What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean?

What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean
Swallow tattoos symbolize travel and freedom, as well as returning home. Once used by sailors to show sailing prowess, swallow tattoos now come in all shapes and sizes with a variety of designs and colors. You can choose from a simple black and grey swallow tattoo or opt for a more colorful variant with a compass in the background. We’ve compiled a list of the different types of swallow tattoos and their placements for you to peruse and pick a tattoo that resonates with you! What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean.

Why do sailors get tattoos of swallows?

Arrow-Left arrow-down arrow-down arrow-down Arrow-Left Arrow-02-Left Arrow-02-Right arrow-up Arrow-Right big-left-arrow big-right-arrow close Cloudy directions eye Facebook Hail-Stone Arrow-Left image-icon twitter-inline instagram-inline Linkedin Mail mark Mist Night Partly-Cloudy-Night-Time Partly-Cloudy Rain scroll-arrow search-01 Sleet Snow speech Sunny Thunder-Lightening TripAdvisor TripAdvisor twitter-inline twitter video-icon YouTube In the Georgian period, the expansion of the British Empire rested on the power of the Royal Navy.

  • Every sailor was proficient with a needle and some turned from mending sails and darning socks to marking each other, presumably using gunpowder and urine for ink;
  • It was thought that gunpowder offered the mystical powers of protection and long life;

Improved record keeping by the Royal Navy began to note descriptions of distinguishing marks on sailors’ bodies, including tattoos. These records show designs that are very intimate; marks of love, loss and life events. Others demonstrate national identities, religious faith, and patriotic pride.

From milestones and magic to patriotism and talismans, we’ve looked into some popular nautical designs and the meanings behind them … A swallow – Swallow tattoos are one of the most popular in the navy and have a number of meanings.

Each swallow represents 5,000 nautical miles in a sailor’s career. The circumference of the earth is 21,639 nautical miles – about 4. 16 swallows. A swallow with a dagger would be used as a memorial of a lost comrade at sea. Swallows are known for their migration patterns where they travel long distances from home and back again, a swallow tattoo would also mean that a sailor could always find their way home. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean An Anchor – A sailor would get an anchor tattoo to signify a successful Atlantic crossing. An anchor is also the most secure object on the ship so its image serves as an icon of stability. An anchor with a name in a banner shows that person gives them the reason to stay grounded. A pair of crossed anchors on the webbing between the thumb and forefinger signals that the person was a boatswain’s mate. Fully rigged ship – A fully rigged ship from the age of sail is one with three or more masts, sails fully deployed. This tattoo was originally worn by those who had circumnavigated the treacherous waters of Cape Horn, on the Southern tip of South America. King Neptune or Shellback Turtle  – Either of these incarnations signals the wearer has crossed the Equator and considers themselves to be a member of ‘King Neptune’s Court. ‘ What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Hold fast – One of the oldest examples of nautical tattooing, dating back to the 16 th century. These words are a charm spelled out on the four front-facing fingers on each hand, normally worn by the boatswain’s mate as a visual reminder to keep going in tough times. The boatswain’s mate would have to hold onto the rope and rigging as if his life depended on it. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Pig & Rooster With one on each ankle or on the feet, this design originated in the Second World War as protection against shipwreks or drowning. It derives from livestock transported in wooden crates that would float if a vessel went down, often leaving the animals as the only survivors. If a pig was tattooed on the left knee and a rooster on the right foot, then the tattoo represented an old saying: “Pig on the knee, safety at sea.

On the left hand means they had sailed all the oceans, on the right, means they sailed the Seven Seas. Ships today no longer have this type of rigging so often a boatswain’s mate will get this tattoo for tradition and as a reminder to hold on and persevere during tough times.

A cock on the right, never lose a fight. ” What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Twin propellers A representation of the dark humour often associated with seafaring. Each propeller was tattooed on a sailor’s butt cheek and was said to prevent drowning, as they could “propel” the wearer ashore. Nautical star Remains one of the most popular tattoos and it has several meanings. The tattoo is usually rendered as a five-pointed star with alternating colours to mimic the colours on the compass rose found on nautical charts. The star symbolises the North Star which helped sailors to navigate out at sea. It is a symbol of protection, guidance, and good luck. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Rope Usually placed around the wrist and is associated with the role of the deckhand, who had the responsibility of maintaining the hull, decks, superstructure, mooring, and cargo handling on a ship. Dragon / Golden Dragon A sailor with a dragon tattoo has sailed to Asia and a golden dragon means they have crossed the international date line. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Pin-Up Girls Life at sea meant leaving behind loved ones. The pin-up girl tattoo was a reminder of the ladies that waited for their safe return back home. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Mermaid A good luck charm and reminder of the dangers of the sea. Mermaids were said to lure sailors to their doom with their beauty and enchanting songs. This was a reminder that no matter how much sailors loved the sea it could be fickle and dangerous. Hula Girl A souvenir tattoo for a sailor who had been to Hawaii. Compass A good luck charm to ensure that a sailor never loses his way and is always able to return home. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Don’t forget to check out our Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed online exhibition: Enter Private View.

What does a sparrow tattoo symbolize?

The sparrow, while not the flashiest bird type, has become a popular choice for tattoos. Sparrow tattoos are usually associated with freedom, love, and commitment, but there are many other great meanings that can be attached to these designs. For decades, they have been used as a standard in animal tattoo imagery.

Traditional style “Sailor Jerry” tattoo images often include swooping sparrows with extended wings to indicate swift flight. The movement of the bird is a symbol of liberty and the freedom to travel where one pleases as well as quickness and cunning.

A sparrow with wings spread, clearly in flight, can also symbolize a swift mind, which is a unique meaning. While many may not see the sparrow as being a bird associated with love it has become a symbol of that over the years. When these birds mate, they mate for life and become a symbol of monogamy and fidelity in relationships. Tattoos bearing a pair of sparrows can represent not only love, but a strong commitment and loyalty. Sparrows are birds that are almost always traveling in a cluster with their clan.

This offers them protection and in terms of a tattoo design this can be used to convey inclusion and community. In this way, sparrows are an appropriate choice for marriage or couple’s tattoos and are placed on either member of a partnership.

