Bird tattoos are the ultimate symbol of freedom and are often quite beautiful.
There are many different types of bird tattoos to choose from so each bird tattoo is different from the rest.
These meaningful and gorgeous tattoos are highly recommended and should be considered for your next tattoo!
But first, let’s take a look at what bird tattoos mean in general.
Then, we will dive into the wonderful choices for different types of bird tattoos.
What Do Bird Tattoos Mean?
The main meaning behind the bird tattoo is freedom.
Birds are well-known for representing freedom perhaps because they fly wherever their heart desires and sour across the sky.
Bird tattoos are great indicators that you value freedom in your life and can even mark an event that made you feel freer like a break-up or getting out of jail.
Bird tattoos can also represent spiritual freedom and the desire for a happy life.
Your religious beliefs may make you feel a sense of freedom and fulfillment in your life.
Some cultures believe birds represent the connection between heaven and Earth, or in other words, eternal life.
Bird tattoos can also symbolize a happy life even if you are not religious.
They can represent a higher understanding and a connection with the universe.
Bird tattoos can also symbolize independence.
They can symbolize self-actualization and the ability to be yourself in all situations.
If you are the type of person who is self-sufficient and is proud to be able to survive on your own, then a bird tattoo can exhibit that part of your personality.
Another important meaning of a bird tattoo is the power to rise above adversity and a sense of fearlessness.
If you are able to accomplish whatever you set your mind to, no matter what is holding you back, then you may want to get a bird tattoo.
If you are fearless and have shown time and time again that you have succeeded against all odds, then a bird tattoo may be for you.
And, of course, if you wish to be all of those things but have not succeeded, then you may want to get a bird tattoo to inspire yourself and push yourself towards being more capable and fearless in the future.
Last, birds can also be symbols of protection.
In ancient Egypt, the Egyptians placed images of birds on the walls of their tombs in order to protect the dead and help them pass on through the afterlife.
Bird Tattoo Designs and Their Meanings
There are so many more meanings, based on each of the different types of bird tattoos.
There are countless kinds of birds out there, and many of them make for beautiful and meaningful tattoos.
Here are some examples of some great bird tattoos to get:
The green, blue, and yellow feathers of a peacock tattoo are brilliant and beautiful.
Their meaning has to do with their flair for drama and their flamboyant attitude.
Those with peacock tattoos are characters and have extremely bold personalities.
Not only are you a dramatic person if you have this tattoo, but this tattoo also means that you are proud of your personality and you wouldn’t have it any other way.
Their bright red color means that you have a passion for life.
If you are someone who loves life and is always happy, then you may want to get a cardinal tattoo.
Cardinal tattoos also represent youth and are for people who are happy because they are young at heart.
People who have this tattoo may even be often accused of acting like a kid even if they are older.
Cardinal tattoos and great tattoos to get for anyone who is fun-loving and honestly happy with their lives.
Phoenix tattoos are often large and bold– they are for those with a flair for the dramatic.
Phoenix tattoos often represent a critical event in one’s life or a new beginning.
Although not a real bird, the phoenix is a mythological creature that has wide cultural significance.
In some cultures, they symbolize longevity, growth, and resurrection.
The most important meaning behind a phoenix tattoo is change and growth.
People often receive phoenix tattoos to represent a large change in their life and people often get them to mark some important event or memory in their life.
Flying Bird Tattoos
Flying bird tattoos often show birds in a single file line flying together and are common on the collar bone or back.
When there are three birds flying in formation, the tattoo means to give joy.
More generally, flying bird tattoos represent optimism, family values, and positivity.
In fact, in Aztec culture, flying bird tattoos represented the power of the Gods and they thought that flying birds spread optimism and blessings around the world.
Flying bird tattoos are meant for people who are brimming with positivity and have a lot of joy they want to share with the world.
Raven tattoos make for a great sleeve or forearm tattoo and are commonly designed in a blackwork tattoo style.
Raven tattoos represent wisdom and intelligence but also have a dark side.
They can symbolize death and darkness.
However, it is important to note that ravens are mystical birds that also symbolize magic and mystery.
If you value wisdom, then you may want to get a raven tattoo.
However, if you love magic and mystical darkness, this tattoo could be for you as well.
Small Bird Tattoos
Small tattoos are great for the forearm, ankle, or wrist.
