Tattoo designs

What is the Meaning behind Bird Tattoos?

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: January 19, 2021
What is the Meaning behind Bird Tattoos?
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Birds are beautiful animals with so much wisdom and meaning. This is probably why birds have become a popular choice for tattoos in men, women and even families.

In this oneHOWTO article we're going to explain the meaning behind bird tattoos. We'll go through the different types of bird tattoos, their meaning and we'll also include some tattoo ideas so you can find one that fits you best. Keep reading to learn more!

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  1. Flying birds tattoo meaning
  2. Feather and birds tattoo meaning
  3. Eagle bird tattoo meaning
  4. Dove tattoo meaning
  5. Owl tattoo meaning
  6. Phoenix tattoo meaning
  7. Bird tattoo ideas for women
  8. Bird tattoo ideas for men

Flying birds tattoo meaning

Although there are an infinite variety of birds in the world, bird tattoos, in general, are commonly used to express a sense of freedom, peace and good luck. There can't really be any feeling of freedom greater than to be as free as a bird. Within the art of tattooing, certain bird species and designs have been more popular than others. Let us see which ones below.

Flying birds tattoo are among the most popular bird tattoos. The example shown in the image is a design very popular with women who opt for tattoos of small black birds all in the same place and following a specific path, simulating migrating birds.

The meaning behind this bird tattoo suggests that you're free spirited and need freedom. Many people also use this tattoo to symbolise their growth as person or in their own journey.

What is the Meaning behind Bird Tattoos? - Flying birds tattoo meaning
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Feather and birds tattoo meaning

Another popular tattoo is a feather and birds tattoo. This tattoo is usually used to symbolise beauty and freedom. This tattoo is for those that enjoy the beauty in life and that love to travel and be free. Although we have included two photos of women with this tattoo, this tattoo is also popular among men.

What is the Meaning behind Bird Tattoos? - Feather and birds tattoo meaning
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Eagle bird tattoo meaning

Another of the most popular bird tattoos is the eagle. As we know, the eagle is one of the world's most powerful wild birds, and that is why a tattoo of an eagle is often chosen to symbolise the tattooed person's strength and bravery.

In addition, the eagle has the ability to fly silently wherever it pleases, therefore, it is also a perfect design for those who wish to reflect their free spirit. Lastly, many Americans tattoo an Eagle to symbolise their patriotism.

What is the Meaning behind Bird Tattoos? - Eagle bird tattoo meaning

Dove tattoo meaning

Unlike the eagle, dove tattoos are not known for symbolising strength nor bravery. These birds are the main symbol of peace and harmony and, due to Christian beliefs, are often represented with an olive branch in their beaks, reminding us of the importance of achieving a fresh start and change.

They also symbolise eternal love, fidelity and compassion. This is why many couples also opt for doves to symbolise their love. Lastly, many people get dove tattoos for their religion, whether it be Christianity or Judaism.

What is the Meaning behind Bird Tattoos? - Dove tattoo meaning

Owl tattoo meaning

The owl, a creature of the night, has always been associated with the darkness and has had a special significance in many folk legends. It is for this reason that owl tattoos are a strong representation of mystery, magic and the dark side. Owls are very solitary birds, so it is an ideal tattoo design for those who cherish their independence and follow their own rhythm of life.

What is the Meaning behind Bird Tattoos? - Owl tattoo meaning

Phoenix tattoo meaning

Among men, the most popular bird tattoo is the mythological beast - the phoenix. This is a bird from Greek mythology which is consumed by fire but then rises again from its own ashes. It is for this reason that it has become a great symbol of strength, bravery and immortality. The meaning of phoenix tattoos is also linked to personal growth and new beginnings.

What is the Meaning behind Bird Tattoos? - Phoenix tattoo meaning

Bird tattoo ideas for women

Lastly, we want to share with you some bird tattoo ideas for women. Remember that you can choose different birds and in different styles. Whether you want a small tattoo or a large one, speak to your tattoo artist and they can design one especially to your taste.

What is the Meaning behind Bird Tattoos? - Bird tattoo ideas for women
Image: Pinterest

Bird tattoo ideas for men

Contrary to popular belief, bird tattoos are just as popular in men than they are in women. This is not only due to the great meaning of bird tattoos, but also due to the fact that tattoo artist can change the design to fit your personality and tattoo style you like.

Take a look at the bird tattoo ideas for men below and talk to your tattoo artist to start designing the best bird tattoo for you!

What is the Meaning behind Bird Tattoos? - Bird tattoo ideas for men

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When I was in health care in the hospital setting I saw many men over the years from the WWII era with blue birds or swallows on their chests. They were one demential with no "shading" that I remember. There would be two birds pointing downward and looked as though they were going to converge in the center of the chest. I was wondering if it had a special meaning since I saw quite a few. Thank you for your time and help.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Patricia,

Swallows are very common sailor tattoos, especially the two on the chest. This is, in part, due to swallows being signs that a ship is near to land. Since swallows don't stray too far from the shore, if they were seen, it was a sign of hope that the crew would find land soon.
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What is the Meaning behind Bird Tattoos?