Bird tattoos are one of the most popular tattoo designs among tattoo lovers. They are around for a hundred years in different forms for people to choose from. In the past, bird tattoos existed only on the arms of fisherman and sailor, but nowadays, as time changed, they can be seen on everyone. Both women and men are sporting these tattoos in a lot of different forms.
They become even more popular because of their artistic designs. They can come in different styles and shapes, and we can implement it in any tattoo design. If you look for something inspirational and spiritual, a tattoo of any bird will be perfect. This is especially true as birds are a strong metaphor for human emotions and life. Birds symbolize the many phases of our lives.
Also, bird designs usually depict human emotions and feelings. Divine love, devotion, faith, and humanity are the things which we can usually depict through tattoos of birds. One of the most common tattoos of birds among tattoo lovers is one of a dove. However, today we are going to talk about the frigate bird tattoo.
- Frigate bird – what to know about this family of seabirds?
Frigate birds are a family of seabirds, which are called Fregatidae, and exist across tropical, as well as subtropical oceans. The classification of the five extant species is in one single genus, the Fregata. All of them have predominantly black plumage, long, and deeply forked tails, as well as long hooked bills. The females have white underbellies, while the males have a different red gular pouch, which they actually inflate during the season of breeding, in order to attract females. They have long and pointed wings and can span up to 2.3 meters, the largest wing area to body weight ratio of any bird.
Having the ability to soar for weeks on various winds currents, frigate birds spend most of their time during the day in flight and hunting for food. They also roost on trees or cliffs during the night. The main prey of these birds is squid and fish, caught when other animals, like tuna, chase them to the water surface. They are also referred to as kleptoparasites because they occasionally rob other seabirds for food. They construct their nests in the low trees or on the ground on remote islands. During each breeding season, they lay only one single egg. The duration of their parental care is actually among the longest of other bird species. They only have the ability to breed every other year.
- Symbol of frigate bird and its use in tattoos.
The frigate bird can symbolize many different aspects. While some people see it as an opportunistic symbol, it is quite a quick and able animal symbol. It has a commanding presence, so it is not afraid to act when needed.
Some of the symbolic meanings which this bird has are:
- Commanding presence;
- Ability to communicate.
The symbolism of frigate birds usually finds its association with their thieving behavior. However, when we look closely at this bird, we can see that it can symbolize a lot more. Its large wingspan and maneuverability negate its inability to swim. It permits it to stay in the air for a few days and fly and also turn quickly to snatch prey out of the water. It even reflects one that is conscious of its shortcomings but also uses its powers to negate the flaws.
This bird is also quite commanding and attractive. As a brightly and large colored animal, it naturally commands attention. The presence of this bird makes it well-known to every person that views it. This also makes the frigate bird the natural symbol of confidence with ample capacity.
The frigate bird design of Rapa Nui or Easter Island, which is quite schematic, as well as minimalist design, is not unlike the other tattoos in Polynesia, which utilize the seabirds as motifs.
In ecological terms, it is a significant symbol. As the island became deforested, maybe even affected by some larger changes in climate, or also exploitation by the human population, the population of this bird dropped. Moreover, some other species were eliminated. The frigate bird motif sometimes has a connection with the birdman deity. Generally said, in the Pacific, this tattoo was the representation of proximity of land to the seafaring voyagers of the islands.
The frigate bird can be the symbol of strength and ability to last long when in flight. It also assures one of the ability to preserve or outlast other individuals in their endeavors.
The use of this bird in tattoo art has a lot of symbolic meanings, which we already mentioned. That’s why you should take this design into consideration if you are thinking about getting a new tattoo. You will not regret it, believe us!