Less romantically, sparrows may also be used in the case of friendship tattoos. In ancient Egypt, they believed that sparrows would catch the souls of those who were passing over. The sparrow would find the traveling soul and guide them to Heaven to help protect and preserve the departed.

  • Rather than depicting it in the traditional style, as an Egyptian symbol, the sparrow can be rendered like a hieroglyph with other Egyptian imagery included to create a larger piece;
  • Due to this belief, many people in modern times use sparrow tattoos as a way to memorialize their departed loved ones;

Often, a banner may be included bearing the name or birth/death dates of the person they are honoring. A pair of sparrows can be designed carrying the banner to further the idea of a soul that is caught and protected. Like the Ancient Egyptians, Mariners also believed that if a sailor dies at sea, the sparrow will take their soul to heaven.

  • Along with nautical imagery, sparrows are a large part of traditional sailor tattoos and serve as a means of protection and preservation while on the open waters;
  • Sparrows typically fly over land and not near the water and can serve as a representation of land and security for sailors;

In the traditional style, the bird is depicted from above in flight and often done in black and white or with blues or reds. Flowers can be included or images like anchors and compasses to create a fuller image. These birds are also a symbol of freedom to many and are often chosen by those who do not wish to be bound by societal rules.

  • An example of this would be the sparrow tattoo sported in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean by Captain Jack Sparrow;
  • The sparrow as a representation of counterculture is connected to the roots of tattoo design in the Western world and its origins on sailor’s bodies, people who lived outside of land and society for much of the time;

The sparrow is a cunning creature that is adept at camouflage and flight. They are always on the move searching for food or providing for their young. Clouds or other sky imagery is often added to depict a sparrow in flight. A sun and clouds can be included to indicate day and add brightness to the design while stars and a moon can be depicted with the bird to create a darker tone. The sparrow is also considered to be a symbol of joy to some people. As you might imagine, this is a meaning that a lot of people can get behind in their tattoos. The sparrow could represent a person’s want for joy in their life, or it could just mean that they are proud to bring joy into other people’s lives. Believe it or not, there really aren’t that many symbols of joy out there, so the sparrow is the bird tattoo to get if you want to use that meaning.

These characteristics make them a great symbol of creativity and productivity as well as the idea of keeping one’s burdens light to avoid a heavy heart. People in creative fields will sometimes get their sparrow tattoos to show off their artistic sides.

These birds are known for coming up with some creative solutions to their problems, including finding shortcuts through the sky to their destinations. If you are an artist, a musician, or someone who simply loves being creative, you might want to look into getting a sparrow tattoo.

  1. Another extremely cool sparrow tattoo meaning is productivity;
  2. They seem to get the most out of their lives by constantly moving and working, and best of all it seems to bring them joy! If you are the type of person who is happiest when you are efficiently using your time, then you’ll probably like the sparrow;

If you do decide to use this meaning, you might want to show the sparrow working on something in the design. If you happen to be interested in bird tattoos and you were looking for a design that shows you love the simple things in life, then you should definitely look into getting a sparrow tattoo. There really aren’t too many tattoos out there that represent someone’s friendliness, so this is definitely a good one to get if that is a quality you are known for and/or are proud of. This can work as a personal tattoo just for you, or you can even get it as a matching tattoo with a friend. In many cases people who choose to use the “friendliness” meaning with their sparrow tattoos will get multiple sparrows in the designs to make the meaning that much clearer.

These are not the types of birds that go off on their own trying to find something to do. No, they are the birds that love to stick to the basics, though they definitely do those “basic” things in creative ways.

Similarly, you can get the sparrow tattoo to symbolize your close friendship with someone else. Again, this can work as a personal tat or a matching tat. Those who get the friendship version of the sparrow tattoo will often have two or more birds flying together, sometimes even with smiling faces.

  • These can work with realistic sparrows or even as cartoony sparrows;
  • Another great meaning that you can use with sparrow tattoos is inclusiveness;
  • These birds can go off on their own, but they are always happiest when they have others with them, regardless of whether they know those other birds or not;

If you are someone who tries to find a way to get everyone involved, this might just be the bird tattoo that you want to go with. This is yet another case of the sparrow representing something that you just aren’t going to get from other animal tattoos.

Sometimes people decide to get their sparrow tattoos because of one or more of the meanings mentioned above, but in some cases they simply like that it is a black bird since black is a great color in tats.

Keep in mind that most bird tattoos share many meanings, so you might want to consider getting a sparrow design if you know you like its color and you don’t necessarily want to get too specific with the meanings. Of course, you can always use any of the sparrow tattoo meanings mentioned above if they make sense for you later on in life! Sparrows can be designed realistically to focus on the beautiful coloring and structure of the small bird. They are often chosen because many different types of sparrows are found around the globe and serve as a uniting symbol. All types of sparrows are quite small but clever creatures and represent both good and bad luck in a variety of world cultures. In modern designs, the outline of the flying sparrow is used and filled with patterns or line work, often in a Bohemian or Indian mehndi or henna style.

This can be done specifically for aesthetic appeal but also to indicate personal style. The sparrow is a harbinger of an individual’s style or preference, a symbol of the freedom to express oneself however one chooses.

With this in mind, you can probably see why a lot of people like to go in new directions with their sparrow tattoo designs. You don’t have to be too creative with these tattoos, but a lot of folks like to end up with unique tattoos to ensure that they don’t one day see the same design on someone else.

Where you choose to place your sparrow tattoo won’t change the meanings you use, but it can enhance them. For example, some people who want to use the “friendliness” meaning will place one sparrow below each collarbone, which adds in a very nice effect and makes the meaning that much clearer.

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You really can place these tattoos anywhere you want to, but you should think about how one area might work better for your design over the others. Regardless of whether you want to get a very simple sparrow tattoo design or a more complex one, you will definitely want to find an artist who you can trust to do the job right. A good idea is to look through some portfolios to see how well they have done on other people’s bird tattoos (or other animals). Once you do find the artist you want to hire, tell them the meanings you want to use and any other extra details you might want to include in the design.

