Hummingbird tattoos enshrine the deepest expressions of bliss imaginable, and these fluttering creatures are deeply symbolic insignias on every level. Their incredible meaning is a cause for everyone to rejoice!
Without a doubt, the best symbol for love and joy is definitely a hummingbird tattoo.
These miniature animals are metaphysically equated with a variety of inherently esteemed characteristics, so their depiction automatically offers a bounty of positivity.
Their elusive persona makes them a serenely rare gift of nature.
Because they move their wings in a sideways figure-eight, hummingbirds are often thought to be associated with infinity. Their speedy movements are an inspirational sight to behold, and their capacity for backwards movements is sometimes attributed to quantum leaps.
These quaint little friends are extremely fond of nectar, so a hummingbird tattoo will constantly remind you to focus on the sweet things in life. They also do not fare well in captivity, so the birds are regularly attached to the importance of freedom.
From an aesthetic point of view, these flying critters are richly colorful. They are guaranteed to earn a happy reception with their startling hues of yellow, green and ruby.
Take a peek at this enlivening list to perceive the poignant nature of hummingbird tattoos firsthand.
Hummingbird Tattoo Ideas
An exceptional small hummingbird tattoo delivered with realistic detail and eclectic supporting design choices. The use of a range of circles – finished, colored, incomplete, double-dipped, and spiraled – create opportunities for the artist to add colorful fills and build out from the more muted, lifelike plumage. The small flourishes of dotwork, paint splatter, cracking lines and white ink, add fun texture layers to the bird watching guide presentation of the main image.
A fantastic upper arm tattoo mixing abstract design concepts with brilliantly executed watercolor fill. The strafing black lines are a great illustration of reeds, adding strength to the delicate color scheme. The birds themselves play it straight – they’re etched cleanly in traditional shade and form opposition to the brightness found elsewhere through the long, flowing art that does a nice job avoiding the subject’s other tattoos.
This piece displays solid fundamentals in shape, white ink, and backing fill. The choice to fill with an exceptional shade of forest green and stretches of dotwork/zigzagging line form fantastic background, that could be considered stronger than the pale green of the hummingbird. Maybe a more contrasting colored bird – powder blue or even bright yellow- could help the tattoo pop more off the skin.
A killer single needle line hummingbird tattoo drawing on geometric and tribal elements in its’ strong design. The wide array of feather fills make for a busy yet striking piece of art contrasting well opposite a sinuous dragon. There is a huge amount of space between the two tattoos, it’s likely more images and a range of fill patterns will be added to this tattoo over time.
An unfinished hummingbird tattoo depicting the bird about to feast on roses. The traditional black and gray shading in this chest ink is cleanly executed, working inward from strongly etched black outline. The positioning on the chest is also cool – it will play against the flowers cleanly but also allow for a range of possible fill options.
Cool photography to capture this sensationally flowing sleeve in one image. This realism tattoo excels with spacing and line work to fashion a great scene in black and gray. The subtlety of hummingbird and simple shade technique in the flower is a demonstration of highly skilled technique. The artist’s ability to show discipline in line and curve works fantastically given there would be temptation to get busy with fill options and more stylized shading.
A crisply etched small hummingbird tattoo on the subject’s inner bicep. This is excellent work. The bird displays clarity and realism in design and execution, with white ink highlights further finishing off the concept for both bird and bush. The isolated drops of color work cohesively in contrast with the gray scale shading.
This is a killer stylized hummingbird on the move. Threading negative space puts the ink into sections, prompting the wonderful use of curve to flow through the tattoo from beak to tail. The spare shading contrasts well with the thick lines of simple black ink.
While it may not be as sexy and exciting as some other hummingbird tattoos in this article, this bird is no less brilliant. It’s a tremendous example of precision animal realist art, looking like it’s been pulled straight out of an illustrated bird watcher’s handbook. It’s almost flawless in relating accurate color and line details displaying the hummingbird’s true likeness. The skill level displayed in ruffled orange plumage stands out as almost flawless technical skill.
A beautifully placed sweeping hummingbird depicted by the combination of black line and tremendous watercolor fill. The bird seems languid, rising from the chest of the subject and on to his shoulder in a flood of color, with cleverly built outline providing framework and texture. The droplets of ink are canny pieces of alt fill which contrasts well with the multitude of curving lines.
Can’t be certain, but this guy appears to be mustering a hummingbird army. This is a cool piece of body art, with over a dozen realistic bird tattoos flying everywhere from the left side of his stomach up to his bicep. The artist has displayed great technique in depicting the birds in different types of motion – a tricky proposition when there’s so many individuals to display.
