Mockingbird Tattoo Meaning, Designs & Ideas

The mockingbird is known for its singing and is one of the smaller birds in North America. Tattoos of mockingbirds can symbolize courage, innocence, and intelligence. These birds are also representative of various cultural and religious beliefs. Lastly, mockingbird tattoos can also symbolize different parts of the United States where they are the state bird.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll look at the different meanings that a mockingbird tattoo can have.

All About Mockingbirds

The only type of mockingbird native to North America is called the northern mockingbird. There are several other types that can be found in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America, including the Galapagos Islands.

The northern mockingbird has mostly gray or brown feathers with some white or black underneath. Their diet consists mainly of berries, other fruit, insects, and worms. In the wild, these birds usually live to be around eight years old–the oldest wild mockingbird known was 14 years old.

Mockingbird Tattoos

Since mockingbirds are mainly gray and brown in color, a lot of tattoos are done with black and gray ink. Some tattoos incorporate leaves or berries in the image and these ones tend to be done in color. Most mockingbird tattoos are realistic portrayals of the bird.

The majority of mockingbird tattoos are small to medium in size. They may show the bird perched on a branch, with its wings spread or in flight. Some have the sun or the moon in the image, while others include a quote from the book To Kill A Mockingbird. Mockingbird tattoos are often done on the arm, leg, or torso.


Mockingbirds are very vocal creatures and they sing much of the time, including at night. They can have hundreds of different songs and they also mimic other noises. For instance, they imitate the songs of other birds as well as the noises of different animals.

A person who loves to sing might get a tattoo of a mockingbird because they share a love of music. Or someone who just appreciates the songs of the mockingbird might choose this tattoo for that reason. These tattoos might illustrate the bird with its beak open to show that it is singing.


Mockingbirds are bold and brave birds that are not afraid of other birds or animals. When creatures like snakes approach their nests, mockingbirds show no fear and chase them away. These birds are extremely confident and can even be aggressive toward other animals.

Someone might get a mockingbird tattoo because they respect the bird’s courage and confidence. These might be qualities that they are trying to develop themselves. The tattoo can act as a reminder to be brave in the face of fear and not back down when you are after something you want.


In the 1960 book by Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird, the bird is portrayed as a symbol of innocence. One of the characters in the book, Atticus Finch, says that killing a mockingbird is a sin because they don’t harm anyone. Mockingbirds only sing and bring joy and are, therefore, representative of innocence.

People may choose mockingbird tattoos simply because they liked the Harper Lee novel and what it represented. Or they may choose the tattoo because they want something that symbolizes innocence, purity, or virtue. Tattoos that are inspired by the novel often include a quote from the book along with the mockingbird.


Some Christians believe that mockingbirds are a sort of guardian angel that watches over you and provides protection. These birds are thought to be a symbol of God’s compassion and forgiveness. 

An individual might choose to get a mockingbird tattoo as a symbol of their Christian faith. They may find it a comfort to have this image that represents love and mercy. They may even connect the tattoo of a mockingbird to a loved one who has passed away and has since become their guardian angel.

Native American Culture

In some Native American cultures, the mockingbird is believed to represent the souls of the departed. Seeing a mockingbird can mean that someone is watching over you from beyond this earth. 

A mockingbird tattoo can be a good choice for someone who is mourning the loss of a loved one and wants to represent that relationship. The tattoo can be a way of memorializing someone who has passed away and keeping them close.


The mockingbird is known to be a very smart creature. They have great memories for people as well as places. Even after very brief encounters with people, they are able to remember them later on, particularly if they were perceived as a threat. In some cultures, people eat mockingbirds because they believe it will make them more intelligent.

Someone who wants a tattoo that represents wisdom or intelligence might choose a mockingbird. Particularly if they are from a culture that associates this bird with being smart, they are more likely to get a tattoo for this reason. 


In addition to being very intelligent, mockingbirds are also very curious. They tend to observe what is going on around them and learn about their environment in this way. The way that they mimic the sounds of other birds is another example of how curious they are.

One might opt for a mockingbird tattoo as a way of expressing their own curiosity about life. Someone who likes to explore different opportunities, travel, and meet new people might like this idea for a mockingbird tattoo.

State Bird

Each of the 50 states designates a bird that represents their area and for five of these, they chose the mockingbird. Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas all have the mockingbird for their state bird. 

Someone who lives in any one of these five states might want to get a mockingbird tattoo. It can be a way of showing others where they are from or demonstrating pride in their state. Even people who like visiting these areas might get a mockingbird tattoo because they enjoy it so much.

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