  • Going through those steps will greatly improve your chances of ending up with a sparrow tattoo that you will always be proud of;
  • Hopefully you now have a better understanding of what the sparrow tattoo can represent and some of the ways that you can get these bird tats designed;

The fact is that the sparrow has more meanings than most other birds, making it an excellent choice for a lot of people. If you like the look of the bird and found that one or more of the sparrow tattoo meanings we’ve mentioned work perfectly for you, contact a local tattoo shop to have a design drawn up for you. Here are some of our favorite sparrow tattoo designs: What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean.

What does a swallow symbolize?

Final Thoughts – The swallow is an elegant bird known for its freedom of movement and representation of spring. Some of the oldest civilizations recognize the swallow as a positive symbol of luck, prosperity, and fidelity. When you learn the habits of the swallow it’s no wonder that these magnificent birds bring so much knowledge and representation to different cultures and religions across the world..

What does a swallow tattoo on the neck mean?

As far as I know a tattoo of a swallow on someones neck is something to do with prison and being someones “boyfriend” in prison, By the way Marc Almond does have a tattoo of a swallow Or maybe its the medication I am on ha ha that give me this idea This is from Wiki Symbolism of a Swallow Tattoo Here are opinions and answers from FAQ Farmers: 99 % of people I have seen with a pair swallows on their hands are as thick as [email protected] and on benefits. i recon this answers your qustion! Swallow tattoos are just that; tattoos of the swallow bird. Reading about it, they are the traditional tattoos of birds that are commonly seen on people. The swallows are an old sailors tattoo. Sailors got them for proof of the Navy and trust.

  • I’m getting one on my hand next week;
  • Sailors also got mum and dad with an anchor behind it;
  • Long ago, a sailor would get a swallow tattoo after successfully sailing a certain amount of miles (obviously a great deal of miles, but I’m not sure exactly how many);

Actually, all swallows return home to San Juan Capistrano every year. So the tattoos were used to say that you will always come home. They are a sign of loyalty, pride to both regions and people. It is said in an old superstition, that when you see a swallow for the first time in a new year it is an omen of wealth.

You’re supposed to rub the money in your wallet while watching the bird, in order to ensure wealth in the future. Sailors would have a swallow tattoo put on their chest after completing 5,000 sea miles and one on the other side after completing 10,000 sea miles.

Many sailors still get authentic Naval tattoos. Here is the origin of the swallow tattoo: there was a ship named the swallow, the men had a mutiny and the original seven mutineers had swallows tattooed on them so that they could identify each other. Out of this two things happened: 1.

People got swallows tattooed on them and lied about being one of the original seven; and 2. The authorities heard of this identification and searched for the seven sailors who got swallows to throw them off the right trail.

Since then sailors have gotten swallows for every 5,000 nautical miles, one on each side of their chest, when they would retire they would hang a string between the two birds and hang women?s underwear and stuff. The traditional tattoo means: A sailor gets a set of swallows on his chest.

The story goes if he or she drowns, the swallows come down and lift his soul to the heavens. Sailors would get swallows after sailing all seven seas. If they had one, they saved a man’s life. It?s a sign of trust, honor, dignity and respect.

Nowadays, they mean nothing more than some random tattoo that someone gets that has no meaning behind it. I’ve always heard that the swallows are a mark for sailing around the horns (the bottom of South America and Africa) or for crossing the Equator, both longitude and latitude.

Okay; the swallow is a tattoo that a sailor gets after traveling 5,000 nautical miles at sea, but the reason behind it is that a swallow is the “first sign that land is near”. To a sailor the swallow means a “safe return home”.

Swallows are known to travel far distances out to sea during migration and would rest on boats close to shore which gave early mariners the first sign that land was indeed close by. The horizon is 12 miles from a boater’s standpoint in the ocean (more if higher up) and swallows fly further then 12 miles out.

The swallow is also known as a sparrow and was worn by the famous pirate “Jack Sparrows”. The swallows traditionally mean 5,000 miles for the first and 10,000 miles for the second. When I got mine done, in honor of my grandfather, I was warned by the tattoo artist to be aware that, in terms of jail house tattoos, the bluebirds, swallows or sparrows can also stand for white supremacy or white power.

I am surprised that no one has commented on the connection that swallow tattoos have to rock and roll or music in general. I have always connected the swallows with a love, respect and appreciation for music. Much like the swallows always returning to San Juan, their home.

  1. I’ve always thought the tattoo represented always being home when you’re within the music;
  2. I’ve always associated swallow tattoos with loyalty and fidelity – swallows choose a mate for life and will only nest with that bird and no other;

Also they carry a message of hope, when sailors saw a swallow they knew that land was near. I actually wondered about this myself, and by chance a homeless person in London approached me, wanting to sell “the big issue” (a magazine). He had two swallows tattooed on his neck, so I asked him the meaning, and he said; “It?s kind of rude” and he whispered it to me, because my girl was with me and he was a gentleman.

  • He said it meant “Live long and f**k hard”;
  • I always thought that two swallows seen paired together symbolized freedom;
  • I heard that the swallow/sparrow tattoos are to commemorate a fallen friend or family member;

I would assume any persona that the bird has i. , devil horns, angel halo or even a knife through it would depict the dead person’s personality or trait. It just means that they were a “Hard Man” back in their day. Everyone that I have ever met with a swallow tattoo has been at least a bit psychotic.

  1. A swallow tattoo used to be worn by sailors back in the day;
  2. When you were out/lost at sea and you saw a swallow you knew you were close to land because these birds are never far from shore;
  3. They would follow the birds to safety or to home;

I think the idea is that when you had the swallow marked on your body it would always help you find your way home. They indicate that you’ve gone to prison and done your ‘bird’. From what I’ve heard and researched, swallows on the back of the hands are supposed to give you faster hands, such as in a fight or at work.

These tattoos are much more common in Great Britain. I’ve never heard of them meaning racism or white supremacy before. In Scotland it usually signifies a spell in the infamous Bar-L or Barlinnie prison in Glasgow.

I grew up in a bad area in Australia and a grandfather of a friend of mine came from England. He was a very hard man and the whole family were very tough and underworld related. I remember being a kid in their house when the grandfather was there and I asked him what his tattoos meant.