Remember the unfinished chest tattoo from earlier in the article? Well, here it’s completed in beautifully inked black and gray, with hummingbird’s bookending a curving line of traditional black and gray roses. The clarity in the shade is a highlight of the tattoo as it works outward from the clean, single needle black line. There could be other elements added, but if this is the finished product you could be ecstatic with the quality of this art.
Beautiful, crisp shapes build this epic, small hummingbird tattoo into an innovative piece of body art. It’s fantastically done in a group of flat colors designed to play off each others angles. The clarity is next level and gives the ink a stamp like quality. This is a gold star tattoo.
A beautiful shoulder and upper chest art work linking hummingbirds with a brilliant bouquet of flowers designed to augment pre-existing work. The artist has been smart in color choice and style. The birds themselves are realistic – the white ink highlights are excellent – and capturing them in action further adds to the reality scenario. It will be interesting to see how the previous tattoos black shadow edges are updated in line with the rest of the flower patterns.
An amazing color hummingbird tattoo crafted with genuine skill. The artist’s use of two tone blue in the tail feathers and feelers are exceptionally clear and fresh, while the small pockets of bright green in this image are much more effective than that found in other work of this kind. My favourite part though is the bird’s beak, small, narrow, pink, and ready to draw pollen from any flower crossing it’s path.
A cool variation on trash polka style tattoo. The hummingbird mixes great abstract shade elements in an eclectic mix of colors, especially the patchwork quilt checked cammo. As is often the case with this style of ink, there’s a few bits resembling stamps or stickers and snatches of script, however the ubiquitous bright red ink is missing for once.
An awesome twin hummingbird tattoo. The artist has done fantastically to individualize the two birds – fresh, clear differences in color patterns particularly in the head shading – while retaining the same shape and outlook as they work in opposition across the subject’s chest. The detailed blackwork within the wings and tail feathers is innovative, as the hybrid dots flow into the flatter black color to create a tight piece of realism.
A nicely drawn black and gray traditional upper arm tattoo. Like the use of white ink highlights to delineate the bird’s shape against the scrawl of fuzzy black shadow, and create dotted markings along the chest and stripes along the bird’s wings.
I like how this hummingbird tattoo slightly overlaps the nebulous shadow sun below it, without looking ridiculous or out of place. This effect works because of the subtlety in this area’s shade and use of a fine black line to depict the edge of skull. The shading effects are done with panache – while fuzzier the color bleed along the wings is well coordinated. The detailed eye gives the hummingbird a more fierce outlook than other ink of this kind.
These hummingbirds show excellent color fill – it looks almost as if the artist has colored the birds in with sponges instead of a tattoo needle. They’re angry looking fellas, visage well depicted with black lines highlighted by squiggles of white. Their placement is just right as well, neither too close to be cramped or too far apart to need bridging back fill.
A nice image. The shading is epic, textured to look like granite stone in keeping with gargoyles or silly garden ornaments. Stylistically, there are a couple of issues – the wings are a trifle too short and the area under the beak more fat than strongly developed. There are a few white ink highlights that could be thickened, then a background color or shade could surround the hummingbird and provide more shape.
This 3D abstract tattoo in traditional black and gray style is tremendous. Love the audacity of mixing animal realism components with a skull, slap bang in the middle of the snarling wolf tattoo – it’s brilliant from both a concept and delivery standpoint. The hollowed out line work of vines which trap the hummingbirds at the top of the image are sensational as they snake and flow cleanly in amongst the gray scale shaded birds. And check out the amazing fur fashioned from a mixture of short, curving lines and fill – it’s as good as it gets to provide thick texture and a genuine look.
A cool realist hummingbird tattoo showing the bird on the move. The ‘star jump’ aspect and positioning on the arm fits well. Like the almost brickwork pattern of chest feathers alternating, black, gray, and white highlights.
Got to get that pollen. This is a sweetly etched hummingbird smashing a few flowers for breakfast. It looks good in black and gray, however may be more eye catching if either the bird, or more likely the flowers, were threaded with bright color. This technical shift would produce a fantastic contrasting image without needing to sacrificing the elegant gray scale focus of the rest of the art work.
This is a brilliant animal scene built upon crisp alternating colors to provide switches in texture and flow. The temptation would have been to apply black line work throughout for clarity, however the masterful color work by the tattooist has made that unnecessary. Each image within the tattoo shifts due to color, angle, or shape manipulation, giving the body art a classical botanist text book effect.
The entirety of this image is likely not fully finished, given there’s two empty roses either side of the hummingbird and a lot of clean skin. The concept of filling the hummingbird with tribal style etching looks good – it’s a crisp pattern, the bird’s outline looks well placed on the skin, and as always the black and red alt fill works in opposition.
