Bird Skull Tattoos
As tattoos become more mainstream, trends begin to emerge in terms of design.
Some trends may come and go, while others are instant classics and become staples in the community.
When most people think of popular tattoo designs, a skull is likely the first thing they’ll think of.
The skull isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but skull tattoo designs are becoming more creative in recent years.
Today’s tattoo designs incorporate anatomy of a different feather.
Animal skulls have often been popular in rustic home decor, and now they’re making their way into the tattoo world.
Specifically bird skulls are becoming hugely popular.
But how did we get here?
What makes bird skull tattoos so popular and what is their meaning?
Let’s dive into this tattoo trend turned essential piece.
Bird Skull Tattoo Meanings
Traditional skull pieces are never going anywhere.
Artists have had a fascination with the human skull since they had the means to express it.
Skulls are here to remind us of our mortality.
It’s strange how death is the one thing everyone can relate to, yet it feels almost impolite to bring it up.
A skull is a piece of reality that begs to be looked at and acknowledged.
Skulls can represent a kind of macho pride because you’ve chosen to confront death and acknowledge it as a fact of life.
You aren’t afraid to face your death, and you want the world to know about it.
In Mexican culture, skulls are a largely positive sign.
Sugar skulls tattoos are often decorated with brightly colored flowers and may even have heart shaped eye sockets.
This is a way of celebrating the lives of those who have parted.
It is a confrontation of death, but not in a dark or negative way.
The Mexican celebration of Dia De Los Muertos is about keeping a deceased loved one in your life, and knowing you’ll join them one day.
In this celebration people create altars to those who have died, and adorn these shrines with cheery glittering skulls.
In more menacing designs, a person may choose a skull and crossbones to show their ruthless nature.
Bird Tattoo Meanings
Birds often make an appearance in the tattoo world, with or without their feathers.
Most humans have a desire to fly, and flying dreams are common.
It’s only natural that we would become fixated with our flying friends.
Birds represent freedom.
They have something of a dual nature because they can soar above the clouds, but are often quite delicate in nature.
We even refer to small, frail people as “bird-like.”
Conversely there are eagles, hawks, owls and vultures who can be quite frightening when they want to be!
There’s something so fascinating about birds in that they can be so many things all at the same time.
Bird tattoos can have different meanings depending on the type of bird and your relationship to it.
Raven and Skull Tattoo Meaning
Quote the raven: “nevermore.” One mainstay in the tattoo world is the raven/skull design.
This tattoo is a popular one as ravens and crows are often associated with death.
As scavengers, they will eat whatever is available to them- which sometimes includes dead bodies, yikes.
In the enduring 1994 movie “The Crow,” the script draws on the folklore concept that crows carry souls to the land of the dead.
This symbolism was made that much more eerie when Brandon Lee died during filming of the movie.
There are countless conspiracy theories as to what lead to his unfortunate demise, but regardless of what you believe to be true, it cemented crows as a symbol for the inevitability of death.
What Does Bird Skull Tattoo Symbolize?
It’s hard to say what contributed to the bird skull becoming such a popular design, but it’s probably an amalgamation of several factors:
Skulls are a tattoo staple but everyone wants their ink to be original.
We have a fascination with birds, and will often get wings or birds as tattoos to pay homage to that fascination.
Ravens and Crows have the same symbolic meaning as skulls, so having a raven or crow skull tattoo would only make sense.
Bird skulls are an interesting and beautiful shape because of their beaks.
All in all, it seems to be a symbolism of death, freedom of the soul, and the freedom that comes from accepting your fate.
Common Themes in Bird Skull Tattoos
There are no rules, but bird skull tattoos tend to be presented in a black pen and ink style.
These harken back to old anatomy drawings that have also become quite popular in recent years.
You may choose to go a more colorful route and could possibly even get a bird skull in the Mexican sugar skull style, if that resonates with you.
You may also want to surround your bird skull with images of life, such as flowers.
Owl Skull Tattoos
The deep and wise eyes of the owls have always been a symbol used in drawings, tattoos, or paintings.
Usually, owls are connected to wisdom, a deeper meaning of life and everything that surrounds us, magic, and also intuition.
In other instances, owl tattoos symbolize change or transitions.
The design of the owl in the tattoo world can be done in multiple forms, starting with the owl’s eyes, the owl’s head or the whole bird, and it can be personalized in any color.
Most often, the owl tattoo is known for its incredibly powerful glance.
Those who are passionate about colorful tattoos can choose to use color on the owl’s feathers, creating a even deeper image.
