Red-Tailed Hawk Feather Meaning & Symbolism

The red-tailed hawk is a highly spiritual and significant animal in many Native cultures, particularly for Native American traditions and ceremonies.

The feathers of the hawk are used for traditional ceremonial purposes, and it is considered incredibly fortunate to come across a hawk feather that has fallen from the sky. They represent determination, protection and guardianship, as well as intelligence and drive.

They are widely considered to be a message from loved ones passed, as the hawk is often symbolically seen as a bridge between the living and the dead.

Red-Tailed Hawk Feather Meaning

Red-Tailed Hawk Feather Meaning

1. Guardianship

The red-tailed hawk is considered a guardian totem in many Indigenous cultures, particularly in Native American cultures. They are associated with power, bravery, and strength.

Hawks can forewarn those who see them of potential danger coming their way. The sacred nature of the red-tailed hawk means finding a feather is a sign that you are being looked out for by a greater power.

If you feel anxious, scared or lost and come across a red-tailed hawk feather, it could be a sign that you are being watched over by a guardian. This could be interpreted as a family member, a spirit guide or even another higher power.

Take this token and interpret it in a way that serves you and your own belief system and know that the hawk is trying to let you know you are being watched over.

Read Also: Dead Hawk Meaning and Symbolism

2. Protection

In many interpretations, the red-tailed hawk is considered to be a fierce protector of those who seek it. If you find a red-tailed hawk feather it is a sign that angels and other guides are reaching out to you to offer protection and spiritual guidance.

If you find you have been feeling lost or just seeking a sign that you are on the right track the feather will appear to show you that you have been heard.

Many people find after praying or requesting some form of hope or guidance they find a red-tailed hawk feather. This should be taken as a sign that you can feel safe and secure knowing that this fierce protector is watching over you.

Read Also: White Hawk Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism

3. Determination

Whilst the red-tailed hawk feather will often appear to those who seek it, or those who need an answer to a question, it can also show up to those who least expect it.

Many people who are falling behind in life or feeling close to giving up find a red-tailed hawk feather in their path. When people feel helpless or like they need to give up, the red-tailed hawk will show itself in the form a feather. This is a sign to keep pushing on, to show determination and resilience and to know that better days are coming soon.

The red-tailed hawk is not only a protective totem, it is also a sign of determination and courage, and inspires many who need the push to keep going. If you find yourself feeling lost or like you are ready to give up and find a red-tailed hawk feather, know that you have it within yourself to keep persevering.

Related Article: Black Hawk Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism

4. Ceremonial uses in Native American culture

The red-tailed hawk feather is highly symbolic and sacred in Native American culture and is used in many highly revered ceremonies.

The smudging ritual in Native American culture involves combining smoke and spirituality, this is used as a way to purify, cleanse and bless an area. It can also be used to rid spaces of negative and dark energies, creating a safer and more peaceful environment for those who complete the ritual.

The feathers are also given as a gift to elders or people of significance and are seen as a sacred gift that symbolizes respect.

5. Message from loved ones

The red-tailed hawk is a bird often associated with one’s connection to the greater universe and celestial guides. It can be a sign or token that your loved ones are reaching out with a message or guidance.

Many cultures view the red-tailed hawk with a great amount of respect due to its association with the wider universe. Finding a feather is a rare and special symbol that you are being given a message from a loved one past. This doesn’t necessarily mean a direct parent or grandparent; it could even be a message from a distant ancestor.

If you find that you are struggling with a choice, decision or situation in your life, take the red-tailed hawk feather as a message that you know the best thing to do. Take some time to reflect on the situation and consider all of the pros and cons of each potential outcome. Be true to yourself and your values and know that the answer is within you. If you still feel stuck, take some time to journal, meditate or be in nature and know that you can trust your gut instinct.


If you are lucky enough to find a red-tailed hawk feather, know that you have a great level of protection surrounding you and your aura. This could be in the form of spiritual guidance or other guides highlighting your own gifts and strength. It can also be a message from those who have passed on, letting you know to keep pushing on and show determination in the face of struggle.

The feather is also highly sacred and spiritual and has links to many important practices in Indigenous cultures, particularly in Native American culture. If you find the feather, know that you have it within you to find the strength you need to face any challenges or struggles you are working through. It can be a sign that you are being watched over by a guardian, who is offering you a great level of protection in your everyday life. This should be considered a blessing to those who see it, to know that you are being watched over – particularly if you have been reaching out for a sign or assistance from the universe.