Eagle Tattoo Designs & Their Meaning

Are you planning to get an eagle tattoo? Get inspiration from a list of designs and know what they represent. We outline different symbol combinations, color selections, and body placements that will help you emphasize your message and compliment your personality.

The eagle, America’s formal mascot, represents courage and freedom. These illustrations are popular among men and women of all ages.

The eagle totem was used for thousands of years across various cultures and countries. For native Americans, this bird is considered as the incarnation of The Great Spirit, and its feathers were used in holy rituals. Egyptian rulers proudly included it in their seals, while the Persian army used eagles in their symbol.

Interpretations of Different Eagle Tattoos

The eagle is a part of various tales that motivates achievers, and this idea is visible in various cultures.

In Christianity, this bird symbolizes baptism, as Jews believed that soaring high in the sky burns its wings, and to recover them, it dips the wings in pure water. Also, an eagle with a snake is perceived as the victory over Satan. 

For America, the bird is a symbol of patriotism, with the country included it in its official seal.

In Chinese tradition, it represents perseverance, strength, and courage.

The eagle is also considered as the symbol of the sun and is linked to height, immortality, and strength. It also symbolizes purity, beauty, and might.

Meaning of Various Eagle Tattoos

The design of your tat will emphasize your message and add to the illustration’s appeal. Below are a few suggestions:

Tribal Tattoo

With the wings spread, this art symbolizes authority and supremacy. Choose the tribal design that holds the most meaning to you—people often choose based on their ethnic identities and heritage.

Fighting Tattoo

When in a confrontation, an eagle stretches its talons to catch its enemy and appears to be yelling. A fighting eagle illustration represents courage, determination, and power.

Eagle Head Tattoo

This art represents vision and focus. Add to the theme by adding blue to the eyes. People also combine this illustration with symbolic text or meaningful phrases.

Egyptian Eagle Tattoo

This unique illustration is linked to protection and authority. It’s usually combined with royal symbology like scepters and crowns. Set the art in a blue or purple background to emphasize the theme.

Perched Tattoo

This tat is a symbol of health, provision, and energy. It can be used as a motivational piece to remind the wearer of their potential. It’s best combined with symbols that remind you of your goals. 

For a student, for example, the bird could be perched holding a scroll, pen, or a book to illustrate the potential for academic excellence.

Eagle Feather Tattoo

This bird’s feather can be used to emphasize a theme of power in an existing piece. The illustration’s color is usually aesthetic rather than thematic, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

Displaying just an eagle’s feather rather than the whole bird could represent that part of you is missing, in that the feather is all that’s left.

It could also suit those who want a smaller tattoo rather than an engulfing eagle adorned on their body.

Common Designs

Black Eagle Tattoo

This art looks bold and ferocious. Intricate shading helps this art to stand out despite the simple design. Think of slapping this bold bird on your chest or back. 

Eagle with Red and White Stripes

The red and white stripes from the American flag give a patriotic feel to this tattoo. It’s great for someone fancying a stylish illustration. The chest or shoulders would be a great placement.

Swooping Down Eagle Tattoo

This design symbolizes focus and vision. You can add elements to this art, such as prey below or other natural elements such as the sea or forest.

Eagle with Outstretched Wings

Outstretched wings can symbolize various things, such as ready for prey, soaring high, or the high vision. It’s a common design amongst Americans to be done on fingers and symbolize patriotism. It is also popular to get a totem of a bald eagle with its wings outstretched. 

Black and Gray Eagle Tattoo

For a dark theme, get a black and grey eagle sitting on a skull. The background may include extinguished candles with the smoke rising. 

These tats may depict triumph over death or acceptance of mortality as both extinguished candles and skulls represent death. The arm is an excellent placement for this design.

Two-Eagle Tattoo

This art depicts two eagles. One of them is a larger image of the bird’s head, which appears to be alert. The smaller bird at the bottom is ready for the prey with its wings held high. It’s a kind of story representing before and after scenarios.

Ideal placements for this art are shoulder and arms.

Mean Eagle Head

The head is showcased with a deathly serious look. The upper arm is the best place to get this tat done.

Flying Eagle Tattoo

In this art, this ferocious bird is seen to be soaring across mountains. For a realistic look, the rich brown color of the bird’s body should be contrasted by using white ink on the neck, and yellow for its feet and beak. The outline of the mountains shouldn’t be too detailed, leaving something for the imagination.

Struggling Eagle Tattoo

This illustration can present the bird in great distress and could encompass text such as “distress.” It may signify that one needs to be strong amidst travails. With a dash of bluish-green in the feathers, the theme of struggle and hope to sail through should be sufficiently emphasized.

Eagle Tattoo: Color and Meaning

Along with the various designs that are used to convey meaning, different colors can likewise be used to demonstrate various emotions. 


Red is symbolic of intense passion and love. A red eagle representing love can be illustrated as clutching at a heart or rose. To emphasize passion, the best strategy would be to make the eyes pop with a dash of blue or green.


This color is a symbol of joy, friendship, and happiness. When used for matching tattoos, it’s very common for people to etch their partners, family, or friend’s name above or below the bird.


Orange often represents joy. It also symbolizes emotional energy and creativity. Artists usually depict an orange bird holding a brush, microphone, or other related tools of their art.


White is a symbol of peace, purity, serenity, and innocence. White ink is not to be found in every tat parlor, however. The use of this ink also takes some degree of experience, and it’s advisable to assess your artist’s previous work in white ink before making a decision.

You can also use multiple colors in the feathers, beak, and legs to symbolize a mixture of emotions.

Popular Tattoo Body Placements

These tattoos can be placed anywhere from fingers to the back. Although the art will look elegant everywhere, an ideal place will depend on the size and type of tattoo you’re planning to get.

Furthermore, while choosing a place for the tattoo, you should keep the visibility in mind. If you don’t mind the visibility, go wild, and choose your favored location. If you want it to be concealed, however, the shoulder, back, and thighs are a better option.

Fingers and Palm

A smaller tattoo with outstretched plumage looks gorgeous on the fingers. The bird’s body can be placed on the backside of your palm with the feathers occupying all the fingers.


For larger tats, areas such as arms, legs, back, and shoulders are perfect. An illustration with only the bird’s head will look great on the arm. Men usually get them to symbolize strength.


An ideal place for a swooping down tattoo is the chest. You can add elements to it to depict a short story or build a theme. Alternatively, you can add quotes to enhance the meaning of the art.