He looked down on me with a hard face and said in a thick English accent (they moved to Australia in the 70’s) “It means I can walk into any pub and put my hands on the bar and if anyone would want to fight, then I would fight them”.

He was a big guy and I had heard rumors of him tearing people apart. So I guess that they kind of mean courage, strength and loyalty. Oh yeah he was also a “Teddy Boy” in England, but I am not so sure what that is. The swallow tattoo in England means “these fists fly”.

It?s mainly seen on old guys now who used to be good fighters or well know hard men back in the day of the Krays, etc. Now younger people get them because they think they’re tough. But the bright new ink used nowadays doesn?t give the same look as the original tattoo.

I had a few tattoo artists tell me that sailors would get one bird tattooed on themselves after crossing the equator and the other when they came back. My Dad has a swallow tattoo on his hand. When asked about it, he said he got it when he was 13 because it was the cheapest in the shop! Swallow tattoos on a man’s hands and neck originated in British prisons from the term ‘jail-bird’.

Is swallow and sparrow the same?


The 6 main differences between a Sparrow and a Swallow – The main difference between sparrows and swallows is that swallows are thin and streamlined, build nests of mud, and hunt insects in the air, while sparrows are shorter and stockier, build nests of vegetation, and eat mostly seeds.

Sparrows and swallows are both relatively common birds than can be found across the United States. In fact, both of these birds are found worldwide, with the distribution of the swallow even extending into parts of Antarctica during certain seasons.

Although these birds may seem similar, they have quite different physical traits, as well as divergent habits and behaviors. Sparrows are songbirds that love to eat seeds and inhabit the same places as humans. Swallows are aerial masters and have evolved to eat insects in the air that they catch through amazing acrobatics. Let’s get started! What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean.

Where can I get a swallow tattoo?

Where to get your Swallow Tattoo? – What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Getting down to practical matters, if you’re looking to get a trendy swallow tattoo, where do you have it done? And what else do you have included in your design along with it? A little swallow nesting on your left shoulder can signify travel and adventure , loyalty and patriotism. Since these images can be scaled down to really small sizes, you could get one or more swallows inked onto your wrist on the inside, too. Many people like having a flock of birds in flight as part of their tattoo design. But the same image on the hands or neck could also mean something more sinister – like having spent time in jail, having “done your bird” (‘bird’ comes from Cockney slang for “bird lime” which means “doing time”). The most common locations for a swallow tattoo, however, are the chest, hip, shoulders or lower back. A swallow can be all by itself, or combined with elements like an arrow, cherry, banner, stars, or some text. Some swallow tattoos are in black only, while others are in bright, beautiful colors. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean.

Does Johnny Depp have a Jack Sparrow tattoo?

Many fans have wondered if Johnny Depp has a Captain Jack Sparrow tattoo, and the answer is yes. The Pirates of the Caribbean star has a tattoo representing Jack Sparrow on his right arm. But the tattoo also represents his son, Jack Depp, who was born in 2002.

What do two swallow tattoos mean?

Wrist Swallow Tattoo – Image Source: Instagram Wrists tattoos are increasingly popular, and the wrist swallow tattoos are no exception. This one looks magnificently and fits great with the blueish background. The twin swallows are usually the symbol of love, prosperity, and rich family relations, so tattooing two of them can hint at the care and affection, as well as fidelity and loyalty between two soul mates.

Are swallows good luck?

A young barn swallow preparing to fledge (Terry Johnson) By Terry W. Johnson Each year countless birds nest close to our homes. In Georgia, at least a dozen or more species of birds nest in our backyards. However, none offer a better chance to watch their nesting behavior than the barn swallow, especially when they nest on the side of a house or nearby outbuilding.

The barn swallow has the distinction of having the most expansive breeding range of any other swallow. That range stretches across much of North America, Europe and Asia. Depending on where swallows breed, they winter in Australia, South America or Africa.

Europeans often refer to the barn swallow as simply “the swallow. ” Thomas Jefferson called it the American swallow. Over the centuries, barn swallows have become very popular. For example, barn swallow is the national bird of both Austria and Estonia. In many cultures, when a barn swallow builds a nest on a barn it is considered good luck.

In Estonia, legend has it that anyone who commits the crime of killing a barn swallow with go blind. A Native American legend offers a fanciful explanation as to why the barn swallow has a forked tail. Supposedly, one day a barn swallow had the audacity to swipe fire from the gods.

The bird then gave fire to humans. In an effort to thwart this thievery, the gods shot flaming arrows at the bird. One hit the swallow at the base of its tail, burning away the central tail feathers. Ever since, the barn swallow has had two long outer-tail feathers separated by a wide space.

With such an expansive breeding range, over countless generations the barn swallow has developed an affinity for living close to humans. This has undoubtedly enabled the barn swallow population to grow as civilization swept across much of the globe.

Whereas the bird originally nested in places such as caves and cliffs, barn swallows began nesting on and in manmade structures such as sheds, barns, stables, bridges, docks, culverts and, well, you name it. In eastern North America, the swallow’s propensity for nesting on such structures is so strong that barn swallow nests are rarely found elsewhere.

In North America, historians believe barn swallows probably even nested on structures fashioned by Native Americans. When European colonists arrived in the New World, barn swallows quickly took advantages of buildings built by colonists.

Peter Kalm, a Swedish naturalist who visited what is now known as the northeastern U. during the mid-1700s, wrote that barn swallows nested both inside and on the outside of the colonists’ homes. Barn swallows have been documented nesting is some odd places such as a wrecked tanker marooned along the Massachusetts coast, in a kerosene lantern, in cellars, close by a blacksmith’s forge and even on a train.

If barn swallows nests on your home or outbuilding, you will have an unobstructed view of the birds’ entire nesting effort, from building the nest through fledging the young. If you watch the swallows’ nesting habits, the following description of the process will help understand what you are seeing.

Both the male and female swallows take part in selecting the nest site and construction, incubating the eggs, and feeding the young. Each year, about 44 percent of all barn swallows will return to nest in the same area they nested the previous year. If the birds decide to renovate their old nest, they begin by throwing out and replacing old nesting material and adding more mud around the nest’s rim.

