Bird Tattoos - Ideas and Meaning

Written by: Jason White

Birds in the wild are often associated with freedom and positive qualities. They’re also known for being a symbol of rebirth, so these tattoos have been popular among people who want to show off their individuality or make an announcement that they’ll always return home safely from wherever life takes them!

There’s tons of variation when it comes down to getting bird designs: small but meaningful canaries all way up into larger phoenixes/eagles whose significance is deeper than you imagine. The truth behind this ancient imagery holds more weight today than ever before.

The Meaning Of Bird Tattoos

Of course, all birds symbolize freedom, peace, optimism, and happiness. They are independent and own more space than a person can dream of. Birds are the masters of the sky. They represent self-sufficiency and freedom of choice.

But besides the love of freedom, birds have deep spiritual and cultural meaning. From the point of view of spirituality, it is considered that birds are creatures that connect heaven and earth, air, and nature. The bird unites the universe, so it is associated with a kind of sacredness and all living things on the planet. By the way, in ancient times it was even considered that birds could carry a human soul after death to God, to heaven. The image of birds also has different meanings in different cultures. Ancient Egyptians put the image of birds on the walls of tombs, as they believed that they protect the calm of the dead. On the other hand, in Greek mythology, they were considered symbols of power and represented a deity. 

Thus, the bird is a deep and meaningful symbol. Inking it to the body, you can attach a special meaning to such a symbol that will motivate you, remind you of values, and give strength in difficult times.

Bird Tattoo Ideas


freedom bird tattoo meaning

The term "freedom bird" is often used to refer to a plane that is used to transport soldiers home after they have completed their tours of duty in a war zone. In this context, a "freedom bird" tattoo may be seen as a symbol of patriotism, sacrifice, and the desire to return home to loved ones.

Alternatively, the freedom bird tattoo meaning may be interpreted more broadly as a symbol of personal freedom and liberation. The tattoo might represent a desire to break free from past traumas or negative experiences, or to celebrate newfound independence and self-determination. Ultimately, the meaning of a "freedom bird" tattoo will depend on the individual who wears it, and their personal experiences and beliefs.


The mythological creature Phoenix symbolizes overcoming obstacles, rebirth, and perseverance. The Phoenix is tattooed as a strong amulet and a talisman given by the sun, which can maximize earthly human life. Tattooing the phoenix means, to some extent, a deep consciousness carrier of the fact that everything in this world comes back develops in a spiral, and events are repeated, differing only in conventions and scales.

This bird has become a symbol of the strong human spirit, which is in an eternal struggle with life’s difficulties and obstacles. Thanks to its colorful appearance, the phoenix can be very beautifully depicted in a variety of tattoo styles. Most often the Phoenix is tattooed in large sizes so that such tattoos are always visible and attract attention. So what could be better if such a tattoo has a deep meaning for you?


The bluebird always and in many cultures symbolized happiness. Bluebird is the most popular sign of good luck, health, prosperity, and joy. So in difficult times, you can ink the symbol bluebird as an omen of happiness. 

Since a bluebird has a bright blue color and is a very beautiful bird, it is popular among tattoo lovers.


With its bright colors, goldfinch has earned its association with joy and positive emotions. This bird is the embodiment of enthusiasm, liveliness, and love of life. It is believed that people who wear the image of the goldfinch are cheerful and happy in life. 


The blackbird has long been a symbol of mystery and magic. They are said to travel between this world, the spiritual realm, or other realms via their ability as if they were skating on ice with no apparent effort at all! This makes them perfect for depicting imagery related to those who want something more out of -reach like an omen about what may be coming next in life!


The chicken, the hen – this bird will represent motherhood in your tattoo. It’s a strong woman who can raise her children on her own and never give them any hate or pain from what they’ve done wrong because she knows how much love there is inside of every family member no matter if it is an only child OR there are multiple siblings together! If someone says “I’m here,” then that man has their blood relation with him through these symbols which shows loyalty between two parties sharing common goals: parenting kids right into adulthood while teaching values such as responsibility & honesty along with life lessons learned over time just by watching.

