Hummingbirds are among the most attractive to the average bird watcher, who make special provisions of growing flowers or artificial nectar in feeders to attract them nearby in order to watch them. Consequently it is an inspiration for lovers of the bird in regard to choosing them as a central theme for a tattoo design.
There are several traits of the hummingbird which make them ideal candidates for the subject matter of a tattoo. Those include the long beak, rapidly flapping wings, its body position, and the flowers that accompany their eating habits.
All of these offer up a plethora of possibilities for design options, including the attempt to make the wings appear to be flapping, a variety of colors, and flowers that usually include long blooms to accommodate the way hummingbirds feed.
Add to all of that the usual styles and interpretations of the tattoo artists, and there are an endless number of ways to portray the bird in a very compelling way. We'll look at a gallery of hummingbird tattoo designs now with some comments on them.
Hummingbird Eating Nectar Tattoo
The first image of a hummingbird tattoo is one that we all can relate to, as it's probably the most common one we see when viewing hummingbirds, aside from the hanging sugar water we give them.
What was interesting to me about this tattoo is the focus of the subject matter. It isn't the flowers or the eating of the nectar, but the attempt to make it look like the bird had come zooming in and quickly starting drinking of the flower.
If you were wondering what that blue was in the design, that's the attempt to create a look at what the air would be seen as if we could see the effects of the hummingbird wings on it with the naked eye.
It's not too impressive to me, but it does show how artists try to reproduce the most fascinating part of the hummingbirds actions.
Hummingbird Tattoo with Vining Flowers
For someone that likes a lot of color, this is a pretty good tattoo design, This is a case where the artist captured the position of the hummingbird's body when it feeds very well.
The simple but effective colors on the hummingbird and flowers look really good. They are vibrant, solid, and uncomplicated. Yet there are just enough little additions; on the flowers and the hummingbird to keep it from being boring.
Hummingbird with Red Flowers on Shoulder
Rarely is a tattoo very appealing to me when you have to wrap your eyes around the area it is inked to see the entire design. This tattoo is one of the few exceptions to that rule for me, as the way the hummingbird is portrayed as feeding from the flowers which are wrapped around the shoulder works for me.
It gives the sense of quick feeding which hummingbirds usually partake in; darting in and out of the flowers and flying back and forth between areas in those jerky motions. In other words, the position of the bird and the flowers make it look like the bird is in fact acting in that way.
That may not be the reason for it being that way, but it definitely may be done on purpose to convey the idea. Either way, I like the way it looks.
Tribal Hummingbird Tattoo on Foot
I love tribal tattoos when they're done right, and this one is, even as it reproduces an Aztec look, whom the hummingbird has a lot of history with, as it was a fetish of the nation; a very important part of their ancient history.
While I'm not certain of the Aztec art or design connection, the tribal look is very relevant to hummingbirds, and this style looks fantastic.
True Love Heart w/ Hummingbird Temporary Tattoo
Tribal Hummingbird Rib Tattoo
Even though the previous tribal hummingbird tattoo had a lot more detail, this one has a much cleaner look, and is superior to me, although both are well done.
It's of course difficult to compare the two because their totally different in size, and the locations on the body make the tattoo artist adapt the design accordingly. But if I had to choose, the tattoo design below is my favorite of the two.
Tattoo of Hummingbird Flapping Wings
Here is a unique tattoo because of the inclusion of some tribal elements, along with the attempt to make the wings of the hummingbird appear to be rapidly flapping. For what it is, I think the artist was successful with it.
That's because it wasn't an attempt to make the bird appear realistic, but to display one of its characteristics in a way that can be easily recognized and understood. Seeing it from the front position is also a nice touch, as normally the hummingbird is designed in a way that views it from the side.
Hummingbird with Blue Flowers on Back
The color of this tattoo is what makes it attractive to me. The humming has a nice rainbow of colors flowing from the head, to the neck, and down throughout the body. Also vibrant is the blue color of the flower.
It's a really nice tattoo, but the bottom half of the bird is noticeably weaker than the top half, although the little feet were placed nicely, something many tattoo artists don't get right, who tend to make them look like they're sticking out the side. Here you can see the back leg appearing to be on the other side of the body; something you should look for if getting a hummingbird tattoo.
Blue Hummingbird Tattoo Drinking from Red Flower
This final tattoo in the hummingbird gallery is fantastic. The colors are magnificent, detail amazing.
What is of particular note is the position of the hummingbird, which is exactly like it should look; the depth of the morning glory it's eating from is outstanding, and the two go together without clashing in any way.
This was of course a serious attempt at creating a great piece of art, and has to be judged from that point of view. In that regard the artist and lucky recipient of the tattoo succeeded in the endeavor.
I'm sure there are very few people who dislike a hummingbird, as the fast speed they move at and somewhat shy nature make them a joy to watch. Many of these tattoo designs caught those aspects of the hummingbird nicely, and the result are great tattoos
You can see why hummingbirds are the choice so many people make when deciding on a tattoo, as they are compelling, have great color, and can be placed in a scene which is always enjoyable to view. What more could you ask for with a tattoo design?
Nadia Archuleta from Denver, Colorado on June 10, 2013:
If that's your tattoo on the bottom, that's very close to the painterly style! The first tattoo comes VERY close -- if only the tattooist hadn't indulged in outlining the flowers and bird. Beautiful pics -- thanks for sharing!
Jessee R from Gurgaon, India on April 10, 2012:
Creative and fashionable... I must say I find these tattoo designs look elegant!!