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If the birds build a new nest, they will spend one to five days plastering a mud disk to the wall or other vertical surface where the nest will sit. This involves using their bills to collect pellets of sticky mud, mixing it with saliva and pieces of grass, straw, pine needles and even fishing line, and then attaching that material to the structure that will support the nest.

Once the base is in place, the birds work from three to 15 days fashioning a mud cup. If you closely examine the nest, you can actually see the outlines of the individual mud pellets that were used. The adults will then tackle lining the nest with a variety of materials such as hair (horse, human, etc.

  1. ), feathers, cotton, moss, rootlets and fine grass;
  2. For some reason, the female often spends more time lining the nest than the male;
  3. This part of the process can take one to five days;
  4. In all, building a nest will require 1,300 or more trips by a pair of barn swallows, a truly monumental task;

Once the nest is completed, the female spends three to seven days laying a clutch of three to seven white to pinkish eggs decorated with brown, lavender or gray spots. For the next 12 to 17 days, the pair will incubate the small, fragile eggs. When the eggs hatch, the adults will feed their rapidly growing young for 15 to 27 days, until they are ready to fledge.

  1. But that doesn’t mean the parents’ work is over;
  2. Barn swallows often nest twice a year;
  3. It should be noted that sometimes young swallows from the year’s first brood will help their parents feed the second brood;

While it might seem that nesting on or near our homes would offer protection to the eggs and young, that’s not always the case. For barn swallows, nesting is actually fraught with danger. House sparrows will pilfer the swallows nesting material. (Not to be outdone, barn swallows will steal nesting material from one another.

) House sparrows will also often puncture or even toss out the swallows’ eggs and young. Barn swallow eggs are also targeted for piercing by starlings, and even eastern phoebes will steal eggs from barn swallow nests.

If that isn’t enough, male barn swallows that don’t have mates will occasionally kill the young swallows. It is believed this is done to enable the perpetrator to eventually mate with the female that produced the young. Birds are not the only predators, of course.

  • Eggs and young are sometimes eaten by gray rat snakes, house cats and raccoons;
  • While the trials of barn swallow are not unique to them, the fact that these activities take place in plain sight—not in a nest box, treetop or deep within a shrub—provides a front row seat to a true wildlife drama;

If you have a barn swallow nest nearby and take the time to observe them, chances are you will gain a greater appreciation of these birds and the effort it takes for them to fledge their young. Terry W. Johnson is a former Nongame program manager with the Wildlife Resources Division and executive director of The Environmental Resources Network, or TERN, friends group of the division’s Nongame Conservation Section.

Why do sailors get sparrow tattoos?

Image courtesty of  Sailor Jerry In celebration of Norman Collins’ 103 rd  birthday next Tuesday, Sailor Jerry will be hosting events around the country and giving out 103 free swallow tattoos! You might have a swallow tattoo already or you’re just mulling the idea around as a future tattoo, but you might find the origins of this traditional flash image quite fascinating! Tattoo by Samuele Briganti. Source:  https://instagram. com/samuelebriganti Among the most popular recipients of this traditional bird would of course be sailors. Before the days of advanced navigation systems, sailors would only know they were near land once they spotted swallows in the skies.

  • This transpired into the tattoo meaning of a safe return to home;
  • They would also mark certain sailing accomplishments with a swallow such as traveling over 5,000 nautical miles, sailing all seven seas, crossing the equator, and sailing around the Horns (the bottom of Africa and South America);

A bit more on the morbid, yet spiritual side, it was believed that the swallows would carry a drown sailor’s soul from the depths of the ocean up to heaven. To honor a fallen comrade, a swallow with a dagger through its breast would often be depicted. Print by Quyen Dinh. Source:  Parlor Tattoo Prints For the lover: Swallows will choose only one mate and remain true to them for life so they’re often a representation of  finding true love  or loyalty. For the fighter: Men would often get swallows tattooed on the backs of their hands to show they were quick,  strong , and ruthless fighters! In some cultures the swallow is a symbol of rebirth and positive change which is something nearly all human beings experience at some point in their life. Image courtesy of  Sailor Jerry The beautiful  thing about any tattoo is that it can mean absolutely nothing or absolutely everything. No matter the interpretation of the swallow, this piece will always remain a staple in tattoo culture. More: 

  • Top 30 Best Tattoo Ideas For Girls On Back In 2022
  • 30 Best Half Sleeve Tattoo Ideas for Men in 2022


Why do prisoners have teardrop tattoos?

By C1 Staff Jail staff can stay safer by knowing as much as they can about inmates. And sometimes, inmates make it easy to know exactly what they’ve been up to through the use of tattoos. Here are 15 tattoos and their secret meanings. Know a different meaning for the tattoos displayed here? Share it in the comments. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean 1488   (Photo freetattoodesigns. org) This number can be found on white supremacist/Nazi inmates. The numbers 14 or 88 on their own can also be used, which sometimes creates confusion. Fourteen represents fourteen words, which are a quote by Nazi leader David Lane: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children.

  1. Be sure to check out more of our coverage on prison tattoos, including 15 more prison tattoos and their meanings , 12 Russian prison tattoos and their meanings , and a collection of inmate takes on prison ink;

” The 88 is shorthand for the 8 th letter of the alphabet twice, HH, which represents Heil Hitler. Typically, these tattoos can be found anywhere on the body. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean The Cobweb  (Photo Timeless Tattoos Glasglow) Cobwebs typically represent a lengthy term in prison. The symbolism is associated with spiders trapping prey; or criminals trapped behind bars. This tattoo is commonly found on the elbow, signifying sitting around so long with your elbows on the table that a spider made a web on your elbow, though it can also be located on the neck. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Teardrop  (Photo trendfashion2013) One of the most widely recognized prison tattoos, the teardrop’s meaning varies geographically. In some places, the tattoo can mean a lengthy prison sentence, while in others it signifies that the wearer has committed murder. If the teardrop is just an outline, it can symbolize an attempted murder. It can also mean that one of the inmate’s friends was murdered and that they are seeking revenge.

If you see a multi-colored web, it’s probably not a prison tattoo; tattoo ‘artists’ in jail rarely have access to colored ink. The teardrop has been popularized recently by rappers and other celebrities, but still remains a staple in prisons.

