In the Avian world, eagles rank at the top of the food chain as apex predators and for a good reason. To put things in perspective take the martial eagle which as eyes that are 3.6 times more powerful than humans.
Yet, what’s truly impressive is that the bald eagle is capable of carrying 15lb mule deer fawns in upwards into the sky. To top that, Golden and crowned eagles have been spotted killing ugulates that weigh up to 66 pounds. And remarkably, the martial eagle surpasses them all by having flown with a 82lb duiker.
That’s around seven to eight times the eagle’s own body weight!
Now, I mentioned only a few species above, the reality is there are sixty of them. Most of which belong to Eurasia and Africa, with the rest in North America, Australia and Central and South America.
When it comes to symbolism of the eagles, they have a long standing importance in ancient times and cultures.
The Moche of Peru worshiped them, while in ancient Greek mythology they were the patron animal of the God Zeus. In terms of Angelica tradition, you’ll often find representations of the eagle in numerous Bible verses like Exodus 19:4, Isaiah 40:31, amount others. Take for instance Psalm 103 which compares a renewal of youth to that of the eagle.
In Germany eagles hold special ties to the Holy Roman Empire, you’ll often see them as two-headed birds. Each side represents the old Roman Empire’s East and West. In heraldry, their noted as the “king of birds” too.
Read on for a collection of the top 75 best eagle tattoos. These designs will inspire you to literally fly higher, and are also a feature of the 50+ Best Tattoo Ideas. From feathers to realistic artwork, you’ll see a blend of just about everything.
Eagle Tattoo Ideas
This first eagle tattoo covers the entirety of a man’s hand. It displays the majestic bald eagle in front of what appears to be the red and white stripes of the American flag. This type of eagle is famous in the United States as an official symbol of the nation. It is subsequently known for its symbolism of American freedom, pride and a general sense of patriotism. This depiction of the great bird is nicely done from its alluring green eye to its prominent, finely-shaped beak.
Here we see a black and gray eagle standing over a pile of human skulls. Behind the fierce bird there are extinguished candles letting off the final smoke of their last burning. This eagle’s wings are interesting as the artist designed its feathers in such a way that almost makes them look like scales of some kind, or maybe even armor. The meaning behind this fine piece could be one’s triumph over death, or possibly even the mere acceptance of mortality as the skulls and extinguished candles both show the end of things.
This eagle appears to be standing over a skull and snake. The piece feels more animated as the texture and design of each element, the snake, skull and eagle, bears some resemblance to a cartoon drawing. The piece lines up well with the subject’s chest and upper abdominal area. It is a colorful piece in some ways, such as on the bird’s beak and part of the snake, but much of the rest of the tattoo is simply black and gray.
This placement of an eagle on the subject’s bicep is quite fitting. For the eagle has been known to be particularly strong bird and is easy to view as a symbol of such. It is certainly a masculine tattoo as the bird of prey appears to be swooping down with its claws aimed and it’s mouth open. It is also a pleasant view, however, as the black and gray shading that fills most of the bird contrasts with the artistically-strategic touches of gold quite nicely.
This eagle tattoo only really shows the head of the bird but it is head worth seeing. It is covered in dark hair and even has a good deal of dark blue coloring on its otherwise yellow beak. Its eye is also yellow and blue. Perhaps the most notable thing about this bird, however, is that it looks a bit more worn and torn than the eagles seen here previously. Nevertheless, it continues to look fierce and determined, perhaps making it a symbol of perseverance.
A giant, overpowering bird swoops down with great power in the image of this eagle tattoo. The bird is of such great size and strength that it looks to be creating great waves and capsizing a boat. Around this great eagle is a swirl of cloud cover and numerous strikes of lightning. The eagle once served as a symbol of Zeus for the Greeks. It could very well be taking on that same type of god-like symbolism in this piece as it demonstrates both tremendous size and power.
This eagle tattoo presents one of the great birds in distress as it holds up a banner reading, “STRUGGLE” and stoops downward with an arrow in its back. The ultimate meaning behind this piece is unclear but it would seem in many ways to symbolize that one must have strength amidst the struggles of one’s life. With a strong dark red background and a darkened, rich blueish-green applied to the eagle’s plumage, this piece is both visually impactful and aesthetically appealing.
Swooping in from the shoulder to the chest this eagle is done in great black and gray detail. The piece’s artist also made great use of negative space. The bird has a fierce look on its face and appears to be lowering down to pick up its prey and carry it off to be devoured. That tattoo certainly makes up for areas of insufficiency it may have with the outstanding feat of detail applied by its artist.
Here is another swooping down eagle, this one in black and gray as well. What makes this bird of prey particularly notable is the beautiful shading of its wings and the precision of its linework. Its American traditional styling appears both masculine and attractive on the man’s upper arm. There are many ways to depict the ferocious eagle making its move on some unsuspecting creature below but this might be one of the finest.
This eagle tattoo features the great bird with its wings fully outstretched, revealing its impressive wingspan and branching from one side of the subject’s hand to the other. This piece is smaller in scope and design than most of the other tattoos seen here but is there is still no mistaking it as the mighty eagle.
Appearing to depict the great bird making a turn as it lowers its left wing, this eagle tattoo offers an interesting angle from which to view the animal. The direction of this piece is also interesting as it places the eagle in a vertical position as opposed to vertical. This piece contains a large amount of dark shading and fits nicely on the man’s leg.