A beautifully executed sketch style hummingbird. It’s a light, elegantly crafted bird utilizing skillfully subtle shade characteristics backing crisp, fluid black line tattooing. The backing geometric triangles in dotwork form a nice contrasting shape to the hummingbird.
A cool upper arm tattoo, although you could think the hummingbird is actually upside down! Switch its eyes and a couple of line effects and boom, new bird. The dark aspected internal shading is reminiscent of dragon or koi scales with the half moon hash etchings of fine black line. It’s a strong effect in opposition to the well balanced, hybrid dot work effect of the supporting mandala tattoo.
Love how this epic arm tattoo transitions through brilliantly delivered styles. The hummingbird on the hand is realistic with geometry providing a nice alt fill. The tattoo moves up the arm with a fantastic array of mosaic tile effects featuring black line, dotwork, and negative space variations, before being sectioned off by a flat black ink tribal type piece heading up the arm.
A brilliant small tattoo as the hummingbird breaks from the shackles of stone to fly free. The slight variations in gray scale shading reflect the differences in black line work effects, well supported by simple dotwork geometric concepts to give it shape and scale.
A great sketch style piece of ink. Again, placement is essential to strengthening the overall look of the piece as the hummingbird seemingly flies sideways on the inner forearm. The shading is subtle and allows soft velvety fuzz to shine throughout, changing up only to fashion contours within the bird’s frame.
This is a nice color hummingbird piece which relies on internal variations to give it contrast within the simple black outline. To give it a stronger outlook some subtle, fine ink black line could help provide extra clarity. The artist’s depiction of the hummingbird’s eye is a cool technical part of the tattoo.
The curvature in this hummingbird tattoo is tremendous and gives it a fantastic look placed on the subject’s upper chest and shoulder. However the cloud effect and flowing lines may be at the wrong angle, as it makes the bird’s wings look overly elongated. It could be improved with an angle change, or more easily some white highlights along the wing tips to differentiate from the background.
Love this hummingbird tattoo mixing black and gray with American Traditional concepts such as ultra crisp, slightly thicker black line and motifs such as anchors, rope, and roses. The gradient shading in this tattoo is brilliant at giving an almost colorful perspective, with the chest feathers in particular looking dappled by clever negative space.
A wicked small chest tattoo smartly fashioned into a heart shaped piece. It’s a great use of line tattoo and curved shade to create a wonderfully clean image, with the hummingbird’s wings in particular flowing nicely into the upper bump of the heart.
This is a bad ass attack hummingbird with a punk studded collar around it’s neck. It looks to be carrying a boosted ankh back to his owner. In Ancient Egypt the ankh symbolized life, and was often linked to kingship. As cool as the collar and ankh are though, the best part of the tattoo is the unique plumage effect. It’s strong, strange, and in keeping with the oddity of the rest of the work.
Another beautiful inner arm sleeve tattoo. This hummingbird is beautifully clean and realistic. The background of plant and flower is freshly sketched and supports the spot on darker detail of the bird. The key to success here is the well placed portions of white ink highlight to strengthen the leaf’s veins and certain feathered areas of the bird.
Another cool tattoo mixing up different hummingbirds and fashioning a series into a large piece. By doing this the artist is able to use great shape and shade variations to further individualize each bird.
Not going to lie, these are weird looking hummingbirds despite how well they’re crafted. The issue lies with the bird’s eyes – they look human instead of like a real bird’s eye and completely throw the rest of the tattoo out of balance. The shading of wings and undercarriage is excellent – it’s a unique and eye catching pattern balanced cleanly against the outstretched wings.
The watercolor works beautifully in relief of the more realistic bird color scheme of this epic calf tattoo. Love how it’s etched – a mixture of clean detailed line and small bird detail effects. The artist’s decision to thread a long, thick black line in the background of the tattoo allows the chance for the blue and red to interact.
A fantastic, spare hummingbird tattoo done purely in black line like a kid’s activity book. It’s well worked, with good co-ordination between the various shapes and facets. This ink can happily stay as is or be extended into a variation of an American traditional piece featuring solid color, or an old school black and gray shaded beauty. With the image involving birds and flowers bright summer colors would provide this tattoo pop in an epic fashion.
This hummingbird tattoo is wild. The artist’s ability to translate the wing movement into a great ink effect here is a display of good technique, augmented by realistic plumage on the chest and around the face. The choice of flowers is innovative, moving away from classic interpretations such as lillies, roses, and lotus flowers.
