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The Meaning of Owl Tattoos

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A barn owl in flight, Arizona
John Burke / Taxi / Getty Images
People may tattoo images of animals for both their significance or personal meaning. Birds in particular are a popular choice if you're desiring a whimsical design. However, of all the birds in the wild there is only one who is named the wisest. The owl is not only a rare and mysterious bird, it's a majestic choice for anyone who favors magic and the world of enchantment.

What is a Owl?

Owls are part of the Srigiformes group of birds. With over 200 owl species, there are plenty of different owls from which to base your tattoo design. Most every owl is nocturnal, meaning they spend their days sleeping and awaken at night. Owls have a mixed diet of small birds and insects and a few species even prey on fish.

While most owls hunt by night, some species come alive during the twilight hours of both dawn and dusk. This could be the perfect tattoo idea for anyone who loves the Twilight series of books by Stephenie Meyer.

Because of the feather colors, owls take on an almost camo appearance, which makes them avid hunters. Owls also have unique serrated edges on their wings which in turn, help make their landings and flight paths quiet and stealth mode.

In addition to their fierce flying skills, owls have sharp beaks and talons which can strongly grasp and kill their prey before consuming it whole. This makes the owl a wise, powerful and captivating bird. No wonder owls are so intriguing, and have even become a popular tattoo trend.

Owl Tattoo Ideas

If you're opting for an owl tattoo, you'll likely need to discover the right design style and placement. Owls have lots of details, yet because of their distinctive shape, most people recognize the bird without further design or elaboration. You could likely tattoo just a silouhette and the bird would be deemed recognizable.

Because an owl represents wisdom, they would make a wonderful choice for anyone in the education field or those that have gone on to further their studies, especially when paired with an apple or a graduation cap.

For a magical owl tattoo, why not consider elements such as the moon, or branches and even stars? You can learn more about the lure and meaning of moon tattoos here. Owls are often associated with magic, which means you could work the bird into a fantasy inspired tattoo design for beautiful results. Whether you opt or black and gray or color is entirely up to you. Either way an owl makes a spellbinding addition to any spirited tattoo design.

To represent their power flying, an owl in flight makes a tough a tough choice that would work well on either the back or the chest.

Last the owl can just be plain old quirky. When paired with bright colors much like a Russian Doll tattoo, the owl becomes a cute and collectible form of body art.

Because there are over 200 varieties in the wild, be sure to make your owl distinguishable and don't be afraid to let it soar with color or open wings.

Owl Tattoo Placement Suggestions

Tattoo placement is so important that it can really make or break your design idea. Once you've decided upon your own unique owl image, you can begin to factor where it will look best on your body. For some people, an owl tattoo might be quite fitting perched on the shoulder where it can guard and protect. Others may find an owl at the back of the nape can be easily concealed by day, and can play at night, much like the very breed.

If you're considering an owl tattoo, look through nature books and images to begin perfecting you tattoo style idea, then meet with your artist and ensure the design is favorable before making it permanent. That's truly the wisest way to get any tattoo, and the owl deserves nothing less.

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