Those who are newbies behind bars with a teardrop tattoo will make a lot of enemies, fast. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Five-point crown  (Photo Gwan Soon Lee Tattoo) This is the symbol of the Latin Kings gang, which is one of the biggest Hispanic gangs in the U. based out of Chicago. The crown will often be accompanied by the letters ALKN, which stands for Almighty Latin Kings Nation. The five points are due to the Latin Kings being an affiliate of the People Nation gang, which is represented by the number five. Latin Kings have a huge presence both in and out of prison, and their roots go back to the 1940s. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Three dots (Photo Whiserkino) The three dots tattoo is a common prison tattoo that represents “mi vida loca,” or “my crazy life. ” It’s not associated with any particular gang, but with the gang lifestyle itself. This tattoo is typically found on the hands or around the eyes. It can also carry some religious significance, such as representing Christianity’s holy trinity. The three dot tattoo is often created using a stick-and-poke method, requiring very rudimentary tools. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Five dots   (Photo My Sarisari Store) These dots differ greatly from the previous tattoo – five dots represents time done in prison. Also known as the quincunx, the four dots on the outside represent four walls, with the fifth on the inside representing the prisoner. This tattoo can be found internationally, among both American and European inmates. The dots are typically found on an inmate’s hand, between the thumb and forefinger. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean The clock with no hands  (Photo Tattoo Me Pink) This tattoo is, fairly obviously, representative of ‘doing time’ and doing a lot of it. Those serving a longer sentence might get this tattoo done on their wrist, with watch straps and all, much like a real watch. The clock face itself can come in a few forms, such as the face of a wall clock or a grandfather clock. Not all clock tattoos are tied to prison; generally just the ones lacking hands. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Aryan Brotherhood  (Photo Media Lib) This prison gang has a variety of tattoos to look out for, ranging from ‘AB’ to Nazi symbols like a swastika or SS bolts. The Brotherhood makes up 1 percent of the inmate population, but are responsible for 20 percent of murders inside of U. prisons, so identifying these tattoos are extremely beneficial. The tattoos can also be referred to as Alice Baker, the One-Two, or The Brand. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Norte ñ o  (Photo Know Gangs) Norteño tattoos represent the Nuestra Familia gang, which is associated with Hispanic gangs in Northern California. Their tattoos include the word Norteño, Nuestra Familia, a sombrero symbol, the letter N or the number 14, symbolizing the 14 th letter of the alphabet (yup – the letter N). The Norteños are rivals of the Suerños, Hispanic gangs based out of Southern California.

Other details of the crown, such as the colors of the jewels in the points, can have a whole other level of hidden meanings. Five dots on other parts of the body can have different meanings, such as an association with the People Nation gang.

The unofficial dividing line between the two is in Delano, California. The Norteños identify themselves with red bandanas and mainly get their income from smuggling and distributing cocaine, heroin and meth. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean La Eme   (Photo Police Mag) ‘La Eme,’ or The M, is the symbol of the Mexican Mafia. They are one of the largest and most ruthless prison gangs in the U. They’re allied with the Aryan Brotherhood, and have a common enemy in the Nuestra Familia. La Eme was started not in Mexico, but in Mexican-Americans who were incarcerated in American prisons. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean MS 13  (Photo Wikimedia) The MS 13, also sometimes seen just as MS or 13, is a symbol of the Mara Salvatrucha gang from El Salvador. Typically these tattoos can be found anywhere on the body, but are most often found in highly visible places like the face, hands or neck. LA Mara Salvatrucha was started in the Los Angeles area by El Salvadoran immigrants. There are now MS-13 chapters all over the U. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Playing cards  (Photo Tattos Time) Playing cards, or suits of the deck in general, usually indicate an inmate who likes to gamble. This applies to gambling games both within prison and without; it can also represent a person who generally views life as a gamble. This tattoo is very popular in Russian prisons, where each deck has its own meaning. A spade represents a thief; clubs symbolize criminals in general.

  • La Eme is a Sureño gang, belonging to a large affiliation of Hispanic gangs in Southern California;
  • and even in Canada;
  • Their industries range from dealing drugs to child prostitution;
  • Diamonds are reserved for stoolpigeons and informants – if the cards have this deck, then it was likely applied with force;

Hearts imply that someone is looking for a romantic partner in the prison, which may also be forcibly applied. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean EWMN  (Photo Turner) These letters stand for ‘Evil, Wicked, Mean, Nasty. ‘ Having no particular affiliation with any gang, they simply represent the general disposition of some prison inmates. Typically found on the knuckles, these types of tattoos were popularized in 1955 by Robert Mitchum in ‘The Night of the Hunter. ‘ His sociopathic preacher character had the words ‘love’ and ‘hate’ tattooed on the knuckles of each hand, which has brought about other variants such as ‘Rock/Roll’ and ‘Stay/Down. ‘ What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Cross on the chest  (Photo Adimaz) Particularly found in Russian prisons, chest tattoos symbolize a ‘Prince of Thieves. ‘ This is the highest rank a Russian convict can achieve, and are generally worn by higher-ups in the mob. Russian prisons have a unique and intricate history of prison tattoos, each with their own unique meaning. Another example are bells, symbolizing freedom, or a tiger on the chest is symbolic of aggression toward the police. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean A. (Photo SAS) This acronym is commonly found on the bodies of British prisoners and stands for “All Cops Are Bastards. ” Some claim that A. also stands for “Always Carry A Bible,” but these are widely believed to be people who regret their tattoo decision.

What does swallow mean slang?

slang To believe or accept (something) without question or doubt.

What does 2 teardrop tattoos mean?

A teardrop tattoo is a small tattoo in the shape of a teardrop near one or both eyes. It is closely associated with gang and prison culture, where it often indicates one has served time, one has been humiliated, or one has killed. Others may get such a tattoo to represent sorrow or loss.

Why do sailors get sparrow tattoos?

Image courtesty of  Sailor Jerry In celebration of Norman Collins’ 103 rd  birthday next Tuesday, Sailor Jerry will be hosting events around the country and giving out 103 free swallow tattoos! You might have a swallow tattoo already or you’re just mulling the idea around as a future tattoo, but you might find the origins of this traditional flash image quite fascinating! Tattoo by Samuele Briganti. Source:  https://instagram. com/samuelebriganti Among the most popular recipients of this traditional bird would of course be sailors. Before the days of advanced navigation systems, sailors would only know they were near land once they spotted swallows in the skies.