Hummingbird Skull Tattoos
On the bright-side of bird skull tattoos, the hummingbird is a colorful symbol of joy, good luck, happiness, and consciousness.
The small bird is known for its independence, always traveling alone, and for it’s resilience despite the apparently insignificant size.
Hummingbird tattoos are used to emphasize the beautiful aspects of life in a variety of ways.
In terms of design, the image of the hummingbird skull can be integrated in any type of tattoo story, and it looks good on almost any body part.
For those who want to capture the whole image of the bird, the addition of color is a good idea, as the hummingbird is full of bright colors.
Vulture Skull Tattoos
One of the most powerful birds of the animal kingdom, the vulture image reveals trust, the ability to rise, intelligence, and guardianship.
Many times the vulture is seen as a messenger at the border between life and death, between the known and the unknown, between the mythical and the physical.
The vulture skull design is most often tattooed in black and white with many designs including other elements, like roses or snakes.
Other designs include the whole bird, in its natural colors and with an accent on its powerful, deep eyes.
Vulture tattoos are an inspired idea for body areas like chest, back, or arms.
Flamingo Skull Tattoos
Flamingo birds are known for their special appearance and their out of the ordinary color: pink.
Most often, these birds symbolize harmony, getting in touch with the emotions from the inside, but also having fun, enjoying life and everything it has to offer.
By their nature, flamingos are not solitary birds, and they represent very well the need to connect, socialize and coexist.
In terms of tattoo design, the flamingo skull can be associated with its unique color: pink, or remain black and white.
Tattoo ideas involving flamingo skull almost always include the whole image of the bird and can be combined with the image of the ocean or sand.
Eagle Skull Tattoos
The eagle goes above every other bird as it can fly higher than all of them and it has a deeper meaning of power, connection with the unseen, freedom, and courage.
Choosing the symbol of the eagle means wanting to go further than the limits, wanting to break free, or to go where no one has gone before.
The eagle skull designs stand out because of the unique appearance of the head, especially the peak and can be associated with colors like grey, black or white, the natural colors of the bird.
Eagle tattoos are a good fit for any body part as they carry a deep meaning.
Hawk Skull Tattoos
The hawk is a powerful symbol in the Native American culture, and it is known for its strength, focus, and spirituality.
The hawk is a spiritual animal and it is associated with the power to lead when the time is appropriate.
Its vision can see beyond the palpable things, but the hawk also can observe everything that surrounds him.
The designs of the hawk’s skull involve simple lines and are easy to integrate in a wider, deeper tattoo sequence.
The best colors that fit the hawk’s image are black and brown.
Raven Skull Tattoos
A mystic symbol that became well known along with Poe’s poem, the raven is a symbol of prophecy, of connecting the living and the dead worlds and of the dread of loss in all aspects of life.
The raven is one of the fullest of symbols birds and it has not only been used in the famous poem, but also in movies and songs.
Tattoos involving the raven are often colorized in deep blue or black, and are mixed with other elements related to magic and mystic like the moon, roses or tree branches.
Raven tattoos are most often chosen for arms or back.
Pelican Skull Tattoos
The pelican symbol is derived from an ancient legend that says the mother pelican cut her own breast with its peak in order to feed its babies with the blood.
The legend makes the pelican bird one of the masters of sacrifice, pure love, and devotion.
These exact qualities make the pelican to be associated with God, and its symbol to represent true love.
Pelican’s design in tattoos, either the skull or the whole bird can be used to represent the love of parents or for parents, the capacity to sacrifice, and loyalty.
The pelican can be integrated in tattoos that represent romantic love or family.
Crow Skull Tattoos
The main symbol of the crow is the power of change.
Crows are related to the change of weather and on a deeper meaning to the change and transitions in life.
These birds can represent the destiny of life, magic and mystery, and also a higher form of intelligence.
Crows are perceived as being tricky, crafty, but always courageous.
The crow skull images and drawings are most often used in tattoos simply, without any other elements, inked in black.
In few instances, they are associated with feather, roses, or others symbols of nature tattoos.
Bird Skull Tattoo Ideas
Bird skull tattoos are an aesthetically pleasing and slightly dream-like design that can be incorporated into other symbols, or left to stand on their own.
Is this the right tattoo for you?
Take a look at our gallery of some of the most beautiful bird skull tattoos out there!
The bird’s world is full of meaning, power, and almost all of them symbolize a deeper meaning of life, valuable courage and the power to rise again after any trouble that might destabilize their balance.
The unique ability to fly of most birds is seen by humans as a special power that many dream to have, but can only imagine how it feels.
For more Horror-inspired tattoos, go to: