duck symbolism entered, folklore and mythology is unknown. Both eastern and western cultures revere the duck and relate it with their daily life. 

The duck is a common symbol of water and fertility. It’s said to represent new beginnings. Ducks also have a strong connection with domesticity, family, and happiness.

The duck is often seen as being an animal that brings prosperity and wealth because it excels at collecting food. This goes hand-in-hand with its role as a signifier of love and romance.

duck symbolism
Ducks function as a symbol in many cultures and their symbolism carries many different meanings.

Ducks in Chinese Mythology 

Ducks hold much importance in Chinese culture. The duck symbolizes material happiness and good luck here. Though it is eaten, it still has a permanent place in mythology. 

The duck is a symbol of peace and tranquility due to its calm appearance when swimming in the water. The female duck also represents fertility and abundance because she lays eggs. The duck is also a symbol of prosperous marital life in China. 

Ducks in Greek Mythology 

Ducks symbolize nurturing and faithfulness in Greek Mythology. This belief comes from the famous epic, The Odyssey. Icarus, Penelope’s father, was so enraged that she was not a son that he threw her into the sea to drown her. A flock of ducks, however, rescued the infant girl. 

Icarus, stunned by the rescue, saw it as a sign from the gods, and he finally accepted his young daughter. Penelope was named after the Greek word for duck. Later, Odysseus, the epic’s protagonist, married Penelope, the daughter of Icarus and the nymph Periboea.

When Odysseus went to fight the Trojan War and was gone for two decades, Penelope remained faithful to him, protecting his kingdom from unscrupulous opportunists. Penelope thus embodied the mother duck’s protective qualities.

duck symbolism
Ducks were a common symbol within Greek mythology and regular depicted in art in the Roman Empire.

Native American Duck Symbolism

Though the duck is related to prosperity and goodness, in Native America, it is considered a character who can be outsmarted easily. Animals like foxes, coyotes, or crows are able to trick ducks. 

They are susceptible animals. There is also a legend behind ducks falling prey to other animals. The red eye and death dance symbolism also evolves from a Native American Menominee legend about ducks. 

The protagonist of the legend, Manabush, asked the ducks to dance by closing their eyes. So, a flock of ducks closed their eyes and danced to Manabush’s song. Enjoying the song with their eyes shut, the ducks forgot everything. 

Manabush, the trickster, took the ducks one by one and slit their necks. However, a duck had opened its eyes and warned the remaining to flee. When Manabush saw this, he cursed the duck, saying it would have red eyes for a lifetime. 

In Native American culture ducks symbolize boastfulness and arrogance. 

The Duck as a Totem Animal

As a totem animal, the duck animal spirit helps you know yourself better. Ducks are water animals representing water elements and the unconscious mind. They have a lot of stability and calmness surrounding them that can help you.

The moon is associated with ducks and feminine energy in general. This could mean that ducks are very intuitive animals, so the duck totem can help you learn more about yourself!

Ducks also symbolize yin energy, which is passive yet assertive at the same time. This means, as power animals, they’re great for helping people who need to relax and let go of stress or tension after a long day’s work or even just sitting still.

duck symbolism
Wooden duck totems are common in Korea.

Is Seeing a Duck a Good Omen?

Yes, glimpsing a duck is surely a good omen. The duck is a symbol of fertility, prosperity, and good luck. In addition, ducks are associated with wisdom, patience, and humility. Ducks can also be considered an animal that teaches something new or different about yourself.

What Do Ducks Symbolize in Dreams?

When a duck is a part of a dream, it can have a number of different meanings, though they are most commonly related with ideas such a fertility and child bearing.


Ducks are associated with the moon, which is also associated with women’s cycles and fertility. It’s believed that if you dream about ducks being chased by a dog or another animal (like wolves), then it means that you are about to conceive.


Ducks can represent all types of maternal instincts in your dreams. They’ll care for their young even when they return to their nest. Thus, seeing a duck protecting ducklings in a dream might indicate you are a good mother. 

duck symbolism
Due in large part to the number of eggs they can lay, ducks are often a symbol of fertility and motherhood.

What Do Ducks Represent in Love?

Ducks can be a symbol of new partnerships. So, they can be indicative of a fresh start. However, a duck may also represent an old relationship or a deceased family member. It might be the love or affection you feel or a person who is dead or with whom you are not in touch anymore. 

Consider getting a duck tattoo if you’re thinking about getting a new one! This will help remind you of all the good things about being in this relationship and how far it has come since its beginning stages.

Ducks symbolize a peaceful nature and love. They sign that you are at peace with yourself and your surroundings. If you see a duck, it means that you need to slow down, introspect, and take some time for yourself. It’s always possible to reflect!

duck symbolism
As an integral part of nature, ducks are often associated with calm and being at peace with oneself.

For more symbols and their meanings, check out this articles on the meaning of the thunderbird.


Vanessa's liberal arts background has prepared her well for Symbol Scholar. A self-proclaimed theology nerd, Vanessa has interests in world religions, Reformation theology, history, and more. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, exercising, and watching professional basketball.

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