Bird tattoo
May 17, 2012 9:35 AM   Subscribe

I am getting a tattoo of two birds on my back to cover up some old tattoos that I no longer like. I am looking for bird species inspiration. Ideally these will be some sort of plumed birds, but please link me/give me a species name of any birds that you find to be particularly beautiful. Thanks!
posted by corn_bread to Grab Bag (27 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Forgot to say: these need to be birds that are darker in color or have large patches of dark color, to facilitate the cover-up process. :)
posted by corn_bread at 9:37 AM on May 17, 2012

I'm a fan of the tawny frogmouth, myself.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:41 AM on May 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


I love them things.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:43 AM on May 17, 2012

Quetzal birds have long plumes
posted by jquinby at 9:46 AM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hoopoe. Duh.
posted by Nomyte at 9:47 AM on May 17, 2012

...and if not the quetzal, one of the other trogons.
posted by jquinby at 9:47 AM on May 17, 2012

I think hoatzins are simply the cooooolest; they got bitchin' head-crests, and blue faces, and claws on their wings when they're young, and giant crops, and hey don't they look like they'd be fun to cuddle?
posted by Greg Nog at 9:57 AM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Rainbow lorikeet. Ridonculous!
posted by drlith at 9:58 AM on May 17, 2012

Birds! I love birds!

OK, in no order (some plumed, some not as much).

Indigo Buntings
Sandhill Cranes
Glossy Ibis
Ruby Throated Hummingbird
Pileated Woodpecker
Swallow Tailed Kite
posted by skittlekicks at 9:58 AM on May 17, 2012

the lyrebird is just beautiful.
posted by changeling at 10:01 AM on May 17, 2012

also birds of paradise.
posted by changeling at 10:05 AM on May 17, 2012

Ideally these will be some sort of plumed birds

By"plumed," do you mean having long tail feathers?

Scissor-tailed flycatcher
posted by hydrophonic at 10:07 AM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Secretary Birds! Secretary birds are awesome. They stomp through the grass to chase out prey, then either swallow them whole, or chase them and stomp 'em to death for larger prey. They're also amazingly beautiful.
posted by bfranklin at 10:11 AM on May 17, 2012

The mockingbird is bad ass. Loads of personality, beautiful song, and IMHO one of the prettiest common birds. They can be stylized to offer more plumage, I guess, but they are dark enough (in spots) to provide coverage.
posted by Infinity_8 at 10:31 AM on May 17, 2012

I thought of a phoenix, since this new tattoo is rising from the (metaphorical) ashes of old ones.
posted by Danf at 10:34 AM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Moorhens are graphically very strong, I think, and have a lot of black.
posted by Tufa at 10:41 AM on May 17, 2012

Victoria-crowned pigeons are just beautiful.
posted by cereselle at 10:53 AM on May 17, 2012

Resplendent quetzal! Because how awesome is it when your name actually includes "resplendent"? You'd be resplendent all the time. I mean, I just rolled out of bed: resplendent. Hungover? Still resplendent. Tucked your slip into your skirt? Free pass: still resplendent. Awesome.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:59 AM on May 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

How about a bird that is extinct ? For example one from Hawai'i (accounts for 30%).
The Kioea (means stand tall) and artwork. Or the Ō'ō.
Maybe the New Zealand Huia ?
posted by travelwithcats at 11:18 AM on May 17, 2012

The Lyrebird. You have to see them in action to really appreciate them Video 1 and Video 2

Dark coloured birds, with pretty lacey tails that are amazing mimics.

I am also a fan of emus, because I think they are all completely insane though I don't know if they'd make a good tattoo.
posted by wwax at 11:53 AM on May 17, 2012

You guys are amazing! There are so many great suggestions here that I'm a little overwhelmed by possibilities! At the very least, I have a lot of ideas for things to paint now. :)

Please keep them coming. I love Metafilter.
posted by corn_bread at 12:31 PM on May 17, 2012

I love the Superb Fairy Wren
posted by b33j at 12:32 PM on May 17, 2012

I think the works of John James Audubon would translate really well to skin in the hands of a skilled tattoo artist. You might enjoy flipping/scrolling through 'em and seeing what grabs you. Google image search gives you the best one-glance sense of what JJA has to offer, but you can also view his stuff in its entirety on paper or online.
posted by richyoung at 12:57 PM on May 17, 2012

posted by DMelanogaster at 2:54 PM on May 17, 2012

I third the people who said Resplendent Quetzal, mainly because I have a giant tattoo of one! Pics here.

And to expand on what richyoung said, definitely look at old ornithological prints, not just Audubon, because they're usually a)beautiful and b)stylized in a way that comes out looking really delicate and awesome in tattoo work. Mine was based on this lithograph from John Gould's guide to Trogons from the second half of the 19th century.

(Disclaimer: I am a TOTAL bird-nerd and art-nerd and especially ornithological art nerd. And I lived in Costa Rica, hence my being partial to the quetzals.)
posted by primalux at 7:01 PM on May 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

The swallow is an oldschool sailor tattoo icon.
posted by Tom-B at 8:32 PM on May 17, 2012

I love the hoatzin sooooo much, but I was just reading about it on wikipedia and it's nicknamed the "stink bird". Because it smells like manure.

posted by corn_bread at 11:24 AM on May 18, 2012

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