Small bird tattoos represent the ability we all have to accomplish great things.
These tattoos refer to pushing aside our doubts and fears and being free to explore the wonderful things in life.
Small bird tattoos also mean freedom and symbolize the great feeling of being free from anything holding you back.
Dove tattoos are great and work on practically any part of the body.
Doves are well-known for representing peace.
However, there’s more to them than that.
Dove tattoos refer to Christianity and represent finding peace in your faith.
They also traditionally are released at weddings, so they can symbolize love and romance as well as lasting relationships.
Last, dove tattoos represent innocence and purity.
Swallow tattoos are often plain black bird tattoos that are often shown in a mid-air flight.
Interestingly, swallow tattoos were received by sailors in order to protect them and ensure they have safe journeys on the seas and also to protect their souls.
Therefore, one of the key meanings behind swallow tattoos is safety.
Another meaning of swallow tattoos is motherhood.
Many mothers get swallow tattoos because they want to express how much they love being a mother and their love for their children.
Owl tattoos are very involved and have many different meanings.
First of all, owls are represented in the Egyptian, Celtic, Native American, and Hindu cultures.
Owl tattoos are often symbols of protection and protectors at the time of death.
In fact, owls are often called the “angels of death.”
The Native Americans believed that when you see an owl it means that your loved ones are being protected in the afterlife and that owls guard sacred knowledge.
Last, but certainly not least, owl tattoos represent wisdom and intelligence.
Canary tattoos are yellow bird tattoos often with black stripes and often perched on a branch.
The color yellow typically represents happiness and prosperity, and the same is as with yellow birds.
Canary bird tattoos symbolize joy and happiness.
Having a canary tattoo means that you are a happy-go-lucky kind of person who finds joy in all aspects of life.
Swan tattoos come in a variety of tattoo styles and designs.
Sometimes they are black and gray, and sometimes they are designed in a realistic tattoo style.
They are often on the larger side and very rarely do you see a tiny swan tattoo.
Swans are related to the planet Venus, which is the planet of beauty in astrology.
Therefore, if you have a swan tattoo, it means you value great beauty.
Swan tattoos also represent elegance and loyalty.
Last, in mythology, swans symbolize love and swans can be great for representing romance.
Rooster tattoos are super cute and often mean that you are someone who loves plants and animals.
Rooster or chicken tattoos have a rustic feel.
What some people may not know is that roosters are fiercely territorial, meaning in a tattoo that you protect those who you love.
Another tattoo meaning related to the rooster’s female counterpart, the hen, is motherhood and family.
Hen tattoos are typically for females and mean that you are a great mother and are very caring.
Blackbird tattoos are one of the more uncommon bird tattoos, but they really should be more common because of their great meaning.
These tattoos mean that you have high regard for ideals, great thoughts, and superior intelligence.
Blackbird tattoos are also symbols of higher energy and represent transformation into something better than you once were.
Parrot tattoos are extremely colorful, and as we all know, parrots are known for being able to talk.
Therefore, parrot tattoos represent communication as well as friendship and companionship.
This tattoo is for someone who is a great communicator and loves chatting with friends.
Crane tattoos are absolutely wonderful.
Their beauty perhaps comes from their long legs and fluffy feathers.
In China and Japan, cranes are very popular symbols representing good fortune and a happy marriage, often folded into wedding kimonos.
It was traditionally believed that if you happened to fold 1000 origami cranes, and make a wish, it would come true!
Last, in these cultures, origami cranes are given out when someone is struggling or when something bad happens to them in order to provide them with the hope for long life and to be healed from any ailments.
Bluebird tattoos have a beautiful shade of blue on their wings and a yellow body.
These tattoos are good luck charms and also represent happiness in life.
In a way, these tattoos mean that if you have good luck in your life, then success, prosperity, and happiness will follow.
This tattoo is a great way to secure good fortune in your life and to bring good luck and happiness to yourself.
Hawks are known for being successful prey animals who hunt down their prey.
As a result, hawk tattoos come with a lot of connotations such as honor.
Another meaning of hawk tattoos is bravery, meaning that you are the kind of person who protects your friends and family at all costs and that you would take a bullet for them.
Hawk tattoos mean that, like a hawk, you have extreme strength and power and you use those attributes in order to protect those who you love.
Hummingbird tattoos are quite popular, for good reason.
