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History and Meaning Behind the Hummingbird Tattoo

History and Meaning Behind the Hummingbird Tattoo

Hummingbirds, the cheetahs of the bird world, are a colorful and fun design to incorporate into a tattoo. From its traditional meaning in history, to the naturally intricate details and unique characteristics of the bird, these tattoos are worth a look. Hummingbirds are the smallest species of birds in the world. But that’s not all these lightning fast birds are known for. They also have unique special abilities such as hovering and flying backwards. The meaning and look of these bird tattoos vary from person to person and the tattoo ideas are endless. If you’re in the Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, Kitsilano or Vancouver area drop by one of our conveniently located tattoo parlours. We’d love to help you find the perfect hummingbird or other design for your next tat. Below we’ll explore the meaning and history behind the hummingbird tattoo.

History of the Hummingbird and its meaning

Various cultures have used the hummingbird as a visual representation of love and attraction. For example, the Aztecs, who would wear dead hummingbirds around their neck in pouches, thought the colorful bird would attract people of the opposite sex. Native Americans considered Hummingbirds to be symbols of love and have incorporated them into their legends and stories, making them a mystical or magical. Another meaning the Hummingbird carries from the Caingang and Butucuo tribe is supplying water. This design idea is perfect for someone who wants a tattoo that can represent love, life, happiness, or charm. The hummingbird tattoo has a rich history in various cultures and having one is a way to associate with the past and the hummingbird’s mystic nature in traditional Native American folklore. hummingbird floral flower

Other Potential Meanings

The hummingbird naturally has many unique characteristics. Something remarkable about this colourful bird is its ability to eat more than 50 times in one day. But because they’re one of the fastest birds in flight, flying at a whopping 49 miles per hour, it’s no wonder they’re able to consume so much. These characteristics can represent one’s ability to push out of their comfort zone and their inspiration to keep moving on in life.

300 Unique Species

Did you know there are 300 different hummingbird species? The bird comes in many varieties, from having a long tail to bright, bold colours. This could make the meaning of a hummingbird tattoo about diversity and the importance of being one of a kind. Another neat quality of the hummingbird is its wing movement, they actually move their wings backwards in a figure 8 motion, mimicking the infinity sign. Because of this, some people may opt for this tattoo idea to symbolize eternity.

Friendly and Welcoming

The hummingbird also is very friendly which makes it a great tattoo for someone who enjoys being kind to others. But they can also be aggressive toward other species of birds which may seem surprising given their delicate look. Maybe you’re really passionate about music, having a hummingbird tattoo can help lift your spirits and constantly remind you of the bird’s joyful melodies. The tattoo can also have a deeper meaning as a way to remember a passed loved one who liked hummingbirds.

Resiliency and Kindness

Some people may choose to depict a hummingbird in flight, hovering over flowers in their tattoo design or the bird sucking nectar from a flower. The hummingbird and flowers depend on each other to exist, so this relationship could symbolize the resiliency, overcoming adversary, and being joyful. The beautiful hummingbird may be resilient and able to adapt easily to external forces, but they do not do well in captivity. Some people may choose to get a hummingbird Tattoo to represent their need to be free and live life the way they want to.

Various styles, designs, and placement of the Hummingbird Tattoo

The possibilities of designs and styles of the hummingbird tattoo are virtually endless. Tattoos can range from watercolours, to 3D or hyperrealism. Designs come small or large and can be bright and bold, or quant and intricate. Some people may choose to get a design of one single hummingbird or several. Another creative quality you may want to include in your hummingbird tattoo is a meaningful phrase or scripture. Some of the most popular placements of tattoo are on the upper chest, legs, fingers, neck, and many others. But beware, having a tattoo done on an area close to bones can be very painful. You should refer to a tattoo body pain chart to determine if the spot you want to put your hummingbird tattoo will be painful for you and if you can handle it. Hummingbird butterfly flower

Things to consider before getting a hummingbird tattoo

You should take time and think about where exactly you want your hummingbird tattoo to go on your body, and how it will look in that specific location. It’s also important that you consider what the meaning of the tattoo design is before you decide to commit to it. Even though the hummingbird carries many great meanings and you have the freedom to make it represent something individual to you, there are still meanings associated with different designs, so make sure you’re comfortable with it. Also keep in mind that for the best results, you’ll want to get a reputable tattoo artist to do the tattoo design for you. You don’t want to waste time and money on your tattoo if it doesn’t turn out exactly the way you want it to. Contact or visit local tattoo shops in your area and ask to see some of their previous work on clients. Consider the costs of the tattoo before booking an appointment. You’ll want to do some research and compare prices between tattoo artists and see which rate fits your budget, tattoos can get pretty pricey depending on who you go to and how much work the design will be for the tattoo artist. Another thing to consider is what other details you want to be included in your tattoo, do you want a hummingbird around flowers and what kind of flowers? Are you looking for something edgy, or elegant? Do you want a bright, colourful look or maybe something more subtle like a black outline? It’s best to look through several designs when deciding and ask your tattoo artist for advice on what look would be best for you. hummingbird flower

Closing Thoughts

A Hummingbird is a great choice as a tattoo, it’s a design popular for both men and women, has deep cultural meaning, and the bird has cool, unique characteristics. The tattoo design is great for someone who wants a tattoo that has great detail, bold colour, or wants flowers or natural elements included in their design. Hummingbird tattoos are timeless and can be a great way to express yourself. Drop us a line or stop by one of our tattoo shops if you’re in the Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, Kitsilano or Vancouver area.

Ready to Explore Your Own Hummingbird Tattoo?

At Chronic Ink Tattoo, our talented artists are ready to help you explore hummingbird and other tattoos to make sure you find something you’ll want to show off for decades to come. If you’re in the Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, Kitsilano Vancouver area drop by our shop and check us out for yourself.

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Tattoo Studio Locations

Downtown Toronto

378 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5B 1S6 Directions

Midtown Toronto

252 Eglinton Ave East, 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M4P 1K2 Directions


7381 Kennedy Road, Unit #105, Markham, Ontario L3R 5B5 Directions


100 City Centre Dr., Unit #2-311, Mississauga, Ontario L5N 2C9 Directions


1804 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia V6J 1M3 Directions

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