In Africa, she was a guide to the afterlife; she was used as a victim to summon spirits. In Europe – a symbol of fussiness, and maternal care.


Crane is a very common figure not only in the world of tattoos but also in the world of mythology and culture of different peoples. Like a multifaceted stone, this figure has hundreds of different meanings and we will consider the most popular of them.

Cranes have several meanings and symbols:

  • endurance;
  • wisdom; 
  • spirituality;
  • vigilance;
  • longevity.


The Dove is first and foremost a symbol of peace and love. Such connection to the dove with the world is caused by religious history about Noah, when the dove, which flew with an olive branch in its beak, brought the message of reconciliation of the elements and the end of the flood, which is about peace. Therefore, if you depict the tattoo of a dove with a twig in its beak, it will, among other things, symbolize victory and success. 

Swarms of doves live in family groups, so doves are also often associated with family values and strong family ties. It is believed that doves find a couple and live with them for the rest of their lives, raising their chicks together. Therefore, the image on the tattoo of two doves will symbolize family happiness, strong love, loyalty, and devotion to the person they love. There is also a wedding tradition where doves are released into the sky during the celebration. It symbolizes a long and happy family life of newlyweds, so the meaning can be transferred to the tattoo. 

In many ancient myths and legends, the dove was a companion of the gods. So ancient people in various arts represented Aphrodite and Cupid next to this bird in order to emphasize the constancy and sweetness of these inhabitants of Olympus. According to some historical sources, the ancient Greeks believed that Aphrodite was born in a chariot filled with doves. Therefore later people began to decorate themselves with a tattoo in the form of a dove to enrich this goddess of love.


The bald eagle has always been considered the lord of air and a messenger for the sun. This bird’s image means that its owner will be strong, brave & wise- just like the gods! Outstretched wings represent freedom from captivity or prison bars, which shows how much they value their independence.
Bold ink means being fueled by passion and not being afraid to take risks.

Falcons are known for their power and victory. They represent unshakable confidence in the strength that they possess, which is often associated with divine or royal authority among many cultures around the world.
The majestic birds have been seen as an embodiment of this powerful nature since ancient times; it’s not surprising then why these magnificent creatures continue to be so iconic today!

The Egyptians believed that the eye of the falcon had magical properties to protect it from evil forces. Just as a falcon was revered as a king of birds, it was the embodiment of the rising sun and the beginning of a new day, a new era. The falcon is a symbol of strength and freedom. A person with such a tattoo achieves their goals, pulling the victory from their rival. Sketches with a falcon soaring high in the sky, symbolize foresight and wisdom. Such men and women always calculate the situation ahead and then take advantage. The sketch with the diving falcon can be seen in a motivated individual. The image of a bird on a tree means searching for opportunities.


The hummingbird is the smallest, but perhaps one of the most beautiful birds on earth. It’s very fearless, energetic, and adventurous.

An inked hummingbird tattoo symbolizes: 

  • optimism and cheerfulness;
  • tenderness, quivering, lightness;
  • spirituality – hummingbird was attributed to a magical connection to the world of the supernatural;
  • energy and vitality – hummingbird is elusive, with the ability to fly fast in different directions;
  • a positive attitude to everything that gives life;
  • lightning speed, mobility, purposefulness;
  • patience, persistence in achieving a goal;
  • the ability to accomplish impossible tasks;
  • sincerity, openness;
  • joy, happiness, harmony;
  • the openness of character, sincerity;
  • raising public awareness.

The drawing indicates a calm, easy acceptance of life.


The general meaning of an owl tattoo is to reflect the craving for nightlife, mystical and otherworldly knowledge, and the need to become wiser. 

What else does an unusual tattoo mean?

