Let’s examine a short history of birds before bird tattoos. Throughout history, humans have been obsessed with birds. These represent a wide variety of characteristics that we humans aspire to acquire and incorporate into our daily lives. And although the characteristics of each species of bird are very different, all birds represent the most coveted trait: the desire to be free.
The first inventors of history had the idea of trying to fly simply because they were envious of the bird’s ability to move unhindered into the sky. Abbas Ibn Firnas is the first human to have tried to fly by putting on a combination of feathers and other items, then jumping from the tallest building in his hometown. He managed to glide briefly, before crashing to the ground. Abbas survived his fall but, pursuing his dream, he would have injured his back. Thanks to Abbas and all those who followed him, modern humans can now cross the oceans in a few hours.
Meanings of Bird Tattoos
Each bird tattoos has a different meaning. Even birds that seem very close in nature can, in a spiritual and philosophical context, be as different as day and night. Some of the most popular features associated with birds are:
- Freedom and the loss of inhibitions
- Spiritual guidance and protection
- Motherhood and family
- Beauty and elegance
- Love and peace
- Knowledge and an acute intelligence
Types of Bird Tattoos
1. Chicken and rooster Tattoos
Chickens and roosters have an extremely territorial nature that seems to worsen when their chicks arrive. That’s why they represent family and protection. A rooster will fight to death to protect his piece of land. The bird tattoos represent protection, renewal, prosperity, guidance, bravery, honesty and virility.
2. Crane Tattoos
Cranes symbolize peace, prosperity, hope and purity. They are birds of happiness, emblems of love and religious icons in many cultures of the world. In Japan, it is believed that cranes bring luck and happiness to the bride and groom, so hiding objects that refer to this bird in the folds of wedding kimonos and some other decorations. Cranes also represent new opportunities. The ancient legend of a thousand cranes has gained new popularity in Japan when Sadako Sasaki, a survivor of Hiroshima, tried to make a thousand origami cranes, in a gesture of prayer for peace and recovery of leukemia.
3. Dove Tattoos
The doves are messengers of peace and love: they are the quintessential reminder of the promise of God to his disciples. Through the various books of the Bible, the dove is present in many important stories and often associated with key figures like John the Baptist. In the Mediterranean and parts of the Near East, doves were linked to the Canaanite goddess Asherah and were even associated with the Roman goddess of love and beauty, Venus. In the present context, the dove bird tattoos represent our spiritual nature and our devotion to the Christian faith but that does not mean that these drawings can only be worn by Christians. The dove bird tattoos also represent femininity, purity, beauty and grace. They are also the mark of a soul full of kindness.
4. Eagle Tattoos
This majestic bird has often been regarded as a symbol of spirituality, wisdom and power. It has been a cultural icon for millions of people since the beginning of human civilization. The eagle personifies male strength and virility. The Greek god Zeus known as “a hot rabbit” is often associated with the eagle and it is not surprising that this bird is sometimes represented in the company of the most essential symbol of Zeus -the lightning ray.
5. Hawk Tattoos
Like his cousin the eagle, the hawk is revered and considered a noble creature. He is a formidable hunter and emblem of the rising day. It is also seen as a sign of hope and new opportunities. Falcons are known for their great intelligence and ability to stay focused on a particular task (usually prey) for long periods of time. Hawk tattoos represent fierce fighting instincts and the ability to stay focused on our goals, no matter what obstacles come up in our path.
6. Feather Tattoos
The feathers of a bird are more than a sumptuous plumage. For many cultures of the world, feathers would have spiritual powers. That’s why they are an integral part of many tribal rituals. Feathers are particularly used by tribal shamans to apply medicinal potions and are a sign of status and authority. The most colorful and attractive plumage is usually reserved for important members of the tribe because of the belief that these would be gifts of the gods themselves: therefore only those whom the gods consider important would be allowed to carry. Each type of feather tattoo has a special meaning. Ostrich and peacock feathers usually represent beauty and grace, while eagle feathers represent healing and medicine.
The Geese bird tattoos represent loyalty, family and are a symbol of the importance of your relationship with your loved ones.
8. Crested eagle and Hawk Tattoos
Like the eagle, the hawk is a bird of value and honor. He is an expert hunter and, thanks to his sharp senses (especially the view), he can dive on a prey from incredible heights. The talents of the hawk make him a symbol of intuition, intelligence and foresight, and his ability to rise in the sky inevitably binds him to different gods of the sun, like Apollo. According to some schools of thought, the crested eagle would be associated with the guidance of the souls of the deceased to the world beyond: this bird is also a symbol of spirituality and the divine. The Hawks are good protectors, despite their reputation as ferocious predators. The tattoos of the Crested Eagle symbolize protection, bravery, cunning and a great sense of spirituality.
9. Hummingbird Tattoos
In the Caribbean, the hummingbird is a symbol of beauty and grace. It is also the national bird of Jamaica and is represented on almost all the official documents and bank notes of the island. The love bird (name under which it is known in the Caribbean) is a symbol of energy, passion and vitality. With its average speed of 80 flapping wings per second, it is easy to see why the Aztecs thought that the talismans made in honor of these creatures brought strength and energy to those who wore them.
10. Skylark tattoos
These birds symbolize the arrival of dawn, opportunities and luck. This is why writers like Chaucer and Shakespeare have often used their image to symbolize mood changes or new beginnings in their literary works. Larks are also very popular pet birds and delicious dishes in some parts of the world. Skylarks tattoos represent fortune and renewal, they indicate the imminent arrival of something magnificent.
11. Ostrich Tattoos
Ostrich tattoos represent your sharpest survival instincts as well as your role as a supplier and protector. If you are a woman proudly displaying her ostrich feathers, you have an air of erotic mystery.
12. Owl Tattoos
The owl is a bird with many personalities. He is revered as a clairvoyant creature, a provider of knowledge and a source of wisdom and truth; but it is also seen as a fearful portent of misery and death. Moreover, in many cultures, the owl is considered a spiritual guide and ambassador of the realm of the afterlife. The owl bird tattoos represent a deep knowledge of the mysteries of life and the insatiable thirst for knowledge and truth.
13. Parrot Tattoos
Parrots represent communication, companionship, intelligence and-by extension-the family. They are very sociable animals that are known for their eternal devotion to their owners. The tattoos of parrots mean that you are kind, with sudden traits of spirits and that you experience an unalterable love for those whom you esteem. This bird is also a way to publicize your rebellious nature: pirates and parrots go hand in hand and, let’s not forget, pirates were not known to be the most law-abiding citizens.
14. Peacock Tattoos
Peacocks give an elegant and spectacular touch to everything. It is therefore not surprising that men are fascinated by these birds with large feathers and excessive ego. But the peacock is more than a narcissistic icon; he is a champion of piety, Christianity, kindness, compassion and knowledge.
15. Phoenix Tattoos
Born of fire and shaped by destruction to become one of the most magnificent birds in the universe, the phoenix is a symbol of survival. It represents the cycle of life and death – all that lives dies, inevitably, and destruction is reborn beauty. Many religions of the world appreciate this magnificent creature. The phoenix was an icon of early Christianity: its longevity and capacity for renewal became symbolic for early believers, to whom it sent a clear message: no matter how long you will be persecuted and destroyed, you will continue to be reborn from your ashes, even more beautiful than before.