Birds are amazing creatures who many perceive as representing freedom as they are never tied down to one place and can fly freely wherever they choose.  They have been intriguing mankind for ages. With more than 10,000 species to choose from there is a lot of avian inspiration.

Some of the most popular birds used in tattoo designs are:

Swallow: The swallow is a popular choice in nautical style artwork and often symbolize hope, loyalty, protection or good luck.

Peacock: Chosen primarily for the bold colors and exotic look this variety of bird stands for sexuality and luxury.

Dove: This bird is seen as the symbol of peace and love. If holding an olive branch it can be a symbol of victory. The dove can also signify family or new beginnings.

Owl: Owls are revered as being very wise creatures, thus making them an ideal choice for a tattoo for one wanting to reflect a sense of knowledge. They can also be seen as being secretive.

Phoenix: Although an immortal mythical creature, the Phoenix is widely chosen to symbolize the circle of life, survival and loyalty.

Eagle: For the US, the eagle is a very prominent symbol of patriotism. It also represents prominence, freedom and wisdom.

Duck: this aquatic waterfowl has been seen as a symbol of patience, good fortune, comfort and fertility.

Hummingbird: Like the peacock, the Hummingbird is also known for its vibrant colors. Due to their high flight speed and constant feeding, they depict energy and hard work.

Falcon/Hawk: These birds of prey are some of the most inked. They have similar looks so are often categorized together. The falcon and hawk symbolize success, focus, spirituality, protection and intelligence.

Robins/bluebirds: These striking birds are often used to represent renewal or the coming of spring. Because their presence typically signifies the end of winter, these birds are seen as a sign of hopefulness and optimism.