  • Tattoos and owls are a symbol of wisdom and prudence. For many people, the tattoo becomes a talisman for all sorts of evil, enemies, and evil thoughts.
  • The Chinese point to the negative meaning of an owl tattoo. It means death and misery. Such thoughts are based on the fact that Chinese wisdom says that chicks of owls can even puke out the eyes of their own mothers when they are sick or exhausted.
  • Sketches with an owl are associated with cannibalism, all because owls are killers of their own kind.
  • The value of an owl tattoo in India suggests eternal life. According to the inhabitants, after its death, the bird necessarily transforms into another living being and continues to live on the sinful ground.


Parrots are some of the most beautiful and brightest birds in nature. They have colorful plumage and an attractive appearance. So it is not surprising that parrots are often the choice of tattoo enthusiasts. Such a tattoo can not only decorate the body but also emphasize some qualities of its owner. 

People who make parrots tattoos are funny, carefree, and not prone to depression. Such a tattoo can be worn by anyone with a cheerful, optimistic nature. The meaning of the parrot tattoo can also be deciphered as talkativeness and a desire to imitate others, as these characteristics are peculiar to this bird.

The parrot is often used as a symbol of love and devotion. This image can be found in couples who have been together for years, such it’s perfect to commemorate your wedding or pair tattoo with this type of picture! When you choose someone special enough that they will always remain an important part of life even after death has taken its toll on both partners; holding onto their memory through artful representation feels more painful than anything else possible – but still worth doing because memories last forever.


The tattoo of a sparrow can rightly be called a classic old-school tattoo. The meaning of the sparrow’s tattoo in the modern world has been transformed into a sign of energy, endurance, and unquestioned optimism of the one who tattoos this bird.


The image of a swallow on the body symbolizes the home, home comfort, positive changes, protection from all difficulties. A more common meaning – a sign of luck, a swallow is still depicted with a horseshoe or clover with four sheets.

For couples, the swallow in the nest will symbolize love for the family. If the bird on the tattoo is depicted in flight, it means that the person wants to be free and independent. 

Blue Jay


Flying Birds

Feathers with birds tattoos

Bird tattoos for men

Bird tattoos for women

Little bird tattoos

Bird and flowers tattoos

Bird tattoos for couples


Separate this type of tattoo depending on what feather is selected for the application. There are two types of feathers:

  • indian;
  • various birds.

Indian feathers have no connection to a certain kind of birds, they fell from heaven and landed on the human body. In general, such tattoos mean faith in inner power and immortality, given, depending on different nuances – either life wisdom, or ease of consciousness and soul, or a strong connection with the spirits of ancestors.

Where To Put A Bird Tattoo?

Birds are stuffed on all kinds of body parts. If they’re big images, they choose their back, hips, breasts. Smaller tattoos are stuffed on arms, leg, neck, collarbone, scapula. 

  • My back. The phoenix, eagle, parrot look very nice and bright on the back. These birds are often depicted in bright colors, in large sizes, in interesting and unusual styles. Such pictures look unbelievable!
  • Wrist. Little birds on their wrists mean tenderness and a reminder of freedom. It’s not usually a specific bird, but its image, its shadow. A flock of birds is often stuffed on your wrist. 
  • The hip. It is an ideal place for a medium size tattoo of a sparrow, swallow, pigeon, falcon, or hummingbird. 
  • Chest. The symmetrical image of a bird with outstretched wings on its chest is associated with a freedom-loving personality and thirst for independence. 

The bird is an excellent choice for creating a meaningful, and beautiful tattoo that will give you hope. You have already learned the meaning of different species of birds. When making decisions, pay attention to our selection of bird tattoo ideas. Be inspired and ink the tattoo!

Bird tattoos on the chest

Bird tattoos on the neck

Bird tattoos on the hand/arm

Bird tattoos on the back

Bird tattoos behind the ear

Bird tattoos on the foot

Bird Tattoo Sleeves

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