This substantial black and gray chest piece presents a fearsome eagle with its wings outstretched. It seems quite likely that here the eagle represents strength and power or even perhaps rebirth. The detail in the bird’s wings from feather to feather is fantastic, an aspect which helps make eagle tattoos one of the most popular tattoo ideas in 2020. The dark shading surrounding the piece is worth noting as well as it accentuates the contrast of dark and light within the figure of the eagle itself.
Making for a great arm piece, this eagle tattoo is quite exquisite. It is well-arranged in terms of the unique position the eagle is captured in as well as the overall placement of the powerful, symbolic bird. While it is not clear what meaning the eagle holds in this particular piece, the bird seems to always give off a raw sense of power.
Here is an eagle tattoo that primarily focuses on the creature’s glorious head. The bird has a deathly-serious look on its face that gives it a rather grim appearance but also one of great awesomeness. For even with this isolated look at the eagle’s face and neck it can be clearly seen that this is an extraordinary animal. Additionally, the piece fills in this man’s upper-arm quite well.
This eagle tattoo displays two eagles. One of them, the bigger image, is I close up of an eagle’s head. The creature looks calm but alert. Toward the bottom of this image is another, a smaller eagle swooping in for the kill with its wings held high and its head dialed in to whatever misfortunate prey lies below. The contrast of these two angles of an eagle could be placed alongside one another to show a sort of before and after, story-like piece. For example the larger, close up eagle portrait could be presented as the hunter bird scouting the land for wild game with its notoriously good eyesight. Subsequently, the second depiction could be made to show the eagle in action once it has found its target. Tattoos present an entire world of artistic and thematic possibilities.
This eagle tattoo is exceptionally well done as the feathers of the bird look stunning and the expanse of the piece covers the man’s chest with quite a strong effect. This eagle looks to have two heads so perhaps it is in some way harkening back to a similar symbol, the two-headed eagle of the Holy Roman Empire.
Seen here is a tattoo of a screaming eagle flying in to, presumably, attack their game. Accompanying this winged-hunter is what appears to be a symbol (perhaps an emblem) of some sort that shows a globe and other elements. This symbol looks a great deal like the United States Marine Corps. logo. If this is so then it would seem reasonable to infer that this particular eagle tattoo has been inked as a sign of American pride. Or, to be more specific, pride for American Marine serviceman
This eagle tattoo is another American traditional work and it looks fantastic. The eagle in this piece is perched atop a brown frame in which can be seen a great ship sailing through a region accented by palm trees and a yellow sun peaking out of clouds. It is a beautiful image and while it does appear to exist within a frame of sorts it also looks to be three dimensional as the ship more or less sails out of the confines of the frame. The placement of the eagle in this tattoo may be a sign of protection as it seems to be watching over the expedition below.
A more scrappy, sketch-esque piece is seen here. It is simple in many ways. However, upon taking a closer look, one will notice that there are multiple elements involved in this eagle tattoo. There is the American flag being gripped by the eagle. There is the eagle itself, which involves some pleasant gray shading and also a tasteful amount of gold shading (not too much, but just enough). Additionally, there are also two different types of flowers shown as pieces of what could be considered a sort of ink-garnish. All of this together makes for a visually and stylistically appealing piece. Many times tattoos are made or broken by whether or not their individual composing elements work well with each other. This is a case where they certainlly do.
This eagle tattoo shows the great bird on an impressive scale. The eagle, the obvious focal point of this piece, is seen soaring across a man’s back amongst would looks like a very minimalistic depiction of some sort of rock face or inside a cave. This eagle is shaded with rich brown on its body, a detailed white for its neck and head and a fitting yellow for its beak and feet. While the outline of the rocks does not give a clear picture of the entire scene, it does leave a great deal to the imagination, which in some cases is even more effective.
This is a beautiful chest tattoo. It features a large, majestic eagle descending upon a body of water. The eagle is is only done in black and gray which makes it an interesting contrast to waves it’s approaching, as they contain a deep, gorgeous blue. To make this tattoo even more visually interesting, a sky full of clouds residing at the top of the piece is merely made of a series of relatively-simple loops and curves. All of this together makes the tattoo bold but understated, and as a result, rather intriguing.
This is a superb example of an eagle tattoo. This piece’s focal point is the beautifully textured plumage of the intense and attention-demanding bird. This piece has been so well designed and applied to this man’s body that it truly looks like it is descending from above the man’s body down to his chest. It is truly remarkable how realistic and lifelike an artist can make his or her piece, particularly when it comes to moving animals and object.
This eagle tattoo is a bit more abstract as it most of the eagle has turned into what looks to be red and blue paint splatters. Perhaps this is another patriotic piece as the American flag is largely made up of red and blue and the eagle is a common American symbol of pride and celebration.This tattoo is quite different from those listed here before it as it looks at the eagle in a more contemporary/modern way rather than the more typical realistic or American traditional styles.
Eagle Tattoo FAQs
What does an eagle symbolize?
The eagle has been known to symbolize and/or be associated with a variety of different things. These include, but are not limited to: the Greek god Zeus, The United States of America, the renewal of youth and various different biblical passages.