This transpired into the tattoo meaning of a safe return to home. They would also mark certain sailing accomplishments with a swallow such as traveling over 5,000 nautical miles, sailing all seven seas, crossing the equator, and sailing around the Horns (the bottom of Africa and South America).

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A bit more on the morbid, yet spiritual side, it was believed that the swallows would carry a drown sailor’s soul from the depths of the ocean up to heaven. To honor a fallen comrade, a swallow with a dagger through its breast would often be depicted. Print by Quyen Dinh. Source:  Parlor Tattoo Prints For the lover: Swallows will choose only one mate and remain true to them for life so they’re often a representation of  finding true love  or loyalty. For the fighter: Men would often get swallows tattooed on the backs of their hands to show they were quick,  strong , and ruthless fighters! In some cultures the swallow is a symbol of rebirth and positive change which is something nearly all human beings experience at some point in their life. Image courtesy of  Sailor Jerry The beautiful  thing about any tattoo is that it can mean absolutely nothing or absolutely everything. No matter the interpretation of the swallow, this piece will always remain a staple in tattoo culture. More: 

  • Top 30 Best Tattoo Ideas For Girls On Back In 2022
  • 30 Best Half Sleeve Tattoo Ideas for Men in 2022


Where do sailors get swallow tattoos?

What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean Tattooing in Western culture owes its popularity to the sailors of the 1700s, who were inspired by the tattooed indigenous people they encountered when visiting the islands of Polynesiain the South Pacific. The word itself is believed to have derived from the Tahitian ta-taw – an onomatopoeic word mimicking the sound of Polynesian tattooing tools. Life at sea was dangerous and a sailor’s nerves were constantly being tested by the elements. Knowing that at any moment a tempest could blast them into a watery grave made sailors a superstitious bunch.

The symbols they had inked onto their bodies were more than just exotic souvenirs from distant lands. They told the story of where a sailor had travelled, if he had been around Cape Horn, crossed the Equator, or visited the Orient.

They were good-luck charms or protective talismans, and it was not long before there existed an extraordinarily elaborate set of tattoo symbols that spoke a language all of their own. Seeing a sailor with a tattoo of a turtle on its back legs, for example, would indicate that he had been to the equator, and if he had a rope tattooed around his wrist, you would know he was a dockhand.

  • A cross on the sole of each foot was supposed to ward off hungry sharks should you be cast overboard, while an image of the North Star would ensure that you could always find your way home;
  • The origins of the very common pig-and-rooster tattoo are still contested;

These animals were commonly carried on ships in buoyant wooden crates. If the ship sank, the crates would catch the currents and wash ashore along with other on-board debris. In such cases, the pigs and roosters could be the only living beings to survive.

So perhaps these tattoos meant safety in the event of shipwreck. Other explanations of the pig and rooster are that, since both animals are averse to water, you would be quick out of the sea in the event of accident, or that, since the animals can be taken to represent ham and eggs, the wearer of the tattoo would be safe from hunger! Whatever the symbolism, tattoos have held deep meaning for sailors since the beginning of the 18 th century.

Here, using examples of the artwork of celebrated maritime-tattooist ‘Sailor Jerry’ (Norman Keith Collins), we take you through the meanings behind some other images you might see adorning the bodies of old sea-salts. SWALLOWS The first-known origins of the swallow tattoo date back to a mutiny on board a ship named The Swallow. The seven crew members who staged the mutiny each had a swallow tattooed on their chests so that they could identify their co-conspirators. Since then, there have been a number of reasons for sailors to get the tattoo: the sight of a swallow (or sparrow or bluebird) at sea was a welcome one to any sailor, as they were usually the first sign that land was nearby and that a long voyage was nearing its end.

The birds are known for always returning home and for mating for life. Thus the tattoo came to represent a safe journey back to land, and to symbolise loyalty. A swallow also became a mark of experience. It was traditionally tattooed on the chest for every 5,000 nautical miles that a sailor had travelled.

These journeys were riddled with hardships, starvation, sickness, and death, and so the more swallows the sailor had on his chest, the more experienced and respected he was. DAGGER THROUGH A HEART Although the meaning of a dagger-through-a-heart tattoo may vary, in general it symbolises the end of a love relationship due to unfaithfulness or betrayal. The slogan Death Before Dishonour , as seen in this design, is an enduringly popular tattoo among military units going back at least as far as Ancient Rome ( morte prima di disonore ). By the time of Roman senator and historian Tacitus, however, the vow ‘death before dishonour’ had become passé among Romans, but was instead adopted by the barbarians. ANCHORS Anchors became a popular tattoo design during the 18 th century. The meaning behind the anchor derives from a sailor’s desire for stability at sea. In turbulent and changing waters, the anchor would keep sailors steady on board the ship and ground them in the same way a real anchor does a vessel. Longing for home also plays a part here, much as it does with the North Star motif: without an anchor, the ship would be cast adrift at sea, doomed to roam the waves forever.

Designed in a classicAmericanastyle with the incorporation of the bald eagle, this design hints at American patriotism. The dagger, of all the symbols used in this design, is probably the one seen most often with this motto, carrying with it a sense of seriousness, danger, and death.

Their anchor tattoo offered sailors the hope of returning home. The anchor symbol was not always so optimistic, however. When a ship or sailor is lost, the ‘sailor grave’ tattoo might be used to commemorate them. The design features an anchor, a life preserver, an eagle, and a sinking ship, all of which represent those lost as sea and the dangers of living a sailor’s life. HULA GIRLS As women were forbidden at sea, and their presence was considered bad luck, sailors left their wives, girlfriends, and lovers behind in port. To ease their parting and to remind themselves of what they had waiting on their return, tattoo designs of women’s names and, later, actual women became popular. Just like today, nautical pin-up girls, mermaids, and hula girls were all synonymous with the sailing lifestyle.