They are often small and colorful tattoos, which makes sense because they are tiny in real life.
The Aztecs make hummingbird totems because they believed that those who wear them are invigorated with energy and vitality.
Since hummingbirds are tiny yet flap their wings with super-human speed, hummingbird tattoos also represent the idea that small things can be powerful, too.
Eagle tattoos represent great power and strength and are for people who not only have these attributes but are very proud of them.
Eagles are also well known for being popular in American culture, representing a love for America, patriotism, and protection of America.
Many men who were in the military in US get eagle tattoos to represent their love for their country.
You don’t have to be American to have an eagle tattoo– many people all over the world get eagle tattoos because they value strength not only of the physical kind but strength of character.
Falcon tattoos have a lot of powerful meanings behind them.
They can be shown soaring across the sky, perched, or hunting.
Ultimately falcon tattoos represent focus, commitment to one’s goals, drive, and devotion.
This tattoo can symbolize the falcon almost as a spiritual guide through life allowing them to fly by their problems and sour into the next chapter of their lives.
Falcon tattoos can even represent a sort of higher awareness that the wearer wishes to achieve.
Crow tattoos have many interesting meanings and are shown in black ink either flying or perched.
Crow tattoos mean that you are wise or that you value wisdom.
They also represent the love you have for others.
Crow tattoos, interestingly, have a component where they mean that you understand the secrets of the universe and that you have complex beliefs about how it all started.
Lastly, crow tattoos mean that you are easily able to deal with change and bad situations in life and that you handle this change with grace and dignity.
Blue Jay Tattoos
Bright blue jay bird tattoos come in many complex stances but always have that beautiful blue color.
Blue jay tattoos also have many meanings, such as authority, adventure, freedom, ferocity and energy, and truth.
If you are a free-spirit who has a fiery spirit but also believes in having a truthful existence, then blue jay tattoos may help you to realize your fullest potential.
The robin is a beautiful bird and it makes for a great tattoo with interesting colors and a cute plump body.
Robins are known to be spiritual birds and also good luck charms.
A flying robin tattoo symbolizes renewal or new beginnings.
Robins also are symbols of spring.
Not to mention, robin tattoos can represent wisdom and patience.
Most importantly, though, robins are huge good luck charms and wearing them on your body can bring you good fortune for years to come.
Bird Tattoo Placements
It really depends on the bird as to where to place the tattoo and how big it should be.
However, there are many standard placements for bird tattoos.
If you want to know where your bird tattoo will look great, then take a look at these bird tattoo placements:
Shoulder Blade Bird Tattoos
If you want to show a few birds flying in a line or in a triangle-shaped formation, then the shoulder blade is a great place to put this kind of tattoo.
You may even want birds to be flying past the shoulder blade over the shoulder.
If it’s just one bird, then you may want to, after choosing your design, choose a larger bird to fill in that portion of your back and really emphasize your own physical beauty.
Collarbone Bird Tattoos
Many bird tattoos are on the collarbone, either above or below it, because this is a highly feminine and elegant area.
Birds are not solely for women, but they are often elegant creatures and work well on the collarbone.
Of course, collarbone bird tattoos are very small, tiny tattoos, and there may even be multiple birds flying in formation near the collarbone.
Bird Sleeve Tattoos
If you want a larger bird tattoo, then you may want to consider a bird sleeve.
Bird sleeve tattoos mean that you have a lot of inner strength and this placement emphasizes the bird tattoos’ meanings.
Bird Forearm Tattoos
If you want your bird tattoo to be on the larger side and be noticeable to others, you may want to get a bird forearm tattoo.
These tattoos mean that the meaning of the bird tattoo is very special
to you and that you won’t mind explaining its meaning to people who will ask.
If you’re getting this tattoo, then you want to make sure that the bird tattoo is aesthetically pleasing because it will be highly visible.
With so many bird tattoos to choose from, it’s no wonder why so many people get bird tattoos.
Not to mention there are many different colors to choose from, sizes, and tattoo placements.
Bird tattoos have many powerful meanings.
All you have to do is choose a bird!
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Alyssa Kucinski is a writer, curator, and photographer who publishes articles on the topics of the arts, culture, and social justice. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in fashion business and art history and museum professions. Her experience working with a variety of art institutions, her world travel, and her inquisitive nature provides her with a unique insight. Check out her about page, she would love to connect with you!