There are 10,000 different species of birds out there...and around 400 billion individual birds. Which makes a whole lotta different fowl friends that you could get tattooed on ya. And although you may think that a pigeon is a pigeon...or a duck is a duck...each one is special, and unique. The same goes for styles of tattooing. These days there are a million different ways to do one thing, and hopefully this collection of bird tattoos shows you just that. From Illustrative and Realistic to Traditional and Minimal, we brought together a bunch of artwork that can hopefully inspire you on your search for the perfect piece.
Birds are incredible creatures, and if you've seen documentaries like Planet Earth you know some of the reasons why. Humans aren't the only ones who want to decorate themselves, or their homes. The Bowerbird is a species of fowl that likes to use natural and recycled trash as decor to spruce up their nests. Colored bottle caps, bits of string, bright berries, buttons, and even sea shells, the Bowerbird's homey aesthetic is apparently used to attract a mate. "Once mating season rolls around, these Oceanic birds start gathering sticks and using them to erect structures called bowers. Amusingly, the bowerbirds pick one of two architectural styles, depending on their subspecies. One type is a "maypole" bower, where the sticks are arranged around a sapling to form a kind of teepee or cave...The second is an "avenue" bower, where the sticks are arranged vertically to make a path down the middle, like something you'd see a bride and groom walk through at a wedding venue." Pretty remarkable! Not that our bird tattoos are all about finding a mate...but it definitely adds to our personality!
As you may know, the mating season for many birds is a very special time, but there are some birds who don't have to spruce up their nest to make sure the ladies are lookin'. There are a bunch of species of feathered friends who are absolutely monogamous. Black Vultures are one of these and, believe it or not, they don't even build nests. They usually lay their eggs in a hollow within the ground. Bald Eagles are another bird that mates for life, unless one of the two dies. "Their spectacular courtship rituals are a sight to see, with the birds locking talons, then flipping, spinning, and twirling through the air in a maneuver called a Cartwheel Display. They break apart seemingly at the last moment, just before hitting the ground." Sounds dangerously romantic! There are others, too, including the Atlantic Puffin, the California Condor, and Whooping Cranes. Perhaps for your next couple matching tattoo, you could pick up a portrait of some Scarlet Macaws! Puts a whole new meaning of "birds of a feather flock together", eh?
Bird tattoos are also popular not due to their beautiful plumage or interesting habits, but also because they symbolize freedom and the loveliness of nature. Many images of birds trapped in oil slicks, or tangled in a plastic mess, have come to spark the hope and need for people of the world to unite to save our planet's species. If you haven't already seen John Cancalosi's image of a stork trapped in a plastic bag, make sure to check it out. He says of the image, "It isn’t often that life gives you the opportunity to do something to help the things that you love in a significant way. In the case of the stork trapped in a plastic bag, I was blessed to be able to help not just this single bird, but through my photographs, hopefully thousands of creatures that might be saved from similar predicaments, if these photos can help to raise awareness of the need to limit our plastic footprint on the planet."