Birds are one of the most popular subjects for tattoo designs. Birds are not only beautiful, but they also carry meaning and symbolize freedom, free-thinking, spirituality, and higher understanding. There are also a lot of different birds in the world to inspire tattoos. From the classic swallow tattoos worn by sailors for decades to more tropical and exotic birds like parrots and flamingos, there is no shortage of feathered friends to depict in a tattoo design.
We decided to look at some of the latest tattoos people are getting of birds to see what birds are trending and to get a better understanding of what styles and designs work best for the birdies. We discovered 25 inspired and unique bird tattoos that we think you’ll love. These bird tattoo designs are fresh and we hope they inspire you to consider getting some ink that soars.
Camellia flowers are treasured across Asia and this gorgeous green and yellow bird is perched among them. This stunning tattoo was shared by a Korean tattoo artist who must be proud of this achievement.
A Stunning Silhouette
While colorful ink is attractive, sometimes simple black and grey proves even more dramatic. This silhouette of a bird in flight contains a dense floral scene that’s absolutely gorgeous.
A Berry Bluebird
Wow! This watercolor tattoo of a bluebird is mystifying in the best sort of way. The design borders on abstract, using just basic shapes and intense color-blocking. There’s so much movement here! We love this tattoo!
You can always give your bird tattoo some supernatural flare by including possessed blue eyes that seem to peer straight into the soul. This owl tattoo is beautiful, but we’re not sure how we feel about the accentuated demon eyes.
What Ya Got There?
Wow! This stunner of a bluebird really pops in front of the golden ink used to shade the sun. The bird has in its clutches the stems of some truly gorgeous roses that also balance the design with their red color.
Do the Dodo
The now extinct dodo bird didn’t fear humans and made them easy to catch by Dutch sailors who ate the bird to extinction. The dodo wanted to be friends, but humans messed it all up! This very simple tattoo manages to capture a touch of the bird’s melancholy and is a completely original and unique design.
Don’t just get a hummingbird tattoo of the bird feeding on flowers. No, go all the way and make the hummingbird made of flowers as well! This very large tattoo is bursting with color and life! We need more like this.
Swallows are extremely popular birds for tattoo enthusiasts and have been since British sailors got them tattooed as symbols for their sailing experience. The swallow was chosen because lore had it that they could travel over 5,000 nautical miles. Typically, these tattoos were placed on the neck or hands. This swallow differs from the more traditional design and instead exemplifies the photorealistic style to great effect.
Look at this adorable parakeet! The many colors used to make this bird shine have been expertly blended and shaded. There’s also a hint of a watercolor effect that surrounds the little cutie.
This Japanese style stork or crane has a lot going for it. The deep colors and angular lines give it an almost wallpaper-y 2-D effect.
This super sharp traditional design depicting a parrot is insanely beautiful. We love the boiled-down 2-D shapes in the wings that border on geometric patterning. The use of black ink is completely balanced with the blues, reds, and golds.
This tattoo of a diving loon in the midst of a dramatic dive belongs to a birder named Rosie. This very tidy and sharp tattoo is both dramatic and somewhat playful. A very unique choice that, thanks to the artist, has been pulled off well.
Oh, hello! This cheerful cardinal tattoo has a cartoonish quality to it thanks to the bird’s amicable expression. The intense red is mellowed out by the purples, greys, and blues that the artist has used.
Micro tattoos are always such fun. This very, very small tattoo was achieved by forgoing the tattoo gun and instead handpoking the tattoo with a needle. The very delicate dotwork here is a triumph.
Pretty, Pretty Peacock
This dreamy design imagines the feathers of a peacock with mosaic-like shapes in its feathers. The plumage is where it’s at in this tattoo and it’s glorious.
That’s an Eagle
If you’re going to get a tattoo of a bird, you can go big with an entire sleeve of a bird’s face. Why not? This very realistic design was most-likely tattooed by an artist with portrait experience. This was a choice!
Rad Red Robin
This regal red robin is flanked by leaves and berries. It in front of a seafoam green backdrop, this orange of the robin’s breast really shines. What a marvelous tattoo.
We’re getting Salvador Dalí vibes from this gorgeous bird tattoo. The branch the hawk is resting on seems to come from a strange square. This extremely original design really works because the bird has been tattooed so well.
Owls have the most mysterious and dazzling eyes and we’re getting a closeup of one in this tattoo. This mesmerizing tattoo includes autumn leaves as opposed to summer ones to give the overall design a warm tone. This is just incredible.
A Touch of Whimsy
Take a look at this chap! We’re not entirely sure what is going on here and we’re not mad about it. We’re all for birds in suiting.
This tattoo hails from Russia but the artist explained that the design was inspired by Japanese themes. The lines of the tattoo are so fine that the tattoo seems like it’s been composed of smoke or even ink on dampened paper.
Here, we find another robin, however, it’s been done in a completely different style. The feathers are composed of hard shapes to give them form. The breast of the bird is dotted with parallel shapes giving it the overall appearance of patterning. It’s remarkable.
Hawk & Roses
This impressive tattoo happens to be huge! We find a hawk entangled in roses which marries soft and tough. The detailing on the bird’s feather in the foreground is amazing. Well done!
Little Baby Bird
While you can go big and get a bird tattoo that’s essentially a half sleeve, there’s nothing wrong with keeping things cute and small. This soft, delicate tattoo is beaming with pastel color. The absence of black ink really helps to keep this hummingbird design as light as a feather.
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In My Heart
We at Mamas Uncut love a pet tattoo and this little companion is such a cutie. The lines and details are so fine here with the bird encased in the most gentle heart shape. We have fallen in love with this golden bird too!
There you go! 25 bird tattoos for bird lovers, birders, or just folks who love the way a bird looks in tattoo form. We hope this list inspires you to think about your next tattoo design and what sorts of birds you feel excited by and which one would make for the most interesting tattoo.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 Winter Flowers
- 2 A Stunning Silhouette
- 3 A Berry Bluebird
- 4 Baby Blues
- 5 What Ya Got There?
- 6 Do the Dodo
- 7 Floral Flyer
- 8 A Swallow
- 9 Periquito
- 10 The Crane
- 11 Beakaboo!
- 12 Diving Loon
- 13 Colorful Cardinal
- 14 Tiny Bird
- 15 Pretty, Pretty Peacock
- 16 That’s an Eagle
- 17 Rad Red Robin
- 18 Somewhat Surrealist
- 19 Who?
- 20 A Touch of Whimsy
- 21 Finely Feathered
- 22 Rockin’ Robin
- 23 Hawk & Roses
- 24 Little Baby Bird
- 25 In My Heart
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