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Cardinal Tattoos And Designs-Cardinal Tattoo Ideas And Meanings

Updated on May 8, 2013
thelyricwriter profile image

Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.


One tattoo design that you may find interest in is the cardinal tattoo. Cardinal tattoos are not a mainstream tattoo, but they do have a following. Cardinal tattoos are worn by both men and women. Just like all animal tattoos, the cardinal tattoo represents traits and attributes of the cardinal. The cardinal tattoo can be designed in a variety of different ways and portrayed with other elements and symbols. Since the cardinal tattoo can be designed in various sizes, it can nearly be placed anywhere on the body. However, the cardinal tattoo is the type of tattoo that looks much better as a larger sized tattoo.

In this article, we will go over cardinal tattoos and cardinal tattoo designs. We will also discuss cardinal tattoo meanings and you will have the opportunity to view several cardinal tattoo designs. In the end, we hope that you are able to find inspiration and ideas for your next tattoo venture.



One of the more popular bird tattoos is the cardinal tattoo. The cardinal tattoo is chosen for a variety of different reasons and it's worn by both men and women. The cardinal tattoo does hold symbolic value. Although many people do choose the cardinal tattoo for symbolic reasons, the cardinal tattoo is also inked because it is a beautiful bird.

The best known feature about the cardinal is its bright red feathers. The bright red feathers help it stand out in a tattoo. Cardinals also have black feathers and it is well known for its black patch around the face. Although the cardinal is not a main stream tattoo, this may give you the chance to choose a type of tattoo that you rarely see on men and women. Perhaps, the cardinal tattoo symbolic meanings describe your personality.

When it comes to cardinal tattoos, the male cardinal is usually always portrayed. The male cardinals are the ones that have the bright red feathers, not the female cardinal. The female cardinal does have red feathers, but they are dull and have very little color. The red feathers on the males are very bright because the male cardinal uses them to attract female cardinals. The cardinal can be found in the east, mid-west, south, and into Mexico. They can also be found in a variety of locations all around the world.

Cardinals are portrayed in a variety of different ways as a tattoo. The cardinal can be portrayed on the ground, in a tree, or flying in the sky. The cardinal may have their wings spread or tucked in by their side. Some cardinals are portrayed as if they were posing for a picture, while others may be in search for food. In most cases, they are usually perched on a branch. Take the time to view the tattoo designs in this article to see all the different ways that the cardinal is portrayed.

The cardinal has a personality that is similar to the eagle. Cardinals are very aggressive when it comes to their territory. The cardinal will defend what is his no matter the cost. Whether it is other cardinals or another breed of birds, the cardinal is always willing to fight for what is his. Due to this fact, the cardinal tattoo can represent protection and determination.



The cardinal tattoo does hold symbolic value and there are a few different meanings. Below, you can find the meanings behind the cardinal tattoo.

  • Protection
  • Pride
  • Graceful
  • Noble
  • Aggressive
  • Determined
  • Vitality
  • Energetic
  • Happiness

The cardinal can be portrayed with a variety of different symbols as a tattoo. Most cardinal tattoos usually have the cardinal portrayed with birds, trees, and flowers. Once again, take the time to view the designs in this article so you can get a clear idea of what is portrayed with the cardinal. The rose and the cherry blossom are commonly seen in cardinal tattoos. One interesting idea is to have your cardinal portrayed in the snow. The color combination of white and bright red would look great together, despite the white ink.

The cardinal is also the official logo of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Arizona Cardinals. If you are a baseball fan or football fan of these teams, you may want to consider such a tattoo. There are several different sport teams that have the cardinal as a logo. In college football, you have the Louisville Cardinals and the Stanford Cardinals.

Before you get your tattoo, there are some important things to remember. Make sure you take the time to research your tattoo. You want to make sure that you fully understand what your tattoo represents and stands for. If your not sure, don't rush to get inked. Most people that rush to get a tattoo usually regret their decision later on down the road. If your not sure, make sure you weigh out your options. Take your time, do your research, and then make a decision. If you feel that the cardinal tattoo is not for you, be sure to follow the links below to view more tattoo symbols, designs, ideas, and meanings. Thanks for your visit.



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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      My husband passed away 2 years ago and I have been trying to decide on the cardinal tattoo or the John Deere tractor tattoo for a memorial to him. I have always been leaning on the cardinal. It has taken me this long to decide but I have my appointment made.

    • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      5 years ago from West Virginia

      Amy, sorry to hear about your grandma first off. Oh, this would be a great way to remember her. I hope you were able to get some great ideas for a cardinal tattoo Amy. If I can help in any way, please let me know. God Bless and thanks for a great comment.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My grandma recently passed away and she always watched the birds in her yard. Her favorite was always the Cardinal so I was just looking for some ideas to get some new ink to honor her. The tattoos featured here are beautiful representations of a magnificent bird.

    • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      7 years ago from West Virginia

      *Frank, thanks again my friend. I appreciate your visit and time. Take care.

      *AE, LOL! I see them every now and then. I love the bright colors of the cardinal. Beautiful birds.

      *TT, thanks for taking the time to drop by. One wouldn't think about it right off, but it is a positive symbol of the tattoo ranks. Take care.

      *Gypsy, thanks again dear friend. They are truly very colorful birds. Love seeing them in the wild and especially the winter.

      *Max, ahh Max. LOL They are not a main stream market for them, but they are a lot of sport fans that get the sport tattoos of them. They make for a beautiful tattoo though, if someone is just looking for a beautiful design.

      *Hyp, thanks for taking the time to drop by. They are very beautiful birds. I am glad that you take the time to read them. I appreciate it very much.

      *Alocsin, appreciate your comment and time. They have a certain chemistry about them, can't put my finger on it. Good point. That famous cardinal red.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Wow, these are one of the most striking tattoos because of the color. Unlike other types of tattoos, the red is required, I guess, otherwise it wouldn't look like a cardinal. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      We have so many Cardinals here. They are so beautiful that I can understand why someone would get a tattoo of one. Again, you have educated and entertained me. Thank you.

    • BeyondMax profile image


      7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      How I love the color! I had no idea that Cardinals could be so attractive in the tattoo art, wow, I am amazed. (though, I must admit, the guy looks a lil' mean to me =)) Great work, wow!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      7 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. Wow love these colorful and beautiful cardinal tattoos.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      7 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      I had never even considered the beautiful cardinal as a tattoo possibility, but I love what it stands for. Another wonderful hub on tattoos with some gorgeous photos! Voted up and more. :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Beautiful art work. I have one Cardinal who comes to my bird feeder everyday..

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      7 years ago from Shelton

      man what a great share love the colors in the tattoo work of art voted up :)


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