A Japanese Irezumi style tattoo mixing classic black and gray concepts with colorful flowers. The choice to use a fine line black needle in fashioning the hummingbird fits naturally against the thicker background shade fill of waves and clouds. The size and placement of the piece will allow for additional ink over the chest or down the lower part of the arm being able to be incorporated with ease.
A darker style black and gray sketch tattoo, with the artist cleverly deploying fine white ink highlights to liven up the art work. It’s a simple, small tattoo that could benefit from another image – flowers, branches etc – to complement the piece.
A cool small tattoo that maybe needs more emphasis on the hummingbird’s tail feathers. It looks like the stinger for a bee, slightly throwing the rest of the well etched image out of whack. Aside from the tail shape this bird flows skilfully on the inner forearm with clean, crisp black line and detailed shading.
A sombre looking hummingbird that could do with a gentle hug. There’s clean, black outline combining with unique patterns internally to fashion plumage, while the wings are done in gray shade and negative space to complement the color scheme. One area I’d commit to improving are the little line fill for claws, in such a realistic tattoo putting proper talons in would be more effective.
The white ink highlights take this from being a forgettable hummingbird tattoo to a strong, cleverly etched small art work. It’s effective at creating a more movement based image offsetting the gray blandness of the base ink.
Now these are original. A series of small hummingbirds with no features outside of an almost sand like fill. The technical aspect of this sketch tattoo is noteworthy – the variation of shades from black through neg space create a wonderful series of ripples through the ink.
A killer mix of bird realism with Aztec style patterns. The old school skulls and shells alternate outside of a negative space sun, with the hummingbird cruising through the middle. The bird itself looks a bit uncomfortable, but the shading is deft in the detailed feathers.
Another tattoo that achieves a great mobile wing effect while still maintaining realism. The hummingbird’s head is perfectly executed and supported by clever shade fill – the flecks of black in gray on the lower body are well done.
A minimalist origami hummingbird that probably gets mistaken for a crane all the time. The line work here is quite messy – so much so that i’m not sure whether it’s done on purpose or has just been etched freehand. Personally, I would always err on the side of crispness in an art work of this type. The use of a traditional diamond image to represent the bird’s head is a cool touch of style.
This hummingbird is executed to seem as if it’s hovering over water. It’s a nice piece, however it does need additional work to fill out the effect, such as a water line below and other fill images, or even shading application. This would do wonders for the balance and shape.
The tremendous use of negative space fashions this realist hummingbird into a beautifully rendered tattoo. The classical gray rose is augmented by neg space petals, while the mist flows through and along every level of the piece.
Wow. This bad ass full arm sleeve demonstrates the best of realism color tattoo. The clarity and depth at each stage of the ink is flawless, beginning with fantastic green/yellow back fill allowing the brighter colors of bird and flowers to pop off the subject’s skin. Surprisingly, there’s not a lot of black ink line work – the tattoo utilizes the color transitions for maximum contrasting effect.
A larger type of hummingbird image that shows the bird in profile rather than in full. This part of the ink is brilliant – it’s clear, fresh and unique. The flower too is effective – bright colors mixing with alt color fill and white highlight – however the stamen and pollen is exceptionally dark. Some sticky, bright yellow squiggles and dots could be placed in here to relieve the dark shade a bit without getting away from the core message.
Another realistic hovering hummingbird with a great shell – the black ink lines are detailed and crisp – allowing a natural border for the gray scale to work against in transition. White highlights provide a nice flourish, however the eye is just a black hole bored into the bird’s face. It could do with a bit of a touch up to bring it more to life.
A wicked watercolor tattoo. The artist has fantastically balanced shape and a bright color palette in fashioning a swathe of background effects, then doubled down with more intricate, vivid color in the hummingbird’s actual plumage. This could only be done because of a very well captured outline in fine black needle. It’s also placed well in the no-man’s land of chest and shoulder, which means the subject could get different styled work around it and not redefine this art.
This beautiful hummingbird is exceptional line work. It’s so clean it looks like it’s been drawn on brightly just five minutes ago with a sharpie. Love the stylized mandala pattern on the bird’s chest for an innovative take on what is essentially a realistic bird. The tail feathers in particular looks stylish with elegant flowing lines supported by just a touch of shading.
Hummingbird Tattoo FAQs
What does the hummingbird symbolize?
The hummingbird is a tremendously versatile tattoo motif and is popular in connecting a variety of ink styles and techniques. The hummingbird represents variations on positivity and is most often associated with symbols of good luck, joy, freedom and optimism.
Hummingbird tattoos can also symbolize overcoming life’s more difficult periods to start fresh with a new mindset and goals. In Christianity, they’re considered a messenger from heaven sent to help individuals move on from grief and loss.