Hula girls represented the allure of distant lands and the mystery of indigenous female natives. Mermaids, like sirens, stood for the draw of life at sea despite all its dangers. And the more recent pin-ups symbolised the women left behind at the last harbour – the girls the sailors had waiting for them should they safely return.

To read more about the superstitious meanings behind sailors’ tattoos and the life of Norman Keith Collins AKA Sailor Jerry, pick up the June issue Military History Monthly..

Is it okay to get a swallow tattoo?

Just about every swallow tattoo that you see comes with at least one swallow tattoo meaning, so it’s not just a simple drawing of a bird as many people assume. What’s great is that you can choose one or more meanings that you like, and you will also have a nice bird tattoo design that you can place pretty much anywhere on your body.

On this page we will go over all of the most commonly used swallow tattoo meanings and we’ll take a look at some design options that you’ll have. The swallow tattoo was initially used as a symbol by sailors to display their sailing experience.

In the early days of sailing, it was usually an image of a barn swallow tattooed on one’s chest, neck or hands. These days you can get your swallow tattoo anywhere you want to and can still represent your love of sailing or the fact that you are an experienced sailor.

According to legend, one swallow meant the sailor had traveled over 5,000 nautical miles and two swallows meant a distance over 10,000 nautical miles. If you are going all-out with the sailor meaning, then you can have them lined up on your arm, or you could even go with one swallow on each side of your chest.

If you are getting them to represent the distance you’ve traveled on the sea, then you can even include some text to show exactly what the swallow tattoo meaning is. Due to the difficult nature of traveling such long distances, these tattoos denote a very experienced and valuable sailor.

This is why swallow tattoos are seen as a kind of pride design in which people are glad to tell everyone who sees them how much experience they have on the sea. You can even use this meaning if you are new to sailing and simply want to show off this love to anyone who sees your tattoo.

Another legend tied to the swallow is that they were seen as a guarantee that the sailor will return home safely. This is because the swallow always returns to the same area to mate every year. In this way the swallow tattoo is a good luck charm, so it really doesn’t have to represent sailing at all.

  1. This is a great idea for anyone who does not want to get a four-leaf clover or another more commonly seen “good luck” tattoo;
  2. Some people believed that if the sailor were to perish at sea, the swallow would carry their soul to heaven;

In this way the swallow tattoo is a bit of a religious design. You can include it in a larger religious piece, or even make it the focal point of the design. There was also a time when men would get swallows tattooed on the backs of their hands to symbolize that they were a strong, vicious and fast fighter.

  1. In England and Australia it stood for “these fists fly” and became representative of working class pride;
  2. If you are into boxing, MMA, or some other type of fighting, the swallow tattoo could be a great way to represent that;

Classically these designs were placed on the hands, but you can use the exact same meaning no matter where you place your swallow. The swallow is a bird that tends to mate for life, so this makes it a great symbol of love. If you choose to use the love meaning with your tattoo, then you can make this meaning clearer by either including an extra swallow or adding in other love symbols, such as a heart.

Like many birds, swallows symbolize loyalty since they will stay in groups to stay safe and to be happy. This is a really good meaning to use if you are known for being a loyal person or you simply see loyalty as an extremely important trait.

As with all of the other meanings listed here so far, you do not have to tweak your swallow design at all to make this meaning work. Similarly, the swallow tattoo can also represent someone’s love of their family. Swallows are not the types of birds that separate from each other, so anyone who has a tight-knit family might find this to be the best swallow tattoo meaning for them.

To make the meaning clearer, you could get multiple swallows in the tattoo, with each one representing one member of your family; you can even include their names if you want to take this idea a step further.

A swallow tattoo, like a bunch of other bird tattoos, can also signify freedom. To use this meaning people will often have their swallows in a flying motion with their wings spread out and perhaps diving at an angle down their skin. The swallow isn’t a commonly used bird to symbolize freedom, which might actually make it an attractive choice for those looking to get a unique bird tattoo.

The swallow tattoo is said to be a popular choice for inmates who are expecting to return home from prison. This meaning probably derived from sailors using the swallow design to symbolize their return home after struggles at sea.

This is one of those prison tattoos that do not look like prison tats. Traditionally, swallow tattoos were inked in muted colors or black and were simple and subtle designs. More modern swallow tattoos are full of color and can be more stylized and unique, though many people still opt to go with that classic style.

  • Real swallows can be different mixes of brown, blue, orange, and white;
  • You’ll want to look over some pictures of swallows to find the colors that you think would look good on your skin;
  • Regardless of the style selected, many people choose to get swallow tattoos to represent the meanings that were recently mentioned;

Most people are surprised to find out just how many meanings that can be attached to these birds, which is why they have shot up the rankings over the last decade or so. The truth is that if someone likes the look of the swallow, there’s a pretty good chance that they will easily be able to find a meaning that makes sense for them.

Not just for seafaring folks, the swallow tattoo can be a great choice for anyone who wants their artwork to symbolize freedom, victory or a return home. Even if you have never been out on the water, the swallow could still be the perfect bird tattoo to represent who you are.

Just don’t be surprised if people who see your tattoo assume that you are a sailor or have spent a lot of time out at sea. If any of those swallow tattoo meanings work for you, then you’ll want to work with a great artist so your design will look fantastic on your body.

Most tattoo artists will have no problem working with you to figure out a design that will look good on your skin and a place to put it. Ideally you will end up with the perfect looking swallow tattoo in a place that looks natural.

While the swallow is not one of the most popular bird tattoos out there right now, it is certainly one of the more meaningful ones, especially for people who love being out on the ocean. It’s a great bird tattoo choice for people who want something a bit different and very meaningful.

  • If you do end up deciding to get a swallow tattoo, be sure to take your time during the design process, figure out a great place to put it on your body, and hire a tattoo artist who will make the swallow come alive on your skin;

Do all of that and there’s a great chance that you will end up loving the look of the bird and any swallow tattoo meanings that you attach to it. What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean What Does A Swallow Tattoo Mean .

What do bird tattoos mean?

People have always been drawn to birds, especially as a representation and sense of freedom. As a whole, birds represent our eagerness and desire to live a spiritually free and happy life. Some cultures even valued birds to be a representation of eternal life; as in the connection between heaven and earth.