For the person looking for a tattoo with meaning, animal tattoos are the way to go. It’s almost difficult to not find an animal that symbolizes the kind of person you are or the kind you want to be. Every animal seems to represent a different trait or characteristic so it just takes some time to research the kind of animal you want. However, some just get an animal tattoo because it looks cool. That is fine but today we are talking about an animal that is both beautiful and very symbolic
The hummingbird is one of the most sought after designs for avian inspired tattoos. It has a distinctive look and you can get a hummingbird tattoo in just about any size, allowing you to place it on any part of your body. On top of those things, there are also plenty of hummingbird tattoo meanings.
In this post we are going to talk about the hummingbird and talk about why it represents the traits that it does. We will discuss the meaning of the hummingbird tattoo and what it means to the person wearing it. There are also different variations of the hummingbird that might change the symbolism of the tattoo so we will give you some examples of different hummingbird tattoos and they might mean in other cultures.
Facts About the Hummingbird
If you think that if you have seen one hummingbird, then you’ve seen them all, you’d be wrong. There are currently 325 unique species of hummingbird out there so there are plenty of options for a tattoo. Out of those 325, you can only find eight that normally breed in the United States. However, around 25 different species have been known to migrate or visit us in the U.S. The rest of the species can be found in tropical climates throughout the Caribbean, South America and Central America.
The colors that you see on the hummingbird aren’t because of feather pigmentation but because of the arrangement of the feathers making them look iridescent. There are many factors that make these birds look unique in their feathers but most of this comes down to wear and tear, angle of viewing, light level and moisture.
Speaking of the hummingbird’s feathers, they have between 1,000 and 1,500 feathers. Believe it or not, this is actually the least amount of feathers of any bird in the world. The low amount of feathers is there for two reasons. First, it makes them lighter for flight but secondly, they just don’t need them because of their size to begin with.
If you have ever noticed how well a hummingbird can hover in one place, it isn’t just because they are magnificent fliers. Over time, they have evolved smaller and smaller feet to make them lighter. To their detriment, the hummingbird can’t walk or hop because of this but they are able to shuffle side to side if they’re sitting on a line.
The smallest bird in North America is the calliope hummingbird and it is about 3 inches long. If you want to extend this to the smallest hummingbird species in the world, you would have to look in Cuba for the bee hummingbird which measures a very small 2 and a quarter inches long.
In terms of what they eat, the hummingbird must eat half their weight in sugar everyday. They feed around 8 times per hour and generally stick to nectar. They are also known to eat many small spiders and insects as well as eating juice from a broken fruit or tree sap.
In terms of their personality, the hummingbird is known to be one of the most aggressive bird species in the world. You can call it short man syndrome but these little birds pack an aggressive punch. They are known to attack hawks, crows and jays regularly if they enter the hummingbird’s territory. You will usually find one dominant hummingbird that guards feeders in backyards and will chase away any intruders.
There is a unique hummingbird in the Andes Mountains called the sword billed hummingbird. It’s bill alone can be up to 4 inches long so because of its weight, you will often see these birds sticking their heads straight up in the air to keep them upright. In terms of bill length to body, this hummingbird holds the world record and you won’t find another bird with that big of a ration of bill to body.
Hummingbird Tattoo Meaning
This hummingbird has been portrayed in legends, literature and mythology thanks to its uniqueness and its gracefulness. What’s great about finding hummingbird tattoo meanings to use is that you can look at both old and new meanings, and even some that fall in between. While hummingbirds aren’t as revered as they once were, they still hold plenty of the classic meanings that you will find in older literature and mythology.
The hummingbird has specialized flying skills and is by far one of the most energetic bird varieties. They are able to stop on a dime and must eat up to 50 times a day due to their constant burning of energy. A “go-getter” might get a hummingbird tattoo to remind themselves to never stop working towards their goals. This is also a great hummingbird tattoo meaning for people who want to be more active.
Hummingbirds are constantly on the move and represent energy and vigor. In this way, people who get a hummingbird tattoo can have it represent “energy” in one or multiple ways. It can be a spiritual energy or, like the meaning explained above, it could also represent being a more active person.
This type of bird has been a symbol throughout the history of many cultures. The Aztecs would make talismans in the shape of a hummingbird in order to give them energy, talent and increased sexual prowess. This three-pronged meaning could be perfect for certain types of people. Rarely can one symbol represent three very different qualities, but in the case of the hummingbird tattoo, some people might find that it perfectly represents them.
Native American cultures such as the Ojuibwe and Haida have stories that feature the hummingbird. They believed that this small bird was created but the raven from beautiful springtime flowers. In gratitude the hummingbird went from flower to flower thanking it for its gifts of grace and beauty.
The hummingbird is also the national bird of Jamaica, sometimes being refereed to as the “lovebird”. Obviously, people who were born in Jamaica or those who have Jamaican ancestors can use the hummingbird to show their pride. Some people will have just the hummingbird in their tattoos, while others will include other designs in or around it, such as the Jamaican flag.
The hummingbird is often used to depict love. This is the perfect tattoo design for someone who does not want to get a traditional “love” tattoo. Of course, owners of the hummingbird tattoo might decide to use some of those more common “love” images to make the meaning of the hummingbird come through a bit clearer.
Interestingly, the hummingbird can also represent the overcoming of difficult times or obstacles. Someone who has gone through a lot of loss in their lives or has had to deal with some tough hurdles might get the hummingbird tattoo. The meaning might not come through in these cases, but that might be the reason for getting the hummingbird over more obvious tattoo designs.
Hummingbirds have also been linked to meanings of joy, hope, life and charm. These are all very positive meanings, so someone who wants a very positive tattoo might just find the hummingbird to be the perfect image to use. It is the perfect fit for someone who also happens to be a big fan of birds; the hummingbird in particular.
The hummingbird is a reminder to live life to the fullest. In this way, a hummingbird tattoo can be used as an inspirational symbol. When someone uses this hummingbird tattoo meaning, it is usually a good idea to get it in a place that they can see it multiple times per day.
The hummingbird tattoo can also symbolize freedom. This is because they are a very independent creature and are rarely seen with others. Humans can use this to show their ability to care for themselves on their own. While the hummingbird tattoo is generally seen as a female tattoo, when this meaning is used it is definitely a unisex design.
Hummingbird tattoos are designed to be full of vibrant color and life. They display the jovial, energetic nature of the hummingbird and are usually drawn sipping nectar from a flower or in flight with their tail feathers curled into a beautiful mass. Of course, people who want to get a hummingbird tattoo will want to get a unique design that fits their personalities. This is a tattoo that is fantastic on its own, but it can also be surrounded by other images to add even more meaning to the tattoo.
Here are some of our favorite hummingbird tattoo designs: