For dream decoding and also when a certain spirit animal starts to show itself in my life. I study the behaviour, eating, social, and outstanding unique characteristics of that animal/bird/reptile.. that crosses my path on a repetative basis.
For example; I have recently had a blue heron coming to visit outside the house pearched way up on the eagle tree every day. For a couple months. The eagles left and the heron visited.
A few years ago I had a baby blue heron come visit me every morning for our coffee date, it turned out to be for a couple weeks.
I started fining blue heron feathers ( i had never found them before ) and the heron symbolism was also coming in the form of seeing pictures, art work and it popping up into my life on a regular basis.
When things come in 3's I pay attention to it as a definate sign from my higherself/ spirit , that there is a special message to listen and learn from. Unless its super obvious its a sign, you just know in your gut. There is a pull towards that animal that isnt "normal".
Like in the instance of the heron spirit what I took from it was; they are solitary, quitet creatures they dont flock together . It was a times in my life where i needed to reflect, spend more time at the water clearing my energy,mediating, doing light yoga soft flowing stretches, being in solitude/ hermit mode for a while. I had to have quiet energies, music, quieter people around me. It was a time of going inwards and doing deep emotional healing work and lightly working on the physical. Eating lighter,adding more greens and I needed more trace minerals/ omegas ( for myself it was adding more seafood/fish) in my diet. ( looked at thier eating habits and how I could learn from them )
That is a small example of how to work with the spirit of the animals when they are presenting themselves as messengers. All ancient cultures practiced this and helped them gain a greater connection and deeper bond with themselves and working with the natural world.